4 Behind-The-Scenes Movie Mysteries (That Remain Unsolved)
With the help of home video, the internet, and generally having too much time on our hands, movie fans have cleared up many of Hollywood's greatest mysteries. For example, we now know that the "dead Munchkin" in The Wizard of Oz is just a giant bird and that there are no penises hidden in Teen Wolf. That being said, there are still some cinematic conundrums that have yet to be fully explained, such as how …
Field of Dreams – The Identity Of The Magical "Voice" is Shrouded in Secrecy
Field of Dreams – with the exception of the horrifying contextual racial politics the filmmakers completely skip over – is pretty much a perfect movie. Of course, the beloved film tells the tale of Ray Kinsella (played by Kevin Costner), an Iowa farmer who builds a baseball diamond in his cornfield, thanks to a disembodied voice that thankfully never suggests setting any major fires or assassinating any famous political figures.
Without the voice, Field of Dreams would have just been the story of a dude growing corn while quietly resenting his dead dad. So who played what was arguably the most important part of the film? Well, nobody knows exactly; the identity of this ASMR pioneer has never been publicly named. In the end credits of the film, "The Voice" is simply credited as "Himself" for some reason.
Fans have lots of different theories; some people think that it's the late Ray Liotta who played Shoeless Joe Jackson in the movie. Others think that it's Costner himself, adding to the whole "Ray is having a complete breakdown" theory. The author of the original book, W.P. Kinsella, once said that he was told that it's the voice of Ed Harris – who isn't actually in Field of Dreams but is married to Amy Madigan, who played Ray's wife, Annie. Director Phil Alden Robinson won't reveal who does the voice but has stated that he "has yet to hear the right name guessed." So for all we know, it was an extremely dialed-back Gilbert Gottfried.
No One Knows Who Wrote The Iconic U.S.S. Indianapolis Speech From Jaws
Steven Spielberg famously created the modern blockbuster with Jaws – and also, inadvertently, the modern shark-murder-filled Playstation 2 game. Pretty much every moment of Jaws is brilliant, thanks to Spielberg's direction (and also the incompatibility of ocean water and 1970s robot sharks). But perhaps the most memorable scene in the entire movie is the speech delivered by Quint (played by Robert Shaw) about the downing of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the subsequent shark attacks that somehow didn't inspire him to become an architect or a dry cleaner or literally anything other than some island's local grizzled shark guy.
The authorship of this memorable moment is a matter of some debate; it didn't appear in the original novel by Peter Benchley (which was already pretty overstuffed with sex scenes and mafia-led animal mutilations). According to Spielberg, the original speech was invented by the uncredited writer Howard Sackler and was only two paragraphs long, at which point he turned to his buddy John Milius, the screenwriter of Apocalypse Now and future director of Conan the Barbarian (not to mention Red Dawn). Supposedly, Milius dictated a new, "ten-page monologue" to Spielberg over the phone as if it were a common Domino's order, which was edited down by Shaw, but still closely resembles what ended up in the finished film.
But according to the film's credited co-writer, Carl Gottlieb, this story is blatantly "false." Sackler's draft of the speech wasn't two paragraphs; it was two pages. And Spielberg didn't just ask Milius for help reworking the daunting scene; he asked all of his writer friends, including Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, and Paul Schrader – who each "had ideas." This resulted in ten different versions of the speech, which were then "synthesized" by Shaw, who was himself an award-winning novelist.
So we may never know exactly who wrote which part of this legendary speech … although we do know exactly who is to blame for Jaws: The Revenge.
Fans Keep Searching For The Bible Verse That Explains David Lynch's Eraserhead
Legendary director (and master urinal craftsman) David Lynch isn't exactly the most forthcoming when it comes to revealing the deeper meanings behind his surreal masterpieces – although we do know that Lost Highway was inspired by the O.J. Simpson trial, and the third act twist of Mulholland Drive was motivated by the threat of a lawsuit from the Walt Disney Company. But what about Lynch's first feature Eraserhead, the surreal industrialist nightmare co-starring the creepiest movie baby outside of American Sniper.
Lynch famously called Eraserhead his “most spiritual film” while refusing to “elaborate” on that statement.
In his book Catching the Big Fish (it's a metaphor for creativity, not an instructional manual for hunting bass) Lynch mentions that when he was struggling to write the future cult hit, he was "looking for a key" to unify his ideas. So he pulled out a Bible and "started reading." at which point, he apparently found a single sentence that unlocked the story "as a whole" – and, according to Lynch, it "fulfilled this vision for me, 100 percent."
Naturally, Lynch has never revealed what this magical Bible quote actually is, prompting obsessive fans to pore through the Good Book searching for the right passage, which could potentially reference numbers that show up in the movie. Of course, it's also possible that Lynch's story isn't true, and he was just too embarrassed to admit that he based Eraserhead on a line from a Jackie Collins paperback.
There is Debate About Whether Leonardo DiCaprio's Maltese Falcon Prop is Real (And Possibly Made By a Murderer)
The Maltese Falcon is the classic 1940s detective story about a gang of criminals in search of a bird statuette that is the "stuff dreams are made of" – or maybe it was hollowed out and filled with cocaine, but no one bothered to mention it. In the end, the bird worth killing over turns out to be a fake, in one of the greatest movie endings that doesn't involve Ashton Kutcher finally finding his car.
Weirdly, the plot of the film has been oddly paralleled by the search for the real-life falcon, the prop used in the production. While the original prop was lost for many years, it resurfaced in the '80s, "in the hands of a Beverly Hills oral surgeon." The prop then circulated museums as part of a touring Warner Bros. retrospective before being sold for a whopping $4.1 million dollars in 2013.
But while that one is made of lead, others claiming to be authentic have popped up and are made of plaster, which some experts claim are authentic too. One falcon was sold to "a "group that included Leonardo DiCaprio" for $300,000 in 2010. Reportedly six falcons were made for the original movie, but complicating matters, there was a 1975 parody movie, The Black Bird, made several new falcons using the original mold. And former studio chief Jack Warner reportedly kept the mold to make copies as gifts.
Also, while researching the authenticity of these various birds, it was discovered that the artist who first sculpted the original prop may, according to some true-crime theorists, have been an accomplice in the notorious unsolved Black Dahlia murders from the 1940s. Which is a little like finding out that Charles Manson made Dorothy's ruby slippers.
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