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Hail, Caesar! (2016) Poster

(2016)

Trivia

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For his role as Hobie Doyle, Alden Ehrenreich learned horseback riding, rope tricks, twirling guns and playing the guitar. He has stated twirling the spaghetti, mimicking the lasso, was the hardest part of his role.
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Dolph Lundgren has an uncredited (initially much longer and almost entirely deleted) cameo as the submarine captain. Lundgren said that he was very honored to play the part, having never expected to be asked for a film directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen.
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The Coen Brothers considered casting 100-year-old character actor Norman Lloyd as Herbert Marcuse, but changed their mind due to a scene in which he would have to appear on a boat in rocking water.
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The real Eddie Mannix died in 1963. Robert Taylor and James Stewart were among his pallbearers.
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The fictional film studio "Capitol Pictures" previously appeared in Barton Fink (1991), another Los Angeles period film from the Coen Brothers. Eddie Mannix's secretary mentions that his meeting with the four religious leaders takes place in the "Wallace Beery Conference Room." In the previous film, Barton Fink was a screenwriter who was writing a script for Capitol Pictures, for a wrestling movie starring real-life actor Wallace Beery.
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Carlotta Valdes, Hobie Doyle's date, is also the name of a mysterious character from the 1800s in Vertigo (1958).
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The singing voice of Hobie Doyle was provided by folk singer Willie Watson.
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Prof. Marcuse is a reference to Herbert Marcuse, a Marxist theoretician of the Frankfurter Schule, who was active at that time.
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Marks Frances McDormand's eighth collaboration with the Coen brothers. She is also the wife of Joel Coen.
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The first film that cinematographer Roger Deakins has shot for directors Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, and on 35mm film, since True Grit (2010). He had previously become an advocate of shooting digitally, and used Arri Alexa cameras on his next five films, but switched back to film for this because the Coens dislike digital cameras and thought that shooting on film suited a period piece set in 1950s Hollywood.
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For his role as a Swedish director, Christopher Lambert worked with a dialogue coach who told the actor that no one knows what a Swedish accent really sounds like. Instead, Lambert was instructed to blend his French accent with a German accent. Obviously, anyone who has heard any of the four members of the Swedish music group ABBA speak, will know what a Swedish accent sounds like, amongst other famous Swedes.
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Josh Brolin played Eddie Mannix in this film, and his then wife Diane Lane played Mannix's wife Toni Mannix in Hollywoodland (2006).
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Apart from a silhouette, Dolph Lundgren's part has been cut for time reasons (said Ethan Coen at the Berlin Film Festival).
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The Lockheed recruiter tells Eddie the Bikini Atoll test occurred three weeks earlier, which places the movie in March 1954, but the "copyright notice" shown in one of the pictures includes the Roman numeral for 1951.
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Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) is never seen without his Roman regalia costume.
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Engels, the communists' dog, is a reference to Friedrich Engels, a friend of Karl Marx. They co-founded the Marxist Theory.
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Costume designer Mary Zophres cited the work of mid-century couturier Charles James as her influence on the large, architectural ballgowns that appear in the 'Merrily We Dance' scenes.
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Despite prominent billing, Jonah Hill only has three minutes of screen-time.
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Selected as the opening film of the 2016 Berlin Film Festival.
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There actually was a Capitol Pictures (aka Capitol Film Exchange) in early Hollywood, although not in the 1950s (it lasted from the mid-'20s to the early '30s). Unlike this film's "Capitol Pictures", which was a major studio comparable to MGM, the real Capitol was a "Poverty Row" studio that churned out low-budget "B" pictures.
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While Hobie is having dinner with Carlotta, he starts using a spaghetti noodle as a lasso to entertain her. This is a nod to spaghetti westerns.
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Josh Brolin and Christopher Lambert previously appeared in The Road Killers (1994) together. After production ended, Lambert and his wife, Diane Lane, divorced and she went on to marry Brolin in 2004, but the two divorced before production began on Hail, Caesar! (2016).
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Jonah Hill had previously stated in Superbad (2007) he did not have the luxury of the Coen Brothers, his favorite directors, directing the pornographic videos he viewed. This is his first time working with the Coen brothers.
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This is George Clooney's fourth collaboration with Joel Coen and Ethan Coen. They previously worked together on O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), Intolerable Cruelty (2003), and Burn After Reading (2008).
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This marks the fifth collaboration between Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill after 21 Jump Street (2012), This Is the End (2013), The Lego Movie (2014) and 22 Jump Street (2014), although the two appear in no scenes together.
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The photo that the Lockheed recruiter shows Eddie at his lunch meeting is correctly stated by the character to be a picture of the Bikini Atoll nuclear test. However, that exact photo was taken of an atomic (not thermonuclear) test called "Baker" from Operation Crossroads on July 1946, where the bomb was suspended underneath a landing craft and surrounded by 10 other ships.
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Cast includes four Oscar winners: George Clooney, Frances McDormand, Fisher Stevens and Tilda Swinton, and three Oscar nominees: Josh Brolin, Jonah Hill and Ralph Fiennes.
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Forms the conclusion of the Coen Brothers' unofficial Idiots series, which includes O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), Intolerable Cruelty (2003) and Burn After Reading (2008).
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In the 1990s, George Clooney's Caesar haircut was one of his trademarks. This film gives him a Caesar cut much more closely based on Caesar.
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This is Josh Brolin's third collaboration with Joel Coen and Ethan Coen. They previously worked together on No Country for Old Men (2007) and True Grit (2010).
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During shooting, Terrence Malick showed up unannounced and uninvited on the set of the film. Then he and the Coens had lunch together.
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Bob Hoskins previously portrayed Mannix in Hollywoodland (2006).
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George Clooney's character Baird Whitlock tells a story about Danny Kaye. Danny Kaye co-starred in White Christmas (1954) along with Rosemary Clooney, George Clooney's aunt.
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This is the Coen brothers' first film in which the cast is billed alphabetically in the main credits.
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(In joke) The maid in Malibu is using a Hoover vacuum. FBI head J. Edgar Hoover was famously the scourge of US Communists.
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The security guard at the front gate of Capitol Pictures is called Scotty. This is the same name as the studio gate guard in Sunset Boulevard.
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Cast and crew of James Franco's TV pilot L.A. Series (2016) were shuttled to and from the lot sound stages during the simultaneous filming of Hail, Caesar! (2016).
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Third movie in which Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes appeared together. The others are The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) and A Bigger Splash (2015).
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This will be Christopher Lambert and Clancy Brown second collaboration, as they previously starred in Highlander (1986). However, they don't share a scene in the movie.
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Counterintuitively, although this was released as a Universal Picture, the more observant film buff will notice the end titles state that it was also shot at Warner Bros., as part of the Capitol backlot, and Sony Pictures (MGM) Studios, most obviously the huge Stage 30 which houses the huge interior water tank, used in the scene referencing Esther Williams films shot in the very same Stage. Additionally, the huge on location lot referred to as "The Lot". This composite version of the Capitol studio lot, clearly suggests its a physically bigger Movie Studio than Warner Bros-MGM/Sony-Universal combined.
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At one point the Hearst syndicate is mentioned. This is a reference to William Randolph Hearst, the real-life inspiration for Citizen Kane (1941).
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Third film in which George Clooney and Tilda Swinton appear together, although they don't share a scene. They previously collaborated in Michael Clayton (2007) and Burn After Reading (2008).
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Josh Brolin and Alison Pill previously appeared on screen together in Milk (2008).
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The following members of the cast have appeared in film adaptations of Marvel Comics superheros: Josh Brolin appears respectively as Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and as Cable in Deadpool 2 (2018). Scarlett Johansson appears as Black Widow in "The Avengers" and its sequels. Wayne Knight appears as Microchip in Punisher: War Zone (2008). Christopher Lambert appears as Methodius in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011). Tilda Swinton appears as the Ancient One in Doctor Strange (2016). Channing Tatum has signed on to the title character in Gambit (2020).
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Fifth film featuring Ralph Fiennes and Michael Gambon. They previously appeared together in four of the Harry Potter films. However, in this film, Michael Gambon doesn't appear on screen; he only narrates.
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Clancy Brown and Christopher Lambert had previously worked together in Highlander (1986).
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Around the time this film was released, it was announced that Alden Ehrenreich would be playing the young Han Solo in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018). The Coen Brothers' previous film, Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), featured two actors from Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015): Adam Driver; who played Solo's son Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015); and Oscar Isaac.
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This film, which has as a background Old Hollywood, debuted in the same year as Café Society (2016), another film set in the same era.
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Ralph Fiennes's first film was A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia (1992), in which he played T.E. Lawrence. George Clooney's uncle, José Ferrer, appeared in Lawrence of Arabia (1962).
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The name of the movie studio in Blake Edwards' earlier film S.O.B. (1981) was called "Capitol Studios" it being a similar name to the Coen Brothers' fictional film studio of "Capitol Pictures" in both Hail, Caesar! (2016) and Barton Fink (1991).
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In some territories, this movie was marketed as a straight comedy. Although the film contains some film buff humour, it really is a mystery drama, athough the film title and story idea, if directed slightly differently, could have played as a modern version of the silent movie spoofs within "Singing in the rain", particularly if made by modern MGM.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The big secret about Baird Whitlock, which the Thacker sisters each threaten to reveal to their respective gossip columns, is likely based on a long-established rumor regarding Gone with the Wind (1939). Reportedly, Clark Gable insisted that original director George Cukor be replaced because Gable had, years earlier, engaged in a sexual liaison with the influential director as a way to further his own career.
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"Hail, Caesar!", the film-within-the-film, pays several tributes to Ben-Hur (1959), including the matching subtitle "A Tale of the Christ" and a scene in which a Roman general portrayed by Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) becomes speechless upon encountering Jesus Christ.
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Body count: (zero) - which is extremely rare for a movie directed by the Coen brothers.
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In this film, the briefcase with the ransom money is ultimately lost at sea. Another film by the Coens, Fargo (1996), also features a briefcase with ransom money being lost. The Big Lebowski (1998) also features a briefcase with what was assumed to contain ransom money being lost.
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Scarlett Johansson's character discovers that she is pregnant as her film is about to go into production. In real life, Johansson became pregnant a few weeks before Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) started production.
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