Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pucker up, Buttercup!

So after reading yesterday's Ben Stein-related thread over at Throwing Things, I noticed that one of the HBO multiplex channels was showing "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." This is a movie I need far less of an excuse to watch than coincidence, so of course I dove right in, watching from around Ferris making barfing sounds with his synthesizer until just after they stole Mr. Bueller's cab outside Chez Luis.

Three thoughts consumed me as I watched: 1)I still am amazed that the Matthew Broderick who played Ferris Bueller has been unable to play anything but tightly-pinched, Cameron-esque dweebs for most of his adult film career, 2)I continue to wonder whether, if I first encountered this movie as a 34-year-old instead of as a 14-year-old, I would have rooted for Ferris or for Rooney, and 3)I can't believe that this viewing -- at least the 50th time I've seen this movie, and that's probably a conservative estimate -- is the first time I've ever noticed that Rooney, while standing on the Bueller porch after first hearing Ferris' recorded message, starts to hum "Danke Schoen," which will of course be such a memorable part of Ferris' parade appearance.

So, today's summertime open thread: what is a telling/funny/surprising detail that you never noticed until your umpteenth viewing of a beloved film or TV show?

48 comments:

Adam said...

I don't remember which showing of Ferris it was before I realized "Danke Schoen" was being sung by a guy.

Also, says IMDb: "John Cusack, Jim Carrey, Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr. and Michael J. Fox were all considered for the role of Ferris Bueller," as was Eric Stoltz.

Brandon said...

"...and Michael J. Fox were all considered for the role of Ferris Bueller," as was Eric Stoltz."

Speaking of Eric Stoltz and Michael J. Fox, Stoltz was also cast in Back to the Future and even did a week's worth of shooting before being replaced by Michael J. Fox.

Josh said...

I watch The Big Lebowski with pretty religious frequency, and every time I see it, there are more details that I never spotted before.

The most recent watching made me notice that, near the very end, after the "showdown", as the screen fades to black, you can hear Walter telling someone that "They're going to chopper in some medical help," which cracked me up.

However, it took me about four viewings before I ever heard the Dude's response to Brandt, when he says to come back and see them: "Yeah, sure, if I'm in the neighborhood...and need to use the john..."

MaryL said...

Not a tv show, but this blog: I just saw Ian MacShane's photo a few items below and suddenly realized that way before Deadwood, he played the antiques dealer in Lovejoy, which aired for ages on A&E back in the 80s and 90s. (I never actually watched an episode, but I saw the commercials. Lots.)

Ted Kerwin said...

This is a great topic but one my brain needs too much time to think about but I know for a fact I have noticed things on the 10th 11th viewing of classics just cant think of them right now.

Toby said...

Maryl, if you caught the first part of the 'Doctor Who' finale last Friday ("Stolen Earth"), Ian McShane as Lovejoy sort of makes an appearance in the episode - his picture is on an omnibus collection of "Lovejoy" books which can be seen on the bookcase behind Rose Tyler at the Noble home.

As for picking up details with every viewing of a movie, I have that experience with "The Third Man"; always something new for me each time I see it. With the most recent viewing, it was the cracked, shifted balcony at the theatre where Valli's character performs. You can see it right behind Joseph Cotten's head when he goes to see her perform.

"Citizen Kane" is another great movie for finding new details every time you see it. I wonder if it's a Welles thing for me?

Lane said...

In the scene of "Caddyshack" where the caddies are in the bushes betting on if Spalding will pick his nose and then if he eats it. At the end of the scene, I never noticed this until maybe the 20th viewing one of the guys murmurs "I can't believe he ate it!" and another guy says sympathetically "he was hungry!"

Alan Sepinwall said...

Lane, that reminds me of a story somebody recently told me about having seen a theatrical showing of "Just One of the Guys," where the theater sound mix allowed him to notice dialogue that was never apparent in all those HBO airings. After the girl (in drag) and guy kiss at the prom and the guy tries to defend himself by telling the crowd that Teri's really a girl, he said you can hear some girl in the background yelling out, "I don't believe you!"

Byron said...

A little different from what you intended, but I just watched the early Mad Men episodes for the third time. I'm pretty sure that the "Sterling" in "Cooper-Sterling" is in fact Roger's father. There's a picture with Roger on Cooper's knee, isn't there? Doesn't Roger act like a guy who can't stop wearing his father's suit?

stevie said...

Mine is also from the Big Lebowski, when John Goodman yells "Hold on, Donny! The medic's choppering in!" as Steve Buscemi has a heart attack outside the bowling alley.

It was probably four or five viewings before I caught that one.

Anonymous said...

Along with everyone else I've seen this about 100 times and eeven named my first son Cameron. Love this flick. Something I never noticed until I saw the "enhanced" version on AMC or TMC or some other MC was that the restauarant you referenced as Chez Luis is actually Chez Quiz. Or if you are not french, Shakey's. Like the pizza joint from the 80's. That cracked me up when I heard that.

Kristin said...

Personally, now all I can ever think about when I see that movie is that principal man was arrested for having child porn several years ago....

Oh, and I also feel incredibly bad for the down-on-his-luck best friend. Worse than I did as a teenager.

Anonymous said...

My favorite line from this movie is Jennifer Grey telling the police she doesn't want to be killed or violated and then getting on the intercom and saying she has her father's gun and "a scorching case of herpes."

Anonymous said...

Alan, regarding your question #2, I was 32 when I first encounted the movie and I definitely rooted for Ferris. Now, if I had been 52....

Bryan said...

A little different situation but I never noticed John Locke is Luke Wilson's boss (and Elisha Cuthbert's dad) in Old School. Great 'stache!

Taleena said...

I was flipping around and caught "Places in the Heart" (which I love for the hurricane and john malkovich) and realized with a start that Terry O'Quinn is the husband whose wife is cheating with Ed Harris.

I suddenly placed why he was so familiar to me when I saw him on "Millenium" lo these many ages ago.

Anonymous said...

Ack, this is bugging me because I know I recently discovered something in a movie I've seen a bazillion times, but now I can't remember what it was or even which movie it was.

PALGOLAK said...

I watched "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" for the first time in 20 years and I was amazed how many SpongeBob Squarepants 11 minute plot lines were lifted straight from "PWBA".

Also, of course, SpongeBob's character seems very derivative of Pee Wee's as well.

anna said...

Just recently I realized that Bonnie Hunt plays "Dibbs, Sally" in Rain Man.

Allison said...

I didn't notice Rooney humming "Danke Schoen," but did notice for the first time while watching it yesterday that Jeanne sings a line from it while leaving the police station! Maybe there are more hiding in the movie somewhere else...?

Karl said...

anyone remember 'Tour of Duty' from the 80's, that show was awesome

filmcricket said...

There are lots of casting examples. The one that comes to mind at the moment is Melora Hardin being "the bug lady" in a S1 ep of Friends - Marcel gets caught in her hair when she's at Ross's place. But that's really more about not knowing who she was until 2 years ago than suddenly noticing something - unless suddenly noticing her name in the credits counts.

Alan, any chance there'll be an "At The Movies" post about X-Files?

That First Andrew said...

I always find it interesting to look at the movies that informed my youth now, and I wonder what my opinion would be if you took away the nostalgia factor.

When I was in college, my roommate had never seen The Goonies, so we popped it in, and I sat there riveted, thuroughly entertained, loving every well-worn minute of it. And when it was over, I asked my roommate what he thought, and he just kind of shrugged and said he didn't get what the big deal was.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Alan, any chance there'll be an "At The Movies" post about X-Files?

That would require me to spend time and money on going to see it, and I'm too discriminating in my movie choices these days to see that film any sooner than when it hits my Netflix queue, if not until it makes its way to pay cable.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Re: Melora Hardin and going all the way back to comment number 2, Hardin was actually cast as Marty McFly's 1985 girlfriend in Back to the Future, but when Eric Stoltz was fired and replaced by Michael J. Fox, Hardin was essentially fired for being too tall to play opposite Fox.

Ben said...

In Airplane, at the press conference...right after the "All right, boys, let's get some pictures" gag, you can hear someone say in response "I want the one on the f*ckin' wall!"

Alex said...

Perhaps this is totally insane but I love Pulp Fiction and can't count how many times I've seen it and always notice something new. But one thing has been nagging at me for a couple weeks. So when Jules take a bite out of the Big Kahuna burger I was wondering what would happen if that burger had had ham or bacon on it (not too far of a reach for something Hawaiian) and since Jules doesn't "dig on swine" how would he have played it off? Think it would have enraged him more or he wouldn't let a target know a weakness of his?

Anonymous said...

This is embarassing but it was only a year or two ago that I realized that Jerry's cousin Jeffry was Uncle Leo's son. For some reason I never connected the Uncle to the Cousin and just thought it was part of Leo's strangness that he would be constantly bragging about a separate member of the family.

Anonymous said...

As a baby/child of the 80s I love almost every single teen movie made during that decade, but Ferris Bueller isn't one of them. It puzzles me why so many people love this movie, and it doesn't puzzle me at all that Matthew Broderick has had a less than stellar career. I guess I just don't get it!

BF said...

From "A Fish Called Wanda": I never realized that the glass on George's pants were from him kicking out a window during the robbery. I had always thought it was some sort of diamond debris.

I can also say that thanks to Ferris, I NEVER leave a movie before the last legal disclaimer rolls, confounding eager-beaver cleanup crews ever since.

Anonymous said...

Watching Slap Shot for the umpteenth time the other night, I noticed for the first time the sign that read "Nickel Beer Night" outside the arena before the first game against the Syracuse Bulldogs.

Anonymous said...

Jeffrey Jones, who plays Rooney, lives now in my hometown, Sarasota, FL. I've never run into him but my teenage son went to see "Get Smart" a while ago with friends and Jones was there by himself, laughing uproariously. I have no judgment on his personal life because I don't know the real truth but his performances in a number of 80s classics can be judged great, especially Ed Rooney, who's such a stitch.

Lane said...

one of my guilty pleasures is the Clooney/Pitt "Oceans 11" - one thing I noticed after several viewings, there is a scene when Clooney and Pitt are talking in the casino, and Pitt is eating a shrimp cocktail... first you see him eating them off a plate, then the camera changes and he is magically eating them out of a glass, then out of the plate again...

just a gaffe but once you notice it, it's pretty funny and you'll notice it every freaking time you watch it

Michael said...

Ferris is singing "Danke Schoen" in the shower, too, and it's also in the parade sequence.

Molly Q said...

slightly different, and probably unfathomable to anyone who grew up in the home video era, but...

When I was in college midnight showings of "Rocky Horror" were common, and of course everyone went in full costume and with props and fully participated during the screening. My senior year we went to London and a group of us decided to go to a showing of the film, thinking we were in for an amazing time (London, vs. our small rural college town!) Instead, we were shocked to discover no costumes, no gadgets, and, most importantly, no talking during the film.

Seeing the film while hearing all of the actual dialog was an experience. There was an actual plot! Who knew?

Josh said...

Just realized that the girl who was imprisoned by Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs was Dr. Hahn from Grey's Anatomy.

Pandyora said...

The most recent example for me was realizing that Paul Dano had a reoccuring role in the Sopranos as one of AJ's friends. Stop bulling me Tony!

Speaking of Ferris Bueller and John Hughes, I recently saw an entire ad featuring tweens reenacting dance scenes from The Breakfast Club. Are teenagers today even aware of the classic eighties movies? Do the have any sense about what it is like to work as a fry cook on Venus?

Simon said...

Another Back to the Future one - when Doc is showing Marty the time machine, they are at the Twin Pines Mall. Marty travels back in time, and hits a tree; when he returns to 1985, the action takes place at the Lone Pine Mall. Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

re: melora hardin, i was watching different strokes the other day (on bet now) and noticed her in the episode where kimberly dates the racist guy. she couldn't have been more than 15 then. speaking of different strokes, that's definitely a show that was a lot funnier when i was a kid, although pre-puberty arnold is still hilarious

Anonymous said...

I have a couple Caddyshack observations as well. First one is during Caddy Day at the pool. If you notice the sign says that the caddies are only allowed in from 1PM-1:15PM--a whopping 15 minutes.

A great Bill Murray scene with the infamous Baby Ruth...After taking a bite (and subsequently causing Mrs. Smails to faint) I love Murray's expression as he looks around to see if there are any more candy bars lying on the bottom of the pool.

Finally more gross than funny but check out how dirty Maggie's feet are when she gets into bed with Danny. Disgusting!

dan rydell said...

I remember realizing that the maitre'd at Chez Quiz later played one of the chauffeurs that Mary Stuart Masterson plays craps with in Some Kind of Wonderful.

Or that Kristy Swanson is "Simone," the girl who gives the long explanation on why Ferris is absent.

dez said...

It took me a long time to realize that Otto dresses just like Bart (back when Bart used to wear a hat).

daveawayfromhome said...

One of my favorites is the scene in the Death Star in the first Star Wars where the stormtrooper bonks his head on the door to the landing bay control room as he goes in. Dont remember when I first noticed it, but I watch for it everytime now, and back up if I miss it.

Jeff said...

In LA Story (? It's a Steve Martin flick... I'm pretty sure it's that one), they go out to a French restaurant, which phonetically sounds like Lid-e-oo, which when seen on the building it L'Idiot.

Makes me smile.

Anonymous said...

One movie that got better with multiple viewings was a Tom Hanks' project called "That Thing You Do". It was about a one hit wonder band from the 1960's.
Anyway, I did not realize until seeing it many times that they never tell you the name of the bass player in the band. In the credits he gets billed as "T.B. Player". There are so many little references in that movie I did not get the first time.

Anonymous said...

I must have watched "Grease" 300 times...and it wasn't until 2 years ago that I finally realized that the car flies at the end...as referenced earlier in the movie during a song...

Joe said...

I recently watched "Predator" (for about the 20th time) with some friends who had never seen it and one of them noticed what I never had: the Predator's laugh before he blows himself up is a recording of Billy's laugh from earlier in the movie. Just a great touch in a great cheesy movie.

Baylink said...

Well, Molly, I stagemanaged one of those live casts here in Florida for about 4 years, and what amazed me was when I had to clean up an Internet transcript of the script for a Big Show (Tampa Theatre, 1997), and discovered the bedroom scene dialogue is word-for-word identical both times.