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Gremlins (1984) Poster

(1984)

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (1) | Spoilers (5)
The set for Kingston Falls is the same one used for Back to the Future (1985). Both movies were filmed in the Universal Studios backlot.
In Cantonese Chinese, mogwai means devil, demon or gremlin. The Mandarin pronunciation is mogui.
Generally credited (along with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)) to influence the MPAA to create the PG-13 rating, as many felt the scenes of violence in both movies were too much for a PG rating, but not enough for an R rating.
The theater that blows up was subsequently involved in another accident when Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) in Back to the Future (1985), smashes into the front entrance at the end of the film. The theater then burned down with the rest of the buildings in the fire that happened right after the filming of Back to the Future Part II (1989).
The time machine prop from The Time Machine (1960) can be seen behind Rand Peltzer when he's on the phone with his wife, while attending the convention. A moment later, the machine has disappeared (into the future or the past) to the astonishment of several onlookers. Also attending the convention are Steven Spielberg, Jerry Goldsmith and Robby the Robot
The scene in the department store where Stripe attacks Billy with a chainsaw was not in the script. It was added by Joe Dante and Zach Galligan as a homage to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974).
Zach Galligan revealed in an interview that when the movie was made there was no CGI so all the gremlins were animatronics, each costing USD£30-40,000. So when everyone left the lot for the day security would have everyone pop the trunks on their cars to make sure they weren't stolen.
Among others, the voices of the Gremlins were done by Michael Winslow.
After watching his earlier short films, Steven Spielberg considered Tim Burton to direct the film. But decided against it because at the time Burton had never directed a full feature length film.
At least one of Phoebe Cates's screams in the scene at Dorry's Tavern is genuine. An enormous cockroach crawled out in front of her during one take.
Mrs. Deagle, the richest lady in town, has named her cats after different kinds of currency (including Kopeck, Drachma and Dollar Bill).
The idea for these creatures was born in a loft in Manhattan's garment district that was home to NYU Film School graduate screenwriter Chris Columbus. "By day, it was pleasant enough, but at night, what sounded like a platoon of mice would come out and to hear them skittering around in the blackness was really creepy." Columbus recalls.
In addition to restoring the classic Warner Brothers logo to the opening of the movie, it was hoped to release the film along with the classic Looney Tunes short, Falling Hare (1943), where Bugs Bunny is harassed by a plane gremlin during WW II. This fell through, but, highlights from the short do appear as part of the Behind the Scenes featurette, that has also been included on the Special Edition DVD.
Within the story, Gizmo was capable of singing or humming. Jerry Goldsmith wrote Gizmo's song as well, but Howie Mandel never sang it. A girl member of Goldsmith's congregation was hired to sing Gizmo's song, although she had never worked in films before.
Little to no actual dialogue for the Gremlins and Mogwai exists in the script in itself. In addition to several instances of on stage rewrites changing or adding to much of the script, the voiceovers were all mostly ad libs, repeating snippets of just performed dialogue or in reaction to other sound effects or environment. To this end, Howie Mandel recorded Gizmo's lines phonetically for foreign dubs of the movie, where localized dialogue and in-jokes helped make the picture successful with audiences world wide.
It was Frank Welker who suggested Howie Mandel perform in this film.
Near the very beginning of the film, as Mr. Peltzer makes his way to the curio shop in Chinatown, a wrecked car is seen with the hood up and smoke coming out of it. That car is an AMC Gremlin. In real life, the AMC Gremlin logo (located on the gas cap) bears a striking resemblance to the Gremlins featured in the film except for a more grotesque, reptilian appearance.
Both Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez were considered for the role of Billy.
Though he followed the basic outline of the script, Hoyt Axton is said to have improvised nearly all his lines.
Chris Columbus wrote the script and later directed Home Alone (1990) and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992); all three films have a video clip of It's a Wonderful Life (1946).
This was the first movie in years to use Warner Bros' "shield" logo.
Unbeknownst to Joe Dante and Michael Finnell, Steven Spielberg was a big fan of The Howling (1981). After he came across Chris Columbus' writing sample, he fell in love with it and bought it. Then he decided that Dante was the guy to make it into a movie, took the project to Warner Bros. and also produced it with his own company, Amblin Entertainment.
When Billy leads Pete up to his room to show him the Mogwai, a rolled up movie poster for "Twilight Zone: The Movie" can be seen standing on end against a wall. Director Joe Dante directed one of the "episodes" for that film a year earlier.
The last film to be shot on Eastmancolor 125T film stock. 125T was discontinued shortly after this film finished shooting.
Originally planned and scheduled for a Christmas release, the film was rushed into production shortly after Warner Bros. found out that it had no major competition against Paramount's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) or Columbia's Ghostbusters (1984) for the summer movie season.
Hoyt Axton was always the foremost choice for Rand Peltzer. Pat Harrington Jr. was also considered. Pat Hingle was said to have delivered the best screen test, but was passed on because it was feared Rand's character would take over the picture as a result of Hingle's excellent performance.
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Frances Lee McCain who plays Peltzer 's mom also plays Lorraine's mom in Back to the Future when Marty goes back to 1955
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The official comic strip adaptation included scenes that were not in the movie, including Billy's mother asking if the mogwai was a rat followed by the mogwai using Rand's "Bathroom Buddy," thus earning the name "Gizmo." There was also more emphasis on a subplot of Mrs. Deagle trying to buy up everything in town, a scene of Billy finding that throwing juice on the mogwais has no effect on them, Mr. Hanson's students being more Billy's age, Gizmo and Kate trying to shut down the fountain and turn on the lights, and Billy smashing Stripe's skeleton with a baseball bat.
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On the Deagle Real Estate sign the hours of operation are only 10:30-11:15 Mon-Fri.
According to Joe Dante and Michael Finnell, the original rough cut of the film ran 2 hours and 40 minutes.
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Billy says he bought a comic at Dr. Fantasy's. Dr. Fantasy is a nickname for executive producer Frank Marshall.
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The picture of Rockin' Ricky Rialto is a picture of Don Steele.
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The footage of Santa on the roof that Mr. Futterman is watching in his home is of Red Skelton in a Christmas skit from one of his shows.
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Kenneth Tobey and Belinda Balaski also appeared in Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990), both playing a different character.
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Edward Andrews, Judge Reinhold, and William Schallert received roles that were reduced after the film was edited.
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After Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), this movie marked the second collaboration between Joe Dante and Michael Finnell with Steven Spielberg.
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After Lynn Peltzer stabs the Gremlin to death in the kitchen there was an unused effect of the Gremlin trying to pull the knife free from its body, the effect was considered too distressing and the shot omitted however you can see the effect over her shoulder as she microwaves the other Gremlin.
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In this film, the Amblin Entertainment logo makes its first on-screen appearance.
During one night shoot, problems with the Gremlin puppets were so severe that the entire cast fell asleep on the set during the delay.
When the filmmakers were making this they had the idea to use Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (1937) as a film to be shown in the theatre because Disney released it out on December 21,1937 as a holiday movie event since this story took place durning the Christmas season.
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In the bar scene, the video game the gremlin is playing is star wars.
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While watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) on the local cinema, one of the gremlins wears some Mickey Mouse's ears.
The Scottish alternative rock band Mogwai take their name from this film.
Although it is not clearly visible, "Four Magic Moves to Winning Golf", by Joe Dante (senior) is on Billy's nightstand. Joe Dante Junior said his father criticized him for not making the title more visible.
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Jon Pertwee and Mako were both seriously considered for the role of Mr. Wing.
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At the start of the film the cinema in the town is showing A Boy's Life and Watch The Skies, which were the working titles for Spielberg's E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind respectively.
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Gremlins (1984) has several things in common with It's a Wonderful Life (1946) e.g. the two towns have similar names, Kingston Falls and Bedford Falls; Christmas settings; a bank; characters with the name Billy; artwork; George Bailey and Billy Peltzer living with their parents; Murray Futterman's World War 2 stories and the war breaks out during the other film; both Billy and George have a dog; both towns have a heartless miser that try to control everything, Mrs Deagle and Mr Potter; the Baileys run a family business, while Pete Fountaine sells Christmas trees for his father; the door on George's car sticks while Billy's VW is also temperamental; Mrs Deagle hassles the Peltzers while Mr Potter harangues the Baileys; the reporters that try to take George's picture, and Mrs Peltzer taking Gizmo's picture and Kate stunning the Gremlins with a flashcube; Mr Potter and Mrs Deagle both like to foreclose on things; both towns have a bar, Martini's and Dorry's Pub; there are snowploughs in Bedford Falls while Mr Futterman owns one; both George and Billy receive personal calls at the bank; snow in both films; Christmas carols in both films; the broken window at the YMCA and George and Mary breaking the windows of the Granville house; both films have a swimming pool and people/Gremlins fall into them; sheriffs in both films; Christmas cards and It's a Wonderful Life (1946) started as a Christmas card; Mrs Deagle uses a chairlift while Mr Potter is a paraplegic; George feels trapped in Bedford Falls while Kate is trapped in Dorry's Pub; Dorry's packed with Gremlins and Martini's packed with customers; cash registers in both films; both towns have a cinema and a main street; the Gremlin attack takes place on Christmas Eve and the latter half of It's a Wonderful Life (1946) is on Christmas Eve; reporters in both films; Rand's money and the money that Uncle Billy misplaces, etc.
In Mrs. Deagle's house, Edward Arnold is shown in a few photographs as Donald Deagle. The permission for their use was granted by his estate.
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That film references Joe Dantes "The Howling" with a smiley face image on a refrigerator door.
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The last film project of Scott Brady and Edward Andrews.
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The billboard of Rockin' Ricky Rialto at the start of the movie is done up like Indiana Jones; Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) was shown at the Rialto cinema, and producer Steven Spielberg directed that film.
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Cameo 

Chuck Jones:  The Warner Bros. animation legend makes a brief on-screen cameo in the scene with Billy and Gerald trading insults.

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

At the end, Gizmo pulls a window blind which exposes Stripe to the sunlight. But, originally, there are two window blinds and Gizmo pulls the first one and then Billy pulls the second one. This scene was edited because Steven Spielberg believed that Gizmo was the hero of the movie and not Billy and therefore Gizmo would be the one responsible for the demise of Stripe.
Chris Columbus's script went through a few drafts before a shooting script was finalized. His original version had the creatures killing the dog and cutting off the mom's head and tossing it down the stairs. These elements were never shot due to the fact that both Joe Dante and Warner Bros. wanted the movie to be more family-oriented.
In the original draft of the script, instead of Stripe being a Mogwai who becomes a Gremlin, there was no Stripe the Mogwai and Gizmo was supposed to turn into Stripe the Gremlin. Steven Spielberg overruled this plot element because he felt Gizmo was cute and audiences would want him to be present at all stages of the film. This became stressful for Chris Walas who had designed the Gizmo puppet only for the actions that happened in the first half of the movie.
Mr. Hanson, the science teacher, originally died with dozens of hypodermic needles stuck in his face. But, by request from Steven Spielberg, this scene was re-shot it with just a single needle in the buttocks.
In the script, Murray Futterman was killed during his encounter with the Gremlins but it was changed because the filmmakers found this a little harsh. So, during the news report at the end of the movie (if you listen closely the voice over) you can hear Lew Landers say that he is going to talk with Mr. Futterman at the hospital. In the novelization of the film by George Gipe, this change was not included.

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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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