Spaceballs (1987) Poster



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The scene in which Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) is playing with his dolls was not in the script. Mel Brooks came up with the idea on the set one day, and told it to Moranis, who then improvised the entire scene, including the dialogue.
The Millennium Falcon from Star Wars makes a cameo appearance in this movie. Look closely at the exterior shot of the Space Diner and you can spot it parked there among the other space vehicles.
Every time Dark Helmet has his face covered, his voice is lower and more basal, similar to James Earl Jones when he played Darth Vader. In the DVD commentary, Mel Brooks says that the idea of Dark Helmet's voice changing whenever his face was covered was actually Rick Moranis's idea.
John Candy ad-libbed the line, "Oh, that's gonna leave a mark," after standing up without undoing his seat belt.
Mel Brooks came up with the idea for this film when he discovered he had yet to spoof space movies, since he already destroyed the western films with Blazing Saddles (1974), made fun of the horror genre with Young Frankenstein (1974), and gave silent movies the ax with Silent Movie (1976).
In the scene where Dark Helmet is dressed in safari clothes searching for Lone Starr and the others with binoculars, he is on top of a floating vehicle. In reality, the vehicle isn't floating or suspended on wires of any kind, but on top of a platform that was surrounded by mirrors that reflected the sand around it to give it the appearance of floating.
Of all the many jokes in this film, Mel Brooks says that the two he is most proud of are the running gag about merchandising ("Spaceballs: the Breakfast Cereal", "Spaceballs: The Tee-Shirt", etc.) and Col. Sandurz's renting "Spaceballs" before it was finished.
During his scene, Michael Winslow did all the sound effects. In the commentary for the movie Mel Brooks jokes that they saved around a $1000 by letting him do this.
In the DVD commentary, Mel Brooks talks about how difficult it was playing the Yogurt character. The gold-colored makeup gave him a terrible rash on his face and neck (necessitating the shooting of all of Yogurt's scenes out of sequence), also his knees were hurting constantly since he had to walk around on his knees even though he was wearing kneepads. Brooks also goes on to say that in spite of the difficulties, he enjoyed playing as Yogurt tremendously and that it was all worth it.
The castle on Druidia is King Ludwig II's Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. It has been modified by matte painting with additional ramps. Neuschwanstein Castle has been featured in many motion pictures, and is the original inspiration for the castle at Disneyland.
In a 2013 television interview (shorty before receiving the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award) Mel Brooks stated that he personally obtained George Lucas' full permission to parody any and all things Star Wars related. But, on one condition: that absolutely no merchandise of any kind be produced from the film. This is the reason why all Yogurt and the dinks do is merchandising (it's also why none of the merchandise seen in the film was ever mass produced or publicly sold in any way).
Rick Moranis suggested John Candy for the role of Barf.
The scene where the Megamaid sucks the atmosphere off the Druidian mountain is a parody of the Paramount Studios logo.
President Skroob's name is an anagram of Mel Brooks, the man who plays him.
Six complete Dot Matrix suits were built for Lorene Yarnell Jansson to wear and all of them were used up due to breakage on set. For the interior scenes, the feet were outfitted with roller skates, but for the desert exteriors she was given flat-bottomed shoes. Dot's face was somewhat inspired by Joan Rivers who had already been contracted to provide the voice.
When coming up with a new title for the film, replacing the original title "Planet Moron", when they heard about the British science fiction spoof Morons from Outer Space (1985). Mel Brooks, Ronny Graham and Thomas Meehan went through all the letters of the alphabet, to search for a word to add to "Space", which Thomas Meehan suggested. But, Mel Brooks spilled a drink and shouted "Balls!" and Ronnie Graham said "Spaceballs!" which became the film's new and final title and they came up with the idea that the villains The Spaceballs, would wear ball shaped helmets.
The Barf costume was operated by three people. John Candy operated Barf's tail using a hidden control in his paw, while two assistants each controlled an ear. Candy's costume was powered by a 30-pound battery that he wore on his back.
Spaceballs merchandise shown in the movie include: bed sheet, flame thrower, lunch box, cornflakes, towels, Yogurt figure, toilet paper, shaving cream, place mat, action figures. As part of the fair-use agreement between Mel Brooks and George Lucas, no legitimate Spaceballs merchandise ever existed in the real world. The lunch box and coloring book are simply The Transformers (1984) products with a Spaceballs logo stuck on them.
According to Mel Brooks, this is one of the most expensive movies he has ever made: $25 million, with Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995) a close second at $22 million. By contrast, The Producers (1967) cost less than $1 million to produce.
Spaceballs: The Book, the novelization by R.L. Stine (aka Jovial Bob Stine) reveals the names of the Dinks to be: Rinky Dink, Blinky Dink, Stinky Dink, Pinky Dink, Finky Dink and Winky Dink.
A full face mask resembling a wrinkled bulldog was originally constructed for the character of Barf, but Mel Brooks quipped that 'if they were going to hide John Candy behind a mask, he might as well hire someone else for half the price'. A nose and upper lip piece was tried next, which Candy approved but again Brooks did not. They finally settled on animatronic ears connected to a hairpiece, a small nose application and a patch over one eye just like the dog from the 'Our Gang' shorts.
The license plate on Princess Vespa's Mercedes reads, "Spoil'd Rott'n I."
When President Skroob meets the Gallup twins, he tells them to "chew their gum." This is a reference to "Doublemint" commercials featuring twins.
Along with 1988's Caddyshack II (1988), Big (1988) and Beetlejuice (1988), notable for containing "the F word" in a film rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America during the early years of the PG-13 rating. Interestingly, the original video label erroneously states that the film was rated PG-13.
"Mr. Rental", the instant-cassette machine on Spaceball-1 features VHS tapes of Friday the 13th (1980), Rocky (1976) and over a dozen of their "sequels" on the bottom shelf (the spines are fake). The middle shelf features authentic VHS copies of Mel Brooks' films (as of 1987 - the most recent, obviously, being "Spaceballs"). The top shelf features the same tapes from the middle shelf, except with the spines facing forward.
Princess Vespa's name is a joke in-and-of itself: Vespa is the Italian word for a wasp. In North American slang, the term WASP can connote a white vainglorious person of high breeding.
When initiating the metamorphosis of Spaceball-1 into the giant maid, Dark Helmet leans towards Colonel Sandurz and asks "Ready, Kafka?" This is a reference to the novella "Die Verwandlung" by Austrian-Hungarian author Franz Kafka, a story about a man who transforms into a giant insect. The most common English translations of said piece are titled "Metamorphosis". The same novel is quoted in Mel Brooks' The Producers (1967).
Lonestar says he was born "somewhere in the Ford Galaxy." This is a double-allusion to a model of car produced by the Ford company (the Ford Galaxie 500), and Harrison Ford of the Star Wars movies.
One of the Dinks is played by Tony Cox, who also played an Ewok in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983). The ape at the end (who says "There goes the planet!") is voiced by Michael York, who is the stepfather of Rick McCallum, producer of the Star Wars prequels.
In the DVD Commentary, Mel Brooks talks about the various Jewish-related jokes (i.e. "Druish Princess", etc.) and how he felt ashamed for putting those jokes in the movie in the first place, but also felt proud for leaving them in the movie.
After King Roland gives the combination to the air shield of planet Druidia, and the light goes out and on again, the doctor is seen making out with the nurse. Dark Helmet then tells him to go the golf course and "work on his putts". This is a pun, as "putz" in Hebrew/Yiddish is slang for penis.
The box for Spaceballs: The Breakfast Cereal says it contains "100% sugar"
Colonel Harland Sanders is the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Dark Helmet says "What's the matter, Colonel Sandurz? Chicken?!"
George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic constructed the puppet of the chest-burster for the film. The main effects unit for the film was Apogee, Inc. This was the company headed by John Dykstra that split off from ILM in 1978 when Lucasfilm moved to Marin County. Thus, Spaceballs marked the first time since Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) that the two units shared work on a single project.
The alien that pops out of John Hurt's chest and starts singing "Hello my baby" and dancing with the hat and cane is a parody of Michigan J. Frog of the Looney Tunes.
WILHELM SCREAM: When Barf holds up the curved tubes, deflecting the shots of four of the bad guys back at them, the fourth one screams a Wilhelm as he is shot in the rear.
In R.L. Stine's novelization of the film, when Lone Starr, Barf, Princess Vespa and Dot Matrix meet Yogurt in the temple. Barf asks Yogurt, if he was the leader of the Red Eye Knights and the possessor of the force and Yogurt replies that it wasn't him, but Alec Guinness, Star Wars actor.
It took Mel Brooks six months to write the script.
The voice of the Self-Destruct Countdown is that of the film's script supervisor, Julie Pitkanen.
During the self-destruct sequence, when the "Cancel Self Destruct" door is opened, the "Authorized By" line at the bottom has the name ALBIEZ. Peter Albiez was one of the special effects staff.
Mel Brooks tried to get either Tom Cruise or Tom Hanks for the role of Captain Lone Starr.
Steve Martin was the original choice for Colonel Sandurz.
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The name Dot Matrix was taken from a type of computer printer which was very popular with personal computers in the 70s and 80s prior to the invention of Ink-Jet and Laser printers.
The ship in the beginning of the movie takes 1:32 to cross the screen. It also has a "We Brake for Nobody" bumper sticker on it.
The blasters used by the Spaceball stormtroopers are actually Calico M100 carbines with a scope attached.
Daphne Zuniga would later go onto star in The Fly II (1989), which Mel Brooks' production company Brooksfilms presented. It was Brooks who suggested to director Chris Walas, that the actress play the lead female role Beth Logan.
At a little after 13 minutes into the movie Joan Rivers, as Dot Matrix, says her famous line "Can we talk?"
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John Hurt:  parodying his own role from Alien (1979), in the space diner scene.

Director Trademark 

Mel Brooks:  [phony sequel]  Plug for the hypothetical sequel "Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money".
Mel Brooks:  [cast]  Mel Brooks cast himself as President Skroob and Yogurt, and cast Dom DeLuise as the voice of Pizza the Hutt.
Mel Brooks:  [music]  The music for the film is done by John Morris.
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Mel Brooks:  [villain]  President Skroob has a mustache.

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