Hook (1991) Poster



Dustin Hoffman has appeared in two films about "Peter Pan" ("Hook" and Finding Neverland (2004)). Following his appearance in "Hook", close friend and former roommate Gene Hackman began calling him "Hook" as a joke. The name stuck and his contemporaries call him by that nickname to this day.
Jump to: Director Cameo (1) | Director Trademark (3) | Spoilers (9)
When the Bannings fly to England, the pilot's voice is that of Dustin Hoffman (Captain Hook) - "This is your captain speaking..."
The kissing couple who begin to float when some fairy dust lands on them are actually George Lucas and Carrie Fisher in a cameo.
Maggie Smith, being only 56 years old at the time of filming, was aged up by makeup to play 92-year-old Granny Wendy.
Robin Williams became best friends with director Steven Spielberg after making this film. Reportedly, after Williams's death, Spielberg decided to watch this film out of rememberance, but couldn't finish it because he couldn't stop crying for hours.
Bob Hoskins bought beer for 300+ extras after a lengthy and complicated scene was cut.
Julia Roberts was nicknamed "Tinkerhell" because she was difficult to deal with, a reaction to her working conditions of solitude and green screen.
When Granny Wendy is telling the children about the story of Peter Pan, she is holding one of the original printings of the book. It is a first edition version which is noticeable by the olive color, and the gold gilt design on the front cover. The version was printed in 1911 as the first novelization of Peter and Wendy.
Steven Spielberg admitted to being disappointed with final result of the movie. He had such a hard time working with the rebellious crew of young actors that he later said, only somewhat kiddingly, that the experience made him wonder if he wanted to have any more kids. He also felt guilty that he wasn't able to find an economical method to filming the many complex human-flight sequences in the film. However, after Robin Williams's death, Spielberg says he is now thankful he made the film, as that was how he met Williams and became good friends with him.
Dustin Hoffman's former co-star, Jon Voight, asked him if he could bring his children, James Haven and Angelina Jolie, to the set of this film because they were "dying to meet Captain Hook," and Hoffman agreed to meet them while in costume. Jolie was sixteen years old and was described by Hoffman as being a "tall, thin, gawky-looking girl with a mouth full of braces." After Jolie told Hoffman that she was going to be an actress, Hoffman went home to his wife and said, "I don't think this kid has any idea what a tough road she's got."
The original "Peter Pan" included only six Lost Boys (Slightly, Tootles, Nibs, Curly, and the unnamed Twins).The unnamed twins appear in the imaginary food scene. Tootles, of course, is the elderly man who lives with Wendy.
Writer James V. Hart credits the inspiration for his take on this continuing Peter Pan story to his young son Jake who one day asked him what would have happened if Peter Pan grew up.
Robin Williams' upper body and arms were shaved for his role in the film.
Julia Roberts almost put the production into jeopardy when she fled California after her wedding to Kiefer Sutherland was called off. She decided to avoid the press by hiding out in Ireland, and a furious Steven Spielberg reportedly threatened to fire her if she didn't return immediately.
This was Gwyneth Paltrow's second film. She appears briefly, as the teenage Wendy during the quick sequence as Wendy is growing up.
There were frequent good-natured "battle of wits" exchanges between Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman. In one incident, Hoffman was not happy with his performance and asked for the scene to be re-shot. Williams quipped "Try acting": a reference to the Hoffman/Laurence Olivier exchange on the set of Marathon Man (1976).
Bob Hoskins would later reprise his role as Smee in Neverland (2011).
Dustin Hoffman's three children make appearances in the movie. His youngest son, Max Hoffman plays 5 year-old Peter Pan. His daughter, Rebecca Hoffman plays Jane in the play at the beginning of the movie, and his oldest son, Jake Hoffman plays a little league player in Jack's baseball game.
The names of the original Lost Boys (Slightly, Curly, Nibs, Tootles, and Twins) appear on the door to Wendy's house.
The word bangarang is actually Jamaican slang, and is defined as a hubbub, uproar, disorder, or disturbance.
One of the pirates who attempts to steal Peter's shoes when he first arrives in Neverland is played by singer Jimmy Buffett.
Both Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams' stunt doubles were named Keith. When Steven Spielberg called for Keith to come to the set, both Keiths showed up. Eventually, Hoffman's stunt double changed his name from Keith to Keifo.
Because Tinkerbell was often in the air, Julia Roberts had an assistant whose sole responsibility was cleaning her feet.
Peter and his family fly Pan Am airlines to London. Pan Am went out of business on December 4, 1991 - exactly one week before the film's release on December 11, 1991.
The character of Captain Hook is inspired by John Maher, a preacher at St. George's parish in the English village of Brede, East Sussex. At first glance, Maher appeared to be no more than a regular, small town reverend who just happened to have a hook in place of his left hand. He told everyone he lost it in a coaching accident and no one had any reason to doubt his story until a man named Smith came into town and revealed he lost it in his previous career as a pirate. Apparently, Maher had a pretty successful career as a swashbuckler until he decided to strand his partner (Smith) in the Caribbean, relocate to Brede and become a man of the cloth. Eventually, Smith tracked down his old friend and set out to blackmail him with his own past. The pressure was a little too much for Maher and he was driven insane so like the movie version, his past stalked him at every turn until the paranoia drove him mad. A few decades later, J.M. Barrie visited Brede, heard the story and the rest is history.
Rock star David Bowie turned down the role of Captain James Hook.
Jack was the name of one of the boys author J.M. Barrie wrote Peter Pan for (and later became the adopted father of). The five boys were George, Jack, Nicholas, Peter, and Michael Davies.
As Wendy leaves the nursery (before the kids are taken) she recites a prayer ("Nightlights, watch over my sleeping babes..." etc.) from the play "Peter and Wendy".
Carrie Fisher did some uncredited rewriting on the final draft of the screenplay.
In an interview with "Playboy" in 2004, Dustin Hoffman (Captain Hook) recalled his 'aha!' moment with 'Bob Hoskins' (Smee) about their characters being gay. They decided to play their characters as "a couple of old queens," because they felt J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan's creator, had created them that way: "Bob and I were rehearsing and suddenly we looked at each other and realized it at the same time. We said, 'These guys are gay....' and it was fun. Suddenly, we rehearsed it that way: 'Get over here, Smee. Give me a foot massage.' We went to Spielberg... and he said, 'This is a kids' movie.' Suddenly, it made all the sense in the world. They were really good friends. They lived on a ship. They were devoted to each other."
The shot in which the Captain's hook is fitted to his arm for the first time had to be done in one take as the flicker effect was achieved using rare, single use flash bulbs.
Carrie Fisher was Steven Spielberg's original prototype for Tinkerbell.
According to Phil Collins in an interview, Dustin Hoffman was so meticulous that he was present two months before he was actually required to film his scenes simply so that he could get immersed in the role.
Captain Hook's actual hook was largely designed by Steven Spielberg, production designer Norman Garwood and Amblin's prop master Mark Wade. Burbank blacksmith Tony Swatton was then charged with physically crafting several versions. Some of them though were made of rubber for Dustin Hoffman's fight scenes.
In the play, Captain Hook's "hook" is on his right hand. In the film the hook was placed on the left hand because Dustin Hoffman is right-handed.
The teddy bear from Captain Hook's cabin was accidentally given to Julia Roberts by Steven Spielberg when she checked in to hospital for nervous exhaustion. Spielberg realized his mistake the night before he was due to shoot a scene in Hook's cabin, and the prop department had to rustle up a look-alike in a few hours.
There are many references to the story of Peter Pan in Wendy's house: In the nursery the window clasp is in the shape of Captain Hook's hook; the wall boarders are painted scenes from the Peter Pan story; in Toodles' room is a scale model of the Jolly Roger in a bottle; Wendy's brother John's top hat and glasses; Wendy's youngest brother Michael's teddy bear.
Peter clapping his hands to heal Tinker Bell was a reference to the times when Peter Pan was performed on stage. Peter would ask the audience to clap to heal Tink. In the Peter Pan (1953) animated film, the clapping was left out because Peter couldn't interact with audience and ask them to clap for Tinker Bell.
The line spoken by Rufio "You're dead, jolly man." had to be spoken backwards by the actor as the scene was shot and then played in reverse so the sword blade would come away from Robin Williams face instead of towards it.
As revealed in a June 1990 draft of the screenplay, with Nick Castle as the director, Peter Banning was originally 35-years-old, Moira was in her early 30s, Jack was 11, Maggie was 5, and Granny Wendy was 92. In the finalized draft, when Steven Spielberg took over the position of director, Peter and Moira became 40-year-olds, as it is revealed in the film that Peter met and fell in love with Moira when they were both 13, and Maggie became a 7-year-old in order to match Amber Scott's then-real life age. Jack and Granny Wendy's ages remained the same.
The film originally had a shooting schedule of 76 days and a budget of 48 million dollars, but production took longer than expected. Thus, the shooting schedule expanded to 116 days (40 days over the original), and the budget rose from roughly 60 million dollars to 80 million dollars. Steven Spielberg blames himself for this, saying, "I began to work at a slower pace than I usually do."
Tom Hanks was considered for the role of Peter Pan which went to his late friend Robin Williams. Both men have worked with Steven Spielberg and are close friends with him as well.
At a Hook quote-along in Austin in January 2016, James Madio revealed that his Lost Boy character didn't have a name when they began filming. He continually inquired Steven Spielberg about this until one day when he said to Madio "don't ask". Madio is credited with the role of Don't Ask in this film.
Steven Spielberg originally slated this film to be a musical as a vehicle for Michael Jackson in 1983 after the latter expressed an interest in starring in it and contributing to its soundtrack. Spielberg instead decided to focus on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and shelved the project until 1989, when pre-production for the film began.
Sir James M Barrie, at the end of the novel "Peter and Wendy", says that Wendy had a granddaughter - named Margaret, not Moira. However, he has Wendy give her full name as "Wendy Moira Angela Darling".
One of the pirates in the Captain Hook intro scene is played by musician David Crosby, noticeable for his distinctive long hair and bushy mustache (both gray in this film). He can be seen shouting "Long live the Hook!"
Steven Spielberg originally asked Richard Attenborough to play Tootles. Attenborough declined, as he was directing Chaplin (1992) at the time. Spielberg cast him as Dr. John Hammond in his next film Jurassic Park (1993).
In the film, it is explained that Tootles lives with Wendy because Wendy didn't have the heart to put him in a home. In the original draft of the play, Tootles and Wendy got married when they grew up.
In 1985, composer John Williams and lyricist Leslie Bricusse worked on "Hook", being a stage musical, but the project was scrapped after about ten songs were written. Only one song from the play, "When You're Alone," made it to the film. However, many of the play' themes can be heard in Williams' incidental music for the film.
The film cast includes six Oscar winners, Robin Williams, Julia Roberts, Dustin Hoffman, Maggie Smith, Gwyneth Paltrow' and Phil Collins, and three Oscar nominees, Bob Hoskins, George Lucas and Glenn Close.
As he prepares to face Hook, Peter tells his Lost Boys, "It's Hook or me this time." This is the name of one of the chapters in the play, "Peter and Wendy."
Joseph Mazzello was considered for the role of 'Jack', but turned down, being too young for the role at the time. Steven Spielberg, however, promised him a role in a future film, Jurassic Park (1993), as Dr. Hammond's grandson, Tim.
When Smee shouts "Good morning, Neverland" it is a nod towards Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) where Robin Williams says "Good morning Vietnam" repeatedly throughout the movie.
Composer John Williams and lyricist Leslie Bricusse had written more songs for the film later to be cut out and never used. For legal reasons, none of the songs written have ever been released or heard since 1990.
While Peter is on his cellphone, the children are running around him. Jack stands in front of a light which makes his shadow grow large against the wall. The shadow is right next to Peter while he is on the phone. This is a reference to Peter Pan and his shadow.
According to Frank Sanello's biography "Spielberg," Nick Castle was originally attached to direct the film, and had been developing the screenplay for the film for a long time. Once Steven Spielberg expressed interest in being involved, the producers (and possibly heads of the studio) quickly gave Nick Castle a six-figure settlement, gross points and a "screen story" credit so that he could step down and Spielberg could helm the production.
Originally slated to be the premier movie for Sony Dynamic Digital Sound (SDDS) in theatres, but development was delayed. SDDS premiered with Last Action Hero (1993) instead.
Kevin Kline was originally set to play Peter Pan, but had to drop out of the film because of Soapdish (1991) which was having major re-shoots, re-writes and taking much longer than expected to complete shooting.
Bob Hoskins and Robin Williams died within a few months of each other in 2014.
When Peter gets his cell phone thrown out the window and the dog goes to bury it, a fake plastic cell phone with a sticker of a number lands in the hole where the dog drops it.
The names of Peter Banning's (Pan's) children were probably not chosen at random. The name Jack is a common nickname for the name John which in the German tongue is Hans or Hansel while the name Maggie is a diminutive of Margaret or which of course in German is Gretel.
Brenda Fricker, hot after her Supporting Oscar win with My Left Foot (1989), was originally announced for the Granny Wendy role.
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Dustin Hoffman based the voice of Captain Hook on that of the columnist William F. Buckley.
Donald Sutherland was considered to play Captain James Hook.
A 99 card collection was released in 1991, Julia Roberts' Tinkerbell didn't feature in any - except for a character image which was only concept art. Others such as Rufio were properly depicted, it would seem the reason for omission was controversy surrounding Roberts at the time.
When Peter first sees Tinkerbell in the nursery, she crashes into the doll house and falls. He keeps calling her "little bug." In FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992) Robin Williams did Batty's voice over and said this to the main character Crysta, "Oh, you're a strange little bug."
One of very few films whose 70mm prints kept the film in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio (letterboxed within the 70mm 2.20:1 frame), instead of simply being cropped to 2.20:1, as was done with most widescreen films blown up to 70mm.
The child playing Peter Pan in the play at the beginning of the movie is actually a girl. This in an allusion to most live action Peter Pan movies and stage plays which have a female in the title role.
The latch on the nursery window is just like the hook on Captain Hook's arm.
This is the first film on which Dustin Hoffman has worked with composer John Williams. The second film Hoffman and Williams worked together on was Sleepers (1996).
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Rebecca De Mornay, Sherilyn Fenn, and Samantha Mathis were considered for the role of Tinkerbell.
Clive Dunn was considered for the role of Tootles, upon recommendation from Dad's Army (1968) fan Robin Williams.
Winona Ryder was considered for the role of Tinkerbell.
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Along with Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), this is one of two films released in December 1991 to feature the line, "Second star to the right and straight on till morning."
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In Phil Collins's autobiography "Not Dead Yet", he recalls his scene, which was shot in two ways - a longer original version and a truncated version he thought was inferior. According to Collins, Dustin Hoffman disliked the longer version and urged director Steven Spielberg to go with it. Spielberg explained that he had to use the shorter version during an after party at the film's premiere.
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Peter calls Rufio a very ill-mannered young man; in the novelization for Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), Watson thinks that sometimes of Holmes. Also, Watson has a fear of heights, like Peter Banning; Steven Spielberg was a producer on Holmes.
The Negotiation between Captain Hook(Dustin Hoffman) and Tinker Bell(Julia Roberts) of the days needed for Peter Pan to prepare, is similar to the negotiation of money in Pretty Woman between Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.
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Director Cameo 

Steven Spielberg: Leads the pirates in march onto Hook's ship with Jack's watch on a pillow.

Director Trademark 

Steven Spielberg: [father] "Old" Peter doesn't pay attention to his kids.
Steven Spielberg: [stars]
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Steven Spielberg: [music]
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Gutless, the male, bearded pirate who is locked in the "Boo Box" with scorpions, is played by actress Glenn Close.
According to an interview with People Magazine, Raushan Hammond (Thud Butt) reveals that the scene where Peter passes his sword to one of the Lost Boys was improvised.. None of the cast knew who he would pass the sword onto, except for Robin Williams and Steven Spielberg, so the reactions of the boys are genuine.
After Peter Pan finds his kids kidnapped and he is talking with the police inspectors, the main inspector is played by the pop and rock star Phil Collins. Collins was on set for two days to film his tiny cameo. Collins expressed concern in an interview afterwards that some of the film's publicity suggested he was starring with Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams, when he only had a small cameo, and people might think the rest of his scenes had been cut because he wasn't good enough.
When Hook enters Wendy's home to kidnap the children, just as Nana the dog is shown. She can be heard barking before waking Tootles. It's possible to hear Nana barking "woof! woof! hoof! hoof! HOOK!" To which Toodles then awakes and starts to say Hook.
Captain Hook's hat has a special design on it: The gold fabric triangles near the brim encircling the hat represent the crocodiles teeth, which foreshadows his demise.
The film contains a number of subtle references to the J.M. Barrie play and book. These include:
  • An elderly Tootles is one of the characters in the film, and is referred to as Wendy's "first orphan". Tootles was one of the original Lost Boys.
  • In both the book/play and the film, Wendy greets Peter by calling him "Boy".
  • Granny Wendy recites a prayer-like speech as she leaves Maggie and Jack in the nursery, asking the lights to guard the sleeping babes. This is a direct quotation from the book. In the book Mrs. Darling says, "Night-lights are the eyes a mother leaves behind her to guard her children." (Chapter 2: The Shadow)
  • When Tinker Bell is first trying to get Peter to remember her, she says, "I drank poison for you!" This is a direct reference to the events in Chapter 13: Do You Believe in Fairies.
  • The invisible dinner sequence is inspired by the lines in the book: "The difference between (Peter) and the other boys at such a time was that they knew it was make-believe, while to him make-believe and true were exactly the same thing. This sometimes troubled them, as when they had to make-believe that they had had their dinners." from Chapter 6: The Little House
  • After human-sized Tinkerbell kisses Peter, and he remembers he has to save his children, Tink says to him, "You silly ass, Go!" In the book, Tinkerbell repeatedly calls Peter a "silly ass".
  • Toward the end of the movie, Tootles says "I've missed the adventure again, haven't I, Peter?" This is in reference to the book, as it is mentioned that the reason Tootles was so humble was because, by some misfortune, he missed most of the adventures the Lost Boys participated in.
When Smee wakes up the Pirates using a megaphone he shouts "Good Morning Neverland!" This is a reference to Robin Williams film Good Morning, Vietnam (1987). In which he begins radio broadcasts with the same affectation. Also, Tootles references Dead Poets Society (1989) when he shouts "Seize the Day!" at the end of film. Williams' character tells his students to Carpe Diem, which is Latin for Seize the Day.
The title character Captain James Hook (Dustin Hoffman) isn't clearly seen until 40 minutes into the film.
A number of lines in the film's dialogue are direct homages to the J.M. Barrie book. Among them are:
  • "When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousands pieces and they went skipping about. That was the beginning of fairies." In the film this is recited by Granny Wendy and Maggie Banning. In the book it is spoken by Peter to Wendy. (Chapter 3: Come Away, Come Away!)
  • "I can't come with you. I have forgotten how to fly. I'm old, Peter. Ever so much more than twenty. I grew up a long time ago." The line is spoken by an aged Wendy to Peter in both the film and book.
  • "Strike, Peter. Strike true." In the film this is spoken by a defeated Hook to Peter. In the book it is spoken by a guilty Tootles to Peter in Chapter 6: The Little House.
  • When Peter and his family arrive in London at the start of the film, Peter tells his Children "first impressions are the most important". In the book, Peter tells the lost boys "Look your best, first impressions are awfully important" when they first enter the house they built for Wendy in Chapter 6: The little House.
  • When Peter confronts Hook for the final battle at the end of the film, they say: "Peter Pan, prepare to meet thy doom." "Dark and sinister man, have at thee." This exchange is almost directly lifted from the book, Chapter 15: Hook or Me This Time, the original line being: "Proud and insolent youth, prepare to meet thy doom." "Dark and sinister man, have at thee."
  • During the duel between Peter and Hook, Hook says "Thus perished Peter Pan". This is a flip of the original line "Thus perished Jas. Hook", which is from Chapter 15: Hook or Me This Time.
Peter's line in the movie "to live will be an awfully big adventure" refers to a line in the book where Hook says: "to die will be an awfully big adventure" in Chapter 8: the Mermaid's Lagoon. This line from the book is also reflected in the scene where Hook tries to commit suicide when he tells Smee "Death may be the only big adventure I have left."

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