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White Men Can't Jump (1992) Poster

Trivia

When Woody Harrelson was making this movie, the producers hired Bob Lanier, the retired Detroit Pistons' center, as a basketball coach. Harrelson, who had played some basketball in college, was bragging to Lanier about what a great player he was. Lanier invited Harrelson to play a little one-on-one. Harrelson later described it as "the most embarrassing 15 minutes of my life".
One of Stanley Kubrick's favourite movies.
According to their basketball instructors, Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson reached the skill level to be able to start for an NCAA Division III team.
When Woody Harrelson dunked, it was not on a 10 foot hoop, but actually a nine and a half foot hoop. He couldn't quite dunk on a 10 foot hoop.
In the film Woody Harrelson's character makes a reference to suspected John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. In real life Harrelson's own father had also been targeted as a possible accomplice in the killing.
Woody Harrelson was significantly better at basketball than Wesley Snipes, however, in the movie they are depicted as equals, though Harrelson's character famously cannot dunk.
Charlie Sheen was the first choice for the role of Billy Hoyle. He turned it down, saying "I didn't feel it would be any fun. I don't feel connected to basketball. At least, when I do a baseball movie, I know I'm gonna have a good time." Had Sheen accepted, he would have been reunited with his Major League (1989) co-star, Wesley Snipes.
Ron Shelton successfully sued 20th Century Fox for $10 million in profits. He has never worked for the film studio again.
Wesley and Woody played high school football teammates in (1986) Wildcats.
NBA player Gary Payton made an uncredited appearance as an unidentified street baller.
David Duchovny was considered for the role of Billy Hoyle.
To introduce a new basketball shoe, Nike teamed up with the filmmakers to assemble the package of shoes inspired by characters Billy Hoyle and Sidney Dean.
Freeman Williams, who played "Duck" Johnson, also had a distinguished NBA career, playing for the Clippers, Jazz, and Bullets from 1978-86.
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Marques Johnson has a supporting role as Raymond, who loses a game to Snipes and Harrelson. Johnson was a star player for UCLA's 1974-75 national championship team coached by John Wooden and later played for the NBA's Bucks, Clippers and Warriors.
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Charlie Sheen and David Duchovny both were considered for the role that went to Woody Harrelson. All three actors share the same main voice actor in German dubs: Benjamin Völz.
Phil Morris auditioned for the role of Sidney.
Woody Harrelson later reunited with Ron Shelton seven years later on Play It to the Bone (1999) from Touchstone Pictures and starring opposite Antonio Banderas and Shelton's wife, Lolita Davidovich. Wesley Snipes and Kevin Costner appeared but as themselves.
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In the movie, Billy drives a 1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass convertible.
Wesley Snipes is a big basketball fan but also a massive Manchester United fan, having been to Old Trafford as a guest of David Beckham on many occasions.
When Gloria and Billy are about to leave to see Sidney about the money he swindled from them, Gloria goes to the closet to put on a jacket. In the closet on the top shelf is the board game for Jeopardy, based on the same game show that Gloria is continuously attempting to get on to.
Fox wanted Denzel Washington for the role of Sidney Dean.
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The musical R&B quintet Riff recorded a song and accompanying music video called "White Men Can't Jump" for the movie. The music video featured Woody Harrelson, Wesley Snipes and Rosie Perez. It can be seen on the DVD release with bonus features.
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Keanu Reeves was considered for the role of Billy Hoyle.
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Woody Harrelson and Kadeem Hardison, who have similar-sounding surnames, and birthdays just one day apart, also share the distinction of White Men Can't Jump (1992) being the second-to-last film that they worked on while still attached to their respective sitcoms which both aired their series finales in May of 1993. The last film that Woody worked on while playing Woody Boyd on Cheers (1982) was Indecent Proposal (1993), and the last film that Kadeem worked on while playing Dwayne Wayne on A Different World (1987) was Gunmen (1993).
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In his earlier film, Summer of Sam (1999), Spike Lee revealed a lack of knowledge of white music by repeatedly referring to The Who (one of the world's top hard rock bands since the late sixties) as being a "punk band" (a totally unrelated genre from the following decade). In this movie he gives a nod to this error by having Sidney insist that white people couldn't truly "hear" Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix was solidly in the white "Psychedelic rock" genre and Gloria then informs him that Hendrix' band was white. The fact is that Hendrix was largely rejected by the black community until long after his death. In an open-air concert in Harlem the crowd bombarded him with rotten fruit and garbage. Psychedelia did not cross over until the seventies.
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