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Broken Arrow (1996) Poster

(1996)

Trivia

Jump to: Director Trademark (5) | Spoilers (2)
Director John Woo originally wanted Hale to die during the film.
The phrase "broken arrow" is not actually used to refer to the theft, loss or seizure of nuclear weapons or components from the U.S.;that's known as an "empty quiver". A "broken arrow" is defined by CJCSI 3150.03B, Joint Reporting Structure Event and Incident Reports, as a US nuclear weapon accident that does not create the risk of a nuclear war.
John Travolta was given the choice of playing either Deakins or Hale in the film. He chose the villain Deakins.
As preparation for his role in this movie, Christian Slater gave up smoking.
John Travolta and Frank Whaley both appeared together in Pulp Fiction (1994) in the famous "Big Kahuna Burger" scene.
Christian Slater did almost all of his own stunts.
Samantha Mathis plays Terry Carmichael, the love interest of Christian Slater's character Riley Hale. She also played the love interest of Slater's character in the movie Pump Up the Volume (1990). They also voiced characters that were "romantically involved" in the movie FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992).
Oliver Wood was considered to be the film's director of photography, but he was unable to take the job, due to the broken ankle he sustained while shooting Cutthroat Island (1995). He was replaced by Peter Levy (who had also replaced him on Cutthroat Island). Director John Woo later picked Wood to shoot his next film, Face/Off (1997).
The review of this movie on Siskel & Ebert (1986) represents the only time in history where Roger Ebert convinced Gene Siskel to change his mind about his final judgement of a film. Siskel originally gave this movie thumbs-up, but after Ebert gave the movie thumbs-down and explained his reasoning, Siskel decided to change his judgement to thumbs-down. Siskel, on the other hand, had never successfully convinced Ebert to change his mind about a movie during an episode of their show, although Ebert had occasionally changed his own mind in print reviews.
In an interview on Parkinson (1971), Halle Berry recalled that the producers turned her down for the role of Terry Carmichael and told her "there are no black park rangers".
During the final few blows of the last fist fight, as Hale is punching and kicking, growls and roars of large cats (i.e. lions, tigers, etc.) can be heard.
Just like John Woo's first US movie Hard Target (1993), this film also suffered from similar problems with re-cuts forced by studio interference and ratings problems caused by MPAA. According to some sources, studio interference on this movie was even bigger than the one on Hard Target (1993).
Howie Long's character was originally supposed to be killed off earlier in the picture, but when Fox execs saw the dailies and liked his performance, his role was quickly expanded so he could be in the whole movie.
Samantha Mathis asked friend Sandra Bullock for tips on doing action scenes. Bullock told her to hum the James Bond theme before every take.
Christian Slater turned down a role in Assassins (1995) to work with director John Woo.
Helen Hunt was offered the role of Terry Carmichael but turned it down in favor of Twister (1996).
It was John Travolta's idea to play the Deakins character as "bigger than life."
To promote the film, the publicity unit sent sunglasses resembling the ones worn by John Travolta to media outlets. The sunglasses had the Broken Arrow logo printed on the lower left lens.
John Woo's earlier cut came in at the two hour mark, and featured more character development and more violence in the action scenes.
John Woo cast Samantha Mathis and Christian Slater by putting photos of them together and deciding, "They fit."
Most of the action sequences were shot on location, not on a studio set.
Popular movie-news Web site Ain't It Cool News got its name from a line in the movie.
John Travolta formed a close friendship with John Woo while filming.
In the mine, the weapon that Deakins uses is a Ruger AC556K.
The armorer estimated over 60,000 rounds of ammo were fired while making the film.
A portion of Hans Zimmer's score was also used in Scream 2 (1997).
Howie Long did his own stunts in the film.
The main characters in the film are wearing Breitling Aerospace watches with quartz movement and titanium casing.
The deep reverberant guitar solo in the recurring musical cue was performed by Grammy Award winner Duane Eddy.
John Travolta's character Deakins took off his uniform after he revealed himself to be a traitor because it was requested by the military.
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Jennifer Aniston was considered for the role of park ranger Terry Carmichael.
John Woo cast Samantha Mathis as Carmichael because she was "not a scared girl needing protection."
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The pistol used by Vic Deakins is a Beretta 93R 3rd Generation model
According to "Trains" Magazine, the train chase scene was actually filmed on the Shortline Montana Western, which of course is not in Utah or Colorado. There is no real rail company called "National Regional."
For their fight scenes, Christian Slater and John Travolta trained with former boxing champ Carlos Palomino.
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The film's soundtrack was reused in Scream 2 (1997).
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The stealth fighter shown is the B-2 Spirit bomber. The villain smokes American Spirits brand cigarettes.
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Both John Travolta and Christian Slater previously starred in Quentin Tarantino films: Slater in True Romance (1993) and Travolta in Pulp Fiction (1994). Tarantino did not direct True Romance (1993), but he wrote both.
Lauren Holly was considered for the role of Terry Carmichael.
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John Travolta and Delroy Lindo appeared together in Get Shorty (1995) the previous year.
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The film missed its original December 1995 release date when special effects work could not be completed on time. The film was released the following February.
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Samantha Mathis was a huge fan of John Travolta and was nervous to work with him.
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Samantha Mathis is Christian Slater's former girlfriend.
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Samantha Mathis dyed her hair red for the film.
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John Travolta and Samantha Mathis later worked together again on The Punisher (2004) which in that film Maria Castle (Mathis) is killed by the film's main antagonist Howard Saint (Travolta).
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The film is not a remake of the western of the same name Broken Arrow (1950).
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The film's main theme was reused in Scream 2 (1997).
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Director Trademark 

John Woo: [reflection] Riley sees the reflection of Deakins pulling a gun on him in the cockpit.
John Woo: [verbal confrontation between opponents from opposite sites of a wall] Deakins (John Travolta) and Hale (Christian Slater) talk to each other through a caved-in part of the mine.
John Woo: [unusual hand-to-hand weapons] On the train, Terry kicks the helicopter's tail-rotor against Shepherd's arm to knock him off-balance.
John Woo: [guns] Riley uses two guns in the mine.
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John Woo: [mexican stand-off] Twice - Once between Carmichael (Samantha Mathis) and Hale (Christian Slater) when they first meet in the Utah desert and once with Deakins (John Travolta) and Kelly (Howie Long) on the train.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

One of two John Travolta and John Woo films, the first being this film and the second being Face/Off (1997) made a year after. In both films Travolta played the villain. But in Face/off he also played the hero opposite Nicolas Cage before their roles were reversed and then Cage played the hero and Travolta played the villain.
Hale and Terry don't call each other by their names until the end of the movie.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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