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The Rock (1996) Poster

(1996)

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (7)
Sean Connery insisted the producers build a cabin for him on Alcatraz as he didn't want to travel from the mainland to the island every day; he got what he asked for.
Quentin Tarantino was an uncredited screenwriter on this film, along with Jonathan Hensleigh who wrote the shooting script, and Aaron Sorkin.
The premiere of the movie was held in the Prison Recreation Yard on Alcatraz.
According to Michael Bay the script was written much more straight and serious than the final film. Most of the humorous moments and lines were improvised during filming.
Michael Bay's favorite movie of his own.
Some of the Navy SEALs in the film were played by real Navy SEALS.
Don Simpson was largely responsible for creating the critical Gen. Hummel character. Simpson watched a 60 Minutes (1993) segment about the U.S. government's refusal to acknowledge soldiers who had died during covert overseas missions, and later read Col. David H. Hackworth's memoirs which harshly criticized U.S. planning during the Vietnam War. He combined these elements into Hummel's character and, as Jonathan Hensleigh described, created "a really compelling villain: a soldier with a noble end but, unfortunately, psychotic means."
In the scene in the interrogation room where FBI agent Stanley Goodspeed introduces himself to John Mason (Sean Connery), John replies "But of course you are". This was exactly the same line he used when he met Plenty O'Toole in the casino scene in the Bond film Diamonds Are Forever (1971).
While the film was shooting, Alcatraz the island was still open to the public, and many visitors watched the movie being shot. However, on December 15, 1995, the federal government, which owns Alcatraz Island, partially shut it down due to stalled budget talks, and filming continued with no visitors present.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was offered the Mason role, but at the time the script was only 80 pages "with a lot of handwriting and scribbles and it didn't seem fully baked". In a Reddit AMA, he stated he regrets not taking the role. Years later, however, he still got to play a part as a convict with a mysterious past in Escape Plan (2013).
Dedicated to producer Don Simpson, who died during production.
This movie marks the 3rd time that actor Michael Biehn has played a Navy SEAL. The first was in The Abyss (1989), and the second was in Navy Seals (1990).
According to William Forsythe when he was three weeks into shooting the movie and they were about to shift locations for filming, Forsythe was mistaken for an extra when he was getting a hot dog from the set's catering. Forsythe said the employee told him that extras weren't allowed food from craft services and she summoned security, who subsequently said that he was part of the main cast. Forsythe said "I ate my hot dog, but I'm thinking two things: the fact that, after three weeks on the movie, I was being forbade a hot dog, and, 'I don't know what the hell they've got for the extras today. Trail mix, maybe?'".
There are several theories that Sean Connery's character is in fact an older version of his own James Bond character.
Sean Connery (Mason) says he was trained by British intelligence, like his old character James Bond.
Stanley Anderson also portrays the President in another Michael Bay film, Armageddon (1998).
Reportedly, Sean Connery accepted the part of Mason after learning that Nicolas Cage had been cast as Goodspeed.
Cinematographer John Schwartzman is one of Nicolas Cage's cousins. Schwartzman's stepmother, Talia Shire is Cage's aunt.
Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais provided an uncredited re-write of Sean Connery's dialogue.
In the trailer, several shots appear to show Goodspeed firing an M-4 assault rifle. While Goodspeed does acquire an M-4 during the course of the film, he never actually fires it.
The furnace on Alcatraz is made by "Bay Foundry", a reference to director Michael Bay.
(at around 42 mins) Sean Connery's character, John Mason, insists on having a suite from the Fairmont Hotel, which is conveniently located at 950 Mason Street.
Most of the scenes involving F/A-18s are stock footage of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.
Each morning and evening the cast and crew made their way across the bay to location by way of the Red & White Fleet, a charter tour service, whose boats also carry the 4,000 tourists a day who visit Alcatraz.
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Average Shot Length = ~2.6 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~2.5 seconds. (About 2900 shots)
Arnold Schwarzenegger was actually considered for Nicolas Cage's role in this film not Sean Connery's role. He also was considered for Nicolas Cage's role in Face/Off (1997) which would have paired him with Sylvester Stallone, who was considered for John Travolta's role in that same film.
Producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer first read the script for The Rock while overseeing post-production on Crimson Tide (1995).
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At the beginning of the movie, General Hummel kisses his wife's grave stone and leaves behind his Medal of Honor, the highest award in the armed forces of the USA. It is bestowed on a member of the US armed forces who distinguishes himself "conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States"
There were tensions during shooting between Michael Bay and Walt Disney Studios executives who were supervising the production. On the commentary track for the Criterion Collection DVD, Bay recalls a time when he was preparing to leave the set for a meeting with the executives when he was approached by Sean Connery in golfing attire. Connery, who also produced the film, asked Bay where he was going, and when Bay explained he had a meeting with the executives, Connery asked if he could accompany him. Bay complied and when he arrived in the conference room, the executives' jaws dropped when they saw Connery appear behind him. According to Bay, Connery then stood up for Bay and insisted that he was doing a good job and should be left alone.
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(at around 8 mins) The Beatles LP that Goodspeed buys is 'Meet The Beatles'.
This marks as the second time Ed Harris and Michael Biehn share the screen. They also appeared together in The Abyss (1989), where their good guy-bad guy roles were reversed.
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The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage; and one Oscar nominee: Ed Harris.
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When Captain Frye, a US Marine, says, "Let's be all that we can be," he is using a US Army recruiting slogan of the time, "Be All You Can Be."
Film debut of Vanessa Marcil.
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Goodspeed only swears twice in the film when he kills the last two villains. Throughout the rest of the film his language is tame saying words like gosh and friggin while other characters get the profanity laden lines.
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Tony Scott was originally supposed to direct but turned it down to direct The Fan (1996).
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It was Nicolas Cage's idea that his character would not swear; his euphemisms include "gee whiz."
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Along with Entrapment (1999), this was Sean Connery's favourite film of his own during the 1990s.
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During the chase scene after Mason escapes from the hotel, he crashes through a truck delivering bottled water. In The Presidio (1988), Sean Connery's character tracks a smuggling operation that involves the same type of truck.
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Much of Nicolas Cage's dialogue was ad-libbed (including the "Zeus's butthole" line, which Michael Bay wanted to cut but Cage insisted on having).
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The scene in which FBI director Womack is thrown off the balcony was filmed on location at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. The filming led to numerous calls to the hotel by people who saw a man dangling from the balcony.
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In 2016 the Chilcott report on Britain's involvement in toppling Saddam Hussein noted that one agent who had falsified claims about observing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq had based his description of them on the nerve gas missiles featured in this film.
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Gen. Hummel's wife was 48 when she died.
"The Rock" was released in theaters on June 07, 1996, which was the 41st birthday of William Forsythe, who plays the Ernest Paxton character in this movie.
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Ed Harris and Todd Louiso also appeared in Apollo 13 (1995).
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Four of the film's co-stars would appear in two films released in 1998. David Morse and John Spencer in The Negotiator (1998), and Bokeem Woodbine and Tony Todd in Caught Up (1998), respectively.
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The film contains many others who appeared in Oliver Stone films: Ed Harris, Nicolas Cage, John C. McGinley and Tony Todd.
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Writing team David Weisberg and Douglas Cook are childhood friends.
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Michael Bay worked closely with Ed Harris to develop his character as concretely as possible, later adding a sympathetic edge to Hummel.
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L.A.-based British screenwriting team Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais were brought in at Sean Connery's request to rewrite his lines, but ended up altering much of the film's dialogue.
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In the scene in which Paxton demands to know from Womack who Mason is, Paxton utters, "Yeah, I know all the cloak and dagger stories." This line was a direct reference to William Forsythe's earlier film Cloak & Dagger (1984).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

When Stanley and Carla are making love on the roof of their apartment, the Elton John song "Rocket Man" is playing in the background. This is the same song that Stanley refers to later in the movie (at around 1h 55 mins) when he kills Capt. Darrow.
Body Count: 25
David Morse who plays General Hummel's second in command Major Tom Baxter had already succeeded in unleashing a devastating virus as biologist Dr. Peters in Twelve Monkeys (1995).
This is the first time Nicolas Cage and Ed Harris play hero and villain. The second time is National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007).
Aside from the obvious references to Elton John's "Rocket Man", there is another, more subtle astronaut-themed reference: Maj. Baxter's first name is Tom, hence Major Tom, the ill-fated astronaut from David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
The second time Nicolas Cage & William Forsythe play compatriot-type antagonist to one another. The first was in Raising Arizona (1987).
This marks the second meeting between Sean Connery and Ed Harris, after Just Cause (1995). Even though Harris is still the bad guy, it is Connery this time who is the prisoner.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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