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The Rock (1996) Poster

(1996)

Trivia

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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.
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.
The premiere of the movie was held in the Prison Recreation Yard on Alcatraz.
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).
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."
Dedicated to producer Don Simpson, who died during production.
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).
Stanley Anderson also portrays the President in another Michael Bay film, Armageddon (1998).
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).
Sean Connery (Mason) says he was trained by British intelligence, like his old character James Bond.
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.
Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais provided an uncredited re-write of Sean Connery's dialogue.
Cinematographer John Schwartzman is one of Nicolas Cage's cousins. Schwartzman's stepmother, Talia Shire is Cage's aunt.
(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.
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.
Most of the scenes involving F/A-18s are stock footage of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.
The furnace on Alcatraz is made by "Bay Foundry", a reference to director Michael Bay.
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.
Average Shot Length = ~2.6 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~2.5 seconds. (About 2900 shots)
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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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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Reportedly, Sean Connery accepted the part of Mason after learning that Nicolas Cage had been cast as Goodspeed.
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(at around 8 mins) The Beatles LP that Goodspeed buys is 'Meet The Beatles'.
At the beginning of the movie, General Hummel kisses his wife's grave stone and leaves behind his Medal of Honour, 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"
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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The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage; and one Oscar nominee: Ed Harris.
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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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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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Tony Scott was originally supposed to direct but turned it down to direct The Fan (1996).
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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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Sean Connery and Ed Harris had to get used to each other in the mid 90's since they worked together in both Just Cause (1995) and The Rock (1996).
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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).
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."
This is the first time Nicolas Cage and Ed Harris play hero and villain. The second time is National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007).
The second time Nicolas Cage & William Forsythe play compatriot-type antagonist to one another. The first was in Raising Arizona (1987).
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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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Nicolas Cage's character 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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