The Rock (1996) Poster



Quentin Tarantino was an uncredited screenwriter on this film, along with Jonathan Hensleigh who wrote the shooting script, and Aaron Sorkin.
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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.
Some of the Navy SEALs in the film were played by real Navy SEALS.
The premiere of the movie was held in the Prison Recreation Yard on Alcatraz.
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).
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.
In the scene in the interrogation room where FBI agent Stanley Goodspeed introduces himself to John Mason, 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.
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.
Sean Connery (Mason) says he was trained by British intelligence, like his old character James Bond.
Dedicated to producer Don Simpson, who died during production.
Cinematographer John Schwartzman is one of Nicolas Cage's cousins. Schwartzman's stepmother, Talia Shire is Cage's aunt.
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."
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).
Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais provided an uncredited re-write of Sean Connery's dialogue.
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.
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.
Michael Bay's favorite movie of his own.
The furnace on Alcatraz is made by "Bay Foundry", a reference to director Michael Bay.
The Beatles LP that Goodspeed buys is 'Meet The Beatles'.
Stanley Anderson also portrays the President in another Michael Bay film, Armageddon.
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."
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"
Average Shot Length = ~2.6 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~2.5 seconds. (About 2900 shots)
Gen. Hummel's wife was 48 when she died.


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 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".

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