Boogie Nights (1997) Poster



Paul Thomas Anderson simulated the dialog in the fake porn movies by adapting actual dialog from real porn movies. He said he did it so people could not say the porn dialog "sounded fake".
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After seeing a rough cut of the film, Burt Reynolds regretted making it and fired his agent for recommending the role to him. Reynolds ended up winning a Golden Globe and being nominated for an Academy Award for his performance.
Leonardo DiCaprio was originally offered the role of Dirk Diggler. He liked the screenplay, but turned it down because he had already signed on to do Titanic (1997). DiCaprio suggested Mark Wahlberg for the role.
According to William H. Macy, his agent discouraged him from reading the script. Macy read the script, loved it, and signed on to do the film.
Joaquin Phoenix turned down the role of Dirk Diggler due to concerns about portraying a porn star. He would eventually collaborate with director Paul Thomas Anderson on The Master (2012) and Inherent Vice (2014).
Heather Graham filmed her nude scene on her first day on set.
Paul Thomas Anderson had the role of Scotty with Philip Seymour Hoffman in mind for it. When Hoffman read the script, he was stunned to learn that the subject matter was porn.
Before the film was finished, director Paul Thomas Anderson sent a rough copy to New Line Cinema for the film's trailer. The movie was pirated and distributed before the official release. The pirated print includes many scenes not in the movie or DVD deleted scenes. Some were very explicit, and may have been deleted to avoid an NC-17 rating.
Forty seconds of film were cut to reduce the original NC-17 rating to an R.
Gwyneth Paltrow was originally offered the role of Rollergirl but turned it down.
Burt Reynolds said in a Maxim magazine interview that he researched his role by visiting porn sets and talking with real porn actors. He said the experience made him want to wear rubber gloves and take a shower afterward, and all the porn actors asked him how to get a Screen Actors Guild card.
William H. Macy's character is loosely based on porn actor Cal Jammer, whose girlfriend Jill Kelly was having a secret relationship with actress P.J. Sparxx and another with a male porn actor. Jammer later shot himself in the head on Kelly's front lawn.
In preparation for his role, William H. Macy was brought by adult film star Nina Hartley, who plays his onscreen wife, to the set of an adult film.
Because of a negative experience with a studio changing his film's title, Paul Thomas Anderson made sure that the title "Boogie Nights" was actually mentioned in the film.
Although the movie's title is the same as the 1977 disco hit by Heatwave, the group's lead singer, Johnny Wilder Jr., a devout born-again Christian, refused to allow the song in the movie because it was about dancing, not pornography.
Electric Light Orchestra leader Jeff Lynne originally refused to let the song "Livin' Thing" be used in the film because he has "a problem with sex and violence in movies". Lynne asked to see a screening of the film and loved it so much that he allowed the song to be used.
In a deleted scene, Dirk Diggler crashes his Corvette into a telephone booth. The scene was deleted because of time, but the car still remains wrecked when Dirk visits Rahad Jackson's house, drives away, and drives back to Jack's house. When Dirk and Reed are conspiring to rob Rahad's house, Dirk says, "That'll be enough to get the 'Vette fixed."
Amber Waves' custodial problems were inspired by porn star Veronica Hart, who plays the judge during the scene in which Amber and her husband are arguing in court about their son.
Jack Black was considered for the role of Scotty J.
The sequence where Dirk, Reed, and Todd are at Rahad Jackson's house, an attempted scam involving drugs, a rich and violent man, and a robbery plot that turns into a scene of bloodshed, is a reference to the Wonderland murders that centered around John Holmes and gangster Eddie Nash.
The original oil painting of Dirk Diggler, featured in the party scene at Dirk's house, was sold on eBay in 2001 for $500.
According to an interview with Paul Thomas Anderson, he and Burt Reynolds did not get along during filming. Anderson still planned to hire Reynolds for Magnolia (1999), but Reynolds became angry with Anderson during the film's promotional tour and turned the role down.
Rumors of plans for a "Boogie Nights 2" are false. Paul Thomas Anderson has stated that he does not do sequels.
Warren Beatty and Sydney Pollack were originally offered the role of Jack Horner. Pollack attended the film's premiere and expressed regret for turning the role down.
Many 1970s porn stars and porn directors and producers discouraged the film, saying it was inaccurate for the popularity Dirk achieved, and that filming porn was illegal in the late 1970s. One exception was Paul Thomas, a longtime adult film star who became the most successful and respected director in the business, on projects for Vivid Video. He judged the film "pretty accurate" outside of some general details.
Dirk Diggler's habit of preparing for his scenes in the bathroom is based on John Holmes, who said he liked to rehearse in bathrooms because "it's usually the only room in the house that has a lock on the door".
Little Bill's promiscuous wife is played by real-life porn star Nina Hartley.
Bill Murray turned down the role of Jack Horner.
One of the film's final parts is a musical montage featuring the Beach Boys song "God only knows" showing what became of the main characters. This was copied by the hit film, Love Actually.
The character Johnny Doe's name is a homage to real-life porn actor Jon Dough.
The movie was banned in South Korea until 1999.
Mark Wahlberg was allowed to keep the prosthetic penis he used at the end of the film
Samuel L. Jackson was offered the role of Buck Swope.
Paul Thomas Anderson used Exhausted: John C. Holmes, the Real Story (1981), a documentary about John Holmes, as a reference for some of the scenes in this film. Many interview scenes, including one where a strung-out Dirk tells the interviewer about how Jack allows him to block and edit his own sex scenes, are identical to the interviews in "Exhausted", especially one where a strung-out John Holmes, for no clear reason, lies about how director Bob Chinn allows him to block his own sex scenes.
Melora Walters's character, Jessie St. Vincent, is based on two real porn figures: actress Jesie St. James and producer Julia St. Vincent.
While Paul Thomas Anderson intended to cast Melora Walters as Jessie St. Vincent, the studio wanted a bigger name for the part. He offered the role to Patricia Arquette, knowing she would decline, and the role ultimately went to Walters.
The word 'fuck' and its derivatives are used 165 times in this film.
Burt Reynolds apparently did the first day's shooting as Jack Horner using an Irish accent. By the next day, he was back to sounding like himself.
Dirk's first character is named John, a reference to real-life porn legend John Holmes, upon whom Dirk's character was based. Dirk mentioned that he had just came back from the Marines; Holmes spent some time in the Army.
A picture of Elliott Gould appears in the background throughout the film, notably in the first shot of the X-rated film.
The donut shop where Buck Swope encounters the robbery is Miss Donuts on Sherman Way between Lindley Ave. and Reseda Blvd. Further down the street is a church that used to be a boxing ring and rock club. The nightclub exterior scenes were filmed there. The Reseda Theatre, the nightclub, the church, the dirt parking lot, the donut shop, and the storefront where the kid gets beaten up are all on Sherman Way between Reseda and Lindley.
When Dirk Diggler proposes the idea of a serial porn detective story to Jack, Dirk says, "I don't want to do stuff like Holmes is doing with his Johnny Wadd character, hitting women and stuff. That just ain't right." This leads the viewer to believe that Dirk and Holmes are rivals in the industry, not that Dirk is a direct representation of Holmes.
The notorious murder-suicide scene was originally intended to be much more violent and graphic than what was shown.
The entire film is based on the short film The Dirk Diggler Story (1988), also by Paul Thomas Anderson. It was a This Is Spinal Tap (1984)-like mockumentary, which would go on to be redone for the short "Dirk Diggler Story" in this film. In the original short film, Robert Ridgely, who plays The Colonel here, played Jack Horner. The man with whom Don Cheadle is talking in the stereo store is Michael Stein, who played Dirk Diggler. The original script was 300 pages, cut down to 180 pages.
When Floyd Gondoli tries to pitch Jack on changing to video, The Colonel is laughing in the back of the shot. He starts right when Floyd describes his sexual turn-ons. Paul Thomas Anderson blurred the shot.
Robert Ridgely's final film.
Although Amber Waves' actual name is never stated in the film, it's clear that her real first name is Maggie. During the party scene, Amber's young son, whom her ex-husband has forbidden her to have contact with due to her work in porn and drug use, calls her house asking for her. Maurice Rodriguez tries to find her, but can't because he and the people he asks at the party don't know that Maggie and Amber are the same person. Her ex-husband later calls her as Maggie during their custody hearing.
Marisa Tomei was offered the role of Amber Waves.
Harvey Keitel turned down the role of Jack Horner.
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Jack Horner tells Kurt, 'Switch the title card, I want it to come flying right out of the screen, right at the audience!' and Kurt replies 'Nice! Piece of cake!' Kurt is played by Ricky Jay, an expert at magic and card tricks who makes playing cards) fly across a stage with speed and accuracy.
Set between 1977 and 1984. Among other things, Jack Horner calls Buck and Jessie's baby "an Olympic swimmer", and Dirk Diggler's outfit in the final scene is identical to the kind of clothes that Don Johnson wore on Miami Vice (1984).
During his attempt at a singing career, Dirk records a cover of "The Touch," which originally appeared in The Transformers: The Movie (1986). Mark Wahlberg would later appear in Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014).
John Turturro turn down the role of Rahad Jackson.
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Sean Penn was considered for the role of Rahad Jackson.
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Choreographer Adam Shankman taught the cast some popular 1970s dance steps.
At one point, an angry Burt Reynolds threw a punch at director Paul Thomas Anderson. Later, he was involved in a heated scuffle with Thomas Jane. In the DVD audio commentary, Anderson and Mark Wahlberg imply that Reynolds was on drugs during filming
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According to William H. Macy, the scene where Dirk Diggler wins the Golden Phallus Award was filmed with about 100 extras who had shown up in their own 1970s clothes. They weren't told what kind of movie they were in, only that it was a film featuring Burt Reynolds. The crowd was told to applaud after Melora Walters had announced Diggler as the winner. However, after Walters added some explicit sexual profanity to her line, there was a stunned silence. Subsequently, about half of the extras got up and left the set, not to return again. This caused some delay in filming, in order to reassemble another crowd of extras, so when they finally resumed filming, director Paul Thomas Anderson took great care to explain to the new crowd what they were in for.
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The character Buck Swope, played by Don Cheadle, is a nod to "Putney Swope", a 1969 film by Robert Downey Sr. who played Burt in the film. Putney Swope was a satire on the New York Madison Avenue advertising world, where an African American was appointed President of an ad company,
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Vincent Gallo turned down the role of Dirk.
Albert Brooks turned down the role of Jack Horner.
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Laurel Holloman screen tested for the role of Roller Girl.
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Burt Reynolds played a character named Paul Anderson (the name of the director of Boogie Nights) in an episode of Burn Notice.
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In the beginning of the movie when Jack Horner first notices Eddie, there are "stars" in the background.
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Jason Lee turned down the role of Dirk Diggler.
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When Buck is talking to the customer in the Hi Fi Store he mentions an upgrade on the stereo called TK421. TK421 is also the guards identification number in Star Wars: A New Hope when the Millenium Falcon has been captured by the Death Star. Hans Solo lures the Storm Trooper on board by asking for help. Considering the close proximity to when Boogie Nights is set and the release date of Star Wars, coincidence?
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The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Julianne Moore and Philip Seymour Hoffman; and five Oscar nominees: John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle, Burt Reynolds, Mark Wahlberg and William H. Macy.
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Director Trademark 

Paul Thomas Anderson:  [long take]  The opening scene is three minutes long, taken in a single camera shot, beginning in the street where Jack Horner and Amber Waves drive up and following them as they get out of the car and walk into a nightclub. Most of the characters are introduced in that shot.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

At the end of the film, T.T. Rodriguez and his brothers' sign for the nightclub is misspelled as Rodriquez. This joke wasn't planned in advance. Paul Thomas Anderson misspelled Rodriguez in the screenplay and decided to make the scene funny.
At the end of the movie Dirk is standing in front of a mirror. Suddenly he unzips his pants and exposes his rather large organ. It is a prosthetic device made from rubber. This prop was kept by Mark Wahlberg as a souvenir from the film. It was made from an easily biodegradable rubber and foam combination which, according to Wahlberg, has since already begun to deteriorate.
Paul Thomas Anderson originally included a sequence where Becky Barnett's new husband beat her up, and she called Dirk Diggler for help. Dirk said he would meet her, but was so high on drugs that he crashed his Corvette and ended up forgetting about Becky altogether. Anderson felt Becky's ordeal reflected real-life stories about porn actresses marrying ordinary civilians who later became jealous, angry, and violent over their new wives' pasts in porn. He cut the scene and decided to end Becky's story on an upbeat note: happily married, being wished well by her friends in the business, and ready to move with her new husband to a new life.
According to the DVD commentary, Paul Thomas Anderson intended for further scenes involving Rahad Jackson. After the bloody attempted robbery of his home, the police arrive, and Rahad gathers his weapons, ready to go out in a blaze of gunfire.
During Rollergirl's final scene, she cleans her room while wearing headphones. The song she listens to is "Voices Carry" by 'Til Tuesday. The lead singer, Aimee Mann, is married to Michael Penn, who performed original music for the film, and appears briefly as a music producer for Dirk and Reed.
Body Count: 9.
Originally, in the scene where Little Bill murders his wife and her lover, there were shots of the man and woman being struck by the bullets. It was eventually decided that this was too disturbing. Now, the camera shows Macy firing through the doorway, and then cuts to shots of the New Years Eve party crowd screaming in horror. Nina Hartley and the now unseen actor decided to actually have sex on the first take of the deleted shot, until producer JoAnne Sellar made it clear that this would not be acceptable.
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