The Majestic (2001) Poster



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The voices of the unseen studio executives during the first screenwriting scene (and the one later in the film) are all famous directors, including Garry Marshall, Paul Mazursky, Sydney Pollack, Rob Reiner, and Carl Reiner (although Carl is more famous for his comedic acting). All of these directors are also known their occasional acting forays.
James Whitmore 's final feature film.
Brian Libby, who plays studio guard Hal, has appeared in all of director Frank Darabont's movies. Darabont considers Libby to be a lucky charm of sorts and casts him whenever possible.
Several names in the movie are connected to real-life persons involved in Senator Joseph McCarthy's "witch hunt" investigations. The town of Lawson is named for screenwriter John Howard Lawson who stood up to HUAC and ended the Red Scare. Another writer, Lester Cole, gives his surname to the mayor. Luke Trimble is named for blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. Appleton is named for Senator McCarthy's Wisconsin home town. The movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), seen briefly in the epilogue, is considered a metaphor for the McCarthy policies.
A character says he "wouldn't know J. Edgar Hoover if he walked in here wearing a dress" - a subtle reference to the claims that Hoover was a cross-dresser in his personal life.
Neither the Majestic nor Mabel's Diner actually exist in Ferndale, where the movie was filmed. However, the newspaper office for the Lawson Beacon (across the street from the WWII memorial) is the actual newspaper office for the Ferndale Enterprise. The sheriff's office and city hall were facades built over opposite ends of the U.S. Bank building in town. The facade of The Majestic was built over a city parking lot. Only the facade and lobby were used for filming at that location. The indoor sets were built in buildings at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds.
The scriptwriter Michael Sloane is a close schoolfriend of Frank Darabont. He also doubles as Kindly Old Professor Meredith in The Majestic's film within a film, Sand Pirates of the Sahara. He first showed Darabont the script back in 1999 and while he wanted to make the film, Darabont was already committed to The Green Mile (1999). As soon as it was finished, he got to work on The Majestic (2001).
At one point, while the characters in the film are examining a store-front display of World War II heroes, a photograph of several men in uniform is shown. This photo is of actual soldiers that fought in World War II, all of whom made their home at the location of the film shoot, Ferndale, California.
The Lawson train station is really in Fort Bragg, California. The train is called "The Skunk Train" and is a scenic railroad that runs inland from the north coast through the redwoods.
WILHELM SCREAM: When part of the theater's neon sign explodes.
The fictitious credits for "Sand Pirates of the Sahara," the film-within-a-film, include director Ferenc Arpad, a Hungarian translation of the first and middle name of Frank Darabont, and actor Ramon Jamon, Spanish for ham.
HHS Studios is named for Hollywood High School, which Frank Darabont attended.
As of 2014, this is the only film Frank Darabont has directed not based on a Stephen King story.
For the scene from "Sand Pirates of the Sahara" (the "film-within-the-film" that restores Peter's memory) the statue with which Prince Khalid knocks out Professor Meredith is the same golden precolumbian idol that Indiana Jones collects in the opening scene of The Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Steven Spielberg is thanked in the closing credits for lending the prop to the production.
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Matt Damon:  The first choice for the lead role (turned down to star in The Bourne Identity (2002)), provides the voice of Albert Lucas "Luke" Trimble's farewell letter. Many of his lines were written in 1861 by Major Sullivan Ballou, 2nd Rhode Island Volunteers, to his wife in Smithfield, a week before he was killed at the First Bull Run Battle.

Director Trademark 

Frank Darabont:  [old movie clips]  Clips from The Big Parade (1925), A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), and The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) are shown.
Frank Darabont:  [the word S-T-O-R-Y in the graveyard]  Also done in The Green Mile (1999). This is his way of indicating that the "story" is dead in Hollywood.
Frank Darabont:  [Heywood Floyd]  Heywood and Floyd are the names of two studio executives. Heywood Floyd is a space explorer in books and movies written by Arthur C. Clarke, including 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and 2010 (1984). The studio guard named Hal, played by Brian Libby, is a possible reference to the sentient computer from the same Clarke stories.

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