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The Terminal (2004) Poster

(2004)

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (2) | Spoilers (3)
Inspired by the story of Merhan Nasseri, an Iranian refugee. Dreamworks reportedly paid him $250,000 for the use of his biography. In 1988, he landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport near Paris after being denied entry into England because his passport and United Nations refugee certificate had been stolen. French authorities would not let him leave the airport. He remained in Terminal One, a stateless person with nowhere else to go. He has since been granted permission to either enter France or return to his own country. He instead chooses to continue to live in the terminal and tell his story to those who will listen. Reportedly, his mental health has deteriorated over the years. When given the opportunity to live in France, he refused because the documents did not name him as "Sir, Alfred", and he claims to have forgotten his native Persian language. Reportedly, he left the terminal in August 2006 to be hospitalized for an unspecified illness.
Each failed application for entry to the USA counts against your chances of eventually being allowed in, so Viktor was actually hurting his cause by applying every day.
Steven Spielberg cut a line from the film where Hanks's character is getting help using a phone card and says, "Home phone, home phone!" Spielberg cut this because he didn't want comparisons to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and the famous lines "Phone home."
The terminal set was a near-full-size replica built in a former hangar, with three working sets of escalators, and populated by many familiar stores (e.g. Burger King, Mrs. Fields, W.H. Smith). Some of these brands were recruited by Dreamworks, while others approached the studio when word of the production got out. Many of the stores and restaurants were built by the construction crews that build actual mall and airport stores for the respective companies, and some had fully-functioning equipment (e.g. ovens, cash registers, etc). However, the inclusion of a brand on the set was not a guarantee of inclusion in the film; Dreamworks retained full control over editing, and some brands appear only briefly or not at all.
The note on the photocopy of the hand attached to the sign "All Gates" says "FREE THE GOAT".
In the bookstore, Viktor is reading "Oh, the Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss.
The main character of this movie was originally scripted to arrive from Slovenia but this was changed after the advice from the former consul of Republic of Slovenia in the United States Mark Rijavec. Since Slovenia is by some considered to be Switzerland of the Eastern Europe it would not look credible would a civil war be started in one of the new members of the European Union.
In this movie Dolores Torres is said to go to Star Trek conventions dressed as Yeoman Rand. Zoe Saldana later played Uhura in Star Trek (2009).
Although Viktor comes from the fictional country of Krakozhia, the language he speaks in the movie is Bulgarian. The written material shown (the Fodor's guide and the magazine page with the jazz greats) is in bad Russian. The label on the Planters peanuts can is neither in Bulgarian nor in Russian. Viktor's driving license is issued in Homel, Republic of Belarus, and has a woman's name on it (written in Cyrillic) - Gulnara Gulina. It was a real license provided by a real Gulnara Gulina, a woman from Belarus who was working in American movie industry, although the license, issued in 1995, was already invalid at the time of filming. The filmmakers just added Viktor Navorski's name in English and his photo.
When Amelia does her makeup at the table while sitting with Viktor, she pulls out an Elizabeth Arden compact. Catherine Zeta-Jones, who played Amelia, is a spokeswoman for Elizabeth Arden cosmetics.
According to his customs declaration, Viktor Navorski was born on 11 January 1956, i.e. he is almost six months older than Tom Hanks.
Selected as the opening film of the 2004 Venice Film Festival.
In the Russian dubbed version of the film, Milodragovic spoke Bulgarian, not Russian, and introduced himself as a Bulgarian.
Tony Randall appears, uncredited, in the "I Love New York" television advertisement in the movie.
Bernie Mac was considered for a role, but had to pull out due to a scheduling conflict.
A majority (if not all) of the flights on the departure board were flights operated by members of the Star Alliance. United Airlines is a founding partner of the Star Alliance.
The Napoleon book Amelia buys at Borders is "Napoléon Bonaparte" by Alan Schom.
In the scene where Viktor is avoiding the security camera near the exit, the camera is of the Espree line manufactured by Pelco in Clovis, CA. The motor noises had to be added to the film, because the Espree PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) features operate virtually silently.

Cameo 

Sasha Spielberg:  The girl with the suitcase that Viktor tries to help is Steven Spielberg's daughter.
Benny Golson:  The saxophone player at the New York hotel during the last few scenes.

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The film was shot with two endings. The original version of the film, previewed in Orange, California on 26 May 2004, had the other ending, in which Catherine Zeta-Jones's character Amelia goes into Manhattan with Viktor. The changes to the film caused the start date of Steven Spielberg's next film Munich (2005) to be pushed back a number of weeks, which meant that Ben Kingsley could no longer appear in it, due to his commitment to appear in Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist (2005).
When "the war is over" and where Tom Hanks and other people sing the national anthem they sing The Albanian National Anthem in "gibberish" words.
When Viktor is about to be forced onto the plane back home, Dixon watches the security camera screens and whistles the melody to "For All We Know (We May Never Meet Again)".

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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