Crash (2004) Poster

(I) (2004)


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Paul Haggis holds the distinction of being the only person ever to write the screenplay for two consecutive Best Picture winners. He also wrote the previous year's Best Picture winner, Million Dollar Baby (2004).
One of the things that inspired the movie was that director Paul Haggis was carjacked himself.
For the scene in which Daniel is trying to convince his daughter to get out from under the bed, director Paul Haggis directed Michael Peña, who plays Daniel, to talk to her like he would talk to a guy in a bar.
With only a budget of $6 million for this film, director Paul Haggis had to cut the costs by using his own house for scenes and even his own car for other scenes.
Two Koreans were intentionally cast as the "Chinese" couple to underscore the fact that most non-Asians cannot, or do not care to, differentiate between the various Asian nationalities, and instead choose to refer to all of them (Chinese, Korean, Thai, Japanese, etc.) as "Chinese," like the characters in the movie do.
The story of Officer John Ryan and his father comes from a piece of hate mail director Paul Haggis received while he was working as a writer in the TV series Family Law (1999).
The lowest-grossing Best Picture Oscar winner since The Last Emperor (1987).
The movie was shot in 36 days.
The Cabot house is actually director Paul Haggis's own house.
Sandra Bullock was so committed to appearing in this film that she bought her own plane ticket to fly to the set.
Although originally released in 2004, the film did not qualify for the following year's Academy Awards as it did not play at least one week in L.A. (as Academy Awards rules require for eligibility). When it finally opened in L.A. the following year, the film did qualify for Oscar consideration for 2005, and it went on to win the Best Picture Oscar for that year.
Director Paul Haggis had wanted Christine to drive a Lexus SUV or a similar car that reflected her social status. Since the car was to be destroyed during the accident scene, however, budget restrictions dictated otherwise and a 1992 Jeep was used instead.
As L.A. is such an important character in the film, director Paul Haggis insisted the film be shot there, despite the producers wanting to film in Toronto to save money.
Before Ryan Phillippe signed on, Heath Ledger was in talks for the role of Hansen. Ironically, Ledger starred in Brokeback Mountain (2005), the film that lost the Best Picture Oscar to Crash (2004) in a controversial decision.
The Persian couple are called Shereen and Farhad. "Shereen and Farhad" is an ancient Persian love story by various poets, with Nizami Ganjavi's being the most famous.
First Best Picture film since Rocky (1976) to win only three Oscars.
The Yellow Mini Cooper in the garage of stolen cars is Director Paul Haggis' car.
In almost every scene, there is a symbol pertaining to Christmas.
The movie is dedicated to the late director/producer Anita W. Addison, who was the first person to read Paul Haggis' script.
In recent years, director Paul Haggis has since admitted that he feels his film did not deserve to win the Academy Award of Best Picture over the more loved Brokeback Mountain (2005).
Kathleen York, who wrote the Oscar-nominated song "Into the Deep" for the film, makes a cameo appearance as the police officer giving the report to Don Cheadle at the officer shooting crime scene.
First film bought in a film festival (Toronto) to win Best Picture at the Oscars.
The background music containing ethereal female voices is by St. Hildegard von Bingen, a Twelfth Century nun. A mystic, artist, healer and abbess who advised popes, her music was revolutionary, influencing the development of Western ecclesiastical music through the Reformation.
Thandie Newton was Paul Haggis' first choice for her character.
John Cusack was the original choice for the role of District Attorney Rick Cabot, which eventually went to Brendan Fraser.
Make-up artists aged Shaun Toub by about fifteen years.
The production only had six police cars at their disposal, due to the low budget.
The only Best Picture winner initially released before the previous year's Best Picture (Million Dollar Baby (2004), the 2005 Best Picture, was released on December 15, 2004, and this film, the 2006 Best Picture, was released on September 10, 2004).
When the Oscar nominations were announced in January 2006, this film, which was the only Best Picture nominee to be already available on DVD, jumped from #103 to #23 on Amazon's list of bestsellers.
A TV series based on the play was produced by Starz in 2008. It ran for two seasons, being truncated by the death of its lead actor, Dennis Hopper.
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Lions Gate bought the distribution right to the film for $4 million at the 2004 Toronto International Film Festival.
The last film to win Best Picture without winning Best Director until Argo (2012) in 2013. In both ceremonies, Ang Lee won Best Director for Brokeback Mountain (2005) and Life of Pi (2012), respectively. In addition, both Crash (2004) and Argo (2012) won the same number (three each) and type of awards: Best Picture, Best Screenplay (Original for Crash (2004) and Adapted for Argo (2012)), and Best Film Editing.
Annie Proulx, author of Brokeback Mountain (2005), wrote a strong polemic against this movie in the British newspaper "The Guardian," venting her disgust and disappointment that her film was beaten by Paul Haggis' at the Oscars, one of the Academy's more controversial decisions in years.
This movie was particularly controversial when it won the Oscar for Best Picture over the more critically-favored Brokeback Mountain (2005). The Academy was accused of homophobia as a result of this, especially because 'Crash' won the award without being nominated for any Golden Globes. To this day, it is often regarded as one of the least-deserved Best Picture winners alongside The Broadway Melody (1929), Cimarron (1931), Cavalcade (1933), The Great Ziegfeld (1936), How Green Was My Valley (1941), The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), Around the World in Eighty Days (1956), Out of Africa (1985), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), Dances with Wolves (1990), The English Patient (1996), Shakespeare in Love (1998), and Chicago (2002).
Was the first Best Picture Academy Award-winning film to be released on the then newly introduced Blu-ray format.
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In the recent awards tradition, usually the movie that wins the Golden Globe as Best Picture (Drama or Comedy/Musical) ends up winning the Best Picture Oscar. This movie succeeded in winning the latter without getting a nomination as Best Picture Drama at the Globes, a rare instance. As of 2016, it remains the last film to achieve such fate.
Martin Norseman, who plays Detective Conklin (a non-speaking part), is Paul Haggis' next-door neighbor.
Lionsgate spent $2 million to promote the film to Academy members in the run-up to the Oscars.
Beverly Todd and Don Cheadle also played mother and son on an episode of Hill Street Blues (1981).
The film cast includes one Oscar winner, Sandra Bullock, and four Oscar nominees: Matt Dillon, Don Cheadle, Terrence Howard and Kathleen York.
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Michael Peña, Don Cheadle, Terrence Howard, and Shaun Toub all have appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the latter two appearing in Iron Man (2008), but again had no scenes together. Don Cheadle replaced Howard in Iron Man 2 (2010) and Iron Man Three (2013), with the latter featuring a cameo by Toub. Peña appeared in Ant-Man (2015) as Luis.
William Fichtner's scenes were shot in just one day.
The role of the TV director was originally offered to Forest Whitaker, who turned it down to finish First Daughter (2004).
Terrence Howard, Keith David and Larenz Tate all previously appeared together in Dead Presidents (1995).
The script was written in 2001.
Arnold Schwarzenegger makes an appearance in the film, not as an actor, but as Governor of California. His photo in a frame hangs on the wall of Lieutenant Dixon's office (Ryan Phillippe's boss).
Included among the "1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die," edited by Steven Schneider.
Ryan Phillippe appeared in I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) while Jennifer Esposito appeared in the sequel I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998).
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Was the last Academy Award-winning film to be released on VHS in a short-print run.
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A few years after the release of Crash (2004), The Hollywood Reporter polled hundreds of voters in the Academy on what votes they would recast if given the chance; Brokeback Mountain (2005) received more votes than this film.
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A total of 130,000 screeners were sent out to AMPAS and the various guilds and critics.
One of two Best Picture Oscar winners whose title has only one syllable, the other being Wings (1927).
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Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco wrote the first draft of the screenplay in just two weeks.
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Thandie Newton and Loretta Divine, who both had roles in this film, went on to star in For Colored Girls (2010), another film about race and interconnected lives.
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Until The Hurt Locker (2008) won the Oscar for Best Film four years later, this was the lowest grossing Best Picture Academy Award winner.
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Is one of only two movies (the other being The Sting (1973)) to have won the Academy Award for Best Picture without having been nominated for any of the three Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture (Best Drama, Best Comedy/Musical and Best Foreign Film).
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The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Though Sandra Bullock is well renowned for her role and is given top billing, she has only 5 minutes of screentime throughout the entirety of the film.

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