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Munich (2005) Poster

(2005)

Trivia

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Guri Weinberg plays his own father. He is the son of Moshe Weinberg, the Israeli wrestling referee and former champion who died in the massacre when Guri was just 1 month old.
Some details from the real mission were left out in this movie. One of them was when the group found one of the terrorists in Norway. The target was exiting a bus with a pregnant woman, and they killed him. The authorities tracked down the agents' license plate number and arrested them, but it was later revealed that they had shot the wrong man. He wasn't even Palestinian but a Moroccan waiter and the pregnant woman was his wife. Another hit was executed with two of the agents dressed in drag, one of whom was Ehud Barak, who went on to become Prime Minister of Israel in 1999.
During the scene where Avner's team joins up with the Israeli commandos in Beirut, one of the commandos introduces himself as Ehud Barak. Barak was a member of the most elite commando force of the Israeli army, sayeret matkal, before becoming a politician and eventually Israel's Prime Minister.
The ending of the movie conflicts with the real life one where the Mossad agents successfully bombed the mastermind of the Munich killings, along with his four bodyguards and three innocent bystanders. They also injured 16 people innocent bystanders.
Actor/director Mathieu Kassovitz had left a strict instructions to his agent that he would not take any acting assignments at all as he wanted to fully concentrate on directing features. However, this film was an exception. According to him, he accepted the role of Robert because he jumped at the chance to work with Steven Spielberg.
Avner is referred to as a "sabra" more than once. This is an Israeli term for a native born Jew, as opposed to an immigrant. "Sabra" originally referred to a tough kind of cactus (Opuntia cactus) which grew out in the desert.
Munich (2005) is based on George Jonas' book "Vengeance". It purports to tell the true story of vengeance taken against the Black September terrorists using a supposed former Mossad agent named Yuval Aviv as Jonas' main source. The Israeli intelligence community has denied Aviv's claims, saying he is a fraud. Aviv counters this by saying that they would deny him anyway.
The role of Avner was written with Eric Bana in mind.
In the opening segment of the movie, there is a brief shot of two Israeli girls watching TV appearing twice. The one of the left is Steven Spielberg's daughter Sasha Spielberg.
The film crews called the shooting of the movie as a "race against the clock". In order to have the film ready by Christmas for Academy Awards consideration, Steven Spielberg and editor Michael Kahn devised an editing schedule in which:
  • 1) All of the scenes in Malta and Hungary shot in twelve weeks were edited on the spot. Each day Spielberg would review an edited scene shot two days earlier.
  • 2) Two copies of the edited scene were sent out, one to John Williams for music and the other to Ben Burtt for sound effects.
  • 3) The Paris and New York scenes were edited two weeks after photography and the final cut was readied after another two weeks.
The time span between the start of production to the release date in December of 2005 was less than six months.
Two days before filming his final scene, Ossie Beck, who portrayed Eliezaar Halfin, discovered that his grandfather had been in Mossad.
In a rare instance of his Steven Spielberg did not make any promotions and interviews for this movie.
The role of Ephraim was intended for Ben Kingsley but he backed out due to a change to the ending of Steven Spielberg's earlier film The Terminal (2004). It caused the start of the production to be pushed back a few weeks later, thus conflicting with Kingsley's work schedule on Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist (2005).
The film stars a later James Bond (Daniel Craig) and one former (Michael Lonsdale) and a later (Mathieu Amalric) Bond villain. Lonsdale and Amalric's characters are father and son in film.
One of the posters in the athletes' apartment is of Masada (captioned in Hebrew script). Masada is of great significance in Jewish history, as it is a fortress Hebrew rebels held out in against Roman troops. Many of the rebels were killed or committed suicide, but it relates to the themes of death and resistance in "Munich".
Steven Spielberg was going to direct this film for a 2003 or 2004 release but shelved it when Tom Cruise became available and the duo could work on War of the Worlds (2005) instead.
After getting the rights to George Jonas's book "Vengeance", Steven Spielberg commissioned three scripts: one from David Webb Peoples and Janet Peoples, one from Charles Randolph, and one from Eric Roth. Roth's script was chosen and subsequently revised by Tony Kushner, after Kushner first declined to co-write the screenplay; he felt it was too controversial and too complicated to be his first screenplay for a feature film.
The quote that Papa shares with Avner when telling him that he is being hunted is loosely taken from Ecclesiastes 9:11: "I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all."
To create the blue pastel effect in the Beirut scenes, special Fuji film stocks were used exclusively. The notable challenge for that was that it has to be processed in a Fuji lab (in this case in France) since most Technicolor labs use Kodak calibrations and a reprint is required if there was a case of a print printed to the wrong specifications.
The film was not shot in Munich or Germany at all. The Munich scenes were mostly shot in Budapest, Hungary.
A crew truck imported from Germany and laden with heavy equipment, mysteriously caught fire during shooting in Malta, sparking fears of a possible terrorist attack. Local police attributed the fire to generators overheating due to the heat of the Maltese summer.
French fluent actors Mathieu Kassovitz, Michael Lonsdale, Mathieu Almaric, Marie-Josée Croze and Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi dubbed themselves in the French version.
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the film was denounced by the israeli government when first released in 2005 as they found it's depiction of MOSSAD (the israeli secret service) & real life events to be highly inaccurate. one israeli government spokesperson at the time remarked "spielberg should stick to making films about dinosaurs".
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All of Avner's four visits to the bank vault were shot in a single day.
The painting on the wall, behind Avner, in the "safe-house" scene is 'Children Eating Grapes and a Melon' by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The painting currently resides in Alte Pinakothek, Munich.
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Mosko Alkalai filmed scenes as Avner's (Eric Bana) father.
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Eric Bana is the tallest person in almost all the shots he appears in.
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At the beginning, one of the Israeli players is cutting a piece of bread before the hostage situation began. At the end, Avner tells Ephraim to come to his house to dinner and "break bread."
Michael Klesic had a small part in the film as a Russian athlete but it was left on the cutting room floor.
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This is the first film directed by Steven Spielberg to be released by Universal Pictures since The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997).
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Director Trademark 

Steven Spielberg: [father] Avner's father is in jail, Avner himself is away from his wife and newborn child during the first year or so of her life.
Steven Spielberg: [mirror] Faces reflected in the rear-view mirror of a car.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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