The Book of Eli (2010) Poster


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The reason the cannibals' hands shake is because they suffer from Kuru disease - a form of Creutzfeld Jakob Disease caused by eating human brains or spinal columns. The first symptom is shaking limbs, which is why people check Eli's hands throughout the movie.
Denzel Washington performed all of his own stunts in the hand-to-hand fight sequences.
For the movie Denzel Washington studied martial arts under Bruce Lee's protégé Dan Inosanto.
Gary Oldman was cast at the suggestion of Denzel Washington.
The film takes place in 2043.
Eli's speech before he fights Carnegie's men in the bar is taken from Genesis 3:17-19. This is where God expels Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.
Kristen Stewart turned down Mila Kunis' role due to scheduling conflicts with The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009).
Denzel Washington shed about 50 pounds in preparation for the role.
When Eli first sits in the room Carnagie imprisons him in, a poster of the movie A Boy and his Dog is visible. A Boy and his Dog is recognized as one of the earliest post-apoctalyptic movies and a source of inspiration for many dystopian and post-apoctalyptic movies and video games.
The film didn't explicitly mention that the apocalypse was because of a nuclear war; writer Gary Whitta preferred to leave clues of the apocalypse instead.
When Eli encounters a group of road bandits, behind them is a tunnel structure with a bold 14:6 written on top. Being a post-apocalyptic movie, that writing can be referenced to an apocalyptic book in the Bible, Revelation. Revelation 14:6 (King James Version): "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people."
In Arabic, Hebrew, and Aramaic, Eli can be a variant on the name of God. The suffix "i" indicates first person singular possession, i.e., "my El" or "my God".
The names of the characters George and Martha are a direct reference to the play 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' by Edward Albee. The play is about an elderly couple who want children so badly, they invent a dead son; their names here are an ironic reference to the "Father and Mother" of the United States, George and Martha Washington.
While the antagonist of the film has the last name Carnegie, who sought out books, Andrew Carnegie was an industrialist/philanthropist in the early 20th century who donated money to communities to build libraries.
The first line of dialogue is spoken almost eight minutes into the film.
The quote that Eli takes from "Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison", is from "Greystone Chapel", last track on the album. The line comes from the last verse in the song.
Promotional material for this film was used by fans as a rumoured movie for the video game series 'Fallout'. This film holds many similarities with the popular game franchise but is not said to have been an inspiration.
The sunglasses and backpack Eli used throughout the movie were from Oakley.
'Childhood Memories' (composer- Gheorghe Zamfir pan flute artist) was being "whistled" by the villain in the van abducting Solara after they left the church yard scene.
Martha (Frances de la Tour) & George (Michael Gambon), who play the cannibal couple, starred together in Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire playing Madame Olympe Maxime and Professor Albus Dumbledore, respectively.
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The cooling towers that Eli and Solara take refuge in are most likely the cooling towers of the former Rancho Seco Nuclear generating station outside of Sacramento, California; given the apparent travel time on foot and by vehicle before Eli and Solara reach the Golden Gate and Carnegie returning to town.
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The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2007 Blacklist; a list of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year.
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The tenth film released in select D-BOX enabled cinemas, located in the US and Canada. In D-BOX's words, the motion control technology "adds to the movie's plot and underlying themes of fear, terror and explosive action by offering realistic sensations during most of the film's action scenes."
The headphones used by Denzel Washington are called Beats by Dr. Dre.
A critic described the film as "Mad Max for the 21st Century".
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The car behind which Eli takes cover during the gun battle is a Rover P6.
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The film has many parallels to the Fallout video games, in particular Fallout 3. In both the book and the film, there is a very similar-looking apocalyptic wasteland, gangs of thugs with ambush tactics, self-contained communities, cannibal families and American landmarks being used as places of salvation. Actor Malcolm MacDowell appears in both the film and the game, although their characters are not similar.
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The King James Bible is roughly 789,000 words long. To write it out longhand at 20-30 words per minute it would take roughly 31,000 minutes. Assuming the writing was done for 8 hours a day this would take 66 days to complete.
There is a person in the Bible named Eli; he is a highly-devoted priest and, like the movie's main character, he is not born blind but becomes blind later in life (1 Samuel 3:2).
Hints to Eli's condition are shown throughout the movie:
  • In the opening fight, he cuts the man's hand off after being pushed. Also he lures the rest of them in to a dark tunnel before fighting them.

  • He has extraordinary hearing and sense smell.

  • At one point, after staying the night at the nuclear cooler's ruins, Solara asks Eli how does he know which way to go, to which he replies "We walk by faith, not by sight".

  • He doesn't put on his sunglasses right away when walking outside, like everyone else does (he even appears to be staring directly at the sun).

  • In several scenes sounds of babies, shooting guns, movement and sometimes almost insignificant sounds is emphasized.

  • He searches the shelves of the first house he checks (in the beginning of the movie, before he finds the dead body) by running his hand through it.

  • When he finds the dead body hanging it is very clear that his shock is caused by the doors falling off the hinges, not the sight of the dead person. He even feels the body before being sure of what he is dealing with since he can't see anything.

  • Just before finding the doors hiding the dead body, he runs into an end table with his thigh, as if he didn't see it.

  • As he walks along the highway with Solara, he silences her so that he can hear better the bird ("dinner") flying above them.

  • At George and Martha's house, he kicks forward by the first step of the stairs to the porch with his boot so he knows where it is.

  • He never fires his weapon first, needing to hear the sound of shooting at him to identify the location of his target.

  • His use of a shotgun as a primary weapon means that accuracy is not as critical, allowing for him to aim via sound rather than sight.

  • When Eli and Solara approach the cannibals' (George and Martha) house. As they approach the steps, you can hear a brief clicking sound. Eli is using echolocation to "see" what is ahead of him.

George asks Eli about the No Trespassing sign, "Can't you read the sign?" Eli responds, "Didn't see it." -When paying for his trickle charge, he opens a zippo lighter and passes his hand over the flame to ensure it indeed was lit instead of seeing the flame.
Throughout the film it is said that Eli's bible is the only one remaining. After the newly printed bible is put on the shelf, beside it there is a book with a Hebrew headline saying "Tanach." Tanach is the Hebrew bible, the Old Testament of the KJV, meaning part of a bible was already found, but it's likely no one knew how to read it.
Aside from the film's title, Eli is identified by name only three times. Once, when it appears on a K-Mart name tag inside his backpack, again when Eli introduces himself at Alcatraz Island, lastly on the "head stone" in the end sequence.
Keeping with the film's ideas on religious faith and belief, there is symbolism in the scene Redridge executes the guard who didn't stop Eli's escape; the guard is shot in the head right next to the corner of two walls, and when the blood spray goes across the walls and down the border of them, it forms the shape of a cross.

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