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The first scene Clint Eastwood shot was his former director Don Siegel's cameo as Murph the bartender. As a joke, Eastwood made Siegel do eleven takes, then told the cameraman to put the film in the camera.
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Universal Pictures originally wanted Lee Remick cast in the role of Evelyn, but director Clint Eastwood had been impressed with Jessica Walter's performance in Sidney Lumet's movie The Group (1966), and cast her instead.
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The storyline was originally set in Los Angeles, but at Clint Eastwood's insistence, this movie was shot in the more comfortable surroundings of Carmel-by-the-Sea, where he could shoot scenes at the local radio station, bars and restaurants, and acquaintances' houses.
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Jean Shepherd claimed that this movie was based on a real-life incident in which he was stalked by a female fan, which culminated in her trying to stab him.
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Clint Eastwood obtained the rights to the song "Misty" after he saw Erroll Garner perform at the Concord Music Festival in 1970. Eastwood also paid $2,000 for the use of the song "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack.
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Set in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, the city where Clint Eastwood later became the Mayor.
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Given complete freedom by Universal Pictures, Clint Eastwood finished shooting four days ahead of schedule and $50,000 under budget.
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The concert scenes were filmed live at the Monterey Jazz Festival.
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The title can be seen on a cinema marquee in the beginning sequence of Dirty Harry (1971), also starring Clint Eastwood.
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When Clint Eastwood told Universal Pictures executive Lew Wasserman that he wanted to direct this movie, Wasserman agreed immediately. Then, as Eastwood and his agent were walking down the hall, Wasserman called the agent back into his office. In exchange for letting Eastwood direct, they wanted to pay him less than his regular salary under his three-movie deal. Eastwood understood, given that he was a first-time director. In the end, he made the movie for a percentage of the gross.
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 The Sardine Factory is a real restaurant, still at the same location as in this movie, at 701 Wave Street at the corner of Prescott, just one block up from Cannery Row in Monterey, California.
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Steve McQueen turned down the lead role, claiming that the female lead was stronger than the male.
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Dave's convertible sports car is a 1957 Jaguar XK 150 Drophead Coupé.
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The radio station, KRML, was an actual jazz station in Carmel-by-the-Sea, whose studios were relocated to the Eastwood Building at San Carlos and 5th, in the same building as the Hog's Breath Inn (a restaurant that Clint Eastwood co-owned). After a brief dark period in 2010, the radio station returned to the air in 2011.
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All filming was completed in a month.
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Clint Eastwood had an experience similar to this in real life about 21 years earlier, c. 1950, when an ex-girlfriend stalked him and threatened to commit suicide after he broke up with her.
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The documentary I'm Your Number One Fan (1996), which was about celebrity stalkers, had a segment which was similar to the plot of this movie: a woman called Blue Tulip Rose Read, who was obsessed with DJ Mike Read. She claimed to be married to him, and even dressed like him. The documentary shows Blue Tulip going to the radio station where Mike works, hoping to meet him and get him to marry her, but security stops and ejects her.
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The tape package sent to the producer, Madge, has the address "Malpaso TV Productions", which is Clint Eastwood's own company. This raises the intriguing theory that Dave might have actually been auditioning for a tv show, seemingly connected to the Jazz Festival, as a local DJ moving into tv work.
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In one of the early scenes, Al Monte is heard telling his listeners that the Monterey Jazz Festival is four months away. Based on the events that unfold, that would mean that this movie covers a time span of slightly over four months.
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This is one of the few movies Clint Eastwood directed that wasn't produced through Warner Brothers. Actually his first four films as director were made through Universal Pictures, where his Malpaso Productions company was based. Eastwood then moved to Warner Brothers, where he remains to the present day, although a few of his films have been made through other studios outside the longstanding Warner deal.
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In one the Monterey concert scenes, the late great Joe Zawinul is playing keyboards with the Cannonball Adderley group.
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This movie featured a romantic montage (views of David and Tobie peacefully roaming by the seaside and through the woods), backed by Robert Flack's recording, an Ewan MacColl torch song. Flack's version (after staying at number one for six weeks during the spring) became the 1972 Billboard Hot 100 top single of the year.
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Donna Mills has denied rumors (unpublicized, but existing nonetheless) that she had an affair with Clint Eastwood.
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The idea of another love interest, with a level-headed girlfriend Tobie added to the plot, was a suggestion by Sonia Chernus, an editor who had been with Clint Eastwood when he was initially spotted for Rawhide (1959).
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Although it is never explicitly stated, Evelyn's character may be suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, which is a serious psychological and psycho-social disorder where people have extreme difficulties regulating their emotions. Problems include intense and volatile emotions (such as shame, anger, sadness, or anxiety), chaotic relationships, impulsiveness, unstable sense of self, suicide attempt, and chronic feelings of emptiness.
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Flip Wilson was originally considered for the role of Al Monte.
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Jessica Walter has contributed to multiple puff pieces about Clint Eastwood in which she praises him enthusiastically. However, the late Sondra Locke noted in her autobiography that when she talked with Jessica at a party in 1971 right after this film was made, "she spoke in measured tones about Clint, and I got the distinct impression that she did not view him as a very generous actor or human being for that matter."
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Fatal Attraction (1987) draws heavily on this movie in developing its plot with its story of an affair that goes terribly wrong. In a very early kitchen scene in this film, there happens to be an ice pick in shot. Fatal Attraction would later open with an infamous ice pick scene.
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Included among the American Film Institute's 2001 list of 400 movies nominated for the top 100 Most Heart-Pounding American Movies.
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This was Irene Hervey's last movie. She continued acting for television for another decade.
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Fatal Attraction is extremely similar, including the scorned woman a fan of Madame Butterfly, slits her wrists in order for him to allow her to stay, and him not to leave.
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