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This Boy's Life (1993) Poster

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When Robert De Niro saw Leonardo DiCaprio's acting in this movie, he called Martin Scorsese to tell him about the kid and he must check him out. Scorsese has since said that this was very unusual as De Niro wouldn't normally have this level of praise for a fellow actor.
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Leonardo DiCaprio grew a few inches while shooting the film and he had to slouch in several scenes to look smaller next to Robert De Niro.
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Tobey Maguire first auditioned for the part of Toby, but director Michael Caton-Jones thought he wasn't right for the role. Leonardo DiCaprio, who is close friends with Maguire, still wanted him to be a part of the film, so he got him the role of Toby's friend Chuck Bolger.
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While not Tobey Maguire's movie debut, This Boy's Life (1993) is Maguire's first film in which he has a credited speaking role. Maguire's film debut was actually in The Wizard (1989), but he was uncredited and had no lines.
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Leonardo DiCaprio admitted that when filming the scene in which Toby finally defies Dwight, he screamed "Noooo!" at the top of his lungs, which cracked up the cast and crew.
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Producer Art Linson knew the film would be a tough sell. When he attended a test screening of the film with the Warner Brothers executives, he asked an old lady what she thought of the film. To his delight, he found out that she loved it. He later found out that the old lady was Robert De Niro's grandmother.
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Leonardo DiCaprio mentioned the film during his acceptance speech at the 2016 SAG Awards. He also thanked Michael Caton-Jones for casting him in his first film during his Oscar acceptance speech in 2016.
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Based on the book "This Boy's Life", a 1989 memoir by Tobias Wolff.
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In the movie and book, Toby's stepfather is named Dwight Hansen. In reality, it was Robert Thompson.
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Dwight (Robert De Niro) often tells people to "shut your pie hole". Ben Stiller got that same line in Meet the Parents (2000), which co-starred De Niro.
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The preparatory schools mentioned in the film all do exist. The Hill School is located in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, Choate Rosemary Hall is located in Wallingford, Connecticut, and Deerfield Academy is located in Deerfield, Massachusetts.
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The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Robert De Niro, Chris Cooper, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
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Despite the movie's title, the real magazine "Boy's Life" is referred to and shown throughout as "Boy's Magazine".
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Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire later starred together again in The Great Gatsby (2013).
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Debra Winger dropped out of playing a mother.
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In the film, Toby's mother is called Caroline. In real life, her name is Rosemary.
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Robert De Niro and Ellen Barkin later starred together again in The Fan (1996).
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Toby's brother, called "Gregory" in the movie, is actually named Geoffrey.
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Robert De Niro and Gerrit Graham worked together years before in Brian De Palma's Greetings (1968) and Hi, Mom! (1970).
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Ellen Barkin famously joked to a reporter that she "slept her way to the middle."
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Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire starred in films directed by Sam Raimi. DiCaprio in The Quick and the Dead (1995) and Maguire in the Spider-Man trilogy.
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Caroline (Toby's mother) smokes L&M cigarettes.
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In one scene, Toby and his stepsister Pearl (Eliza Dushku) sing The Everly Brothers' "Bye Bye Love" (1957) along with the radio. Dushku played Paul Reiser's daughter in the film Bye Bye Love (1995) named after and featuring a rendition of the song.
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