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The Rock (1996) Poster

(1996)

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (9)
Sir Sean Connery insisted the producers build a cabin for him on Alcatraz, as he didn't want to travel from the mainland to the island every day. He got what he asked for.
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The premiere of the movie was held in the Prison Recreation Yard on Alcatraz.
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According to Director Michael Bay, the script was written much more straight and serious than the final film. Most of the humorous moments and lines were improvised during filming.
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Quentin Tarantino was an uncredited screenwriter on this film, along with Jonathan Hensleigh, who wrote the shooting script, and Aaron Sorkin.
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While the film was shooting, Alcatraz was still open to the public, and many visitors watched the movie being shot. However, on December 15, 1995, the federal government, which owns Alcatraz, partially shut it down, due to stalled budget talks, and filming continued with no visitors present.
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Dedicated to Don Simpson, who died during production.
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Michael Bay's favorite movie of his own.
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Don Simpson was largely responsible for creating the critical General Hummel character. Simpson watched a 60 Minutes (1993) segment about the U.S. government's refusal to acknowledge soldiers who had died during covert overseas missions, and later read Colonel David H. Hackworth's memoirs which harshly criticized U.S. planning during the Vietnam War. He combined these elements into Hummel's character and, as Jonathan Hensleigh described, created "a really compelling villain: a soldier with a noble end, but, unfortunately, psychotic means."
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Some of the Navy SEALs in the film were played by real Navy SEALs.
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In the scene in the interrogation room where FBI agent Stanley Goodspeed introduces himself to John Mason (Sir Sean Connery), John replies "But of course you are". This was exactly the same line he used when he met Peter O'Toole in the casino scene in the Bond film Diamonds Are Forever (1971).
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There were tensions during shooting between Michael Bay and Walt Disney Studios executives, who were supervising the production. On the commentary track for the Criterion Collection DVD, Bay recalls a time when he was preparing to leave the set for a meeting with the executives and was approached by Sir Sean Connery in golfing attire. Connery, who also produced the film, asked Bay where he was going, and when Bay explained that he had a meeting with the executives, Connery asked if he could accompany him. Bay complied, and when Bay arrived in the conference room, the executives' jaws dropped when they saw Connery appear behind him. According to Bay, Connery then stood up for Bay, and insisted that he was doing a good job and should be left alone.
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It was Nicolas Cage's idea that his character would not swear. His euphemisms include "gee whiz."
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Much of Nicolas Cage's dialogue was ad-libbed (including the "Zeus' butthole" line, which Michael Bay wanted to cut, but Cage insisted on having).
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According to William Forsythe, when he was three weeks into shooting the movie, and they were about to shift locations for filming, Forsythe was mistaken for an extra, when he was getting a hot dog from the set's catering. Forsythe said the employee told him that extras weren't allowed food from craft services, and she summoned security, who subsequently said that he was part of the main cast. Forsythe said "I ate my hot dog, but I'm thinking two things: the fact that, after three weeks on the movie, I was being forbade a hot dog, and, 'I don't know what the hell they've got for the extras today. Trail mix, maybe?'".
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Reportedly, Sir Sean Connery accepted the part of Mason, after learning that Nicolas Cage had been cast as Goodspeed.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger was offered the Mason role, but at the time the script was only eighty pages "with a lot of handwriting and scribbles, and it didn't seem fully baked." In a Reddit AMA, he stated he regrets not taking the role. Years later, however, he played a part as a convict with a mysterious past, in Escape Plan (2013).
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Along with Entrapment (1999), this was Sir Sean Connery's favorite film of his own during the 1990s.
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There are several theories that Sir Sean Connery's character is, in fact, an older version of his own James Bond character.
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The guy who gets his car stolen by Sean Connery is the same guy who got his car stolen by Ed Harris in National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007), another of Jerry Bruckheimer's movies which also starred Nicolas Cage and Ed Harris.
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This movie marks the third time that Michael Biehn has played a Navy SEAL. The first was in The Abyss (1989), and the second was in Navy SEALs (1990).
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In 2016, the Chilcott report on Britain's involvement in toppling Saddam Hussein, noted that one Agent, who had falsified claims about observing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, had based his description of them on the nerve gas missiles featured in this film.
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Sir Sean Connery (Mason) says he was trained by British intelligence, like his old character James Bond.
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Stanley Anderson also portrayed the President in another Michael Bay film, Armageddon (1998).
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Most of the scenes involving F/A-18s are stock footage of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.
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Each morning and evening the cast and crew made their way across the bay to location by way of the Red & White Fleet, a charter tour service, whose boats also carry the 4,000 tourists a day who visit Alcatraz.
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In the trailer, several shots appear to show Goodspeed firing an M-4 assault rifle. While Goodspeed does acquire an M-4 during the course of the film, he never actually fires it.
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Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais provided an uncredited re-write of Sir Sean Connery's dialogue.
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Goodspeed only swears twice in the film when he kills the last two villains. Throughout the rest of the film, his language is tame, saying words like "gosh" and "friggin", while other characters get the profanity laden lines.
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Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer first read the script for The Rock, while overseeing post-production on Crimson Tide (1995).
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Los Angeles based British screenwriting team Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais were brought in at Sir Sean Connery's request to re-write his lines, but ended up altering much of the film's dialogue.
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(At around 42 minutes) Sir Sean Connery's character, John Mason, insists on having a suite from the Fairmont Hotel, which is conveniently located at 950 Mason Street.
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Cinematographer John Schwartzman is one of Nicolas Cage's cousins. Schwartzman's step-mother, Talia Shire is Cage's aunt.
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The furnace on Alcatraz is made by "Bay Foundry", a reference to Michael Bay.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger was actually considered for Nicolas Cage's role in this film, not Sir Sean Connery's role. He also was considered for Nicolas Cage's role in Face/Off (1997), which would have paired him with Sylvester Stallone, who was considered for John Travolta's role in that same film.
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Average Shot Length = 2.6 seconds. Median Shot Length = 2.5 seconds. (About 2,900 shots).
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The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Sir Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage; and one Oscar nominee: Ed Harris.
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This marks as the second time Ed Harris and Michael Biehn share the screen. They also appeared together in The Abyss (1989), where their good guy-bad guy roles were reversed.
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Michael Bay worked closely with Ed Harris to develop his character as concretely as possible, later adding a sympathetic edge to Hummel.
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Film debut of Vanessa Marcil.
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At the beginning of the movie, General Hummel kisses his wife's gravestone, and leaves behind his Medal of Honor, the highest award in the armed forces of the U.S. It is bestowed on a member of the U.S. armed forces who distinguishes himself "conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity, at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States".
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Tony Scott was originally supposed to direct, but turned it down to direct The Fan (1996).
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This movie and Armageddon both directed by Michael Bay feature the song "Leaving on a Jet Plane."
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John C McGinley and Tony Todd previously appeared together as soldiers in Platoon (1986)
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When Captain Frye, a U.S. Marine, says, "Let's be all that we can be," he is using a U.S. Army recruiting slogan of the time, "Be All You Can Be."
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(at around eight minutes) The Beatles LP that Goodspeed buys is 'Meet The Beatles'.
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Nicolas Cage presented the Best Supporting Actor segment at the 1988 Oscars which Sir Sean Connery won Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Untouchables (1987).
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During the chase scene after Mason escapes from the hotel, he crashes through a truck delivering bottled water. In The Presidio (1988), Sir Sean Connery's character tracks a smuggling operation that involves the same type of truck.
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Writing team David Weisberg and Douglas Cook are childhood friends.
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Editor Richard Francis-Bruce would go on to edit Fifty Shades Darker (2017) & Fifty Shades Freed (2018), both shot by DP John Schwartzman.
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This marks the second time Michael Biehn plays a soldier with a shoulder-mounted body-cam. The first time was as a marine in Aliens.
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In the scene in which Paxton demands to know from Womack who Mason is, Paxton utters, "Yeah, I know all the cloak and dagger stories." This line was a direct reference to William Forsythe's earlier film Cloak & Dagger (1984).
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Xander Berkeley and Philip Baker Hall also appeared in Air Force One (1997). They don't share scenes in either movies, and their roles in The Rock (1996) are uncredited.
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Pat Skipper plays an uncredited U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander, working at the Pentagon in this film. He also played Bill Scully, Jr. in The X-Files (1993) who was Dana Scully's older brother. Bill Scully was also a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy, and also worked at the Pentagon.
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Nicolas Cage and Xander Berkeley previously appeared in Leaving Las Vegas (1995).
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As Stanley drives the Ferrari through the auto repair garage, he says, "Oh, well, why not?" He crashes through the window. On the outside of the glass it says "You wreck 'em. We fix 'em." a fitting message since he soon thereafter completely demolishes the car.
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General Hummel's wife was 48 when she died.
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Nicolas Cage and William Forsythe previously starred together in Raising Arizona (1987).
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Ed Harris, Xander Berkeley, and Todd Louiso also appeared in Apollo 13 (1995).
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This film was released in theaters on June 7, 1996, which was the 41st birthday of William Forsythe, who plays Ernest Paxton.
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Philip Baker Hall and Stuart Wilson would later appear in Enemy of the State (1998), also produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.
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The film contains many others who appeared in Oliver Stone films: Ed Harris, Nicolas Cage, John C. McGinley, and Tony Todd.
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Raymond Cruz and William Forsythe both appeared in The Substitute (1996) the same year The Rock (1996) was released.
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Raymond Cruz and Michael Biehn would later appear together in Havoc (2005).
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Nicolas Cage and Michael Biehn also starred together in Deadfall (1993).
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Four of the film's co-stars would appear in two films released in 1998. David Morse and John Spencer in The Negotiator (1998), and Bokeem Woodbine and Tony Todd in Caught Up (1998), respectively.
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In the movie, William Forsythe says that he knows all about the cloak and dagger stories, when he is talking to Womack about J. Edgar Hoover. Forsythe was in Cloak & Dagger (1984).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The scene in which FBI director Womack is thrown off the balcony, was filmed on location at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. The filming led to numerous calls to the hotel by people who saw a man dangling from the balcony.
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When Stanley and Carla are making love on the roof of their apartment, the Sir Elton John song "Rocket Man" is playing in the background. This is the same song that Stanley refers to later in the movie (at around one hour 55 minutes) when he kills Captain Darrow.
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Body Count: 25.
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This is the first time Nicolas Cage and Ed Harris play hero and villain. The second time is National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007).
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David Morse, who plays General Hummel's second in command, Major Tom Baxter, had already succeeded in unleashing a devastating virus as biologist Dr. Peters in Twelve Monkeys (1995).
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The first and the last casualties on Hummel's team, comes in the same way: both military men were victims of the nerve gas.
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Aside from the obvious references to Sir Elton John's "Rocket Man", there is another, more subtle astronaut-themed reference: Major Baxter's first name is Tom, hence Major Tom, the ill-fated astronaut from David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
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The second time Nicolas Cage and William Forsythe play compatriot-type antagonist to one another. The first was in Raising Arizona (1987).
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This marks the second meeting between Sir Sean Connery and Ed Harris, after Just Cause (1995). Even though Harris is still the bad guy, it is Connery this time who is the prisoner.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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