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Bruce Almighty (2003) Poster

Trivia

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Instead of having the usual 555 prefix used in movies and television, a phone number used by God (Morgan Freeman) was an actual phone number in many U.S. area codes, causing owners of that phone number to be bombarded with calls. For the video release, this number was changed to 555-0123. The phone number used by Bruce later in the film was used by a radio station in Colorado and a woman in Florida, both of whom were deluged with calls wanting to talk with God. The producers bought these two phone numbers used in the film to stop the problems.
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The monkey used in the alley scene is the same monkey that was featured in Outbreak (1995) and that played Marcel on the television series Friends (1994).
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Jim Carrey often insisted on doing upwards of thirty takes of some scenes.
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Egypt banned the film for its "sacrilegious content."
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The address for God's company, 77256 23rd Street, spells Psalm 23 when dialed on a phone.
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At one point, Jennifer Aniston was shooting this movie, Friends (1994), and Along Came Polly (2004) at the same time.
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Even though the storyline is set in Buffalo, New York, the town square is shot in the Universal backlot. The set is the same iconic set used in the Back to the Future trilogy, where the Hill Valley clocktower still sits. In the riot scene, a full shot of the clocktower can clearly be seen.
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The movie is set in Buffalo, New York because Jim Carrey grew up in Toronto, Ontario, just north of Buffalo, and watched WKBW-TV Channel 7 Eyewitness News as a kid. In those days, Irv Weinstein anchored Eyewitness News and he was famous for his staccato delivery and use of alliterative phrases like "Pistol Packing Punks" and "Buffalo Blaze Busters." Irv Weinstein was the first news anchor to use the phrase, "It's 11 o'clock, do you know where your children are?"
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The movie is based on the 1991 book "Almighty Me" by Robert Bausch. The rights to the book were sold to Hollywood Films, a division of Disney Studios. The book and its author are uncredited in the film.
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Jim Carrey actually owns a Saleen S7 similar to the one he drives in the movie.
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At the party where Bruce is celebrating his new anchor position, he can be seen to momentarily lean on a golden calf. This is a direct reference to the story of Moses, and the exodus where the disbelieving Israelites incurred the wrath of God by forging a golden calf, and worshipping the same as a pagan god, while Moses received the Ten Commandments. This is obviously due to Bruce misusing his new found powers, and showing no respect for others.
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God was originally meant to be played by Robert De Niro.
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Morgan Freeman, who plays God in this movie, is wearing a New York Yankees hat. A popular phrase in baseball is "Even God is a Yankee fan".
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Director Tom Shadyac and Jim Carrey's third collaboration. The first two were Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) and Liar Liar (1997).
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A crane was blown over by strong winds during shooting. It was reported that Jennifer Aniston, who was standing with her back to the crane, didn't see it toppling towards her and Jim Carrey pushed her out of the way in time to avert a serious accident. Jim Carrey subsequently played down the extent of the peril and said that the stories were exaggerated. Jennifer Aniston has since denied that she was even there.
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When Bruce looks at Grace's prayers some of them can be seen on screen in two shots - all of her prayers and filtered to include only Bruce's. In the first shot, only one of the 21 visible prayers are close to being for Grace's own benefit: "Please Help The Day Care Kids Listen Better." The visible prayers in the first shot are: Please Watch Over My Sister Please Help Day Care Center Please Keep Debbie's Kids Safe Please Give My Day Care Parents Wisdom Please Be With Mom During This Time Please Keep Our Country Safe Please Help Bruce To Be Happy Please Watch Over My Day Care Kids Please Guide Our President's Decisions Please Give Debbie The Energy She Needs Please Help Mom Stay Healthy Please Help Blood Drive Reach Their Goal Please Help Bruce Make Good Decisions Please Help The Day Care Kids Listen Better Please Help Debbie Be Happy Please Help My Relationship With Bruce Please Watch Over Mom Please Help Debbie And Bruce Get Along Please Watch Over Martin From Day Care Please Help Mom Be Happy Please Help Bruce To Have Confidence
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Among the many religious and Biblical allusions in the film are: When exiting God's "office," Bruce walks right over the puddle that drenched his leg on the way in. At the diner, while parting his tomato soup à la the Red Sea, the background music is the theme from The Ten Commandments (1956). His prayer email service is called "Yahweh.com," a reference to God's Biblical name. At the party celebrating the anchor position, Bruce turns water into wine, and poses next to a statue of a golden calf. When Bruce is about to get his job back, he tells Jack that he (Bruce) needed some time to reassess his goals and find his true self. Jack, astonished, asks him, "You did that in a day?" Then Bruce says, "Imagine what I would do in seven," which references the book of Genesis.
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When Jim Carrey first meets God (Morgan Freeman), the elevator is out of order, and has to use the stairs. This is a nod to the song "Stairway to Heaven".
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Morgan Freeman portrays God in this film. In real life, he is an agnostic.
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At one point in this film, Jim Carrey makes a dead-on impression of Clint Eastwood, as his famous character Dirty Harry Callahan. Jim Carrey played Johnny Squares in The Dead Pool (1988), which was the final installment of the Dirty Harry franchise. Also, the part where the back windshield is shot out is probably a nod to the second Dirty Harry movie, Magnum Force (1973), in which one of the motorcycle cops shoots out the back window of Callahan's car in an attempt to kill him.
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When Jim Carrey turns on the television in the beginning, the man who appears is John Murphy, the real-life Sports Director for WKBW-TV in Buffalo.
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Several scenes were written, and can be read in the script (available online), but didn't make the final film. Some made the deleted scenes on the DVD, but some did not. These include: Bruce answering prayers individually, including giving a nerdy boy strength, helping some prisoners escape, and giving a man a bigger penis. (On the DVD); a longer "Little Less Conversation" montage, featuring Bruce finding Bigfoot (on the DVD), him struggling to take a bath due to automatically walking on the water's surface, and him making zoo pandas mate by making them insatiably horny (not on the DVD); the mansion where Bruce throws the party is revealed to have been the new home Bruce has bought (on the DVD); right before his first live broadcast, Bruce uses his powers to "pleasure" Susan Ortega (not on the DVD); Grace's boobs grow twice more (not on the DVD); Grace's boobs go back to normal after she prays for them to (Not on the DVD).
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In the scene where Bruce pulls up to God's office, the outside of the building reads "Omni Presents," referring to the Islamic, Jewish, and Christian beliefs of the state of God's omnipresence.
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Eva Mendes was originally cast as Susan Ortega, but had to be replaced due to scheduling conflicts.
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On May 27, 2010, the section of the Universal backlot that burned down, near where parts of Bruce Almighty (2003) was filmed, finally re-opened, with the sets completely dressed as they were.
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Jack Nicholson turned down the role of God, which Morgan Freeman then accepted. Nicholson and Freeman appeared in The Bucket List (2007).
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The name of the weather man (Dallas Coleman) and the name of the sportscaster (Fred Donohue) are both combinations of famous Los Angeles area newscasters, weather men Dallas Raines and Fritz Coleman and sportscasters Fred Roggin and Todd Donoho.
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This is the second film that Jim Carrey does run in slow motion to the theme from Chariots of Fire (1981) playing since Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000).
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When Bruce is mopping the floor, Morgan Freeman's character, God says "Alrighty then" which can be linked back to Carrey's previous role as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994).
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Jim Carrey makes a Clint Eastwood impression in this film. Earlier in his career, Carrey appeared in Eastwood's final Dirty Harry movie, The Dead Pool (1988). Carrey also did Eastwood impressions earlier in his stand up career. Another film in which he does an Eastwood impression is The Mask (1994), where he attacks a group of thieves at a nightclub with fake guns.
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Mark O'Keefe and Steve Koren's original screenplay was instantly snapped up by Universal.
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In the movie, Bruce compares himself to an ant, while God is "a kid with a magnifying glass." Jim Carrey makes the almost exact statement in I Love You Phillip Morris (2010), where he plays a gay con artist, based on actual events.
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Bruce's archenemy in this movie, Evan Baxter, becomes the protagonist of the sequel 'Evan Almighty'.
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Jim Carrey and Morgan Freeman both played DC comic characters in the Batman films. Jim Carrey played the Riddler in Batman Forever (1995) while Morgan Freeman would go on 10 years later to play Lucius Fox in The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005-2012).
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The Elvis Presley song heard in this movie (A Little Less Conversation) is actually remixed by Junkie XL, a Dutch DJ who's also a movie composer and even composed the score for another movie starring Jim Carrey: "Sonic the Hedgehog" (2020).
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In one scene where Bruce is thinking of different ways to organize all the prayers he has been receiving, he tries putting them on little yellow post-it pads. We then see the entire room as well as Bruce and Sam covered in small yellow post it note pads. Suits made of lightweight material were custom made for both the dog and the actor. Post-it notes were stuck all over the outfits and the crew did a good job covering the room. The camera angles helped also. The suit was put on the dog right before the camera rolled and taken off right afterwards.
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Jack Nicholson was offered the role of God. He coincidentally played the Devil in The Witches of Eastwick (1987).
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This movie marks the third Tom Shadyac film with a reference to Jimmy Hoffa. The first was by Raynor Scheine in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994), and the second was by Dave Chappelle in The Nutty Professor (1996).
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The supercar driven by Bruce Nolan later in the film is a Saleen S7. This car is often confused with the McLaren F1.
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Sam is an American Pitbull Terrier.
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A mixed breed, 10-month-old dog named Buster, played the part of Sam. Another mixed breed dog named Bonnie was on call just in case Buster needed a break. Both dogs came from a shelter in North Hollywood, California. The director, Tom Shadyac fell in love with the dogs. After the scenes were over he would get down on the ground and play with the dog and give it hugs and kisses. It became known as the "love reward" and he would ask the trainers permission and then present them with some well-deserved hugs and kisses. After the scenes with Jim Carrey were over, the actor would also get down on the floor and play with the dog. The last day of filming the dog action brought sadness to most of the cast and crew as they all gathered to say goodbye to their canine co-stars.
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Grace finds Sam standing next to a puddle on the floor. She grabs his collar and leads him to the door and puts him outside. Believe it or not, this was one of the hardest scenes to film. Sam wanted to play so every time the actress grabbed his collar, the dog would begin to wiggle and snuggle up to the actress. She would break character and begin to encourage the dog, which usually brought the director onto the set for some hugs and kisses. Finally this simple scene was filmed.
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Sam however, actually used the bathroom in a few scenes. He is seen standing next to the toilet urinating, using his nose to put the seat down and his paw to flush before exiting with some toilet paper stuck to a paw. Later when Grace walks into the bathroom, she finds Sam sitting on the toilet, holding a newspaper in his paws. The toilet that was used is a real toilet, but inopperative and lower to the ground than most. A platform was built inside the bowl for the dog to rest his front paws on when standing at it. A trainer stood off camera cuing the dog to look in various directions and used verbal cues to get the dog to nudge the seat with its nose and flush the toilet with its paw. The seat was rigged with a spring controlling it down easily. For Sam reading read a newsparer A special metal holder was attached to the toilet to hold the newspaper and was padded for Sam's comfort. The paper holder not only held the newspaper but had special supports for Sam's front paws. The dog was taught to sit on the toilet and to rest his front paws on the paper holder with tape holding the newprint in place. A piece of doubled sided tape was used to attach the piece of toilet paper to Sam's paw. Sam nudged the bathroom door open with the help of a crew member who was standing out of camera sight.
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At the end of the film, Bruce brings Sam to a small piece of grass near a tree. He lifts his leg to show Sam what to do but Sam just digs in some nearby dirt. Bruce's solution is to bring the couch outside to Sam. Later we see a close up of Sam peeing on the cushion and the camera pans back to show Bruce holding a cushion from the couch up against the tree. A treat was hidden in the dirt before filming began to encourage the dog to dig on cue from his trainer. When the dog pees on the couch, the tube was again hidden in a cushion, however a computer enhanced the urination when Sam pees on the cushion against the tree.
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In another scene, Sam changes the channel on the television by hitting the remote control, which is sitting on the coffee table. The remote control was secured to the table and Sam was cued off screen to walk to the remote and "foot it."
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For the monkey coming out of the guys butt, Two Capuchin Monkeys were used for this part. Levi was the monkey used to get the close up reaction shots and Spencer was used for the moving shots. The special effects department built a fake body frame that was supported by bars and dressed it like the actor. A special padded platform was built inside the pants near the torn seam for the monkey to sit on. The seam in the back of the pants was torn and Velcro sewn on to hold it together. A trainer placed Levi on the seat just before filming began and another trainer stood on the other side of the pants just off camera. When that trainer called to the monkey, it pulled the seam open and the trainer would hold up different toys to get different reactions. Levi was also the monkey who reacted to the fight in the alley by covering his mouth. The trainer put the monkey on its mark and stood off camera using hand signals to get the monkey to cover its mouth. Then three trainers stood around the monkey on the couch and tossed a tennis ball back and forth to get Levi to look in various directions. The actor ran down the alley and one trainer released the monkey who ran down the alley towards the actor but stopped when it reached the dumpster where another trainer was hiding with a treat. Spencer was later filmed jumping up and down on specially made padded platforms. This was inserted into the film later to make it appear as if the monkey was leaping back up into the rear end.
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Bruce lives in apartment 304. The number 7 features often during the film. 3+0+4=7
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Bruce's car is a 1975 Datsun 280Z 2+2 [S30].
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American Humane Association monitored the animal action. No animals were harmed of this film. (AHA 00395)
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A Bollywood remake has been made in 2008 with the name of " God Tussi Great Ho" starring Salman Khan in the role of Jim Carrey And Amitabh Bachhan as God.
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Jim Carrey and Steve Carell later stared in Horton Hears a Who! (2008) as Horton and the Mayor respectively.
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The running gag in the film is that Bruce is having trouble getting Sam to go to the bathroom outside. Sam has no problem lifting his leg on the couch or chair, but just stands and looks at Bruce when he is brought outside. There are several scenes where the dog is shown lifting his leg and beginning to urinate on the couch or chair. Bruce picks the dog up and carries it outside as the dog continues to pee. Bruce sets the dog down outside on a small area, which is mostly dirt and a tree. A trainer placed the dog on its mark next to the chair or couch and a tube was engineered under the cushions to pump water making it appear as if the dog was peeing. Another trainer stood off camera and used verbal cues to get the dog to lift its leg. A crew member stood off camera and controlled the water flow. The actor approached the dog from behind and picked it up. The cameraman turned off the camera and Jim Carrey began to play with the dog and give it treats. The actor then had a copper tube placed up his pant leg. The tube came out of the top of his pants and was bent up to fit between the dogs dangling legs. The actor held the dog close to his chest, belly side up. Some colored water was pumped through the tube to give the appearance that Sam was still urinating as they go down stairs and outside by the tree.
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When Bruce goes into the street to retrieve his beeper, he holds up his hand and tells Sam to stay on the sidewalk as he walks into the street with cars approaching. Two trainers were standing off camera using hand signals and the few cars that passed by in the street were aware of both the dog and the actor.
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As Bruce and Grace wrestle on the floor, Sam jumps up from his bed and looks at them. A trainer placed the dog on the bed and stood off camera using a combination of verbal cues and hand signals. This was filmed separately from the actors wrestling on the floor and inserted into the scene in post production. Since both actors played with the dog between takes, the dog was very comfortable around them.
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If the control room director who tells Evan to read the teleprompter seems somewhat familiar it is because he played the Ferengi character on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993).
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A reporter is doing a piece on Hank, the police dog at a K-9 Training Center, played by a German Shepherd named Kane. This dog is trained in Schutzhund, a German method of training. Aspects of the training include overcoming obstacles, agility trials and attacking a person wearing a padded sleeve. A stuntman wore the protective sleeve and a trainer doubled as the police officer that releases the dog. The dog runs after the stunt man, attacks his arm and gets a reward - the protective sleeve as a play toy. Later Hank is shown digging in some dirt, at a crime scene and pulling on a foot sticking out nearby. Bruce pets the dog and gives it a bone. A treat was buried in the dirt to encourage the dog to dig. The fake foot was made by the special effects department and was used as a toy right before filming began to help encourage the dog to pull on it. Later, if you stay until all of the credits have been shown, you will see Jim Carrey wearing the protective covering and playing with Hank. This was filmed during a break with the trainer standing just off camera.
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Bruce is driving along by the lake on the night he is fired, and he has an accident by driving into a lamppost. At the end of the film, he's walking by the same lake in torrential rain and is involved in another accident where he gets hit by a truck.
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Kevin Hart turned down the role of Bruce Nolan.
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Morgan Freeman and Phillip Baker Hall would later appear in The Sum of all fears (2002).
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Bruce goes into a diner and orders some soup. As he looks into his bowl and uses his new powers to part his soup like the Red Sea, if you look closely a cockroach is crawling on the table nearby. A wrangler put the insect on the table and it began to naturally crawl across the table. The wrangler later collected the insect.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In Bruce Almighty (2003), like in The Mask (1994), when Jim Carrey's character is exploring his newfound powers, he happens to pass a back alley that contains a group that gave his character grief earlier in the film. In both instances, he uses his new powers to exact revenge on the group, and they run away terrified.
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During the scene where Bruce is getting ready to read the news, Jack tells Bruce that the Sabres have won the Stanley Cup. In reality, the Sabres have never won the Stanley Cup. They made the Stanley Cup Finals twice: once in 1975 and again in 1999, but lost to the Philadelphia Flyers and Dallas Stars respectively.
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See also

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

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