Jump to: Spoilers (10)
Despite playing his mother in the film, K Callan is actually over 6 years younger than Christopher Plummer.
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The police detective heard on the television series Marta's sister is watching is voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (Billed in the film's Credits as Detective Hardrock) Gordon-Levitt has appeared in all five of the films Rian Johnson has directed.
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This is Frank Oz's first movie in over 20 years that he's actually in it in person, and not a voiceover.
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M. Emmet Walsh replaced Ricky Jay, who died on November 24, 2018, during production. A photo of Jay is visible for a few seconds just before Walsh first appears on camera.
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The name of Christopher Plummer's character, Harlan Thrombey, is oddly close and possibly an homage to the title of a popular 1980's 'Choose Your Own Adventure' book by Edward Packer entitled, "Who Killed Harlowe Thrombey?"
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The song Benoit Blanc sings while waiting in the car is "Losing My Mind" from the Stephen Sondheim musical "Follies".
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Several characters refer to a (fictional) Hallmark movie starring Danica McKellar and titled "Deadly by Surprise." Though McKellar was not asked if her name could be used in Knives Out, once she saw the movie she was delighted by the inclusion. She posted on Instagram, "What is life?? You guys, my name - and Hallmark - are talked about in this movie! First of all, Knives Out is the most fun I've had in a movie theater in a LONG time - the movie comes out today so GO SEE IT! It's a smart, fast-paced, funny mystery that keeps you guessing till the end. And... as a crazy little bonus, *yours truly* is mentioned not once, but twice... and as part of the plot! I believe the first reference is something like, "Well I saw Danica McKellar in this Hallmark movie and..." And then she proceeds to describe a crazy plot about a woman trying to poison her husband? I think? After I heard my name, I was so tickled, it was like a light grenade went off for a second so I'm not 100% sure, ha! Huge thank-you to the writer/director Rian Johnson for not only making a truly awesome whodunnit, but for including me in its lore. Everybody go see it!! ." In response, Rian Johnson posted, "WE LOVE YOU DANICA!!!!"
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Both the title (Knives Out) and working title (Morning Bell) are tracks from the Radiohead album Amnesiac (2001)
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When Benoit Blanc is first seen by the audience, he is sitting in the study listening to Lieutenant Elliot question the Thrombey family members, playing the same note on the piano at seemingly random intervals. The piano notes are actually not random at all; after Blanc hits the piano key Lieutenant Elliot always asks the same question (What time did you arrive at the house). Hitting the piano key was Blanc's way of signaling to Elliot when he wanted him to ask the question.
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Daniel Craig's second time affecting a southern accent, the first time being for his character Joe Bang in Logan Lucky (2017).
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Rian Johnson has described Daniel Craig's character as an "American Poirot". Given that, it is a bit of an irony that Craig himself isn't American at all, but British.
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Jacob Thrombey (Jaeden Martell), the preppy grandson in the film who's always on his phone, was a character influenced by the "trolls" and "manbabies" that voiced their criticisms online over writer/director Rian Johnson's previous film, Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017).
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Rian Johnson's first time producing one of his movies.
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The film secured a $40m (US) funding at TIFF in September 2018.
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This movie marks the second time Michael Shannon plays Jaeden Martell's father after Midnight Special (2016).
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Jaeden Martell played a younger version of Chris Evans's character in Playing It Cool (2014) and later, Evans ended up playing Martell's father in the series Defending Jacob, marking this movie the third time they have been in the same project.
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The sailor figure at the foot of Harlan's staircase is similar to Jolly Jack Tarr the Jovial Sailor in mystery writer Andrew Wyke's (Laurence Olivier) home in Anthony Shaffer's "Sleuth"
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This is the second consecutive film by Rian Johnson to feature Frank Oz, following Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017).
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Rian Johnson's first movie shot digitally
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In January 2019, Rian Johnson tweeted a series of photos of the posters that he had hanging in the studio as he edited Knives Out to serve as inspiration for cutting the movie. These were posters for: Agatha Christie's Evil Under the Sun (1982; starring Peter Ustinov, Diana Rigg, and Maggie Smith); Murder by Death (1976; starring Peter Falk, Alec Guinness, Elsa Lanchester, David Niven, and Peter Sellers); Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile (1978; starring Peter Ustinov, Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, and Angela Lansbury); The Last of Sheila (1973; starring Dyan Cannon, James Mason, and Raquel Welch); Deathtrap (1982; starring Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, and Dyan Cannon); Clue (1985; starring Eileen Brennan, Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, and Martin Mull); Gosford Park (2001, starring Maggie Smith, Ryan Phillippe, Michael Gambon, and Kristin Scott Thomas); Agatha Christie's The Mirror Crack'd (1980; starring Elizabeth Taylor, Angela Lansbury, Tony Curtis, Rock Hudson, and Kim Novak); the London production of the stage musical Something's Afoot (1977; starring Sally Smith); Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express (1974; starring Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, and Ingrid Bergman); The Private Eyes (1980; starring Tim Conway and Don Knotts); and Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019; starring Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, and Kathryn Newton). All of these are murder mysteries and/or detective stories, though some are satires of the genre. The screenplay for The Last of Sheila was cowritten (with Anthony Perkins) by Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim, who also wrote "Losing My Mind," the song that Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) sings some of during Knives Out. The Last of Sheila was Sondheim's only movie script.
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The film contains at least two Sherlock Holmes references (use of the word "afoot" and Marta is referred to as Watson); Christopher Plummer played Sherlock Holmes in the film Murder By Decree.
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This is Rian Johnson's first mystery movie since Brick (2005).
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Spanish dub for Angela Lansbury is from esteemed television, film and voice-over veteran Beatriz Aguirre who passed away roughly two months prior to film's release.
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This film is technically the 2nd to feature Chris Evans and Katherine Langford, after Avengers Endgame. However, Langford's appearance as an older version of Tony Stark's daughter Morgan only came in a deleted scene released via the Disney+ streaming service. Both films released in 2019.
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At one point Chris Evans's character refers to Daniel Craig's character as "CSI KFC". Similarly, in Daniel Craig's recent film Logan Lucky, a newscaster referred to the group as "Oceans 711".
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In one scene Angela Lansbury appears on a TV playing Jessica Fletcher from Murder, She Wrote, who of course is another very famous detective.
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This is Daniel Craig and Christopher Plummer's first collaboration since The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011).
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This is the second movie in which Daniel Craig and Christopher Plummer star in a murder mystery thriller, with Craig portraying the reporter/detective character. The first being The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
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Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) references the title when he says "When people get desperate, the knives come out."
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This is Michael Shannon and Chris Evans' first collaboration since The Iceman (2012).
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One of two movies that were released theatrically in 2019 in which (despite the movie not being a musical) one or more characters sing a song from a Stephen Sondheim musical. In Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story, the character played by Adam Driver sings "Being Alive" and the character played by Scarlett Johansson sings "You Could Drive a Person Crazy," both from Sondheim's 1970 musical Company. In Knives Out, the character played by Daniel Craig sings part of "Losing My Mind" from Sondheim's 1971 musical "Follies."
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Rian Johnson directed Daniel Craig's wife Rachel Weisz in The Brothers Bloom (2008).
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Rian Johnson wrote & directed Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017), while Daniel Craig had an uncredited cameo as a Stormtrooper in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015).
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The name of the character Harlan Thrombey is based upon the American mystery author Harlan Coben.
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Both Daniel Craig and Michael Shannon have starred in at least one Sam Mendes movie. Craig was in Skyfall (2012), Road to Perdition (2002), and Spectre (2015), and Shannon was in Revolutionary Road (2008).
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In the cafe scene with Marta and Ransom, the music in the background is a Larry Norman track called "Without Love, You Ain't Nothin'."
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The operating system on Harlan Thrombey's laptop is Windows XP.
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At various points in the movie, members of the Thrombey family refer to Marta as being from Cuba, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil. Though it is insinuated that Marta herself was born in the United States (by characters stating that only her mother is "an illegal"), Marta never corrects them, nor is it ever reliably stated where her family originated.
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The first time Marta is seen at the Thrombey house, she is looking upwards at the house and members of the family from the driveway. In the last scene, the surviving members of the Thrombey family are all standing in the same spot in the driveway, looking up at Marta on the balcony, nicely signifying that everyone's roles have reversed.
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Harlan Thrombey asks Marta how she always beats him at go, she responds "you're playing to win, I'm playing to make a pretty pattern." This nicely foreshadows Marta's arc; while the Thrombey family members try to lie, cheat, and manipulate their way inheriting Harlan's estate, Marta is the only person who repeatedly attempts to do the right thing even at her own expense. She ends up inheriting everything, thus, she "wins."
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When Richard (Don Johnson) finds the empty letter for Linda written by Harlan (Christopher Plummer), he thinks that the old man was trying to trick him. However, at the end, Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis) makes it readable by heating it. This is an old children's trick accomplished by writing a letter in invisible ink, such as lemon juice. When the letter is heated, the organic acids in the normally invisible juice become brown, and the text becomes legible. Linda mentioned earlier that she and her father had their own way of communicating via games he used to set up for her; so where Richard thought he was being fooled, Linda immediately knew what to do with the paper.
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Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) foreshadows the ending when he mentions to Marta (Ana de Armas) that the carefree lifestyle of his grandson Hugh 'Ransom' Drysdale (Chris Evans) makes him unable to tell a prop knife from a real one. In the climax, Ransom attacks Marta with a knife that he impulsively grabbed from the knife chair, only to find out that it is a prop knife.
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Being that Benoit Blanc is referred to as the last of the great sleuths, there are many references to Sherlock Holmes. Blanc uses the word 'afoot', which is a reference to Sherlock's catchphrase 'the game is afoot', even uttering this phrase verbatim and calling Marta 'Watson'. Also, the major clue regarding which people Harlan's dogs will bark at is a reference to the Sherlock short story 'The Silver Blaze', in which the dogs' silence suggested that the culprit was a party they knew.
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In the restaurant scene, "Sundown" by Gordon Lightfoot is playing softly in the background. It's chorus says "sundown, you'd better take care, if I find you creeping 'round my backstairs," referring to both of the people in that scene whom have used the outside ladder to get to the secret door that lead to the study.
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Lieutenant Elliott refers to the house as being like a "Clue board." The standard board for the game Clue features secret passageways, which later play a part in the resolution of the film's mystery.
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At the beginning of the car chase, Ransom refers to Marta as "Baby Driver", a reference to Edgar Wright's movie of the same name. Baby Driver was a passion project of Wright's which he made after departing the production of Marvel's Ant Man over creative differences after writing the original screenplay. Rian Johnson made Knives Out under similar circumstances having originally been announced as writing the screenplay for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in the wake of writing and directing The Last Jedi. Johnson then stated subsequently that he had no involvement in its writing. He went on to make Knives Out instead.
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Naming Chris Evans' character Hugh was a joke as the movie is a WHOdunnit.
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