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Fasten your seat belt. It's going to be a bumpy. To infinity and beyond, just love finding new places where it could have been a contender, I could have been somebody. Life was like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. So it's that time of the week again, where we go behind the scenes of another movie classic. Have a listen to this. Harry Amica is like a chick. I know what a marker is.
They don't want to deposit yours and have a bounce that annoys them. You, dear friend, the councilman calling you, leaving messages on your machine and you haven't gotten back to him. And he has been as a favor to look you up. So I follow you here and I see you in a window with the woman. Looks a lot like Karen Flores, the actress from Grotesque. You know, looking at me, Harry, why do I have to keep looking at you?
Because I want you to. So now you're going to get rough, huh? I make good. By tomorrow, you're going to break my legs. Come on, Harry Mace's you top Dick Allen. I'll cover those markers in the next 60 days at the most. If he doesn't like it, then that's his problem. So you want me to call you again to make movies, huh? I produced feature motion pictures, no TV. You mentioned grotesque before.
That happens to be grotesque. Part two that Karen Flores was in. She also starred in Three of My Slime Creatures releases. You may have seen them. Comedy and drama there, John Travolta and Gene Hackman and that scene from Get Shorty, and we are going to hear all about what went on behind the scenes from Behind the Gap films, television producer Bill Hughes.
Bill, good morning. Good morning. Pass. Even though Gene Hackman in that clip has such contempt for television way, he says, I only work on network television. But yeah, it's just so funny. And it's Tanso, you know, still 25 in October. It'll be 25 years old and it's still as fresh because it's a look under the carpet of the film business, the nastiness that goes on.
You know, it's it's just got the most amazing cast. John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo, Delroy Lindo, Danny DeVito, James Gandolfini, Dennis Farina and Bette Midler.
And they're all on top, top form. Nobody drops it, not even for a second. It's it's just sparkling dialogue. Funnily enough, in preproduction, it's based on an Elmore Leonard book by the same name. And Barry Sommerfeld was eventually brought on as director. Initially, MGM wanted Tarantino to direct it and Tarantino coming off the success of Pulp Fiction, of course, but he had other ideas. He turned it down, said he wasn't interested in doing an Elmore Leonard novel, and then turned around and bought the rights to Rum Punch and turned it into Jackie Brown.
So, you know, you never know who's doing what. But it was Tarantino to convince Travolta to take the part.
Yeah, because Travolta had made his comeback with Pulp Fiction and, you know, he was a hot property. So we you know, he did this one and he plays a character called Chili Palmer. The plot is complicated enough, but this guy is a low level loan shark. How does he end up in Hollywood?
Well, he is sent to Las Vegas by his bosses in the Mafia, in the Miami Mafia mob, and he sent to go and take care of a debt, which is really a complicated subplot, but it involves a guy who got on board a plane, felt sick, got off the plane.
The plane took off and crashed. The guy hadn't got back on the plane, but his wife identified his heart in the remains. So the insurance company paid up. However, he owed money to all the mob and they were chasing the money that he was after getting. John Travolta arrives to get that money back. Meanwhile, the head of the casino he's in asks him to go and get another debt that's old, which is Gene Hackman, this bee movie producer out in Hollywood.
And Travolta heads to Hollywood. Travolta has always wanted to be in Hollywood, has seen himself in the movies. He he's addicted to movies. He knows movies backwards, forwards. And to illustrate that, we see him in a cinema watching an Orson Welles movie. And he's reciting every line of dialogue. And it's just a fabulous scene where Travolta is getting into the character. And Travolta was offered this part before Pulp Fiction turned it down. When he made Pulp Fiction, Tarantino convinced him to do it.
So he then changed his mind and did it for three and a half million dollars, which in 1995 was a serious change. And, yeah, the risks. But he was up against serious competition because the yeah.
The A listers that were considered who were there, Warren Beatty, Michael Keaton, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman and Bruce Willis, and they all turned down, which is just mad.
But you know, the character of that Dustin Hoffman wanting him to play Chili Palmer was quite funny because Elmore Leonard had envisaged the actor that Danny DeVito plays in the film. And he had envisaged him because he'd hated Dustin Hoffman, had really bad feelings about him and wrote this actor was short and had a short man complex.
So there's a whole lot of double dealing going on when you're reading. And and the script is so vicious because everybody is sticking the knife in everybody else's back. Nobody is comes out of this as clean, as pure as. No, everybody's got it is it is dramatic.
There's a good yarn attached here and there's a suspense and a twist and all the rest. But it is a comedy. You have another clip for us. Will you introduce this?
I will. So it Travolta has decided that he is. Coming into the movie business, and he's going to work with this big movie director, Gene Hackman and Gene Hackman, leading lady and Travolta end up in the bed and then they head to a lunch meeting with Gene Hackman. And as they arrive at the restaurant for this meeting with Gene Hackman, they see the two other hoodlums have beat them to it. Delroy Lindo, who is chasing Gene Hackman for money that he's owed, and his meathead muscle play called Bear, played by James Gandolfini.
So the Rene Russo character and the John Travolta character are suddenly addicted to each other's knowledge of film. They're walking into the into the restaurant. They're talking about who said what and what movie and the rest then unfolds.
I'm positive it was Susan Hayward. Oh, no, it was Rita Hayworth and Glen Ford. Excuse me. Wait here. I'd like you to meet my associate here, stuntman, champion, weightlifter, as you might have noticed, throws things out. I don't think you'll turn around and go back to your stuntman and a good man. Good. Some bad guy has such a make you feel if you can get out of here before I take my coat off and clean up the floor with you and your pretty little custom, you don't know me.
You only think you do. Oh, sinister stuff.
Now, the extraordinary thing is that Ben Stiller was in the movie but wasn't.
Yeah, he had filmed a scene, an unusual little cameo, where he's working for the Gene Hackman character. He's directing one of his big movie scenes and it's in a graveyard.
But Barry Sonnenfeld in the edit felt that to keep this scene in it straight from the main story and it because the film is really tight, that's the great thing. You can't take your eyes off it because there's just something happening all the time. And he just felt that even though this was the funniest scene he had shot for the movie, it didn't fit in the movie. So it was taken out. But it can be found on DVD bonus material and it can be found online on YouTube.
I went on search online last night, just Googled Ben Stiller, Get Shorty and up it popped and I watched it. And it's a very funny scene.
Yeah. And he's he's a wiseass young director who thinks he knows everything. The old dog for the hard road is giving him grief. It's very, very, very funny.
How did it all do awards and cash? Well, it was it was a huge success at the box office, like nearly one hundred and twenty million it took worldwide. And which for that kind of genre was was a really good result. But if it went on, so many nominations came in for Dennis Farina, who plays Balboni and is in the comedy awards and stuff. But John Travolta went on to win the Golden Globe for best actor in a musical or comedy.
And he also it also got nominated for Best Film, musical comedy and the Golden Globes, and it got nominated for best ensemble cast at the Screen Actors Guild. So it did really well. And at the American Comedy Awards, it cleaned up. So it was a really popular film, very, very well-liked, extremely successful at the box office. But what a cast and such a neat sneer at Hollywood. Gene Hackman character Gene Hackman channels every, as he said, asshole you ever met.
He channels them into the character of Harry Zimm and that most of them were agents. And that's who he's channeling when he's playing this disgusting character called terrorism. You just have to watch them to believe him. It's great.
Well, 25 years on, it's a 1995 movie. It really does stand the test of time. It's called Get Shorty. Find it and watch it. You will enjoy a television producer with mind the films. Bill Hughes, thank you very much for joining us.