House of Dracula (1945) was one of the last of the Universal movies using the studio's classic cast of scary creatures. The idea was to wring a few more bucks with what they billed as a Monster Rally. In this one, Universal brought together Dracula, Wolfman, Frankenstein's Monster, a hunchback, and a mad scientist. Not as well known is that there were plans to pull in one more creature. Due to budget considerations, Kharis, the Mummy, was cut in the planning stages.
"Lost In Space" started out on CBS as a science fiction show being played straight despite cheesy special effects that increased the difficulty. Jonathan Harris, knowing his villanous Dr. Smith would be killed off soon having served his purpose of hurling the Robinsons off into parts unknown, began playing up the comedic aspect of his character. Ultimately, of course, he, the robot, and young Will Robinson (Billy Mumy) became the show's central characters, displacing Guy Williams, the father of the Robinsons.
John Carpenter's remake, The Thing (1982), reused the American camp destroyed at the end of the movie as a stand-in for the wrecked Norwegian camp seen in the first reel where the American scientists examined the outcome of similar destruction.
In ABC's early 60's TV show, "The Addams Family," Thing is, of course, the disembodied servant represented by a hand popping from a box. Ted Cassidy, who played the towering butler, Lurch, was usually the guy under the table providing the hand. Sometimes, he would use his left hand instead of his right to see if anyone noticed. It was Cassidy's first acting role.
Christopher Lee hated his lines so much in Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1966) that he played the Count silent. Later, Lee read the script for The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires (1974), a collaborative effort by Hammer and Shaw Brothers, and turned down the part of Dracula. Peter Cushing did play Van Helsing in that movie, however. The movie was one of Hammer's last and, despite some interesting moments and an ambitious plan to combine kung-fu action with classic Hammer horror, is rarely highly regarded.
William ("Star Trek") Shatner turned down the role of Dr Kildare to headline NBC's science fiction show as Captain James T. Kirk.
"Twilight Zone" is the only TV show in history to have an episode that won an Academy Award. It was the French film "Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." The same short film also aired on "The Alfred Hitchcock Presents," another first.
Bela Lugosi, who owed his fame to his star-making role in Dracula (1931), was buried in his Dracula cloak. Less well known is that he was also buried wearing his specially-made Dracula crest ring.
A clever device was used to enhance the apparent size of sharks attacking a diver's cage in Jaws (1975). The scaled-down cage was occupied by a 4'9" jockey.
Star Wars (1977) villain Darth Vader's Star Destroyer cost $100,000. It featured more than 250,000 portholes.
Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz (1939), was previously a kindergarten teacher. Her character was considered so frightening that many of her scenes were cut.