The Universal Film Manufacturing Company was officially incorporated in New York on this date in 1912. According to company legend, Carl Laemmle named his company Universal after seeing “Universal Pipe Fittings” written on a passing delivery wagon. To commemorate the 100th anniversary, we asked the good people at Universal to share some of their favorite facts about their films. Here are 11.
1. The final speech by Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird was done in one take.
2. The working title for E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial was A Boy's Life.
3. The word "dude" is used approximately 161 times in The Big Lebowski: 160 times spoken and once in text (in the credits for "Gutterballs" in the second dream sequence). The F-word or a variation thereof is used 292 times. The Dude says "man" 147 times—that’s nearly 1.5 times a minute.
4. The script Charlton Heston holds in the film Earthquake as he’s running lines with Genevieve Bujold is actually the script for Earthquake, and on the page of the scene being shot.
5. In Jurassic Park, a guitar string was used to make the water ripple on the dash of the Ford Explorer by attaching it to the underside of the dash beneath the glass.
6. In Field of Dreams, both Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are among the thousands of extras in the Fenway Park scene.
7. A Beautiful Mind was shot in sequence in order to help Russell Crowe better develop his character’s emotional and physical arc.
8. Back to the Future’s DeLorean time machine is actually a licensed, registered vehicle in the state of California. While the vanity license plate used in the film says "OUTATIME," the DeLorean's actual license plate reads 3CZV657.
9. The only physical damage made during the filming of National Lampoon’s Animal House was when John Belushi made a hole in the wall with a guitar. The actual Sigma Nu fraternity house (which subbed for the fictitious Delta House) never repaired it, and instead framed the hole in honor of the film.
10. With Meet the Fockers, the MPAA would not allow use of the name "Focker" unless the filmmakers could find an actual person with that last name.
11. In 1992’s Scent of Woman, Al Pacino repeatedly shouts "Hoo-ah." "Hoo-ah" comes from the military acronym "HUA," which stands for "Heard, Understood, Acknowledged."
For more movie memories, Universal set up a special Tumblr site for the centennial with never-before-seen materials from their archives.