April Fool’s Day Goes to the Movies

janet-leighApril Fool’s Day has become too damn predictable. It feels like many newspapers write the fake stories so they can then include them in next year’s round-up of fake stories published on April Fool’s Day. The Onion spoiled it for everybody. Still, in celebration of one of our more moronic holidays, The Quietus’ David Moats rounds up the top ten Hollywood hoaxes. Included are Joaquin Phoenix’s rap career, Stanley Kubrick‘s rumored involvement in the moon landings, and The Blair Witch Project. It’s in an annoying gallery-type thingy, but here’s one of our favorites:

Hitchcock went to great lengths to ensure that audiences were genuinely surprised by the infamous shower scene, which abruptly halts the Janet Leigh plotline and switches to the main act. He even went so far as to enforce a ‘no late entry’ policy. No one would have suspected that Hitchcock would kill off the top-billing actress only part way through. Although it happened because of scheduling conflicts, for the trailer he ended up filming a different actress – Vera Miles – being killed, which only confused people further. More of a good-natured deception that a true hoax – Hitchcock was pretty much doing the audience a favour.

Any other Hollywood hoaxes? The career of Alan Smithee? Hitchcock’s earlier use of a flashback which wasn’t entirely the truth? The rumors that a ghost had been captured on film in Three Men and a Little Lady? How about the midget who supposedly hung himself in the background in The Wizard of Oz? That old saw about early film audiences fleeing L’arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat/The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station in 1896? Your contributions are welcome.

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