It's been 20 years since "Thelma and Louise" drove off cliff, and after all this time, the movie is still chicken soup for the recently dumped soul. Other girl power movies may try, (I'm looking at you "Boys on the Side"), but it takes more than a vintage car and a southern accent to match the original. The 1991 film, which starred Geena Davis, Susan Sarandon, and a little known actor named Brad Pitt, has just been re-released on Blu-Ray. But first let's look back on some movie trivia from the time of VCRs. Here are 20 facts about the great lady caper you probably don't know...
1. Geena Davis was rumored to have a fling with Brad Pitt on set. Months before the movie came out, gossip columnist Liz Smith wrote: "The rumor mill is grinding with the news that Geena and actor Brad Pitt are an item. [ed note: notice how he still needed descriptor before his name!] Pitt appears with her and Susan Sarandon in the upcoming film 'Thelma and Louise.' Davis has been described as 'flipping' for Pitt, as having gone 'bananas, peaches and pineapples' for this handsome guy." The rumor wasn't far-fetched, but anyone talking like that was.
2. Davis was accused of robbing the cradle, but it was actually Brad, then 27, who was the cradle robber. At the time, his girlfriend was 18-year-old Juliette Lewis.
3. Michelle Pfieffer dropped out of the role of Louise. Cher was offered the part of Thelma but turned it down.
4. Director Ridley Scott had hired a body double for Davis' steamy sex scenes with Pitt but Davis insisted on doing the scenes herself.
5. The movie was written by first time screenwriter Callie Khouri who gave the script to a friend for feedback. That friend gave the script to her boss, Ridley Scott, who directed the movie. Khouri ended up winning an Oscar for best original screenplay. Yay for friends!
6. Months after the film was released in 1991, a Gallup poll found women were the fastest growing market for handguns, with an estimated 15 million registered fire-arm owners.
7. The movie was under fire from some critics for man bashing. U.S. News & World Report's critic said the film's "explicit fascist theme, was wedded to the bleakest form of feminism." And a Newsday writer complained she "wouldn't send any impressionable young woman" to see the movie.
8. Susan Sarandon's response to the criticism: "I didn't hear anyone talking about female-bashing when Arnold Schwarzenegger put a bullet through a woman's head in `Total Recall,'" she told the Boston Globe.
9. Brad was more concerned about the fact that he was being compared to James Dean. He told the St. Louis Dispatch: "That James Dean stuff is pretty boring. He bores me and what he has become bores me and young actors trying to be like him bore me. It goes way beyond this film. It's a personal thing, I guess."
10. Billy Baldwin was supposed to play Pitt's part but he dropped out to be in "Backdraft."
11. They auditioned 400 guys for a replacement and when Pitt walked in, Ridley Scott brushed him off as too boyish. But casting director Lou DiGiamo liked his reading. "He's going to be the biggest actor of his age group, there's no doubt about it," DiGiamo told the press after the movie came out. Someone give that guy an Oscar.
12. One of the guys who auditioned and didn't get the role: George Clooney.
13. Tori Amos wrote "Me and Gun," the song about her own rape trauma, while watching the movie. She'd never spoken about it before.
14. In other '90s female singer-songwriter trivia, Enya dedicated an album to director Ridley Scott.
15. Five identical 1966 Thunderbirds were used in the film.
16. The script was originally written in 1979 and production almost started in 1981. When the movie debuted ten years later, the timeliness was as much a part of the critical reception as the production itself. Seen as both a reaction to the uber-macho male action heroes of the time and the Bush-Regan era, the movie became a symbol of the re-emerging women's movement of the '90s.
17. Catherine Keener had a part in the movie that ended up getting cut.
18. When the movie came out on DVD in 2003, it featured some racier sex scenes between Brad and Geena. In an interview about the re-release, he admits his "soldier saluted" during one take.
19. The ending of the movie was originally written to follow the car's tragic descent down the cliff, but Scott decided to freeze frame the car in mid-air. The studio was still resistant to such a depressing ending, but Scott won out.
20. There is a remake in the works called "Cowgirl Bandits" that's supposed to be the same movie, only with younger characters. Leighton Meester is linked to the project. How do we feel about this?
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