Films are released every day. The industry is enormous and that means that films can become a major success; storylines that can be copied or inspired by the same thing. What are the factors to such success? Sometimes it can be improvisation by the actors, or inspiration from real-life events.

Here are 6 film facts that made films the success that they are today.

1. What a creep, don’t you think?

You will probably know the famous film characters Norman Bates (Psycho), Leatherface (Texas Chainsaw) and Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs & Hannibal). The thing is, these film characters are all inspired on the same man; Ed Gein († 1984). Gein was also known as The Butcher of Plainfield and was a serial killer and body snatcher, who was mostly active during the ‘50s . Knowing these characters were based on a real person, makes the things they do even scarier don’t you think?

Click here to see the trailer of Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) & Silence of the Lambs

2. Knowing your fate

Alan Rickman († 2016), famous for portraying the roles of Severus Snape (Harry Potter series), Hans Gruber (Die Hard), Sheriff of Nottingham (Robin Hood 1991) and Harry (Love Actually). Rickman portrait the role of Snape in all the eight Harry Potter films. J.K. Rowling told Rickman what the fate of this character would be in the very beginning of shooting the series. The last books hadn’t even come out yet at that time. Rickman was the only one of the cast who knew what would happen and because of this, he would often have quarrels with the directors on how he acted in certain scenes. This was because the directors were unaware of Snape's fate and didn’t incorporate that into their vision.

Click here to see an interview with Alan Rickman and Chris Columbus about the secret.

3. Perfect timing

In 1912, the Titanic sank to the bottom of the sea. The film release of the Titanic in 1997, took two hours and 40 minutes, minus the present-day scenes and opening/closing credits. This is the exact time that the Titanic took to sink to the bottom of the ocean. The collision of the ship with the iceberg lasted 37 seconds. You might have guessed it already; in the film, that particular scene also lasted 37 seconds.

Click here for the trailer of Titanic

4. Watching through a mirror?

In the film The Theory of Everything (2014) actor Eddie Redmayne portrayed the role of Stephen Hawking. In an e-mail, Hawking said that at multiple moments in the film, he felt like he was watching himself. Hawking also lent the production team some of his personal belongings, such as his signed thesis and Companion of Honour medal as props for the film.

Click here for the trailer of ‘The Theory of Everything’.

5. Here is…. Who?

Jack Nicholson is legendary in the film The Shining from 1980. He portrays Jack Torrance. Later on, during possibly the most intense scene in the entire film, he says the line: “Here’s Johnny!”. This line was not scripted at all and was a not to the catchphrase from The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson that ran from 1962 to 1992.

Click here for the ‘Here’s Johnny’ scene in The Shining

6. Mr copycat

Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction from 1994 has a famous dance scene, that does seem to be very familiar to a lot of eyes. This is because Tarantino’s fully copied the dance scene form the 1963 film 8 ½ from Federico Fellini. Tarantino uses this kind of approach for more of his films. He incorporates many references to other movies and stated this in one of his interviews. He stated this in a 1994 interview with Empire magazine: “I steal from every single movie ever made.”. Tarantino never attended a film academy but instead learned making films from watching other films. This makes it natural that other films are his main influence for style on how he makes his own films.

Click here for the comparisons of the dance scenes from Fellini and Tarantino’s films.

Films mentioned in this article: Psycho, Texas Chainsaw, Silence of the Lambs, Harry Potter Series, Die Hard, Robin Hood (1991), Love Actually, Titanic, Theory of Everything, The Shining & Pulp Fiction