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Martin Scorsese Trivia

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

Scorsese saved the difficult shots of Jesus' crucifixion in The Last Temptation of Christ for the end of filming. After the grueling shoot wrapped, a young production assistant accidentally exposed the only take of Jesus' reaction shot, played by actor Willem Dafoe. When Scorsese saw the washed-out image, however, he loved it, and it stayed in the film despite the protests of his longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker.11

Scorsese draws his own storyboards for his films.12

Scorsese directed the 1987 music video for Michael Jackson's "Bad."13

In the 1970s, Scorsese had a superstitious fear of the number 11. He refused to take flights whose numbers added up to 11, travel on the 11th of the month, or stay on the 11th floor of a hotel.14

When John Hinckley, Jr., attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981, he cited as his motivation a desire to impress the actress Jodie Foster, whose child prostitute character in Taxi Driver he was obsessed with. Hinckley saw Taxi Driver at least 15 times in the theater.15

Scorsese cast his own mother, Catherine, as the mother of Joe Pesci's character in Goodfellas. She has also had cameos in his films Casino, The Age of Innocence, Cape Fear, The King of Comedy, Mean Streets, Who's That Knocking at My Door and his first film, It's Not Just You, Murray!16

The film critic Roger Ebert wrote a positive review of Scorsese's film Mean Streets in which he predicted that Scorsese could become the American version of Federico Fellini within a decade - a pretty big compliment. The next time the director met Ebert, he worriedly asked, "Do you really think it's going to take ten years?"17

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