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17 Bankable Facts About 'The Color of Money'

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Paul Newman won an Oscar for his second go-around as “Fast Eddie” Felson in 1986's The Color of Money, a one-time collaboration between the iconic film star and acclaimed director Martin Scorsese. A continuation of 1961’s The Hustler, The Color of Money examined Fast Eddie’s story 25 years later, where he convinces the green-but-talented pool player Vincent Lauria (Tom Cruise) to let him help him become a real nine-ball hustler. When Vincent proves too strong-minded—and ego-driven—to ever throw a game in the name of a hustle, Eddie himself makes a triumphant return to the game he loves. Here are some facts about The Color of Money that don't roll funny.

1. IT WAS PAUL NEWMAN WHO APPROACHED MARTIN SCORSESE ABOUT THE FILM.

Walter Tevis had written the book The Hustler and its sequel, The Color of Money, yet Newman didn’t care for the adapted screenplay to the latter. So Newman went to Scorsese, as he was a fan of his work, particularly Raging Bull, which he felt had a similar tone to what The Color of Money should be.

2. NEWMAN ALMOST DROVE THE SCREENWRITER CRAZY.

Novelist Richard Price was brought on to work with Newman and Scorsese on the screenplay, which would feature its own interpretation of what happened to Fast Eddie after The Hustler. Price would work on a scene first, then give it to Scorsese, who would read it and give him notes. Using those notes, Price would rework the scenes and submit them to Newman, who gave the writer his own notes. Newman would at times tell the other two, “Guys, I think we’re missing an opportunity here.” "The minute I heard that I would groan, 'Oh, no, here we go again,'" Price told The New York Times. "Unfortunately, he was rarely wrong. But there were points when I thought, 'If I hear ''we're missing an opportunity" one more time, you're going to be missing a writer.'" It was estimated that Price had at least 36 script conferences with Newman.

3. 20TH CENTURY FOX DIDN’T WANT PAUL NEWMAN OR TOM CRUISE IN THE MOVIE.

Fox was “enthusiastic” ... until then-president Sherry Lansing left. The new bosses didn’t like the movie’s script or the two leads. Columbia also passed. Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg, at Touchstone/Disney, saw the film's potential and greenlit the production.

4. SCORSESE AND NEWMAN HAD TO RISK SOME OF THEIR SALARIES.

The studio decided that a 50-day shooting schedule and a $14.5 million budget was sufficient for the film. They also worked out a deal where, if the movie eclipsed its set budget, Newman and Scorsese would be responsible for making up the difference, and put one-third of their respective salaries at risk. They ended up finishing the shoot one day early and $1.5 million under budget.

5. JACKIE GLEASON PASSED ON MAKING A CAMEO.

Gleason famously played Minnesota Fats in The Hustler, and his character played a big part in the book version of The Color of Money. "We desperately wanted the character to return,'' Newman told The New York Times, ''but every time we put him in, it seemed like we were trying to glue an arm on a man and make it stick.'' Added Scorsese: ''We finally presented a script to Gleason with Fats in. But he felt it was an afterthought.'' As such, Gleason passed.

6. THE CHARACTER OF JANELLE WAS CREATED AT THE LAST MINUTE.

Just before filming, Eddie’s love interest/bar owner Janelle (Helen Shaver) was added so that Eddie’s relationship with Vincent wouldn’t be misinterpreted.

7. JOHN TURTURRO’S AGENT DIDN’T WANT TURTURRO TO MAKE THE FILM.

John Turturro admitted that he wasn’t getting paid what he felt he was worth to play Julian, but he took the job anyway. During production, he showed his screenplay for Mac to Scorsese, who was complimentary and gave him advice. Mac found its way into theaters in 1992.

8. MARY ELIZABETH MASTRANTONIO WAS THE LAST PERSON TO AUDITION FOR CARMEN.

Mastrantonio believes she was the last person to audition for Scarface, too.

9. CRUISE AND NEWMAN HAD MET BEFORE FILMING.

The two met at Newman’s office years earlier, after Newman had seen Cruise in Taps. Newman said, “Hey, Killer.” Cruise responded by claiming he would have taken the Military Academy over if he had five more minutes. Newman called Cruise only by his last name on set.

10. THEY DIDN’T HAVE TIME FOR CRUISE TO LEARN EVERY POOL SHOT.

Cruise prepared for his role by shooting a lot of billiards, estimating that he had improved “200 percent” in a few weeks' time. Cruise performed all of his own pool stunts, except for when Vincent jumps two balls to make his desired shot. Scorsese figured it would take Cruise two days to figure out how to do it himself, but it would have cost precious time and money. Michael Sigel, a technical advisor on the film, performed the trick instead.

11. YOU KNOW THE PERSON THAT VOICES THE OPENING UNCREDITED VOICEOVER.

Scorsese himself spoke of the game of nine-ball.

12. TOP POOL PLAYERS AND ONE STOOGE APPEARED IN THE FILM.

Steve Mizerak, a famous pool player as far as back as a 1978 Bud Light ad, portrayed Eddie’s first opponent in Atlantic City. Jimmy Mataya, better known as “Pretty Boy Floyd,” played Julian’s friend in the Green Room. Keith McCready portrayed Grady Seasons. The Stooges frontman Iggy Pop also appeared as a pool player.

13. THE POOL CUE USED WASN’T A BALABUSHKA.

Eddie and Vincent were both lying to themselves; their cue was a Joss N7 model.

14. SCORSESE GOT THE IDEA FOR GOODFELLAS WHILE SHOOTING THE COLOR OF MONEY.

In a rare moment of downtime, "I read a review of [Nicholas Pileggi's] Wiseguy when I was directing The Color of Money, and it said something about this character Henry Hill having access to many different levels of organized crime because he was somewhat of an outsider," Scorsese told Rolling Stone. "He looked a little nicer. He was able to be a better frontman and speak a little better. I thought that was interesting, because you could get a cross section of the layers of organized crime—from his point of view, of course. So I got the book, started reading it and was fascinated by the narrative ability of it."

15. DAVID GEFFEN WAS UPSET OVER THE SOUNDTRACK.

Robbie Robertson put the soundtrack together, which is best known for featuring Eric Clapton and Robertson’s “It’s in the Way That You Use It” and Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London.” Geffen would not allow Robertson permission to use his own voice at any point on the album, because he felt that the singer’s first solo record was being delayed on account of his work on the soundtrack. The Band performer still managed to get music from the likes of Clapton, Don Henley, B.B. King, Robert Palmer, and Willie Dixon.

16. INTEREST IN POOL INCREASED FOLLOWING THE FILM'S RELEASE.

Sales of cue sticks in Southern California were reported to have increased by 25 percent a month after the film's release. Pool table sales increased, too. A similar bump in popularity occurred when The Hustler was first released.

17. THE VIDEO GAME ‘DOOM’ GOT ITS NAME FROM THE FILM.

id software found the perfect title for their first-person shooter classic from the scene between Vincent and Moselle (Bruce A. Young). When Vincent was asked what’s in his pool cue case, he asked, “Here?” He then opened the case and said his influential one-word response.

“Doom.”

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8 Things We Know About Stranger Things Season 3
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[Warning: There are lots of Stranger Things season two spoilers ahead.]

Stranger Things season two is in the books, and like we all hoped, it turned out to be a worthy follow-up to an addictive debut season. Now, though, we’re left with plenty of questions, mysteries, and theories to chew on as the wait for a third season begins. But for everything we don’t know about what the next year of Stranger Things will bring us (such as an actual release date), there are more than enough things we do know to keep those fan theories coming well into 2018. While the show hasn't been officially greenlit for a third season by Netflix yet, new details have already begun to trickle out. Here’s everything we know about Stranger Things season three so far.

1. THERE WILL BE ANOTHER TIME JUMP.

The third season of Stranger Things won’t pick up right where the second one left off. Like the show experienced between the first two seasons, there will be a time jump between seasons two and three as well. The reason is simple: the child actors are all growing up, and instead of having the kids look noticeably older without explanation for year three, the Duffer Brothers told The Hollywood Reporter:

“Our kids are aging. We can only write and produce the show so fast. They're going to be almost a year older by the time we start shooting season three. It provides certain challenges. You can't start right after season two ended. It forces you to do a time jump. But what I like is that it makes you evolve the show. It forces the show to evolve and change, because the kids are changing.”

2. THE IDEA IS TO BE SMALLER IN SCALE.

If the series’s second season was about expanding the Stranger Things mythology, the third season won't go bigger just for the sake of it, with the brothers even going so far as to say that it will be a more intimate story.

“It’s not necessarily going to be bigger in scale,” Matt Duffer said in an interview with IndieWire. “What I am really excited about is giving these characters an interesting journey to go on.”

Ross Duffer did stress, though, that as of early November, season three is basically “… Matt and me working with some writers and figuring out where it’s going to go.”

3. THE MIND FLAYER WILL BE BACK.

The second season ended on a bit of a foreboding note when it was revealed that the Mind Flayer was still in the Upside Down and was seen looming over the Hawkins school as the winter dance was going on. Though we know there will be a time jump at the start of next season, it’s clear that the monster will still have a big presence on the show.

Executive producer Dan Cohen told TV Guide: "There were other ways we could have ended beyond that, but I think that was a very strong, lyrical ending, and it really lets us decide to focus where we ultimately are going to want to go as we dive into Season 3."

What does the Mind Flayer’s presence mean for the new crop of episodes? Well, there will be plenty of fan theories to ponder between now and the season three premiere (whenever that may be).

4. PLENTY OF LEFTOVER SEASON TWO STORYLINES WILL BE IN SEASON THREE.

The Duffer Brothers had a lot of material for the latest season of the show—probably a bit too much. Talking to Vulture, Matt Duffer detailed a few details and plot points that had to be pushed to season three:

"Billy was supposed to have a bigger role. We ended up having so many characters it ended up, in a way, more teed up for season three than anything. There was a whole teen supernatural story line that just got booted because it was just too cluttered, you know? A lot of that’s just getting kicked into season three."

The good news is that he also told the site that this wealth of cut material could make the writing process for the third season much quicker.

5. THERE WILL BE MORE ERICA.

Stranger Things already had a roster of fan-favorite characters heading into season two, but newcomer Erica, Lucas’s little sister, may have overshadowed them all. Played by 11-year-old Priah Ferguson, Erica is equal parts expressive, snarky, and charismatic. And the Duffer Brothers couldn’t agree more, saying that there will be much more Erica next season.

“There will definitely be more Erica in Season 3,” Ross Duffer told Yahoo!. “That is the fun thing about the show—you discover stuff as you’re filming. We were able to integrate more of her in, but not as much you want because the story [was] already going. ‘We got to use more Erica’—that was one of the first things we said in the writers’ room.”

“I thought she’s very GIF-able, if that’s a word,” Matt Duffer added. “She was great.”

6. EXPECT KALI TO RETURN.

The season two episode “The Lost Sister” was a bit of an outlier for the series. It’s a standalone episode that focuses solely on the character Eleven, leaving the central plot and main cast of Hawkins behind. As well-received as Stranger Things season two was, this episode was a near-unanimous miss among fans and critics.

The episode did, however, introduce us to the character of Kali (Linnea Berthelsen), who has the ability to manipulate people’s minds with illusions she creates. Despite the reaction, the Duffers felt the episode was vital to Eleven’s development, and that Kali won’t be forgotten moving forward.

“It feels weird to me that we wouldn’t solve [Kali’s] storyline. I would say chances are very high she comes back,” Matt Duffer said at the Vulture Festival.

7. OTHER "NUMBERS" MIGHT SHOW UP.

We're already well acquainted with Eleven, and season two introduced us to Eight (a.k.a. Kali), and executive producer Shawn Levy heavily hinted to E! that there are probably more Hawkins Laboratory experiments on the horizon.

"I think we've clearly implied there are other numbers, and I can't imagine that the world will only ever know Eleven and Eight," Levy said.

8. THERE MIGHT NOT BE MANY SEASONS LEFT.

Don’t be in too much of a rush to find out everything about the next season of Stranger Things; there might not be many more left. The Duffer Brothers have said in the past that the plan is to do four seasons and end it. However, Levy gave fans a glimmer of hope that things may go on a little while longer—just by a bit, though.

“Hearts were heard breaking in Netflix headquarters when the Brothers made four seasons sound like an official end, and I was suddenly getting phone calls from our actors’ agents,” Levy told Entertainment Weekly. “The truth is we’re definitely going four seasons and there’s very much the possibility of a fifth. Beyond that, it becomes I think very unlikely.”

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20 Random Facts About Shopping
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Shopping on Black Friday—or, really, any time during the holiday season—is a good news/bad news kind of endeavor. The good news? The deals are killer! The bad news? So are the lines. If you find yourself standing behind 200 other people who braved the crowds and sacrificed sleep in order to hit the stores early today, here's one way to pass the time: check out these fascinating facts about shopping through the ages.

1. The oldest customer service complaint was written on a clay cuneiform tablet in Mesopotamia 4000 years ago. (In it, a customer named Nanni complains that he was sold inferior copper ingots.)

2. Before battles, some Roman gladiators read product endorsements. The makers of the film Gladiator planned to show this, but they nixed the idea out of fear that audiences wouldn’t believe it.

3. Like casinos, shopping malls are intentionally designed to make people lose track of time, removing clocks and windows to prevent views of the outside world. This kind of “scripted disorientation” has a name: It’s called the Gruen Transfer.

4. According to a study in Social Influence, people who shopped at or stood near luxury stores were less likely to help people in need.

5. A shopper who first purchases something on his or her shopping list is more likely to buy unrelated items later as a kind of reward.

6. On the Pacific island of Vanuatu, some villages still use pigs and seashells as currency. In fact, the indigenous bank there uses a unit of currency called the Livatu. Its value is equivalent to a boar’s tusk. 

7. Sears used to sell build-your-own homes in its mail order catalogs.

8. The first shopping catalog appeared way back in the 1400s, when an Italian publisher named Aldus Manutius compiled a handprinted catalog of the books that he produced for sale and passed it out at town fairs.

9. The first product ever sold by mail order? Welsh flannel.

10. The first shopping cart was a folding chair with a basket on the seat and wheels on the legs.

11. In the late 1800s in Corinne, Utah, you could buy legal divorce papers from a vending machine for $2.50.

12. Some of the oldest known writing in the world includes a 5000-year-old receipt inscribed on a clay tablet. (It was for clothing that was sent by boat from Ancient Mesopotamia to Dilmun, or current day Bahrain.)

13. Beginning in 112 CE, Emperor Trajan began construction on the largest of Rome's imperial forums, which housed a variety of shops and services and two libraries. Today, Trajan’s Market is regarded as the oldest shopping mall in the world.

14. The Chinese invented paper money. For a time, there was a warning written right on the currency that all counterfeiters would be decapitated.

15. Halle Berry was named after Cleveland, Ohio's Halle Building, which was home to the Halle Brothers department store.

16. At Boston University, students can sign up for a class on the history of shopping. (Technically, it’s called “The Modern American Consumer”)

17. Barbra Streisand had a mini-mall installed in her basement. “Instead of just storing my things in the basement, I can make a street of shops and display them,” she told Harper's Bazaar. (There are photos of it here.)

18. Shopping online is not necessarily greener. A 2016 study at the University of Delaware concluded that “home shopping has a greater impact on the transportation sector than the public might suspect.”

19. Don’t want to waste too much money shopping? Go to the mall in high heels. A 2013 Brigham Young University study discovered that shoppers in high heels made more balanced buying decisions while balancing in pumps.

20. Cyber Monday is not the biggest day for online shopping. The title belongs to November 11, or Singles Day, a holiday in China that encourages singles to send themselves gifts. According to Fortune, this year's event smashed all previous records with more than $38 million in sales.

A heaping handful of these facts came from John Lloyd, John Mitchinson, and James Harkin's delightful book, 1,234 Quite Interesting Facts to Leave You Speechless.

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