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10 Heartwarming Facts About Father of the Bride

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The premise of 1991's Father of the Bride seems simple: George Banks’s (Steve Martin) 22-year-old daughter, Annie (Kimberly Williams-Paisley), gets engaged to Bryan (George Newbern) after knowing him for three months. But George isn’t quite on board and quickly unravels, as his wife, Nina (Diane Keaton), and the rest of his family think he’s going insane. The film gave a peek into the 1990s return to family values, with the depiction of a normal, tightly-knit nuclear family. Former real-life couple Charles Shyer and Nancy Meyers co-wrote the script, and Shyer directed.

The movie is a remake of Vincente Minnelli's Oscar-nominated film of the same name, which starred Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Bennett, and Spencer Tracy. (A TV version aired from 1961 to 1962.) That film was adapted from Edward Streeter's 1949 novel. Both films had sequels—Father’s Little Dividend was released in 1951, and Father of the Bride Part II in 1995—and the plots of both films saw the daughters having a baby.

The remake and its sequel were rather successful: Father of the Bride grossed $89 million and became the ninth highest-grossing film of 1991; Part II grossed $76 million and ranked in 17th place for the year. Here are 10 heartwarming facts about the wedding comedy.

1. STEVE MARTIN AGREED TO PLAY GEORGE BEFORE THE SCRIPT HAD BEEN WRITTEN.

In a unusual move, Steve Martin’s casting occurred before Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer wrote the screenplay. “It’s a gift because you know you’re writing for Steve Martin, so you know you can be funny and you can be loose and you can do all these twists and turns in the scene,” Meyers told IndieWire.

2. THE STUDIO DIDN’T WANT TO WORK WITH DIANE KEATON.

Father of the Bride was the second time Diane Keaton had worked with Meyers and Shyer; the first time was 1987’s Baby Boom, and Meyers would go on to direct Keaton in 2003’s Something’s Gotta Give. “Disney Studios—Jeffrey Katzenberg at the time—didn’t ever want to work with me,” Keaton told Film Scouts. “Charles Shyer and Nancy Myers, who’d worked with me before, had to beg to get me into Father of the Bride. I was very fortunate, because they were very staunchly for me.”

Keaton said the reason Disney/Touchstone passed on her was because her box office track record wasn’t good. “Just before Father of the Bride, I’d done a movie called The Good Mother, which was a big failure. Like, big failure. And that was it! And that was a Disney movie. So when Charles and Nancy wanted me for Father of the Bride, Disney didn’t want anything with me.”

3. IT WAS THE END TO THE “HIPPIE” WEDDING.

In an interview with The Morning Call, Martin said: “This movie represents the complete death of the hippie laurel-wreath standing-on-the-mountaintop marriage. Although it’s been dead a long time, this is the first movie to see it.” He furthered explained, “I mean, the big wedding is as much of a fad as the little wedding. So, [Father of the Bride] is a statement about something that’s probably going to be around for a long time.”

4. FRANCK EGGELHOFFER WAS BASED ON A REAL WEDDING PLANNER.

Martin Short portrayed the incomprehensible, over-the-top wedding planner Franck Eggelhoffer, who he based on Kevin Lee, who assisted with Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s wedding, and makes regular appearances on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. “We had a great time together,” Lee told Moviefone about working with Short.

5. A BRIDE HOUSE SOLD FOR ALMOST $2 MILLION.

The 4397-square-foot Colonial-style home, situated in Los Angeles's Alhambra neighborhood, sold for $1,998,000 in August 2016 after being on the market for only two months. The wedding reception and the basketball game were filmed at this location, but the exteriors were filmed at a Pasadena home. In 2004 the Alhambra house sold for $1.25 million, and when it sold in 2011, it increased to $1.275 million.

Owners of the Pasadena home, Sarah Bradley and Darrell Spence, told HGTV they held their wedding reception at the house. They also said couples have proposed outside of the home, and fans of the movie and house felt “protective” when the family replaced the white picket fence. “Neighbors would see the construction and panic,” Bradley said. “We had to convince them they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference once we were done.” The couple paid $950,000 for the house in 1999, but it’s now worth $2,764,841.

6. THE WEDDING COST A WHOPPING $249,323.

BeFrugal.com broke down the wedding costs of the weddings at the center of Father of the Bride, Bridesmaids, Sex and the City, and a few other movies. Because Annie and Bryan got hitched in her parents’ backyard, the venue was free. However, Annie’s dress cost $68,000. With 572 guests at $250 per head, George shelled out $143,000 on wedding reception food. The bridesmaid dresses tacked on an additional $10,000, and flying in nine relatives from Copenhagen smacked George with a $10,323 price tag. That’s a lot, considering the median American wedding costs about $15,000.

7. MARTIN SHORT “SOFTENED” FRANCK’S ACCENT FOR FATHER OF THE BRIDE PART II.

At first, Short didn’t want to do a sequel. During a 1995 interview with Charlie Rose, Short said, “Only because it seemed like the character was such an extreme spice in the first one and it kind of had been successful and you didn’t want to taint it with an appearance.” Upon reading the script, he changed his mind. “I soften the accent a little bit,” he said. “In the first one, the character really existed as a comedic bone of contention for Steve Martin,” because everyone could understand what Franck said except George. “In this one, that’s one joke,” Short continued. “In the sequel, no one at any point says, ‘What did he say?’ Because we’ve done that. So I softened the accent a little bit without losing the character.”

8. KIMBERLY WILLIAMS-PAISLEY WORE SNEAKERS TO HER OWN WEDDING.

George Banks produces athletic shoes for a living, so in the movie, he creates a special pair for Annie to wear on her wedding day. When Kimberly Williams married country star Brad Paisley in 2003, she also donned sneakers. “Down the aisle, I wore heels, but then the rest of it I wore sneakers with the heels,” she told Glamour. “It makes perfect sense to wear sneakers because it’s such a long night.”

9. FRANCK DOESN’T THINK MUCH OF KIM KARDASHIAN.

When Short appeared on the show The Talk in 2014, the hostesses asked Short, as Franck, what he thought about Kim Kardashian. “He would say, ‘She is not bright; I did her dress,’” Short said in Franck’s accent. “She thinks soy milk is Spanish for ‘I am milk.’”

10. MARTIN THINKS FATHER OF THE BRIDE IS A “PERFECT STORY.”

“Well, I tend to think there's movie families, and then there are families,” Martin told The Morning Call. “What I mean is—I’m not demeaning the movie at all—it’s kind of a wish family. It’s like the perfect statement of a beautiful problem: Your daughter’s getting married.” He said emotions swelled from the mundanity of getting married. “It’s a perfect story because what happens is so minor, and yet the emotions are so big. It’s like the birth of a baby. It’s so common, happening all the time, and yet it’s one of the most powerful, large things that can happen to you.”

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15 Fascinating Facts About Candyman
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Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) is a Chicago graduate student with a deep fascination with urban legends, which she and her friend Bernadette (Kasi Lemmons) are using as the basis for a thesis project. After they stumble across the local legend of Candyman, a well-to-do black artist who fell in love with a white woman in the late 1800s and was murdered for it, Helen wants to learn more. When she’s told that Candyman still haunts Chicago's Cabrini-Green housing project, and that his spirit can be summoned by repeating his name into a mirror five times, Helen does just that … and all hell breaks loose.

What began as a low-budget indie film has morphed into a contemporary classic of the horror genre, and essential Halloween viewing. In 1992, English filmmaker Bernard Rose—who got his start working as a gopher on The Muppet Show—turned Clive Barker’s short story “The Forbidden” into Candyman, which was released in theaters 25 years ago today. In honor of the film’s anniversary, here are 15 things you might not have known about Candyman.

1. EDDIE MURPHY WAS CONSIDERED FOR THE LEAD.

Though the role of Candyman turned Tony Todd into a horror icon, he wasn’t the only actor in consideration for the film’s title role: Eddie Murphy was also reportedly a contender for the part. Though it’s unclear exactly why he wasn’t cast, sources have reported that it had to do with everything from his height (at 5 feet 9 inches, he wouldn’t seem nearly as intimidating as the 6-foot-5 Todd) to his salary demands.

2. AN UNEXPECTED PREGNANCY LANDED VIRGINIA MADSEN THE LEAD.

Virginia Madsen stars in 'Candyman'
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

When asked by HorrorNewsNetwork about how she got the role of Helen in Candyman, Virginia Madsen shared that it was almost by accident: She was supposed to play Bernie, Helen’s friend and classmate, the role that eventually went to Kasi Lemmons.

“I was actually very good friends with Bernard [Rose] and his wife Alexandra,” Madsen said. “She is a wonderful actress, who actually brought Clive Barker’s short story ‘The Forbidden’ to her husband. She thought this would be a great film, and he could direct her. She was supposed to be Helen. I was going to play [Kasi Lemmons'] part, until they made the character African American. Then I was out.

“Right before shooting, Alexandra found out she was pregnant. It was great for me, but it was so sad for her because this was her role; she found this story and really wanted it. So when I was asked to step in I felt like ‘I can’t take my friend’s role.’ She actually came over one day and said ‘It would just kill me to see someone else play this role, you have to be the one who plays it.’ So with her blessing I took on the role. I really tried to work my butt off just to honor her.”

3. IT COULD HAVE STARRED SANDRA BULLOCK.

On the film’s DVD commentary, producer Alan Poul said that had Madsen been unable to step into the role of Helen, the part would have likely been offered to Sandra Bullock, who was still a relative unknown actress at that point. Though she had played the role of Tess McGill in the television adaptation of Working Girl, she was still a couple of years away from Speed (1994), the role that launched her into stardom.

4. ITS OPENING SHOT WAS GROUNDBREAKING.

The film’s opening credits feature a great aerial view of Chicago, which was pretty revolutionary for its time. “We did that with an incredible new machine called the Skycam, which can shoot up to a 500mm lens with no vibration,” Rose told The Independent. “You've never seen that shot before, at least not done that smoothly.”

5. NOT ALL OF THE FILM’S CREEPY DETAILS SPRUNG FROM CLIVE BARKER’S IMAGINATION.

While investigating one of Candyman’s crime scenes, Helen and Bernie discover that the design of the apartment’s medicine cabinet made it a possible point of entry for an intruder. This was not a made-up piece of horror movie fiction. While researching the film, Rose learned that a series of murders had been committed in Chicago in this very way.

6. BERNARD ROSE SEES CANDYMAN AS A ROMANTIC FIGURE.

Tony Todd stars in 'Candyman'
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

Viewers may think of Candyman as one of the horror genre’s most terrifying villains, but Rose said that “the idea always was that he was kind of a romantic figure. And again, romantic in sort of the Edgar Allan Poe sense—it's the romance of death. He's a ghost, and he's also the resurrection of something that is kind of unspoken or unspeakable in American history, which is slavery, as well. So he's kind of come back and he's haunting what is the new version of the racial segregation in Chicago.

“And I think there's also something very seductive and very sweet and very romantic about him, and that's what makes him interesting. In the same way there is about Dracula. In the end, the Bogeyman is someone you want to surrender to. You're not just afraid of. There's a certain kind of joy in his seduction. And Tony was always so romantic. Tony ties him in so elegantly and is such a gentleman. He was wonderful.”

7. THE BEES IN THE FILM WERE BRED SPECIFICALLY TO APPEAR ONSCREEN.

No, that is not CGI! The bees that play a key role in Candyman are indeed real. So that they looked appropriately terrifying, but were less dangerous to the cast and crew, the filmmakers used newborn bees—they were just 12 hours old—so that they looked fully grown, but had less powerful stingers.

8. TONY TODD WAS STUNG 23 TIMES, AND GOT A BONUS EACH TIME IT HAPPENED.

Photo of Tony Todd in 'Candyman'
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

In addition to allowing the filmmakers to cover his face with bees, Todd actually agreed to film a scene in which he had a mouthful of bees—and that, too, was all real. He told TMZ that he wore a dental dam to prevent any bees from sliding into his throat—which doesn’t mean that he didn’t suffer a sting or two … or 23, to be exact, over the course of three Candyman movies. Though it might have been worth it. “I had a great lawyer,” he told TMZ. “A thousand dollars a pop.”

9. THE BEES WEREN’T GREAT NEWS FOR MADSEN, EITHER.

Madsen, too, had to get up close and personal with those bees—a fact that almost forced her to pass on the role. “When Bernie was first asking me to do the role I said, ‘Well, I can’t. I’m allergic to bees,’” she told HorrorNewsNetwork. “He said ‘No you’re not allergic to bees, you’re just afraid.’ So I had to go to UCLA and get tested because he didn’t believe [me]. I was tested for every kind of venom. I was far more allergic to wasps. So he said, ‘We’ll just [have] paramedics there, it will be fine!’ You know actors, we’ll do anything for a paycheck! So fine, I’ll be covered with bees.

“So we a had a bee wrangler and he pretty much told us you can’t freak out around the bees, or be nervous, or swat at them, it would just aggravate them. They used baby bees on me. They can still sting you, but are less likely. When they put the bees on me it was crazy because they have fur. They felt like little Q-tips roaming around on me. Then you have pheromones on you, so they’re all in love with you and think you’re a giant queen. I really just had to go into this Zen sort of place and the takes were very short. What took the longest was getting the bees off of us. They had this tiny ‘bee vacuum,’ which wouldn’t harm the bees. After the scene where the bees were all over my face and my head, it took both Tony and I 45 minutes just to get the bees off. That’s when it became difficult to sit still. It was cool though, I felt like a total badass doing it.”

10. PHILIP GLASS COMPOSED THE SCORE, BUT WAS DISAPPOINTED IN THE MOVIE.

When Philip Glass signed on to compose the score for Candyman, he apparently envisioned the final film being something totally different. According to Rolling Stone, “What he'd presumed would be an artful version of Clive Barker's short story ‘The Forbidden’ had ended up, in his view, a low-budget slasher.” Glass was reportedly disappointed in the film, and felt that he had been manipulated. Still, the haunting music is considered a classic score—and Glass’s own view of it seems to have softened over time. “It has become a classic, so I still make money from that score, get checks every year,” he told Variety in 2014.

11. MANY OF THE FILM'S SCENES WERE SHOT AT CABRINI-GREEN.

In 2011, the last remaining high-rise in the Cabrini-Green housing project was demolished. Over the years, the property—which opened in 1942—gained a notorious reputation around the world for being a haven for violence, drugs, gangs, and other criminal activities. While the project’s real-life history weaves its way into the narrative of Candyman, it only makes sense that Rose would want to shoot there. Which he did. But in order to gain permission to shoot there, he had to agree to cast some of the residents as extras.

“I went to Chicago on a research trip to see where it could be done and I was shown around by some people from the Illinois Film Commission and they took me to Cabrini-Green,” Rose said. “And I spent some time there and I realized that this was an incredible arena for a horror movie because it was a place of such palpable fear. And rule number one when you're making a horror movie is set it somewhere frightening. And the fear of the urban housing project, it seemed to me, was actually totally irrational because you couldn't really be in that much danger. Yes, there was crime there, but people were actually afraid of driving past it. And there was such an aura of fear around the place and I thought that was really something interesting to look into because it's sort of a kind of fear that's at the heart of modern cities. And obviously, it's racially motivated, but more than that—it's poverty motivated.”

12. THE FILM’S PRODUCERS WERE WORRIED THAT THE FILM WOULD BE CONSIDERED RACIST.

During pre-production, Candyman’s producers began to worry that the film might draw criticism for being racist, given that its villain was black and it was largely set in an infamous housing project. “I had to go and have a whole set of meetings with the NAACP, because the producers were so worried,” Rose told The Independent. “And what they said to me when they'd read the script was 'Why are we even having this meeting? You know, this is just good fun.' Their argument was 'Why shouldn't a black actor be a ghost? Why shouldn't a black actor play Freddy Krueger or Hannibal Lecter? If you're saying that they can't be, it's really perverse. This is a horror movie.'”

13. STILL, SOME FILMMAKERS COMPLAINED THAT IT WAS RACIST.

In a 1992 story in the Chicago Tribune, some high-profile black filmmakers expressed their disappointment that the film seemed to perpetuate several racist stereotypes. “There’s no question that this film plays on white middle-class fears of black people,” director Carl Franklin (Out of Time, Devil in a Blue Dress) said. “It unabashedly uses racial stereotypes and destructive myths to create shock. I found it hokey and unsettling. It didn't work for me because I don’t share those fears, buy into those myths.”

Reginald Hudlin, who directed House Party, Boomerang, and Marshall, described the film as “worrisome,” though he didn’t want to speak on the record about his specific issues with the film. “I've gotten calls about [the movie], but I think I'm going to reserve comment,” he said. “Some of my friends are in it and I may someday want to work for TriStar.”

For Rose, those assessments may have been hard to hear, as his goal in adapting Barker’s story and directing it was to upend the myths about inner cities. “[T]he tradition of oral storytelling is very much alive, especially when it's a scary story,” he told The Independent. “And the biggest urban legend of all for me was the idea that there are places in cities where you do not go, because if you go in them something dreadful will happen—not to say that there isn't danger in ghettos and inner city areas, but the exaggerated fear of them is an urban myth.”

14. IT’S STILL THE ROLE THAT MADSEN IS MOST RECOGNIZED FOR (ESPECIALLY AT AIRPORTS).

Kasi Lemmons and Virginia Madsen in 'Candyman'
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

Though she earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination in 2005 for Alexander Payne’s Sideways, in 2012 Madsen said that Candyman is still the role she is most recognized for—especially at airports.

“More people recognize me from that movie than anything I’ve done,” she told HorrorNewsNetwork. “It means a lot to me. It was after years of struggling. As an actor, you always want a film that’s annual, like It’s a Wonderful Life or A Christmas Story. I just love that I have a Halloween movie. Now it’s kind of legend this story. People have watched it since they were kids, and every Halloween it’s on, and they watch it now with their kids. That means a lot to me. The place I get recognized the most is the airport security for some reason. Every person in airport security has seen Candyman. Maybe it makes them a little afraid of me.”

15. THERE WAS AN ACTUAL CANDYMAN KILLER.

Though the Chicago-based legend of Candyman is a work of fiction, there was an actual serial killer known as “Candyman” or “The Candy Man.” Between 1970 and 1973, Dean Corll kidnapped, tortured, and murdered at least 28 young boys in the Houston area. Corll earned his sweet nickname from the fact that his family owned a candy factory.

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Grand Central Terminal is Hosting a Film Festival of its Own Cameos
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Even if you’ve never set foot in New York City, chances are you’re intimately familiar with Grand Central Terminal. A sprawling, architecturally awesome railway station located on East 42nd Street in Manhattan, it’s been a favorite of Hollywood location scouts since its first onscreen appearance in the 1930 musical Puttin’ on the Ritz.

According to Times Square Chronicles, the terminal is now set to host an event worthy of its rich cinematic history: a film festival. On Thursday, October 19, screenings in the terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall will include clips from some of its most notable movie appearances. The show will culminate in a feature-length presentation of Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 classic North by Northwest, notable for a scene in which star Cary Grant eludes his pursuers by making his way through Grand Central.

The Museum of the Moving Image and Rooftop Films are collaborating on the special event, titled Grand Central Cinema. North by Northwest begins at 7:30 p.m., but that ticketed admission is already sold out and the waiting list is at capacity. Fortunately, the montage of clips will play all day from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Historians will also be giving presentations of the site's history on screen throughout the program. Admission is free.

[h/t Times Square Chronicles]

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