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12 MONKEYS The Facts

Director Terry Gilliam called La Jetée (1962), the short French film on which 12 Monkeys is based, a "perfectly formed acorn" and his own film a "sprawling oak."

 
Director Terry Gilliam first met Bruce Willis while casting his film The Fisher King (1991). He was impressed by the sensitivity shown by Willis in the scene from Die Hard (1988) where McClane (Willis) talks to his wife while pulling glass from his feet. Talking to the actor, Gilliam discovered that this part was ad-libbed by Willis. The director remembered this, and was convinced to cast him in 12 Monkeys.

Bruce Willis said that this is only the second film where he decided to take a role in a film after only one reading of the script. The other film was Pulp Fiction (1994).

Terry Gilliam gave Willis a list of "Willis acting clichés" not to be used during the film, including the "steely blue eyes look."

Features a fresnel (flat) lens, as did Brazil (1985), also directed by Gilliam.

Many Alfred Hitchcock and Vertigo (1958) references:
  • Title sequences similar;
  • Long clip from Vertigo (1958);
  • Like Kim Novak in Vertigo (1958), Dr. Railly's transformed to a blonde, but the result doesn't look like Novak. Instead it's the spitting image of Eva Marie Saint in North by Northwest (1959), another Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece;
  • The theme from Vertigo (1958) can be heard when Dr. Railly leaves the airport bathroom with a blonde wig (both trademarks of Hitchcock's).
The insane asylum rec room is introduced by a shot of a TV showing a cartoon of an animal bouncing off a mattress and doing flips. Near the end, the whorehouse is introduced by a shot of kids in a vacant lot doing the same thing.

The voice of a reporter on the radio says, "This is Roger Pratt reporting." Roger Pratt was the film's director of photography.

Facts courtesy of Internet Movie Database and Universal Pictures.
 

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