Was Michelle Pfeiffer Really the Inspiration for Don Henley’s “The Last Worthless Evening”?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about music and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.

MUSIC URBAN LEGEND: Don Henley wrote “The Last Worthless Evening” about Michelle Pfeiffer.

In 1989, Don Henley had himself one heck of a career boost with his third solo album, End of the Innocence, which contained three Top 40 singles.

The title track, “End of the Innocence,” plus “The Heart of the Matter” and “The Last Worthless Evening” (it also had a fourth single nearly make the top 40, “New York Minute”)…

The song is about Henley telling a woman that she should be with him and if she does, she will no longer spend any more “worthless evenings”. Here is the first verse:

I know you broke up with him
And your heart’s still on the shelf
It’s been over two years for me
And I’m still not quite myself

You can’t be with someone new
And you can’t go back to him
You’re beginning to realize
That it’s sink or swim

I see you around sometimes
And my heart just melts
You’re lookin’ like if you had your wish
You’d be somewhere else

And it just breaks my heart
To see you here this way
Someday I’ll get the nerve
To walk up to you and say

This is the last worthless evening
That you’ll have to spend
Just gimme a chance
To show you how to love again

The longtime rumor is that the song is about famed movie star Michelle Pfeiffer. Is that true?
Continue reading “Was Michelle Pfeiffer Really the Inspiration for Don Henley’s “The Last Worthless Evening”?”

Was Vicki Vale Going to Die Originally at the End of Tim Burton’ Batman?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the Movie urban legends featured so far.

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Vicki Vale was originally going to die at the end of the 1989 Batman.

One of the most difficult decisions that a filmmaker can make is whether or not to kill off major characters in their films. Quite often, characters who were originally meant to die have their lives “saved” later in the film-making process. We’ve spotlighted a few of them over the years, like Robin Williams’ character in Dead Poet’s Society, Duke in G.I. Joe the Movie and even Han Solo in Return of the Jedi. Was Vicki Vale, Batman’s love interest in Tim Burton’s 1989 blockbuster film, Batman (played by Kim Basinger), another example of this trend?

Was she originally going to be killed off in the film?

Read on to find out!
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Did Chinatown Originally Have a Much Different Ending?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Robert Towne’s original ending for Chinatown was about the complete opposite of the ending that Roman Polanski went with.

Robert Towne was an experienced script doctor who Robert Evans was familiar with from some work Towne did on The Godfather.

Evans tried to hire Towne to write the film adaptation of The Great Gatsby.

Towne felt he could not do the book justice, but he told Evans that he DID have a script that he thought Evans should take a look at.

That screenplay was for the 1974 film, Chinatown, which is one of the most acclaimed noir films in movie history.

Amazingly enough, though, for a film with a legendary ending, the ending that the movie ended up with is about a 180 degree turn from what Towne originally had as the film’s ending.

SPOILER WARNING FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE NOT SEEN CHINATOWN!!!
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Did Burt Reynolds Turn Down Terms of Endearment for Stroker Ace?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Burt Reynolds turned down an Academy Award-winning acting role that was specifically written with him in mind so that he could do Stroker Ace.

Terms of Endearment was a 1975 novel by Larry McMurtry about the strained relationship of a mother and her grown daughter…

James L. Brooks made his film debut as a writer with the screenplay for the popular 1979 film, Starting Over, starring Burt Reynolds as a divorced man balancing his relationship with his new girlfriend and his ex-wife…

In 1983, Brooks made his film debut as a writer/director with the film adaptation of Terms of Endearment, starring Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger as the mother and daughter.

Brooks decided to add a new character to the film, a romantic interest for MacLaine’s character. The character, Garrettt Breedlove, was a retired astronaut who was a bit of an arrogant boozehound, but with a heart of gold.

Brooks wrote the character with Reynolds in mind, who was in his late 40s at the time.

However, Reynolds at the time had a lead role in an action-comedy called Stroker Ace, where he played a race car driver.
Continue reading “Did Burt Reynolds Turn Down Terms of Endearment for Stroker Ace?”