Beetlejuice Movie Poster

Trivia for Beetlejuice

Showing all 118 items
Jump to: Spoilers (5)
  • The snake scene had been filmed before Michael Keaton was cast as Betelgeuse, and the animatronic snake used bore no resemblance to him. After Keaton had been cast, some additional film was shot for the scene using a stop-motion snake that looked more like Betelgeuse. This was suggested by the studio to make sure the audience knows that the snake is actually Betelgeus, and not some random monster from the afterlife.
  • Director Trademark (Tim Burton): television commercials. In this film, Betelgeuse's commercial viewed by Adam and Barbara.
  • The original plan for the dinner party was to have the guests dance to "a song by The Ink Spots," but Jeffrey Jones and Catherine O'Hara suggested the music be calypso.
  • DIRECTOR TRADEMARK (Tim Burton): (music): Music by Danny Elfman.
  • Catherine O'Hara met her future husband, production designer Bo Welch, while making this film. According to Welch, Tim Burton said he should ask her out near the end of filming: "It didn't even occur to me that I was even supposed to talk to actors. But since Tim told me to I did and then we dated and we're married and here we are today."
  • This is Michael Keaton's favorite film of his own.
  • Director Trademark: [stop-motion animation] The sculptures, sandworms, and various effects.
  • The logo joke (a ghoulish version of the Banana Boat song) was added during post-production.
  • The studio originally wanted to call the film "House Ghosts." As a joke, Tim Burton suggested the name "Scared Sheetless" and was horrified when the studio actually considered using it.
  • Director Trademark: [dogs] The Maitlands' deaths are caused by a stray dog wandering around the bridge their car topples over.
  • Tim Burton originally wanted Sammy Davis, Jr., a favorite star of his since childhood, to play the role of Betelgeuse, but studio executives didn't like that idea at all.
  • When Adam and Barbara are in the office, a voice on the PA system announces "Flight 409 is arriving at Gate 3." United Airlines Flight 409 crashed into a mountain in Wyoming on October 6, 1955, killing all passengers and crew aboard. At the time, it was one of the worst plane crashes in history. (Three plane crashes in 1955 had a total of 66 casualities.) To this day, no one knows why it crashed.
  • A toy line was released in conjunction with the film and featured action figures of most of Beetlejuice's incarnations as well as Otho, Adam (whose figure featured him wearing a red baseball cap), and the Shrunken-Head Man from the waiting room (whose figure was named "Harry the Haunted Hunter" and came with a detachable head showing what he looked like before death).
  • According to Tim Burton, it took a lot of time to convince cast members to sign, as they thought the script was too weird. Geena Davis was the only cast member who would commit to the project at first. Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, and Sylvia Sidney all said no at least once. Producer David Geffen convinced Michael Keaton's manager to convince Keaton to meet with Burton. Once Keaton said yes, Burton personally called Sidney and begged her to do the movie, and he flew out to meet with O'Hara to convince her.
  • Juliette Lewis auditioned for the role of Lydia. Lori Loughlin, Diane Lane, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields, Justine Bateman, Molly Ringwald, and Jennifer Connelly all turned down the same role.
  • During the sequence where Adam and Barbara enter Juno's office and see her speaking to a recently deceased football team, a movie theater full of ghosts can be seen through Juno's office window. When the film was released in theaters, the scene created the illusion that the living and dead audiences could see each other. Among the ghosts in the audience are a red skeleton and a green skeleton (identical to the ones seen in Tim Burton's later movie, Mars Attacks! (1996)), a woman with red hair, and two men in suits and Ray-Ban style sunglasses (a.k.a. The Blues Brothers)
  • The original script was a horror film, and featured Beetlejuice as a winged, reptilian demon who transformed into a small Middle Eastern man to interact with the Maitlands and the Deetzes. Lydia was a minor character, with her six-year-old sister Cathy being the Deetz child able to see the Maitlands. Beetlejuice's goal was to kill the Deetzs, rather than frighten them away, and included sequences where he mauled Cathy in the form of a rabid squirrel and tried to rape Lydia. Subsequent script re-writes turned the film into a comedy, and toned down Beetlejuice into the ghost of a wise cracking con-artist, rather than a demon.
  • Producer Jon Peters thought of casting controversial comedian Sam Kinison as Beetlegeuse, but Kinison's agent never told him about it.
  • Just before the dinner party scene, Delia mentions to Lydia that one of their guests is a writer for "Art in America Magazine." In the last scene, when Delia shows Charles her latest sculpture, there is a copy of "Art in America" behind him, with a picture of Delia and several of her sculptures on the cover.
  • When Glenn Shadix died in September 2010, the last song performed at his memorial service was "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)," which was used in the dinner party scene.
  • Along with Spaceballs (1987), Big (1988), Caddyshack II (1988), and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), the film is notable for containing the "f" word in a film rated PG during the PG-13 era.
  • Betelgeuse reveals a hideous (albeit unseen) face to Adam and Barbara. Originally, Betelgeuse's "scary face" was going to be seen, and an elaborate make-up effect was created to that end, but ultimately went unused.
  • According to Dick Cavett, Tim Burton tried to film the scene where shrimp jump off the plates and attack the dinner party by positioning stage hands beneath the table and throwing them. Cavett suggested placing the shrimp on their faces, filming them as they fell off, then running the film in reverse, which Burton did.
  • In the first waiting room scene, several methods of death are shown: A camper who was bitten by a rattlesnake, a diner who choked on what looks like a chicken bone, a surfer who was attacked by a shark, a girl (evidently a magician's assistant) who was sawed in half at the torso, the shrunken-head man, and a smoker who is a burn victim.
  • The movie's box-office success created plans for a sequel: Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian. A script was commissioned, and Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder both signed on to reprise their respective roles. Tim Burton lost interest in the project, and went on to direct Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992) instead. As late as 2015, Warner Brothers was still trying to get the original sequel concept into production.
  • At the dinner party, Otho states that people who commit suicide end up as "civil servants" in the afterlife. This is actually expanded on in the film: the civil servant ghosts Adam and Barbara meet are people who appear to have ended their own lives. * The receptionist says she committed suicide, there is a man who hanged himself, and the crushed messenger is implied to have done it to himself. * Juno looks normal, but there are scars on her neck that indicate she cut her own throat. * Beetlejuice is said to have been a civil servant and Juno's assistant; it was going to be explained in the film that he hanged himself (incompetently and very painfully), due to heartbreak. While this was cut out of the film for running time purposes, it is hinted when Bettlejuice is surprised at Lydia wishing to die.
  • All the people in the waiting room and in the office are in the same condition as when they died, and the way they died is shown clearly. However, the Maitlands, who drowned, are not wet. Tim Burton felt that keeping the actors wet all the time would be too uncomfortable.
  • Dudley Moore was considered for the role of Betelgeuse.
  • According to Michael Keaton, the Beetlejuice character was described to him by director Tim Burton as "having lived in every time period but no time period." Keaton used this as the jumping-off point to create the character with such features as a shock hairdo, mold make-up, and large teeth. He said that when he first showed up to the set as Beetlejuice, the crew was chanting: "Juice, Juice, Juice!" This got Keaton excited for his role.
  • Michael Keaton based his performance of Beetlejuice on Chop Top from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986).
  • Michael Keaton ad-libbed 90% of his lines.
  • Although the character's true name is Betelgeuse, it was spelled "Beetlejuice" in the title because it's funnier and markets better.
  • When Beetlejuice turns into a merry-go-round, Michael Keaton has bat wings on his ears. Keaton's next films with Tim Burton were Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992).
  • Director Trademark: [distorted female face] One of Barbara's early attempts to scare off intruders, and her mouth "zipped" during the climax.
  • Winona Ryder was only seventeen-years-old in this movie.
  • Set in Connecticut, the movie was filmed in the small town of East Corinth, Vermont. A small creek, which runs though the town was dammed up to provide deeper water for the covered bridge scene. The covered bridge for the scene was built on Chicken Farm Road near the village. The Maitlands' house was a façade built in a farm field one hundred yards uphill from the bridge for exterior shots only. The town post office, the "nice building" with the "bad roof," is visible from the field.
  • The skeleton head on top of Betelgeuse's Merry-Go-Round looks remarkably like Jack Skellington, a skeleton figure which Tim Burton had been drawing since 1982, and would ultimately be used as the main character of The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), which Burton co-wrote and produced.
  • The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Geena Davis and Michael Keaton and three Oscar nominees:,Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder, and Sylvia Sidney.
  • Beetlejuice, the title character, doesn't appear until twenty-five minutes into the film and ultimately appears in less than twenty percent of the film in its entirety. Michael Keaton spent only two weeks filming.
  • Geena Davis and Jeffrey Jones appeared in Stuart Little (1999).
  • Otho Fenlock was named after Otho, a Roman Emperor of only three months; January 15th to April 16th, 69 A.D.
  • Glenn Shadix (Otho) and Winona Ryder (Lydia) appeared in Heathers (1988).
  • The casting of Lydia came down to just two actresses, namely, Winona Ryder and Alyssa Milano, with Ryder ultimately landing the role.
  • In the scene where Adam and Barbara transform, the clay sculptures took one week to create.
  • A set of screen used foam latex prosthetic pieces (the faces Adam and Barbara pull) were found in an English couples home during filming for a UK show called "Cash In The Attic" where people put personal items up for auction to raise cash, but the pieces were in such poor condition that they didn't sell.
  • Delia has a knack for "repurposing" clothing to wear in different styles. In one scene, Delia wears the red sweater that Charles wore in a previous scene, except as pants. She wears the sweater upside down with her legs in the arm holes and held up around her waist with suspenders. During the Deetzes' first dinner in their new house, Delia is seen with an elaborate decorative black hair band wrapped around her head that nearly resembles feathers. The "headband" is actually a pair intertwined women's gloves.
  • Originally, Lionel Newman was hired to conduct the score. However, during the first day of recording, he kept making changes to Elfman's written score, and the result was Newman being replaced as conductor by William Ross. Elfman harbored no ill will about it.
  • Betelgeuse (Michael Keaton) says, "I've seen The Exorcist (1973) about one hundred sixty-seven times, and it keeps getting funnier every time I see it!" Geena Davis (Barbara Maitland) later starred as Angela Rance (the adult Regan MacNeil) in the television adaptation The Exorcist (2016).
  • Otho recites lines from the poem "The Warning" by Thomas Lovell Beddoes while he is resurrecting the Maitlands.
  • Jeffrey Jones (Charles Deetz) and Winona Ryder (Lydia Deetz) appeared in The Crucible (1996).
  • When Adam and Barbara are seated in Juno's office, behind their heads sits a window where a movie theater of ghosts can be easily seen. This implies that this is a film being watched by the dead in a movie theater in their world. It is during this specific scene when the two sides are finally made aware of each other: for a brief moment, the living can see the dead and the dead can see the living.
  • Beetlejuice's black and white striped outfit suggests he is a prisoner to the curse that's befallen him.
  • Much of Michael Keaton's performance included improvisation. One of the most notable scenes in which Keaton utilized improv was during the first conversation between Adam, Barbara, and Betelgeuse. When asked for his qualifications, Michael Keaton briefly breaks character and speaks in his normal speaking voice. Some of the credentials given, including being a graduate of the Harvard Business School, attending Juliard, and extensive travelling are all factual achievements of Michael Keaton.
  • The candy bar that Beetlejuce uses to tempt to lure the fly is Zagnut.
  • Miss Argentina's full sash can be seen with the year "1939." As the movie is set in 1988, she has been working as the netherworld receptionist for forty-nine years.
  • Kirstie Alley was the first choice for the role of Barbara. But the producers of Cheers (1982) wouldn't let her out of her contract to take the role. Sigourney Weaver, Goldie Hawn, Laura Dern, and Linda Hamilton were also considered for the role.
  • The scene with the fly is a tribute to the horror film The Fly (1958). Geena Davis starred in The Fly (1986). Michael Keaton himself was offered the lead role in "The Fly" and turned it down.
  • Adam, Barbara, Charles, and Delia were all named alphabetically.
  • Juno is the name of the Queen of the Roman gods.
  • Linda Blair was briefly considered for the role of Barbara.
  • The title character is named for a bright red star in the constellation of Orion, Betelgeuse.
  • Beetlejuice's number when he's in the waiting room at the end of the film is 9,998,383,750,000.
  • Alec Baldwin and Jeffrey Jones appeared in The Hunt for Red October (1990).
  • Anjelica Huston was originally meant to be Delia, but she was ill and couldn't come in for filming.
  • After the surprise box-office success of Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985), Tim Burton found he was the hot director, being sent all the top scripts. However, he disliked them all, and was on the point of starting to write his version of Batman (1989), when he was sent Michael McDowell's original screenplay. He loved the premise, and promptly signed on.
  • Larry Wilson was brought on-board to reshape Michael McDowell's screenplay, but creative differences between McDowell and Tim Burton led to the former being replaced by Warren Skaaren.
  • Winona Ryder was cast on the strength of her performance in Lucas (1986).
  • The visual effects budget was just $1 million, a major factor in Tim Burton deciding to make the effects look as tacky and B-movie as possible.
  • Tim Burton sought out Anton Furst to be his production designer, but Furst had committed to High Spirits (1988), a film which was spiraling out of control. The two worked together on Batman (1989), for which Furst won an Academy Award.
  • The 10th biggest grossing film of 1988.
  • Michael Keaton, playing the title character, only appears in 17.5 minutes of the film.
  • Alec Baldwin dislikes the film and was very unhappy with his performance.
  • Michael Keaton and Geena Davis appeared in Speechless (1994).
  • The film won a Saturn Award in 1990 for best horror movie.
  • Part of the spell Otho recites to resurrect Barbara and Adam are lines from Thomas Lovell Beddoes' poem The Warning.
  • At one point, Tim Burton considered Arnold Schwarzenegger for the role of Betelgeuse. However, The Geffen Company felt that due to Schwarzenegger's reputation at the time as an action star, people wouldn't take it seriously. But Burton approached Schwarzenegger anyway. He turned it down, as he was busy shooting The Running Man (1987).
  • Michael Keaton and Geena Davis starred in Speechless (1994).
  • Michael Keaton and Alec Baldwin appeared on 30 Rock (2006).
  • Originally Michael Keaton refused the role because he "just didn't get it." Eventually however he came around after meeting Tim Burton and seeing "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure."
  • The Maitlands car is a 1977 Volvo 245 DL.
  • Included among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the Top 100 Funniest American Movies.
  • Adam's black and white checkered shirt is the same one worn by Tom Selleck in 3 Men and a Baby (1987).
  • Heather Langenkamp was considered for the role of Lydia after Tim Burton saw her in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). Langenkamp turned the part down because she didn't want to play a goth girl.
  • "Beetlejuice" was the first DVD sent out on Netflix in 1998.
  • Betelgeuse's TV commercial was a spoof of Cal Worthington, a car dealer known for a series of offbeat late-night TV commercials on the West Coast featuring "my dog Spot" (which was never a dog, but usually an exotic animal instead). At the tme of this film's release, Worthington made $316.8 million, making him at the time the largest single owner of a car dealership chain.
  • At a Q&A session for "The Founder," Michael Keaton was asked what was a clearly a familiar question: would there ever be a sequel to Beetlejuice? Co-star B.J. Novak then suggested that they simply say "Beetlejuice" three times and the sequel would materialize, to great laughter from Keaton and the other actors on stage. Novak was referring to how characters in the film summoned Beetlejuice to "help" them.
  • Bill Pullman was considered for the role of Adam
  • Robin Williams, Christopher Lloyd, Jim Carrey, Tim Curry, Jack Nicholson and Bill Murray were all considered to play Betelgeuse.
  • New England's covered bridges are famous. They were originally constructed to enable horses pulling carriages to cross streams and rivers -- most horses are too fearful to cross bridges otherwise unless very well trained.
  • When Barbara is frustrated after failing to scare the Deetz's, she says to Adam: "What's the good of being a ghost if you can't frighten people away?" When she says this Mr. Deetz is reading a magazine with an add on the back that states: "Hands-On Experience Required." This is a subtle allusion to the importance of Beetlejuice in the film's plot, and something the Maitland's don't have, due to their being recently deceased.
  • It is hinted throughout the movie that Lydia could be suffering from depression particularly when Lydia writes a suicide note to Adam and Barbara which in her suicide note which writes that she feels utterly alone.
  • In the waiting room at the end of the film, the bottom half of the magician's assistant that Beetlejuice tries to feel up was played by Tim Burton's then-girlfriend.
  • Beetlejuice is headed to Broadway March 2019 after pre-Broadway at the National Theater in Washington, D.C. starting mid-October 2018.
  • In the scene where Michael Keaton is pulling down the fly, you can hear the fly cry the same words from the original movie The Fly at the very end when David Hennessy is trapped in the fly's body and screaming help me help me.
  • The Lost Souls Room foreshadows the potential fate of the Maitlands.
  • Betelgeuse mentions he hates sandworms when reading the newspaper, and again when he first meets the Maitlands. Barbara manages to land a good punch on the sandworm the first time it attacks her. Her ability to handle the creature better than the rest of the cast comes in handy later on in the film.
  • The fly screams "Help me! Help meeeeeeeeee!" when trapped by Betelguese. The presence of Geena Davis makes this an actor allusion.
  • The line "Go ahead, make my millennium!", spoken by Betelgeuse is a reference to Sudden Impact (1983).
  • Wes Craven was the first choice to direct.
  • Lydia's age is never stated, but Winona Ryder was 15 when the movie was filmed, and Barbara refers to Lydia as a "little girl". So it's possible the character is supposed to be about 13-16.
  • There was originally a scene where Lydia was developing photos of Adam and Barbara in Delia's bed sheets and tries to show them to her dad. Seen here. There was supposed to be another encounter with the sandworm when Adam and Barbara were hiding from the Deetzes. Here. There was also an alternate version of the scene where Adam tries to leave the house and it didn't include him on Saturn. Here The ending was different than the final film version.
  • Delia is momentarily trapped by a piece of sculpture when her art collection is moved into the new house, foreshadowing what happens later, even though he hadn't even been summoned yet, Betelguese somehow picks up on this later. Delia: This is my art, and it is dangerous!
  • Betelgeuse momentarily controls Barbara, having her say in his voice, "Learn to throw your voice! Fool your friends! Fun at parties!" Forshadowing the dinner party.
  • The Lost Souls Room foreshadows the potential fate of the Maitlands.
  • Delia is momentarily trapped by a piece of sculpture when her art collection is moved into the new house, foreshadows the ending, Betelguese somehow picks up on this later, and does a similar thing to her, which she states: "This is my art, and it is dangerous!"
  • Adam's bird head almost resembles the character Gogo Dodo from the Warner Bros. cartoon Tiny Toon Adventures (1990).
  • In Spain both the movie and Keaton's character were named as "Bitelchús", following the pronunciation of Betelgeuse/Beetlejuice.
  • Tim Burton, production designer Bo Welch and producer Richard Hashimoto travelled the entire state of Vermont looking for the right house to fit the Maitland home.
  • Tim Burton feared the "Day-O" sequence wouldn't go over well, since in his opinion it wasn't very funny. He turned out to be wrong: audiences loved it and think of it as one of the film's most iconic scenes.
  • The film had a medium budget, so most of the VFX were done in-camera; the sandworms and the space scenes were achieved in post-production.
  • When Adam and Barbara look in the mirror and can't see their reflections, it's Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin looking into the set with the glass removed and the fireplace turned around to the opposite side.
  • When Barbara holds up Adam's severed head, Alec Baldwin was kneeling behind a black show card that was cut round his chin.
  • Like the original King Kong, it takes approximately 45-minutes to actually see the title character.

Spoilers

  • Betelgeuse/Beetlejuice's name is spoken fifteen times in the film, eight from Barbara, two from Juno, and five from Lydia. Adam also says his name a few times, but mispronounces it.
  • In Beetlejuice's forced wedding, Lydia's dress is bright red. According to the old rhyme about wedding dress colors: "Married in red, better off dead."
  • The number three is used several times: The number of times to say commands ("Betelgeuse" and "home"), the number of times to knock on the door to get to the other side, and the number of first class intercessions allotted. When moving in, Delia also mentions a missing sculpture; "Why are there only three, there should be four?"
  • The epilogue with Beetlejuice and the witch doctor was added in post-production.
  • At the time the movie was made the reputation of the 240-Series Volvos was that of the safest car in the world. Purportedly no one had been killed in a Volvo of that series and vintage. The fact that Adam and Barbara died in one was a huge joke to Volvo owners and other car-savvy viewers.
Movie details provided by