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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Movie Poster

Trivia for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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  • There is no town in Missouri named Ebbing. The town where the movie is filmed is actually a small mountain town in western North Carolina called Sylva.
  • Abbie Cornish, Sam Rockwell, Zeljko Ivanek and Woody Harrelson had worked with Martin McDonagh in Seven Psychopaths (2012).
  • In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Woody Harrelson described this as "Super Troopers (2001) meets Seven Psychopaths (2012)."
  • First feature film directed by Martin McDonagh not to star Colin Farrell.
  • The film cast includes one Oscar winner: Frances McDormand; and four Oscar nominees: Woody Harrelson, Lucas Hedges, Sam Rockwell and John Hawkes.
  • Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson previously appeared in North Country (2005).
  • The hospital and doctor's office scenes were filmed at Haywood Regional Medical Center in Clyde, NC. The restaurant scene was filmed at J. Arthur's restaurant in Maggie Valley, NC.
  • Martin McDonagh wrote the screenplay with Frances McDormand as the lead role in mind.
  • Frances McDormand was hesitant to take the role when it was offered, but was eventually convinced by her husband, Joel Coen: "Because at the time he gave it to me I was 58... I was concerned that women from this socioeconomic strata did not wait until 38 to have their first child. So we went back and forth and we debated that quite for a while, and then finally my husband said, 'Just shut up and do it.'"
  • When we first meet Welby in the office he is reading 'A Good Man Is Hard to Find', the short story collection by Flannery O'Connor.
  • Several locations used for shooting were businesses that were repurposed or given facades for use during shooting. Most notably, the Police Department building was a consignment furniture store; the building was rented, crews redressed the interior and exterior, even special effects scenes involving pyrotechnics were filmed, then the building was remodeled to its previous state and returned to the business owners.
  • Local residents of Jackson County, NC were encouraged to apply to be extras. Several were cast for background roles. Students from the Stage and Screen department of nearby Western Carolina University were cast as shooting stand-ins for the main actors.
  • Production staff welcomed locals to watch outdoor scenes being filmed at public locations, provided they were not disruptive. Each shooting day, crowds would form to watch the proceedings, often upwards of 100 people. During breaks in shooting, the actors would approach the crowds to sign autographs and take pictures.
  • Woody Harrelson would often use his breaks from shooting to sign autographs and take pictures with locals who had come to watch the filming. During an extended break one day, he played an impromptu guitar performance at the music store next to the police station set.
  • The movie that Dixon's (Sam Rockwell) mother is watching with Donald Sutherland and "his dead girl" is Don't Look Now (1973), directed by Nicolas Roeg. This movie was also alluded to in McDonagh's previous feature film, In Bruges (2008). In this film, Frances McDormand's character parallels Donald Sutherland's character in that they both are driven by the guilt and grief of losing their daughter.
  • Sandy Martin appeared in Martin McDonagh's previous film, Seven Psychopaths, as the mother of a dead mobster. However, her scene was cut. It appears in the deleted scenes.
  • Zeljko Ivanek was in In Bruges (2008) and Seven Psychopaths (2012).
  • The critical bar scene with Dixon was shot in the Town Pump Tavern on Cherry Street in Black Mountain, NC.
  • Francis McDormand was in the movie Fargo while Woody Harrelson was in the television show based on the movie.
  • Sam Rockwell wore padding to make his character appear chubbier.
  • The bandanna Mildred wears is an homage to The Deer Hunter (1978), of which Martin McDonagh and Sam Rockwell are avid fans. During the filming of Seven Psychopaths, they often discussed the movie with its star Christopher Walken.
  • Gala Screening on the 14th edition of Dubai International Film Festival, screened on 11th December 2017.
  • Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, John Hawkes and Peter Dinklage all have appeared in a show from HBO. McDormand in Olive Kitteridge (2014), Harrelson in True Detective (2014), John Hawkes in Deadwood (2004) and Eastbound & Down (2009), and of course Dinklage in Game of Thrones (2011). McDormand and Dinklage both ended up winning Emmys for their performances in their respective shows in 2015.
  • The film was screened in the main competition section of the 74th Venice International Film Festival, where it premiered on September 4, 2017. It also played at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won its top prize, the People's Choice Award. This film was also screened at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival.
  • The film received six 2017 Golden Globes nominations: Best Motion Picture Drama, Best Director, Best Actress Drama (McDormand), Best Supporting Actor (Rockwell), Best Screenplay, and Best Original Score.
  • McDonagh was inspired to write the movie after seeing billboards about an unsolved crime while traveling "somewhere down in the Georgia, Florida, Alabama corner".
  • When leaving her home on the day she disappeared, Angela says "I hope I'll get raped on the way". "Rape Me" is the song from Nirvana's third album "In Utero", the poster of which is seen in Angela's bedroom.
  • Won four Golden Globes: Best Drama, Best Screenplay, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actor.
  • The "deer scene" was filmed with Becca, the White-Tailed Deer at the Western North Carolina Nature Center. Becca's trainer/caretaker is award-winning singer/songwriter, Ben Wilson.
  • There are several allusions to Don't Look Now (1973). Not just the storylines of both films being about parents grieving the death of a daughter. The film Dixon's mother is watching on telly about "the dead girl" is Don't Look Now; we hear a few brief notes from Pino Donaggio's score. Red is the key colour in both films: the eponymous billboards are bright red and the agency guy is called Red. Both films have a dwarf, a useless priest and hopeless cops, a nasty fall and a massive knife, children left to play alone by water, a kids' toy bobbing in water.
  • First full-length film in which director Martin McDonagh did not use a song from The Walkmen in the soundtrack.
  • Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Amanda Warren and Peter Dinklage all have appeared in a show from HBO. McDormand in Olive Kitteridge, Harrelson in True Detective, Warren in The Leftovers, and of course Dinklage in Game of Thrones. McDormand and Dinklage both ended up winning Emmys for their performances in their respective shows in 2015.
  • Abbie Cornish, Sam Rockwell, Zeljko Ivanek, Amanda Warren and Woody Harrelson had worked with Martin McDonagh in Seven Psychopaths (2012).
  • American Beauty (1999) also features a blond teenage girl called Angela Hayes, played by Mena Suvari.
  • Upon winning the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for her role in the film, Frances McDormand became the first actress to win two awards in the category; she had previously won her first award in the category in 1997 for Fargo (1996).
  • The comic book that Dixon is reading is 'Robot Stories' by Bob Burden.
  • Actress Sandy Martin plays a grandmother in this film as she did in Napoleon Dynamite (2004), which takes place in Idaho. There's an Idaho automobile license plate involved in the plot, which is an apparent homage to Martin's role in Napoleon Dynamite.
  • This is the first movie since Bugsy (1991) to have two Academy Awards nominations in the Best Supporting Actor category.
  • If you view Sylva on Google Maps and check out street view, you can see the shop used as the police station as both the original furniture shop and as the burned out police station set depending on whether you view from immediately outside or from slightly down the hill.
  • Dixon's mom is seen drinking a beer from local brewery Wicked Weed. The name of the beer is "Napoleon Complex": a nod to actress Sandy Martin's previous role in Napoleon Dynamite (2004).
  • Kathryn Newton and Lucas Hedges both starred in Lady Bird (2017) and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which are both nominated for Oscars and have both won Golden Globes. Both films also have a Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes score over 85.
  • The scenes where Mildred is at work were filmed in the Country Traditions store in Dillsboro, North Carolina.
  • A street view image in google maps captured in 2016 in Sylva, NC (filming location) shows the burned out police station.
  • Frances McDormand and Lucas Hedges previously appeared in Moonrise Kingdom (2012).
  • The three billboards say: "Raped While Dying", "And Still No Arrests?", "How Come, Chief Willoughby?"
  • Woody Harrelson and Caleb Landry Jones previously starred in No Country for Old Men (2007), which was directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, the husband and brother-in-law of Frances McDormand. In No Country for Old Men, Harrelson portrays bounty hunter Carson Welles and Jones portrays a profane boy on a bike who encounters Anton Chigurh after a car crash.


  • Lowest body count for a Martin McDonagh film (2).
  • The time period for the movie is about 9 months after 9/11. This is verified by the new Police Chief telling Dixon "it's classified, but think about what happened a few months ago, what country could he be in that would be classified." Also, there are no modern smartphones, everyone has a flip phone.
  • One of the comic books that Dixon reads, and has a shirt of, is 'Incorruptible'. Written by Mark Waid, it tells the story of a villain who is thrust into the role of a hero. This parallels Dixon's own journey through the film.
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