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15 Little-Known Facts About Intolerable Cruelty

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They’re after each other’s assets, but we’re after the facts. Here are a few things you may not have known about the Coen brothers’ 2003 romantic comedy, Intolerable Cruelty.

1. IT’S THE FIRST COEN BROTHERS MOVIE THAT ISN’T THEIR ORIGINAL IDEA.

In 1995, the Coens rewrote a script originally penned by other screenwriters; they didn’t decide to direct the movie until 2003.


2. THE COENS WEREN’T THE FIRST CHOICE AS DIRECTORS.

Ron Howard and Jonathan Demme were initially attached to direct.


3. THEY SIGNED ON AFTER ANOTHER PROJECT FELL THROUGH.

In 2002, the brothers were going to direct a WWII drama called To the White Sea starring Brad Pitt, which was cancelled when the $80 million budget was deemed too expensive.


4. GEORGE CLOONEY AND CATHERINE ZETA-JONES WEREN’T THE ORIGINAL STARS.

Demme originally cast Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts as the lead characters.


5. CATHERINE ZETA-JONES MIGHT HAVE BEEN PREGNANT WHILE FILMING.

Zeta-Jones refuses to “mention any specific dates,” but has confirmed in interviews that “at the end of the movie, I got pregnant.”


6. IT’S THE FIRST COEN BROTHERS MOVIE WITH A CO-PRODUCER.

Until Intolerable Cruelty, which is co-produced by Brian Grazer, the Coens produced their movies themselves.


7. THE COEN BROTHERES BORROWED LINES FROM 15TH CENTURY POETRY.

In one courtroom scene, Clooney says lines 425-426 of Shakespeare’s poem “Venus and Adonis” to Zeta-Jones. She responds with a line from Christopher Marlowe’s “Hero and Leander.”


8. THE COEN BROTHERS LOVE TO LIVE IN THE PAST.

Intolerable Cruelty is the first Coen movie since 1987’s Raising Arizona, their second film, with a contemporary setting.

9. CLOONEY’S CHARACTER’S LOOK IS BASED ON A HOLLYWOOD ICON.

Miles’s style was inspired by Cary Grant’s in the 1958 rom-com Indiscreet.


10. BILLY BOB THORNTON IS A COEN BROTHERS VETERAN.

The actor appeared in their previous movie The Man Who Wasn’t There, and he would go on to appear in the TV series based on their movie Fargo.


11. INTOLERABLE CRUELTY WAS CLOONEY’S SECOND COEN BROTHERS FILM.

He previously appeared in O Brother Where Art Thou? He would go on to star in 2008’s Burn After Reading and has been cast in the Coens’ upcoming film, Hail Caesar!


12. BRUCE CAMBPELL MAKES A CAMEO AS THE SOAP OPERO DOCTOR ON TV.

This isn’t the first time Campbell appeared on a TV in a Coen brothers movie. He was also on a background TV in Fargo (you can see him onscreen when Steve Buscemi’s and Peter Stormare’s characters hold William H. Macy’s character’s wife captive).


13. MILES AND MARYLIN GET MARRIED AT LAS VEGAS’S VERY FIRST WEDDING CHAPEL.

The Wee Kirk O’the Heather opened in 1940. You can get an Elvis-themed ceremony there for $397.


14. IT INCLUDES A NOD TO FILM HISTORY.

The movie playing in the background during Rex’s death scene (behind all the scantily clad women) is director Jean Renoir’s 1938 movie, La bête humaine


15. MARYLIN MEETS MILES AT THE SWANY L.A. RESTAURANT L’ORANGERIE.

The same restaurant made an appearance in 1986’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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