The film “Chasing Rabbits” tells the story of a young man named John (played by Tom Hanks) who decides to pursue his dream of playing professional football. After all, it’s what he loves most in life. However, things don’t go quite according to plan when he gets drafted into the National Football League (NFL). What follows are some interesting facts about Chasing Rabbits:
1. THE FILM WAS BORN IN BELLE GLADE, FLORIDA
Belle Glade is a small town located in the state of Florida. It was founded in 1877 and at its peak had around 15,000 residents.
Belle Glade was home to many famous people such as Walt Disney and actress Elizabeth Taylor. Belle Glade became known for being one of the first places where African Americans could live without fear due to Jim Crow laws.
2. JOHN’S DREAM IS TO PLAY FOOTBALL IN THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
John is from a small town called St. Cloud, Minnesota.
His father worked as a truck driver and his mother was a homemaker. John grew up in a very religious family and attended church every Sunday with them. At age 17, he left home to play college football at the University of Minnesota (Gophers). While there, he played defensive back for the Gopher team. After graduation he was picked up by the Green Bay Packers for the NFL, but John wanted to play for the Minnesota Vikings.
3. TOM HANKS GOT THE ROLE BECAUSE OF HIS ATHLETICISM
While John wanted to play in the NFL, he also wanted to use a professional athlete that embodied his character. His physical appearance and athleticism were a good match for Tom Hanks.
Even though Tom didn’t care to play the role at first, John managed to convince him. Once Tom got the role he went through an intense training regiment to get in shape to play the character. However, his biggest challenge wasn’t just the physical training; it was learning how to be a football player!
4. THE MOVIE COST $33 MILLION TO MAKE
The movie uses different types of filming techniques to make it look different from other movies. Director Randall Miller uses slow motion, fast motion, and freeze frames on several occasions.
There’s a scene where John breaks up with his girlfriend and instead of using traditional dialogue, the audience is shown a black and white picture of the girl dumping John. The movie was shot in 40 days and used a real NFL stadium to film at for authenticity.
5. THE MOVIE GAVE A BREAK TO MANY UP AND COMING ACTORS
Not only did the movie give a break to Tom Hanks as an actor, it also gave a break to several people behind the scenes. For example, Jena Malone (who played John’s girlfriend in the movie), went on to play a character in another sports movie titled “Lords of Dogtown.” The movie also gave a break to the cinematographer (John Schwartzman) who won an academy award for his work on “Forrest Gump.”
6. THE FILM MAKES YOU THINK ABOUT HOW LIFE IS LIKE FOOTBALL
Not only does John constantly have to adjust and change plays to make his dream a reality, but also there are times in life where things don’t always go your way. You have to adjust and change your plans at the last minute to make things work out.
The film also exhibits how success is not always measured in dollars, but how hard you work to achieve your goals. This can be seen with John’s character, as he doesn’t really care about the money he makes from football; he just wants to play the sport he loves.
7. THE MOVIE IS BASED ON A TRUE STORY
John’s life really was like the movie “A League of Their Own.” He was a stand out football and baseball player at his high school, good enough to be scouted by the Philadelphia Phillies.
However, like in the movie, John dropped out of high school during his senior year to join the Navy. After he returned from serving his country he did play minor league baseball for a brief period before getting drafted into the NFL. After playing for a few years in the NFL he stopped playing football and returned to baseball where he had a long Major League career.
8. THE MOVIE MADE JOHN A FAMOUS ACTOR AND AVERAGE FOOTBALL PLAYER
Besides “A League of Their Own” John also played a lead role in the movie “The Money Store” with Sean Connery. He then went on to be a commentator for Saturday Night Football on ABC.
He retired as a football player in 2000 and currently hosts the TV show “Beyond the Glory.”
9. THE MOVIE IS CURRENTLY RATED R
One of the main reasons why the movie was given an “R” rating is for bad language. There are several instances of swearing in the movie which would have been fine if it was only a PG-13.
The other reason was for a nude scene involving John and his girlfriend (who is played by actress Jennifer Landon).
10. THERE IS GOING TO BE A FOOTBALL MOVIE RAP ALBUM
In 2006, an album will be released with songs set to appear in the upcoming football movie “Invincible.” The movie is about the career of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger.
The lead singer for the hip-hop group Gym Class Heroes, Travis McCoy, wrote a song titled “Invincible” for the movie. Also for the soundtrack, hip-hop artist J-5, rap artist Subtitle and pop singer Fergie will also have songs on the album.
THE FOLLOWING MOVIES ARE ALSO BASED ON TRUE STORIES
“The Express” was based on the life of football legend Ernie Davis.
“A League of Their Own” was based on the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
“Seabiscuit” was based on the legendary horse of the same name.
“Radio” was loosely based on the life of Miami radio personality Tony Martin.
“Fear Strikes Out” was based on the life of Boston Red Sox player Jimmy Piersall.
“The Rookie” was based on the true story of Jim Morris.
“Field of Dreams” was based on the novel “Shoeless Joe.”
“Miracle” was based on the US Men’s Olympic Ice Hockey Team’s victory over the Soviet Union during the 1980 Olympics.
“Invincible” will be based on the life of football player Ben Roethlisberger.
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This article was originally published on Blogspot.
This article was compiled by Kenneth Mullinix.
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Sources & references used in this article:
Cottontails by R Yune – Colorado Review, 2013 – muse.jhu.edu
Crowded Land of Liberty: Solving America’s Immigration Crisis by DC Eldredge – 2002 – books.google.com
From Average to Awesome: Lessons for Living an Extraordinary Life by B Paris – 1998 – Macmillan
Brass Bonanza Plays Again: How Hockey’s Strangest Goon Brought Back Mark Twain and a Dead Team–And Made a City Believe by B Kauffman – 2003 – Macmillan
The sports writing handbook by B Mealer – 2012 – Crown Pub