If you’re a fan of the classic 1995 crime thriller The Usual Suspects, you probably think you know everything there is to know about the movie. But did you know that the film’s iconic line was almost cut from the script? Or that the movie was shot in only 35 days? Read on to discover some more fascinating Usual Suspects trivia that you probably didn’t know!
The Usual Suspects
In case you haven’t seen the movie in awhile, here’s a quick refresher on The Usual Suspects.
The Usual Suspects is a 1995 neo-noir mystery film written by Christopher McQuarrie and directed by Bryan Singer. It stars Kevin Spacey, Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio del Toro, Chazz Palminteri, Pete Postlethwaite, and Kevin Pollak.
The film tells the story of Roger “Verbal” Kint, a small-time con man who is brought in for questioning about the massacre of a group of sailors. Kint tells the police that he was part of a group of criminals who were hired by a mysterious figure named Keyser Söze to carry out the robbery. However, as the police investigate Kint’s story, they begin to doubt whether he is telling the truth.
The Usual Suspects is a complex and suspenseful film that will keep you guessing until the very end. If you are a fan of the film, then you will definitely want to check out this list of Usual Suspects trivia.
The name of the film, “The Usual Suspects”, was inspired by a scene from the movie Casablanca.
The title for The Usual Suspects was inspired by this famous line from the 1942 film, Casablanca.
- Captain Renault: Major Strasser has been shot… round up the usual suspects.
The name “Keyser Söze” was pulled from a dictionary and based on drug lord and a KGB mole.
Screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie chose the name Keyser Soze from an English-to-Turkish dictionary.
But the character “Keyser Söze” was loosely inspired by a real-life Turkish drug lord named Sedat Peker and the semi-mythical nature of Yuri, the KGB mole from the 1987 spy thriller No Way Out.
Kevin Spacey asked to be in the movie before he even knew what it would be.
Kevin Spacey was a relatively unknown actor when he was cast in The Usual Suspects. He had only appeared in a few small roles, and he was eager to land a major part in a big-budget film.
But he was so impressed with Bryan Singer’s first film, Public Access (1993), that he sought out the young director after a screening at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival, expressing his desire to be in his next film. So when he was offered the role of Roger “Verbal” Kint, Spacey accepted without even reading the script.
The director, Bryan Singer, saw the film as a parallel to The Wizard of Oz.
Bryan Singer saw The Usual Suspects as a modern-day version of The Wizard of Oz. In both films, a group of people are brought together on a journey, and they are ultimately led by a mysterious figure who turns out to be the real villain.
The actors were supposed to play it straight in the lineup scene, but they couldn’t keep from laughing.
The lineup scene in The Usual Suspects is one of the most iconic scenes in the film. In the scene, Verbal Kint is brought into a police lineup and asked to identify the men who robbed the ship. However, the actors were supposed to play it straight, but they couldn’t keep from laughing.
At the time, director Bryan Singer was incredibly frustrated. He tried piecing together whatever serious takes he was able to get on film, but eventually gave up. He didn’t have enough footage. So he switched his strategy and instead used the funniest takes.
The line “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist” was not in the original script.
The line “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist” is one of the most famous lines in The Usual Suspects. However, this line was not in the original script. It was added by actor Kevin Spacey, who felt that it would add an extra layer of mystery to the film.
Verbal Kint says, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist.” This quote from the French poet Charles Baudelaire also appears in End of Days (1999), also featuring Gabriel Byrne and Kevin Pollak.
The film’s screenwriter, Christopher McQuarrie, didn’t write the most famous line.
The most famous line in The Usual Suspects is “Keyser Söze is a made-up name.” However, this line was not written by the film’s screenwriter, Christopher McQuarrie. It was added by actor Kevin Spacey, who felt that it would add an extra layer of mystery to the film.
Kobayashi folders were handed out to the characters in the order that they die in the film.
When Keaton hands out the folders that Kobayashi gave them, he hands them out in the order the characters die. Fenster, Hockney, McManus, Keaton, and finally Verbal. Although, Verbal doesn’t technically die. He just disappears as Verbal becomes Keyser Soze during his walk to the car.
The Usual Suspects was a commercial success, grossing over $327 million worldwide.
The Usual Suspects was a commercial success. It grossed over $327 million worldwide and was one of the highest-grossing films of 1995. That number is even more impressive considering the movie’s production budget was only $6 million dollars.
The Usual Suspects won two Academy Awards, including Best Original Screenplay.
The film was also a critical success. Among other accolades, it won two Academy Awards; Kevin Spacey for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and Christopher McQuarrie, Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen.
To this day, The Usual Suspects is considered to be one of the best neo-noir films of all time, and it has been praised for its twist ending, its performances, and its writing.
When he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Kevin Spacey famously said “Well, whoever Keyzer Soze is, I can tell you he’s gonna get gloriously drunk tonight.”
The entire movie was shot over a period of 35 days.
Unlike many Hollywood projects that take months or even years to shoot, The Usual Suspects was shot in only 35 days. Because of its limited budget, the producers had to keep the film’s production tight or risk running out of money.
It was Benicio Del Toro’s idea to make Fenster’s dialogue unintelligible.
Benicio Del Toro was originally asked to audition for the role of McManus, but he wanted to audition for the role of Fenster instead. It was Del Toro’s idea to make Fenster almost unintelligible. Since Fenster’s only purpose in the film was to die as an example to the other characters, Del Toro made this “throw away” character’s dialogue completely disposable.
Del Toro’s idea on how to play for Fenster was genius. By making Fenster’s dialogue unintelligible, Del Toro actually brought more attention to the character and made him more likable. In the movie’s DVD commentary track, Kevin Pollak joked that Del Toro is such a skilled actor that he took what was meant to be a throw-away character and instead “stole every scene he was in!”
The only problem was some of the other actors couldn’t understand the dialogue either and would miss their cues. Stephen Baldwin in particular had issues in the scenes where he had lines that followed Del Toro.
Stephen Baldwin wasn’t the first choice to play the role of McManus
Actor Michael Biehn (Terminator, Aliens) was asked to audition for McManus but passed on the role because he thought the script was too confusing. Instead, the role went to the second choice, Stephen Baldwin. After The Usual Suspects became such a huge success, Biehn later admitted that he had made a major mistake.
A lot of actors turned down the role of Redfoot.
Redfoot The Fence had a small but important role in The Usual Suspects. But casting Redfoot wasn’t easy. Chris Cornell, Charlie Sheen, James Spader, Jeff Bridges, Johnny Cash, Tommy Lee Jones, and Christopher Walken all turned down the part of Redfoot. The role would ultimately go to Peter Greene, who had recently just finished playing the role of Zed from Pulp Fiction.
Christopher Walken and Robert De Niro both turned down the role of Kujan.
Parts of the exploding boat scene from The Usual Suspects were shot in director Bryan Singer’s backyard.
The original script for The Usual Suspects included a subplot of Keaton planting a bomb on the ship. To tighten up the final edit, most of these shots were cut from the film. The only shot that remained was the scene where Keaton asks Keyzer, “What time is it?” Because the change was made after filming, additional shots of the exploding ship had to be filmed in Director Bryan Singer’s backyard.
The Usual Suspects has been praised for its twist ending, its performances, and its writing.
The Usual Suspects has been praised for its twist ending, its performances, and its writing. The twist ending is one of the most famous in film history, and it has been praised for its originality and its ability to surprise audiences.
The performances in The Usual Suspects are also praised, with Kevin Spacey’s performance as Verbal Kint being particularly acclaimed.
The writing in The Usual Suspects is also praised, with Christopher McQuarrie’s screenplay being called “a masterpiece of modern cinema.”
Who is Keyser Soze? – Even the actors didn’t know.
The Usual Suspects ending didn’t just surprise audiences, it also surprised The Usual Suspects cast. During pre-production, director Bryan Singer managed to convince all of his actors that they were Keyser Soze. When Gabriel Byrne found that he wasn’t Keyser Soze, he was upset that he argued with Singer for a half hour.
Verbal Kint was never arrested in the film.
In the beginning of the movie (5:25) through (8:05), there are short scenes of each character being arrested… except for Verbal Kint. If you’re paying attention, this is a dead giveaway that Kint is… Keyser Soze.
The film has been referenced and parodied in many other movies and TV shows.
The Usual Suspects has been referenced and parodied in many other movies and TV shows. Some of the most famous examples include the films The Shawshank Redemption and The Dark Knight Rises, and the TV shows The Simpsons and Family Guy.
Usual Suspects Trivia
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Frank Wilson is a retired teacher with over 30 years of combined experience in the education, small business technology, and real estate business. He now blogs as a hobby and spends most days tinkering with old computers. Wilson is passionate about tech, enjoys fishing, and loves drinking beer.