True Lies is a 1994 American action comedy film written and directed by James Cameron, and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis. True Lies is an extended remake of the 1991 French film La Totale!, which was directed by Claude Zidi and starred Thierry Lhermitte and Miou-Miou.
When Arnold Schwarzenegger rescues wife Jamie Lee Curtis from an airborne chopper, he grasps her by her arm just as the chopper heads out over the water. The woman you see dangling below the chopper skid is no body double, but Curtis doing her very own stunt work. At her insistence, director James Cameron agreed to let her perform this scary spectacle. According to Jamie Lee Curtis, on the TV special promoting ‘True Lies’, it was Cameron’s idea for her to do the helicopter work; she said, ‘Oh, yeah. And just where are you going to be while I’m dangling way up there in the air, Jim?’ And, according to her, he said, ‘Hanging out the door filming you with a hand-held camera.’ So she decided that if he was willing to do that to get the shot, she could stand to do it, too. Curtis did the helicopter stunt on her birthday.
A full scale model of a Harrier was built for all close shots of Arnold Schwarzenegger flying the plane; it was puppeteered from a crane on a nearby building which was painted out with CGI. (As the Harrier lands in the street, dust and debris stirred up by its jet blast is all done in CGI; the CGI blast swirls up a CGI piece of paper which is sucked into the Harrier’s CGI air compressor fan)
The Chevrolet Corvette (C2) (C2 for Second Generation), also known as the Corvette Sting Ray, is a sports car produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors for the 1963 through 1967 model years.
The 1963 Sting Ray production car’s lineage can be traced to two separate GM projects: the Q-Corvette, and perhaps more directly, Mitchell’s racing Stingray. The Q-Corvette, initiated in 1957, envisioned a smaller, more advanced Corvette as a coupe-only model, boasting a rear transaxle, independent rear suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes, with the rear brakes mounted inboard. Exterior styling was purposeful, with peaked fenders, a long nose, and a short, bobbed tail.
Helen Tasker: Have you ever killed anyone?
Harry: Yeah, but they were all bad.
[after watching her husband kill dozens of men]
Helen Tasker: I married Rambo!
[while launching a Harrier missile, from which Salim Abu Aziz is hanging]
Harry: You’re fired!
Party Guard: Can I see your invitation?
Harry: Sure, here’s my invitation.
[blows shed sky-high]
True Lies was the first Lightstorm Entertainment project to be distributed under Cameron’s multi-million dollar production deal with 20th Century Fox, as well as the first major production for the visual effects company Digital Domain, which was co-founded by Cameron. True Lies was the only feature film collaboration outside of the Terminator series to feature Cameron, Schwarzenegger, and Brad Fiedel as director, actor, and composer respectively.
Upon its release, True Lies was the most expensive film ever made as well as the first film to have over a $100 million production budget, and went on to a commercial and critical success.
For her performance, Jamie Lee Curtis received a 1994 Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy.
The set of bra and matching panties worn by Helen Tasker (Jamie Lee Curtis) during the striptease scene were Ms. Curtis’s own.
The US Government supplied three Marine Harriers and their pilots for a fee of $100,736 ($2,410 per hour).
The soundstage where they shot the Harrier scale model was the largest 180 degree green-screen background ever built.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biggest challenge for the movie was not doing all the physical stunts, but dancing a tango. He had to take dancing lessons to realistically perform the dance.
When Arnold Schwarzenegger rescues wife Jamie Lee Curtis from an airborne chopper, he grasps her by her arm just as the chopper heads out over the water.
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