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Shallow Grave (1994) Poster

(1994)

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (5)
Danny Boyle has stated that of the films he has directed, this is his father's favorite, and that whenever a new film directed by Boyle junior is released (including Slumdog Millionaire (2008), which won the academy award both for Best Picture and Best Director) and he asks Boyle senior's opinion, his father's review is always the same - "It was good, but not as good as 'Shallow Grave'."
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According to director Danny Boyle there's a sly connection between this film and his next film, Trainspotting (1996). Keith Allen portrays a drug dealer in both films leading us to believe he may be the same character featured in both, as Trainspotting was supposed to take place in the late 80s before the occurrences in Shallow Grave.
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Danny Boyle knew he had a hit on his hands when the film debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and the organizers had to set up three extra screenings just to meet demand.
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Such were the budgetary constraints on this shoot, the production had to auction off various props in order to raise enough money to buy essential film stock needed to complete the picture.
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Shallow Grave marked the feature debut for a number of its creators. It was the first feature that Danny Boyle directed, the debut for screenwriter John Hodge, and the first feature starring role for Ewan McGregor.
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Ewan McGregor's mother, Carol McGregor, has a cameo in the film as one of the prospective flatmates.
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The color scheme for the flat was based on Edward Hopper's painting Hotel Lobby.
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Danny Boyle claimed that Christopher Eccleston was so afraid of getting locked in a real-life mortuary for a scene, he had to ask a crew member to stand in the shadows and comfort the nervous actor.
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Shot in 30 days.
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The film was the most commercially successful British film of 1995.
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Ewan McGregor, Keith Allen and Peter Mullan would all co-star in Danny Boyle's next film, Trainspotting (1996).
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The film was heavily criticized for its seemingly cold characters. When questioned about the criticisms Danny Boyle responded saying that building plausible characters is something that pleases intellectuals, but audiences in general don't invest much as much into the characters in a film.
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The film that Alex is watching on TV is The Wicker Man (1973).
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The film's French title "Petits meurtres entre amis" translates to "Small Murders Between Friends" in English. This is a close approximation of the movie's tag line, "What's a little murder among friends?"
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Although the story is set in Edinburgh and they considered filming there, a grant of G¸150K from the Glasgow Film Fund tempted them westwards for the majority of the filming.
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When the car was dumped in the water-filled quarry, it included ballast meant to inflate so they could then retrieve the vehicle after filming. It didn't work. Danny Boyle thinks the car is still there.
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The flat's address is shown twice and it's 6 North East Circus Place, Edinburgh. For obvious reasons the address is fictional; there is no such street. There is however a SOUTH East Circus Place, which has no even numbers, and a 6 North WEST Circus place, which is business premises.
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Danny Boyle made a specific point of avoiding guns in the film, because "We didn't want to Americanize the society."
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Most of the film's £1 million budget went into building the set for the flat.
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According to Danny Boyle, Alex getting his shins battered was inspired by an injury that footballer Nick Barmby sustained while at Tottenham Hotspur.
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Like Juliet, screenwriter John Hodge is a doctor in real life.
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Robert Carlyle was offered the part of David. Carlyle would go on to play the part of Daffy in a future film by Danny Boyle, The Beach (2000), another character that was extremely paranoid and lives in isolation for a good portion of the story.
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According to Danny Boyle, the three main actors carried out research for their characters' respective jobs. Ewan McGregor worked on a newspaper, Christopher Eccleston spent time at an accountancy firm and Kerry Fox did a night shift at a hospital.
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Danny Boyle stayed in a four-bedroom flat with his leads leading up to production. They rehearsed all day in the flat and together they'd interview crew members.
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According to Danny Boyle, the production hired a million pounds in hard currency to use in the film. It cost them a thousand pounds.
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The production advertised for a "really good" swimmer to cast the part of the poor nameless fool being dunked in the tub by the two thugs. As a result this is Grant Glendinning's only acting job.
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Danny Boyle heard Andy Williams' "Happy Heart" in a taxi while they were in pre-production, and he thought immediately that it should be used for the end of the film.
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The films Portuguese title "Pequenos Crimes Entre Amigos" translates to "Petty Crimes Between Friends" in English.
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A crash test dummy was used for the bagged body being carried down the stairs. It was re-used later as the thug's body being tossed down from the loft.
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Danny Boyle was warned by people not to work with Keith Allen , but Boyle loved him and had a great experience working with him. "He felt like a person who was gonna move in and take over the film," he said.
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Christopher Eccleston and Ewan McGregor both went on to gain fame for playing iconic science fiction characters. McGregor played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels, while Eccleston played the Ninth Doctor on Doctor Who (2005).
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It was during the production of the film that Christopher Eccleston was brought to the attention of Our Friends in the North (1996), which Danny Boyle was originally set to direct.
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First cinema film of Gary Lewis.
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David's glasses were modeled on David Cronenberg's.
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The opening scenes in the woods and down the street were shot on a 10mm Zeiss lens. Danny Boyle loves its fish-eye quality. "I've tried to use it in virtually all the films I've done since then."
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Danny Boyle said in his commentary on the 2009 Special Edition DVD and 2012 Blu-ray that Alex is not meant to be dead at the end. Boyle stresses that a line of Alex saying hello to the detective was actually added in post-production to clarify this.
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The shot of a dead David took longer than expected, and it led someone on the film to insist that Danny Boyle be fired. Boyle instead promised to remain under budget and on time in exchange for this unnamed person being fired. The producers complied.
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According to the commentary, Alex's dream where he's hiding beneath the floorboards is what gives him the idea about hiding the money there.
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Written 500 years prior to this film, 'The Pardoner's Tale' (part of Geoffrey Chaucer's 'The Canterbury Tales') follows a similar plot. In it, three friends go on a journey to 'seek out death'. Along the way, they find a large quantity of gold which they decide to share, only for greed to get the better of them and all three end up dead (the Pardoner declares that they did indeed find death). Of course, in this film only David is killed but all have their lives destroyed by greed.
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The film's plot revolves around dismembering a corpse. Danny Boyle would later direct 127 Hours (2010), about a man who dismembers himself.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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