Trivia / A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains:
    • #40 Villain, Freddy Krueger
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: He's only called Fred Krueger in this film. Freddy didn't become his name until the sequels.
  • Blooper: In one scene Nancy turns off her light before going to sleep, but it's on when she wakes up. The 2006 Infinifilm release fixes this by digitally darkening the scene where Nancy wakes up.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Amanda Wyss, who played the fifteen year-old Tina, was twenty-four at the time of filming.
    • Lampshaded when a sleep deprived Nancy looks herself in the mirror and says "Oh God, I look twenty years old". Indeed, if Heather Langenkamp wasn't yet past her 20th birthday when that scene was shot, it was, at most, a few weeks away.
  • Dueling Movies: With Dreamscape, another movie about dream-venturing from 1984.
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • In the final scene, the roof of the convertible came down much harder and faster than the actors expected; their startled reactions are real.
    • Heather Langenkamp claims that Ronnee Blakley really did slap her during the kitchen scene. But she must be referring to a different take, because the one in the finished film looks quite staged.
  • Executive Meddling: Craven originally wanted to end the film with a Happy Ending. However, Robert Shaye insisted on a darker ending and prevailed. This might have been for the better, since aside from opening the door for the very popular sequels to be made, Craven's intended ending was notoriously anti-climactic when judged against the rest of the film. Whether the ending was changed to allow for sequels, or to make the ending more exciting is a point of contention. Craven asserts the former, but Shaye has adamantly insisted on the latter in more than one interview.
  • It Will Never Catch On: It took about five years for Wes Craven to get funding for the film, because no one in Hollywood thought it was scary.
  • Jossed: David Warner denies the story that he nearly played Freddy and got as far as make-up tests. The filmmakers too say it is false.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: The trailer has a scene that explains why Donald Thompson thinks Rod killed Tina.
  • No Budget: Just $1.8 million to produce. Something it made back in its opening weekend.
  • Real-Life Relative: The nurse who examines Nancy is played by Wes Craven's then wife Mimi Craven.
  • Refitted for Sequel: The 'Freddy baby' idea that got used for the fifth movie was a rejected concept for this one.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Not only the reasoning behind changing Freddy from a child molester to a child killer (as detailed below), but also one of the sources of inspiration for the movie: Wes Craven has cited reading articles in the LA Times about children of Cambodian refugees who suffered from horrifying nightmares, refused to sleep and eventually died in their sleep after experiencing the nightmare a second time, a condition known as Sudden unexplained death syndrome, as inspiration for the basic idea of the movie.
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot:
    • Johnny Depp wasn't planning on auditioning, but he accompanied a friend to the auditions and was asked to read for a part and got cast. His friend, Jackie Earle Haley, would later go on to play Freddy himself some 30 years later.
    • The film is set in 1981 because that's the year the script was written, even if it took three years to get picked up.
  • Throw It In!: Nancy is seen limping as she runs back towards the house with Freddy behind her. That's because Heather Langenkamp cut her foot and needed stitches.
  • Troubled Production: A major investor pulled out two days before filming began, and Robert Shaye had to raise the money elsewhere. Two weeks into production, they had no money to pay anyone - and the Line Producer had to use his credit card. Eventually Robert Shaye cut a deal with the original investor to supply about $200,000. What's more is that the processing lab weren't paid and threatened to keep the film until they were.
  • Tuckerization: Fred Kruger was a boy Wes Craven had been bullied by as a child. Krug from The Last House on the Left is named after him too.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • At one point, Robin Williams was considered for the role. Yeah, you read that right. Initially a stunt man was just going to play Freddy, but Wes Craven soon realised he'd need an actor for it.
    • A line from the shooting script places the movie's setting as California, but it was cut to make the setting much more vague. But the second film stated that the location is Ohio.
    • Freddy was originally supposed to have a Two-Faced skeletal appearance, which can be seen in the poster for this film and its sequels.
    • Freddy's sweater in the script was colored red and yellow and his glove had fishing hooks instead of blades. The colour change came about after Wes Craven read in an article that the two most contrasting colours on the human retina were red and green.
    • Freddy was supposed to be a child molester, but it was decided to change into a murderer to avoid accusations of exploiting recently reported child molestation cases.
    • Jennifer Grey, Demi Moore, Courteney Cox and Tracey Gold auditioned for the part of Nancy.
    • Charlie Sheen was interested in playing Glen, but wanted more money than New Line could afford. Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, Kiefer Sutherland and C. Thomas Howell were also considered for Glen.
    • A deleted scene revealed that Nancy and her friends all had siblings Krueger killed, either when they were too young to remember them or before they were born, making his death even more of a case of It's Personal. In fact, Marge admits that when Krueger burst out of the boiler room covered in flames, she was the one who killed him for good by shooting him in the head.
    • Glen's body was actually supposed to emerge out of the bed during the blood geyser scene.


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