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American Made Movie Poster

Trivia for American Made

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  • The project was announced on January 14, 2015.
  • The small town of Ball Ground, Georgia, was transformed into the real town of Mena, Arkansas for this movie. This is the largest event of a public nature and this type of grand exposure to occur in Ball Ground's history.
  • The real chef and owner of Les Bon Temps Louisiana Grill, Adam (featured in downtown Mena/Ball Ground), cooked the meal for the dinner at the Sheriff's house.
  • The film's script was featured on the 2014 Black List of the most liked unproduced film scripts.
  • Since August 24th, Tom Cruise was seen filming on location in Medellín, Colombia, and also on other Colombian towns that were real places where Barry Seal had to move when he was a pilot for the Medellin Cartel.
  • Crew members experienced a tragic event on the last day of filming. On September 11, 2015, stunt pilot Alan D. Purwin and his Venezuelan co-pilot, Carlos Berl, were killed when their small, twin-engine Aerostar plane crashed during foggy conditions in the Andes, near Medellin, Colombia. The pilots had just finished their work on the film prior to the crash, which left a sole survivor, Jimmy Lee Garland, who suffered serious injury. Ten minutes before the fatal crash, Tom Cruise had been aboard a helicopter taking the same route in similar weather conditions as the ill-fated flight.
  • Ron Howard was considered to direct but lost to Doug Liman.
  • Tom Cruise has previously co-starred with Brendan Gleeson in Far and Away (1992), Mission: Impossible II (2000), and Edge of Tomorrow (2014). His son, Domhnall Gleeson, co-stars with Tom Cruise in American Made.
  • This film is the second collaboration between Tom Cruise and Edge of Tomorrow (2014) director Doug Liman.
  • This is Tom Cruise's third biographical film, after Born on the Fourth of July (1989) and Valkyrie (2008).
  • First collaboration between Tom Cruise and Sarah Wright.
  • The film went back into production in 2016 for additional photography and 2017 for reshoots.
  • This began shooting under the title "Mena".
  • Despite the presence of cocaine in the film, none of the characters are seen consuming it.
  • The airplane that Barry Seal was flying throughout most of the movie (officially registered N164HH, and appeared with this registration in the movie), crashed on 11 Sept. 2015 on the last day of filming, causing 2 fatalities.
  • The second of two films starring Tom Cruise to be released in 2017 beginning with The Mummy (2017). Both films are from Universal Pictures.
  • This was Doug Liman's third film to be shot in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio since Swingers (1996) and his first film to be shot digitally.
  • Tom Cruise's first R-rated film since Tropic Thunder (2008).
  • The families of pilots Alan Purwin and Carlos Berl sued the producers for the deaths of the two pilots on the last day of filming, alleging negligence on the part of the filmmakers. Both families also sued each other and the surviving pilot, Jimmy Lee Garland.
  • The film was shown in the widescreen 2.39:1 aspect ratio for its European theatrical run.
  • Second movie to be released in September, 2017 with the word "American" in it. The first was "American Assassin".
  • Mauricio Mejía who plays Pablo Escóbar appears in two seasons of the television series Narcos (2015), also about the Colombian cocaine cartels, as a Colombian soldier, Castaño.
  • In one of the trailers Tom Cruise is ordered to land his plane. He is also ordered to land his plane in the opening scene of Top Gun (1986).
  • Domhnall Gleeson stars in this film with Tom Cruise and which is directed by Doug Liman. His father, Brendan Gleeson, was in Doug Liman's last film Edge Of Tomorrow (2014) which also starred Tom Cruise.
  • This is the first R-rated film Doug Liman has directed since the 1999 film "Go".
  • First time since 1999, when he starred in Eyes Wide Shut (1999) and Magnolia (1999), that Tom Cruise has had two leading roles in one year.
  • Mauricio Mejía the Colombian actor who portrays 'Pablo Escobar' in this film, also played the same role of Escobar in his beginnings; on the first episode of the Mega-Production of Caracol Televisión and Telemundo Pablo Escobar: El Patrón del Mal (2012).
  • The man Barry spoke to in the hallway of the White House, Connor Trinneer, is George W. Bush, who is the son of then Vice President George H. W. Bush. He mentions he flew with the Air National Guard from 1968-74.
  • When the Arkansas State Attorney General receives a call from the Governor that leads to Seal's release from custody, she answers "hello Bill". Bill Clinton was the Governor of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981, and again from 1983 to 1992.
  • Tom Cruise is a qualified pilot. He did all of his own flying scenes during filming.
  • Barry Seal looked nothing like Tom Cruise. He was a big heavy-set guy nicknamed "El Gordo" by members of the Medellin Cartel, which translates to "the fat one".
  • The DEA, ATF, & FBI never raided Barry Seal's airport in Mena, Arkansas as portrayed in the movie. He was arrested in Ft Lauderdale in 1983 for attempting to smuggle quaaludes into the U.S. This is what lead him to be a DEA informant on the Medellin Cartel.
  • Second film between Universal Pictures, Cross Creek Pictures and Imagine Entertainment, after Rush (2013).
  • Sarah Wright, who plays Seal's wife, is in fact 21 years younger than Tom Cruise.
  • When Barry is ordered to land his plane by the Border Patrol their plane is branded U.S. Customs and Border Protection. CBP didn't come into existence until March 1, 2003 with the formation of the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Five U.S. Presidents are characterized, mentioned or have appeared in this movie: Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.


  • Body count: 2.
  • They decided to implied the character of three future american presidents: George H. W. Bush, William "Bill" Clinton and George W. Bush by small clues.
  • Features the Iran-Contra affair senate hearings where Arthur L. Liman, father of director Doug Liman, served as chief counsel.
  • Second biopic, following Valkyrie (2008), where Tom Cruise's character is shot dead.
  • After Barry Seal's brother in law, JB, is arrested, JB says he is freaked out because he has two strikes, and one more will get him life in prison. The three strikes laws didn't come about until the nineties, federally after the Polly Klaas kidnapping/murder by Richard Allan Davis.
  • February 19th, 1986: Barry Seal was subsequently killed in his car by 3 Colombian Hitmen sent by Pablo Escobar at The Salvation Army at the end of the film!
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