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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Movie Poster

Trivia for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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  • There is no town in Missouri named Ebbing. The movie was filmed in the small mountain town of Sylva, North Carolina.
  • Abbie Cornish, Sam Rockwell, Zeljko Ivanek, and Woody Harrelson worked with Writer and Director Martin McDonagh on Seven Psychopaths (2012).
  • In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Woody Harrelson described this as "Super Troopers (2001) meets Seven Psychopaths (2012)."
  • First feature film written and directed by Martin McDonagh not to star Colin Farrell.
  • The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell; and three Oscar nominees: Woody Harrelson, Lucas Hedges, and John Hawkes.
  • Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson appeared in North Country (2005).
  • The hospital and doctor's office scenes were filmed at Haywood Regional Medical Center in Clyde, NC. The restaurant scene was filmed at J. Arthur's restaurant in Maggie Valley, NC.
  • Martin McDonagh wrote the screenplay with Frances McDormand in mind for the lead role.
  • Frances McDormand was hesitant to take the role of Mildred when offered to her, but was eventually convinced by her husband, Joel Coen. She said, "Because at the time he gave it to me I was fifty-eight. I was concerned that women from this socioeconomic strata did not wait until thirty-eight to have their first child. So we went back and forth and we debated that quite for a while, and then finally my husband said, 'Just shut up and do it.'"
  • When we first meet Red in the office, he is reading "A Good Man Is Hard to Find", the short story collection by Flannery O'Connor.
  • Several locations used for shooting were businesses that were repurposed or given fa?ades for use during shooting. Most notably, the Ebbing Police Department building was a consignment furniture store. The building was rented, crews redressed the interior and exterior, even special effects scenes involving pyrotechnics were filmed. Then the building was renovated to its original state and returned to the business owners.
  • Local residents of Jackson County, North Carolina were encouraged to apply to be extras. Several were cast for background roles. Students from the Stage and Screen department of nearby Western Carolina University were cast as shooting stand-ins for the main actors and actresses.
  • Production staff welcomed locals to watch outdoor scenes being filmed at public locations, provided they were not disruptive. Each shooting day, crowds would form to watch the proceedings, often upwards of one hundred people. During breaks in shooting, the actors and actresses would approach the crowds to sign autographs and take pictures.
  • Woody Harrelson would often use his breaks from shooting to sign autographs and take pictures with locals who had come to watch the filming. During an extended break one day, he played an impromptu guitar performance at the music store next to the police station set.
  • The movie that Dixon's (Sam Rockwell's) mother is watching with Donald Sutherland and "his dead girl" is Don't Look Now (1973), directed by Nicolas Roeg. This movie was also alluded to in Martin McDonagh's feature film, In Bruges (2008). In this film, Frances McDormand's character parallels Donald Sutherland's character in that they both are driven by the guilt and grief of losing their daughter.
  • Sandy Martin appeared in Martin McDonagh's previous film, Seven Psychopaths (2012), as the mother of a dead mobster. However, her scene was cut. It appears in the deleted scenes.
  • Zeljko Ivanek appeared in In Bruges (2008) and Seven Psychopaths (2012).
  • Francis McDormand was in the movie Fargo while Woody Harrelson was in the television show based on the movie.
  • In additional to gaining weight, Sam Rockwell wore padding to make his character appear chubbier.
  • The bandanna Mildred wears is an homage to The Deer Hunter (1978), of which Martin McDonagh and Sam Rockwell are avid fans. During the filming of Seven Psychopaths (2012), they often discussed the movie with Christopher Walken.
  • Gala Screening on the 14th edition of Dubai International Film Festival, screened on 11th December 2017.
  • Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, John Hawkes, Clarke Peters, Zeljko Ivanek, and Peter Dinklage appeared in a show from HBO. McDormand in Olive Kitteridge (2014), Harrelson in True Detective (2014), John Hawkes in Deadwood (2004) and Eastbound & Down (2009), Peters in The Wire (2002) and Treme (2010), Dinklage in Game of Thrones (2011), and Ivanek in True Blood (2008) and Oz (1997). McDormand and Dinklage both won Emmys for their performances in their respective shows in 2015.
  • The film was screened in the main competition section of the 74th Venice International Film Festival, where it premiered on September 4, 2017. It also played at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won its top prize, the People's Choice Award. This film was also screened at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival.
  • The film received six 2017 Golden Globes nominations: Best Motion Picture Drama, Best Director, Best Actress Drama (McDormand), Best Supporting Actor (Rockwell), Best Screenplay, and Best Original Score.
  • Writer and Director Martin McDonagh was inspired to write the movie after seeing billboards about an unsolved crime while travelling "somewhere down in the Georgia, Florida, Alabama corner."
  • When leaving her home on the day she disappeared, Angela says "I hope I'll get raped on the way". "Rape Me" is the song from Nirvana's third album "In Utero", the poster of which is seen in Angela's bedroom.
  • Won four Golden Globes: Best Drama, Best Screenplay, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actor.
  • The "deer scene" was filmed with Becca the White-Tailed Deer at the Western North Carolina Nature Center. Becca's trainer and caretaker is award winning singer and songwriter Ben Wilson.
  • There are several allusions to Don't Look Now (1973). Not just the storylines of both films being about parents grieving the death of a daughter. The film Dixon's mother is watching on television about "the dead girl" is Don't Look Now (1973). We hear a few brief notes from Pino Donaggio's score. Red is the key color in both films. The eponymous billboards are bright red and the agency guy is called "Red". Both films have a little person, a useless priest, hopeless cops, a nasty fall, a massive knife, children left to play alone by water, and a kids' toy bobbing in water.
  • First full-length film in which Writer and Director Martin McDonagh did not use a song from The Walkmen in the soundtrack.
  • Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Amanda Warren and Peter Dinklage all have appeared in a show from HBO. McDormand in Olive Kitteridge, Harrelson in True Detective, Warren in The Leftovers, and of course Dinklage in Game of Thrones. McDormand and Dinklage both ended up winning Emmys for their performances in their respective shows in 2015.
  • Abbie Cornish, Sam Rockwell, Zeljko Ivanek, Amanda Warren and Woody Harrelson had worked with Martin McDonagh in Seven Psychopaths (2012).
  • American Beauty (1999) also featured a blonde teenage girl called Angela Hayes, played by Mena Suvari.
  • Upon winning the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for her role in the film, Frances McDormand became the first actress to win two awards in the category. She had previously won an award in this category in 1997 for Fargo (1996).
  • The comic book that Dixon (Sam Rockwell) is reading is "Robot Stories" by Bob Burden.
  • Actress Sandy Martin plays a grandmother in this film as she did in Napoleon Dynamite (2004), which takes place in Idaho. There's an Idaho automobile license plate involved in the plot, which is an apparent homage to Martin's role in Napoleon Dynamite.
  • This is the first movie since Bugsy (1991) to have two Academy Awards nominations in the Best Actor in a Supporting Role category.
  • If you view Sylva on Google Maps and check out street view, you can see the shop used as the police station as both the original furniture shop and as the burned out police station set depending on whether you view from immediately outside or from slightly down the hill.
  • Dixon's mom is seen drinking a beer from local brewery Wicked Weed. The name of the beer is "Napoleon Complex": a nod to actress Sandy Martin's previous role in Napoleon Dynamite (2004).
  • Kathryn Newton and Lucas Hedges appeared in Lady Bird (2017) and this movie, which were nominated for Oscars, and have won Golden Globes. Both films have a Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes score over 85.
  • The scenes where Mildred is at work were filmed in the Country Traditions store in Dillsboro, North Carolina.
  • A street view image in google maps captured in 2016 in Sylva, NC (filming location) shows the burned out police station.
  • One of the comic books that Dixon reads, and has a shirt of, is "Incorruptible", written by Mark Waid, it tells the story of a villain who is thrust into the role of a hero. This parallels Dixon's own journey throughout the film.
  • Frances McDormand and Lucas Hedges appeared in Moonrise Kingdom (2012).
  • The three billboards say: "Raped While Dying", "And Still No Arrests?", "How Come, Chief Willoughby?"
  • Woody Harrelson and Caleb Landry Jones appeared in No Country for Old Men (2007), which was directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, the husband and brother-in-law of Frances McDormand, respectively. In No Country for Old Men (2007), Harrelson portrayed bounty hunter Carson Welles, and Jones portrayed a profane boy on a bike who encounters Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) after a car crash.
  • The second of only two films to win both Best Film and Best British Film at the BAFTAs, after The King's Speech (2010).
  • Not one frame was shot in the state of Missouri.
  • In the film, you see rolling hills, nearly mountainous, yet Missouri is located in the Great Plains. Flat, except for a small portion in the south end of the state near the Ozarks.
  • During the flashback when Mildred walks into Angela's room, there is a Nirvana poster on the wall for the album "In Utero". One of the songs on the album is called "Rape Me" - which was one of the crimes committed against Angela.
  • Lucas Hedges also appeared in Lady Bird, another film that was also nominated for an academy award the same year
  • Sam Rockwell peppers his version of Streets of Laredo (1995) with shouts of "mao!", which is a reference to the Russian roulette scene from The Deer Hunter (1978), of which Writer and Director Martin McDonagh and Sam Rockwell are avid fans.
  • In a rare instance, the Google Street View van was travelling through Sylva, North Carolina while primary filming was under way. On Google Street View there is ample evidence of crew, including set decoration, Second Assistant Directors, gaffers, and properties working on the south side of Main street. The Sylvan used furniture store is dressed as the Ebbing Police Station after the fire. Dressing crew can be seen putting up plywood on the burned building.
  • Dixon's pet turtle appeared three times throughout the movie. Once at the beginning (Dixon is holding it), once in the middle (turtle on coffee table/tray), and once at the end (in his mother's lap as he leaves).
  • Peter Dinklage questions something a character named Penelope has said. Dinklage, appropriately, had previously appeared in a film titled Penelope (2006).
  • Frances McDormand's Oscar for Best Actress which she received for this film was stolen (and immediately retrieved) the day after the awarding ceremony.
  • The basis of this story is from actual events in Vidor, Texas just outside of Beaumont, Texas. The police ignored facts and the parents of a poor girl murdered in 1991 by an alleged hometown hero from an old money family. As the police have done nothing and the billboards are still up on Interstate 10.
  • Caleb Landry Jones appeared in Get Out (2017) and this movie, which were nominated for Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay.
  • When we first meet Welby in the office he is reading 'A Good Man Is Hard to Find', a short story by Flannery O'Connor. The story concerns murder and grace.
  • The beer that Dixon, the guy from Idaho, and his pal are drinking in the Town Pump Tavern is Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout brewed in Farmville, North Carolina.
  • First film since Dallas Buyers Club (2013) to win in two acting categories at the Academy awards, and the first since Million Dollar Baby (2004) to win both Best Actress and Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
  • In the daughter's bedroom there's an In Utero album by Nirvana poster which has the song "Rape Me" on it.
  • When Jerome and Denise are sitting at the bar, with Dixon sitting in a booth, a forty-five star U.S. flag can be seen hanging on the wall.
  • 'Ebbing Police Station' is on the junction of W Main Street and Spring Street, Sylva, North Carolina, USA. If you find it on Google Maps, the 'street level' images were recorded at the time of filming in May 2016. You can see the crew doing the construction work.
  • A white rabbit always appears in all of Martin McDonagh's films in some form. Even his short film Six Shooter (2004). Not sure of the meaning, but fun Easter egg to hunt.
  • The beer with the green label that Dixon and his mom drink in a few scenes is "Napoleon Complex IPA" brewed by Wicked Weed Brewery based in Asheville, North Carolina.
  • Caleb Landry Jones and Lucas Hedges both appeared in films with Saoirse Ronan: Caleb in Byzantium (2012) and Lucas in Lady Bird (2017).
  • The bright red background on the three billboards is a recurrent color throughout the movie. In clothing such as Jerome and Mildred's tops, lighting in the street, and in the bar, and also in props such as Mildred's swings, Dixon's telephone, Dixon's headphones, and the restaurant tablecloth and picture frames to point out a few. In advertising, which is the primary function of the billboards, color repetition is used to keep a brand or product at the forefront of a consumers mind. In a similar way, Mildred is trying to keep her daughter's case at the forefront of the local police investigations. As a result, both the characters and the audience are continuously reminded of Mildred's message.
  • Due to Frances McDormand's involvement, and her frequent casting in Coen Brothers films, and being married to Joel Coen, this film is often assumed to be a Coen Brothers film.
  • When the shots of the outside of the police station at night, the American flag is being flown, albeit illegally as the flag must be in a spotlight if flown after dark, it is a Federal Law violation and knowing how patriotic they all were it wouldn't have been.
  • The beer Dixon and his mom are drinking is called Napoleon Complex (green label), made by Wicked Weed Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Mama Dixon, played by Sandy Martin, was the grandma in Napoleon Dynamite (2004).
  • Sam Rockwell's character's full name is Jason Dixon. An intended pun on "Mason-Dixon", thus emphasizing the stereotypical Southern "redneck" character personified by Dixon.
  • Though it was initially supposed to be a simple task, Sam Rockwell's accent research was very involved. According to dialect coach Liz Himelstein, Rockwell likes to find authentic people and record them for accent references. Himelstein watched an episode of Cops (1989) from Springfield, Missouri and tweeted the police department requesting an interview with the Chief of Police. Not long afterward, Himelstein and Rockwell Skyped with the officer and learned about his life and his job. "The officer actually came up with the word 'clank' for jail", she says. "Sam brought that to Martin, and he agreed to put that word in the script." Then, she says, the officer made a recording of himself saying all of Rockwell's lines. From there, Sam studied the recordings.
  • Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson have both portrayed US presidents. Harrelson played Lyndon Johnson in LBJ (2016), and Rockwell played George W. Bush in Vice (2018). Harrelson was 56 when this film was released, the same age as Johnson during the first year of his presidency.
  • As of 2018, both Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson have portrayed a US president onscreen. Harrelson played Lyndon B. Johnson in LBJ (2016) and Rockwell played George W. Bush in Vice (2018).
  • Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.

Spoilers

  • Lowest body count for a Martin McDonagh film (two).
  • The critical bar scene with Dixon was shot in the Town Pump Tavern on Cherry Street in Black Mountain, NC.
  • The time period for the movie is about 9 months after 9/11. This is verified by the new Police Chief telling Dixon "it's classified, but think about what happened a few months ago, what country could he be in that would be classified." Also, there are no modern smartphones, everyone has a flip phone.
  • The person of interest with Idaho plates seems to like to visit Missouri, considering he's been to Ebbing, Missouri on more than one occassion, even though Idaho is over a thousand miles away from the state of Missouri.
  • One of two films released in 2017 where Woody Harrelson's character suffers from an incurable disease (terminal pancreatic cancer) and commits suicide.
  • There is some sort of anti-karma idea represented in the movie in a lot of cases. (1) Mildred (Frances McDormand) uses the billboards to blame Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) for not finding the killer of her daughter. He in return, pays an extra month rent to keep those billboards. (2) Dixon (Sam Rockwell) throws Welby (Caleb Landry Jones) out of second-floor window; but, when he meets Welby in the hospital and apologizes for the damage done, Welby is mad at him, but eventually leaves him a glass of juice. (3) Mildred set the police station on fire while Dixon was inside. Dixon decides to save Mildred's daughter's case file from the fire before leaving, and eventually gets burned by the fire set by Mildred, later is told by Mildred that she was the one who caused the fire, to which he responds by joking about it. (4) We learn along the way that Charlie (John Hawkes), Mildred's ex-husband, was actually the one who set the billboards on fire when drunk. Later, the scene when her date is ruined, she takes their leftover bottle of wine, goes to Charlie's table, tells him to take care of his new girlfriend, and just leaves the wine bottle on his table and leaves.
  • Four actors from this film have all appeared in Marvel Movies, Sam Rockwell, Iron Man 2(2010), Zelijko Ivanek, X-Men:Apocalypse (2016) and Peter Dinklage, X-Men: Days of Future Passed (2014) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Caleb Landry Jones, X-men first class (2011).
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