Saturday, December 04, 2004
- World-renowned, chart-making, instantly recognizable instrumental about which few fans even know the basics (Do *you* know the names of the people playing?
- Eric Weissberg is the banjo wizard, acclaimed by aficionados as one of *the* best 5-string pickers *ever*
- Steve Mandell is on guitar playing the 'Ronny Cox' part.
- The banjo/guitar duet was the first scene shot for the movie.
- "Dueling Banjos" hit #70 on the Billboard chart for 1973
- From the first tentative guitar notes to when the banjo kicks finally into gear, it's a full 2 minutes 9 seconds - surely one of the longest, most tantalizing intros ever on a "pop' tune?
- Billy Redden (the idiot-savant looking boy with the banjo) did not know how to play banjo and was incapable of faking the playing sequence convincingly. In the end, another youngster was hidden behind his chair, with the sole task of providing the hand movements on the banjo.
- Still on Redden Redden, BR liked 'Ronny Cox', and disliked Ned Beatty. At the end of the dueling banjos scene, the script called for Billy to harden his expression towards Cox's character. He was unable to fake dislike for Cox, so to solve the problem, they got Beatty to step towards Billy at the close of the shot. As Beatty approached, Billy hardened his expression and looked away - exactly as intended.
- When Burt Reynolds and John Boorman were explaining to Herbert 'Cowboy' Coward that his role included raping a man; the toothless actor responded, "I done worse."
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