23 Facts about Christine, Cinema's Most Haunted Car: The 1958 Plymouth Fury
1. Stephen King’s popularity was such at the time that the film went into production before the book was even published.
2. Kevin Bacon was offered the lead role but ended up choosing Footloose (1984) instead. (Good move. We love that movie.)
3. Scott Baio was considered to play Arnie Cunningham and Brooke Shields was considered for Leigh Cabot. But the film makers involved all felt the movie would be better served by casting “unknowns". (And cheaper!)
4. Christine made more money than any other actor. 15% of the movie’s entire budget was spent just on the cars.
5. In order to find enough Plymouth Furys for the movie, the film-makers placed ads across the country to buy 23 1958 Plymouths, only sixteen were used for filming; seven were used for parts. They bought Belvederes and Savoys along with real Furys, painting them and making changes as needed to make them all look like Christine.
6. Christine's license plate begins "CQB" which is an acronym for "Close Quarters Battle".
7. The opening scene of the movie where Christine is “born” in Detroit, is not in the book. During the opening shot, Christine is shown with the other cars in the lineup, and shown as the only red Fury, in comparison to the other cars. This scene had to be filmed first so the other cars could be re-painted to later be used as Christine car doubles.
8. All cars were stunt driven. There was no remote control used in any of the 24 cars used in the movie Christine. When Christine became “evil,” her windows were painted black, except a small area covered with window tint; the stunt driver had no side or rear vision. At times and in certain scenes she was also pushed by a bulldozer and drawn forward with cables.
10. To simulate the car regenerating itself, hydraulic pumps were installed on the inside of some of the film's numerous Plymouth Fury "stunt doubles", a mock-up in plastic that looked more like metal on camera than actual metal as it bent and deformed. These pumps were attached to cables, which were in turn attached to the cars' bodywork and when they compressed, they would "suck" the paneling inwards. Footage of the inward crumpling body was then reversed, or rather, played backwards, giving the appearance of the car spontaneously retaking form, instead of imploding.
11. By the movie’s wrap, only three mint condition Christines remained; they went on the road to promote the movie, and were later sold to collectors. A fourth car was saved from the wrecker and purchased by Martin Sanchez.
12. If you have a copy of the first issue hard cover with the dust jacket, you will find a picture of Mr. King sitting on the hood of a 1957 Plymouth, not a 1958, as the movie states.
13. One of the Christine cars actually became possessed and caused destruction all on it’s own. This one car in particular was a manual transmission. The guys on the set forgot and when they went to start her up she was in gear and lunged forward, taking out some equipment.
14. Christine’s voiceover, is actually a Ford. All of Christine’s engine sounds were dubbed in from records taken from a 1970 Mustang 428 SCJ.
15. To ignite the infamous “burn car”, it was covered in rubber cement during production and lit on fire.
16. According to Bill Phillips, the movie technically didn’t have enough violence back then to justify an “R” rating. They were afraid that if the movie went out with a PG ranting, no one would come to see it. So they purposely used the word “f*ck” along with other derivatives in order to get the “R” rating for the film. They were later criticized for their overuse of the word in the film.
17. John Carpenter refused to go to the premiere because of a superstition. “When I go to premieres, something bad always happens.”
18. Keith Gordon was nervous about kissing Alexandra Paul, so he asked her to practice first. Riiiigggghhhhttt. Practice…
19. The film was shot in the same neighborhood that John Carpenter used in the movie Halloween.
20. Screenwriter Bill Phillips thought it was a joke when he was first asked to adapt a book about a killer car.
21. One of the Plymouth Furys from the movie was sold for $167,000 in 2004. They must have been really big Stephen King fans…
22. There are Plymouth Fury Christine fan clubs for people who own Christine clones. Carlisle Chrysler Nationals gives an award every year to the best Christine look-a-like.
23. Stephen King chose a '58 Plymouth Fury for Christine because it was a "forgotten car."