Answered general questions about movies, TV and more

This page is for general questions - if you've got a question about a specific title, please check the title-specific questions page first. Click the button below a question to answer it or click "edit" to correct a spelling mistake. Ask your questions here, and hopefully someone will answer soon. Members get e-mailed when any of their questions are answered.

Question: I have noticed that in almost every movie and TV show that has someone using a computer, the computer makes small beeping sounds when loading a page or when someone is typing, etc. Why is this put in if no computer (as far as I know) makes those noises? Is it used just for dramatic effect or something?

Chosen answer: Yes, it's so you'll know something is happening with the computer without having watch the computer constantly, i.e. take your eyes away from the actors. It also can cue the actors that it is time for them to interact with the computer, or give the character an excuse for looking away from what he's doing to pay attention to the computer.

Myridon

Question: There was a children's show I watched back in the 80's. It had puppet people and talking vegetable puppets. I think it was called "pinwheel" or something to that effect, because the title song said "pinwheel, pinwheel, spinning around - look to my pinwheel and see what I've found." If that's the title, do you know where I can find info on it?

Chosen answer: You are correct--The show "Pinwheel" was on Nickelodeon back in the early 80s. For more info, check out the IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0224947.

Ral0618

Question: I've seen this throughout the site, but what exactly is a "Wilhelm scream" I know what it sounds like, but why is it called a "Wilhelm" scream and why is it so important?

Sir William

Chosen answer: The original scream was recorded for the film "Distant Drums" in 1951, and it was archived as "man being bitten by alligator and screams" in the sound effects library at Warner Bros. Studio, and used numerous times thereafter. In 1953, the scream is heard in "The Charge at Feather River" when a soldier named Private Wilhelm is shot by an arrow. In the mid-70s, when Ben Burtt was hired as a sound designer for Star Wars, he found the original recording, dubbed it "Wilhelm" after the earlier character. Both he and friend Richard Anderson adopted this scream, and it's been used in all the "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" films, dozens of other films, TV shows, and even at theme parks. Though there is no documentation, this popular scream is believed to have been done by Sheb Wooley, a musician and character actor. For more information, this website is dedicated solely to the infamous Wilhelm: http://www.hollywoodlostandfound.net/wilhelm/

Super Grover Premium member

Question: I remember seeing a movie in the summer of 1985 (probably June)on HBO. What I remember about the movie is two guys are in a private plane and they crash and are presumably dead. Then one of the guys is a ghost and only one girl can see him. I believe they meet on a bus. The "ghost" accompanies his mother to identify his body. In the end, it turns out that the girl who can see the "ghost" was also in an accident, either a car wreck or thrown from a horse.and they were both in the same hospital, both unconscious. Does anyone know the title of this movie?

Chosen answer: Somewhere Tomorrow with Sarah Jessica Parker.

Laura Ogle

Question: I saw a film as a kid that I think was Chinese or Japanese. There was a giant that looked like it was made out of metal. It was walking through towns and people were running and screaming, and it was also walking through water- a lake or the ocean. In a later scene was a very violent martial arts fight, with guys throwing each other against the walls. Anyone know what it is?

Krista

Chosen answer: Not sure, but it may be the movie Daimajin or one of its two sequels. They were made (Japanese) in the mid-late sixties and concerned a giant warrior that could be summoned to help the villagers against evil invaders. I found the first movie on vhs from e-bay. The tape was released by a.d.v. films in the U.S.

bigwhitekitty

Question: I am racking my brain (and keep striking out on the internet) trying to remember a movie (TV show?) I recently saw that ends with the song called "Beautiful", a version, I think that is sung by Sarah Brightman (not the original by Nicola Hitchcock). It might be a scene that dealt with the death of a major character. It wasn't a German movie and I don't think it was an episode of Six Feet Under.

Thisbe

Chosen answer: It's played at the end of "Iron-Jawed Angels" from HBO Films.

Thisbe

Question: I can remember seeing a film on TV ages ago (at least, I think it was a film, might have been a TV series or something, but I'm assuming it was straight-to-TV) where a coachload of people crash because the bus driver is watching a couple have sex in another car, or something, and all the people on the coach become attached to a baby (they're dead) and they can't stray out of a certain range of the person. Then I remember the baby grows up into a pretty nasty/arrogant businessman and the people aren't happy about it, and then I remember a bus (driven by the driver who got them all killed) coming to take them to heaven and apologising for being so late. Does anyone know what this film/show was called?

Gary O'Reilly

Chosen answer: It's a movie called "Heart and Souls". It stars Robert Downey, Jr. and Elizabeth Shue among others.

MoonFaery Premium member

Question: Are there any films which have ever been remade twice?

Hamster Premium member

Chosen answer: Plenty. The Front Page was remade as His Girl Friday, which was remade as Switching Channels. There were several versions of The Ten Commandments. Numerous versions of Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet (Laurence Olivier, Mel Gibson, and Kenneth Branagh, to name only three). The King and I was a remake of Anna and the King of Siam, which was later remade as Anna and the King. Also Brewster's Millions, Peter Pan, and many others.

K.C. Sierra

Question: I am looking for the name of a film. Probably in the 50's or 60's. It is a wartime film about a US soldier in a hospital. It is a German hospital, but German intelligence is pretending it is an American hospital in order to gain information about the Normandy invasion. I believe the title has a time element to it, such as "24 hours".

Chosen answer: The film is '36 Hours', starring James Garner, Rod Tayloe and Eva Marie Saint. See http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057809/.

Question: I am trying to remember the name of a TV show that was on in the early to mid 80's. It dealt with day-to-day life on a US Army post (Not Marines or Navy, I'm not thinking of Major Dad or JAG). It was set in the present day (present day for when it was on-the mid 80's), NOT Vietnam. I think the word "Honor" was part of the title, but I am not sure. Anyone? I seem to remember the closing credits focused on the flag pole in front of the HQ while the credits rolled.

Grumpy Scot

Chosen answer: For Love and Honor (1983) was about an airborne field artillery unit. It was set at a fort in California. However, it had one drawback. It was twenty years too early. It was the first television series about the Army. It had the potential to be a hit show but it didn't last that long. NBC cancelled it after three months on the air. Too bad it wasn't picked up by the History Channel. From imdb.com.

david barlow

Question: Is there a website that has a list of every Warner Brothers cartoon ever made?

Chosen answer: here is one that I know of http://www.davemackey.com/animation/wb/.

Mister Ed

Question: I saw a movie on TV a few years ago and I didn't catch the title. There were kids living with a grandmother who didn't like them. There was an uncle living in the basement and an aunt that may have been mentally disabled. The uncle had a tunnel that led outside. I think it took place during a world war. Does any of this ring a bell?

Chosen answer: The movie is called "Lost in Yonkers" it was based on a play by Neil Simon.

Question: Is it really true that to shoot an IMAX film, the camera has to be reloaded with film every 3 minutes, and the reloading takes half-an-hour? Why on earth wouldn't they have fixed this yet to use high resolution digital capture (which could then be printed to film), for instance?

Moose Premium member

Chosen answer: From the research I've found, yes. And here's a few websites to view, and you have to realize how much bigger and realistic IMAX films are. http://www.georgianhousehotel.co.uk/imax_cinema.htm. http://www.bfi.org.uk/showing/imax/explained.php. Even the highest resolution digital cameras available don't come close to the quality of IMAX. Hope that helped!

Question: I'm searching a title of a movie I saw some 20-25 years ago. Here are the clues I remember: It was a martial arts movie. The were some fights on long, wooden poles. There was a cruel weapon like a triple chain with hooks at each end that stuck within the opponent. It was shown at the same time as a Jaws sequel. (Jaws 2, I guess). Can anybody help?

Michael Gross

Chosen answer: Sounds like "Master of the Flying Guillotine". It came out roughly around the same time "Jaws 2" was released.

Question: There is a very old movie I saw as a kid. It is about a robotic grandmother who is delivered to this family to help them out. The biggest scene I remember is her shooting milk from her fingers. Anyone know what movie this is?

Chosen answer: Probably "The Electric Grandmother" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083876/ or some other movie or TV episode based on Ray Bradbury's short story "I Sing the Body Electric". A Twilight Zone episode was called that.

Myridon

Question: In a couple of films and TV shows I've watched, the saying "Heeeeeeeeeere's Johnny" has sprouted up a couple of times. What film was this first mentioned in?

Chosen answer: It's actually originally from "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson. The announcer would say "Heeeeeeere's Johnny!" at the beginning of the show. It was most famously made use of in The Shining.

Nick N.

Question: I recall seeing a movie as a child that scared the Dickens out of me. It was probably the early seventies, and it involved a lot of scenes where people were walking in grassy fields and every few hundred yards were large holes in the ground leading down to a network of tunnels where monsters lurked. It was supposedly set in the future. The premise was similar to the Sleestacks (?) from Land of the Lost, however, it was a theatrical release originally and was fairly well done. Does anyone have a clue as to what movie this is?

Chosen answer: Sounds like the original Time Machine. The holes led to the realm of the Morlocks.

Grumpy Scot

Question: I'm looking for the name of a film about a couple who agree to meet in one year at the Eiffel Tower, and the woman is hit by a car on her way there.

Chosen answer: Are you sure it is the Eiffel Tower? Your description sounds very like 'An Affair to Remember' with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. They agree to meet at the top of the Empire State Building and on her way there she gets hit by a car.

Tallicame

Question: I remember a show I used to watch on the Disney Channel when I was a kid - about 10 or 12 years ago. It took place in a school/classroom, and I think all the characters were animals. I think that one of the students was named Skeleton, and I remember that the principal (who often visited the classroom) was female and kind of weird. Any help with the title?

Chosen answer: Not a perfect fit, but might it have been "Gravesdale High"? That's the right setting and time frame, but the kids were all monsters (young frankenstein's monsters, werewolves, etc.) instead of animals.

Question: I remember seeing a film set in a middle eastern or possibly Asian country, about a poor family who's father earns money by driving a rickshaw. There's a part where he and his kids build a really beautiful one in a bid to earn him more customers, but the competition come along and destroy it. Anyone know what movie that was?

Chosen answer: Do Bigha Zamin (1953).

Boobra

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