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. Members get e-mailed when any of their questions are answered.

Is there a reason a weekly TV series wouldn't name their episodes? I can understand a soap opera that's on 5+ days a week for decades not wanting to name thousands of episodes, but some shows just list the episode number or use a #1.1 pattern. For example, I'm rewatching "Dark Matter" and each episode in season 1 is just the episode number while season 2 and 3 the episodes have names.

Bishop73

Answer: As for "Dark Matter," it was probably just a creative decision that they decided to change along the way. A majority of shows do have titles for episodes (whether or not the episode titles are ever onscreen... sometimes they are, sometimes they aren't), but I have seen a few that nebulously just have titles like "Chapter One/Two/Three/Etc." or similar things. Perhaps it's an attempt to keep storylines hidden, especially now when people over-analyze and over-scrutinize everything online? Maybe the creators simply feel it's more ominous to not have descriptive titles? Maybe if the show tells a singular concise storyline, simply listing the episode number is more appropriate since it's all one story? Etc. It really could be any number of things. It's just one of the many creative decisions that goes into making a show.

TedStixon

I saw a movie or TV show back in the early 90's when I was a kid. I only remember one scene because it scared the crap out of me. I believe in the scene, an older man (probably 60's?) was fed feet-first into a shredding machine or large wood-chipper and killed. It was outside. The camera was inside it looking up. And I think there was a woman behind him who either pushed him in, or was trying to get him out. He was awake, shouting and struggling. Ring anyone's bell? (And it was not "Fargo.").

TedStixon

Answer: This might be from the TV series Friday the 13th. The episode is called "Root Of All Evil." The plot of the episode deals with a cursed mulcher. Anybody that gets thrown into it is killed and money is expelled from the other side. The richer the person is, the more money that comes out. Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AD9XnWh5Mx4.

Holy crap! I think that's it! Quickly scanned through the episode, and it seems to (mostly) match up with what I remember. Not exactly, but considering how young I was, I could just be misremembering it. Additionally, since I was born in '88 and probably saw it when I was 3-4 years old (so '91-'92ish), it would also line up because the show ran until 1990 and was likely still on the air in re-runs.

TedStixon

In fact, I'm 90% sure the death at 31:13 in the video is the exact scene I'm remembering. The only difference is that it's a man and not a woman who pushed him in, but that just could be my memory being dodgy since I only saw it once about 30 years ago. Thank you! I think you got it.

TedStixon

You're welcome.

Answer: I know there're several films where someone has died in a wood-chipper or similar device. License to Kill (1989), Bond is dangling over a shredder and Dario is standing over him. Pam shoots Dario and Bond pulls him into the shredder.

Bishop73

That's a good example, but it's not the scene I'm looking for. It's hard to give details due to the 500 character limit. But the scene seemed to be outside during the daytime (I think there were trees in the background), I think the old man who died was wearing a flannel shirt (that could be wrong), and I seem to recall him having like gray or white hair. I think the woman was trying to save him.

TedStixon

I don't know the film you're talking about, but have you tried looking up "woodchipper" or "body in a woodchipper" in IMDB's plot keywords? The latter has 13 movies listed.

Phaneron Premium member

Yeah, I've scoured IMDB for it, but the problem is almost everything I run into is either from the year 2000 or after (like I said, I saw this in the early 90's on TV), or just not the movie/show I'm looking for. I'm assuming it might have been like an obscure episode of a TV show or movie that might not necessarily have a plot keyword attached.

TedStixon

If episodes of a TV show are still re-running, do the actors continue to receive some amount of payment?

Answer: It depends. Often the principal cast, producers, etc. will get paid for reruns. It's typically referred to as "royalties." Ex. The show "Friends" still brings in nearly $1 billion in revenue each year through reruns, DVD sales, merchandising, advertising, etc. And the six main cast members get a cut of that - usually around $20 million per year each in royalties. However, smaller players and bit-part actors don't really make much, if anything at all, from royalties. It can also vary depending on the contracts and whatnot. Ex. The cast from "Gilligan's Island" didn't make squat from reruns because they weren't contractually obligated to get royalties. But nowadays, it's pretty common for the principal cast to get royalties.

TedStixon

Answer: Yes and no. It depends on what show you're talking about, how long ago it was made, and what the actors had in their contracts. Many reruns do result in "residuals" for the actors involved (or what one might call "royalties"). But this (usually) only for "principal performers", and only if they're in the rerun. Often times when a movie or TV show airs, is sold (e.g. on DVD), or streams, there are residuals to pay. Some however, do not earn these residuals (which usually diminishes after time or set number of airings). The Brady Bunch kids made very little (if any) off residuals. Bob Saget made very little for "Full House" reruns and his co-stars even less. Whereas Kelsey Grammer, Ray Romano, and "Friends" stars make millions each year off residuals.

Bishop73

Not sure if this is the forum, but since there's video game mistakes listed; are there any sports video games that let you attempt to cheat or get aggressive against another player? Not talking about cheat codes, but say a baseball game that lets you use a corked bat or pine tar where you hope to not get caught. Or a football game that lets you try to trip a runner. The old Nintendo "Ice Hockey" game would let you start a fight sometimes that other players got involved, so that sort of thing.

Bishop73

Answer: There were button combinations on Adidas Power Soccer for PS1, that would let you handle the ball or take a dive. More often than not you would get caught but it was possible to get away with it. Some earlier FIFA games (1998-2001ish?) would let you dive as well.

I once saw part of what I think was a TV show (Little House on the Prairie, maybe?), and it featured a scene where a girl in school has drawn a picture of her teacher. The teacher sees the picture and, offended by it, asks who drew it. The boy sitting next to the girl stood up and claimed he did it, and as punishment, the teacher whipped him with a stick. Anyone know what this was from?

Phaneron Premium member

Chosen answer: That's from the Disney version of "Tom Sawyer" (1973). I remember that scene, watching it as a child.

This was a moment in a TV show. I saw it in the '90s. A man is in a bedroom. A woman is lying on the bed. I think she is wearing a sweater and jeans. He has killed her or somehow made her unconscious. Two men (or a man and woman?) enter the room. One picks her up. The man who was already in the room says "I love her." The other man says "You don't kill people you love." They leave with her. The "bad guy" doesn't try to stop them. Sorry for not having many details. Thanks for any guesses.

I saw part of a film around 2001, I think Jeff Bridges was in it. A man and his wife are driving through thick snow and a horse and cart approach them in the opposite direction. The car skids and startles the horse, and the horse rears up and kicks through the car window, hitting the wife in the face and killing her. Never been able to forget that scene but I don't remember anything else about the rest.

I am looking for something that I saw on TV when I was about four years old. I don't remember much except that there was a person or maybe a creature and its whole body looked like it was either made out of sand or it seemed to shimmer. I remember a scene where it was standing up on a mound of sand maybe in a desert. Some men come along that start hitting it in the head with their swords. The next scene shows the creature in maybe a medical room with something on its head. Please help me.

Answer: With questions like this, it is helpful if you let us know when you were four years old. It will give us a time frame for the movie.

Answer: Okay so it wasn't Turkey Shoot I remember more from it now. I think I might be mixing the two up. I remember the creature looking like a knockoff C3PO from Star Wars. I am getting more robot vibes than maybe alien or creature vibes. I am unsure if it was English or not because it seemed like it was dubbed or something. Maybe a Japanese show something because all I can think of is lots of sand and samurai swords.

Answer: Found the movie it was called Turkey Shoot.

Answer: 1990 would have been the year because I remember seeing a trailer on TV from the movie Gremlins 2. I think it may have been on Super Channel or something because we got channels like that when I was younger through a cable box.

I've seen this countless times, most recently in the new "Hawkeye" series; someone wants to sneak into a building/crime scene that's on fire, or recently on fire, and firetrucks are on the scene. So the person will grab a fireman's jacket and helmet out of the truck as a disguise. Do firetrucks carry extra jackets and helmets? Or would someone take their gear off and put it in the truck for some reason? In the same vein do ambulances and hospitals have white lab coats lying around as well?

Bishop73

Answer: Often the driver of the truck doesn't wear turnout gear to the incident, and has his gear in the truck. It is also very common to have an extra set of gear in case someone's is contaminated or fails.

stiiggy

I've seen a few movies and shows in which a character wants to use a false identity. They find a record of a person who died in the same year that the character was born, and use that person's name. Why do they need to do this?

Answer: Using the identity of someone who is dead, generally their social security number, is called "ghosting." The main reason is because using a false identity is easier than using a fake identity. A fake social security number (as in made up) will raise flags whereas using a real number that doesn't belong to you won't raise the same flags, or at least not immediately. (Think of putting a credit card number in online, if it's not real, the system generally knows right away and rejects the sale). The reason someone wants to use a dead person's identity is because there's less chance someone is monitoring identity theft, whereas a living person might see accounts opened in their name, etc. As far as finding someone who died the same year the person was born is not ideal though since it could raise flags too. Ideally, the person would want to use an identity of a deceased person that's the same age, sex, and race.

Bishop73

Answer: Each is taking over a deceased person's identity and hoping that nobody realises that person has died. It is a way of establishing a birth actually occurred (as opposed to merely making up a name for which there would be no record of birth). In other words, a person can't exist or present oneself as a legitimate member of society without having been born; the deceased person WAS born and is no longer circulating in society, so taking on that person's identity at least gives the impression that the imposter is a legitimate member of society. Without taking on a deceased person's identity, the imposter would lack a history and presumably be more susceptible to being discovered. The chances of encountering someone who actually knew the deceased (and could seriously question the imposter's true identity) is relatively low. Until and unless someone becomes suspicious, the imposter can maintain the fake identity and continue living as a respectable member of the community.

KeyZOid

There's a movie or maybe TV show where at the end two little kids get adopted - a boy who's black and a blonde haired white girl. Someone crouches down to them, maybe in an airport, and asks if they want to come with them. Any clues what this is from?

Jon Sandys Premium member

Chosen answer: Something similar happens in one of the final episodes of the sitcom "30 Rock." Liz Lemon ends up adopting two children that she picks up from an airport - a black boy named Terry and a blond white girl named Janet - who humorously and ironically have almost the exact same personalities as her annoying co-workers Tracey and Jenna. Could that be it?

TedStixon

Aha, that's it! My wife sends her thanks, that was annoying her. :-).

Jon Sandys Premium member

I need to know what movie 2 guys hold their hand over a candle to see who can last longer. I'm sure the record is like 2 minutes 25 seconds or something...the vet gives up and the other guy keeps going, and they say OK you've proved your point.

Answer: This also happens near the beginning of S3E3 of the British TV show Ultimate Force, exactly as you describe. They compete to hold their hands over a candle with a glass of water balanced on top. Henno (the leader) held the old record, at 2 minutes 20 seconds, but this time he loses. The other guy, Ed, keeps going until 2:32, even though Henno and the others are urging him to stop, saying he's won.

Aerinah

Answer: There's a scene in "Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy" where he holds his hand over a candle flame. There's also a scene in "The Odds" (2018) where the first game contestants have to hold their hand over a candle flame the longest. But it's a woman and the contestants are in separate rooms.

Bishop73

I remember watching a short film on TV when I was a little girl I was about 7 or 8 years old at the time. I remember these kids are going to be putting on a play and this dark skinned girl imagines herself on stage and being beautiful, but she is disappointed when she learns that they are doing Snow White. She wants to try out for Snow White but the other kids tease her because she is black. I remember the girls name was something like Carol. Can anyone help me?

I saw a scene from either a series or a movie on Facebook and I want to know what it was called. I remember these little girls playing a game with some virtual reality helmets. They play a game that is spooky but when the parents come in they switch to a kids game with animals in it. I remember the parents try to lock the game but the girls can still play it. I think the game eventually comes to life or something I only saw it once in the Facebook videos so can anyone help me?

Answer: Sounds like the TV show "Evil", s01e04, "Rose390." The main character has 4 daughters and the grandmother buys them the VR headset and they lie about a horror game they were playing.

Bishop73

I saw a movie that partially involved a doctor having performed an abortion on a teenager/young woman. She had been raped by her father/stepfather. Her mother was dead or had left home. I think her hair was blonde. The story seemed to take place in the '60s or earlier. The movie could have been made in the '80s or earlier.

Answer: This sounds like the 1957 film, "Peyton Place" starring Lana Turner. Hope Lange played Selena Cross, the girl raped by her step-father, who then suffered a miscarriage. Her mother committed suicide, and Selena was secretly treated by the town doctor to protect her from scandal. It was based on the best-selling Grace Metallious novel, and later spawned the 1960s TV show.

raywest Premium member

That is the movie. Thank you.

Looking for a game I think might have been for PS1 or PS2. A guy is sitting in his office when he hears two gunshots. When he runs outside, he sees his wife and daughter have been murdered. A woman sees him standing over their bodies and starts screaming. The guy hijacks a car and drives after the car he saw leaving the area. Don't know anything that was said because the language had been switched from English to some other language.

Answer: This sounds like the PS2 game The Getaway (set in London), with a few differences: Mark Hammond is lying in bed when his wife is shot and his son is abducted by the Bethnal Green mob. A woman walks round the corner and sees him standing over his dying wife and start screaming. He hijacks a car and pursues the criminals who kidnapped his son.

Sierra1 Premium member

That's the game. Thanks.

Saw a movie from sometime in the 90's. A woman and an Asian man are travelling down a road apparently lost. The Asian doesn't speak English at all so the woman can't understand him. He makes sexist remarks towards her and even places a fifty dollar bill in between her bikini which she assumes is his way of offering some help but, in truth he's actually giving it to her in exchange for sexual favors.

Answer: There is an Australian (2003) movie "Japanese Story." It has the plot you described but I'm uncertain of the money for sex scene.

No. It's not this movie.

I am looking for an older movie with the plot of a high profile guy gets betrayed into thinking his loyal wife is having an affair with his best friend, and he kills them only to find out later that it wasn't true.

Answer: If memory serves, that's a subplot from the 2004 "Punisher" movie. Frank Castle plants false evidence that his enemy Howard Saint's wife is having an affair with his best friend. Howard kills both of them in a jealous rage, only for Frank to later reveal that he fabricated the affair.

TedStixon

Answer: Sounds like a Tales From The Crypt episode.

lartaker1975

Can anyone tell me the name of a TV series from the UK, it was screened in the late 90s and used as educational material. It followed a family living in Victorian England and if I remember correctly it featured the death of the youngest sibling called Anne.

Answer: Channel 4 schools programmes were aired between 0925 and 1200 on weekdays if I remember correctly, but they were cancelled in the early 90s. There was a show called How We Used to Live which was predominantly based on Victorian life, but I am not sure about the specific plot you refer to.

Is there an archive of any information about location photography from specific movies? 1937's Captains Courageous contains scenes of large fishing schooners speeding downwind, heeled over so far that the edges of their decks are under water. Impossible to simulate. James Stewart's The Spirit of St. Louis has nearly five minutes of period aerial photography of the actual city of St. John's, Newfoundland, Lindbergh's last contact with North America as he headed east. It's a rare visual record.

tcmfan43

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.