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: What happens when a film with the same title as (or very similar title to) another film is released? Is there some sort of legal problem? A producer couldn't copyright a word like 'Jaws', for instance, or a person's name, so surely anyone else can use them. What's to stop someone making a film called 'Harry Potter' and coining it in?

Chosen answer: You can trademark a title or word in conjunction with a movie or book title. There's plenty of lawsuits where a title is too close to an existing well-known title, and most often the case is settled on behalf of the original title. Exceptions are when the title was well-known before the book or movie, such as "Titanic."

CocoCami

Question: I remember a trailer for a movie (or possibly tv show preview) in which a woman threatens to stab herself in the aorta, raising a pen to her throat, and a man informs her that the aorta is in the heart. Any idea what this is from?

Chosen answer: You're thinking of Girl Interrupted. In the movie, Lisa (played by Angelina Jolie) threatens to stab herself in the aorta, but Valerie (played by Whoopie Goldberg) informs her that the aorta is in the chest.

Garlonuss Premium member

Question: Hello. I wonder if anyone can help me find the name of a film that was on tv around 25 years ago. It was the same story as Incredible Journey, but involved two little dogs: one looked like a fox and the other was white and hairy (short). Every holiday I have looked for it but, it has as far as I know never been on tv again .

Chosen answer: Homeward bound?

Question: I remember watching a programme on TV about movie mistakes a few months ago on VH1 and saw a clip with a lot of people in a school gymnasium and at the back there was a man standing up "exposing" himself that the editors supposedly missed. Can anyone tell me which film this was?

Chosen answer: It was Teen Wolf. In the scene after the basketball game was over, when everyone storms the court in celebration, there is an extra who clearly was airing out his "dirty laundry". That scene has since been removed.

BGraz

Question: My boyfriend wants to see this movie again, but can't remember the title. A group of people, traveling on a bus, find out they are all dead. Apparently each has a loose end s/he needs to tie up before heading to the hereafter. Thanks.

Chosen answer: That would be "Heart and Souls" starring Charles Grodin, Alfre Woodard, Kyra Sedgwick, Tom Sizemore, and David Paymer as the people "on the bus," and Robert Downey Jr. as their "corporeal being."

Phixius Premium member

Question: I remember seeing this movie in the early-to-mid 90s. I can't remember too much, but I will do my best. I remember a young teenage boy and a blue and white ancient stamp of something nautical - either a boat or a sailor-type boy with a spy glass or something along those lines. The stamp was very important and worth a lot of money, and, I believe, had something to do with this boy's dead grandfather. I also think if there was a boy in the stamp it may have looked like the boy in the movie. Maybe that was what the big adventure (aka the plot) was over? This is where I may just be speculating: The boy also had an older brother and his friends who, I think, got involved with the boy in some search for the stamp. I remember images of the end pretty well - the boy pastes or find the stamp in a "stamp book". Then someone from the beginning of the film steals something or runs off and everyone has to chase him. I just remember the line "He's had a relapse." and someone answers "What's a relapse?" And that's how it ends.This is so far fetched, but it would make my existence if someone knew what in the hell I was talking about. THANKS.

Chosen answer: Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Travellers, with Lucas Evans and Anthony Rogers. There is also a sequel, The Return of Tommy Tricker.

Sereenie

Question: I am looking for the name of a horror movie. I only remember that it looked like it was made in the 70's or 80's and that the first girl who got killed off was stabbed in the heart and fell through a large stained glass window on the ceiling with a cord tied around her neck so it looked like she hung herself. Any ideas?

Chosen answer: The name of this film is 'Suspiria'. It was directed by Dario Argento and it came out in 1977.

wizard_of_gore Premium member

Question: I watched a film on TV when I was a kid and I can't remember the name of it. It was about an adopted boy who discovered that his birth parents had been mermaids, and as he hit puberty he began to turn into a mermaid himself. All I remember is that he started to be thirsty all the time and whenever he went in water he began to grow scales, which was a problem since he was on the school swimming team. I think there was a scene when he dived into the sea to catch up with a ferry which was pulling away, and another when he was about to start a swimming race but realised he still had his trainers on. Anyone know the name of this film? Thanks.

Chosen answer: The Thirteenth Year.

Phixius Premium member

Question: Does anybody know what the first movie to have a product placement was? I am losing sleep over this, please help.

Chosen answer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_placement

CocoCami

Question: When I was a kid, I remember seeing a movie in the early 80's, and all I can remember is at the end, a ghost train comes crashing through the house in the living room. Prior to this, you can see the light approaching, and I think there was a kid that yelled that the train was coming towards the house. Anyone know what film this was? It may have been a made for TV movie, but I think it was a regular film.

Jazetopher

Chosen answer: Could you be thinking of the Spielberg-penned "Ghost Train" episode of "Amazing Stories"?

JC Fernandez

Question: I am trying to find out the name of the movie that had the following scene: a man is flipping a toothpick over and over in his mouth. It gets stuck, holding his mouth open, and he gags/coughs and takes it out. I think he was trying to be cool or intimidating as he flipped it so it was amusing when he got it stuck. I am guessing it was some time in the early 90's.

Twotall

Chosen answer: This is the bowling alley scene from Uncle Buck. He is hitting on John Candy's niece.

Jazetopher

Question: I remember seeing a film as a girl and remember only one scene where a woman is at a party and is hiding or sneaking around, and by accident gets her dress shredded by standing above the shredder. Does anyone know what film I'm talking about?

Twotall

Chosen answer: Jumping Jack Flash.

Grumpy Scot

Question: I am after the title of a narrated animated/live action film about people living underground in the woods(probably in Germany) during World War 2 to hide from the Nazis. There is a little girl in the film whose family gets taken to a concentration camp and she is left all alone.

Twotall

Chosen answer: It might be "Sarah" a.k.a. "Sarah and the Squirrel", 1982 by Yoram Gross.

Question: I remember watching a cartoon quite some time back now. I remember that it was about a dentists, or something similar, and I remember there being a lot of children in it. It stuck in my mind because it reminded me an awful lot of Dr. Katz, although aimed at a younger audience. Does anyone have any idea what this show is? I seem to remember it was quite short lived. The only solid thing I can remember about the show itself was that there was a receptionist who I think was married to the dentist/doctor (and it's not Home Movies).

Gary O'Reilly

Chosen answer: I think you are referring to 'Bob and Margaret' which was an animated British show about a dentist and his chiropodist wife which ran from 1998-2001.

wizard_of_gore Premium member

Question: This is a question regarding all films. I know that in a lot of films the image is reversed for some reason for particular shots and that you can usually tell this because, for example, something on the left side of someone's face will be on their right side, etc. But I don't understand why?

Craig Bryant

Chosen answer: The most likely explanation is because when it comes to editing it may look better when flipped, or because it was not possible to shoot a shot from the opposite angle at the time of filming. Also if shots are edited together from different sequences, the director may need to match the direction of movement, so has to flip one set of shots in order to maintain obvious continuity (at the cost of smaller things).

Scrappy

Question: I want to find out the name of a sci-fi movie I saw when I was kid in 1974. Aliens from a planet soon to be doomed due to an expanding sun appeared on Earth through some transporter-like device and sought our help. The movie sticks in my mind because, in spite of our efforts, we could not help and the planet was destroyed.

Adam Feller

Chosen answer: Sounds like "This Island Earth (1955)".

Question: How exactly does film crediting work? I know of several examples where a "major" actor/actress is in the film, but is not credited. (Whoopie Goldberg in Star Trek Generations, for example). How can someone be "introduced" if they've been major players in earlier films? (Julia Roberts in Ocean's 11 & 12).

StevenJ

Chosen answer: The Julia Roberts thing in Ocean's 11 & 12 was a joke by the writers. Credits usually work on the theory that the first person listed is the most important role in the film, and the 'good guy' is listed first. (Example, Robert De Niro is credited before Al Pacino in 'Heat' - both top class actors but De Niro is the good guy. Same with Face/Off with Nicholas Cage and John Travolta). Some actors/actresses don't want their names listed in the credits, usually because they don't want the film/TV show to sell on their name alone. One more interesting fact - in Se7en, Kevin Spacey's name isn't listed on the opening credits, or any of the posters/promotional material surrounding the film, but in the ending credits he recieves top billing. He agreed not to have his name in the opening credits/promotional stuff as he wanted his appearance as the bad guy to be a suprise to people (thus they don't know who the bad guy is) - but he did this on the understanding he'd recieve top billing in the end credits. Ultimately all unusual credits (cameos, etc.) are generally decided on a case by case basis.

Sam Johnson

Question: There was this cartoon (I think?) series in the 80's (maybe late) in the US that had one girl and two boys searching for lands of gold. The only other thing I remember is that one of the boys had a vase/pot that had broken lines on it that glowed for some reason. Any ideas?

shortdanzr Premium member

Chosen answer: Sounds like "The Mysterious Cities of Gold". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0122356/.

Grumpy Scot

Question: I saw a movie about 20 years ago on TV, I remember thinking it was an old movie at the time. All I remember is that a girl goes to Heaven looking for her father (she has not died) and Heaven is full of children waiting to be born. At the end she is walking down the road with her father.

panda

Chosen answer: The movie was "The Blue Bird" which was made in 1940 staring Shirley Temple.

Boobra

Question: I remember a cartoon a while ago, I think involving Bugs Bunny, where he had a magic wand and was being chased by someone (I'm almost sure NOT Elmer Fudd), ending up in an opera. The climax was the chaser singing on stage while Bugs (or whoever) kept using the magic wand and changing the singer's costume. Any ideas what this cartoon was called?

Jon Sandys Premium member

Chosen answer: It was not a bugs Bunny cartoon. It was a Tex Avery cartoon. Tex Avery's Musical Maestro (1951) Here is the write up: http://comics.ign.com/articles/649/649921p1.html.

Rlvlk

Join the mailing list

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.