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 know that at the Oscars, Best Picture and Best Director usually go hand-in-hand. What was the first film to win one without winning the other?

Cubs Fan Premium member

Chosen answer: At the very first Academy Awards (1927/28) "Wings" won Outstanding Picture and the Directing awards went to "Two Arabian Nights" and "7th Heaven" (one for "best direction" one for "best comedy direction"). In fact it wasn't until the 3rd year that "All Quiet on the Western Front" won both. So far the awards have gone to different pictures 19 times.

Myridon

Question: Please can someone help me find the title of a childrens' movie where it starts in the beginning with a boy who rides on a toy in a big present that lands in his room, and it becomes animated after that. There is a scene where there are two princesses that do alphabet and there is another scene where slime tries to make him go to sleep. I don't remember much more. Please help?

Chosen answer: I think the movie you're looking for is "The Phantom Tollbooth" (1970). At least it fits your description with the change from live action to animation, the two princesses and the boy who rides his toy car through a magic tollbooth.For more information check out: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0064806.

Andreas[DK]

Question: I remember a cartoon show about a cat that every time he said a number from 1 to 9 a phantom ghost appeared to make him suffer. What was the name of that cartoon?

Chosen answer: Fraidy Cat: http://www.bcdb.com/cartoon/25964-Choo-Choo_Fraidy.html.

Rlvlk

Question: Does anyone ever remember remember seeing or hearing about a TV movie that was shown live? I remember, 5-7 years ago, that my mom told me she was watching a movie shown in this way. I think I remember it being black and white. Sound familiar to anyone?

Chosen answer: "Fail Safe" was broadcast live on CBS April 9, 2000, and it is in black and white. It is a story set during the cold war, where a so-called fail-safe warning system malfunctions, and a bomber squadron goes off to bomb Moscow while everyone else is trying desperately to stop them before the time runs out. It stars such people as George Clooney, Harvey Keitel, Don Cheadle, Richard Dreyfuss, Sam Elliott, just to mention a few.

Twotall

Question: What was the first TV show to sell a DVD box sets of each series?

Chosen answer: It was "The X-Files" season 1.

Mister Ed

Question: Does anyone know what movie this is? At the very beginning the screen is red with numerous wind-up chattering teeth on the bottom of the screen. All I can remember is a child going into a dumpster area and meeting a friendly creature. I think it was a made for TV movie, possibly on the Family Channel circa 1990.

Chosen answer: It is the movie "Munchie". IMDB it.

Question: There was a children's television programme that was on British TV in the late 1980s/early 1990s. The characters were all puppets and included a large talking cauldron which had a dark green face, a strange silver/red monster that lived in the cauldron and had a very posh voice, a creature that looked a bit like Alf with bat wings, and a venus flytrap that I think was called Colin. Can anyone tell me what it was called?

Chosen answer: This sounds a lot like Grotbags, the Rod Hull Spin-Off. Not all the characters were puppets - Grotbags was played by an actress - but I think they match the descriptions above..

Moose Premium member

Question: There's a horror movie that features a climactic scene where a killer is in a barn with a little girl - the killer has a scythe. This would be late 60's early 70's. The killer may be wearing some kind of creepy bag over his head - maybe a scarecrow mask of some kind. Any idea what it is?

Chosen answer: Could it be 'Dark night of the scarecrow'?

MELANIE SMITH

Question: There was a children's program that featured a teenage detective who drove a convertible Volkswagen bug. He had a gorilla side-kick. They received their assignments in the form of ordinary objects that had a voice recording that gave the details - the object would then self-destruct. This was filmed, but not live-action like some of the Sid & Marty Croft shows.

Chosen answer: You may be thinking of a show called "The Ghost Busters" that debuted in 1975.

Question: I remember watching a TV programme when I was at primary school. It will have been around the early 1990's. All I can remember from it was that it featured somebody at a keyboard typing in the word "qwertyuiop" and I remember that something happened after they typed it in. Please, please can somebody help me by telling me the title of the programme or what actually happened when they typed in "qwertyuiop"?

David Hutchinson

Chosen answer: I think you are referring to Storyworld, an ITV schools programme in which Tony Robinson ("Baldric" from the Blackadder series) used the magic word qwertyuiop to bring stories to life.

David H

Question: On that "It'll be alright on the night show" they showed a clip of two people dressed in older clothes (victorian or otherwise) climbing a grassy hill talking. Then on the path below this huge silver car drove buy (and the audience burst into laughter.) Nobody has any idea what this was off do they? It looked like TV show quality.

Hamster Premium member

Chosen answer: I think the clip in question is from the series "Moll Flanders" starring Alex Kingston and new James Bond Daniel Craig.

Question: I'm trying to find out the name of a television show that I watched in the early to mid-1980's. The only details I remember are that there was group of teenagers that worked on a newspaper and they would often get transported to a different time or area where a "bad guy" was always trying to get to them. Anybody have an idea?

Chosen answer: I think it was "Read all about it." It may have been a Children's Televison Workshop production. Mind you that's just a guess.

James Rowell

Question: Is there a difference between a "featuring" credit and an "introducing" credit? If so, what is it?

Cubs Fan Premium member

Chosen answer: "Introducing" means that this is the actor's first role, or sometimes their first credited major role, i.e. not "3rd Dancing Guy". "Featuring" can mean several things. For example, an actor may have negotiated this into their contract so that their name stands out more in the credits or to point out a major player in a less than major part.

Myridon

Question: Just before Christmas in 2004, on one of the British terrestrial channels was a programme about dragons. I think it was called 'Flight of the Dragons', but it wasn't the animation. It was about 2 hours long, and wasn't a movie. It was written as a spoof documentary about the discovery of a dragon's skeleton, and about dragons' evolution and lifestyle. It was really interesting, and had amazing computer-generated graphics, and I would like to know if anyone else has seen it, and whether it has (or will) come out on DVD.

Chosen answer: Yes, I saw it; very good show, I enjoyed it immensely. It was called "The Last Dragon" in the UK - it was shown in the US under the title "Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real". It has been released on DVD in both countries under the appropriate title.

Tailkinker Premium member

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: Does anyone know the name of a movie where 3 or 4 boys make a spaceship out of a "tilt-a-whirl" cart?

Chosen answer: Explorers. Released in 1985, starring Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix and Jason Presson. Excellent film!

Grumpy Scot

Question: There was a weird sci-fi film from the 80's that dealt with a spaceship landing in a little boy's backyard. I remember something about a school bus and driver, like the driver was an alien, but not for sure. Can anyone remember the name of this movie/film?

Chosen answer: This sounds like the 1986 Tobe Hooper film, Invaders From Mars. It starred Karen Black and Louise Fletcher. It was a remake of the 1953 classic of the same name.

raywest Premium member

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 film where a girl goes into a supermarket/mini mart type place, and as she is walking around she sees somebody she was abused by (I think) and then something happens and she looks in a freezer and sees it filling with blood and she slips on the blood. I was sure it was in Girl, Interrupted, but I recently watched this film and the scene is not in there, is it another film, or is it possible that scene was removed from my DVD version?

Kayleigh Green

Chosen answer: This was in Girl Interrupted, one of the deleted scenes on the DVD. If you check in deleted scenes, it should be there.

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.