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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A new challenge 

I can't decide what a correct answer might be worth. I'd say that I'd take you out to see a movie, but I don't get out to the theater much. In the past couple years, I've averaged about twice a year - one for my beloved's birthday in the winter, and one around vacation in the summer. However, there are actually several movies that I'd like to get out and see right now. Maybe if you get the right answer and I like you enough, I'll go to the movies with you and let you share my pretzel bites, but you'll have to pay for your own tickets. Maybe I'll just send you a Fandango gift certificate to the cinema of your choice. Anyway, I don't have a lot of confidence in my audience in getting this one. I think it's a stumper.

Aside from the fact that they were made during my lifetime and I watched them (either in the theater or on video/DVD) what do ALL of these movies have in common?
"Star Wars" (1977)
"The Empire Strikes Back" (1980)
"History of the World: Part I" (1981)
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981)
"Return of the Jedi” (1983)
"Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" (1984)
"Spaceballs" (1987)
"Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (1989)
"Beauty and the Beast" (1991)
"Aladdin" (1992)
"Reservoir Dogs" (1992)
"Die Hard: With a Vengeance" (1995)
"Toy Story" (1995)
"Dante's Peak" (1996)
"The Fifth Element" (1997)
"Lethal Weapon 4" (1998)
"Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" (1999)
"The Kid" (2000)
"Spider-man" (2002)
"Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" (2002)
"The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" (2002)
"Once Upon A Time In Mexico" (2003)
"Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" (2003)
"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (2003)
"Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" (2004)
"Fantastic Four" (2005)
"Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" (2005)

(By the way, it has to be something imperical, distinctive and substantive... not like "I made out in the back row of all of them" or "they all were shown in American theaters" or "They all have an actor with a prime number of letters in their name".)

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Clarifying Question.

"Would the common theme only exist with these films or would many others qualify and you chose this select group"

For example if the common link was "John Williams did the score in all of those films" would you include every John Williams movie or just many of them?

I think this question would help cut down on the significant array of guesses possible without giving away the answer.



Dean -

Excellent question and correct reasoning. From what I can gather, this is the exhaustive list that meets the criteria that I established. There are others that could have been included in this list, if I had seen them.

Here are some clues:
"A Distant Drum" (1951) would be the absolute first on this list, if it had been made during my lifetime, and I had seen it.

"The Green Berets" (1968) would have made the list, since I did see it on video with my dad in the 80s, but it was not made during my lifetime.

A character played by Ralph Brooke ties all these movies together, in a rather obscure way.

Ben Burtt is responsible for many of these making the list, and in fact may have played an indirect role in making it possible for most of them to be included.

That is way more than you need to get you the answer!


Ah yes, so now I know the origin of the Wilhelm Scream, which is the common link to all of your movies.



Excellent work as always Dean. I still owe you a latte from the last time. I thought you were going to get back to me on some times to get together?


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