Maitland McDonagh


Question: Years ago I caught ...

Question: Years ago I caught the middle of a movie in which a man without arms and legs is lying in a hospital bed. He's been in a war and can't hear or speak, but his mind is in constant turmoil and he keeps yelling that he's alive. Do you know this movie, and could the man have been played by one of the Bridges brothers? — Gidget

Flickchick: You sawJohnny Got His Gun (1971), directed by Dalton Trumbo and adapted from his own WWI-era anti-war novel. The star was one of the Bottoms brothers, rather than one of the Bridges brothers — Timothy, to be precise.

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Question: Do you know ...

Question: Do you know anything about the remake of Easy Rider? How about The Devil and Daniel Webster? — Tom

Flickchick: Curiously, both these projects are connected to Martin Landau's production company, Miracle Entertainment. There's no Easy Rider remake in the works, but there has been fairly serious talk about a sequel. According to Miracle's website, which gives the title as Easy Rider A.D., the plot picks up in the present day. Wyatt (Peter Fonda's character in the original film) has spent the last 30 years in jail, having been convicted of murdering small-town lawyer George Hanson (Jack Nicholson). But Hanson's grown son, Geoff, has his doubts ( read more

Question: Does James Dean ...

Question: Does James Dean have a very small, non-speaking part in a Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis movie called Beware All Sailors or Sailors Beware. If it's him, he's in a boxing ring scene. — Nety Bumpo

Flickchick: Yes, James Dean can be seen briefly in Sailor Beware as a young sailor in the boxing scene.

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Question: My friend's mom and ...

Question: My friend's mom and I have a disagreement: She says that the lead girl in Gremlins also played Doogie Howser's girlfriend in the TV series Doogie Howser, MD. I don't think so. — Starangel

Flickchick: You're right and she's wrong. Phoebe Cates played Kate, the female lead in Gremlins (1984), while Lisa Dean Ryan played Doogie's girlfriend Wanda.

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Question: Some 15 or 20 years ...

Question: Some 15 or 20 years ago I saw a movie about a boy whose mother is a school headmistress who's always telling him the girls there weren't good enough for him. Girls start disappearing, and at the end he locks his mother in a room with a body made from different parts of the vanished girls. Am I remembering right? — Beth

Flickchick: You're remembering the Spanish fright flick The House That Screamed/La Residencia (1969) perfectly.

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Question: I recently saw a ...

Question: I recently saw a candid photo of Bob Hope and he was pitiful looking. How is his health? — dotwar

Flickchick: For a man who heard on the radio in 1998 that he was dead (it was, of course, all a misunderstanding), Bob Hope is just fine. The 98-year-old actor and comedian, who lives in Toluca Lake, CA, was hospitalized last year with a gastrointestinal problem from which he made a quick recovery. I've seen the same photos you have, and he does look a bit grim. But I will add from personal experience that my 101-year-old grandmother looks pretty terrible in snapshots — there's nothing like a flash to exaggerate age spots and watery eyes — but in person she looks hale and hearty.

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Question: I once saw a movie ...

Question: I once saw a movie that starred, I believe, Bruce Willis. It starts with the main character lying on the grass under a tree with what look like leaves falling down around him. Everything is blurred but him, and he starts a monologue about how everything started. There's a robbery, and he kidnaps a little boy who's in a t-shirt and briefs for much of the movie. As the story progresses, he begins to care about the boy, who also develops an affection for him. At the end we're back under the tree, but realize that what looked leaves is actually money floating in the wind; the main character is lying on the ground because he's been shot by the police. I've been searching for this movie for two years, and it seems I'm the only one who even knows it exists! — Bill

Flickchick: Maybe it's the Bruce Willis part that's been throwing off other people. You're desc read more

Question: I know Cheech Marin ...

Question: I know Cheech Marin ended up on TV as the sidekick on Nash Bridges. But whatever happened to Tommy Chong? — April

Flickchick: The tall half of stoner comedy team Cheech and Chong, Tommy Chong has a recurring role on That '70s Show and continues to do stand-up with his wife Shelby in comedy clubs. Chong has said in interviews that he's noticed a new, younger element in his audiences, and suspects they're fans of "Leo the photo shack guy," his That '70s Show character. In 1998, Chong wrote, co-produced and starred in a film called Best Buds; it remains unfinished because of a dispute with the director, but in 2000 a Canadian court ruled that the footage belonged to Chong. So we may see it read more

Question: I'm looking for a ...

Question: I'm looking for a movie from the mid-70's where little pointy-headed goblins or demons trip a lady and drag her down some stairs under a fireplace at the end. Do you know this movie? — Randy

Flickchick: I swear, someone has asked me about this movie every couple of months since I started doing this column; I first answered it in July 1999. You're looking for a TV movie called Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973), and though it appears to have been briefly available on video, I've never seen a tape of it.

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Question: What happened to ...

Question: What happened to Troy Donahue? Is he still acting, or is he doing some other kind of work? — Sharon

Flickchick: Born on January 27, 1937, tall, blond, NYC-native Troy Donahue was one of the wholesome male pin-ups of the late 1950s and '60s. A one-time journalism student at Columbia University, Donahue began acting in summer stock in the mid-'50s and soon landed a contract at Warner Bros. The first thing they did was change the young actor's name to something more marquee worthy than "Merle Johnson, Jr.," the name he was born with. "It was a badge of acceptance," he told Biography magazine in 2000. "If they go to the trouble of changing your name, it means they have big plans for you. But it was very strange. Try to imagine [studio head] Jack Warner, his assistants and my agent huddled around a conference table, trying to think of my name read more

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