Maitland McDonagh


Question: When I was in high ...

Question: When I was in high school, my friends and I used to get together on Saturday nights and watch a scary movie called When a Stranger Calls Back. Someone recently told me it was actually a sequel to a movie called When a Stranger Calls. Is this true? If so, is it available to rent? ? Stefanie

Flickchick: Yes, it's true (kind of makes sense, doesn't it ? first When a Stranger Calls and then When a Stranger Calls Back?), and you should be able to find the original pretty easily: It's currently available to buy. Like the 1993 made-for-TV sequel, the 1979 fright flick also stars Carol Kane. But back then, she was the terrorized babysitter. While the movie drags in the middle, the first half-hour is scary as hell.

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Question: Could you tell me ...

Question: Could you tell me the name of a martial arts movie I saw about 20 years ago in which a father uses his little son's stroller as a weapon? In the most memorable scene, the two-year-old has to fetch water for his dying dad and, because he doesn't have a container, carries it in his mouth. — Tom

Flickchick: I would imagine it was Shogun Assassin (1974), which was an American release cobbled together from two Japanese films in the popular "Lone Wolf and Cub" series. For details, go to my column of June 29, 2000.

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Question: A few weeks back, ...

Question: A few weeks back, some friends and I were dying of laughter at the sight of a semi-young Bill Shatner in a non-English-speaking movie whose title we didn't catch. Two questions: What language is he speaking (I say Polish, they say Latin) and what's the movie's title? We figure Shatner probably didn't make too many movies outside his native tongue. — SN

Flickchick: The movie is Incubus (1966), starring William Shatner and Allyson Ames, and it's not in anybody's native tongue. It's in Esperanto, an artificial language developed between 1877-1885 by one L.L. Zamenhof of Warsaw, Poland, which was then part of Russia. Having grown up in a region in which people were conspicuous (and often violentl read more

Question: Who's the hunky ...

Question: Who's the hunky actor who was in a movie about a vicious bear making life on the ranch miserable? In real life, he quit acting after a skiing accident where his ski pole pierced his heart (I saw him on a talk show); the design of ski poles was subsequently changed. — Ginger

Flickchick: The part about the bear movie didn't help as much as the part about the bizarre accident: To the best of my knowledge, Clint Walker is the only actor who was ever impaled on a ski pole and lived to tell about it. The 6' 6", Illinois-born Walker, whose real first name was Norman, was discovered while working as a sheriff's deputy in Las Vegas, Nev. He soon scored the lead in the TV Western series Cheyenne (1955-1963), and in 1957 fell while skiing, landing squarely on one of his ski poles. He was pronounced clinically dead, but one observant doctor noticed a sign of life read more

Question: What is Robin ...

Question: What is Robin Williams's real name? I thought I heard on TV that it was Robin Williams Dick. ? Jaclyn

Flickchick: It's Robin Williams; his parents are Robert and Laurie Williams. The actor's middle name is McLaurim.

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Question: Please tell me ...

Question: Please tell me something about June Marlowe, who played Miss Crabtree in the Our Gang films. ? Gary

Flickchick: June Marlowe was born Gisela Goetten in St. Cloud, Minn., on November 6, 1903, and was the oldest of five children. Her father was a shop owner, and her mother was a housewife. Young Gisela was a big movie buff, and loved silent vamp Theda Bara. The family moved to the West Coast in the early '20s, and the teenaged Goetten enrolled at Hollywood High School. She began pursuing her dream of acting and appeared in several plays; director Malcolm St. Clair spotted her in one and helped her get an extra part in Fighting Blood (1923) in lieu of a screen test. Goetten photographed well, and was given a real role in When a Man's a Man (1924). She was also renamed June Marlowe. Marlowe worked steadily throughout the '20 read more

Question: I've heard there's ...

Question: I've heard there's an Austin Powers 3 coming out. Do you know when? — Gemma

Flickchick: Summer 2002. Austin Powers 3 is due to start shooting later this year (original reports said spring, but it's a little later than that) and will be a prequel set in the 1950s, when Mike Myers's Austin and Dr. Evil are rival classmates. Fashion-forward Austin is, of course, single-handedly responsible for the British music invasion and the birth of Swinging London; the less-stylish Dr. Evil can only seethe. The plot also involves Austin's search for his long-lost parents, and rumor has it that '60s femme fatal Honor Blackman, of TV's The Avengers and Goldfinger (she played Pussy Galore), might be cast as read more

Question: I once saw a sci-fi ...

Question: I once saw a sci-fi movie set in space. There was a huge spaceship with a plant nursery aboard, and there were robots manning it and looking after the plants. I remember one little robot watering plants with an ordinary watering can, but other than that the memory is a bit sketchy! — Ben

Flickchick: This sounds like Silent Running (1972), which I remember as one of the only movies that ever put me to sleep. But that was a long time ago.

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Question: Is it true that Tim ...

Question: Is it true that Tim Burton will be directing the remake of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory starring the lovely Marilyn Manson? Rumors say this news was reported on TV Guide Online, but I must have missed the story. ? Curtis

Flickchick: Along with many other news outlets, TV Guide Online did indeed run an item to that effect in February 2001, based on a report that appeared in UK tabloid The Sun. The following day TVGO did a follow-up story, reporting that this story had been denied by all concerned. Frankly, if there has to be a remake of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, I wish it were Tim Burton at the helm: If anyone has a sensibility that would mesh perfectly with Roald Dahl's, it's the man who made Sleepy Hollow read more

Question: I went through ...

Question: I went through elementary school in the '70s, and every year we saw a movie about a poor, African-American boy taking care of a stray cat. This movie moved me very much. Do you know the title and where can I get it? Par

Flickchick: You were seeing a one-hour original television drama called J.T. (1969), originally broadcast on CBS. It was the writing debut of Jane Wagner, and was directed by Robert M. Young. Wagner won a Peabody Award for her teleplay, and went on to a long and successful collaboration with comedienne Lily Tomlin, notably as writer and director of stage piece The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. J.T. starred Ke read more

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