Best movie questions of 1961

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West Side Story picture

Question: Why did they use actors who couldn't sing in the leading roles? Wouldn't it be easier to cast people who could sing instead of dubbing with other singing voices?

Answer: People would not come to the theater to see Marnie Nixon despite the fact that she has sung the lead roles in West Side Story, The King and I, and My Fair Lady. They'd rather see that darling girl from "Miracle on 34th Street" again (or Deborah Kerr or Audrey Hepburn) than an unknown with actual talent.

Myridon

Answer: Natalie Wood was more well-known. And Wood actually COULD sing, she just couldn't hit the high notes perfectly. In fact, she was told only some of her singing would be dubbed.

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The Comancheros picture

Question: What does the term "grey dawn" mean?

Answer: There's no specific meaning. Metaphorically, it would mean that it is the beginning of something that is dismal, is going to be long and difficult to achieve, or may not end well. Basically, it's a "bad omen."

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Invasion of the Neptune Men picture

Question: As usual, Tokyo being destroyed - this time by the Neptune Men in their flying saucers. Buildings exploding...but one particular building has a large picture of Adolf Hitler giving the Nazi salute and with the wrong wording of Mine Kampf (instead of the correct Mein Kampf)...why was this particular building model constructed? (01:03:27)

Loves Old Movies

Answer: Your question was intriguing, so I did a little Internet research. While there's plenty of conjecture, nobody seems to know what this is about. There is some reference to Hitler's "Mein Kampf" being published in Japan for the first time in the early 1960s, around the time the film was made. Some speculate it was some type of advertising for the book (early product placement?) while others believe it could be a symbolic act of blowing up Hitler's ideals and could explain why it was misspelled.

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The Parent Trap picture

Question: What kind of judge would agree to this kind of custody arrangement?

Answer: None. It's total fiction made up solely for the purpose of the movie. Even for a movie, it's far beyond the "suspension of disbelief" that siblings would ever be divided up between the two parents, and neither would have no contact with them, much less be prevented from knowing they had a brother or sister.

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Breakfast at Tiffany's picture

Question: When Paul knocks on Holly's door and she isn't wearing anything, she says to him "would you turn around? Oh, never mind, it's such a silly line anyway - I'll turn around instead." What joke is she referring to?

Answer: Holly is referring to the fact that people often ask others in the room "Will you turn around?" when they are dressing or in the nude, so the person cannot see them naked. She is simply stating she thinks it is odd that the second person is always asked to turn around, when the person herself could turn around.

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Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea picture

Question: What does Admiral Nelson have in his left shirt pocket?

Answer: Admiral Nelson is puffing on cigars in a few scenes, and his cigars are even a source of dialogue in the film. Specifically, when his quarters catch on fire, the blaze is initially blamed on a lit cigar, to which Nelson angrily replies that he ran out of cigars before the fire ever occurred. So it's a pretty good bet that Nelson was carrying a cigar (or cigars) in his shirt pocket.

Charles Austin Miller
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