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The Incredible Inman: Clandestine ash-scattering scene was from 1963 classic 'The Great Escape'

By David Inman
Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, 9:00 p.m.
 

Question: My wife and I have decided that after we go to that great beyond, we want our ashes mixed and sprinkled in the grass near the Eiffel Tower in Paris. We know this will have to be done clandestinely. We will have a relative use a method from a movie I can't recall. The setting was a POW camp in Germany in WWII and the Americans dig a tunnel and get rid of the dirt by secreting it in special pockets in their pants. They then walk through the campgrounds and pull a cord in their pocket which releases the dirt down their pant leg. I'd tell my nephews about our plans, but I'm afraid they'd be a little too anxious to make our wish come true. Can you tell me the name of this movie?

Answer: That is one of my favorite movies, 1963's “The Great Escape,” and the co-stars are Steve McQueen and a Triumph TT Special 650 motorcycle. Oh, and James Garner, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, Richard Attenborough, Donald Pleasance and a bunch of other guys.

Q: I was watching “Sleepless in Seattle” the other night and thought that the babysitter who watches Tom Hanks's son in the movie was Anne Hathaway. Am I right?

A: You are the opposite of right.

The babysitter was played by Amanda Maher. In 1993, when “Sleepless in Seattle” was released, Hathaway might have still needed a babysitter herself — she was 11.

Q: I have been trying to find a movie that I saw over 50 years ago. It was about a group of married couples going to college and living in a trailer park in walking distance of the school. Some had children, and the men would walk the campus with the children. They were discovered by the football coach and recruited to play football. Can you tell me the title and if it's on DVD?

A: Sounds like the 1949 film “Yes Sir, That's My Baby,” about a group of GIs who have gone back to college. The cast includes Donald O'Connor, Charles Coburn and Gloria DeHaven.

The movie isn't on DVD, but you can watch it on youtube.com.

Q: As I've been watching “Boardwalk Empire,” I wonder whether Jack Huston, who plays disfigured veteran Richard Harrow, is possibly a grandson of John Huston?

A: Huston is indeed the grandson of the great director; his father is John Huston's son Tony. This also makes him the great-grandson of actor Walter Huston and the nephew of Anjelica Huston.

Q: I'm trying to find out the name of a Christmas movie I saw on TV. The storyline was set in the 1800s with a family as its main focus. The father was a logger who becomes ill and passes away. After a while, the mother becomes ill and passes away, leaving her children (five in all I believe). After the children's parents are gone, the local townfolks try to take the children and place them with “church” ladies. The oldest child, a male, refuses to allow his siblings to be taken. In the end, the oldest child takes his siblings, one by one, around to local families he has chosen to care for them. When he is asked by one of his brothers where he will go, he replies, “I will go north and be a logger like our father.” Can you tell me the title and if it's on DVD?

A: That's the 1957 film “All Mine to Give,” and it's on DVD. The cast includes Cameron Mitchell, Glynis Johns, Rex Thompson and Patty McCormack.

Q: On the Nov. 20 episode of “NCIS,” Ziva was trying to get tickets to the opera, and, at the end of the show, she was listening to a song. Do you know what operatic song was playing at the end of the show?

A: It was the aria “O mio babbino caro” from the Puccini opera “Gianni Schicchi.”

Q: I remember a Christmas movie in the 1970s about a little girl who's mom had died and her dad wouldn't put a Christmas tree up because it caused too much heartache for him. Needless to say, it did end happily. Can you tell me the title and if it's on DVD?

A: That's the 1972 TV movie “The House Without a Christmas Tree,” with Lisa Lucas as the girl, Jason Robards as her father and Mildred Natwick as a kindly grandmother. It's on DVD.

Q: As a kid in the 1960s, I watched a TV program that was set in Nevada. It starred an investigator that, as best I remember, drove a state police car with the “bubble gum machine” siren on top. I have tried researching, but have come up empty. Can you help?

A: Yep. That was the syndicated series “State Trooper,” which was produced from 1956 to 1959. Rod Cameron was the hero, trooper Rod Blake. The supporting cast included Robert Armstrong as a local sheriff, Andy Anderson. And the show is on DVD if you'd like to check it out.

Write David Inman in care of The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal, 525 W. Broadway, P.O. Box 740031, Louisville, KY 40201-7431; or email him at incredibleinman@yahoo.com. Questions of general interest will be answered; personal replies are not possible.

 

 
 


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