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May 3, 2022 7:16 pm  #1


Old TV and Movie Cliches

Remember some of the old cliches from TV and Movies?

Like when there was an outdoor scene at night, there were always crickets.

Some of the more memorable tricks were how they showed the passage of time. Sometimes, it was a clock on the wall with the hands spinning around rapidly. Or pages flying off a calendar. Or there was the view from a window showing the successive changes of the seasons.

Any others come to mind?


You don't have to be a good sport to be a mad one.
 

May 3, 2022 9:06 pm  #2


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

Here's an oldie but goodie and one that's still going strong.

The main characters pass by a neighborhood dog, usually a German Shepherd. Later in the scene the same dog starts barking wildly to indicate there's something dangerous coming closer... zombies, aliens, vampires, a terminator.

John Krasinski recently used it in A Quiet Place 2.

 

May 3, 2022 9:13 pm  #3


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

When the cops were interrogating a suspect, it was always in a darkened room with a bright light shining right in the suspect's face.


You don't have to be a good sport to be a mad one.
     Thread Starter
 

May 3, 2022 9:39 pm  #4


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

The good girl was a brunette, the bad girl was a blonde.

 

May 3, 2022 9:54 pm  #5


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

In the family shows, Mother and Father always slept in the same room together, but never in the same bed and never with the lights out. They would get into their twin beds, sit up for awhile and talk about the day's events. Then they would pull blindfolds down over their eyes, lay down and go to sleep.


You don't have to be a good sport to be a mad one.
     Thread Starter
 

May 3, 2022 10:37 pm  #6


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

turkeytop wrote:

Remember some of the old cliches from TV and Movies?

Like when there was an outdoor scene at night, there were always crickets.

Some of the more memorable tricks were how they showed the passage of time. Sometimes, it was a clock on the wall with the hands spinning around rapidly. Or pages flying off a calendar. Or there was the view from a window showing the successive changes of the seasons.

Any others come to mind?

Here's a classic - two characters are talking about something that happened in the past and the screen gets all "wavy" as we head into a flashback. It's often accompanied by a harp glissando.

There was one especially memorable use of this and it was on Green Acres, one of my all time favourite surreal TV shows. Lisa is taking to Oliver, when she mentions the "wavy" flashback effect as it happens on the screen. To which a stunned Oliver demands "Lisa, how are you doing that? Stop it! It's giving me a headache!"

It's just one of thousands of hilarious meta moments from that show, long before there was such a thing as a meta moment. (The characters seeing and commenting on the opening credits is another great one.)

 

May 3, 2022 10:46 pm  #7


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

When chronicling the life or career of some famous or notorious person, they would often show newspapers flying out of the press with headlines showing the persons latest exploits or achievements.


You don't have to be a good sport to be a mad one.
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May 4, 2022 12:07 am  #8


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

Then there's the cowboy/gangster/cop whose gun never runs out of bullets, no matter how many times he fires.

Also, the villain who may be armed with a machine gun, but never manages to actually hit anybody. Meanwhile, the good guy fires two shots and never misses.

Or how about the chase scene, where they're in pursuit and the bad guy runs into traffic but never gets hit, as the cops give chase on foot, and they narrowly get missed by a speeding car, which they have to jump over and then slide down the hood.


 

 

May 4, 2022 9:51 am  #9


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

Here's another one that always happens on TV sitcoms but never in real life: a woman comes over to her boyfriend's house naked, wearing nothing but a coat, and gets surprised when she discovers his parents/parish priest/prissy aunt etc. is/are visiting. That's followed by the endless "why don't you take your coat off?" gag lines.

I just saw this on an old rerun earlier this week. 

 

May 4, 2022 1:06 pm  #10


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

The piano in the saloon always stopped abruptly when the bad guy came in the door.


You don't have to be a good sport to be a mad one.
     Thread Starter
 

May 4, 2022 1:25 pm  #11


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

The smart nerdy guy wore black eyeglasses.

 

May 4, 2022 9:21 pm  #12


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

In horror movies, dead people walk with an unsteady gait and with their arms and hands extended outward in front of them at shoulder height.


You don't have to be a good sport to be a mad one.
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May 11, 2022 9:35 am  #13


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

Tv detectives and cops would always, without fail, find a parking spot directly in front of the large downtown building  they were rushing to.
 

Last edited by BossRadio (May 11, 2022 9:35 am)

 

May 11, 2022 10:47 am  #14


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

A man and a woman who hate each other because of business dealings/other relationships etc. inevitably end up falling in love before the end of the picture. Every Hallmark movie ever made, or so I'm told - I don't think I've ever watched even one of them. 

 

May 11, 2022 12:22 pm  #15


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

I wouldn't call this a cliche, but I always find it distracting watching two people having a conversation in a moving car and noticing how little time the driver spends looking at the road ahead and how much they're making eye contact with the passenger.

 

May 16, 2022 9:15 am  #16


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

I see this all the time on the FBI and Law & Order shows, and it drives me crazy (as I often say, not a long drive!) 

The cops are out looking for a suspect, checking out their apartment (somehow the perp is never home.) But just as they're about to leave, he (it's always a he) comes around the corner heading for the front door. So what do they do? Wait for him to get closer and then nab him?

Nope.

They scream out his name when he's 600 feet away from them .("Donald Smith! FBI! Stop!") And then the suspect takes off on the run. 

Why don't they just wait until the guy is closer and nab him when he can't get away? He has no idea they're there. The answer, of course, is that chase scenes are de rigueur for any of these shows, and it's the only way to work one in. 

And the final cliche - they almost always catch the suspect, when one of the cops is waiting around the corner and tackles him to the ground as he tries to run by.

 

May 16, 2022 10:11 am  #17


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

Every woman trying to flee a monster always falls down !!

 

May 16, 2022 11:07 am  #18


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

RadioActive wrote:

I see this all the time on the FBI and Law & Order shows, and it drives me crazy (as I often say, not a long drive!) 

The cops are out looking for a suspect, checking out their apartment (somehow the perp is never home.) But just as they're about to leave, he (it's always a he) comes around the corner heading for the front door. So what do they do? Wait for him to get closer and then nab him?

Nope.

They scream out his name when he's 600 feet away from them .("Donald Smith! FBI! Stop!") And then the suspect takes off on the run. 

Why don't they just wait until the guy is closer and nab him when he can't get away? He has no idea they're there. The answer, of course, is that chase scenes are de rigueur for any of these shows, and it's the only way to work one in. 

And the final cliche - they almost always catch the suspect, when one of the cops is waiting around the corner and tackles him to the ground as he tries to run by.

Something that drives me nuts...when the cops corner a bad guy, only to find out he's holding a hostage at gunpoint and threatens to shoot the innocent bystander if the cops come any closer.

Then the lead cop says, "Okay, let's just talk, alright? I'm putting my gun down." Then he walks closer towards Mr. Crazy Guy, unarmed. (Although his colleagues usually have their pistols pointed at the bad guy liked trained snipers).

Sometimes the cop will also proceed to sympathize with the criminal, telling him his crummy childhood probably played a huge role in the reason that he's in the state of mind and circumstances he's in today.


PJ


ClassicHitsOnline.com...Doing it first and still doing it best! Toronto's ORIGINAL classic hits station!
 

May 17, 2022 3:32 pm  #19


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

Guys in romantic and comedy movies saying dialogue only a woman would say.

Women showing bare breasts in bedroom scenes, but covered from the waist down, guys sometimes showing their bare butts as they pull on underwear as they get up from the bed.

People who carelessly carry coffee cups and suitcases in movie scenes that are so light they're obviously empty...the coffee cups and suitcases, not the people ;)

New one: lazy writers using a cellphone conversation to quickly move the plot forward.

Whenever there's a timed countdown, a bomb about to go off, someone needs to get somewhere in a set amount of time, they almost NEVER time it out in real time, it's always either truncated or extended.

The wrist watch of a murder victim is smashed which reveals time of death.

Poison never works as fast as they show it does in movies and television.

Last edited by betaylored (May 17, 2022 3:37 pm)

 

May 17, 2022 3:42 pm  #20


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

RadioActive wrote:

Then there's the cowboy/gangster/cop whose gun never runs out of bullets, no matter how many times he fires.

Also, the villain who may be armed with a machine gun, but never manages to actually hit anybody. Meanwhile, the good guy fires two shots and never misses.

Or how about the chase scene, where they're in pursuit and the bad guy runs into traffic but never gets hit, as the cops give chase on foot, and they narrowly get missed by a speeding car, which they have to jump over and then slide down the hood.


 

A more modern update to machine gun bullets not being able to hit their intended target, laser weapons in the 'future' seemingly aren't any better. One would think they should be given the presumption that technology has advanced and overcome wind drift, etcetera. Come to think of it, space is a vacuum - so what gives?

 

May 17, 2022 4:03 pm  #21


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

betaylored wrote:

New one: lazy writers using a cellphone conversation to quickly move the plot forward.

Here's a modern addition to that one - sound effects people who apparently are unaware of how cell phones work, adding in a busy signal or a dial tone when a call gets dropped or the signal is interrupted. Cell phones don't do that, but it's an easy shorthand to show the audience the call has been disconnected. 

betaylored wrote:

Whenever there's a timed countdown, a bomb about to go off, someone needs to get somewhere in a set amount of time, they almost NEVER time it out in real time, it's always either truncated or extended.

Similarly, a non-bomb disposal agent or cop finds a hidden explosive device and the timer always has less than five minutes before it goes off.

With lightning speed, someone back at H,Q. - without ever having seen the thing - is able to ascertain exactly which wire to cut. And when the guy in the field hesitantly snips it (despite being told by his boss to "get out of there now!" and ignoring him) as the dramatic music swells, the clock timer always shows it stopped at 0:04 seconds or less before the explosion. Then the actor breathes a heavy sigh of relief and they cut to the aftermath. I saw this one as recently as a few weeks ago on an episode of FBI on CBS. 

Then there's the opposite - the bomb does go off, and the two agents (there's almost always two of them) run like hell as it clicks down to seconds before the explosion time. There's a huge blast and both of them jump and land with a gymnastic roll as a wall of flame washes over them. They avoid any serious injuries, with nothing more than a little soot on their faces.  

 

May 17, 2022 4:40 pm  #22


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

betaylored wrote:

Guys in romantic and comedy movies saying dialogue only a woman would say.
New one: lazy writers using a cellphone conversation to quickly move the plot forward.

One way to avoid this trap is to set the story in a time before cell phones existed, as the director of "Free Fire" (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4158096/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_21) did.

 

May 18, 2022 9:10 pm  #23


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

RadioActive wrote:

betaylored wrote:

New one: lazy writers using a cellphone conversation to quickly move the plot forward.

Here's a modern addition to that one - sound effects people who apparently are unaware of how cell phones work, adding in a busy signal or a dial tone when a call gets dropped or the signal is interrupted. Cell phones don't do that, but it's an easy shorthand to show the audience the call has been disconnected. 

betaylored wrote:

Whenever there's a timed countdown, a bomb about to go off, someone needs to get somewhere in a set amount of time, they almost NEVER time it out in real time, it's always either truncated or extended.

Similarly, a non-bomb disposal agent or cop finds a hidden explosive device and the timer always has less than five minutes before it goes off.

With lightning speed, someone back at H,Q. - without ever having seen the thing - is able to ascertain exactly which wire to cut. 

Then there's the opposite - the bomb does go off, and the two agents (there's almost always two of them) run like hell as it clicks down to seconds before the explosion time. There's a huge blast and both of them jump and land with a gymnastic roll as a wall of flame washes over them. They avoid any serious injuries, with nothing more than a little soot on their faces.  

yes! I think there was a YouTube video where an ER doc and a medical examiner watched a number of classic movie scenes, everything from Hitchcock to Die Hard where the heroes get up and walk away as you've described, but these experts broke down each fall/crash, pun intended, and told viewers what injuries would have been more than likely sustained, eg. smashed pelvis, fractured skull etc and it was pretty funny in a gruesome and graphic way.

If you ever get the chance to watch the 70's movie Juggernaut, do, it's all about a couple of ticking time bombs on an ocean liner full of passengers, a disgruntled bomb expert out for revenge and his old pal who has to save the day. Stars Richard Harris, Ian Holm and a young Anthony Hopkins. I first saw it as a kid and it was riveting.

 

May 18, 2022 9:31 pm  #24


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

In any scene where there is a radio playing. The music will always be interrupted for an important news bulletin. 


You don't have to be a good sport to be a mad one.
     Thread Starter
 

May 18, 2022 9:32 pm  #25


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

Speaking of cliched movies, my all time favourite has to be "Wild In The Streets," a kind of 60s teen exploitation fantasy that is terrific in many different ways. For a low budget film, it boasts a great cast, including Hal Holbrook, Shelly Winters and Ed Begley Sr. Not to mention a very young Richard Pryor. 

It's about the U.S. lowering the voting age to 14, which results in a rock star eventually becoming president of the country. (This was the 60s, after all, when Baby Boomers were already becoming the majority.) I won't spoil it, but at one point anyone over 35 (remember 'don't trust anyone over 30?') is put into an LSD rehabilitation camp until they get with the hippie-like times. 

In a scene I will never forget, they dose the Washington water supply with LSD, getting Congressional members so stoned, they don't know what they're voting for. 

The movie even resulted in a Top 10 hit - Nothing Can Change The Shape of Things To Come by Max Frost & The Troopers. "Max Frost" is the name of the rock star president in the film, played by Christopher Jones. 

All in all, one of the strangest movies I've ever seen and filled with cliches from the era. But it's always been one of my faves, and it has a wonderful twist ending. 

Best of all, if this interests you, it's available free on YouTube.

 

May 18, 2022 9:56 pm  #26


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

The 1984 movie, Top Secret, satirized the cold war. It deliberately used all the cliches for comedic purposes


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May 18, 2022 10:55 pm  #27


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

Every time they give a phone number and use the sanitized 555 sequence, poof! goes suspension of disbelief for a moment and you're reminded it's a movie/tv show.

Likewise when they give a realistic phone number without the 555 you think, hey, this must be an older movie/tv show

(currently watching the battle of Alberta but it's a commercial break and they are particularly crummy spots)

Last edited by betaylored (May 18, 2022 10:56 pm)

 

May 18, 2022 11:22 pm  #28


Re: Old TV and Movie Cliches

I thought the battle of Alberta was Jason Kenney vs. all the other Conservatives. But it turns out, that's a one-and-done series.