Column – Don't ever watch movies with a sticklerDon’t ever watch a movie with a stickler. Sticklers are as bad as the know-it-alls – the ones who sit behind you in a movie theater and blurt out everything that’s about to happen because they’d seen the picture before.
By: Dennis Dalman, Alexandria Echo Press
Don’t ever watch a movie with a stickler.
Sticklers are as bad as the know-it-alls – the ones who sit behind you in a movie theater and blurt out everything that’s about to happen because they’d seen the picture before.
Sticklers are people who watch movies only for “wrong” details, scenes that don’t quite jibe or plot turns that make no sense. Sticklers are very observant people. But they can be very obnoxious.
Years ago, I was watching a movie on TV. A friend popped over and started watching. I could tell he was watching it in stickler fashion because he was kind of glaring at the TV. Sure enough.
“Oh, that’s ridiculous,” he scoffed.
“What?” I asked.
“See the plug-in on that kitchen wall?”
“Well, it’s a three-prong plug-in,” he said, as if he were Sherlock Holmes solving a crime. “This movie’s supposed to take place in the 1920s. They didn’t have three-prong plug-ins in the 1920s!”
Years ago, I interviewed a technical movie advisor who had moved from Los Angeles to a small Minnesota town. He had worked as a historical adviser when Kevin Costner made his great movie, Dances With Wolves. He knew everything about the Civil War, including what kinds of buttons were worn on military uniforms, year by year. He was, in fact, a stickler, which is great when making movies but not when watching them. During my interview, his wife and two young daughters said he drives them nuts.
One time at home, while the family was watching a western movie, the stickler pointed out no less than five “wrong” details. His daughters just about evicted him on the spot.
“Hey, come on, Dad!” they whined. “Just shut up! It’s ONLY a movie.”
As many thousands of movies as I’ve seen, I can count on one hand the times I noticed a “wrong” detail in a film. The one I do remember is in a movie I saw in the mid 1950s. It was a fur-trading saga called The Big Sky, starring Kirk Douglas. At one point, in a river scene, I could see a jet contrail in the blazing blue sky. I nudged my brothers, and we all laughed. Young as we were, we were quite sure they didn’t have jets in those days.
In some ways, I envy the sticklers. You’ve really got to be on your toes – not to mention knowledgeable – to catch those visual bloopers. Sticklers tend to be highly analytical sorts, usually skeptical if not downright cynical. I keep wondering if they have ever enjoyed a movie in their nit-pickety lives. Apparently, their form of entertainment is not the movie itself. It’s the goof-ups they catch. That’s how they get their jollies, poor things.
A critic once pointed out that in the classic movie western High Noon, starring Gary Cooper, there is a Greyhound bus far in the background in one of its last scenes. I’ve watched that film quite a few times on TV, but I’ve never seen the blooper because the movie is so good I always forget to watch for that anachronistic Greyhound.
It’s a good thing, too. I’m glad I’m not a movie stickler.