AskMe Resolved, Six and a Half Years Later March 11, 2013 6:31 AM   Subscribe

Back in 2006, I asked a question about a scene I saw on TV back when I was a kid. No one knew the answer.

Today, I happened to think "gee, I should check my 'Other' box over at Facebook, I haven't done it in a while" - and back in November of last year, someone SENT ME A YOU TUBE CLIP OF THE SCENE IN QUESTION.

It was from Once Upon a Spy, a TV movie from 1980.

(And yes, it probably would've helped if I'd said "and the Hero was the guy from Cheers and the Bad Guy was CHRISTOPHER LEE", but I was seven when I saw it, so....shrug?)

Anyway, a thirty-three year trivia itch has been scratched. If it was a MeFite who sent it to me, here's where you can out yourself and I can thank you (again) here!
posted by Lucinda to MetaFilter-Related at 6:31 AM (75 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

Ha, relief at last! This has been the AskMe question I have most wanted answered. I have occasionally gone back to have another try at finding the answer. Its the maze map on the screen I remembered particularly. I think I may have been right that it is not a top quality film, though I am surprised that it stars Sam Malone, I would have thought I would have remembered that.

Many thanks for posting this to MeTa! And to whoever worked it out, it defeated me.
posted by biffa at 7:00 AM on March 11, 2013


Make sure you update the original...oh wait.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:06 AM on March 11, 2013


Can't you respond to the FB message and ask if the person is from AskMe, and, if so, who he or she is?
posted by dfriedman at 7:17 AM on March 11, 2013


Lucinda probably did respond on FB, but may have also wanted to issue a more public shout-out.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:06 AM on March 11, 2013


that looks like a great awful movie
posted by edgeways at 8:42 AM on March 11, 2013


ATTENTION James Bond Fans! This Is Your Kind of Movie!

Back in the era when TV print ads were painted.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:48 AM on March 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


yes, it probably would've helped if I'd said "and the Hero was the guy from Cheers

I can't imagine I'm the only person here consumed by disappointment after clicking through to see that this was Sam rather than Norm.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:48 AM on March 11, 2013 [26 favorites]


If you want to see a great spy movie from 1980, let me highly recommend Hopscotch. I watched it last night and I can tell you it's sheer delight from beginning to end. Walter Matthau as Miles Kendig, a renegade CIA agent! Glenda Jackson as Isobel von Schoenenberg, his coconspirator and love interest! A young Sam Waterston as his friend and coworker who has to help hunt him down! Ned Beatty as the dumb/evil Myerson, his boss and persecutor! Herbert Lom as Yaskov, the nice KGB agent! And Mozart as the music throughout! Trust me, you can't go wrong.
posted by languagehat at 9:02 AM on March 11, 2013 [9 favorites]


... so Facebook really is better Metafilter.
posted by philip-random at 9:10 AM on March 11, 2013


So...from the plot summary I just read this scene seems to have been the underlying reference for the evil, wheelchair-bound computer guy in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Homecoming." Interesting.
posted by yoink at 9:18 AM on March 11, 2013


Ned Beatty as the dumb/evil Myerson, his boss and persecutor!

Who was also an evil and dumb CIA agent in Restless Natives, if I recall correctly.
posted by y2karl at 9:18 AM on March 11, 2013


I should add, re "Homecoming," that the solution seems related, too: remove the tracking device, get the bad guys to converge upon it. There's also a scene where the bad guy thinks he's accomplished a "kill"--but in fact his goons have shot each other.
posted by yoink at 9:20 AM on March 11, 2013


Hmm, does Once Upon a Spy include scenes of someone scaling a fence and suddenly getting electrocuted, and bad guys ambushing people and stabbing them in the neck with jet injectors? I have a dim kidhood memory of a movie with such scenes and similar shiny-white-surface-and-bellbottom-jumpsuits style. The jet injector thing freaked me right the hell out and I asked about it on Kindertrauma a while back, but got no nibbles.
posted by usonian at 9:34 AM on March 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


consumed by disappointment after clicking through to see that this was Sam rather than Norm. Cliff.
posted by ODiV at 9:37 AM on March 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Heard back from the person who sent it to me - she's not a MeFite, she just found my question on a Google search and was being considerate.

THERE'S HOPE FOR HUMANITY AFTER ALL
posted by Lucinda at 9:48 AM on March 11, 2013 [20 favorites]


... so Facebook really is better Metafilter.

Nope, it just has a lower hurdle for entry. But on Facebook, George Takai shares funny and/or inspirational images, if you're into that kind of thing.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:15 AM on March 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's Takei -- like toupee. Also, Yay Humanity!
posted by Sophie1 at 10:24 AM on March 11, 2013


That guy invested a lot of money in infrastructure for that particular game! I bet he was nearly overwhelmed with glee that he got to use his trapdoor.
posted by neuromodulator at 10:47 AM on March 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


There's hope for Scratch Arms yet.
posted by anazgnos at 11:22 AM on March 11, 2013


Hey languagehat! Hopscotch is like, my favorite movie ever. If you dig the theme, check out the answers I got to this AskMe about ex-spy films. But if it's Matthau who turns you on, I recommend the criminally under-appreciated Charley Varrick. It's a step down in terms of pure delight from Hopscotch, but after the first reel it settles into Matthau being (a slightly more serious than usual) Matthau. And don't forget he shows up in Charade too!
posted by carsonb at 11:24 AM on March 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


... so Facebook really is better Metafilter.

Wash your mouth out with soap.
posted by arcticseal at 11:31 AM on March 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Great, now I'm gonna have to post my own question asking how to forget that terrible clip.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:32 AM on March 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ha! That clip actually made me curious to see the rest of the film!! (Admittedly, I like bad 80s clothes and costumes, and this movie seems to have the potential of a lot of bad costumes).
posted by bluefly at 11:35 AM on March 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


FYI, Hopscotch is available on Netflix watch instantly.
posted by yoink at 11:36 AM on March 11, 2013


Based on the Julio Cortazar novel? Dios mio!
posted by psoas at 11:42 AM on March 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Never heard of Once Upon A Spy, but this paragraph from the review leapt out at me:
"32-year-old Danson stars as government computer genius Jack Chenault, who's pushed into his first field assignment when NASA's gigantic, satellite-tracking mega-computer is somehow stolen. Mary Louise Weller (ANIMAL HOUSE's Mandy Pepperidge) is Paige Tannehill, a US super-agent who's blonde, beautiful, lacks any discernible acting ability, and is assigned to 'babysit' Jack."
So ... it was Chuck, basically?
posted by octobersurprise at 11:48 AM on March 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


y2karl: " Ned Beatty as the dumb/evil Myerson, his boss and persecutor!

Who was also an evil and dumb CIA agent in Restless Natives, if I recall correctly.
"

And the evil (but not so dumb) CEO in Network.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:55 AM on March 11, 2013


There's hope for Scratch Arms yet.

OH MY GOD I ALMOST FORGOT

PEOPLE IF YOU'RE READING THIS PLEASE TELL ME YOU HAVE A LEAD FOR SCRATCH ARMS
posted by Greg Nog at 12:01 PM on March 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


I wonder if the production company for Once Upon a Spy sold their old sets to the production company who made V a couple years later. Because that set from the clip could easily have been turned into the bridge of the mothership and the dark tunnels that led to Mike Donavan finding all the bodies... though maybe I've just seen V a lot more than I've seen any other 80s TV movie.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:59 PM on March 11, 2013


Ned? Ned as Myerson?
posted by maryr at 1:17 PM on March 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thank you for making me aware of the "other" box on Facebook. There was a message in there from 2011 from the girl I've been trying to find for a decade..
posted by sacrifix at 1:20 PM on March 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


I suspect that the movie makers must have played a lot of Pac-Man in their day.
posted by aniola at 1:42 PM on March 11, 2013


Don't these messages cost $1 to send now?
posted by ODiV at 1:43 PM on March 11, 2013


ODiV, if you pay $1 the message goes to the person's "regular" in box, and you'll get the notification. if you don't pay the $1, the message goes to the person's "other" in box, and the person doesn't get notified (which is why it took me five months to get the message).

I think that's how it works, anyway.
posted by Lucinda at 2:12 PM on March 11, 2013


I would have thought that taking off the transmitter would have been move number one.
posted by salishsea at 2:36 PM on March 11, 2013


I would have thought that taking off the transmitter would have been move number one.

Except that then Sam Malone can't tell Diane which way to go in the maze, or whether the bad guys are near her. (Character names may not be accurate; check local listings.)
posted by yoink at 2:45 PM on March 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Still...would have saved a good six minutes of film stock.
posted by salishsea at 2:48 PM on March 11, 2013


Who was also an evil and dumb CIA agent in Restless Natives, if I recall correctly."

One of the greatest movies of the 1980s.
posted by arcticseal at 2:56 PM on March 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


A lead on "scratch arms"?
posted by em at 3:24 PM on March 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


A definite lead em. See also [Word doc]
During a documentary which I wrote and directed on language (The Faces of Culture series), I interviewed a number of pre-schoolers at a day center. One four year old brandished a paper he had been drawing on and stimulated by the attention, he “performed” for me: “He got scratch arms/He can kill you/And to wake you and give you/And policemans give you only milk/And juice and dinner/And monsters give you/A hundred to buy your cars and dinners/A whole bunch of dinner.” Brian-Sutton Smith. “Children’s Fiction Making,” 67-91 in T.R. Sarbin to Narrative Psychology, ed. by T.R. Sarbin (1986), notes that in stories retold by parents and children, parents are plot oriented, young children emphasize melodic patterns.
posted by unliteral at 3:43 PM on March 11, 2013 [9 favorites]


it probably would've helped if I'd said [...] and the Bad Guy was CHRISTOPHER LEE

No it wouldn't.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:55 PM on March 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Let's take this opportunity to discuss how much the "other" box on facebook fucking sucks. I had a message in there from last year that was mildly important and time sensitive and I never saw it until a month or so ago. Facebook sucks.
posted by young sister beacon at 4:14 PM on March 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


What other, I didn't know there was a facebook inbox, just random stuff on the "wall".
posted by sammyo at 4:33 PM on March 11, 2013


Heard back from the person who sent it to me - she's not a MeFite, she just found my question on a Google search and was being considerate.

What... was she googling?
posted by tzikeh at 5:06 PM on March 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm still waiting to find out who the legendary, older, possibly Canadian, male singer is.
posted by John Cohen at 5:34 PM on March 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I still need to know about Twits go mad in South America.
posted by unliteral at 5:38 PM on March 11, 2013


carsonb: "I recommend the criminally under-appreciated Charley Varrick."

Charlie Varrick is employed!
posted by subbes at 5:59 PM on March 11, 2013


That was so much more awesome than I ever could have imagined.
posted by grouse at 6:01 PM on March 11, 2013


John Cohen: I'm still waiting to find out who the legendary, older, possibly Canadian, male singer is.

God DAMN you, sir.
posted by tzikeh at 6:26 PM on March 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Great, now I'm gonna have to post my own question asking how to forget that terrible clip.

For $5 we can unremember it for you wholesale.
posted by crossoverman at 6:55 PM on March 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm still waiting to find out who the legendary, older, possibly Canadian, male singer is.
posted by John Cohen at 7:34 PM on March 11


Me too. That one haunts my dreams.
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:30 PM on March 11, 2013


I have been wondering if I got the answer to this one about an ecosystem unearthed under a cellar, full of blind white insects and spiders right, for about two years. I think I'll switch over to wondering about who the legendary, older, possibly Canadian, male singer is.
posted by peagood at 7:31 PM on March 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


consumed by disappointment after clicking through to see that this was Sam rather than Norm Cliff.

"That is a plan of the entire maze. Complicated, isn't it?"

"Well, you know, the first known maze was Egyptian, visited by Herodotus in the 5th century BC. It's one of the oldest pieces of evidence of alien intelligence interfering with our world known to man. It seems the minotaur was not so much the fictional creature historians would have you believe, but was instead the result of highly prized human/bull hybridization experiments the aliens needed to provide slave labor for their methane mines."
posted by middleclasstool at 7:35 PM on March 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


How about the album cover with people holding hands?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:35 PM on March 11, 2013


If anyone wants to torture him/herself with the legendary older male possibly-Canadian singer, I think a really deep rummage through the K-Tel classics site would include the right guy.
posted by gingerest at 10:11 PM on March 11, 2013


Perhaps a metafilter membership would be a nice thank-you gift for this person...
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:59 PM on March 11, 2013


Gino Vannelli!
posted by pracowity at 3:55 AM on March 12, 2013


needs more cowbell - already done!
posted by Lucinda at 6:08 AM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


John Stewart?
posted by Lucinda at 6:11 AM on March 12, 2013


rodney mackay!
posted by clavdivs at 6:43 AM on March 12, 2013


So I guess it might not be a great precedent, but any chance of a mod comment on the question with the answer or a link here?
posted by ODiV at 9:08 AM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hi, everyone! I was the one that sent Lucinda the message on Facebook. I've also been looking for the same movie for years but I remembered so little of it, I wasn't able to find it. I've described what I remembered to other people (basically about a girl dressed in yellow in the role of a canary being chased through a maze by two people dressed in red in the role of cats, being guided by another person) and no one knew what I was talking about. I was beginning to wonder if it was all just a very elaborate dream I had instead of an actual memory. Years later, I was at a new forum trying my hand at finding the movie again. No one there was familiar with it so I did a Google search and found the thread here about the same movie. With the additional details Lucinda remembered, I was able to do a better web search and found a clip someone had put up on YouTube. I was so thrilled to finally have my answer after all this time and I wondered if Lucinda had ever figured it out. The thread at this forum was closed so I couldn't post about it there so I checked her profile and was able to find a Facebook account for her from her email, leaving a message with a link to the clip there.

Yes, I'm a tad obsessive-compulsive when I'm hunting something down but it's worth it when you get results, no matter how long it takes! Lucinda invited me to join this community and I happily accepted. Maybe I can help other people find things on the web or you can help me. I love cracking a challenge. :)

BTW, my name is Tricia.
posted by pikachuFL at 10:36 AM on March 12, 2013 [38 favorites]


In case you're wondering, here's a link to my own search for the same movie that lead me to here. http://www.fansofrealitytv.com/forums/movies/93993-trying-find-old-movie.html
posted by pikachuFL at 10:46 AM on March 12, 2013


Welcome! You may want to check out the all-questions section of the site if you're looking for more "track that down" challenges (however, it is not exclusively about that, as you will quickly learn).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:53 AM on March 12, 2013


Happy to have you here, pikachuFL!
posted by Greg Nog at 10:54 AM on March 12, 2013


Ha, that's awesome! Welcome to Metafilter.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:39 AM on March 12, 2013


Metafilter: A tad obsessive-compulsive when hunting something down but worth it when you get results

By which I mean I think you might like it here, pikachuFL.
posted by maryr at 4:22 PM on March 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yes, I'm a tad obsessive-compulsive when I'm hunting something down but it's worth it when you get results, no matter how long it takes!

Welcome! You may enjoy perusing the identify tag on AskMetafilter (the part of the site dedicated to Q&A).
posted by lalex at 6:34 PM on March 12, 2013


It's like Downton Abbey ...starring Alan Thicke, Richard Dean Anderson, and Cybill Shepherd!
posted by blue_beetle at 7:37 AM on March 14, 2013


Thanks for the information about the "other" Facebook inbox. I hadn't known about it and just checked mine last night. It had 46 old messages in it. Nothing important but still I wouldn't have known about it if I hadn't read about it here. I don't know why Facebook won't let you turn off the filtering option so that you get all of your mail. All you can do is lessen the amount of filtering but some of it is still going to end up in your other mail. The more changes they make to Facebook, the less I like it. I hate the timeline and now we have this issue. Plus it sounds like they have more changes coming *sigh*.
posted by pikachuFL at 8:01 AM on March 14, 2013


I don't know why Facebook won't let you turn off the filtering option so that you get all of your mail.

Because they are experimenting with charging people who want to bypass the filtering. You can reduce the filtering now, though. On the web interface, select the Privacy Shortcuts icon at the top right (a padlock over three horizontal bars) and adjust "Who can contact me?"
posted by grouse at 1:00 PM on March 14, 2013


I've got a lead on Scratch Arms! I did a Google search for "scratch arms" dinners video and found a document mentioning it. Sorry I can't post a link but I'll put in a picture of the search results and the wording from the document.

[IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v513/pikachu_kiser/scratcharms.png[/IMG]

During a documentary which I wrote and directed on language (The Faces of Culture series), I interviewed a number of pre-schoolers at a day center. One four year old brandished a paper he had been drawing on and stimulated by the attention, he “performed” for me: “He got scratch arms/He can kill you/And to wake you and give you/And policemans give you only milk/And juice and dinner/And monsters give you/A hundred to buy your cars and dinners/A whole bunch of dinner.” Brian-Sutton Smith. “Children’s Fiction Making,” 67-91 in T.R. Sarbin to Narrative Psychology, ed. by T.R. Sarbin (1986), notes that in stories retold by parents and children, parents are plot oriented, young children emphasize melodic patterns.
posted by pikachuFL at 2:04 PM on March 26, 2013


Um ^.
posted by unliteral at 6:15 PM on March 26, 2013


Woops, I missed that it was posted before. Sorry!
posted by pikachuFL at 9:52 AM on March 27, 2013


It's like Downton Abbey ...starring Alan Thicke, Richard Dean Anderson, and Cybill Shepherd!

And Gilbert Gottfried as Carson and Betty White as the Dowager Countess of Grantham.
posted by y2karl at 4:32 PM on March 27, 2013


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