TV & Movie Clichés

GNC

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I think that's broadly true because Hitch liked the "innocent on the run" narrative... but Psycho is a whodunnit, in essence, so is Spellbound. Usually, however, we know whodunnit with his films.
 

Spookdaddy

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I think that's broadly true because Hitch liked the "innocent on the run" narrative... but Psycho is a whodunnit, in essence, so is Spellbound. Usually, however, we know whodunnit with his films.

I was always under the impression that Hitchcock only ever admitted to making one 'whodunnit' - pretty early on in his career. However, actually, I see what you mean - at least in terms of the late reveal (and at least in the case of Psycho - years since I've watched Spellbound), and you could maybe apply that to a couple of other Hitchcock movies. That said, so many other basic conventions of the whodunnit are avoided that I don't think you can really describe them as whodunnits in the sense that lovers of that genre would recognise.

I found a reference to Hitchcock's bomb example on the ahsweetmystery blog. (Great fun for lovers of a certain type of detective/mystery fiction and film. It's not really my corner of the crime fiction genre, but I still enjoy this guys articles.)

From the entry SCRATCHING A NICHE: On Whodunits and Hitchcockian Hooey:

I think an audience should be given all the facts. For example, if you take suspense – suspense can only be achieved by telling the audience as much as you can. I don’t deal in mystery – I never make whodunits, because they’re intellectual exercises. You’re just wondering – you’re not emoting. My old analogy of the bomb as an example: we could be blown up this minute and the audience would get five seconds of shock. But if we tell them five minutes ahead of time there is a bomb that’s going to go off, that would get five minutes of suspense. And we didn’t have suspense before, because the audience was in ignorance, you see.

The author doesn't credit the quote, but I'm more or less certain it's from the extended interview that forms the book, Hitchcock by Truffaut, that I alluded too previously. (I'm also inordinately chuffed that I remembered it okay - must be twenty five years since I read the book.)
 

escargot

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Since reading on'ere about the cliche of people waking from nightmares by sitting up in bed and gasping, and remarking that someone on TV did it right away, I've seen it more or less every day. The Netflix Hill House series has every character doing it!

This also happens in the recent drama series Behind Her Eyes. There's a good plot reason for it, of course.

Last night I bloody did it! o_O

Not the sitting-up bit, I was on my side, but the gasp and the wide-open eyes.
 

Gene Hunt73

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The uncle turns out to be the father.
The old can't get a signal on the mobile phone.
Lady goes in to labour at the most unfortunate moment.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Any dramatically athletic shot involving a stunt double is IMMEDIATELY followed by a close-up shot of the face of the real actor/actress, in a (generally futile) attempt to convince the viewer that they are one and the same.
(This was particularly noticeable in the movie I watched last night - Gripped: Climbing the Killer Pillar).
 
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Naughty_Felid

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Any dramatically athletic shot involving a stunt double is IMMEDIATELY followed by a close-up shot of the face of the real actor/actress, in a (generally futile) attempt to convince the viewer that they are one and the same.
(This was particularly noticeable in the movie I watched last night - Gripped: Climbing the Killer Pillar).


Or even better when a very obvious dummy "falls" off a cliff then it immediately cuts to a real actor, dusting himself off or something.

Here's an example at 1.53 and 4.59




You also got to have an "ARGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!" when the Dummy is falling.

There are some great "ARGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!" Moments here:

 

Gene Hunt73

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Unlike baths showers aren't used for relaxing. They're a place of high emotion or reflection. Characters have crises while raising their heads to the water jet followed by a slow slide down the wall to sit in a puddle. The only cleaning involves washing away blood and forensic evidence.
*edit* or a good place to have a slow motion sexy scene in. The lady usually bites/nibbles the males shoulder..looking at you American Werewolf in London..
 
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Dinobot

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Unlike baths showers aren't used for relaxing. They're a place of high emotion or reflection. Characters have crises while raising their heads to the water jet followed by a slow slide down the wall to sit in a puddle. The only cleaning involves washing away blood and forensic evidence.
*edit* or a good place to have a slow motion sexy scene in. The lady usually bites/nibbles the males shoulder..looking at you American Werewolf in London..
95be7700-39ed-11e8-8af6-9300e7754da2_a5f8e94ded99c7159755f9d3a6264e6b.gif
 

Peripart

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Two police officers enter a crime scene. There's a body on the floor. One officer kneels, places his fingers on the victim's neck, then looks up and sadly shakes his head.
 

EnolaGaia

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Two police officers enter a crime scene. There's a body on the floor. One officer kneels, places his fingers on the victim's neck, then looks up and sadly shakes his head.

There's a standard presumption behind the silent communication ... The unspoken message is always, "No, X isn't alive." It's never framed as, "Yes, X is dead."

On a related note ...

You can tell the relative age of the show / movie based on what's done to check for signs of life. In older shows the wrist will be checked for a pulse and / or an ear will be placed against the chest to check for a heartbeat. Nowadays it's simply feeling under the jawline for a pulse.
 
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Souleater

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There's a standard presumption behind the silent communication ... The unspoken message is always, "No, X isn't alive." It's never framed as, "Yes, X is dead."

On a related note ...

You can tell the relative age of the show / movie based on what's done to check for signs of life. In older shows the wrist will be checked for a pulse and / or an ear will be placed against the chest to check for a heartbeat. Nowadays it's simply feeling under the jawline for a pulse.
In really old films they hold a mirror from a compact by the victims mouth, (usually borrowed from a nearby relative)
 

Stormkhan

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And there's more ...

All cars - usually American - explode on impact/fall down a slope. Doesn't say much for their safety. Those cars which don't explode - 'cause they wanted the occupants to survive - don't seem to have operating airbags.
If you are young, to have skills in computer programming you must wear spectacles, be skinny and socially inept.
American parents of teens either a) don't listen to or b) intrude too much into their children's lives.
All serial/paranormal killers have unfeasible stealth skills. And have teleportation.

And a general cliche from movie makers to critics:
Movies made using generally available technology or apps are completely misunderstood or overestimated by the (much older generation) film-makers. I'm looking at you Ann Deborah Fishman after your crappy "Swiped" stupidity. It's embarrassing, really, like a granny trying to talk 'street'.
When plot-holes are highlighted or internal consistency is questioned then resort to either a) "the audience should suspend disbelief" or b) "it's not meant to be realistic - it's a metaphor!"
 

Souleater

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And there's more ...

All cars - usually American - explode on impact/fall down a slope. Doesn't say much for their safety. Those cars which don't explode - 'cause they wanted the occupants to survive - don't seem to have operating airbags.
If you are young, to have skills in computer programming you must wear spectacles, be skinny and socially inept.
American parents of teens either a) don't listen to or b) intrude too much into their children's lives.
All serial/paranormal killers have unfeasible stealth skills. And have teleportation.

And a general cliche from movie makers to critics:
Movies made using generally available technology or apps are completely misunderstood or overestimated by the (much older generation) film-makers. I'm looking at you Ann Deborah Fishman after your crappy "Swiped" stupidity. It's embarrassing, really, like a granny trying to talk 'street'.
When plot-holes are highlighted or internal consistency is questioned then resort to either a) "the audience should suspend disbelief" or b) "it's not meant to be realistic - it's a metaphor!"
Jive talkin' granny from 'Airplane!'

 

Stormkhan

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I'm proud of my DVD double-disk set of these ... and I love that scene.
"Chump don' want help? Chump gonna get dick help! Sheet!"
 

Yithian

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One question: what film/show is being referenced in the illustration for the 'chloroform' myth?
 

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Every night-time aerial sequence of a city is accompanied by the sound of an emergency service siren.

maximus otter

Within seconds of a shooting or an explosion, sirens are heard. Before people get a chance to say "What the flipping heck was that?" the emergency services are on their way.
 

catseye

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Any baby that has been given birth to during the previous minutes of the film, will practically be at the sitting up and smiling stage when next shown. It's as though people who make films have no idea that a newborn baby does not bear any resemblence to a six month old.
 
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