|What, me, Inspector?|
Movie and TV Clichés: now an exciting mini ebook:
Here's a sample:
Bad acting: look left, right, and at the ceiling – now sigh. (I don't have time for all this right now, Inspector.)
More bad acting: look at the ceiling and laugh gaily. (Me? A suspect? How ridiculous!)
Clunky exposition: If Cousin Everard hadn’t come all the way from Saskatchewan we’d never be eating in the Maison Pierre! (Rumpole)
ACTION PAINTING When a tortured artist picks up a paint-laden brush and looks in a mirror he will slowly: a) paint all over his face b) put the brush in his mouth.
BE BOULDER When running away from a careering boulder or exploding fireball, run straight ahead instead of leaping to the side. The same technique can be used with a stampeding herd of dinosaurs, a cavalry charge or a stream of lava.
CASH PRIZES Clutch cash in untidy handfuls instead of smoothing it out into neat bundles - see Pretty Woman. Sometimes you shove it at someone, while saying: “Take it! Take it! I don’t want it!”
DEATH OF THE DINOSAURS Herds are always setting off on a doomed trek into a desert as the rivers dry up.
FAUX FATHERS How to expose a fake priest: quote Thoreau and attribute it to Thomas Aquinas. (Murder She Wrote)
GARBAGE Anyone who has a dustbin upended over their head ends up smothered in baked beans, picking noodles out of their hair.
HANDBAGS AT DAWN When the beautiful woman finally admits she is the murderer, the detective solicitously helps her into her fur coat before taking her down to the police station - but she never takes her handbag.
JAPANESE GARDENER Watch out for that man clipping the hedge – especially if he raises his head with a meaning look.
MAY I HAVE THIS DANCE? They never dance but sway from foot to foot while telling each other large swathes of plot.
PERIOD DIALOGUE In bad period drama an older woman will constantly address a younger one as “child”.
SAIL AWAY In American films, going sailing is a sign of integrity.
TELEPHONE ETIQUETTE When making a phone call while pretending to be someone else, always hold your nose to disguise your voice.
WAKE UP! A man is sitting at a desk, apparently asleep. You tap him on the shoulder – he slumps to the floor, dead.
YOU’RE UNDER ARREST Arresting officers say “Anything you say will be taken down and used in evidence against you.”
More here, and links to the rest.