Book:Moving Pictures/Annotations

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Since this is a book about motion pictures, all Wikipedia links below are to the film or TV version of a given work of art (where possible), even if another version (book, song, etc) came first or is more popular.

  • "This is space. It's sometimes called the final frontier." - reference to the opening lines of Star Trek
  • "But you're made a meat, an' what do you eat?" - possibly a reference to They're Made Out of Meat, a Nebula Award winning short story
  • "the dreaded Balgrog" - reference to Tolkien's balrog
  • "Must be off 'is nut [...], [s]inging in the rain like that." - reference to the film Singin' In the Rain
  • "the Chroncal of the Keeprs of the ParaMountain" - reference to Paramount
  • "and make it a palace" - reference to the movie palaces of the 1910s to 1960s
  • "'What's up, Duck?' said the rabbit" - reference to Bugs Bunny's famous phrase "what's up, doc?" (though Bugs has also said "what's up, duck" in a few cartoons)
  • '"Mighty Paws" or - or "Speedy Hunter"' - possible references to Mighty Mouse and Speedy Gonzales, even though Victor applies them to the cat, not the mouse.
  • The mouse hitting the cat with a frying pan is reminiscent of Tom and Jerry, though there are probably many other similar cartoons (and Tom and Jerry rarely spoke). The cat's lisp is reminiscent of Sylvester the Cat
  • "The duck quacked. There were words in there somewhere, but so mangled by the incompatibility of beak and larynx that Victor couldn't understand a word." - possible reference to Donald Duck, who also speaks with a difficult-to-understand duck-like accent
  • "'Thief of ...' Rock hesitated. 'Dad's Bag, I think you said.' 'Bagged Dad,' said Morry, rubbing his arm." - reference to The Thief of Bagdad
  • "a thousand elephants" - reference to Hannibal leading elephants over mountains in the Second Punic War. Several movies have been made about this, but reference here is probably Cabiria, given how early it is (and that it's a silent film)
  • "we're doing one about going to see a wizard. Something about following a yellow sick toad" - reference to The Wizard of Oz, where the characters (including a cowardly lion) follow a yellow brick road. A possible reference (as in Mort) to the yellow sick toad joke
  • "Colour was just a matter of breeding demons who could paint fast enough. It was sound that meant something new." - On Roundworld, most people (perhaps even TP) believe that sound preceded color. Actually, Cupid Angling, released in 1918, was the first feature length color film, while The Jazz Singer, released in 1927, was the first feature length film with synchronized sound. Some sources note that short color movies have been around since the 1890's. Most people incorrectly believe that The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind, both released in 1939, were the first color movies. Short sound films have existed since the Dickson Experimental Sound Film of 1894 or 1895.
  • '"I want to be a lawn"' - reference to Greta Garbo's famous by-line "I want to be alone" in her strong accent
  • '"It's fifteen hundred miles to Ankh-Morpork," he said. "we've got three hundred and sixty-three elephants, fifty carts of forage, the monsoon's about to break and we're wearing ... we're wearing ... sort of things, like glass, only dark ... dark glass things on our eyes ..." "let's go."' - a reference to the line in the Blues Brothers , "It's one hundred and six miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses." "Hit it."
  • "And the People said to one another, Funny, he lookes just like my uncle Osbert..." A reference to the origin of Oscar, the nickname of the Academy Award. According to Wikipedia one early story says that the Academy's Executive Secretary, Margaret Herrick, first saw the award in 1931 and said the statuette reminded her of her "Uncle Oscar."
  • "a wounded Royalist soldier's last words are "What I wouldn't give right now for a $1 EatTillItHurts special at ... Harga's ... House ... of ... Ribs ... Mother!" - reference to product placement - Pratchett himself has said in interviews that he yanked the translation rights from a German publisher when he discovered exactly this sort of gross example being shoved in the middle of his dialogue. Offhand I don't know if this happened before or after this book, but in the interview he makes reference to a soup company.
  • "Ready when you are, Mr. Dibbler!" There's a story about epic film director Cecil B. DeMille: he was doing a one-chance-to-film-it battle scene, similar to the Burning of Ankh-Morpork. He had several cameras stationed around the area, but just to be on the safe side, sent old Charlie up to the top of a nearby hill with a camera, to get an overall view. "Action!" was called, and sure enough, as the battle progressed, one camera broke down, another was crushed by over-enthusiastic actors, a third ran out of film, etc. But DeMille wasn't worried, because he knew old Charlie was getting everything from the top of the hill. When the battle was over, he jumped in a car and drove up to the top of the hill to retrieve Charlie's camera. When he got there, old Charlie got up out of his chair, threw away the cigar he was smoking and said "Ready when you are, C.B.!"
  • "One of the apprentices had stuck in just one picture from The Golde Rush and we all went around all morning thinking about gold and not knowing why. It was as if it'd gone straight into our heads without our eyes seeing it." - reference to subliminal advertising
  • "I'm too old for this sort of stuff." Reference to a catch phrase of Roger Murtaugh, Danny Glover's character in the Lethal Weapon series, "I'm too old for this shit!"
  • "It'd be funnier than A Night at the Arena." -- reference to the Marx Brothers' "A Night at the Opera."
  • "me and old "Numbers" Riktor and "Tudgy" Spold climbed up on the Temple of Small Gods" - in other words, Riktor "scaled" a building, a pun on the Richter Scale
  • "This Thing is bigger than both of us!" - parodies Rick Blaine's line to Ilsa in another reference to Casablanca
  • "[this] was undoubtedly the 57th strangest." - one of the frequent 57 references in TP's work
  • "The most graphic way of describing the Librarian's swing across the buildings of Unseen University is to simply transcribe the noises made during the flight. First: 'AaaAAAaaaAAAaaa.' This is selfexplanatory, and refers to the early part of the swing, when everything looked as if it was going well... Then: 'Aaarghhhh.' [...] a very quiet 'oook'" - reference to George of the Jungle's opening montage, and of course the famous Tarzan yell from the Johnny Weissmuller films starting in 1932.
  • "'A giant woman carrying a screaming ape up a tall building'" - parody of the ending of King Kong, where the exact opposite happens. The Dean's later comment "'Twas beauty killed the beast'" is a direct quote from King Kong.
  • "That is not dead which can eternal lie" - quote from H. P. Lovecraft's fictional Necronomicon, which continues, "And with strange aeons even death may die." It is thus a reference to the film with the same name
  • "A fine mess you got me into" - references Laurel and Hardy's famous catch phrase "Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!" and later movie Another Fine Mess
  • "'s silvery [...] And it's heavier than lead" - Silverfish has discovered uranium
  • "[6] SUB-TITLE: 'Vunce again I am fallink in luf [...] Vy iss it I now am a blue colour? [...] Vot is the action I should take at this time?'" - references the song Falling in Love Again (Can't Help It) (Wikipedia version does not include the "so blue" lyrics)
  • "[18] It was about a young ape who is abandoned in the big city and grows up being able to speak the language of humans" - parody of Tarzan of the Apes, where the exact opposite happens.
  • When the last of the Moving Pictures magic ebbs out of the world, just for a few moments Detritus and Ruby are transformed into Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire in a song-and-dance routine. Heralding the big dance number in Harga's House of Ribs, Detritus briefly channels Humphrey Bogart, saying Play it again, Sham! - referencing "Play it again, Sam," the often misquoted line from Casablanca. The actual line, spoken by Ingrid Bergman, not Humphrey Bogart, was ""Play it, Sam, for old times' sake, play 'As Time Goes By'." The closest Bogart got to the line was, "You played it for her, you can play it for me. ... If she can stand to listen to it, I can. Play it."
  • Roundworld Film The Last Movie Show, about the closure of the last cinema in a small mid-Western town, is referenced virtually on the last page of Moving Pictures, where a broken picture throwing box spills its film in the sighing wind, with tiny figures dancing, just for a moment, in its dead glass eye...
  • The alchemists' reasoning for why they should move their click-making operations to Holy Wood was that the sunlight would be better there, and the UU wizards wouldn't be able to come accuse them of demarcation. In Roundworld, early filmmakers moved to Hollywood because the sunlight was better there, and it was far enough from Thomas Edison's sphere of influence that by the time he found out what they were up to, and sued them for patent infringement, they'd already have made enough money to flee across the nearby Mexican border with the proceeds.

Roundworld References

Direct references to Roundworld: