Film clichés and annoyances

7 March, 2010

Below is a selection of  film clichés which (in various forms) have been published elsewhere, usually under the title “THINGS YOU WOULD NEVER KNOW WITHOUT THE MOVIES”.  The list is usually longer, but these are my favourites.  One I haven’t seen elsewhere, but bugs me every time I see it, it the habit people have (in films at least) of ordering food in a restaurant and only eating a mouthful or two before some plot device requires them to get up and depart rapidly.  I hate to see good food go to waste, as my weighing scales testify.

  • All grocery shopping bags contain at least one loaf  of French bread and a stick of celery.
  • The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place. No-one will ever think of looking for you in there and you can travel to any other part of the building you want without difficulty.
  • You’re very likely to survive any battle in any war – unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.
  • If your town is threatened by an imminent natural disaster or killer beast, the mayor’s first concern will be the tourist trade or his forthcoming art exhibition.
  • The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window in Paris.
  • If a large pane of glass is visible, someone will be thrown through it before long.
  • The Chief of Police is always black.
  • The Chief of Police will always suspend his star detective – or give him 48 hours to finish the job.
  • During all police investigations it will be necessary to visit a strip club at least once.
  • A detective can only solve a case once he has been suspended from duty.
  • Police Departments give their officers personality tests to make sure they are deliberately assigned a partner who is their total opposite.
  • It is always possible to park directly outside the building you are visiting.
  • It is not necessary to say hello or goodbye when beginning or ending phone conversations.
  • Even when driving down a perfectly straight road it is necessary to turn the steering wheel vigorously from left to right every few moments.
  • Plus, you can drive for at least 10 seconds without looking where you are going.
  • All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red readouts so you know exactly when they’re going to go off.
  • It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts – your enemies will wait patiently to  attack you one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out their predecessors.
  • Television news bulletins usually contain a story that affects you personally at the precise moment that it is aired. And you turn the TV off immediately to continue dialogue.
  • All beds have special L-shaped cover sheets which reach up to the armpit level on a woman but only to waist level on the man lying beside her.
  • Any lock can be picked by a credit card or a paper clip in seconds – unless it’s the door to a burning building with a child trapped inside.
  • When a woman or child is fleeing a monster or attacker, she will trip on nothing five times in 10 feet.
  • Cars that crash will almost always burst into flames.

OK, so in the words of Samuel Goldwyn, “Let’s have some new clichés.”  Contributions gratefully received.

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