The Movie Timeline - be obsessive, be very obsessive

.......................TALKING POINTS.......................

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04/03/07: RE: BACK TO THE NATIVITY: Regarding Doc Brown's date of December 25th 0000, it's not entirely true that "The year doesn't exist. Never did." Astronomers use a year-numbering system similar to BC/AD, except for the insertion of a year 0, mostly (as far as I know) to make the math simpler (see, for example, Doc Brown, being a scientist rather than a historian, may have naturally used this numbering system, in which all the years before 1 AD are "off" by 1 year. In this case, his "December 25th 0000" would correspond to Dec. 25, 1 BC. [Scott Nickell]

05/06/06: THE TWO KING ARTHURS: We've been a bit dormat here in Talking Points since the site upgrade, so let's start the ball rolling again with this. The timeline's getting pretty full now. It never will be completely full of course, so long as there are films out there being made... but it seems now that our fake history has two different King Arthurs. One looks a bit like Clive Owen, is quite macho, and existed around 500 AD. The other looks a bit like Graham Chapman, is a posh man with coconuts, and existed to seek the Grail in 932. (Incidentally, the Grail itself crops up several times in different incarnations on the timeline - as multiple cups in Monty Python & The Holy Grail, as a guarded vessel in Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade, and as no cup at all in the recent Da Vinci Code film...) So because cinema has chosen different periods of time to date King Arthur, he's there twice. Bruce Wayne - and his parents - suffer a similar problem. As does King Kong. Any more examples of this? Can we date Robin Hood to several different years? Let me know if you can think of any multiple appearances throughout history of such characters...

12/04/06: THE GROUNDHOG DAY PROBLEM - FILE CLOSED?: I think we got it sorted. For those new, we've been a-struggling to place which February 2nd we can place Groundhog Day on - read below for more... Jim Hayden has done some timeline-sleuthing and the license plate of the red Cadillac driven by Phil after drinking at the bowling alley shows an expiration date of 12-92, which would indicate that events occur on February 2nd, 1992. The Jeopardy evidence listed in the below Talking Point of 27/03/06 supports this too, so I'm satisfied... Groundhog Day, you may come join the party...

05/04/06: FACT AND FICTION?: If it's not clear already, this list is a mix of everything in films - whether fact or fiction. Hitler rubs shoulders with Don Corleone; Elizabeth I exists a few hundred miles south of Connor MacLeod... Does this trouble you? Jon McKamey wrote to say it did - that the true events of Amistad in 1839 sit uncomfortably between Nosferatu in 1838 and the Ravenous cannibals of 1840. Fair point. I'm sure most of us are intelligent enough to know that a list like this will include events that did happen and events that didn't. So I might see if I can italicise the true events, so we can keep an eye on the real history throughline. This may cause problems: I'm not comfortable marking some of the events in Birth of a Nation as true - much of it is blatant racist propaganda, though it purports to be true. The Resurrection of Christ - I'd put that as truth but would you? I'll get swamped with emails if I put it down as fact, and I'll get swamped with emails if I put it down as fiction. We'll see - for now I'll leave it as is, but it's food for thought... One definite fiction (but just how fictitious it is seems to be causing a problem) is The Matrix - for now I've kept its events in, though you'll notice they now all sound a little hazy...

31/03/06: BACK TO THE NATIVITY: I don't think we can include it, but worthy of a mention is December 25th 0000, submitted by Matt, and from, of course... anyone know?... Back To The Future. It's one of the significant dates Doc has programmed into the Delorean. See, I'm finding it hard to date the birth of Christ cinematically. Those films that do feature it, aren't too keen to put a date on it (historians vary between 8BC and 6AD, so why should directors make a random stab-in-the-dark at it...?). So can we link it to December 25th 0000, thanks to Dr Emmett Brown off of Hill Valley? No. Two reasons. Reason 1: Human error - it's not a date the film shows us, or is referred to in any factual way - it's a date the Doc has programmed into the time machine. Therefore who's to say it's correct? Reason 2: (This is a biggie - ) The year doesn't exist. Never did. The calendar ticked over from December 31st 1BC to January 1st 1AD. Happy New Year, Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and all that. But no year zero. Dionysius, of 532AD (248th year of the Diocletian era, as he called it) set the year system as we know it according to this. So if Doc, or Einstein the dog, or whoever, travelled back in time to December 25th 0000, what would have happened? Would the Delorean have broken? Or ended up squished between two years? I like to think so. Either way, it's not a real year, and there's no evidence cinematically for it ever being out there in movieworld, so sorry, it doesn't make the timeline. Someone go watch The Greatest Story Ever Told, cos so far the nearest thing to the cinematic dating of Jesus' birth is 4AD - a predator feasts on things. Not good.

29/03/06: HARRY POTTER & THE CHRONOLOGY OF SECRETS: Various of you have corrected and re-corrected the Harry Potter dates, notably Harry's birthday, and subsequent events. I think the original submission sent in actually came from the books (ooh, cheating), which lists his date of birth as July 31 1980, thus setting the events in the early 90s. Many would say the films' events actually happen ten years later - does anyone have any evidence for this from the films themselves? If anyone who has the Harry Potter DVDs can verify any dates for me, please let me know. As it is, I'll leave the dates for the mo until someone can tell me either way a definite set of dates from the films. It might be we can know nothing from the films, and only the books are explicit about this. But it'd be nice to include the world of Hogwarts if poss. Then hopefully we can put Harry Potter to bed (it's past his bed-time anyway).

27/03/06: THE GROUNDHOG DAY PROBLEM REVISITED: We've had some suggestions re the Groundhog Day problem... So it's over to you. There are a few suggestions: One is that you can date the Jeopardy episode to an original broadcast of November 11th 1991 (thanks Myron Meyer for your sleuthing on this!) - so does that mean we can date the movie to February 2nd 1992? Another suggestion (from Evelyn C Leeper, using William Baring-Gould's method for dating Sherlock Holmes' adventures) is to check Pennsylvania's weather history for all the February 2nds, and find the snowstorm... but then if we acknowledge it's a work of fiction, it's going to be a fictitious snowstorm (and a fictitious Jeopardy episode then? I dunno...). Duane Lanham would place it just using 'the present day rule' (though it never says 'Present Day'), while Rachel suggests it's 1992, since that's when Bill Murray visited the Punxsutawney Groundhog Day festivities to study for his role. The film was released the next year, so can we presume from that that it's set in 1992? This is getting far too anal for such a trivial thing, but that's what the site's here for! So now, your comments please. Let me know using the link at the top what you think of this - is there enough evidence that it's set on February 2nd 1992? Or do you have evidence to the contrary? Maybe then this elusive film can finally take it's rightful place on the Movie Timeline...

25/03/06: THE MATRIX - ALTERNATE UNIVERSE vs DOWNRIGHT LIE: I'll be honest, I haven't seen it in a while, and I also don't have a copy - scandalous, I know. But various people submit various dates from it (eg. 1999 as the main events of the first film) - but then of course it's rightly pointed out (thanks to John T Folden and others) that the 1999 history is part of the lie that is the Matrix, created by the machines. We've had some such as David Abernathy wondering whether alternate universes/timelines should be allowed - I think they should, in cases like Donnie Darko or Back To The Future II or the Terminator films - these are events depicted in cinema, and for that brief period of time they do actually happen and take a place in history. Then, for whatever reason, normally thanks to time-travelling meddlers, that alternate history ceases to be. So that's fine - they're in. But The Matrix - well that never happened in 1999, it was just a downright lie. We've got some dates included, thanks to Andrew for trawling the DVDs. I think some are from the Animatrix - do we allow that? I think I will until someone complains...

11/03/06: SAME DATE, DIFFERENT MOVIE: I love it when a plan comes together... And yes it's finally happened that we've got two submissions for the same date, for different movies. Once this list fills out - cos large though it is, it's still only scraping the surface of the chronology movie-world has provided us - we might find more dates like this. But for now, cast your eyes to July 4th, 1978 - it's only a little thing, but it's nice to know that while David Scott Freeman fell from a tree and travelled through time, Forrest Gump was at that exact moment toasting America with his sweetheart Jenny...

22/02/06: RUINED ENDINGS: There are spoilers on this site. It's probably a little late to tell you that, all the way down here. But I'm sure you expected nothing less, for a site that lists events in films. Anyway, apologies if any film you hadn't seen appears ruined because of something you read here - rest assured it probably isn't ruined. Most so-called "spoilers" don't spoil anything - they're often just little snippets of info along the way. Very rarely is there a Sixth Sense moment or a Usual Suspects finale or a Citizen Kane oh-that's-what-it-meant, and I don't think any of these are listed above. If this car-crash "shouldn't look but can't really help it" mentality appeals to you in the whole arena of movie twists, take a look at our sister site, It's got pretty much every movie ending and plotline there for all to see - or avoid seeing - as you see fit.

24/01/06: THE FUTURE'S NOT BRIGHT: Come on, the future's never bright in films. By 2011, 99% of the world's population will be wiped out by a virus (apparently). Not very long to go, is it? Those that are left can look forward to the USA becoming a militarised police state by 2017. And more bizarre still, by 2018, the 1% that are left have been at it like rabbits, as there will be such a major population problem that having more than one child is punishable by life imprisonment. Tut tut, some of these film-makers haven't placed their films far enough ahead. Thing is, it's never all peaches and happiness, is it? The future's always bleak - if the Movie Timeline is anything to go by, we're in for a rocky ride in the next few years. Then again if it were peaches and happiness, (a) there's little point setting it in the future, and (b) there's little point in making a film at all. Let's have that rocky ride - it can make for a good movie. On the other hand it can make Fortress 2 or The Running Man...

18/01/06: WHEN IS PRESENT DAY?: When I toyed with starting this site, movie-mistakes-mogul Jon asked about rules. And one of the rules I thought you've got to lay down is that every date must be explicitly stated, or worked out - you can't look at a film released in 2002 and say "It looks 2002ish, and it's probably set in the present day..." But what about when they do state that it's set in the Present Day? Our very own submitter Mathew has been trying to place Stargate's 'present day' - elsewhere in the film they pinpoint scenes with dates, but it's difficult to define 'Present Day' when it's mostly set in a military base. We can work out that a 7 year old kid in 1928 is 70/80 years old in this 'Present Day', but that could mean it's somewhere between 1991 and 2001. Or do we say that it's a 1994 film, so Present Day is 1994? Maybe so. It was present when it was released, so maybe that warrants it. I dunno. If anyone cares to submit it as 1994, I might just put it on the timeline, if I'm feeling generous to it...

16/01/06: THE GROUNDHOG DAY PROBLEM: I was determined to include Groundhog Day on this list, but I can find no way to place what year it's set in. Groundhog Day is February 2nd, yes, again and again, but there are no clues I can see as to when that is. No newspapers, no historical events as a backdrop... If we could even discover the day of the week, we could work out the year - it's clearly set in the early 90s, so if we know it's a Tuesday, 1993 was when Feb 2nd was a Tuesday... If it's a Saturday it's 1991, etc. But there's no way of knowing! I must find this out. I'm off to watch it again, and stare very carefully at the licence plates...

Any talking points, burning issues, time or chronology musings, or movie-based stuff you want me to include here, get in touch by clicking Submit.


13/04/06: Dogma, Cry Freedom, The Killing Fields, There's Something About Mary, Captin Blood, Star Trek: Nemesis, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Trainspotting, The Ten Commandments, Atlantis The Lost Empire, Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N., Black Hawk Down, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), Armageddon, Ocean's 11, Ocean's 12, Super Mario Bros, The Village, Daylight, Dog Soldiers, Withnail & I, Cool Runnings, Swordfish, Hamburger Hill, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Ghostbusters, The Deep End of the Ocean, The Rock, The Manchurian Candidate (2004), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Jurassic Park, Awakenings, Little Women, Groundhog Day, Casablanca, That Thing You Do!, Top Gun, Fandango

05/04/06: The Hunt for Red October, Tommy, Rumor Has It, The Draughtsman's Contact, The Great Mouse Detective, Boogie Nights, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Cleopatra, The Pianist, Back To The Future Part II, The Last Emperor, Dances With Wolves, Three Kings, Capote, Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Only You, 'Breaker' Morant, Carrie, Doom, Dr Stranglove, A Tale of Two Cities, The Prisoner of Zenda, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Young Guns 2, Almost Famous, If I Were King, The Hudsucker Proxy, Call Northside 777, Superman II, Christine, Final Fantasy: Spirits Within, Charade, Twelve Monkeys, The Poseidon Adventure, Buck Rogers, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, A Man Called Horse, Gandhi, Night of the Living Dead, Sahara, Real Genius, The Patriot, Platoon, Maximum Overdrive

04/04/06: Singin' In The Rain, 12 Days of Terror, Fever Pitch, Queen of the Damned, Knute Rockne, Shadow of the Vampire, I Robot, Hiroshima-Nagasaki: August 6 1945, Z, King Arthur, Gulliver's Travels, 50 First Dates, Savage Messiah, Cimmaron, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Royal Wedding, Twister, L.A. Confidential, Joan of Arc, Man of La Mancha, Till the Clouds Roll By, Frankenstein Conquers the World, Sleepy Hollow, Three Amigos, The Ghost and the Darkness, Smoke Signals, Jules et Jim, Suicide Club, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, War of the Worlds, Smokey and the Bandit, Cast Away, Raising Arizona, With Honors, Moulin Rouge

01/04/06: Ray, Ed Wood, 24 Hour Party People, This Is Spinal Tap, Best In Show, Waking Ned, The Others, To Kill A Mockingbird, Big Trouble In Little China, The Blues Brothers, L.A. Confidential, The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The Life & Times of Judge Roy Bean, Unforgiven, O Brother Where Art Thou, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Double Indemnity, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, 1941, It's A Wonderful Life, Cinderella Man, BattleQueen 2020, Battlefield Earth, Battle of the Bulge, All the President's Men, Patton, Deliverance, The Miracle Worker, Camille, Mrs Miniver, Madame Curie, 50,000 BC (Before Clothing), Orlando

31/03/06: Clue, Blade Runner, Godzilla, Heavenly Creatures, Unbreakable, Buck Rogers, La Bamba, 1,000,000 Years BC, The Time Machine, Total Recall, The 300 Spartans, Caveman, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, The Natural, Signs, My Name Is Nobody, 25th Hour, Ransom, Khartoum, Hackers, Heartbreak Hotel, L.A. Confidential, Zulu, A Boy and His Dog, Dune, The Cotton Club, Hoodlum, Little Big Man

30/03/06: The Sound of Music, Lawrence of Arabia, On The Beach, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, The Crucible, Timeline, North Country, Transformers: The Movie, Brokeback Mountain, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, Alexander Nevsky, The Ten Commandments, When Harry Met Sally, Rollerball, Oklahoma, King Kong (1976), The Blair Witch Project, San Francisco, The Devil's Rejects, Somewhere In Time, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, V for Vendetta, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Rent, Miracle

29/03/06: Kingdom of Heaven, Batman: The Movie, Batman, Batman Begins, Superman, Risky Business, Titanic, Napoleon Dynamite, Wilhelm Cuceritorul, Casablanca, Tora Tora Tora, The X Files, Cavemen

28/03/06: The Goonies, Field of Dreams, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Freejack, The Big Lebowski, Adaptation, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Quatermass and the Pit, The Shootist, The Robe, Demetrius and the Gladiators, Van Helsing, Donnie Darko, Shaun of the Dead, The Shining, Inside Man, The Shawshank Redemption, Waking Ned, The Matrix, Twelve Monkeys, Brigadoon, 1941, The Rocketeer, The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, Highlander, V for Vendetta, Planet of the Apes, The Four Feathers, Thousand Pieces of Gold, The Time Machine, 1984, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Return of the Living Dead, The Name of the Rose, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Julius Caesar, Tombstone, The Fifty Element, Lethal Weapon, The Thirteenth Warrior, Citizen Kane, The Valley of Gwangi, Red Dawn, Hoosiers, Eight Men Out, Targets, Apt Pupil, Natural Born Killers

16/03/06: Good Night and Good Luck, Back To The Future Part III, The Island of Dr Moreau, Tarzan, Cat Ballou, 3000 Miles to Graceland, The Abominable Dr Phibes, Aguirre der Zorn Gottes, Almost Famous, An American Tail, Jurassic Park III, Tremors, Tremors 2, Angela's Ashes, National Lampoon's Animal House, The X Files, Fight Club, Annie Get Your Gun, Atlantic City, 10 Rillington Place, O Brother Where Art Thou, Some Like It Hot, Death on the Nile, Alice In Wonderland, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Silence of the Lambs, The Philadelphia Experiment, Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Napoleon Dynamite, Superman, Wild Wild West

15/03/06: Ghostbusters, Mimic, Dante's Peak, Volcano, Doom, Alien vs Predator, Tremors, 1984, The Mask of Zorro, Titan A.E., Logan's Run, Barbarella, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Interview With A Vampire, Treasure Island, Wuthering Heights, War and Peace

14/03/06: The Planet of the Apes films, The Star Trek films, The Terminator films, Equilibrium, Red Planet, Things To Come, Zardoz, The Day After Tomorrow, Buck Rogers, Sins of the Father, Total Recall, Soldier

13/03/06: Wayne's World II, The Mission, Citizen Kane

11/03/06: Forrest Gump, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Deathrace 2000, Class of 1999

10/03/06: V For Vendetta, Chariots of Fire, Ever After, It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World, National Lampoon's Animal House, The Godfather Part II, Cuba, Havana, Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights, The Omega Man

09/03/06: The Last Man On Earth, More American Graffiti, Meteor, Things To Come, Black Sunday, Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone, Ghostbusters II

08/03/06: Lucky Number Slevin, Walk The Line, Final Destination 3, Futuresport, Street Fighter

06/03/06: Memoirs of a Geisha, 200 Cigarettes, Lost In Space, Entrapment, 54

28/02/06: Munich, Quest For Fire, The Running Man, Jurassic Park, The Matrix, Thoroughly Modern Millie

21/02/06: Back To The Future, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Island, The Time Machine, Braveheart, Stargate, Titanic, The Breakfast Club

Before 20/02/06: The rest of 'em...

And thanks to these fine people for all their help in them early few months... aaron, abi sanders, Adam Levack, Aelfgifu, alan, Alan Lively, Albert A.Annunziata, Albert Lucia, Albert Sanchez Moreno, Alexi Paizis, Allan Hensley, Allison Pinto, Amanda, Amy Chapman, Andrew, Andrew Brechin, Andrew Hess, Andrew Rostan, Andy, Annika, Anthony Adverse, Anthony Mark Morningstar, Azarias, Basil White, Ben, Ben Duzniak, Bernie Dodge, Beth Whisman, Bill, Bill Michaels, B J Herbison, Blake, Bob Mecoy, Bob Moraine, Boone, Brad Bratcher, Brandon, Brandon McDonald, Brent Walker, Bret, Brian, Brian Greenway, Brian McPartland, Bruce Barker, Carl, Carlos Martinez, Chris, Chris Bentley, Chris Brame, Chris Magda, Chris Massey, Chris Rennick, Chris Schairer, Christel Devlin, Christi, Christopher Bell, Christopher Blair, christy, Claudia Mastroianni, Claudio, Cliff Rives, colt brown, comicfan, cory, Craig Clark, Craig Froelich, Cranston Shenir, Cubs Fan, D.Neve, Dan Johnson, Dan Marchant, Dave, Dave Syas, David Abernathy, David Hyland, Dennis Gaunt, Devon Riley, dirk, Dixie, Doc, Dodd, Don Cassetti, Donald McKinney, Donald Shaner, Douglas Beagley, duane lanham, Dwayne Hendrickson, EAJ, Ed Anderson, Edith, Elizabeth, Elvis Bus, Emilio Gomez, Emily, emily clack, erdinc uguzkent, eric babe morse, Eric Wunder, Erica, Erik Wennstrom, Eugene, Evelyn C Leeper, Felicia Herman, fortress galvatron, Fran Ramos, Fred Zwerg, Gabriel Mckee, Garrett, gen, Gene Sorkin, Geoffrey "Badger" Gould, Gertjan Ravyst, Gil Whiteley, Giovanni Capurro, Greer, gundammon, Gunnar, Guy N, Harriet, Heath, iain kennedy, Ian, Ian Atkinson, Ian Kent, Ian Orwin, jacob, Jake Messinger, James F, Jamie Snyder, Jan Tartu, Jason, Jason Scully-Clemmons, Jean-Sébastien Dussault, Jeff Scully, Jeff Singleton, Jennifer, Jeremy, Jeremy Kirk, jes, Jim Hayden, Jimmy Chew, Joerg S, Joey, John, John Davis Small II, John Elwen, John Olsen, John T Cox, John T Folden, John W Rosa, Jon Bastion, Jon McKamey, Jon Pinyan, Jon Sandys, Jonathan Graves, Jonathan Hord, Jonathan Sims, Jonathan Truax, Jordan Kreiger, joseph, Josh, julian walker, J W, K, Katherine, Katie B, KC Sierra, Kelly, ken jonson, Ken Tamblyn, Kevin McDonough, Kevin O'Brien, Kevin Smathers, Kim Siddorn, Kirk Beltz, Kris, Kristen Bryceland, kristopher bryce, Laura Atkinson, Laura Talley, lee s, Les Shelton, Lewis, Lin, Louis, Luc, Luigi Novi, lukezilla, Lux harlow, mac sandlin, Marie Meadows, Mark, Mark Leeper, Mark Mollineaux, Mark Nigro, Mark Rawlings, martin Kittappa, Mathew, Matt, Matt Roper, Matthew Bowers, Matthew Morgan, michael, Michael, Michael Bathe, Michael Dellinger, Michael Schmitz, Micky Tamayo, Miguel Arroniz, mike, Mike Kessell, Mike Tsao, Mone, Morton, mrkgard, Myron Meyer, Nate Duke, Neil, Nick Mandler, Nick Stefanski, Nick Ypsilantis, Nicky, nicky cairns, Nicky Linders, Nik Bristow, NSC, obo, oscar onion, Patric, Paul, Paul Aubuchon, Paul Dellechiaie, Paul Marcus, Paul Noonan, Pete Fitzgerald, peter, Peter Coogan, phil, Philip J Fry, Phil Pearson, Rachel, Rachel Martin, Raider, Ramesh Mulye, randy miranda, Raymond Black, Rhys, Rikki, Rob, Rob Hill, robert, Roger L.Main, Roger Layton, Ron Anderson, Ronald Rowe, Rudolf Rassendyll V., Russ Anderson, Salad Man, Samuel A.Crow, scott, Scott Graves, seneca ripple, Seth Fisher, Shane Norton, Shelley Barnes, sorosh, Stax, Steph C, stephen, Stephen Dedman, Stew, Steven McDowell, Steve Coppock, Stuart Whelan, Tamarra, Tasos Kakaroukos, Taylor, Terry B, Tim Hines, Todd Smith, Tom, Tom Hunter, Tristan, unc, Vanessa Pinon, Vicky Barr, vladimir michalek, Wendy, Will Johnson, William McCullough and William McDonough for all your submissions... and thanks to Rikki for her continued spellling corecttions...

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