Q. I am looking for a movie I watched in the late 1950s about Col. Tibbets and his aircraft, the Enola Gay. The lead actor in the film was Robert something. What is the name of this movie, and where can I get a copy?
B.T.S., via email
A. The movie is “Above and Beyond” (1952), starring Robert Taylor as Lt. Col. Paul W. Tibbets and Eleanor Parker as Lucy Tibbets. The film tells the story of the pilot of the Enola Gay — the B-29 bomber that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan — and his wife. It is available to buy or rent at Amazon.com.
Q. When the Shroud of Turin was put on display in Turin, Italy, an announcer used a term that applies to the study of the shroud. What is the term?
J.K.M., Oswego, N.Y.
A. “Sindonology” is the formal study of the Shroud of Turin. From the Gospel of Mark 15:46: “Joseph bought a linen cloth, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen cloth and laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.” It is this linen cloth that many believe is the Shroud of Turin, the cloth bearing the image of a crucified man. The word “sindon” is Greek and refers to a fine and costly cloth that is used to wrap dead bodies.
Q. Who played the roles of Nick and Honey in the movie “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
E.B., Torrance, Calif.
A. The 1966 film “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” starred Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton as Martha and George. Nick was played by George Segal, and Sandy Dennis played Honey. Taylor and Dennis both won Oscars.
Q. I recently watched the movie “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.” Is it the true story of Chuck Barris?
S.S.M., Sweeny, Texas
A. The film “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” (2002) is a thriller based on Chuck Barris’ memoir, “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind: An Unauthorized Autobiography.” In the book, Barris claims to have been an assassin for the CIA. Is the story true? Only Barris knows for sure.
Barris is an American songwriter, game show producer and author. His most successful venture in the music industry is “Palisades Park,” a song recorded by Freddy Cannon. It reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 list in 1962. He also wrote the theme songs for the game shows he created. Among the most notable shows were “The Dating Game” and “The Newlywed Game.” Barris is probably best known for “The Gong Show,” which was a spoof on talent contests. Unable to find an appropriate host for the show, Barris took over the duty. His bumbling mannerism proved perfect for the show, which quickly achieved cult status.
Q. In the days before TV, my brother and I enjoyed some wonderful radio programs. Some of these were “One Man’s Family,” “Vic and Sade,” “Easy Money” and, of course, “Fibber McGee and Molly.” Are they available for sale?
A.H., Eureka, Ill.
A. There’s a website called Radio of Yesteryear that has all the programs you mentioned, plus many more. Visit originaloldradio.com to purchase CDs and MP3 downloads. If you do a Google search for “old-time radio shows,” you can also find places where you can listen for free.
Q. Please settle a dispute. I recently watched the 1943 movie “Girl Crazy” on TV. In it, there is a scene where Mickey Rooney plays the piano with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. I watched it closely, and I think he is really playing the piece. My friend says it was dubbed in. Who wins?
G.H., Lockport, N.Y.
A. Mickey Rooney does play the piano, and he plays it well. Rooney really played along with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in the song “Fascinatin’ Rhythm.”
DID YOU KNOW?
The role of Adrian Monk on “Monk” was originally offered to Michael Richards, better known as Cosmo Kramer on “Seinfeld.” The project never took off. It was pitched again to another network, and Tony Shalhoub was offered the role. He accepted. Shalhoub won three Emmys for his portrayal of the obsessive-compulsive detective.
Q. I have often wondered what happened to the old truck Jethro drove during the opening scenes of “The Beverly Hillbillies.”
L.G., West Chester, Pa.
A. “The Beverly Hillbillies” aired on CBS from 1962-71. Despite being panned by the critics, the show was a commercial success. The series lasted more than 270 episodes.
The truck featured in the opening credits was a 1921 Oldsmobile Model 46 Roadster. Famed car customizer George Barris combined a touring car body with the back of a flatbed pickup. In 1976, the producer of the show, Paul Henning, donated the truck to the Ralph Foster Museum at the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo. The college is near Branson. You can view the museum’s website at rfostermuseum.com.
Send questions to Mr. Know-It-All at AskMrKIA@gmail.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
2013 Gary Clothier