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I remember when I was young (and dinosaurs roamed the earth) my mother would send off letters to TV Guide or other “sources” whenever she and a friend had a bet to settle about some movie or star or other. She was a movie buff and when trivia came up that no one could answer, she’d write to get answers, sometimes waiting weeks for replies and other times never getting a reply at all. She and the other party in the bet would tootle down to the public library in search of answers, often coming up short.

Then, in the late sixties or early seventies, someone compiled movie guides and my mother just about blew her holiday schnapps allowance on toasting when I gave it to her that year. She spent hours looking things up. Stars, the year a movie was made, the players in it, their details, etc. A new one came out yearly and like the good daughter I was, she got the latest issue in her stocking each year after that first.

Mom’s been gone over twenty years now, but I know as sure as I know this fried ice-cream is bad for my cholesterol, that my mother would have loved IMDB.com. She’d have taken down the Julio Iglesias shrine and ensconced my laptop in its place, open to IMDB.com all the time. She’d bow to the gods of trivia and factoids, barring none and holding nothing back.

Interlinked to within an inch of its life, IMDB hands you whatever bit or piece you need to know at the touch of a search button. You can even find out who else shares a birthday with your latest Hollywood crush. IMDB isn’t confined to films from America, but encompasses international movie and people facts. Obscure and unheard of information can be found here and not just movies, but those who worked on them, wrote them, acted as an extra and so forth.

The site, IMDB.com contains a wealth of information for movie trivia junkies like me and the woman who bequeathed me her obsession and for anyone else who simply wants to fill in the blank. I don’t know about you, but I should have upped my daily dose of Ginkgo Biloba a long time ago because it bugs the hell out of me when my brain searches for an answer to something and I just can’t quite hotwire it out. Right on the tip of my tongue and staying there, it seems. My daughter calls it a “senior moment” and I ignore her.

Every time I use IMDB to look something up (and that’s seems to average once a day or more) I smile, knowing the old girl would have fallen in love with it. Now, my daughter and I share the bets, but in this generation, we can clear it up with the touch of a button.

Yep, Mom would have loved it.

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© J. Thompson (reprinted by request)

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