THE MAN INTHE KNOW.
QI remember an old pub quiz question about a Western film where not a single shot was fired. I can't think of the name of it, can you help? Peter Harrison, Ayr A It was They Passed This Way (1948, also known as Four Faces West) starring Joel McCrea, Frances Dee and Charles Bickford.
Q When I was a boy, I loved watching Zorro on TV. Can you tell me who starred in it? Colin Davidson, Cumbernauld A The 1957-8 series was set in 1820 and followed the adventures of Don Diego de la Vega (aka Zorro, Spanish for fox), played by Guy Williams. His dumb servant Bernardo (Gene Sheldon) - the only one who knew his true identity - often pretended to be deaf also in order to spy for his master.
Q Did the song If I Ruled The World feature in a film? Marion Chatham, Glasgow A No, it was written in 1963 by Leslie Bricusse and Cyril Ornadel for the stage musical Pickwick, when it was performed by Harry Secombe in both the UK and US versions. It became his signature song, which he took to number 18 in December that year.
Q Is it true that both Keith Moon and Mama Cass Elliot died in the same flat? Si Patterson, Paisley A Spooky, but true. Cass (born Ellen Naomi Cohen on September 19, 1941 in Baltimore, Maryland) died on July 29, 1974, in Flat 12, 9 Curzon Street, Mayfair, London, from a heart attack (although the story persists that she choked on a sandwich). Moon was born Keith John Moon on August 23, 1946, in Wembley and was drummer with The Who from their debut album Zoot Suit in 1964, until Who Are You?, which was released three weeks before his death on September 7, 1978. He died in the same flat, from an overdose of sedatives prescribed to help him combat alcoholism.
Q My aunt was born on May 10, 1951, so is celebrating her 50th this week. What was number one on the day she was born? Does anyone interesting share the birthday? Cheryl Cooper, Edinburgh A It was at the end of a fortnight's run for The Marcels with Blue Moon. Also born on that date are Fred Astaire (1899), Bert Weedon (1921), Donovan (1946), Sid Vicious (1957) and Bono (1960).
Q What was the name of the film where two wee boys borrowed a baby and hid it in the woods? I remember it being absolutely delightful.
Isobel Cameron, Fort William A It was The Kidnappers (1953, US title The Little Kidnappers). In a Nova Scotia village at the turn of the 20th century, a grumpy grandpa (Duncan Macrae) denied his two grandsons a pet so they made do with a neighbour's baby. Youngsters Vincent Winter and Jon Whiteley were given honorary Oscars for their "outstanding performances". Quite right, too.
Q Can you tell me which Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis film was about them serving in the paratroopers? Jack Naismith, Troon A Jumping Jacks (1952), one of their funniest collaborations.
Q We're going mad trying to recall the name of the TV comedian who had a catchphrase: "I'm so mad I could rip a tissue". Any ideas? Gordon Stewart, Motherwell A It was Stu Francis, probably best known from his stint as lead presenter (alongside Basil Brush) of Crackerjack from 1979-84. His other great gag was "I could crush a grape", which was developed into a single in 1985 and was also the name of his Border TV kids' series in 1987.