Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures
How did they finish The Dark Knight, what did Mad Max drive and more movie questions answered!

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Question: I really miss the podcast -- cheer me up by answering this question, please. How did they finish The Dark Knight? I thought Heath Ledger died in the middle of filming. Thanks Shannon

FlickChick: Thanks for missing the podcast I miss doing it.

Unlike 1994's The Crow, which was in the middle of principle photography when star Brandon Lee died in an on-set accident, The Dark Knight was in post production at the time of Heath Ledger's sad and premature death.

So the filmmakers had all the footage they needed of Ledger's performance as the Joker in fact, the actor already well into shooting his next project, Terry Gilliam's dark fantasy The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. Ledger was playing the role of Tony, a performer in a travelling show whose proprietor ( Christopher Plummer) sold his daughter's soul to the devil (Tom Waits) in return for magical powers. Ledger's demise threw that film's future into doubt -- production was suspended while the filmmakers tried to figure out what to do.

Writer-director Gilliam opted not to fake footage of Ledger, which is how The Crow was completed; he instead took advantage of the story's fantastic nature and recast the role with three other actors -- Jude Law, Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell each of whom apparently plays a different aspect of the character.

Plummer has told interviewers that Gilliam is dedicating dedicate the film, which is scheduled for a 2009 release, to Ledger.

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Question: I'm mailing from the Netherlands with a question. There is a movie that I can't find anywhere and I'm hoping that you can help me out. I saw a movie a few years ago but can't figure out what it was called or how to find it. It's a Spanish-language love drama with a Benicio del Toro-type main character. He's a doctor that has all -- nice car, big house, good job, wife -- but falls in love with a woman who helps him when he's stranded with his car.

This movie is a mind-twister: All that is white in the beginning turns black and the other way around -- love as the reason you have to undergo and accept it, which is hard because it runs into the normality's of life. Can you tell me the title of this movie? Thanks! With kind regards -- Gerko


FlickChick: I'm pretty sure you're describing Don't Move (2004), with Sergio Castellitto (most recently seenas the wicked uncle in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian) as the doctor and Penelope Cruz, who was given a major-league ugly makeover for her role, as the woman who turns his life upside down.

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Question: How could the American Film Institute air a three hour show about their top ten films in several genres but omit the horror genre? I guess movie like Psycho, Dracula and The Exorcist aren't considered worthy by the AFI. -- John

FlickChick: Beats me, especially when AFI's 10 Top Ten genres did include "Courtroom Drama."

Horror movies in general traditionally get short shrift from "serious" film critics and historians, but there are plenty of classic horror films, including the three you mention, that are pretty universally acknowledged as masterpieces of the cinema, period. In fact, Psycho (1960), The Exorcist (1973) and Dracula (1931) all made AFI's 2001 100 Years 100 Thrills list.

That list, by the way, wasn't limited to horror it includes movies like The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Deliverance (1972) and The Deer Hunter (1978) -- so it's not as though AFI figured they'd already given the genre its due.

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Question: I know this is kind of a geeky question, but do you know what kind of car Mel Gibson drives in Mad Max? Mike

FlickChick: As someone who grew up in Manhattan and didn't learn to drive until I was well, let's not get into how old I was. Suffice it to say that I can't tell one car from another. But the experts at Car Stars say that "the last of the V8 interceptors" was a 1973 Ford Falcon XB Coupe. I'll take their word for it.

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