Q • Tom Hanks made a movie about being the captain of a destroyer escorting a convoy during World War II. I do not know the name of the movie, but I don't think it was ever released in theaters. I can't find it on Redbox or pay-per-view, and I cannot find it for purchase anywhere. Do you know what happened to this movie?
A • The name of the movie is “Greyhound,” and it is quite good. As you know, when the pandemic forced many movie theaters to shut down, studios began looking for other ways to get their productions in front of audiences, and streaming was one solution. So “Greyhound” ended up on the subscription service Apple TV+, where you can still find it (and where you can get a seven-day free trial).
The shift to streaming, by the way, affected the eligibility rules for the Academy Awards on April 25. Motion Picture Academy rules customarily require “that a film be shown in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County for a theatrical qualifying run of at least seven consecutive days, during which period screenings must occur at least three times daily.” But for this year’s awards, streaming films were eligible without a theatrical release. “Greyhound” is nominated for an Oscar for its achievement in sound.
Q • “Wolf Hall” is an amazing series! When will there be a second season, and will the cast be the same?
A • Based on two novels by Hilary Mantel, the six-episode drama was much praised when it first aired in 2015. Those novels, “Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies,” were part of a trilogy. And in 2019, the BBC confirmed that a second run of “Wolf Hall” was in the works, to be based on the conclusion of the trilogy, the long-anticipated “The Mirror & The Light.” That novel arrived in March 2020, and work began on a screen adaptation. But that was also the point where the pandemic was wreaking havoc, and I don’t know where the production currently stands, or if it will reunite the original cast.
Q • As a small child I watched a show called “Whirlybirds.” I recall it was about helicopters but not the characters or the plot. Could you please help me with that and where I can find episodes online?
A • “Whirlybirds” was a syndicated show originally airing from 1957 to 1959, which “The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable Shows” calls a modern-day Western where “helicopters were substituted for horses.” Chuck Martin (played by Kenneth Tobey) and Peter Moore (Craig Hill) ran a Southern California helicopter company “hired out for all sorts of jobs, such as locating lost prospectors, delivering vital supplies, and even chasing a bad guy or two.” Stunts were commonplace in their jobs. Their company had a secretary first played by Sandra Spence and then by Nancy Hale. Robert Altman, later an acclaimed movie director, directed quite a few episodes. You can find the show on YouTube, although the video and audio quality in the episodes I checked was less than ideal.
Q • Here’s a tough one. In “The Blacklist,” Season 5, episode 8, there is a guy singing “The Sound of Silence” (the old Simon & Garfunkel tune) in the background. Can you find out the artist?
A • That is by Disturbed. The song is available as a single download, as well as on the Disturbed album “Immortalized.”
Send questions to Rich Heldenfels, P.O. Box 417, Mogadore, OH 44260, or firstname.lastname@example.org.