Friday, August 29: A Date That Will Live In Infamy


If you've ever entered into an argument about movie chronology—what year the robots killed Bill and Ted, who was the oldest kid at Hogwarts—witness The Movie Timeline.

So here's the pitch: The Movie Timeline is the history of everything, taken from one simple premise: that everything you see in the movies is true—the real mixes with the fictitious, so long as it's reported in a movie somewhere.

It can be jarring to see "John Mitchell, John Ehrlichman and Bob Haldeman are found guilty on all counts" pegged the day after "Starsky and Hutch take down a drug dealer"—but hey, they both happened in movies. The site's incomplete now, but the creators are setting to re-launch it with a new database. (Oh, and Friday, August 29 was the day Skynet destroyed civilization.)

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  1. Let’s see how long it takes them to post my submission, for June 6, 1966 in New York City:

    Andy/Adrian, son of Rosemary Woodhouse and Satan, is born, prompting one prominent Satanist to declare: “God is dead! Satan lives! The year is One!” (Possible alternate year for this event: 0001)

  2. Panic in the Year Zero

  3. Fictional timelines are nothing new. Fandom has been full of them for years. Here’s a good selection:

  4. Do projects like this take into account the differences between Julian and Gregorian dates?

  5. Jeff P, since you give this concept the Ho Hum, I’ll give the Ho Hum back: Your timelines suck because they’re all distinct. The comedy value comes from making it one continuous timeline, so that astronaut Dave Bowman makes contact with aliens around the time of the 9/11 attacks even though the whole population of earth has been living on Soylent Green since the early 1990s and in fact the whole planet, except for some Australian punk bikers, had been killed off in World War III in the early ’80s, and so on.

  6. Not giving it the ho-hum at all, just making a point. Somewhere online is the unofficial League of Extraordinary Gentlemen timeline based on notes by Alan Moore, where the monolith on the moon occurs around the same time as the events of King Ralph. There are excellent Wold Newton Universe timelines out there as well. Fictional timelines, including those that combine “universes,” are quite plentiful. There are also a lot of Future History timelines as well. Fictional history buffs are a big subset of fandom, and have been for most of it’s history. The same goes for fans of fictional maps, and how many of those books are on bookshelves today?

  7. Ooh, ooh. We need to throw in global disaster flicks to really add spice.

    We could be hit by Meteor, suffer a Deep Impact, have an ice age in NYC, and all that. It will seem amazing that we survived the clustering of these events.

  8. Jason: Add comics to the mix. In the past five years of Marvel comics, NYC has:
    Had two giant spaceships crash into it.
    Had Asgard fall on it.
    Been walled and domed by a supervillain.
    And been reshaped into a superfortress by Magneto.
    Back in the 70s, Hercules dragged the island out to sea.
    I think NYC residents would be a LOT more jaded in the Marvel universe than they are here.

  9. Are TV shows not allowed? Is that why there is no mention of the catastrophic loss of Earth’s moon back in 1999?

  10. I’ve always imagined the wandering Moon encountering a rag tag fugitive fleet searching for Earth.
    Yes, I wrote fanfic back in the day…

  11. I’m going to have fun with this, but I’m slightly irritated by the sloppy arrangement of some events. If the movie gives an exact date for a particular event within its story, the other events that happened in close proximity to it should logically be clustered around the known date, even if a specific date isn’t given for them, rather than lumped into the generic undated events for that year which creates the oddity of events which happened after the known date being put before it.

  12. Here’s the Timeline of SF & Fantasy, which includes the Cthulhu mythos, Dr. Who, Highlander, and many other franchises from books movies & TV.

  13. I remember counting down to mark the day in August 1966 when a satellite nuked London in the 1960 movie “The Time Machine.”

  14. I recall that something happened in a movie somewhere on September 11. I don’t know the year or the movie or the context.

    Gee, I’m helpful aren’t I?

  15. happyjuggler, it was those guys, they did that thing, with those other guys.

    And man, did people get pissed off!

  16. I’m just amused that all the V for Vendetta dates reference the comic, not the movie, in a “movie timeline”.

  17. I think he does the same thing with Harry Potter references. I only saw the first movie, but I don’t remember any reference to it taking place in 1991 instead of the late 90s.

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