I think most of the things we enjoy would be counted as guilty pleasures by someone else. You might say we’ve become guilty pleasure experts.

The other night, Garry and I watched “Paris When It Sizzles” on Netflix. Universally panned, it is generally regarded as awful. Except among movie buffs — like us — for whom it is an officially designated guilty pleasure.


We laughed all the way through it, although it isn’t supposed to be funny. It got us talking about other movies we’ve seen that were panned, but which we liked.

The one that came immediately to my mind was “Flypaper,” starring Ashley Judd and Patrick (“McDreamy”) Dempsey. It opened and closed without a single good review and made less money in its American release than I made on my last freelance job. But it cost $4,000,000 to produce.


On February 27, 2013, I reviewed it on Serendipity — FLYPAPER (2011): A PLEASANT SURPRISEIt’s been getting a slow but steady stream of hits ever since. When I looked in my stats, I saw I’d gotten a hit on that review, the source for which was Wikipedia.

Wikipedia? How could that be? I clicked. There was my review, referenced by Wikipedia. Flypaper (2011 film) has two numbered references in the reference section. Number 1 is my review. What are they referencing? The grosses.

That Flypaper made a pathetic $1100 and opened on just two screens in one theater during a single weekend. Serendipity is their source for this data.

facts expert

Where did I get my information? I looked it up on IMDB (International Movie Database). Not the professional version. Just the free area anyone can access.

IMDB is, to the best of my knowledge, an accurate source. But it’s not a primary source. Clearly the financial data had to have come from somewhere else. Maybe the distributor? IMDB got the info from elsewhere, I got it from them, then Wikipedia got it from me. The beat goes on.


How in the world did I become a source? If you have ever wondered how bad information gets disseminated, this is the answer. I don’t think this information is wrong. If it is, it’s harmless.

But a lot of other stuff proffered as “fact” is gathered the same way. Supposed news outlets get information from the Internet. They access secondary, tertiary and even more unreliable sources. They assume it’s true. By proliferation, misinformation takes on a life of its own and becomes “established” fact.


Scholars, journalists, historians and others for whom truth is important should feel obliged to dig out information from primary — original — sources. A blogger, like me, who gets information from who-knows-where shouldn’t be anyone’s source for “facts” unless you’ve confirmed the information and know it’s correct.

For me to be a source for Wikipedia is hilarious, but a bit troubling. How much of what we know to be true … isn’t?

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

27 thoughts on “GUILTY PLEASURES”

      1. I have so many “guilty pleasure” movies. A product of my movie going youth. I enjoy a “guilty pleasure” flick as much and sometimes more than a classic. There’s a certain fondness for the characters. A FEW of my guilty pleasure movies:
        “Susan Slade” (’63/WB) All you need to know is CONNIE STEVENS.
        “Old Acquaintance” (’40/WB) Bette Davis, Miriam Hopkins.
        “The Great Lie”(’41/WB) Bette Davis, Mary Astor.
        “A Stolen Life” (46/WB) Bette Davis, Bette Davis, Glenn Ford.
        “Dangeous” (’37/WB) Bette Davis, Franchot Tone.
        “Now, Voyager” (’42/WB) Bette Davis, Paul Henreid.
        “Marked Women” (’38/WB) Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart.
        “Dark Victory” (’39/WB) Bette Davis, George Brent.
        “Jubilee Trail” (’53/Republic) Joan Leslie, Forrest Tucker. desperately looking for DVD. We had VHS copy.
        “Stage Door” (’39/RKO) Katherine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers”.
        “Dodge City” (’39/WB) Errol Flynn, Olivia DeHavilland.
        “Virginia City” (’40/WB) Errol Flynn, Miriam Hopkins, Randolph Scott and Humphrey Bogart as a bandito.
        “The Oklahoma Kid” (’36/WB) James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart as good and bad cowboys. A hoot!
        “The Roaring Twenties” (’40/WB) James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart.
        “Each Dawn I Die”(’37/WB) James Cagney, George Raft.
        “Invisble Stripes” (’40/WB) George Raft, William Holden.

        These are just a few. Not many classics. Yes, I really like those old Bette Davis flicks. She was quite a pistol and so much fun to watch in her prime.
        There are so many others….lots of westerns.. but not enough time and many have already dozed off reading this.

        Liberty Valance


  1. I tended to believe more or less in what was assembled on Wiki…. no longer sure! Which of course has got nothing to do with you….. It’s just, well, it seems a tad random truths, all of everything I read nowadays. Maybe I should start reading EVERYTHING as ´novel’ type writing …. 😉


  2. I love IMDB and use it often when I watch TV and see an actor/actress who I remember seeing before in a different show or movie. I use it to look up the actors in whatever it is I’m watching and when I find the particular actor, I can find out all the films or TV shows that actor has been in. It’s a great resource.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. It just — apparently — sneaks in there. I didn’t write anything wrong, but I got my information from what was already a tertiary source. So who know how much else in there was gleaned from sources a lot worse than mine? Misinformation has been going around for a long time and we didn’t need the internet for it, either. Rumor did well, too!


  3. I can’t even bring myself to talk about ‘news,’ but all of your readers and blogger friends have known you were an authority. 🙂 And, I am of the age that I remember sitting in the theatre to watch A Summer Place and drooling over Troy Donahue. Thanks for the memories. 🙂


    1. Leslie, “A Summer Place” was a BIGLY, HUGE hit. A drive-in favorite. We played the Percy Faith theme song frequently on our college radio station. Troy Donahue was part of a stable of young Warner Brothers stars who worked WB TV and movies. Sandra Dee, Connie Stevens, Tab Hunter and Susan Kohner were just a few of the names you probably remember. Such a crush on Connie Stevens. Golly!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. How much is really, for real TRUE? IMHO maybe 50% or less. Media spin and the rise of computers and internets has caused opinion to be morphed into ‘fact’, and nobody does the hard work of digging for the real absolute truth any more. Well to me. I regularly cite Wikipedia as my ‘source’. Now I’m wondering where they get their ‘facts’..but hey. You got 15 minutes of fame with that reference. Enjoy! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emb, I still do what I did as a reporter. Check various sources, read and watch MULTIPLE news outlets, talk with a few people I still know in the news and political circles. All before affirming my take on a subject. It takes time but is faster than when I was chasing stories for a living.


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