Contents of the README.DOC file
The movie files in the original package have been combined into
one file [movies.txt] in order to compact for transmission.
The movies file can easily be read or searched with any lister
program available on most BBS's. This total package contains:
George J.Skepton ,President
Executive Information Network ,Inc
P.O.Box 1244 Hunt Valley, MD 21030
THE MOVIE DATABASE
(Copyright 1985 The Balkan Group) Edition 1: 4/14/85
Welcome movie fans! What you have just loaded into your
computer is a database of nearly 2000 movies, all of which are
currently available on videotape. Did you ever wish you had a
list of Debra Winger's movies or director John Carpenter's movies
or could remember what movie Sally Field and Jeff Bridges
made together or which movies based on Alistair MacLean stories
are available on videotape or....
A search of The Movie Database can answer those questions and many
more like them.
The typical entry in this database consists of:
date of release
major cast members
original story author, if not an original screenplay
A word about MPAA ratings: Current designations are G, PG, PG-13,
R, X. There are few X-rated movies in this database because they're
mostly interchangeable. There are few PG-13 ratings, because that's a
recent development and few G movies because of lack of interest (mine).
Note that the predecessor of R was 'M'; the predecessor of PG was GP.
Before that there were no ratings, so those movies (pre-1967?) are
'NR' for not rated. We've also used 'TV' to signify a made for TV
movie. TV movies are basically PG or G. A blank rating means I simply
did not know.
Specifically, each entry in the database looks something like:
The title is always the first field, then the MPAA rating, then the
release data, then the cast members, then additional information.
Screenwriters are prefaced with 'W:'. If a script is based on a story
from another medium, then the original author's name appears in
parentheses, e.g. W:Francis Ford Coppola (Mario Puzo).
Directors are prefaced with a 'D:'. Producers with a 'P:'. Producers
are rarely listed, however. Directors and writers are not always listed
either, mostly because that information is not as readily available as
are the names of the cast members. (Most of the information for this
database came from catalogs supplied by videotape producers like Vestron,
Monterey, etc.) The entire entry for a movie is terminated by two
dots on a line by themselves.
There are also some designations in parentheses, on the same line as
a title or name, that have special meanings:
(*) - the movie or star or director or screenwriter got an Oscar.
(N) - the star appeared in a nude scene in the movie.
(A) - an Australian movie
(007) - a James Bond movie
Future editions of this database will have other special character
designations. (Your suggestions are welcome. How about BB for
basketball movies? No?)
The information in this directory is by necessity, incomplete. (I am
continuing to work on expanding the database.) There may also be some
errors in the database, though probably less errors than in any of
the printed videotape directories. Wherever I was in doubt about an
item of information, I left it out rather than take a chance it might
be wrong. Still, errors do creep in. If you do catch any, please let
me know and I will correct them for future editions.
The database itself is broken down into 55 or so ordinary,
sequential, text files. These all have two letter filenames. Except
for the MFIND program discussed below, there is no requirement that
the files remain in this configuration. In fact, if you have a text
editor that can support 250K files, you may want to merge all of my
little files into one big one.
Because the database is not compressed or encrypted in any way, it
can be searched with the find/search command of most any text
editor or word processor. I created/edited the files myself with EDIX on
an IBM PC, Scripsit on a TRS-80, and Epsonlink on an HX-20.
Freeware software distributors like the PC-SIG have text editors
available that can be used for searching the database. PC-SIG also has
a GREP program -- a powerful character string search utility. In addition,
I have also supplied, on this disk, a little search utililty called MFIND,
with a limited FIND xx AND/OR xx capability. It's described in MFIND.DOC.
This project is user-supported. If you like what I've done and would
like to help me do more work in this field, send me a monetary contribution.
Any reasonably-sized contribution will put you on my mailing list to get
the first news of updates to the movie database, other new movie products,
new databases on other subjects, new search programs, etc.
Contributors can also fill out and return a hardcopy of
the survey SURVEY.DOC. This is a poll to find out who are the
most popular movie stars and directors and which movies have been
most liked. Results will be tabulated and mailed to those on my
This database has been copyrighted. However, you may use it for any
non-commercial purpose without limitation. In fact, I encourage you to
make copies of it for your friends. The only restriction is that
all copies made always include this file and the survey file.
Commercial users: there is a nominal licensing fee for anyone who
intends to use this database as the basis of a commercial product such
as a trivia game or a videotape rental system. We are also working
on a more complete database which you may want to license.
The Balkan Group
14704 Seneca Castle Ct.
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Disclaimer: All information contained in this database has been gathered
from sources believed reliable, but cannot be guaranteed. I apologize
in advance for any errors and will correct them in future editions.