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Inside the Internet Movie Database

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The Internet Movie Database is a standard and respected reference database for film and TV information, but for film, TV and pop-culture fans it's also a great deal of fun.

The (IMDB), owned by Amazon.com, is more than just a "enter a movie title or actor's name and get results" type of service. While you usually get great info from that type of search, it only scratches the surface of what IMDB offers.

Buried deep (and I mean deep) within the IMDB web site is this amazing power Search page search interface that can help you find an incredible amount of movie/TV info within seconds.

I learned what this power search interface can do when a news librarian asked for a solid list of movies filmed in Denver. IMDB got me a list in about 10 seconds.

How? I went to the Power Search page, and in section two entered Denver in the "location" field. My results included nearly 200 matches. A perfect list? Probably not, but no reference tool is 100 percent accurate.

Sure, I could have gone to Yahoo, MSN, or Google and searched, but they aren't the best tool for this type of specific reference request. This power IMDB interface understood the context of my search was about TV and movies and only that.

I probably could have called Denver or the Colorado Film Commission to get a list, but I'm not sure everyone would think to do that and heck, this was easier and faster. Plus, this interface offers many more options. How about comedy movies that filmed in Denver between 1970-1980 and were rated R? No problem! (There were four, by the way, including that Clint Eastwood classic, Every Which Way But Loose.

The IMDB has other speciality search interfaces. Another favorite is the Name Search/People Working Together database. Just enter names and see if they've appeared or worked together.

For example: How many movies (if any) have Gene Hackman and James Gandolfini been in together? Put both of those names in the "Names" box, click "Start Name Search," and a new page loads with both actors listed. Check the boxes next to their names, then click the "Look up joint ventures" button. Back comes the answer:

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NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

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