Pimp My Searching: Internet Movie Database

yesterday we’ve been planning a “Pimp My Search Engine” series to
help readers get more out of their favorite search engines. Well, we’re off!
However, today I won’t be telling you how to pimp one of the big, major search
engines. Instead, I want to help pimp you as a searcher by getting you to a
great specialty/vertical search engine. That’s none other than the very popular
Internet Movie Database
from Amazon.com.

IMDB has become a standard and respected reference database for film and TV
information. For film, TV, and pop-culture freaks, it’s also a great deal of

The IMDB is more than just a “enter a movie title or actor’s name and get
results” type of place. Sure, that type of search works fine, but it only
scratches the surface of what IMDB offers.

Buried, deep (and I mean deep) within the IMBD 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 about this interface when a news
librarian asked on a listserv I monitor to come up with a solid list of movies
filmed in Denver. IMDB got me a list in about 10 seconds.

Specifically, I went to the Power Search page, and in section two, entered
Denver in the “location” field and got 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 started searching and
searching but they aren’t the best tool for this type of specific reference
request. This 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. Well, that’s true, 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.

By the way, this is not the only other specialty search interface the IMDB
offers. 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

Have fun!

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