Ask Mike: The many movies of Allen Smithee


Hey Guys,

There are few guarantees when seeing a movie. But there is one that I feel confident in making: If the director is credited as Allen (sometimes “Alan”) Smithee, you’ll probably want to leave before the credits roll.

That’s because Mr. Smithee has long been the Hollywood pseudonym for directors who are so unhappy with their films that they don’t want their names associated with them. Fortunately for these perfectionists, Allen Smithee doesn’t care. Make a bomb? Hey, no problem, babe. Good ol’ Allen will take credit.

Though Smithee doesn’t exist, his Hollywood resume is prolific, if not exactly filled with award-winning efforts. The imaginary man has been credited with directing dozens of films, TV episodes, and music videos. The heavily edited airplane versions of “Heat” (Michael Mann) and “Scent of a Woman” (Martin Brest) are also credited to Smithee, by the way.

Smithee actually began his career on a pretty good note. His first credit came for the 1969 western, “Death of a Gunfighter" starring Richard Widmark and Carroll O’Connor of "Archie Bunker" fame. The film was originally directed by Robert Totten. But then, allegedly due to "artistic differences" with Widmark, Totten left the project and was replaced with Don Siegel, who would later direct the Clint Eastwood classic "Dirty Harry."


Once the film wrapped, Siegel reportedly refused to have his name on the credits. Not because he thought the movie was lousy (Roger Ebert gave it three and a half stars and praised Smithee for allowing the story to “unfold naturally.”), but because Siegel felt that Totten directed more of the movie than he did. The Directors Guild needed to credit somebody so they went with Al Smith, and later changed that to Allen Smithee, according to Mental Floss.

And that’s how the world’s worst director (perhaps rivaled only by Ed Wood) came into existence. Whether intentional or not, the name Alan Smithee is an anagram for “The Alias Men.” Spooooky.

Thanks for reading,


Answers Letter Egg Hunt!


**NO Hints this year!**

The word is related to SPRING!

Welcome to our Second Annual Letter Egg Hunt!

Easter is coming soon and with that comes colorful eggs, flowers, chocolates, bunnies and more importantly, warmer weather!

The tradition of Easter is simple. The Easter bunny leaves eggs on Easter Sunday or parents hide eggs around the house or in the garden/yard. Then the children go on an egg hunt to find them.

But on Answers we have a different tradition…

The Answers Letter Egg Hunt!

How does it work?

Each day the Yamster Bunny (that’s us) will hide ONE letter starting Monday, April 14 until Saturday, April 19. There will be SIX letters TOTAL.  They can be anywhere. So make sure to look on Answers, Answers Tumblr Blog or our Facebook and Twitter pages.

AND all six letters will spell a word!  __  __  __  __  __  __

(*We will not post the letters in order, you must unscramble)


What does a letter look like?


(This is not a letter)

How do you win?

When you find a letter, keep it to yourself! Remember to check each day for a new one. After we hide the last letter on Saturday, April 19, and you found all SIX letters, email us at

You must include TWO things in your email:

  1. What do the letters spell? **Remember to unscramble them
  2. Where you found each letter? Be VERY specific

*You must include both 1 and 2 above for your chance to win the prize.

What is the prize?

The FIRST, FIVE people to guess the word correctly and tell us where they found the letters will have a chance to win:

1.  A Yahoo Weather Umbrella (April Showers bring May flowers)




*No purchase is necessary to participate in the promotion. The contest is subject to the full US Official Rules so please read them!

Good Luck to all Community Members. Happy Hunting!

Thanks for reading,

Yahoo Answers Team

Problems Selecting Best Answer

We are aware that some of you are experiencing issues selecting a best answer to your questions. Please note that we are working on a fix and we aim to have it resolved soon.

We apologize for the inconvenience. In the meantime, please note that adding a comment when selecting a best answer resolves the issue for some users.
We’re sorry again for any frustration this is causing you. Thank you for your patience while we’re getting this issue fixed.
Thanks for reading,

Yahoo Answers Team

Choosing A Name For Your Dog!

Guest Blogger:

Finding just the right name for your dog can be as difficult as naming a child.  In fact, there are a lot of similarities.  And you may (or may not) be surprised to learn that some of the same names are on both lists for babies and dogs.  Seems like now more than ever we are treating our dogs as our children—starting with naming them.

Names like Sophia and Jackson—top choices for babies in 2013— were #6 and 30 on the dog list.  This leads me to believe that we haven’t quite given in to the belief that our dogs are really our kids.  We still like to give them somewhat “dog” names. The most popular dog names in 2013 were Max and Bella, which were #41 and 93 on the baby list.

There is, however, more to naming your dog than popularity.  It is usually considered good practice to stick to one or two syllable names (maybe this accounts for the popularity of Max and Bella).  If you think about historically popular dog names such as Spike, Fido, Spot, and Rover they all adhere to the one or two syllable rule.

Also, you want to make sure that your dog’s name doesn’t sound like a common command.  A dog named Faye could get confused when you ask her to stay.

So, what are some good dog names? Check out the infographic for some suggestions!


Thanks for reading,

Brandi Elliott

Brandi Elliott is a blogger from Death By A Chocolate Lab:

Let’s play grocery shopping

Guest Blogger:

Recycled flyers can be used to play grocery shopping. This activity works with children of all ages; for the little ones is a great way to introduce new vocabulary, toddlers can work on their eye-hand coordination and other fine motor skills.

All you need is a flyer from the grocery store, paper, black marker, scissors and glue.

Draw a shopping cart on a piece of paper or print an illustration from the internet. Separate the sheets of the grocery flyer for easy handling.

Ask your child  to look for an item, you could start with the ones that are more familiar; fruits and vegetables are the easiest to spot. If your child is old enough to use scissors, ask him to cut out the item. Keep looking and cutting groceries out of the flyer until you have enough items for your shopping cart.

Now, the fun part is to glue all the groceries to your shopping cart!

Another way to play this activity is to make a shopping list. Introduce letters and words to your child by writing down the name of the item your child has chosen from the flyer. If your child is learning to write, you can make a second shopping list and ask your child to write down the names.

Do you recycle grocery flyers? what do you do with them?

Teresa Neri is a blogger from of Loving Simple Tips and an official Yahoo Answers contributor.


What’s the latest on linking?

UPDATE: Our Community Members have asked us to re-post this blog reminding everyone of our Community Guidelines, specifically when it’s OK to link.


Are links allowed?

Linking, no linking, spam, sources…we’ve been getting a lot of questions about including links in questions and answers. In this blog post, we’ll explain what is considered acceptable and what is an infraction of the Community Guidelines.

What is considered spam?

As a reminder, “spam” is a word used to refer to unsolicited email. This also applies to Answers. If you notice someone answering questions compulsively with a link to an unrelated site (usually a site offering money or selling products), report it! You’ve found a spammer.

Can I link to a question I posted?

We’ve all seen people who end their answer with “Please answer my question: LINK” But the question they link to often has nothing to do with the topic you were asking about.

If you’ve received that kind of answer to your question, you might agree it’s inappropriate. If you think about it, it’s the same as spam-unsolicited links and that breaks the Community Guidelines rules.

If you want to let the community know a little more about yourself, you’re welcome to include links to Facebook, Twitter, personal blog, or Flickr page on your Profile page. To edit, go to your profile page and click on the tool or wrench on the right-hand side and then you’ll see the box to update your “About Me.”

But what about links linking to relevant content?

Of course you may add these, that’s why we included the “Sources” box on the answer page! If you’ve posted or seen a similar question in the past, or know a website or book that might help the asker, paste the URL into the “Sources” box. You’ll be making your answer much more complete.

And remember, people can get to your question-from the category pages, your profile, or by doing a search-to help you get the answer you’re looking for!

Yahoo Answers Team