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Mathematics Goes to the Movies

by Burkard Polster and Marty Ross


Bullshot (1983)

Bullshot Crummond (Alan Shearman) is the stereotypical gentleman English hero. He is hunting pigeons with his friend Binky Brancaster (Christopher Good), and shoots one without looking.
BRANCASTER: Crummond! How the Dickens did you do that?
CRUMMOND: Simple, Binky. By rapidly calculating the pigeon’s angle of elevation in the reflection of your monocle, then subtracting the refractive index of its lense, I positioned myself at a complimentary axis and fired. It was no challenge at all.

Crummond is dancing with Diz White (Rosemary Fenton), whose father has been kidnapped in attempt to gain his secret formula.
CRUMMOND: Now, can you recall your father’s formula.
DIZ: Let’s think. It started with a capital N, and then there was a little A, followed by a 3. Ah, then there was a squiggle above a tick, and ah … a hot cross bun sign.