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Mathematics Goes to the Movies

by Burkard Polster and Marty Ross


Deadly Friend (1986)

Three kids one robot. Halloween. Trying to open a combination lock to be able to ring somebody’s doorbell.
BOY: Come here.
PAUL: No, he cannot open it.
BOY: What do you mean, he said he could.
PAUL: Yeah, he can but he is not going to.
BOY: Oh, come on Paul. I mean. Imagine her face when she hears the door bell. There hasn’t been a kid close to this fence in years.
BOY: She won’t even know who it is. It’s Halloween
Girl: Yeah.
PAUL: Go ahead.
BOY: What is he doing?
PAUL: He is trying every possible three-number combination between one and forty. There is about 64.000. Look this could take all night. I really don’t think we should be doing this.
(lock opens)