Rochelle, Rochelle Edit
Rochelle, Rochelle is a film referenced many times during the series. It is most likely based on the 1974 erotic film Emmanuelle. Like other films referenced by the show, it is never shown, but characters are portrayed watching it. The dialogue indicates it is an erotic romance "about life, love, and becoming a woman", evidenced by the movie's tagline, "A young girl's strange, erotic journey from Milan to Minsk." George calls Rochelle, Rochelle "A foreign movie...a film, is what it is" in The Smelly Car. Susan Ross notes that it contains "a lot of nudity." Rochelle, Rochelle is a movie whose only positive aspect is its nudity. According to reactions to the movie throughout the series, the plot is completely unbearable, but is still revered because of its nudity. This is affirmed in "The Movie" when Elaine remarked, "Men will sit through the most boring pointless movie if there's the slightest chance a woman will take her top off."
The film is first referenced in "The Movie," when George goes to see Rochelle, Rochelle instead of watching Checkmate (see below). Jerry and Elaine end up in the same theater. After watching the film for only a few minutes, the trio discover each other after hearing one another's audible disgust. Indifferent to the audience, they yell out how bad the movie is and then all three walk out. During this scene several bits of dialogue are heard from the movie (with Larry David voicing the role of a man convincing Rochelle to undress). It is learned that Rochelle resides in Milan and is visiting relatives in Minsk. According to a trailer overheard in the episode, The Village Voice called the film "a masterpiece."
The movie is mentioned again in "The Smelly Car," when George tries to hide from Susan the fact that he rented the movie, embarrassed to let her know that he watches movies for the nudity (though he asserts that it's not frontal, but "sidal" nudity). The rented video then costs George $98 when it is stolen from Jerry's car because the window was left open to air out the body odor left behind by a parking valet.
The sixth-season episode "The Understudy" features a Broadway musical adaptation of Rochelle, Rochelle starring Bette Midler, who appears in the episode as herself. She also sings a song with the lyrics "Rochelle Rochelle". At the end of the episode, the understudy is seen performing the title number (sample lyric: "Well, you've made a long journey from Milan to Minsk, Rochelle, Rochelle!").
Rochelle, Rochelle was referenced again as a motion picture in Larry David's show Curb Your Enthusiasm.
David further referenced Rochelle, Rochelle in a print advertisement for American Express, where he lists the movie, including the tagline "a young girl's strange, erotic journey from Milan to Minsk," as his "favorite in-flight movie."
Prognosis Negative Edit
Prognosis Negative is another film mentioned in the dialogue of several episodes, and in at least one episode a movie poster for it is visible. Unlike other fictional works mentioned throughout the series, Prognosis Negative had its roots in an actual screenplay written by Seinfeld co-creator Larry David in the 1980s. It was never produced.
In the episode "The Dog", Elaine wants to see Prognosis Negative with Jerry, and thus refuses to see it with George when Jerry cannot go because of the dog he is petsitting. Jerry eventually sees it with George while Elaine watches the dog, only to find out that the movie is terrible. Jerry does not tell Elaine that he saw the movie without her and is forced to go see it again with her. Later, in the episode "The Junior Mint", Elaine states that her friend is "prognosis negative" after surgery.
According to the 'Notes About Nothing' on the Seinfeld DVD release, Prognosis Negative is an unproduced screenplay written by Larry David about a man who receives a negative result on a medical test, which he mistakenly believes to be bad. (This is actually referenced in the Seinfeld episode "The Pilot, Part 2", when George breaks down after hearing that the test results for the possibly cancerous white spot on his lip came out negative, only to be corrected by the doctor on the other end.)
Robert Weide, who directed the faux documentary which would become the beginning of Curb Your Enthusiasm, met Larry David through his screenplay for Prognosis Negative.
The term "prognosis negative" figures prominently in the 1939 film Dark Victory, starring Bette Davis.
Sack Lunch Edit
Sack Lunch is a film discussed in the episode "The English Patient". It is released the same day as The English Patient, a movie for which Elaine develops an intense dislike. Elaine's desire to see Sack Lunch is ignored by her boyfriend, who insists on seeing The English Patient. Elaine later goes to see Sack Lunch alone, but is spotted and scoffed at by her boyfriend. Afterward, Elaine is delighted to hear Sack Lunch announced as the in-flight movie on her trip to Tunisia. However, a group of disaffected Dominican Marxist crêpe rollers hijack the plane in an attempt to redirect it to Cuba, and demand that the captain turn off the in-flight movie. One of the burning questions that bothers Elaine is whether the people on the theatrical release poster for the movie got shrunk down or are in a giant sack.
The film is apparently supposed to be a reference to light, escapist comedies that have large commercial appeal despite critical responses that are muted at best (as opposed to movies like The English Patient, which earn much critical acclaim and Oscar nominations, but find little popularity among the general populace).
Dabney Coleman is mentioned as the star of Sack Lunch.
Chunnel is a film mentioned in the episode "The Pool Guy". Elaine and Jerry go to see the film with Susan, with whom they are now spending a lot of time (much to George's chagrin). However, Jerry and Elaine's noisy discussion about the plot during the film irritates Susan, who shushes them and ultimately breaks off their newfound friendship.
From what little is heard of the movie's content, the plot appears to involve an explosion in the Channel Tunnel which causes its evacuation. Larry David can be heard saying the line, "Everybody out of the Chunnel!" according to the DVD Commentary on the Seinfeld Season 7 Episode "The Pool Guy".
Writer David Mandel states that the plot of Chunnel involves the President's daughter being trapped in the 'Chunnel' between England and France. An exchange between a fictional President of the United States and a presidential advisor can additionally be heard: "Mr. President, your daughter is in the Chunnel." The tagline of the film was "Chunnel: 32 Miles of Hell". The portions of the movie that are seen in "The Pool Guy" are from The American President as Seinfeld was restricted to using Castle Rock film footage.
The film is mentioned later in the same season in "The Cadillac, Part 1", when Kramer remarks that it is airing on HBO that evening.
George sees Blimp: The Hindenburg Story ("The Puerto Rican Day") and gets a laugh by shouting out "That's gotta hurt!" as the Hindenburg explodes. Later, while his car is stuck in traffic, he decides to go see it again with hope of more laughter; however, his plan is thwarted by a fellow moviegoer who uses a laser pointer to make fun of the film. After leaving the film when his line produces no laughter, he is followed by the moviegoer with the laser pointer for the rest of the episode.
CheckMate is a film at the center of the plot of "The Movie", ostensibly about chess and intrigue. Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer all try to meet up to see the movie together, but because of a series of problems, three of the four, independently, find themselves watching Rochelle, Rochelle instead. The movie poster for the film is visible in the episode.
Larry David voices a role in the film, parts of which are overheard when the characters are in the movie theater:
- Larry David: I didn't know you enjoyed chess, your majesty.
- King (Voiced by Jerry Seinfeld): Why wouldn't I?
- Larry David: Because the king is always in jeopardy.
- King (Jerry): Yes, but it's only a game!
- Larry David: (suspiciously) Yes, of course...only a game.
Films referred to by Kramer in "The Pool Guy" Edit
In the episode "The Pool Guy", Kramer gets a new phone number that differs by a single digit from the number for Moviefone. He begins answering the wrong numbers intended for Moviefone and looking up movies for people. Among the films he references:
- Agent Zero: This film was also referred to in another NBC sitcom of the time, NewsRadio, where Andy Dick's character describes it to a co-worker played by Phil Hartman through a series of sound effects. Agent Zero derives its name from a screenplay Seinfeld writer David Mandel always wanted to write.
- Brown-Eyed Girl (a reference to the song Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison)
- Chow Fun: Elaine calls to find out what time it will be showing.
- Cupid's Rival
- Firestorm (also mentioned in "The Rye" and "The Engagement"): Jerry discusses the movie with a friend, commenting that at one point, Harrison Ford "jumped out of the plane and was shooting back up at them while he was falling." His friend references an "underwater escape." According to the father of Susan Ross, in one scene of the movie, a helicopter lands on top of a car. He calls the film, "a hell of a picture". Immediately after Mr. Ross speaks about this scene, an angry Frank Costanza loudly admonishes Mr. Ross for 'spoiling it for me'. (Note: There was later a real action movie with this title starring Howie Long.) This movie was also mentioned in an episode of the Irish sitcom Father Ted.
- Mountain High: An R-rated film starring Kevin Bacon and Susan Sarandon. Kramer reads its tagline from the newspaper ("There's no higher place than... Mountain High!"), and also recites some (possibly fake) dialogue from the film: "You've gotta get me over that mountain!" This was followed by a fake explosion and exaggerated scream.
In addition, George calls to find out when Chunnel is being shown (see above).
Films bootlegged in "The Little Kicks" Edit
In "The Little Kicks," Jerry is roped into a bootlegging venture for Brody, a friend of Kramer.
- Death Blow: When Jerry realizes that Brody is bootlegging the movie, he asks to talk to Kramer outside of the theater. While outside, Jerry and Kramer hear a loud explosion, which prompts Kramer to exclaim, "Ah, man, we're missin' the death blow!" Jerry bootlegs this movie and becomes a bootlegging legend for his excellent work in recording it. According to overheard dialogue, there is a character in the film named "Death Blow." An offhand comment by Kramer reveals that there is a Hawaiian man who may have received "the final Death Blow" because Kramer believed "he really had it comin'." Kramer delivers the tagline in this episode: "When someone tries to blow you up, not because of who you are, but because of different reasons altogether!" Apparently, it also contains a scene in which an unnamed antagonist and the titular character "meet again." Some other viewers mention a scene in which the main character falls out of the plane but continues to fire up.
- Cry, Cry Again: Described by Brody as "an arty movie," Jerry refuses to record a bootleg copy, and Kramer is forced to do it. The film probably takes place at least in part in Paris, as a view of the Eiffel Tower is shown near the end (this scene is from a real movie - Forget Paris). However, the rest of the bootlegged copy is taped over by Elaine who wished to see how bad her dancing was. Jerry says that in one scene, a character is "trying to buy back a loaf of his soul," symbolized by a loaf of bread. Jerry tries to explain Elaine's dancing on the tape by saying, "So you cry, and then when you see the dancing, you cry again."
In "The Comeback", Elaine rents several movies, fictitious and otherwise, recommended by the adolescent video store employee Vincent. Vincent's choices include:
- The Pain and the Yearning: A 192-minute fictitious film, whose plot is simply "An old woman experiences pain and yearning."; Kramer comments "That's a lot of yearning!" Elaine passes over this film to see Weekend at Bernie's II (a Gene pick), prompting Vincent to recommend Betrayed.
While at Champagne Video, Kramer claims that Vincent is an "art-house goon" and that he sticks with "Gene picks". Kramer rents The Other Side of Darkness, a movie that went straight to video. The movie is about a woman who goes into a coma, which leads Kramer to ask Jerry to be responsible for removing his life support if he gets stuck in a coma.
Other films Edit
- Blame it on the Rain ("The Calzone"): Elaine and her date Todd Gack are forced to see this movie when Means to an End (see below) is sold out. (Possibly a reference to the song of the same title by Milli Vanilli.)
- Means to an End ("The Calzone"): Even though it is sold out, Jerry's beautiful girlfriend Nikki manages to get two tickets to see this movie.
- Cold Fusion ("The Bizarro Jerry"): Jerry mentions plans to see this film with Kramer, who is unable to go because of a long day "working" at Brandt and Leland.
- The Muted Heart ("The Engagement"): Stars Glenn Close and Sally Field. George would like to see Firestorm, but due to his recent engagement with Susan Ross, he is forced to see this film instead.
- The Other Side of Darkness ("The Comeback"): A direct-to-video release about a female coma victim and her husband, played "unforgettabl[y]" by Eric Roberts. The film is longer than two hours and concludes with the coma victim regaining consciousness. Kramer rents this movie and subsequently visits a lawyer to deal with the possibility of himself being in a coma, until he sees the end of the film, at which point he attempts to revoke his living will.
- Ponce De Leon: Elaine and George see this film together in "The Dog" instead of Prognosis Negative. In "The Movie," they discuss the film; George liked it, but Elaine hated it. The film concerns the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León and his mythical search for the Fountain of Youth. One scene that especially got to George is when Ponce De Leon and his crew splash around in a supposed Fountain of Youth, only to realize, when he looks in a mirror, that it did not have mystical powers. This film is also referenced in Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm. In the Curb episode "The End", Larry claims to have written a screenplay about Ponce De Leon.
- Flaming Globes of Sigmund ("The Heart Attack"): Jerry dreams about a scene from a sci-fi film while sleeping and wakes to scribble the line "Like flaming globes of Sigmund" down on a piece of paper because he thinks it is funny. He spends the rest of the episode trying to figure out what he wrote. The episode ends with Jerry turning on the TV to find Flaming Globes of Sigmund on with Larry David voicing the dialogue "It's just as you prophesized! The planets of our solar system, incinerating. Like flaming globes, Sigmund. Like flaming globes. Ah, ha, ha, ha..." In the series, it is unclear what the actual title of the fictional film is, as it is never stated. However, Larry Charles confirms it as the title in the DVD commentary.