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References to Freemasonry in popular culture range from the vitriolic to the innocuous. Far more often they are merely misinformed allusions from which Freemasonry faces a far more insidious threat; that of being marginalized, trivialized, and fictionalized. Most of the references noted on this site are harmless, simply pointing out that Freemasonry has played a role in our society; some are humorous, yet some are disturbing in their associations.
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Obscure masonic references
While masonic references in fiction are relatively common, there are other references that border on the obscure—sometimes so obscure as to only be of interest to trivia lovers. The question raised by these references is one of intent. Was the reference intended to be masonic or was it merely happenstance? While the intent or purpose in including actual references to Freemasonry in works of fiction is itself practically impossible to determine, the intent of these obscure references is even more veiled, and may well be non-existent.
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)
The anti-masonic website freedomdomain.com/freemason.html (2000/08/18 - 2007/06/06), in an attempt to find masonic references, makes the following aside:
"Note : How many of you saw the new Austin Powers movie "The Spy who Shagged Me" and caught the part with the Shriner wearing the "Fez" Cap that was chasing Austin in the car? Austin even makes a comment about the "Fez" cap giving him away. He states he cannot reveal the hideout of Dr. Evil unless asked 3 times. And then states he does not like being asked anything 3 times. "
In fact, neither the dialogue nor costume suggest a masonic or Shriner allusion. Will Ferrell as Mustafa, an assassin dressed in gray suit, black tie, white shirt and red fez with tassle, has a brief exchange with Mike Myers as Austin Powers:
Mustafa: Do you remember me, Austin Powers?
Powers: I don't recall your name but your fez is familiar. [laughs]
Mustafa later says: "I can't stand to be asked the same question three times. It just irritates me."
Only Mr. Meyers knows for sure if this is a coincidence, but it must also be noted that Mustafa is defined almost entirely by his wearing the fez, being in pain, and begging for medical help with injuries of the kind that, if he were a child, he could have treated for free at Shriners' hospitals. Mike Myers, Heather Graham, Michael York, Robert Wagner, Rob Lowe, Seth Green, Mindy Sterling, Verne Troyer. Directed by Jay Roach, written by Mike Myers. 95 min. USA, English / German. Colour, Dolby.
Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
Egg Shen says to Gracie Law: "But finally we shall bring order out of chaos," [00:36:45]
Directed by John Carpenter, written by Gary Goldman, David Z. Weinstein. Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun, James Hong, Victor Wong, Kate Burton, Donald Li, Carter Wong, Peter Kwong, James Pax, Suzee Pai, Chao Li Chi, Jeff Imada, Rummel Mor, Craig Ng. USA, English | Cantonese, 99 min, Dolby, Colour.
Brigham Young (1940)
"Oh Lord, my God..." [00:24:00]
Perhaps notable is the complete omission in the film of any masonic reference. It has often been remarked that Smith's final words are part of a masonic expression: "Oh Lord my God, is there no help for the widow's son?" But the couplet, "O Lord my God" appears in nineteen verses in the Bible, many of which were incorporated into early hymns and prayers. The couplet appeared frequently in the writings of Augustine (354-430), Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) and Anselm (1033-1109).
Directed by Henry Hathaway, written by Louis Bromfield, Lamar Trotti. Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Dean Jagger, Brian Donlevy, Jane Darwell, John Carradine, Mary Astor, Vincent Price, Jean Rogers, Ann E. Todd, Willard Robertson, Moroni Olsen, Marc Lawrence, Stanley Andrews, Frank M. Thomas 113 min. USA, English, Black and White, Mono.
Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940)
In a discussion about honesty and trustworthiness,George Murphy, as King Shaw, says to Fred Astaire, playing Johnny Brett: "It’s a question of being on the level." [00:29:50] Variations on this expression are also heard in almost every movie that the comedy team of Abbott and Costello made between 1940 and 1942. Expressions about being level or square are also common in most film noir, perhaps reflecting a criminal patois of the period. Directed by Norman Taurog, written by Leon Gordon and George Oppenheimer. Fred Astaire, Eleanor Powell, George Murphy, Frank Morgan, Ian Hunter, Florence Rice, Lynne Carver, Ann Morriss, Trixie Firschke. 102 min. USA, English. Black and White, Mono (Western Electric Sound System). *
Broom-stick Bunny (1955)
In this cartoon short, Bugs Bunny defends himself from Witch Hazel, who has a certificate from the "Malevolent Order of Witches A. F. of Elves". This may be an intentional masonic wordplay or simply a reflection of the phraseology of many contemporary fraternities and trade unions. Broom-stick Bunny (1955). Warner Bros. Pictures Inc. [1385] Vitaphone. Directed by Chuck Jones. Voices by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction, Milt Franklyn. Technicolor.
Buck Privates (1941)
The Andrews Sisters sing "You're a Lucky Fellow, Mr. Smith," with the lyrics all on the square". Music by Sonny Burke, Hugh Prince, Don Raye. Directed by Arthur Lubin, written by Arthur T. Horman (screenplay) John Grant (special material for Abbott and Costello). Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Patty Andrews, Maxene Andrews, Laverne Andrews (as The Andrews Sisters) Lee Bowman, Alan Curtis, Jane Frazee, Nat Pendleton, Samuel S. Hinds, Harry Strang, Nella Walker, Leonard Elliott, Shemp Howard, M.J. Frankovich. 84 min. USA, English. Black and White, Mono. *
Bye Bye Birdie (1963)
Janet Leigh walks into a back room where fez-adorned men are discussing charity work. [01:28:00] Directed by George Sidney, written by Michael Stewart, Irving Brecher. Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret, Maureen Stapleton, Bobby Rydell, Jesse Pearson, Paul Lynde, Mary LaRoche, Michael Evans, Robert Paige, Gregory Morton, Bryan Russell, Milton Frome, Ed Sullivan, Ray Bloch and His Orchestra. 112 min. USA, English / Russian. Technicolor, .
Captain Kidd (1945)
Prominently displayed on Captain Kidd's cabin wall are a square and compasses. [01:17:00] Directed by Rowland V. Lee, written by Robert N. Lee (story) Norman Reilly Raine. Charles Laughton, Randolph Scott, Barbara Britton, John Carradine, Gilbert Roland, John Qualen, Sheldon Leonard, William Farnum, Henry Daniell, Reginald Owen. 90 min. USA, English. Black and White, Mono.
Casablanca (1942)
A French Resistance member approaches Resistance leader Victor Laszlo, played by Paul Henreid, identifying himself with a ring. The ring’s hidden insignia, known as the Cross Lorraine, was actually adopted by Charles De Gaule to identify the Free French Movement. Similar to the patriarchal cross, borne before the Patriarch in the Roman Church, it is also often mistaken for the cross made use of by the modern officers of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States. Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Dooley Wilson. Directed by Michael Curtiz, written by Murray Burnett (play), Joan Alison. 102 min. USA, English. Black and White, Mono. (Drama / Romance). *
Cerebus
One recurring character in this 300 volume comic book series is a self-proclaimed president named Weisshaupt, possibly named after Bavarian Illuminati founder Adam Weishaupt or inspired by Robert Anton Wilson’s Illuminatus Trilogy. Cerebus "Captain Cockroach" Dave Sim, Aardvark Vanaheim, Inc. Issue 21, October 1980, and subsequent appearances. *
Chandu on the Magic Island (1935)
Egyptian Princess Nadji, played by Maria Alba, is kidnapped to Lemuria. Directed by Ray Taylor, written by Barry Barringer. Bela Lugosi, Maria Alba, Clara Kimball Young, Dean Benton, Phyllis Ludwig, Black and White, Mono.
Danger Man [Secret Agent] (1965)
John Drake infiltrates the Order of the Knight Crusaders, a group planning to secretly control global politics. "Such Men are Dangerous." Directed by Don Chaffet, written by Ralph Smart, Executive Producer: Ralph Smart. Patrick McGoohan (John Drake), Dorinda Stevens (Miss Jackson), Lee Montague (Major Latour), Jack Gwillim General, Zia Mohyeddin (Mr. Sen). ITC Worldwide Distribution, First USA broadcast : 1965/07/24. *
Dance of the Vampires (1967)
Polanski opens a heavy door decorated with a wood panel reminiscent of masonic symbols. [00:51:00] Compare this with a similar wood panal in The Affair of the Necklace (2001). Directed by Roman Polanski, written by Gérard Brach and Roman Polanski. Jack MacGowran, Roman Polanski, Alfie Bass, Jessie Robins, Sharon Tate, Ferdy Mayne, Iain Quarrier, Terry Downes, Fiona Lewis, Ronald Lacey, Sydney Bromley, Andreas Malandrinos, Otto Diamant, Matthew Walters. Also Known As: The Fearless Vampire Killers or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck. 108 min. USA / UK, English. Metrocolor, Mono.
Dick Tracy (1956)
Police detectives Dick Tracy and Sam Catchem visit the home of Flattop’s sister where Sam sees a picture of a family ancestor who was president of Grand Lodge. The uniform is that of a naval officer, and not masonic regalia. What Grand Lodge Gould was referring to is unclear and no further mention is made to the portrait. Dick Tracy, written and drawn by Chester Gould. June 14, 1956. Reprinted in Dick Tracy’s Fiendish Foes,A 60th Anniversary Celebration. Selected by Max Allan Collins and Dick Locher. New York : St. Martin’s Press, 1991. ISBN : 0-312-06337-7. page 75.
District 9 (2006)
Soldiers employed by a global paramilitary group, Multi National United, wear a bok insignia. Freemasons are referred to as "bok ryers" or "antelope riders" in South Africa, an allusion to riding the goat. [00:54:18] Just because this was filmed in South Africa, there is no reason to conclude that this is a masonic reference. Directed by Neill Blomkamp, written by Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell. Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, Nathalie Boltt, Sylvaine Strike, Elizabeth Mkandawie, John Sumner, William Allen Young, Greg Melvill-Smith, Nick Blake, Morena Busa Sesatsa, Themba Nkosi, Mzwandile Nqoba, Barry Strydom, Jed Brophy, Louis Minnaar. USA | New Zealand | Canada | South Africa, English | Nyanja | Afrikaans | Zulu | Xhosa | Sotho. 112 min., Dolby, Colour.
Dracula (1992)
A costume design by Eiko Ishioka has led to a mistaken report of masonic symbolism. [01:43:55] Seen only briefly, and in shadow, it appears to be a decorative apron. Oscar winning designer Ishioka has said that she found inspiration in Kabuki theatre costume but the origins of this particular apron with what may be a Saint George Cross are unknown. If its design is found in masonic or fraternal regalia, it is not common. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, written by Bram Stoker, James V. Hart. Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Richard E. Grant, Cary Elwes, Bill Campbell, Sadie Frost, Tom Waits, Monica Bellucci, Michaela Bercu, Florina Kendrick, Jay Robinson, I.M. Hobson, Laurie Franks. USA, English | Romanian | Greek | Bulgarian | Latin, 128 min. Dolby, Technicolor.
Drôle de drame (1937)
An Anglican Bishop fulminating against the evil of crime novels at "Westminster Debating Hall" is framed by banners: one promoting Faith and Strength also displays an illustration of clasped hands. [00:03:16]. The clasped hands image was a common depiction of Christian fortitude while also being adopted by such fraternities as the Orange Lodge, Odd Fellows and Freemasons as a sign of brotherhood or solidarity. Drôle de drame ou L'étrange aventure de Docteur Molyneux (1937). Directed by Marcel Carné. written by J. Storer Clouston (novel) Jacques Prévert (adaptation). Françoise Rosay, Michel Simon, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Louis Jouvet, Nadine Vogel, Henri Guisol, Jenny Burnay, Agnès Capri, Annie Carriel, Jeanne Lory, Madeleine Suffel, Sinoël, René Génin, Max Morise, Marcel Duhamel. 94 min. France, French, Black and White, Mono.
The Fairly Odd Parents (2005)
Fairy godfather, Cosmo, has a problem with his fagiggligland (a gland that allows him to transform: he keeps transforming into different things, one of them, a letter G. The Fairly OddParents (2001- ) "Escape From Unwish Island / The Gland Plan." Episode 65, season 5 (2005/05/11). Tara Strong, Daran Norris, Susan Blakeslee, Grey DeLisle, Carlos Alazraqui, Jay Leno, Dionne Quan, Dee Bradley Baker, Frankie Muniz, Jason Marsden, et al. Directed by Sarah Frost, Ken Bruce. Created by Butch Hartman. Nickelodeon (Animation / Comedy / Family / Fantasy)
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966)
A running joke has several characters told to knock three times [00:26:57], [00:50:27], [00:50:41], [00:53:25]. This is an obscure and probably unintentional masonic reference. Directed by Richard Lester, written by Burt Shevelove, Larry Gelbart (musical), Melvin Frank, Michael Pertwee (screenplay), music by Ken Thorne with music from the original play by Stephen Sondheim (songs). Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers, Buster Keaton, Michael Crawford, Jack Gilford, Annette Andre, Michael Hordern, Leon Greene. 99 min. UK / USA. English. Color (DeLuxe). Stereo. Characters and plot based on Miles Gloriosus by Titus Maccius Plautus (254 BCE - 184 BCE): uncredited. *
Gasoline Alley (1923-24)
Several references to lodge meetings and being on the square, but no specifically masonic references. Walt & Skeezix Book Two, Gasoline Alley Selections from 1923 - 1924. Frank King. Montreal : Drawn & Quarterly Books ; New York : Distributed in the United States and abroad by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005- . ISBN: 1-896597-99-8
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
Humma Kavula, played by John Malkovich, preaches at an altar adorned with a pentagram. [00:48:00] According to the DVD commentary, the "church" scene [00:47:00 - 00:51:00] was filmed in Freemason's Hall in London. This is less a masonic reference or obscurity than it is masonic trivia. Directed by Garth Jennings, written by Douglas Adams. Bill Bailey, Anna Chancellor, Warwick Davis, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel, Su Elliot, Martin Freeman , Stephen Fry, Richard Griffiths, Dominique Jackson, Simon Jones, Thomas Lennon, Mark Longhurst, Kelly Macdonald, John Malkovich. 109 min. USA / UK, English. Color, Dolby.
I Spy
After being appointed Knights Commander of the Most Noble Order of the Scimitar by an Arab king, Alexander Scott jokes to Kelly Robinson, "Well, you just wait till the boys at the Mystic Knights of the Sea lodge hall get a hold of this one." While not a direct masonic reference, it illustrates the prevalence of unconscious masonic fictionalization. Episode: Sparrowhawk. First aired: October 26, 1966. Robert Culp, Bill Cosby. Three F Productions, Sheldon Lenard. *
I'm Going to Tell You a Secret (2005)
A documentary of Madonna’s Re-Invention Tour 2004 shows an image used as part of the stage set: an image of Isis, wearing a cross, seated between two pillars marked with a "B" and "J". The pillars depict those found at the entrance of King Solomon’s Temple (2 Chronicles 3:17) and as such are more an indication of Madonna’s interest in Judaism and Tarot than a reference to Freemasonry. Note the image's origin in the illustration of the High Priestess, the Major Arana card II of the tarot deck inspired by A. E. Waite. Directed by Jonas Akerlund, produced by Susan Applegate, Angela Becker, Keeley Gould, Shelli Jury for Maverick Films. May - September 2004. Premiered on MTV USA on 21 October 2005. 120 min. Colour and b&w (Documentary).
In a Lonely Place
John Mason is brutally beaten but otherwise has no role in the film. [01:02:30]. Directed by Nicholas Ray, written by Dorothy B. Hughes, Edmund H. North. Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy, Carl Benton Reid, Art Smith, Jeff Donnell, Martha Stewart, Robert Warwick, Morris Ankrum, William Ching, Steven Geray, Hadda Brooks. 94 min. USA, English. Black and White, Mono.
Inherit the wind (1960)
Spencer Tracy, plays Henry Drummond, a thinly-veiled Clarance Darrow, while Fredric March plays Matthew Harrison Brady. First seen at [00:19:50], and later clearly seen at [01:15:26], Fredric March holds a paper fan advertising "Compliments Mason’s Funeral Parlor". While many other townspeople, court observers and jurists, carry similar fans, it is noteworthy that March clearly displays the advertisement in several key scenes since his character, who dies at the film’s end, is a thinly-veiled depiction of William Jennings Bryan, who was a freemason and who died shortly after the trial. Of peripheral interest to freemasons is an erroneous reference to Archbishop Ussher’s computation of the date of creation. [01:50:35] Directed by Stanley Kramer, written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Gene Kelly, Dick York, Donna Anderson, Harry Morgan, Claude Akins, Noah Beery Jr. 128 min. USA, English. Black and White, Mono. (Drama)
The Inventions of Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts
The "lodge goat" has long been a humourous, or deprecating, symbol for masonic initiation in both anti-masonic attacks and in fictional burlesques. Whether or not Goldberg intended a reference to Freemasonry or simply to fraternities in general is impossible to determine. Undated cartoon, circa 1930, "Sending a Late Stayer Home", Reuben Lucius "Rube" Goldberg (1883/07/04 - 1970/12/07).
Killer's Kiss (1955)
David Vaughan and Alec Rubin, playing two unnnamed "conventioneers" drunkenly confront Davy Gordon, played by Jamie Smith, while he waits on a Times Square street corner. [00:42:00] Playing with him, they eventually steal his scarf and run away. The conventioneers are wearing fezzes, which were not only worn by Shriners but by members of the Elks and the Order of Moose. The fez has long been a symbol of partying conventioneers and worn by anyone attempting to imitate the playboy image of Egyptian King Farouk I (1920-1965). Directed by Stanley Kubrick, written by Stanley Kubrick. Frank Silvera, Jamie Smith, Irene Kane, Jerry Jarret, Mike Dana, Felice Orlandi, Shaun O'Brien, Barbara Brand, Skippy Adelman, David Vaughan, Alec Rubin, Ralph Roberts, Phil Stevenson, Arthur Feldman, Bill Funaro. 67 min. USA, Black and White. Mono.
Kung Fu Killer (2008)
Khan: "You will restore order out of chaos, by putting down these rebel villagers." [01:12:40] Directed by Philip Spink, written by Jacqueline Feather, John Mandel. David Carradine, Daryl Hannah, Kay Tong Lim, Yu Beng Lim, Osric Chau, Pei-pei Cheng, James Taenaka, Christian Lee, Rosalind Pho, Anya, Nic Rhind, Yan Wu Yan, Vasilios E., Gilbert Kupsami, Gary Peterman. 93 min. USA | Canada, English, Color, Stereo.
The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972)
Some viewers, mason and non-mason alike, will purport to find masonic references based on the slightest of evidence. Here Judge Roy Bean and his deputies salute the camera with their left hand raised and their right hand over their hearts. [00:35:38] Is this a masonic sign—with the addition of firearms—or is it merely an all too common posture of piety, oath-taking, and respectful regard? Directed by John Huston, written by John Milius. Paul Newman, Victoria Principal, Anthony Perkins, Ned Beatty, Tab Hunter, John Huston, Stacy Keach, Roddy McDowall, Jacqueline Bisset, Ava Gardner. 120 min. USA, English. Technicolor, Mono.
Life of Brian (1979)
Terry Jones wears on his head dress four decorative ball and chains that appear to have been taken from the tassles on a masonic apron. [01:28:00] Directed by Terry Jones, written by Graham Chapman and John Cleese. Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Terence Bayler, Carol Cleveland, Kenneth Colley, Neil Innes, Charles McKeown, John Young, Gwen Taylor, Sue Jones-Davies, Peter Brett. 94 min. UK, English | Latin, Eastmancolor, Dolby.
Made for Each Other (1939)
The opening scene [00:46:45] identifying James Stewart's character, John Horace 'Johnny' Mason, has no masonic significance but exemplifies the common usage of the name Mason in film. Directed by John Cromwell, written by Rose Franken (story) Jo Swerling (screenplay). Carole Lombard, James Stewart, Charles Coburn, Lucile Watson, Eddie Quillan, Louise Beavers. 92 min, USA, English, Black and White, Mono
The Maltese Falcon
"A five-dollar-gold-piece was pinned to his necktie and there was a small elaborate diamond-set
secret-society-emblem on his lapel." Joel Cairo wears an unidentified lapel pin in the film of the same name. Also see references to masonic expressions.
Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961). Alfred A. Knopf, 1930. Permabook, 1961. pb. p. 12.
M*A*S*H (1972)
Henry Blake soaks in a hot tub with Cho Cho, flanked by two columns topped with globes. [00:15:00]. "Henry, Please come home." Season 1, Episode 9 (J-302), November 19, 1972. Written by Laurence Marks, directed by William Wiard. Alan Alda, Gary Burghoff, Larry Linville, Wayne Rogers, Edgar McLean Stevenson, Jr. (1927-1996), Loretta Swit, G. Wood, William Christopher, Bob Gooden, Bill Svanoe, Noel Tey, Jean Fleet, Kasuko Kasuro, Linda Meiklejohn, Timothy Jones, Patrick Adiarte, William Christopher, Odessa Cleveland.
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
The Merovignian stand out from the other names in this movie, most of which are taken from the Bible or mythology. This is at best an obscure masonic reference and highlights the current use of conspiracy theory concepts to catch the interest of the movie-viewing public. Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Keanu Reeves, Gloria Foster, Socratis Otto, Cornel West. Directed by Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski (as The Wachowski Brothers), Written by The Wachowski Brothers. Produced by Bruce Berman, Grant Hill, Andrew Mason. Original Music by Don Davis. Cinematography by Bill Pope. Film Editing by Zach Staenberg. 138 min. USA, English / French. Color, Dolby Digital. 2003 *
Metalocalypse (2006)
The Jomfru brothers, Eric and Edgar are the proprietors of diefordethklok.com, a Dethklok fan website in Sandusky, Ohio [00:09:50]. Metalocalypse, "Mordland". Season 1, Episode 9 [109], Sunday 1 October 2006. Animated Comedy created by Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha. Voices of Brendon Small, Tommy Blacha, Mark Hamill, Victor Brandt, Malcolm McDowell. United Executive producers Brendon Small, Tommy Blacha, Keith Crofford, Nick Weidenfeld. 11 min. (approx.)
Miller’s Crossing (1990)
Seen on "Drop" Johnson’s apartment wall is a poster for a fight Saturday Night at the Masonic Hall [01:32:08]. Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden, John Turturro, J.E. Freeman, Albert Finney, Mike Starr, Al Mancini, Steve Buscemi. Directed by Joel Coen, Written by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen. 115 min. USA, English / Italian / Gaelic. Colour, Dolby SR . (Crime / Drama / Thriller) *
The Mummy Returns (2001)
The question is asked by a protector of man and a servant of God, "If I were to tell you that I was a stranger travelling from the East, what would you say?" Brendan Fraser’s character replies, "I would tell you that I was a traveller coming from the west to meet you." Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo. Directed by Stephen Sommers, written by Stephen Sommers. USA, English, Colour.
Muppet Treasure Island (1996)
Tim Curry, as Long John Silver, sings [01:00:39]:
When you're a professional pirate
you'll be honest brave and free
a soul of decency
you'll be loyal and fair
and on the square
and most importantly
When you're a professional pirate
you're always in the best of company.
Tim Curry, Kevin Bishop, Billy Connolly, Jennifer Saunders, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Jerry Nelson, Bill Barretta, John Henson, Frank Oz, Danny Blackner, Harry Jones, David Nicholls, Frederick Warder. Directed by Brian Henson. Written by Robert Louis Stevenson (novel) Jerry Juhl (screenplay). 99 min. USA, English. Technicolor, Dolby Digital
Neco z Alenky [Alice] (1988)
In an early scene in this animated and live-action retelling of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Alice enters Wonderland through a desk drawer filled with wooden set squares and a pair of compasses. Kristyna Kohoutová. Directed, designed and story by Jan Svankmajer (1934-), produced by Hannes Bressler, Peter-Christian Fueter, Keith Griffiths, Michael Havas, Paul Madden, cinematography by Svatopluk Maly, film editing by Marie Zemanová, animation by Bedrich Glaser, production design by Jirí Bláha, Eva Svankmajerová. 00:01:26 min. Condor Features production in association with Film Four International and Hessischer Rundfunk, New York, NY : First Run Features, 1989. Czechoslovakia, Czech / English. Eastmancolor (Animation / Fantasy). *
A Night in Casablanca (1946)
Harpo and Chico greet each other with a silly handshake [00:09:15] that is not masonic, but may be the source of a Monty Python skit on how to recognize a freemason.
Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Charles Drake, Lois Collier. Directed by Archie Mayo, written by Joseph Fields, Roland Kibbee. 85 min. USA. English, Black and White. Mono (Comedy) *
Out of the Past (1947)
When Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer drive up to the Mason Building [00:46:45], it has no masonic significance, but it does exemplify the common usage of the name Mason in film. Also see John and Jane Mason in Made for Each Other and Della Mason in Port of Lost Girls. Directed by Jacques Tourneur, written by Daniel Mainwaring. Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming, Richard Webb, Steve Brodie, Virginia Huston, Paul Valentine, Dickie Moore, Ken Niles. 97 min. USA. English. Black and White. Mono *
Piratene (1983)
The Internet Movie Database lists this film under the keyword "freemason" without giving details. Trond Peter Stamsø Munch, Kristian Figenschow, Guri Johnson. directed by Morten Kolstad, written by Bjørn-Erik Hanssen. 93 min Norway / Denmark, Norwegian. Colour.
The Prisoner
Appearing in this spy sci-fi television series is a chain of office, worn by the Village leader. It incorporates several icons similar—barely— to those found in masonic usage. *
The Prisoner
Rows of cowled figures strike their hands in unison repeatedly three times. This is reminiscent of the public Grand Honours made use of in the United States by freemasons. Episode: Fall Out. [00:35:46 - 00:37:03]. *
Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares (2006)
Sandy Morgan and her two daughters run a small neighbourhood restaurant in Liverpool called Morgans. At a table of men and women, one says grace before dinner: "For that which we are about to receive may the Great Architect of the Universe make us truly thankful." [00:31:00] While the grace is not necessarily masonic, it is noteworthy that by June 2008 the restaurant had changed hands and was renamed Oddfellows.
Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, "Morgan's" Season 4, Episode 4 [No. 20] 12/5/2006. Produced and directed by Tim Whitwell, starring Gordon Ramsay. United Kingdom. Running time 44 min. British Broadcasting Corporation Channel 4.
The Ren and Stimpy Show
The Fire Captain, voiced by Harris Peet, says: "I've had it up to here with the likes of you people! Sorry. I thought you were circus midgets." He then makes a number of hand gestures which, while not masonic, are noteworthy. The Ren and Stimpy Show, "Fire Dogs / Stimpy's Storybook Land: The Littlest Giant" Episode 4, Season 1, playdate Sunday, 1 September 1991 Prod Code: RS04a/RS04b. Written by Bob Camp, John Kricfalusi, directed by John Kricfalusi. Voices: Billy West , John Kricfalusi, Cheryl Chase, Gary Owens, Harris Peet
The Right Stuff (1983)
When visiting an Air Force pilots hang-out, Pancho's Happy Bottom Riding Club, where they try to recruit astronauts for the Mercury program, a recruiter, played by Harry Shearer, says to another recruiter played by Jeff Goldblum: "They've got some kind of little brotherhood. Keep thinking they've got the right stuff." He later says, "They don't talk about it. To each other. To outsiders they say even less." Directed by Philip Kaufman, written by Tom Wolfe (book) Philip Kaufman (screenplay). Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid, Fred Ward, Barbara Hershey, Kim Stanley, Veronica Cartwright, Pamela Reed, Scott Paulin, Charles Frank, Lance Henriksen, Donald Moffat, Levon Helm, Mary Jo Deschanel. 193 min. USA, English. Technicolor, Dolby. [00:50:00] *
The Rockford Files (1975)
In this warm-hearted, detective drama, actor Noah Beery, Jr. (1913/08/10 -1994/11/1), as Joseph 'Rocky' Rockford, made one reference to belonging to a "lodge" in the first two seasons. Created by Roy Huggins and Stephen J. Cannell. September 13, 1974 - July 25, 1980 NBC (Crime Drama) 123 60 min. episodes + 9 TV movies. James Garner, Noah Beery Jr., Joe Santos, Stuart Margolin, Gretchen Corbett. [season 2, episode 6] *
The Sandman, Worlds' End (1994)
Neil Gaiman utilizes one variant on a catachism found in the early masonic exposure, The Grand Mystery of Free-Masons Discover'd, anon. London : 1725.
The Sandman : Worlds' End, Neil Gaiman, Bran Talbot, et al. New York : DC Comics, 1994. ISBN : 1-56389-171-9. p. 138.
Sealab 2021 (2004)
The episode opens with the captain's initiation into a secret cult parodying Freemasonry, the Flintstones' Water Buffaloes and the Illuminati. Later, the crew discuss the Brotherhood in terms of unified conspiracy theories.
"Neptunati" (July 18, 2004) Season 3 No. 39. Production Code: 2403. Produced by Keith Crofford and Mike Lazzo, created by Adam Reed and Matt Thompson. Kate Miller, Michael Goz, Brett Butler, Ellis Henican, Bill Lobley, MC Chris. 12 min. United States, English, colour, Mono.
The Simpsons (1990)
Homer Simpson makes a promise, raising his hands in what freemasons will recognize as part of a masonic sign but which is also an all too common posture of oath-taking. [00:05:30] "The Call of the Simpsons". Written by John Swartzwelder, directed by Wesley Archer, Episode 7, Season 1, Original airdate: 1990/02/18. [7G09] .
The Simpsons
Homer Simpson says: "Okay, we've got the secret vigilante handshake. Now we need codenames." [00:11:30]. Compare the handshake with that used by Harpo and Chico Marx in A Night in Casablanca, and that used in the Monty Python skit, How to recognize a freemason. Season 5. [1F09] "Homer the Vigilante". Written by John Swartzwelder, directed by Jim Reardon, Original airdate: 06/01/1994.
The Sky Road (2000)
'Hello,' Merrial said warmly.
'Clovis, this is Fergal.'
The man stuck his right hand out and I shook it, noticing as I did so that one of his thumbs pressed the back of my hand and that he held on, as though waiting for a response, for about a second longer than I subconsciously expected, before letting go.
The Sky Road, Ken MacLeod. New York : Tor /Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, 2000. 406 p. ISBN : 0-812-57759-0. pp. 100-01.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Sugar, played by Marilyn Monroe, refers to her home town of Sandusky, Ohio, the only city laid out on masonic lines. Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemon. Directed by Billy Wilder. USA, b&w. English (Comedy). *
Star Trek (1967)
A poster for Boxing at Madison Square Garden with Mike Mason in the first fight. [00:14:00] Also see Miller's Crossing for a similar fight poster and Out of the Past for notes on the frequency of the occurrance of the surname Mason in film. "The City on the Edge of Forever," Star Trek (1967). Directed by Joseph Pevney, created by Gene Roddenberry (creator), written by Harlan Ellison. Original Air Date: 6 April 1967 (Season 1, Episode 28). William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Joan Collins, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols. 60 min, USA, English, Color, Mono.
Steve Canyon (1985)
1940s comic strip hero Steve Canyon was an airforce pilot who enjoyed a revival in the mid 1980s. A winged compasses and globe image appears in a promo for Steve Canyon 3-D Book. Will Eisner’s Quarterly 7 Will Eisner, editor. Princeton WI : Kitchen Sink Press, Inc , December 1985 p. 32. *
Tom Jones
A banner with three compasses and an inverted chevron engrailed [01:37:20], an upside-down version of the arms of the London Carpenters guild, can briefly be seen. Not masonic per se, the use of compasses can be found on many trade guild banners, including those of stonemasons. Albert Finney, Susannah York, Hugh Griffith, Edith Evans, Joan Greenwood, Diane Cilento, Lynn Redgrave. Directed by Tony Richardson, written by Henry Fielding (novel), John Osborne (screenplay). 121 min. UK, English. Eastmancolor, Mono (Comedy/Drama). *
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)
Although many masonic allusions are claimed, specifics are unavailable. Directed by Tommy Lee Jones, written by Guillermo Arriaga. Tommy Lee Jones, Barry Pepper, Julio Cedillo, Dwight Yoakam, January Jones, Melissa Leo, Levon Helm, Mel Rodriguez, Cecilia Suárez, Ignacio Guadalupe, Vanessa Bauche, Irineo Alvarez, Guillermo Arriaga, Josh Berry, Rodger Boyce. 121 min. USA / France, English / Spanish. Color, Dolby.
Time Bandits (1981)
A time travelling epic fantasy. One of the band of dwarves is seen wearing a heavy medallian possibly incorporating a square and compasses. John Cleese, Sean Connery, Shelly Duvall. Directed by Terry Gilliam, written by Michael Palin. UK, English, 110 min., Colour , Stereo. (Sci-Fi). *
The Time Machine (1960)
Based on H. G. Wells' 1895 novel. David Filby, played by Alan Young, says to George Wells, played by Rod Taylor: "George, I speak to you as a friend, and even more, as a brother...." although the characters are not related. This line does not appear in the novel. Filby and his four friends all wear watch fobs but none are seen in enough detail to determine if they are masonic. Referring to a hypothetical time traveller, George alludes to another H. G. Wells novel when he says, "Can he change the shape of things to come?" [See Things to Come, Above.] Rod Taylor, Alan Young, Yvette Mimieux, Sebastian Cabot. Directed by George Pal, written by H. G. Wells (novel), David Duncan. 103 min. USA, English. Metrocolour, Stereo (Drama). *
Topsy-Turvy (1999)
After reading a luke-warm review of Princess Aida W. S. Gilbert, played by Jim Broadbent, exclaims: "So mote it be!" While both Gilbert and Sullivan were freemasons, and the expression "So mote it be" is common to freemasonry, there are no real masonic references in this movie. Directed and written by Mike Leigh. Allan Corduner (Arthur Sullivan), Jim Broadbent (Sir William Gilbert). 160 min. UK, English. Colour, Dolby Digital. *
White Heat (1949)
G. Pat Collins, as Michael 'Reader' Curtin, and Robert Osterloh, as Tommy Ryley, shake hands by linking pinkies, closing their fists and then pressing their thumbs together. [00:34:47] Although not a masonic handshake, it resembles other fraternal handshakes. Directed by Raoul Walsh, written by Virginia Kellogg (story), Ivan Goff. James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien, Margaret Wycherly, Steve Cochran, John Archer, Wally Cassell, Fred Clark. 114 min. USA, English, Black and White, Mono (Crime). *

* Confirmed by editor.

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