Although I posted a chat message in the Screening Rom chat, I would like to make it a permanent meta-discussion.

So here is my question: If a movie/TV show is based on a famous work by a writer and it is not revealed which specific story/novel the movie/TV show is based upon, can we ask for the original story to be identified? Maybe the community will know! Would this type of question be on-topic?

  • 1
    I'm not sure I understand what you're trying to ask is on-topic.
    – DForck42
    Jan 22, 2013 at 21:08
  • 1
    I think he's asking if recognizing plot elements from other media within a movie is an on-topic question. Say a movie borrows from "Tell-Tale Heart" by Poe, without attribution. Would a question to ascertain agreement of this heavily-borrowed plot be on topic?
    – wbogacz
    Jan 23, 2013 at 1:15
  • Suppose it is written in the start of a movie Based upon a famous novel by author X. But it is never revealed which novel. So will it be on topic if I ask here which novel by author X this movie is based upon?
    – Mistu4u
    Jan 23, 2013 at 3:39
  • I've fixed the question text to align with your clarification.
    – user209
    Jan 23, 2013 at 16:01
  • 2
    I can't think of any good reaons why this would be off-topic.
    – DForck42
    Jan 23, 2013 at 16:04
  • @Keen, Thank you for making it more clear!
    – Mistu4u
    Jan 23, 2013 at 16:24

2 Answers 2


I don't know why such questions should be off-topic. Asking about the background, possible source material, or inspiration of a movie seems perfectly appropriate, no matter if you're asking if it is based on some other story, which story it is based on or in which way it deviates from its base material.

So yes, even if I wouldn't call it "plot identification" (which invokes false associations to a question type with entirely different quality and on-topic considerations), such questions seem perfectly on-topic here.


In essence the question comes down to "Was this based on something that came before?"

Which to me, seems like a valid question. Maybe a good insightful answer also points out how they correlate/what differences they have from one another.

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