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I remember watching this movie in early 2001-2002. Some of the scenes I remember in that movie are:

  1. A person (not from Earth, but looks exactly like a human) tries to shake hands with a running car (thinking that car is a human), and the hero saves him.

  2. The Earth will be destroyed, but with the help of some other beings (not of Earth), it is rebuilt, from the Himalayas to everything.

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3 Answers 3

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This is most likely The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005).

The scenes you describe are:

  1. A person (not from Earth, but looks exactly like a human) tries to shake hands with a running car (thinking that car is a human), and the hero saves him.

An alien who lands on Earth to help fill out the Hitchhiker's Guide (in-universe) book takes the name of Ford Prefect, because he believes cars to be the dominant lifeform on Earth. As such, he attempts to introduce himself to one, but Arthur ("hero"/main protagonist) saves him.

  1. The Earth will be destroyed, but with the help of some other beings (not of Earth), it is rebuilt, from the Himalayas to everything.

This is the plot of the film. The Earth is destroyed to make way for an hyperspace bypass, which Ford knows about and saves Arthur. Arthur doesn't like that it was destroyed and wants to fix it. The movie ends with

Arthur landing on a planet that builds other planets, and finds a man who agrees to "turn on" another Earth he'd already built. This triggers a rapid scene of Earth going through evolution to return to where it was at the beginning of the movie.

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    Figured someone would beat me to it. That said; your depiction of the final scene (the one the asker likely recalls) is incorrect.
    – Gnemlock
    Jan 11, 2020 at 13:23
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    Minor correction: the Vogon constructor ships destroy the Earth to make way for a hyperspace bypass, the point being that the Earth was so unimportant that destroying it to make way for a bypass (which is, per Wikipedia, "...a road or highway that avoids or 'bypasses' a built-up area, town, or village, to let through traffic flow without interference from local traffic, to reduce congestion in the built-up area, and to improve road safety") was considered to be a Good Thing. Of course, to Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz, commander of the constructor fleet, destroying anything was a Good Thing. :-) Jan 12, 2020 at 21:49
  • Thanks Gnemlock, Bob - added into answer
    – Guy S
    Jan 13, 2020 at 23:40
  • @Guy S, the plot in the final block of spoiler text is still wrong.
    – Gnemlock
    Jan 17, 2020 at 22:46
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Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

As others have since answered, it very much sounds like your remembering the 2005 film adaption1 of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. It was based off a radio series, and has been adapted into various other media, including books, video games, television series and even stage musicals.

The movie follows the story of Arthur Dent. After finding out his house is set to be demolished to make room for a new byway, his friend Ford Prefect convinces him to go to a bar for a drink. On arriving, he is told that Earth is going to be demolished to make room for a new hyperspace bypass. Ford is actually an alien, who was on Earth working on the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.


  1. A person (not from Earth, but looks exactly like a human) tries to shake hands with a running car (thinking that car is a human), and the hero saves him.

This scene depicts Ford first arriving on Earth. Arthur saves him, which leads to them becoming friends. He later explains that having just arrived on the planet, he mistook cars to be the dominant life form and was trying to introduce himself. Ford rescues him from Earth as a means to return the favour. This scene is currently available on YouTube, at this link.


  1. The earth will be destroyed, but with the help of some other beings (not of Earth), it is rebuilt, from the Himalayas to everything.

The Earth is inevitably destroyed. However, our hero comes to find out that Earth was actually built by pan-dimensional beings to compute the ultimate question (having previously built a computer to compute the ultimate answer, but not being able to interpret it). As such, it is re-created from a back up.

The scene you likely remember, here, is where Arthur is being shown the new Earth. At a certain point, our hero jets passed a set of rising mountains, as the architect (played by Bill Nighy) exclaims "Voila! The Himalayas!".


All in all, it was fairly easy to identify this movie because it is such a well known title in SciFi culture. However, given your limited recollection, I thought it might be useful to include a few other titbits to help jog your memory.

Deep Thought and the Ultimate Answer

First of all, there is the computer that was built to work out the ultimate answer. Nobody bothered to determine what the ultimate question was, so when it returned with "42", it left everyone a little confused. This put in motion the events that lead to the creation of Earth.

enter image description here

Marvin the Paranoid Android

Marvin is a depressed robot who accompanies Arthur and his friends throughout the movie. Voiced by Alan Rickman, he is (in my opinion) the most iconic character of the movie. At one point, he saves the day by firing a "point of view" gun at an army of attacking aliens. Suddenly overwhelmed with depression, themselves, the aliens slump down in defeat.

The Actual Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Throughout the movie, scenes are broken up with actual animated excerpts narrated by Stephen Fry, that provide nonsensical humour and background information by way of the aformentioned Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

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  • I provide a link to one of the YouTube videos, rather then embedding it, because the person who posted it has disabled external embedding. If anyone can find a suitable replacement, feel free to comment or edit it in.
    – Gnemlock
    Jan 11, 2020 at 13:20
  • * (...) as the architect (played by Bill Nighy) exclaims "Ahhhh! The Himalayas!"* Isn't it rather Voilà! Himalayas!?
    – WoJ
    Jan 12, 2020 at 15:58
  • @WoJ sounds like 'ahhh', to me. Regardless. The script does so Voila.
    – Gnemlock
    Jan 12, 2020 at 19:10
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    You should add spoiler tags for the ultimate answer ;)
    – Goufalite
    Jan 13, 2020 at 7:20
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It's "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." It's a very well-known movie and book series.

If this is the movie you are looking for, it is also the answer to this other question and therefore a duplicate.

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    You're not flagging answers as duplicates, and the questions are completely different. Someone who remembers "tries to shake hands with a running car" will not be helped by the question you link to.
    – pipe
    Jan 12, 2020 at 17:15
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    @pipe This site has a policy to close story-ID questions as duplicates based on the (confirmed) solution.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jan 13, 2020 at 15:33

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