I commend all who responded, in part or in full, to David Thomson’s first Stump-the-Film-Buff movie quiz, 50 questions strong, for your deep love and knowledge of the spectrum of global film, old and new. Twenty-four film savants submitted answers to all 50 questions, and two brainiacs got them all right. Two buffs weighed in with only one wrong answer, but the one who submitted first won third place. Four more got just two answers wrong. Thomson will send the three winners below a signed copy of his must-own New Biographical Dictionary of Film, fifth edition.
First place: Germany’s Christoph Michel submitted the winning entry on November 12 (1:37 pm Pacific).
Second place: U.K.’s James Oliver submitted his entry with all 50 right on Nov 14 (5:49 am Pacific).
Third place: American Benjamin Wendling submitted his entry with one wrong answer (number 13) on Nov 13 (12:14 am Pacific).
Check out the questions and answers (including acceptable alternates) below, so you can all see how you did. Concocting and grading the quiz was so much fun that Thomson may agree to do it again, he writes:
I want to thank everyone for playing the game of the quiz and congratulate not just the winners but the several people who showed ingenuity to the point of cunning in coming up with answers and alternative answers that I had never thought of. For instance, in my innocence I thought Robert Morley and Jim Broadbent were united in having both played W.S. Gilbert. But my question was too loose – and it proved that they had both played in material drawn from the writings of Joseph Conrad.And now, I begin to wake from dreams with thoughts of all their other bonds – they very likely belonged to the Garrick Club in London; they may have been members of the Marylebone Cricket Club; were they left-handed (name three left-handed actresses); or both happily married? We can share so much.
In going for an actor who had played a judge, a lawyer and a man in prison, Paul Newman filled my thoughts – but then a few of you reminded me that Spencer Tracy qualified too. And there may be others.
I suppose the great thing about a quiz is that it opens up a field of possibility in which everyone learns. So thank you one and all – maybe we’ll do it again, some time. But the next quiz may have to be tougher.
1. Who said, “I know things about people, Lily?”, and in what film?
Frank Horrigan (Clint Eastwood) in In The Line of Fire.
2. Who played Louis Mazzini, Jeeves and Lord Byron?
3. Which actor made at least one film with Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Rene Clair and John Ford?
4. She was born in Assam, India and he was born in Hampstead. What did they do together, and who are they?
Julie Christie & Dirk Bogarde as Diana Scott & Robert Gold in Darling.
5. What film did Upton Sinclair pay for?
Sergei Eisenstein’s Que Viva Mexico!
6. Name a director who has filmed material from Ed McBain, Dostoevsky and Shakespeare.
7. Who is the link in Stavisky, Reds and Beat the Devil?
8. Who won the Sarah Siddons prize?
Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) in All About Eve
9. Find the thread: James Jones, Michael Ondaatje, Colette?
All wrote material that when filmed won Best Picture Oscars (From Here to Eternity, The English Patient, Gigi)
10. Who had an Uncle Jack and an Aunt Fanny?
George Amberson (Tim Holt) in The Magnificent Ambersons
11. What’s the common element in M, Caught, Body and Soul?
Robert Aldrich was assistant director on all three.
12. What’s the link: L’Atalante, On the Waterfront, Long Day’s Journey Into Night?
All were photographed by Boris Kaufman.
13. What’s the bond between The Third Man and Johnny Guitar?
Vienna: The setting of The Third Man, the name of the Joan Crawford’s character in Johnny Guitar
14. Of what movie was it said, “Gable’s back and Garson’s got him!”?
15. In the Cut and Panic Room – who’s the missing link?
Nicole Kidman. She was going to play the lead in both. (She was also the voice on the telephone in the latter.)
16. Ulverston, Lancashire and Harlem, Georgia – how are they joined?
Birthplaces of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.
17. Who taught Alec to ride?
Henry Dailey (Mickey Rooney) in The Black Stallion
18. Who said, “I’d like to kiss you, but I just washed my hair”?
Madge Norward (Bette Davis) in The Cabin in the Cotton
19. Who stayed a little too long to watch a pretty girl dance?
Doc Riedenschneider (Sam Jaffe) in The Asphalt Jungle
20. He made only five films and all were nominated for Best Picture. Who is he?
21. What’s the link: The Small Back Room, Out of Africa, The Age of Innocence?
22. On whose map might you find Santa Rosa, Bodega Bay and San Juan de Batista?
Alfred Hitchcock (locations of Shadow of a Doubt, The Birds and Vertigo)
23. He worked with Cecil B. DeMille, Orson Welles and Jean-Luc Godard?
24. St Petersburg, Pompeii, the Jungle – who could have been in all those places?
George Sanders was born in St Petersburg, filmed in Pompeii (Journey to Italy), and voiced Shere Khan in Disney’s The Jungle Book
25. How might you link Shirley Temple and Truffaut’s Day for Night?
Graham Greene, who wrote a piece in the 1930s that let to libel action; he appears briefly in Day for Night
26. Who played the second Pharisee, Captain von Rauffenstein and Max von Mayerling – and in what films?
Erich Von Stroheim (Intolerance, La Grand Illusion, Sunset Boulevard)
27. In what film do we meet Jimmy Gator, Earl Partridge and Frank Mackey?
28. He played a judge, a lawyer and a man in prison. Who is he and what are the films?
Paul Newman (Judge Roy Bean, The Verdict, Cool Hand Luke)
Acceptable alternatives: Spencer Tracy (Judgement in Nuremberg, Inherit the Wind, Twenty Thousand Years in Sing-Sing)
Burt Lancaster (Judgement at Nuremburg, The Young Savages, Brute Force
29. How do you link Charles Boyer and Anton Walbrook?
Both played the husband in versions of Gaslight
30. Who is famous for 26.6 seconds of film?
Abraham Zapruder, who filmed JFK’s assassination.
31. What would you find about 15 miles south of Fairvale?
The Bates Motel
32. Who had just a drunk, a cripple and a kid to do the job?
John T Chance (John Wayne) in Rio Bravo
33. Who said, “Movies bore me, especially my own”?
34. What role links Melville Cooper, Alan Rickman, William Lowery and Peter Finch?
The Sheriff of Nottingham
35. Who wanted his $93,000?
Walker (Lee Marvin) in Point Blank
36. What is the link between Robert Morley and Jim Broadbent?
Both played W. S. Gilbert (The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, Topsy-Turvy)
Acceptable alternatives: Tales of the Unexpected and Around the World in 80 Days (2004)
37. Who were Victoria Page, Vicki Lester and Victor Laszlo?
Victoria Page was the heroine of The Red Shoes, Vicki Lester was the heroine of A Star Is Born, Victor Lazlo was a character in Casablanca
38. Who was Roger O. Thornhill, C.K. Dexter Haven and Jerry Warriner?
39. What links Sunrise and A Place in the Sun?
Both have scenes involving a woman in a rowboat who may drown
40. The following contended for this part: Vivien Leigh, Loretta Young, Joan Fontaine, Margaret Sullavan. What was the name of the part?
The second Mrs. de Winter / the unnamed “I” in Rebecca
41. What links Max Ophuls, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Stanley Donen and Jacques Demy?
All made films about Lola – Lola Montes; Lola; Lola; What Lola Wants/Damn Yankees
42. Who played President Andrew Johnson, Joe Starrett and Webb Garwood?
43. Who played Sid Vicious and Joe Orton?
44. Who said, “Nobody’s perfect!”?
Joe E. Brown (Some Like It Hot)
45. Three producers had these middle initials – F, B, O – who are they?
Darryl F. Zanuck, Hal B. Wallis, David O. Selznick
Acceptable alternatives: Cecil B. DeMille, Louis B. Mayer
46. What’s the link for Chuck Barris, Chris Kelvin and Ryan Bingham?
George Clooney: he directed Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (about Chuck Barris); acted in Solaris (Chris Kelvin) and Up In The Air (Ryan Bingham)
47. When did two people tie for an Oscar and who were they?
Katharine Hepburn for The Lion in Winter and Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl
48. In what film was Charles Palantine running for election?
49. Who had the key to Walter’s sharp practice?
Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) in Double Indemnity – his crooked employee is Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray)
50. Who remembered a girl on the ferry over to Jersey in 1896?
Bernstein (Everett Sloan) in Citizen Kane