The following Movie Quiz comes to you thanks to the velvet fingertips of one of my favorite pseudonymous bloggers, the woman behind Oh Crap, I Have A Crush on Sarah Palin.
"Ms. Crap" is a movie aficionado and regular reader of the "Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule" blog, which is the hardest film class I was never enrolled in.
The Professor, our host at SLIFR, hosts a cinematic competition each season, where any student of "Le Film" can post answers to the Professors's demanding exam. This is not for the faint of heart!
Go ahead and post your answers/opinions in my comments—or your own blog— but please point the way, whatever you do! It helps to repost the questions, so we all know what you're talking about. You may "pass" on items that don't grab your interest.
Remember, there are no right answers, only strange arguments.
Here we go:
1) William Demarest or Broderick Crawford?
Wow, what a tough call. These two guys were both born at the turn of the century, worked their asses off in vaudeville, and were stage actors par excellence.
As Hollywood embraced them, they each became typecast, then thrown out, and revived years later in incredibly stupid TV shows (Highway Patrol, My Three Sons) that gave them residuals to live out their last years in comfort.
I would have loved to see Crawford as "Lenny" on stage in Mice and Men. His "Huey Long" in All The King's Men is monumental.
Demerest is maybe my favorite thing in The Lady Eve. He was a regular in Preston Sturges' films.
Each actor is outstanding;they remind you of a kind of talent and character-writing that you rarely see anymore in Hollywood. Robert Downey could be doing this. But he's doing Iron Man instead.
2) What movies improve when seen in a state of altered consciousness?
The Pink Elephants scene in Dumbo. What were they ON when they drew this?
3) Favorite studio or production company logo?
That big pussy cat at MGM. I love to join in on every ROAR. I also sing along with the Looney Tunes wrap-up.
4) Celeste Holm or Joan Blondell?
Oh, Joan Blondell is just too sassy to say no to.
5) What is the most overrated "classic" film?
The first two words out of my mouth were "Star Wars!" — but Film-Dude, sitting here beside me, interrupted and said, "Star Wars is not a classic; a classic has to date from the studio system."
We had an argument. I found a definition that supports both our positions.
FilmDude insisted, "The obvious overblown candidate is Gone with the Wind."
I said, "That's what THE MAN wants you to say, but I'm not going to! I've seen GWTW from every POV, on acid, protesting, laughing, crying, flabbergasted.
"—You want 'overrated'? How about, Around the World in 80 Days? What A FUCKING BORE. No one has ever fallen asleep watching Gone with the Wind."
6) What movie do you know for sure you saw, but have no memory of seeing?
7) Favorite Hammer Film?
Any of the lesbian exploitation trinity.
Wikipedia says: "The Vampire Lovers (1970) was the first, starring Ingrid Pitt and Madeline Smith. Lust for a Vampire (1971) followed, with Yutte Stensgaard returning to prey upon students at an all-girl's school. Twins of Evil (1972) had the least "lesbian" content, with one female vampire biting a female victim on the breast. It starred real life twins and Playboy playmates Madeleine and Mary Collinson.
8) Gregory Itzin or Joe Pantoliano?
Joey is brilliant casting. Gregory is magnificent acting. The Kentucky Cycle won him a well-deserved Tony. As a viewer, of course, Joey is riveting. But I got too close. The Judges can rule I have a conflict of interest.
9) Create a double feature with two different movies with the same title. No remakes.
No Way Out, 1950, with Sidney Portier, Richard Widmark, and Linda Darnell, directed by Mankiewicz.
No Way Out, 1987, with Kevin Costner, Sean Young, Gene Hackman
10) Akiko Wakabayashi or Mie Hama?
Both actresses were Japanese Bond girls in You Only Live Twice. Both very pretty. I think I will go for Mie Hama, because her legendary career in Japan includes Las Vegas Free-For-All.
11) Can you think of a (non-porn) movie that informed you of the existence of a sexual act you had not known of prior?
Why NON-porn? I have been far more educated as an adult by porn films. Tickle fetishes. Fat Star sex. Serious double-penetration. Hollywood has failed in this department. I learned far more about sexual variety as a porn critic. Studio moves are pretty square.
12) Can you think of a black & white movie that might improve if it was in color?
Wow, I can only think of this question backwards. I'd like to see all my favorite films in black and white.
13) Favorite Pedro Almodovar film?
That's easy, the first one I ever saw, Law of Desire, when we premiered it at the San Francisco Gay Film Festival in 1986. I was on the screening committee that year, and when I saw it for the first time, I said, "WHO IS THIS?" You just knew he was completely original.
14) Kurt Raab or Udo Kier?
Udo Kier, another conflict of interest for me. I became acquainted with him because he was in my friends' movie, Seduction: The Cruel Woman, in 1985, by Monika Treut and Elfi Mikesch. They later directed me in Virgin Machine. What an amazing man. And he was in Warhol's Frankenstein... that clinches it.
15) Worst main title song?
There's so much hype about James Bond soundtracks, everyone tends to remember the worst of the worst. I'll give Madonna that honor.
16a) Last movie you saw in a theater?
The Runaways. See my autobiographical review!
Before that, The Ghost Writer, which has one of my favorite lines of the year: "They can't drown two ghost writers. You're not kittens!"
16b) On DVD, Blu-ray or other interesting location/format?
17) Favorite movie reference within a Woody Allen movie?
I was thrilled, as a young teenager, to see Play It Again, Sam, and realize that I recognized the jokes about Casablanca, et al. I was becoming a connoisseur!
18) Mary Astor or Claudette Colbert?
I'm puzzled by this question.
Colbert was French, was not controlled by her parents, and became an A-List star who wouldn't let anyone shoot the right-side of her face. An icon of the "screwball comedy."
Mary Astor was a writer, the femme fatale in The Maltese Falcon— someone who brought a lot of deep water to every performance. I'll go with Mary!
19) Favorite trailer?
NO CONTEST. Plus, this is my favorite Batman soundtrack ever, lifted from the television series.
20) Oddest double bill you either saw or saw listed in a theater?
Disney's The Lady and the Tramp, showing with a psychological thriller about sicko boarding school boys that scared the shit out of me: Unman, Wittering, and Zigo. In Edmonton, Alberta, 1971. I was too young for both.
21) Favorite Phil Karlson film?
I'm not a fan of his rat-filled horror flicks, but now I'm curious about his 50s Noir films. Are any on DVD?
22) Favorite “social problem” picture?
What ISN'T a "social problem" picture?
But I gather this is supposed to be corny well-intentioned stuff that you love.
To Kill a Mockingbird was an early favorite of mine. It was renowned as a story of racial injustice, but it was also a movie about being a queer little boy and girl in the Jim Crow South, about incest and abuse, women's subservience and rebellion, class and poverty, and even maternal loss.
Every character/actor in it is so indelible. When I found out that the mendacious little "Dil" was based on Harper Lee's childhood friend, Truman Capote, I had to read it all over again just for THAT!
Everyone remembers the courtroom drama, but here's a less-talked-about scene when Mayella's pitiful lies become exposed in court— everyone has figured out that she is raped and beaten routinely by her father— not Tom Robinson, the "Negro" scapegoat. She completely loses her shit, as befitting a woman in her position at the time:
23) Your favorite Harryhausen film/monster?
Obviously I'm not one to judge, but he did animate the dinosaurs that Raquel Welch had to contend with in One Million Years, B.C.
24) What was the first movie you saw with your significant other?
Umm... We made out in a theater to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in Grass Valley, CA.
25) John Payne or Ronald Reagan?
John Payne is always chasing rainbows. Reagan? Unicorns never liked him.
26) Movie you feel a certain pressure or obligation to see that you have not yet actually seen?
4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days. I'm waiting to see it when I can tie down every forced-pregnancy congressman to a chair to view it with me.
27) Favorite “psychedelic” movie?
Woodstock, at the Fox Theater, Venice, CA, 1973.
28) Thelma Ritter or Eve Arden?
Thelma, hands down! She was one of those actresses who was repeatedly nominated for an Oscar, six times, without getting the Big O. She was the only survivor from John Huston's last film, The Misfits— Huston, Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, and Montgomery Clift all died shortly after.
And then, there's Pillow Talk:
29) Favorite iconic shot or image from a film?
I have many, but today, I'll go with A Place in the Sun:
30) What is the movie that inspired the most memorable argument you ever had about a movie?
Bound. The MPAA told us that they wouldn't give it an 'R' rating unless we substituted a "bare tit shot" for the frame when Violet's hand clutches Corky's thigh. They make me sick. Thank god for the unrated DVD version.
31) Raquel Torres or Lupe Velez?
Both their bios leave a lot to wonder about. They were Mexican-born actresses who made it in Hollywood in a climate of early 20th century racism and hypocrisy— their looks and careers were determined by it. Their talents were wasted and humiliated, much like the Dorothy Dandridge story, and others.
Lupe, nicknamed "The Mexican Spitfire," went through the wringer. She had a much longer career, but shot herself, pregnant by a younger (white) man, leaving a note behind that begged "God" for forgiveness.
32) Favorite adaptation of Shakespeare to a film?
When I was 10, my dad took me to a big Hollywood theater to see The Taming of the Shrew, with Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, tearing at each other's throats and buttons.
I'd NEVER realized what CLEAVAGE was. Taylor was such an outrageous bitch.
I knew that if the nuns at St. Rita's knew I was watching this movie, they would drag me out by the ears. I was scarlet with embarrassment and titillation.
I couldn't say a word to my dad about it, but secretly, I thought it was the most sensational spectacle I had ever witnessed.
Shakespeare? That kinda dawned on me later.
33) Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein (in 3D)— yes or no?
The ONLY movie worth seeing in 3D. Fuck you James Cameron.
34) Favorite movie rating?
NONE. NONE. NONE. A whole world of art destroyed by this stupid blacklist.
35) Olivia Barash or Joyce Hyser?
This is a "bimbo child actress" question. I pass. I'm sure neither of them, in old age, want to be remembered for their film careers.
36) What was the movie that convinced you your favorite movie genre was your favorite movie genre?
The first movies I ever saw were, in this order: Island of the Blue Dolphins, Mary Poppins, and My Fair Lady. My mother picked them; each was a grand occasion. What they have in common is a determined, magical heroine.
37) Favorite Blake Edwards movie?
I only like his "gay" movies: Breakfast at Tiffany's and Victor/Victoria. I love them both. Remember the shock of Julie Andrews cross-dressing when the last thing you remember her wearing was a nun's habit?
I loved Lesley Ann Warren as the petulant gangster moll in V/V as well. I have to re-watch her in Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella every year. Does anyone want to hear me sing, "Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful?"
38) Prizes, Prizes, and a Happy Ending!
For any of you who are as crazy as I am about movies—
If you answer EVERY single one of these questions AND post your link, or your answers, on my blog....
I will, indeed, pick up the mike and SING, LIVE, the above-mentioned unbearably corny song that I love so much, and email the MP3 it right over to YOU, personally. I'm going to practice RIGHT NOW, so I'll be ready!