Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
|"Raiders of the Lost Ark" is a classic adventure movie with Harrison Ford starring as Indiana Jones. He is an archaeologist who is hired by the United States government to search for the sacred and long-lost Ark of the Covenant. Who plays Marion Ravenwood, Indy's ex-girlfriend, in "Raiders of the Lost Ark"?||More Classic Movies - Name the Co-Star
Karen Allen. Karen Allen was very charming in this film. She went on to make "Starman" (1984) and "The Perfect Storm" (2000) and to work on the stage. Tom Selleck was first choice for the part of "Indiana Jones", but had to turn the part down because of another commitment. Harrison Ford got the part and made it his own, and it is one of the highlights of his fine career. "Raiders of the Lost Ark" was an enormous success, directed by Steven Spielberg, who solidified his reputation as a director of successful artistic and commercial movies. Spielberg has received six Academy Award nominations for Best Director, and has won twice, for "Schindler's List" (1993) and "Saving Private Ryan" (1998).
|"Bonnie and Clyde" is based on a true life couple, who robbed banks, killed police officers, and managed to evade the police for quite a while during the Great Depression. The title roles are played by Warren Beatty (Clyde Barrow) and Faye Dunaway (Bonnie Parker). Who plays Clyde's brother and fellow gang member, Buck Barrow?||More Classic Movies - Name the Co-Star
Gene Hackman. Gene Hackman won Oscars for "The French Connection" (1971) and for "Unforgiven" in 1992. He began his acting career at the age of thirty, alongside his great friend Dustin Hoffman. Hackman is considered to be one of the all-time great film actors, for his versatility and his ability to "disappear" into a role. Think of "The Conversation" (1974), "The Chamber" (1996), "Mississippi Burning" (1988), I Never Sang for My Father (1970) and "Scarecrow" (1973)(said to be Hackman's favorite).
"Bonnie and Clyde" (1967) was brilliantly directed by Arthur Penn. The film received ten Oscar nominations and was awarded two, one for cinematography, the other for Estelle Parsons' performance as Buck Barrow's goofy wife Blanche. It is a vivid portrayal of the story of two young criminals and their cohorts. Set in a time of terrible economic conditions in the United States, the film shows us how the pair came to be romanticized by the press and the public.
Clyde Barrow was a bank robber, safe cracker, and car thief. He was eventually joined by Bonnie Parker, in what came to be called the Barrow Gang. Their exploits were written up in all the newspapers, indeed they wrote letters and poems to be published by the press. The general public seem to have been enthralled with the couple, believing them to be modern-day Robin Hoods. Public opinion changed when the Gang murdered several police officers, said to have numbered as many as ten. The law eventually caught up with them and gunned them down on May 23, 1934. This event was shown with graphic mayhem in the film.
|This film stars Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon as two musicians who witness a shooting, and are forced to flee for their lives, with gangsters in pursuit. They dress up as women and join an all-girl band, where they meet Sugar Kane, played by Marilyn Monroe. "Some Like It Hot" is one of the all time great comedies. Who played the gangster character "Spats Colombo" in the film?||More Classic Movies - Name the Co-Star
George Raft. George Raft made a career playing gangster parts, and here he parodies himself nicely. Raft actually started his show business career as a dancer and chorus boy.
Marilyn Monroe is in top form in "Some Like It Hot". The difficulties that many people appeared to have experienced in working with her seem to have been worth it, because she is great fun to watch here, and looking absolutely gorgeous. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are terrific as well. The 1958 film is directed by Billy Wilder.
|Marlon Brando plays Stanley Kowalski in this 1951 film, and he holds back no emotion in his portrayal of a crude man who taunts Blanche, his wife Stella's sister. The film is "A Streetcar Named Desire", and Vivien Leigh is Blanche DuBois. Who plays Stella?||More Classic Movies - Name the Co-Star
Kim Hunter. Kim Hunter was primarily a stage actress, and appeared in only a few films. She was one of many actors blacklisted during the McCarthy era for alleged communist sympathies. She played "Stella" in the original Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' play. It opened on Broadway on December 3, 1947, with a young Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski and Jessica Tandy as Blanche DuBois. Brando was an immediate sensation in the play, with his great charisma and magnetism. He is widely thought of as one of the greatest actors of all time. Jack Nicholson has been quoted as saying of Brando: "We are all Brando's children, he gave us our freedom."
"A Streetcar Named Desire" was nominated for twelve Oscars, including Best Picture. Elia Kazan was the director. Kim Hunter won the Oscar (Best Supporting Actress) for her work in the film. In addition to Hunter's Oscar, the Best Actress Award went to Vivien Leigh and Best Supporting Actor to Karl Malden, with Brando and Kazan receiving nominations as well.
|Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper are two bikers who decide to take a motorcycle trip from Los Angeles to the New Orleans Mardi Gras. We follow their adventures as they meet people along the way. They also pick up a lawyer with a great love for the bottle, who goes along for the ride. Who plays the lawyer?||More Classic Movies - Name the Co-Star
Jack Nicholson. The film is "Easy Rider" (1969), directed by Dennis Hopper. It was a landmark counter-culture film in the 1960's, a pretty good portrayal of how things were in that turbulent era.
Jack Nicholson is one of the film industry's most respected actors. He is so versatile, he can play anything, from the good guy Randle McMurphy in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975) to the devilish Darryl Van Horne in "The Witches of Eastwick" (1987). Nominated for an Academy Award twelve times, he's won for "As Good as It Gets" (1997), "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975) and "Terms of Endearment" (1983)(Supporting Actor). He was nominated for "Easy Rider" as well, and Fonda, Hopper and author Terry Southern were nominated for the screenplay. Jack Nicholson was born in 1937, and so were the other three actors mentioned.
|"Tootsie" is the story of an out-of-work actor, who has to resort to dressing up as a woman to get an acting job. He rockets to success as Dorothy Michaels, a soap opera actress. He goes on to fall for a co-worker, Julie. This puts him in quite a dilemma. Who plays Julie, the actress Michael falls for?||More Classic Movies - Name the Co-Star
Jessica Lange. Jessica Lange got her start in films as the Fay Wray character in "King Kong" in 1976, and many thought she was just another pretty face. But she went on to star in "Frances" (1982) "Country" (1984) "Music Box" (1989) and "Sweet Dreams" (1985), and was Oscar nominated for all these performances. This in addition to the two Academy Awards she actually won, for "Tootsie" (1982) and "Blue Sky" (1994).
Dustin Hoffman portrays Michael Dorsey, the actor who dresses as a woman. Michael (as Dorothy) immediately becomes so popular with the public that he is forced to live his whole life as Dorothy. As he falls in love with Julie, Julie's father falls in love with Dorothy/Michael. "Tootsie" is a terrific comedy, with a cast that includes Bill Murray, Charles Durning as Julie's father, Dabney Coleman and Sydney Pollack as Michael's agent. Pollack also directed. The three actresses mentioned above also appeared in "Tootsie".
|Benjamin Braddock has graduated from college, and is trying to decide what to do with the rest of his life. "Plastics?" He begins an affair with an older woman, then promptly falls in love with her daughter. The film is "The Graduate", the older woman is Mrs. Robinson, and she is very unhappy with this turn of events. Who plays Mrs. Robinson?||More Classic Movies - Name the Co-Star
Anne Bancroft. The late Anne Bancroft was nominated for an Oscar for her work in the film. She received five nominations during her career, with one win for "The Miracle Worker" in 1962. She was married to the comedian and director Mel Brooks, and co-starred with him in several films.
This 1967 film marks the debut of one of our finest actors, Dustin Hoffman. He plays Benjamin, Katherine Ross plays Elaine Robinson (the daughter), both giving Oscar-nominated performances. Mike Nichols is the director, and he received an Oscar for it. Actors Richard Dreyfuss and Mike Farrell have uncredited bit parts in the film.
|This classic British movie was made in 1981 and won four Oscars in 1982 and caused screenwriter Colin Welland to exclaim 'The British are Coming' at the end of his acceptance speech. It had a cast list that contained the very best of British talent at the time. Part of the film was set in Paris. Now, what was it called?||Classic British Movies
Chariots of Fire. 'Chariots of Fire' was based on the true story of two very different, but very similar men in the British Olympic squad of 1924. Eric Liddell was a devout Scot and Harold Abrahams was a Jewish Englishman. The film centered on the preparations for and the competing in the Paris Games. During the run up to the Games, Abrahams was a student at Cambridge, and Liddell was preparing himself for missionary work in China.
Harold Abrahams died, aged 78, in January 1978 and Eric Liddell died in a labour camp in 1945. The missionary, in China, where he worked was taken over during the war.
|This 1946 movie classic had the tag line 'Neither Heaven nor Earth could keep them apart'. It starred David Niven as a British pilot undergoing surgery and fighting for his life. The story revolved around the fact that he was dying before his time. Can you recall the name of this film?||Classic British Movies
A Matter of Life and Death. At the start we saw a young pilot lost over the Channel and an American girl on the other end of the radio trying to guide him home. The plane crashed and the pilot was feared dead. He was found however on a beach near to the American airwomen's base. The rest of the film switched between Earth, in colour, and Heaven, in black and white. The Earthly scenes were concerned with the pilot's mental health and a brain operation, the Heavenly scenes were about a trial deciding on whether he should be dead or not.
|This 1937 classic British comedy film was inspired by a play, and preceded the play's film version by four years. It was set in a rural railway station and featured a story about a local ghost. It was remade, with a naval theme, in 1958 as 'Up the Creek' and starred David Tomlinson and Peter Sellers. Can you remember the original film?||Classic British Movies
Oh Mr Porter. The film was loosely based on Arnold Ridley's 'The Ghost Train'. There were many similarities between the two. Both films featured lonely railway stations, ghosts and smuggling guns. The main characters in 'Oh Mr Porter were Will Hay, in the title role, Moore Marriott as his elderly deputy and Graham Moffatt as an insolent, young and overweight porter. The three worked together on several films of the era.
The writer of 'Dad's Army', Jimmy Perry, was reported as saying that he came up with the idea of three central characters, Captain Mainwaring, Sergeant Wilson and Private Pike after watching 'Oh Mr Porter'.
|We cannot have a quiz about classic British movies without at least touching on the Hammer productions of Dracula movies. Which of the listed films was NOT made by Hammer?||Classic British Movies
Dracula's Daughter. 'Dracula's Daughter' was made by Universal Studios in 1936 as a sequel to their original 1931 film 'Dracula'. It was based on an unpublished chapter of Bram Stoker's original novel.
Hammer made, in total, nine Dracula movies including a Kung Fu version called 'Legend of The Seven Golden Vampires'. It was the Dracula movies that gave us the combination of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, although neither of them appeared in all nine films.
|This 1950s BAFTA (British Academy for Film and Television Arts) award winning film produced a television spin off, but with a different title, which ran for 21 years. The film starred Jack Warner and Jimmy Hanley as two policemen walking the beat. Who played the role of the villain?||Classic British Movies
Dirk Bogarde. The film was, of course, 'The Blue Lamp' and the spin off was 'Dixon of Dock Green'. In the film PC George Dixon (Jack Warner) was shot and killed by Tom Riley (Dirk Bogarde) during a robbery. The film went on to show the hunt for the killer who was eventually arrested by PC Andy Mitchell (Jimmy Hanley).
Although he died in the film, the character of George Dixon was revived five years later for the television series.
Stratford Johns appeared in a later police show, 'Z Cars' and then 'Softly Softly', Peter Cushing played so many roles it is impossible to really pick out just one and Bernard Lee, who played Inspector Cherry in the film, went on to become better known as 'M' in the James Bond films.
|This classic British movie was written as a stage play in 1923. It was remade as a film in 1941 and starred Arthur Askey and Richard Murdoch. It was about a group of passengers stranded at an isolated Cornish train station and a local legend told by the station master. The author of the play became better known for his, much later, television appearances. Who wrote the original play?||Classic British Movies
Arnold Ridley. Arnold Ridley was better known to us as Private Godfrey in 'Dad's Army'. The play, and film, was 'The Ghost Train'. The legend, as told by the station master, was that the train contained the dead bodies of a train crash many years earlier and it meant death to anyone who saw it. In reality it was a real train that was being used for smuggling and the story was made up to scare away strangers. Ridley was inspired to write it after he himself was stranded at an isolated station near Bristol.
|This 1968 film scared the life out of me when I first saw it. It was a film of the occult and Satanism and contained a scene with a large black horse rearing up snorting. Can you name this Hammer classic?||Classic British Movies
The Devil Rides Out. 'The Devil Rides Out' was originally written by Dennis Wheatley in 1934 but wasn't made until 1968 because of censorship rules regarding Satanism. The story revolved around four main characters and their attempts to defend themselves against a night of black magic forces. The scene with the horse was where the Angel of Death appeared in front of them. In an interview, Christopher Lee, the main star, has said it was his favourite of all his films and would like to see it remade using modern techniques.
All of the other named films were also Hammer productions.
|The 1947 Ealing comedy film 'Passport to Pimlico' was inspired by a true story from World War Two. In the film, set just after the war, local residents discovered they were really part of Burgundy and so not subject to the strict rationing of the time. What was the real life incident that inspired the film?||Classic British Movies
A Dutch Royal birth. During World War Two the Dutch royal family fled to Canada to escape the occupation. At the time Princess Juliana was pregnant. Dutch law stated that to succeed to the throne the heir must be born on Dutch soil. The Canadian Government passed a law making the apartment where they lived Dutch Territory.
|This movie was filmed and released in 1947 and was based on a real incident that happened six years earlier. It concerned the running aground of a ship in the Outer Hebrides. What was the name of the ship in the movie?||Classic British Movies
S.S Cabinet Minister. The film was, of course, 'Whisky Galore'. Written by Compton McKenzie, it was about the ship running aground with 24,000 cases of Scotch on board and the islanders attempts to hide it from the revenue men. The real ship that ran aground in 1941 was the S.S. Politician and it was indeed carrying whiskey. It has also been revealed that it carried £145,000 in bank notes. Not all of the cash was recovered from the wreck. Some of the real whisky found its way onto the American market in 1991.
|The final scene of this classic comedy/satire film was to be a pie fight in the War Room. However, the man who directed, produced and co-wrote it cut the scene before the release of this ripper. Which film was this?||Classic Trivia from Classic Films
"Dr. Strangelove" (1964). Simple plot. Someone loses the plot, hits the red button. Now the whole world will soon know there is no such thing as 'failsafe'. For the 1964 film "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb", Stanley Kubrick (who directed, produced and co-wrote it) filmed a pie fight in the War Room as the intended final scene. But on viewing it he realised that nobody could tell who was who when covered in cream and cut the scene, reverting to nuclear explosions and Dame Vera Lynn. The pie fight scene is still in existence, the only copy being with the British Film Institute in London.
|"Rebel Without a Cause", a classic teen film from 1955, has a dubious distinction. Only one of the top four credited players reached 50 years of age. Who lasted the longest? ||Classic Trivia from Classic Films
Jim Backus. Who could forget "Mr. Magoo" or "Gilligan's Island"? That was Jim (b. 1913), who died of an illness at age 76. He was 42 when he played the role of James Dean's father in "Rebel". James Dean died in a road accident in September 1955 (age 24); Sal Mineo was stabbed to death in February 1976 (age 37), and Natalie Wood (age 43) drowned in November 1981.
|German actor, Gert Frobe, was cast as a James Bond villain. Gert rolled up to start the shoot yet couldn't speak English. Despite this impediment, he went on to play the evil villain called?||Classic Trivia from Classic Films
Auric Goldfinger. The Goldfinger character was, like all Bond villains, a nasty piece of work. His intent was to contaminate the gold in Fort Knox, thereby increasing the value of his own not inconsiderable pile. "Goldfinger" was the only movie I can recall where the villain arranges a death by painting. To overcome Gert's speech problem, the director had him learn the lines phonetically, and Michael Collins, a U.K. actor, spoke the part for the actual released film. Collins was uncredited.
A friend of both men brought them together.. The writers were Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick. In a Clarke biography, Roger Caras (a Columbia publicist) described how he met Clarke in 1959 and they became friends. Caras also knew Kubrick well. In 1964, Kubrick told Caras he was going to do an E.T. movie. Caras asked, "Who is the writer?" As Kubrick was still to decide, Caras said, "Don't bother, start with the best: Arthur Clarke." Caras arranged their meeting and the rest is history.
Incidentally, sketches of aliens drawn on a napkin by Kubrick in 1964 were kept by Caras. He actually showed the sketches to Lee Pfeiffer (a prolific writer on cinema) in 2001 during an interview about the history of "2001".
|Cliff Robertson played the lead in two separate T.V. dramas that were later made into classic films. Without Cliff! After appearing in a T.V. adaptation of a short story ("Flowers for Algernon") he bought the rights to ensure he got the film role. It paid off. What was the screen title of this Oscar winning film? ||Classic Trivia from Classic Films
"Charly" (1968). Cliff received the "Best Actor" Oscar for his role as a retarded man who was turned into a genius after medical intervention. It took nearly ten years for "Charly" to be produced. Previously, Cliff had starred in "The Hustler" and "The Days of Wine and Roses" on T.V. but lost the film leads to Paul Newman and Jack Lemmon respectively.
|An Academy Award for "Screenplay - based on material from another medium" was awarded to Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson posthumously. The plot was based on prisoners of war working in a constructive way for their captors, but with a twist in the tail. Which film won the Oscar?||Classic Trivia from Classic Films
"The Bridge on the River Kwai" (1957). Foreman (d. June 1984) and Wilson (d. April 1978) wrote the screenplay based on Pierre Boulle's novel "The Bridge Over the River Kwai". Foreman and Wilson were blacklisted by Hollywood for not co-operating with the House Un-American Activities Committee. Initially, they were not even given credit for writing the script. It was not until December 1984 that the Academy awarded them Oscars posthumously. Incidentally, another Boulle novel was the basis for the "Planet of the Apes" screenplay, which was co-scripted by Michael Wilson!
Rex Ingram. My God, what a great movie this is. The Technicolor is beautiful. The special effects for a movie like this are not as good as modern movies - they're better! Computer animation does not belong in a live-action movie. There should absolutely be no characters and or creatures made up solely of animation. Rex Ingram, who played the djinn in this film, is also notable for roles such as De Lawd in "Green Pastures" and Nigger Jim in "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn". In "The Thief of Bagdad", he played a genie. In "Green Pastures", he played God. In "Cabin in the Sky", he played a demon. My, what a versatile actor! Sabu, the star of "The Thief of Bagdad", sadly died of a heart attack at the age of only 39.
(Question contributed by Squidwarddd)
F. W. Murnau. Brilliant German director F. W. Murnau directed the horror classic "Nosferatu". He was not given the rights by Bram Stoker's estate to make his film, but made what he thought was enough changes. Nevertheless, he was sued and lost. All copies of "Nosferatu" were ordered destroyed. Thankfully, some copies survived so we can still have the masterpiece today. What a horrifying (pun possibly intended) loss the court's decision might have made for the world.
(Question contributed by Squidwarddd)
Sergei Eisenstein. Sergei Eisenstein was a giant among film directors. He is deemed the father of the film technique of montage, as evidenced by "The Battleship Potemkin" as well as in "Ivan the Terrible, Part One" (1944). He planned a trilogy of 'Ivan' and did complete "Part 2" but "Part 3" has been lost except for one scene which has survived. Stalin had no appreciation for the films. In his mind, they made the Russian secret police look bad. Were it not for him, the third part of a terrific silent trilogy would not have been marauded from the world.
(Question contributed by Squidwarddd)
Kane's boyhood sled. Word is out at Kane's death that his last word was "Rosebud". Much is made of what is "Rosebud". Unless you are watching an early snow scene carefully, the identity of 'Rosebud" is not revealed until workmen throw the old sled into the fire.
At release the film did not recoup its cost. In the 1950s, it was rediscovered and is regarded by critics as one of if not the best American motion picture. Welles essentially used his Mercury Players from radio and other productions such as Joseph Cotton, Agnes Morehead, Everett Stone, and Ray Collins. The film was controversial as Kane's life somewhat paralleled the life of William Randolph Hearst, a powerful newspaper mogul.
(Question contributed by Rehaberpro)
Horse Feathers. In the remarkable film, Groucho plays Quincy Adams Wagstaff, the zany president of Huxley College. Zeppo plays his son, the long late Thelma Todd plays the college widow, and Baravelli and Pinky are played by Chico and Harpo, all leading up to the most memorable football scene ever filmed. "Horse Feathers" is one of the Marx Brothers greatest movies. I always get a kick out of when Zeppo sings "Everyone Says I Love You" and gets to the part about "the folks over 80 and the kid of two". Groucho was always trying to slip sexual innuendo into his movies. He succeeded marvelously in this film, when he sings, "Take a pair of rabbits who get stuck on each other and begin to woo! And pretty soon you'll find a million more rabbits who say I love you!" And of course, who can forget other Groucho songs in this film, such as "I'm Against It!" and "I Always Get My Man!".
(Question contributed by Squidwarddd)
|A case of mistaken profession, a missing brontosaurus bone, and a tame leopard from Brazil brings Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn together in what classic screwball comedy?||Classic Movies 1920-1950
"Bringing up Baby" (1938). Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn) mistakenly believes that David Huxley (Cary Grant) is not a paleontologist, but a zoologist. His purportedly being a zoologist is of particular interest to her. Specifically, she has received a leopard named "Baby" from her brother and thinks David can help her take care of it until her Aunt Elizabeth can claim it. Susan's dog, George, also steals the last dinosaur bone required by David to finish a brontosaurus skeleton at his museum. All's well that ends well when Susan and David fall in love, George returns the bone, and Aunt Elizabeth gives Susan a million dollars, which Susan in turn donates to David's museum.
(Question contributed by DR.NO)
|Fraught with madness, murder, and mayhem, the movie "Arsenic and Old Lace" (1944) was set as occurring on what most appropriate day of the year?||Classic Movies 1920-1950
Halloween. Due to all of the horror and fright, Halloween is a most appropriate time for this movie to take place. Originally, Bob Hope was slated to play the role of Mortimer Brewster, but couldn't due to contractual obligations to Paramount Studios. Cary Grant only secured the role after Ronald Reagan and Jack Benny turned down prior offers. Boris Karloff originally played the role of the psychopathic brother Jonathan on Broadway. Even though the role was taken by Raymond Massey in the movie, the joke "You look like Boris Karloff!" oddly remained in the film.
(Question contributed by DR.NO)
|Who wrote the novel that eventually became the 1939 epic motion picture of the same name which won the Academy Award for Best Picture?||Classic Movies 1920-1950
Margaret Mitchell. The novel was, of, course, "Gone With the Wind". The movie, which starred Olivia de Havilland, Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, and Hattie McDaniel, went on to gross (at adjusted-for-inflation prices) $6,083,614,437.41 on a budget of only $3 million. Hattie McDaniel won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role of Mammy, famously quipping during her acceptance speech, "I'd rather play a maid than be one."
(Question contributed by Matthewpokemon)
Peter Lorre. The letters of transit Mr. Ugarte carried with him were signed by General Charles de Gaulle. In real life, in 1940, de Gaulle had been convicted of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment, so any letter of transit presented that was signed by him would have resulted in the owner being put under arrest. It is one of the few errors in what is widely believed to be the greatest Hollywood film of all time. Perhaps the most notable other film with Lorre, Greenstreet, and Bogart would be "The Maltese Falcon". The Warner Brothers studio had to churn out 50 films per year, and "Casablanca" was just another one of those films (or so they thought). Ingrid Bergman was never crazy about the film. She thought "Casablanca" was just okay! Her fans for years always wanted to ask her about "Casablanca" and she never wanted to talk about it. A film she had made close to the time of making "Casablanca", "Intermezzo", with Leslie Howard, was an example of a film she believed to be exquisite and superior to "Casablanca".
(Question contributed by Squidwarddd)