Special Sub-Topic: Biographies in the Movies III
|Biographies have been a part of Hollywood since the beginning, but which was the first such film to garner a Best Picture Oscar?|
The Great Ziegfeld. Directed by Robert Z. Leonard, the 1936 film 'The Great Ziegfeld' traces the fascinating life of famed stage producer Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. William Powell plays the title role in the film, while Myrna Loy plays Billie Burke, and Louise Rainer is Anna Held. Several individuals play themselves in the film, including the incomparable Fanny Brice.
|One of the classic biographical films of all time came to theaters in 1962, featuring Peter O'Toole in the lead role as which British-born adventurer?|
T. E. Lawrence. 'Lawrence of Arabia' has to rank among the greatest biopics ever produced. Thanks to the brilliant precision directing of David Lean and the magnetic performance by Peter O'Toole, this film won a Best Picture Oscar in early 1963. It also helps that the film included such actors as Anthony Quinn, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Omar Sharif, José Ferrer, Anthony Quayle and Claude Rains in supporting roles!
|What is the name of the 2004 film starring Kevin Kline that follows the life and times of the eminent American songwriter Cole Porter?|
De-Lovely. Along with Kline's Porter, Ashley Judd appears as Porter's very supportive wife Linda. Directed by Irwin Winkler, the film features a number of Cole Porter's songs performed by contemporary artists such as Robbie Williams, Elvis Costello, Alanis Morissette and Sheryl Crow.
|Another biopic about an American music legend, 'Beyond the Sea' stars Kevin Spacey, who also serves as director for the film. Which crooner's life is depicted in this movie?|
Bobby Darin. Not only does Kevin Spacey direct and act in this film, he also performs the musical numbers. Despite the criticism Spacey received for his insistence on performing these songs (and for playing the part of a man a number of years his younger), the film is worth a watch.
|'The Insider' is a film about a man whose name is not generally known to the public, Dr. Jeffrey Wigand. Which Oscar-winner portrays the brave whistle-blower in this 1999 film?|
Russell Crowe. 'The Insider' is a harrowing tale about a tobacco industry insider who helped make known to the world some important behind-the-scenes information on industry malpractices. Russell Crowe is supported in the cast by Al Pacino as CBS producer Lowell Bergman and Christopher Plummer as '60 Minutes' reporter Mike Wallace. This is a must-see.
|'The Motorcycle Diaries' is a beautiful film about the early life of South American-born revolutionary Ernesto 'Che' Guevara. Which director took the task of bringing Guevara to life on the silver screen in this film?|
Walter Salles. Despite what one may feel about the methods of Mr. Guevara, there is no denying that this film (aka 'Diarios de motocicleta' in Spanish) is wonderfully crafted. In the film, actor Gael García Bernal portrays Guevara during the formative stages of his life, during which time he developed his revolutionary mindset.
|What is the name of the historical Scottish leader portrayed by Mel Gibson in the Oscar-winning 1995 film 'Braveheart'?|
William Wallace. Mel Gibson both directed and starred in 'Braveheart', the Best Picture winner for that year. Gibson also garnered a Best Director Oscar for his work on this film. The battle scenes in the movie alone are worth watching, and the story is quite charming and inspirational as well (though the ending is a tad bit overdramatized).
|Mel Gibson returns to the directing chair for the 2004 film 'The Passion of the Christ'. Is it true that Mr. Gibson also plays the lead role of Christ in the film?|
n. 'The Passion of the Christ' presents the final days of Jesus Christ, painstakingly played by James Caviezel on the screen. As controversial as the film is, the visuals are absolutely mesmerizing (if not painful to watch). Just for its filmmaking quality alone, this is a must watch (though I would not allow young children to view it).
|'Sergeant York' is a 1941 film about America's greatest war hero from World War I. Which actor played the title role, and won an Academy Award for his effort?|
Gary Cooper. Howard Hawks directed Gary Cooper to this, his first of two Oscars (his second being for the 1952 film 'High Noon'). Walter Brennan and Margaret Wycherly co-star in this film about a pacifist who serves his duty to his country with highest honor when called upon.
|Russell Crowe was magnificent in the 2001 film 'A Beautiful Mind', portraying which Nobel Prize winner who suffered from severe mental illness?|
John Nash. Ron Howard and his producer pal Brian Glazer won an Academy Award for Best Picture, and Ron Howard won the Best Director Oscar, both for this film. Jennifer Connelly was a winner for the Best Supporting Actress as well, but, surprisingly, Russell Crowe did not win the Best Actor Oscar for his powerful performance as John Nash.
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