Register New Player
Welcome to our world of fun trivia quizzes and quiz games:
Right on Cue: Deus ex Machina in Film
Grab Bag - Average 10
"First ascribed to the Greek poet Horace, the concept of "deus ex machina", or "god from the machine", can be seen in film and literature. A problem or dilemma is suddenly resolved without much explanation. Talk about taking the easy way out!"
15 Points Per Correct Answer - No time limit
Indiana Jones was in serious trouble in "Raiders of the Lost Ark". Tied to a stake and surrounded by Nazis, he had little hope to escape doom. Yet, in just a few seconds, he and his lovely sidekick, Marion Ravenwood, somehow survived while everyone else was struck down rather electrifyingly by the elusive Ark. How did the pair survive?
They were protected by rosaries.
They closed their eyes.
They weren't in the same room when the Ark was opened.
The Ark was designed only to kill Nazis.
While the movie "Signs" (or any film involving M. Night Shyamalan) might be considered to have set up a resolution through foreshadowing, the case of "deus ex machina" is still in effect. The aliens invading Earth are supposedly superior in the realm of technology. Apparently, they are also supremely dense in the realm of intelligence and attempt to invade a planet that is around 70% water, their biological weakness. Because of this, protagonist Merrill Hess is able to defeat the baddies with the help of what piece of sports equipment?
A prime example of deus ex machina can be found in the film "The Princess Bride", where the Man in Black is set against the Sicilian genius, Vizzini. In a "battle of wits" to save Buttercup, Vizzini is offered a choice of two goblets, which one is said to be poisoned with Iocane powder. After much ado, Vizzini drinks from the one he believes is safe, then topples over. The Man in Black then reveals to Buttercup that both goblets were poisoned. How did he survive?
He had conveniently spent years developing an immunity to the poison.
The poison killed Vizzini because it just happened to work only on those who have said a great number of words.
His goblet somehow had a small drain at the bottom, so he didn't drink any poison.
The poison was a fake; apparently Vizzini was allergic to the wine.
How wonderful that in "The Wizard of Oz" (1939) we are rewarded with Dorothy's very own deus ex machina when she misses her balloon home. But wait! It's okay because she can get home by accomplishing what now-iconic feat?
Tapping her heels together and saying, "There's no place like home."
Kissing Toto and saying, "I make my own dreams."
Rubbing the Tin Man and saying, "I'm outta here!"
Destroying the evil witches and saying, "One with water, one with a house."
While certain creatures were often deployed by J.R.R. Tolkien to help out the protagonists of Middle-earth, one was especially prominent. In the film "Return of the King", we see them once again, only this time they rescue the beleaguered Frodo. What creature (which apparently couldn't take him to Mordor in the first place) was his savior?
There is a small field of study that goes into the use of deus ex machina in film and literature. One common joke amongst students of this plot device is to use the term "Deus Rex Machina" when discussing what movie?
Gone with the Wind
Based on the novel by H.G. Wells and adapted by Orson Welles as a radio drama, the film "War of the Worlds" (2005) depicts an alien invasion that is suddenly halted due to the invaders no longer being "well". What has cost them their wellness?
The concept of deus ex machina can be traced back to Ancient Greece, and it is from this time period in history that the help of a Greek god can easily resolve a problem. But that hasn't stopped storytellers from other ages and religions from utilizing the device. In the film "O Brother, Where Art Thou?", the protagonist, Ulysses Everett McGill, says a heartfelt prayer right as he and his friends are about to be hanged. What biblical deus ex machina moment saves them, leading Ulysses to believe his prayer had worked?
A burning bush
A rain of fire
A giant whale
One would be remiss if they didn't mention the "Harry Potter" canon, and indeed in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" perhaps the most obvious example comes in our hero's slaying of the basilisk. All of this hullaballoo would not have been possible were it not for Fawkes, Dumbledore's phoenix, that just happens to come to Harry's aid at the perfect moment(s). Harry would have been toast if not for this miraculous bird. Which of the following did Fawkes NOT do to help Harry survive in this film?
Give Harry a hat which contains a magic sword.
Blind the basilisk with its beak.
Destroy Riddle's diary with breath of fire.
Heal Harry Potter with its tears.
Perhaps my favorite moment of deus ex machina, and one that is so obviously self-aware, comes in "Monty Python's Life of Brian". Brian frantically tries to outrun the Roman legionnaires that are pursuing him, and in doing so, climbs the stairs to the top of a large tower. At the top he discovers--too late--that there is nowhere else to run and he falls comically from the tower. He is saved by what absurd deus ex machina?
A well-placed slingshot sends him flying back toward the tower.
A giant hand catches him, and then just sets him down.
His cloak acts as a makeshift parachute.
A spaceship suddenly scoops him out of the sky.
Copyright, FunTrivia.com. All Rights Reserved.
Legal / Conditions of Use
Compiled May 21 13