Quiz about The Power of the Dog
Quiz about The Power of the Dog

The Power of the Dog Trivia Quiz


Centered by four incredible performances, Jane Campion's "The Power of the Dog" is a fascinating character study about a rancher, his brother, his new wife, and her son, and how they deal with their inner demons. Contains major spoilers.

A multiple-choice quiz by jmorrow. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
jmorrow
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
408,610
Updated
Mar 21 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
104
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 66 (10/10), Guest 174 (4/10), Gispepfu (10/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Rose Gordon runs an inn in the town of Beech following the death of her husband. She is helped by her son, Peter, a pale-skinned, lanky teenager who is good with his hands. What does Peter make that Rose uses to decorate the tables in the dining room? Hint

A table runner
Harvest wreaths
Scented candles
Paper flowers

2. Phil Burbank and his brother, George, are successful cattle ranchers in Montana. When a cattle drive takes them to Beech, they host a dinner for all the cowhands at Rose's inn. What does Phil do to make Rose cry? Hint

He mocks Peter.
He propositions Rose.
He sings off-key.
He insults her cooking.

3. When George tries to pay the bill for dinner, he finds Rose crying in the kitchen and ends up comforting her. He returns another day to see her, and finds her in need of assistance yet again. How does George help Rose out that day? Hint

He makes the biscuits.
He mixes the drinks.
He waits tables.
He kills the chickens.

4. Rose moves into the ranch after her marriage to George, but Phil doesn't approve of his brother's choice of wife, and takes every opportunity to destroy her peace of mind. What source of stress for Rose does Phil exploit to undermine her well-being? Hint

Her arrowhead collection
Her flower garden
Her piano playing
Her vintage wardrobe

5. Even though he is not portrayed or shown in the film, one character nevertheless has a significant presence in the narrative because Phil constantly evokes his memory in conversation. What is the name of the ranch hand who taught Phil and George everything they know about ranching? Hint

Buffalo Bill
Pistol Pete
Texas Jack
Bronco Henry

6. Phil and the cowhands taunt Peter relentlessly, but Peter seems unfazed by it. Phil attempts to start over with Peter by taking him under his wing. What essential item for ranch living does he offer to make for Peter? Hint

A rope
Dreamcatcher
Bolo tie
Tobacco pouch

7. The Burbank ranch sits in front of a hill range that rises up in the distance. Phil sees something in the rock formation that the other cowhands don't, so Phil is surprised when Peter sees it too. What shape can they discern from the shadows of the outcrop? Hint

A soaring eagle
A two-humped camel
A leaping antelope
A barking dog

8. Peter traps a rabbit and surprises his mother, Rose, with it - a welcome moment of levity in her alcohol-addled state. What does Peter do with it next? Hint

He dissects it.
He cooks it.
He shoots it.
He frees it.

9. Phil is furious when he learns that Rose has given away all of his hides while he was out on a fencing job. How does he get the rawhide he needs to complete his project for Peter? Hint

From Peter
By ordering from a tannery
By cutting up his chaps
By trading with the Indians

10. When Phil doesn't show up for breakfast the next morning, George finds him ill in bed. He takes him to town to see the doctor, but despite their efforts, Phil dies. What does the doctor suspect is the cause? Hint

Anthrax
Diphtheria
Influenza
Pneumonia


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Rose Gordon runs an inn in the town of Beech following the death of her husband. She is helped by her son, Peter, a pale-skinned, lanky teenager who is good with his hands. What does Peter make that Rose uses to decorate the tables in the dining room?

Answer: Paper flowers

When we first meet Peter, he is cutting up old sheet music and books to make elaborate paper flowers. His mother, Rose, picks up a bunch of them in admiration. "Oh, that's clever, Peter. They're so lovely," she says. "For the tables?" The look on Peter's face tells you that he intended some other use for them, but he just replies, "Sure." We later see Peter place some flowers at the grave of Dr. John Gordon, his father, who took his own life four years earlier.

Peter's protective feelings for his mother and his desire to please her are intrinsic to his character. As Peter explains in the film's opening narration, "When my father passed, I wanted nothing more than my mother's happiness. For what kind of man would I be if I did not help my mother? If I did not save her?"
2. Phil Burbank and his brother, George, are successful cattle ranchers in Montana. When a cattle drive takes them to Beech, they host a dinner for all the cowhands at Rose's inn. What does Phil do to make Rose cry?

Answer: He mocks Peter.

As Phil takes a seat at the head of the table at The Red Mill, he notices the flowers. "Well, ain't them purdy?" he says. "I wonder what little lady made these?" The cowhands around him chuckle. "Actually, I did, sir," Peter says, coming over from the other table. "My mother was a florist, so I made them to look like the ones in our garden." Phil pretends to be interested, but he is really mocking Peter. "Pardon me. They're just as real as possible," he says, before pointing out the white cloth draped over Peter's arm. "They're just for wine drips," Peter explains. "Only for the drips," Phil says with a pronounced lisp, playing to the table. Later, Phil sets one of the paper flowers on fire with a candle, and uses it to light his cigarette, making sure that Peter notices. Rose is devastated.

Phil is a bit of a bully, and has certain ideas about what it means to be a man. The queer-coded Peter offends and triggers Phil, resulting in him lashing out. Phil is also well educated - he read classics at Yale and references Remus and Romulus in his toast - which makes his petty torments more troubling as they are likely not borne out of ignorance but from some deeper pathology.
3. When George tries to pay the bill for dinner, he finds Rose crying in the kitchen and ends up comforting her. He returns another day to see her, and finds her in need of assistance yet again. How does George help Rose out that day?

Answer: He waits tables.

George couldn't be more different from his older brother. The charismatic and intimidating Phil embraces the rancher's life unreservedly, rejecting modern conveniences like work gloves and house baths. George dresses well and is kind-hearted and more reticent. As Phil says to George at the start of the film, "You act like it pains you to hitch two words together."

When George finds Rose weeping in the kitchen over Phil's cruelty towards Peter, he is immediately drawn to the gentle widow. He returns to Beech on another day to find Rose working the lunch service on her own. "They have wine with them," she confides in George, referring the rowdy party in the dining room. "I wish they wouldn't do that. I don't like drinking." Rose is about to fetch Peter to help when George takes off his jacket, drapes a dishtowel over his arm, and picks up the salad plates. "Afternoon," he says to the surprised diners, as Rose watches in amazement from the kitchen. "Looks like I'm the new waiter."

George and Rose get married, and Rose sells her property in Beech to move into the ranch. After settling Peter in school, they stop for a picnic on the way back. They share a tender moment as Rose teaches George how to waltz, when George is suddenly overcome with emotion. "I just wanted to say how nice it is not to be alone," he says in tears. Rose walks up to George and hugs him tightly. For a moment, everything is perfect.
4. Rose moves into the ranch after her marriage to George, but Phil doesn't approve of his brother's choice of wife, and takes every opportunity to destroy her peace of mind. What source of stress for Rose does Phil exploit to undermine her well-being?

Answer: Her piano playing

Phil makes no secret of his contempt for Rose - he tells George that "she'll be after some dollar for Miss Nancy's college fee", and calls Rose "a cheap schemer" to her face. George adds to her stress by planning a dinner to introduce her to his parents and the Governor, and suggests that she play the piano for their guests. He mistakes Rose's protestations that she is out of practice for false modesty, and has the cowhands bring in a Mason & Hamlin baby grand piano into the house from storage. Rose begins practicing Strauss' "Radetzky March" but her progress is spotty, and Phil torments her by playing the same tune effortlessly on his banjo whenever she is playing. Rose begins to unravel.

On the night of the dinner, Rose freezes at the piano and is unable to play. Phil had skipped the dinner because he didn't want to wash up, but he enters at the end of the evening and learns about Rose's stage fright. "You didn't play?" he remarks in front of everyone. "You sure did practice a terrible lot." Phil follows the departing guests while whistling the "Radetzky March", leaving Rose alone in the dining room. She downs the cocktail that she had been nursing all evening, and begins relying on alcohol as a coping mechanism, stashing liquor bottles all over the ranch.
5. Even though he is not portrayed or shown in the film, one character nevertheless has a significant presence in the narrative because Phil constantly evokes his memory in conversation. What is the name of the ranch hand who taught Phil and George everything they know about ranching?

Answer: Bronco Henry

Phil and George were taught everything they know about ranching by Bronco Henry. Despite having perished some 21 years earlier, his presence looms large in the film. Phil regales the cowhands with tales of Henry's escapades, and refers to him as the greatest rider he ever knew. Phil even established what is best described as a shrine to his old mentor in the barn, replete with a commemorative gold plaque. In a private moment, we see Phil retreat into a secluded meadow out of sight of anyone, where he undresses and, in a ritualistic fashion, caresses a large handkerchief with the initials "BH" embroidered on it.

Peter comes to stay at the ranch during a break from school. While out hunting for rabbits, Peter chances upon Phil's hiding place. There he finds a box containing magazines with pictures of naked men belonging to Bronco Henry. We come to understand that Phil and Henry were lovers, and that Phil's bravado and displays of toxic masculinity are a form of overcompensation to mask his sexuality.
6. Phil and the cowhands taunt Peter relentlessly, but Peter seems unfazed by it. Phil attempts to start over with Peter by taking him under his wing. What essential item for ranch living does he offer to make for Peter?

Answer: A rope

The cowhands tease Peter every chance they get, but it doesn't seem to bother him. He even walks past the cowhands at a haymaking camp to look at a bird's nest in a tree, ignoring the wolf whistles and catcalls, and turns around and walks right back the way he came. Phil sees the display and Rose's concern for her son, and calls Peter over.

Perhaps Phil is impressed with Peter's fearlessness, or he plans to use Peter as the latest weapon in his war against Rose (or both). Phil is plaiting a rope out of long strands of rawhide. "Peter, we kind of got off on the wrong foot," he says. "That can happen to people. People who get to be good friends." Phil says that when he finishes the rope, he will give it to Peter and teach him how to use it. "Sort of a lonesome place out here, Pete, unless you get in the swing of things," he says. Peter accepts Phil's offer with a smile, as Rose looks on apprehensively.
7. The Burbank ranch sits in front of a hill range that rises up in the distance. Phil sees something in the rock formation that the other cowhands don't, so Phil is surprised when Peter sees it too. What shape can they discern from the shadows of the outcrop?

Answer: A barking dog

When the light hits the hill range just right, it casts a shadow that resembles a barking dog. The cowhands catch Phil smiling at it from time to time, but he plays coy when they ask him about it. "What is it you see up there, Phil?" asks a cowhand. "Has anyone else seen what you've seen, Phil?" Phil doesn't answer, lost in his thoughts. "Come on, Phil. What is it? There is something there, right?" Phil answers finally. "Not if you can't see it, there ain't," he says wryly.

Phil teaches Peter how to handle a horse, and the pair are chatting in the barn. "Did Bronco Henry teach you to ride, Phil?" Peter asks. "Yep. He taught me to use my eyes in ways that other people can't," Phil replies, his gaze looking out on the horizon. "Take that hill over there. Most people look at it and just see a hill. Where Bronco looked at it, what do you suppose he saw?" Peter walks up next to Phil, and they both look out at the hill range. "A barking dog," Peter replies. Phil turns back to look at Peter in surprise. "You just saw that now?" he asks. "No. When I first came here. See, it looks like a dog with its jaw wide open," Peter says. Phil is stunned to have found a kindred spirit in Peter.
8. Peter traps a rabbit and surprises his mother, Rose, with it - a welcome moment of levity in her alcohol-addled state. What does Peter do with it next?

Answer: He dissects it.

Peter is studying to be a doctor like his father, so it isn't all that surprising when his new pet ends up under the knife. Lola, the maid, arrives in Peter's room with a carrot for the rabbit and gasps when she sees what he is doing. Peter is sitting at his desk, sketching. The rabbit is pinned onto a board and split open, all of its organs neatly removed. "Shut the door," he tells Lola calmly. "I thought you liked rabbits," Rose asks him later. "I do, but if I want to be a surgeon, I have to practice," Peter explains. "Well, you're not to kill them in the house," Rose instructs. We later see Peter ride out on his own one day, and when he locates a dead calf in the bottom of a ravine, he produces a scalpel and begins cutting.

Phil and Peter ride out one day for a fencing job, and Phil gets a deep cut in his hand from a splinter after they try to scare another rabbit out from under a pile of poles. The rabbit has a broken leg, and Peter has to put it out of its misery. At the end of the day, the pair are relaxing and the topic turns to fathers and father figures. "He used to worry I wasn't kind enough. That I was too strong," Peter says, referring to his father. "You? Too strong? He got that wrong," Phil replies with a smile. "Things will work out for you yet."
9. Phil is furious when he learns that Rose has given away all of his hides while he was out on a fencing job. How does he get the rawhide he needs to complete his project for Peter?

Answer: From Peter

Phil and Peter return from the fencing job to find that Rose has given away all of Phil's hides to some Native Americans. Phil blows up at George about Rose and her drinking, as Peter eavesdrops outside. "They were mine! I needed them," Phil yells, enraged. Once George leaves, Peter enters the barn and places his hand on Phil's elbow. "Phil, I've got rawhide to finish the rope," he says gently. "You've got it? What are you doing with rawhide?" Phil asks. "I cut some up. I wanted to be like you. Please take what I've got," Peter replies. "Well, that's damn kind of you, Pete," Phil says, placing a hand on the back of Peter's neck. "Tell you something. Everything's gonna be plain sailing for you from now on in." He vows to finish the rope that night, and asks Peter to accompany him.

As Phil works, Peter helps by bringing in the strips of rawhide which are soaking in a pail of water to make them easier to work with. He rolls a cigarette and lights it. "How old were you when you met Bronco Henry?" he asks. "About the age you are now," Phil replies. "Was he your best friend?" Peter asks. "He was more than that. Once, he saved my life," Phil replies. He explains that when he and Henry were stranded in the hills during a storm, they kept each other warm by lying body to body in a bedroll. "Naked?" Peter asks. Phil just chuckles without answering. Peter takes a slow drag from the cigarette and passes the butt to Phil as he continues working.
10. When Phil doesn't show up for breakfast the next morning, George finds him ill in bed. He takes him to town to see the doctor, but despite their efforts, Phil dies. What does the doctor suspect is the cause?

Answer: Anthrax

George goes up to check on Phil when he fails to show up for breakfast, and finds him sick in bed. "What happened to your hand?" George asks, as he helps Phil with his boots. As they leave for Herndon to see the doctor, Phil tries to look for Peter, to pass him the finished rope. George promises to get it to him, and they leave for town.

In the next scene, George picks out a coffin for his brother as the mortuary prepares Phil's body for burial. At the funeral, the doctor has a word with George. "I'll know in a day or two when the results come back. Those last convulsions. Terrible. Truly frightful," he says. "You know what I'm thinking? Anthrax." George takes a moment to process this information. "But he never handled diseased animals. He was particular on that," he says.

Back on the ranch, Peter opens a Bible and locates Psalm 22.20, a prayer for protection:

"Deliver my soul from the sword,
My darling from the power of the dog."

In his room, Peter sits at the edge of his bed handling the finished rope with gloved hands. He places it carefully under the bed. He looks out the window to see George and Rose returning from town. They stop in the driveway and share a kiss. Peter is pleased.
Source: Author jmorrow

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