Quiz about The Railrodder
Quiz about The Railrodder

The Railrodder Trivia Quiz


This 1965 production of the National Film Board of Canada hearkens back to star Buster Keaton's heyday as a silent film icon. The quiz focuses on Buster and his doings, not Canadian geography, so don't be deterred if you don't know anything about Canada.

A multiple-choice quiz by ubermom. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
ubermom
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
321,095
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
139
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. The film opens with an odd choice of an iconic shot for a movie produced by the National Film Board of Canada. What landmark do we see? Hint

The Eiffel Tower
The Statue of Liberty
Big Ben
The Golden Gate Bridge

2. Ordered by an ad to see Canada, Buster takes a plunge and emerges from the sea on the Canadian shore. Wearied from his long journey, Buster plods along. He starts to walk around his first obstacle -- a motorized railcar -- but stops to examine it. What feature in particular attracts Buster's attention? Hint

The wheels
The seat
The engine
The controls

3. Once Buster has decided that the motorized car is a good way to travel, his attention is grabbed by the big orange tool box. He opens it, peers inside, and pulls out a pair of heavy overalls. Those don't seem to appeal to him, but he roots around and finds something else that he is glad to find and makes quick use of. What is it? Hint

A hair dryer
A blanket
A jacket
A towel

4. After some near misses with road and train traffic, Buster reaches back into the toolbox and pulls out a spyglass, but when he looks through it, everything is upside-down. He puts it away. He hears squeaking and gets out an oil can to try to oil the wheels. Finally, his car putts to a stop on a multi-line bridge. What is Buster oblivious of, as he tends to his stalled vehicle? Hint

A hand car driven by four beautiful girls passes by.
The bridge pivots open to let a boat pass, then pivots back into place.
Workmen are preparing to demolish the bridge with explosives.
The "General" cruises by on the next track over.

5. Morning dawns. It's time to freshen up. The toolbox provides Buster with water and a basin, a towel, a hairbrush, and even a cloth for shining his shoes. He's looking quite dapper. But as he relaxes to read, a passing train blares its horn and nearly startles Buster off his cart. Cruising past a fine waterfront restaurant, Buster decides he could use some refreshment himself. What does he pull out of the magical toolbox? Hint

A tablecloth, a plate, and some sort of food in a shallow tin
A roast goose with all the trimmings
A sandwich
A milkshake

6. Buster is sleepy. He pulls a blanket and pillow out of the toolbox and settles down for a snooze. When day breaks, the cart has stopped in the middle of a prairie, quiet but for the sounds of birds. Buster checks his map, then gets rolling again. In a scene reminiscent of "The Balloonatic" (1923), Buster scrubs his linens and hangs them to dry as he cruises along. Then he gets out his map again. What happens with the map? Hint

Buster sets it up like a tent to shelter his drying laundry.
It flutters in the breeze and blows out of Buster's hands.
It unfolds to massive proportions.
It opens like a parachute and nearly yanks Buster off the car.

7. Buster's watch chimes, waking him and reminding him that it's tea time. He stops the cart and gets out his tea set -- complete with a single flower in a vase -- from the toolbox. Buster sips his tea primly, not at all taken aback by the huge shaggy buffalo watching him. But the sound of thunder encroaches on his break. What does Buster do? Hint

He sighs resignedly and puts his tea set away.
He pulls an umbrella out of the toolbox.
He holds his saucer over the cup to keep the rain out.
He doggedly drinks his tea while getting drenched by the rain.

8. Buster tidies up his rolling home, sweeping it himself since this isn't "The General" (1926) and he doesn't have Annabelle Lee to wield the broom. As he looks up from his chores, Buster notices the magnificent Canadian Rockies ahead. Of course the magical toolbox contains a camera to photograph the vista -- a massive box camera on a tripod. What happens when Buster goes to snap his picture? Hint

The tripod collapses.
A train coming in the opposite direction comes by and blocks the shot.
The drape blows over the front of the camera, blocking the shot.
He enters a tunnel just as he's snapping the shot.

9. It's cold there in the Rockies. Buster hauls a massive buffalo coat out of the magical toolbox, then sets into knitting. We hear the sound of a lamb baa-ing as Buster pulls yarn from the toolbox. We see Buster cruise into a tunnel. We see a freight train enter the tunnel from the other direction. What happens? Hint

We hear, rather than see, some sort of collision.
The train backs out of the tunnel at cartoon speed to clear the way for Buster.
There are two lines; Buster and the train pass each other harmlessly.
Buster gets pushed backward out of the tunnel by the train.

10. Buster passes the time playing solitaire and cooking some eggs on a hot plate. As he's eating, he passes a sign that says, "Pacific Ocean". He backs up, stops the cart, and turns it around. Then he steps off to the rocky beach to ponder the sea. What happens while his back is turned? Hint

The car starts up and rolls away without Buster.
A pretty girl climbs onto the car and starts rooting around in the toolbox.
A railroad worker climbs aboard the car and takes it.
A Japanese tourist emerges from the sea and takes the car.


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The film opens with an odd choice of an iconic shot for a movie produced by the National Film Board of Canada. What landmark do we see?

Answer: Big Ben

Buster is in London, sitting by the Thames, reading a newspaper. For some reason he's wearing a boater rather than his trademark porkpie, but we'll let that slide.

Buster sees a full page ad in the paper. "SEE CANADA NOW!" it shouts. Imagining the many exciting things he might see, Buster leaps into the Thames. He emerges, sodden and minus his hat, on a beach in Nova Scotia. He splooches up to the end of a railroad line, where a sign tells him "Pacific Ocean. West. 3982 1/2 miles." Dogged as only Buster can be, and with a "Here we go!" gesture fans will recognize, he starts walking.

"The Railrodder" isn't technically silent -- it has a soundtrack and sound effects -- but it's silent in style, with no dialogue and the story told visually.
2. Ordered by an ad to see Canada, Buster takes a plunge and emerges from the sea on the Canadian shore. Wearied from his long journey, Buster plods along. He starts to walk around his first obstacle -- a motorized railcar -- but stops to examine it. What feature in particular attracts Buster's attention?

Answer: The seat

A tired and soggy Buster prods the seat, decides it looks comfortable, and sits down. But when he stretches out to nap, he accidentally starts the motorized car rolling. At first Buster looks alarmed, but once he looks around, he realizes that this is just the way to travel. He settles himself in and starts taking in the landscape.
3. Once Buster has decided that the motorized car is a good way to travel, his attention is grabbed by the big orange tool box. He opens it, peers inside, and pulls out a pair of heavy overalls. Those don't seem to appeal to him, but he roots around and finds something else that he is glad to find and makes quick use of. What is it?

Answer: A jacket

Buster dons the jacket, which goes well with his outfit, then roots around and comes out with a porkpie hat. He brushes the hat off with his sleeve, puts it on, and his ensemble is complete. Buster settles in for his ride.
4. After some near misses with road and train traffic, Buster reaches back into the toolbox and pulls out a spyglass, but when he looks through it, everything is upside-down. He puts it away. He hears squeaking and gets out an oil can to try to oil the wheels. Finally, his car putts to a stop on a multi-line bridge. What is Buster oblivious of, as he tends to his stalled vehicle?

Answer: The bridge pivots open to let a boat pass, then pivots back into place.

Buster tinkers around, gets the cart purring again, and sits down just as the bridge sets back into place. The only traffic of any sort was the boat -- which Buster totally failed to notice. He resumes his journey, through industrial and city into country landscape.

Fans will get a kick out of seeing small, familiar Buster Keaton gestures, the little movements like the fists on the hips as he sizes up his predicament.
5. Morning dawns. It's time to freshen up. The toolbox provides Buster with water and a basin, a towel, a hairbrush, and even a cloth for shining his shoes. He's looking quite dapper. But as he relaxes to read, a passing train blares its horn and nearly startles Buster off his cart. Cruising past a fine waterfront restaurant, Buster decides he could use some refreshment himself. What does he pull out of the magical toolbox?

Answer: A tablecloth, a plate, and some sort of food in a shallow tin

Buster sets up the tablecloth and plate, and dumps out the contents of the tin. But when he tosses the tin aside, we hear it clatter. And clatter. And clatter. As we pull back to see the huge trestle Buster, oblivious, is crossing.
6. Buster is sleepy. He pulls a blanket and pillow out of the toolbox and settles down for a snooze. When day breaks, the cart has stopped in the middle of a prairie, quiet but for the sounds of birds. Buster checks his map, then gets rolling again. In a scene reminiscent of "The Balloonatic" (1923), Buster scrubs his linens and hangs them to dry as he cruises along. Then he gets out his map again. What happens with the map?

Answer: It unfolds to massive proportions.

The map gag is a nod to the gag at the beginning "The High Sign" (1921), when Buster opens a newspaper only to have it unfold to massive proportions. This time it envelops Buster, leaving him oblivious of the passing scene -- including a massive trestle and other motorized car traffic, which gets out of his way just in the nick of time.

A frustrated Buster wads the map up and tosses it away.
7. Buster's watch chimes, waking him and reminding him that it's tea time. He stops the cart and gets out his tea set -- complete with a single flower in a vase -- from the toolbox. Buster sips his tea primly, not at all taken aback by the huge shaggy buffalo watching him. But the sound of thunder encroaches on his break. What does Buster do?

Answer: He holds his saucer over the cup to keep the rain out.

He must drink his tea furtively now, but he's not about to give up on drinking it.

We never do see it rain on Buster, though the thunder threatens. Keaton fans will appreciate the little palm-up checking for rain gesture.
8. Buster tidies up his rolling home, sweeping it himself since this isn't "The General" (1926) and he doesn't have Annabelle Lee to wield the broom. As he looks up from his chores, Buster notices the magnificent Canadian Rockies ahead. Of course the magical toolbox contains a camera to photograph the vista -- a massive box camera on a tripod. What happens when Buster goes to snap his picture?

Answer: He enters a tunnel just as he's snapping the shot.

In a nod to "The Cameraman" (1928), Buster grapples with his camera, but all the moves are new, not a single gag rehashed. He'll recycle the ill-timed entry into a tunnel later in the film.

Of course there's no rhyme or reason to why Buster stopped the car entirely for tea time, but let it go on rolling to take the picture. Gags have their own logic.
9. It's cold there in the Rockies. Buster hauls a massive buffalo coat out of the magical toolbox, then sets into knitting. We hear the sound of a lamb baa-ing as Buster pulls yarn from the toolbox. We see Buster cruise into a tunnel. We see a freight train enter the tunnel from the other direction. What happens?

Answer: We hear, rather than see, some sort of collision.

We never get to see how it is that Buster emerges unscathed on the other side, but we hear a crash and clattering and the putt-putting of Buster's little cart. The next gag involves Buster and some geese. He grabs a gun, builds a blind, and takes a shot -- just as he rolls into another tunnel. We're never clear on why Buster stops to turn the cart into a duck blind, but then resumes rolling when he's ready to shoot. Humor has its own logic. And Buster's predatory eyes peeking out under the brim of his porkpie hat are an amusing and endearing sight to fans.
10. Buster passes the time playing solitaire and cooking some eggs on a hot plate. As he's eating, he passes a sign that says, "Pacific Ocean". He backs up, stops the cart, and turns it around. Then he steps off to the rocky beach to ponder the sea. What happens while his back is turned?

Answer: A Japanese tourist emerges from the sea and takes the car.

As Buster takes in the view, we pan to a Japanese man, dressed much like Buster, with an umbrella and boater, who ponders the sign: "Atlantic Ocean. East. 3982 1/2 Miles". And, like Buster had done on the east coast, he spots the cart, starts to walk past it, then checks out the seat. Buster turns, the cart is gone, the familiar putt-putting sound is fading in distance. Oh, well. Buster starts walking east.
Source: Author ubermom

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor jmorrow before going online.
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