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Quiz about Turner Classic Movies The Essentials 2001
Quiz about Turner Classic Movies The Essentials 2001

Turner Classic Movies: "The Essentials" 2001 Quiz


In April 2001, Rob Reiner debuted as the host of "The Essentials", a weekly presentation and discussion of classic films on the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) cable channel. These are ten of the films showcased that first season.

A multiple-choice quiz by PDAZ. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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Author
PDAZ
Time
3 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
377,509
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Easy
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
1818
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 79 (9/10), Guest 12 (10/10), Guest 172 (10/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. The oldest film presented during the first season of "The Essentials" was a 1932 Paul Muni drama based on the real-life story of Robert Burns, a WWI veteran sentenced to hard labor following a petty robbery. Which Academy Award nominated film was it? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Only one musical from the 1930s was included on the first season of "The Essentials". Released in 1935, which Astaire-Rogers comedy was the most successful of their partnership? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The first season of "The Essentials" featured two comedies from the 1930s. One was 1939's "Ninotchka"; the other was which 1935 Marx Brothers' classic with Kitty Carlisle? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. The first season of "The Essentials" included eleven films from the 1940s, three of which starred Humphrey Bogart. Besides "The Maltese Falcon" (1941) and "The Treasure of Sierra Madre" (1948), which 1942 classic film co-starring Claude Rains and Ingrid Bergman, was also featured? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. James Cagney appeared in two of the films highlighted in the first season of "The Essentials". One was 1949's "White Heat"; the other was which 1942 musical based on the life of George M. Cohan? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. The first season of "The Essentials" showcased eleven films from the 1950s, including two from Alfred Hitchcock. One was 1954's "Dial M for Murder". The other film was which 1959 Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint thriller? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Only one musical from the 1950s was included in the first season of "The Essentials". Which 1952 Gene Kelly classic about the transition from silent to talking pictures was it? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Two of the eight films from the 1960s that were featured in the first season of "The Essentials" were trial films. One was 1962's "To Kill a Mockingbird". The other was which 1960 fictional account of the Scopes "Monkey" Trial? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Peter Sellers only appeared in one film included in the first season of "The Essentials", but he played three characters in it. Which 1964 Stanley Kubrick black comedy was it? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. The only film from the 1970s to be included in the first season of "The Essentials" was a low-budget sports drama that won the Best Picture Academy Award in 1976. Which film was it, which also received Best Actor and Original Screenplay Academy Award nominations for its star? Hint



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quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The oldest film presented during the first season of "The Essentials" was a 1932 Paul Muni drama based on the real-life story of Robert Burns, a WWI veteran sentenced to hard labor following a petty robbery. Which Academy Award nominated film was it?

Answer: I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang

In the film, Paul Muni portrayed James Allen (the fictional version of Robert Burns) who was sentenced to ten years hard labor on a chain gang in the southern U.S. following a conviction for a petty robbery in which he was unwillingly involved. He escaped from the chain gang and ended up in Chicago, where he wanted to begin his life again, but the landlady at his boarding house discovered who he was and blackmailed him into marrying her. When he fell in love with another woman and wanted a divorce, his wife turned him in, and he ended up back on a chain gang in the South. He managed to escape once again and met up with his fiancee for a brief goodbye before disappearing. His famous final line in the film was in response to his fiancee asking him how he lived; he replied "I steal".

Muni received an Academy Award nomination for his role, although he lost to Charles Laughton for Laughton's title role in "The Private Life of Henry VIII". Burns' book and the film have been credited with reforming the southern prison system and abolishing chain gang "hard labor" by the 1950s. However less brutal chain gangs came back into favor in later years as part of "get tough on crime" initiatives.
2. Only one musical from the 1930s was included on the first season of "The Essentials". Released in 1935, which Astaire-Rogers comedy was the most successful of their partnership?

Answer: Top Hat

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers appeared in ten films together starting with 1933's "Flying Down to Rio", and it was 1935's "Top Hat" that became their biggest hit together ("Easter Parade" was Astaire's most successful film, but he was partnered with Judy Garland in that musical). Featuring the music of Irving Berlin, "Top Hat" included the classic songs "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails" and "Cheek to Cheek". The plot was a comedy of errors: Astaire's Jerry Travers fell for Roger's Dale Tremont in a London hotel and then proceeded to chase her around London and Venice, while Dale mistook Jerry for his producer, Horace Hardwick, who was married to her friend Madge. Dale rejected Jerry's advances and ended up marrying an Italian fashion designer, or did she?

"Top Hat" was nominated for four Academy Awards (Best Picture, Art Direction, Dance Direction and Original Song - "Cheek to Cheek") but lost out, respectively to "Mutiny on the Bounty", "The Dark Angel", "Broadway Melody of 1936" and "Gold Diggers of 1935" - "Lullaby of Broadway".
3. The first season of "The Essentials" featured two comedies from the 1930s. One was 1939's "Ninotchka"; the other was which 1935 Marx Brothers' classic with Kitty Carlisle?

Answer: A Night at the Opera

"A Night at the Opera" was the Marx Brothers first film without Zeppo; he had appeared in their first five films but left the group to pursue an engineering/theatrical agent career. In the film, Groucho portrays Otis Driftwood, who arranges for his client Mrs. Claypool (Margaret Dumont), to invest in an opera company so that the company can hire a celebrated tenor. The tenor is chasing after a soprano Rosa (Kitty Carlisle) who is in a relationship with a member of the chorus Ricardo (Alan Jones). When the opera company sails to New York, Ricardo, his agent (Chico) and the tenor's dresser (Harpo) stow away on board, leading to the famous stateroom scene where the closet-size stateroom is packed with an unending stream of people. Eventually, Rosa and Ricardo get their chance to sing together on stage in New York when the audience prefers Ricardo over the tenor.

The film is a pop culture favorite, with the rock group Queen naming one of their albums after it, and the stateroom gag appearing in videos by Sting and Cyndi Lauper.
4. The first season of "The Essentials" included eleven films from the 1940s, three of which starred Humphrey Bogart. Besides "The Maltese Falcon" (1941) and "The Treasure of Sierra Madre" (1948), which 1942 classic film co-starring Claude Rains and Ingrid Bergman, was also featured?

Answer: Casablanca

Set during World War II, "Casablanca" took place in Morocco which was a popular spot for people fleeing German occupation. Bogart's Rick ran a nightclub where refugees would hang out while trying to get exit visas to leave. Rick came into possession of a couple of exit visas after one of the regulars, Ugarte, stole them from some German couriers that he killed. Following Ugarte's arrest, Rick was approached by Victor Laszlo, a famous Czech freedom fighter who wanted to purchase the visas. Although the cynical Rick was impressed with Laszlo, he denied his request because he was bitter over Laszlo's wife, Ilsa, an old flame of Rick's who had left him in Paris. When Ilsa confessed to Rick that she was still in love with him, he decided to do what was best for all of them.

Reportedly, few people associated with the movie thought that it would be anything more than an average film, Bogart included. But "Casablanca" ended up receiving eight Academy Award nominations and winning Best Picture, Best Director (Michael Curtiz) and Best Screenplay, and it regularly shows up near or at the top of "Best Film" lists.
5. James Cagney appeared in two of the films highlighted in the first season of "The Essentials". One was 1949's "White Heat"; the other was which 1942 musical based on the life of George M. Cohan?

Answer: Yankee Doodle Dandy

Although popular as a tough guy on film, James Cagney actually got his start as a dancer, and he was able to showcase his dancing skills while portraying the entertainer George M. Cohan. Like Cohan, Cagney had started out in vaudeville, and he studied Cohan's dancing and singing style to mimic it in the film. The story started with Cohan coming out of retirement to portray Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the musical "I'd Rather Be Right" and then, while chatting with Roosevelt when he received the Congressional Gold Medal, he reminisced over his career. The bulk of the film was then shown in a flashback to his early years as part of the the Four Cohans vaudeville act and his later successes as a composer and performer.

George M. Cohan had written an autobiographical play called "Yankee Doodle Boy" and wanted Fred Astaire to star in it, but Astaire turned it down, so Jack Warner of Warner Brothers Studios had the script modified and turned it into "Yankee Doodle Dandy". Cohan and his wife had an advance screening (reportedly, he had the right to cancel the release if he didn't like it), and Cagney did such a good job portraying Cohan that Cohan's wife thought it really was Cohan. The film received eight Academy Award nominations and won for Best Actor, Best Sound and Best Score. It was James Cagney's only Oscar win.
6. The first season of "The Essentials" showcased eleven films from the 1950s, including two from Alfred Hitchcock. One was 1954's "Dial M for Murder". The other film was which 1959 Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint thriller?

Answer: North by Northwest

Businessman Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) was mistaken for a government agent, Kaplan, and when an attempt to kill him failed, he was framed for the murder of a UN diplomat and became a fugitive. He was chased from New York to Chicago by the spy, Phillip Vandamm (James Mason), who Kaplan was supposedly tracking and by the government agency tracking Vandamm. Vandamm had his girlfriend, Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint) set Thornhill up to be killed by a crop duster, but when that failed, Thornhill confronted Vandamm and Kendall, unknowingly putting the real agent in danger.

"North by Northwest" received three Academy Award nominations but didn't win any, and it wasn't nominated for Best Picture or any acting awards. However, it regularly shows up in lists of the Top 100 films, and in 2001, it received the number four ranking in the American Film Institute's list of Top 100 Suspense/Thriller films, behind "Psycho", "Jaws" and "The Exorcist".
7. Only one musical from the 1950s was included in the first season of "The Essentials". Which 1952 Gene Kelly classic about the transition from silent to talking pictures was it?

Answer: Singin' in the Rain

Gene Kelly shared directing and choreography chores with Stanley Donen on "Singin' in the Rain". In the film, Kelly portrayed Don Lockwood, a silent film star who was frequently partnered with Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen). When talking pictures became popular, Lockwood and Lamont had to make the transition, but Lamont's nasally voice was a problem. Lockwood talked the studio head into dubbing Lamont's voice with that of Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds), a wannabe actress for whom Lockwood had fallen. When Lamont forced the studio to continue to use Selden's voice without giving her credit, Lockwood and his friend Cosmo (Donald O'Connor) devised a way to free Selden from the contract.

"Singin' in the Rain" was only a minor success when first released and was only nominated for two Academy Awards - Best Supporting Actress for Jean Hagen and Best Score. But the film's popularity increased over the years, and it now regularly shows up on lists of best musicals of all time.
8. Two of the eight films from the 1960s that were featured in the first season of "The Essentials" were trial films. One was 1962's "To Kill a Mockingbird". The other was which 1960 fictional account of the Scopes "Monkey" Trial?

Answer: Inherit the Wind

The Scopes Trial took place in Tennessee in 1925, with John T. Scopes being convicted for teaching evolution to a high school science class. Clarence Darrow defended Scopes while William Jennings Bryan was the prosecutor. In "Inherit the Wind", Spencer Tracy portrayed Henry Drummond (Darrow) with Fredric March portraying Matthew Brady (Bryan). Dick York portrayed Bertram Cates, the teacher who was arrested for teaching evolution. Gene Kelly also appeared in the film as E.K. Hornbeck, a newspaperman who recruited Drummond and provided national coverage of the trial. Hornbeck was a fictionalized portrayal of H.L. Mencken, who provided the same service in the real trial. The film followed the trial somewhat accurately, with Cates being convicted but only receiving a fine of $100 as did Scopes, but Scopes' conviction was overturned on a technicality. While Brady died in the courtroom in the film, Bryan actually died five days after the trial.

"Inherit the Wind" was nominated for four Academy Awards - Best Actor (Tracy), Screenplay, Cinematography and Film Editing but lost to, respectively, "Elmer Gantry" (Burt Lancaster), "Elmer Gantry", "Sons and Lovers" and "The Apartment".
9. Peter Sellers only appeared in one film included in the first season of "The Essentials", but he played three characters in it. Which 1964 Stanley Kubrick black comedy was it?

Answer: Dr. Strangelove

Besides directing "Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb", Kubrick also co-wrote the screenplay with Terry Southern and Peter George and produced the film. Peter Sellers played three characters: RAF officer Mandrake, US President Muffley and former Nazi Dr. Strangelove. He was originally supposed to also play Major Kong, the bomber pilot, but the role ended up memorably going to Slim Pickens. In the film, Mandrake's boss, General Ripper (Sterling Hayden) ordered their bombers to launch a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, and Mandrake soon discovered that Ripper was attacking without orders from above. Back in the War Room at the Pentagon, the President was told about the pending attack by General Turgidson (George C. Scott). Turgidson tried to talk Muffley into going ahead with the attack on the Soviets, but Muffley wouldn't agree and instead warned the Soviets. The Soviets then admitted to having created a doomsday device that would automatically detonate multiple bombs if the Soviet Union was attacked, with Dr. Strangelove pointing out that the purpose of a doomsday device was to let other countries know that it existed before a strike was launched.

"Dr. Strangelove" received four Academy Award nominations - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Sellers) and Best Screenplay but lost to, respectively, "My Fair Lady", "My Fair Lady" (George Cukor), "My Fair Lady" (Rex Harrison) and "Becket".
10. The only film from the 1970s to be included in the first season of "The Essentials" was a low-budget sports drama that won the Best Picture Academy Award in 1976. Which film was it, which also received Best Actor and Original Screenplay Academy Award nominations for its star?

Answer: Rocky

Sylvester Stallone wrote the screenplay for the film and convinced the studio to allow him to play the title character even though he was a relative newcomer at the time. The film cost around $1 million to produce and went on to be the highest grossing film of the year. The plot evolved around Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer who was selected to fight against the world champion, Apollo Creed, when the latter hosted a match in Philadelphia as part of the country's bicentennial celebration. Creed believed that a fight against Balboa would be an easy victory, but Balboa decided to commit himself to training, and the match ended up going the distance.

"Rocky" was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won three: Best Picture, Best Director (for John Avildsen) and Best Film Editing. Stallone lost the Best Actor award to Peter Finch for "Network" and the Best Original Screenplay award to Paddy Chayefsky, also for "Network". The iconic theme song, Bill Conti's "Gonna Fly Now" was nominated for Best Song but lost to the Barbra Streisand/Paul Williams song "Evergreen" from "A Star is Born".
Source: Author PDAZ

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