Sunday, April 29, 2012

SLIFR Movie Quiz

It's that time of year again. The inimitable Dennis Cozzalio of Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule has published another SLIFR Movie Quiz, this time in honor of spring and Sister Clodagh. This is not your grandmother's movie quiz. Any time Dennis makes a quiz, it is a palm-sweating, pencil-breaking, wake-up-at-3AM-thinking-of-the-answer-you-should-have-given test of cinephilia. I've posted my answers in the comment section of his blog as per his rules but I thought I would post here too, to give my readers a chance to see them. And to invite you guys to visit Dennis's blog and post there too.

Ready? Here we go.

1) Favorite movie featuring nuns
Black Narcissus

2) Second favorite John Frankenheimer movie

The Manchurian Candidate (The more flawed but more fascinating Seconds is first.)

3) William Bendix or Scott Brady?

William Bendix

4) What movie, real or imagined, would you stand in line six hours to see? Have you ever done so in real life?

The restored version of The Magnificent Ambersons in its original cut and I can see that I'm not the only one.

5)Favorite Mitchell Leisen movie

6) Ann Savage or Peggy Cummins?
Peggy Cummins (Savage is fantastic but Cummins in Gun Crazy is perfection.)

7) First movie you remember seeing as a child
Beauty and the Beast (1990)

8) What moment in a movie that is not a horror movie made you want to bolt from the theater screaming?
One of the combat scenes from Black Hawk Down, can't remember which, because I had a splitting headache and oh God, it was seizure-inducing.

9) Richard Widmark or Robert Mitchum?
Richard Widmark

10) Best movie Jesus
Robert Torti in Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical (2005) . For serious Jesus, I suppose I prefer the way his presence is handled in Ben-Hur.

11) Silliest straight horror film that you’re still fond of
I'm not really up to speed on true campy horror so I'll say The Fly (1958). 

12) Emily Blunt or Sally Gray?
Emily Blunt

13) Favorite cinematic Biblical spectacular
Ben-Hur. We watched it in my seventh-grade homeroom class, over the course of several days like a movie serial and I still say, big screens aside, that is the proper way to watch it. (Will Judah ever reunite with his family? Tune in tomorrow!)

14) Favorite cinematic moment of unintentional humor
Everyone and their accountant have made fun of this already but yes, the "I hate sand" dialogue from Attack of the Clones

15) Michael Fassbender or David Farrar?
Fassbender is a very attractive man and a fascinating talent no question, but David Farrar has three Powell and Pressburger classics to his credit. Advantage, Farrar. 

16) Most effective faith-affirming movie
Groundhog Day could  affirm pretty near any faith.

17) Movie that makes the best case for agnosticism
I've pondered this one for some time and come up blank.

18) Favorite song and/or dance sequence from a musical
For solo dance: Gene Kelly's "Singin' in the Rain"
For pair dancing: Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth, the "I'm Old Fashioned" number from You Were Never Lovelier
For dance as emotional narrative: The final dream sequence from Lili

19) Third favorite Howard Hawks movie
A tie between Ball of Fire and Rio Bravo.

20) Clara Bow or Jean Harlow?
Jean Harlow

21) Movie most recently seen in the theater? On DVD/Blu-ray/Streaming?
Theater--War Horse. On actual DVD--The Magnificent Ambersons. On streaming--Robocop.

22) Most unlikely good movie about religion
The Truman Show

23) Phil Silvers or Red Skelton?
I really don't have a horse in this race.

24) “Favorite” Hollywood scandal 
Favorite? The William Desmond Taylor murder remains one of the most fascinating, I guess.

25) Best religious movie (non-Christian)
Don't know about best, but I've loved Fiddler on the Roof since childhood.

26) The King of Cinema: King Vidor, King Hu or Henry King? (Thanks, Peter)
King Vidor

27) Name something modern movies need to relearn how to do that American or foreign classics had down pat 
Exposition, especially when it comes to pacing a film. Hollywood could learn so much from watching some of those good old snappy 70-minute programmers and how expertly they sum up the characters and the situation.

28) Least favorite Federico Fellini movie
Since I'm pledged to honesty, the only Fellini film I've seen is La Dolce Vita. You are now welcome to stone me to death with DVD copies of 8 1/2.

29) The Three Stooges (2012)—yes or no?
Not a Stooges fan.

30) Mary Wickes or Patsy Kelly?
Mary Wickes ("Dora, I suspect you're a treasure.")

31) Best movie-related conspiracy theory
All the theories about Walt Disney's corpse. Talk about random...

32) Your candidate for most misunderstood or misinterpreted movie
Network. How many times have we heard some pundit misappropriate the "I'm mad as hell speech" now?

33) Movie that made you question your own belief system (religious or otherwise)
Before watching The Unknown (1927), I was convinced I'd never wholeheartedly enjoy a 

silent film.

Well, that's all for now, folks. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some frantic film renting to do.


  1. Wasn't Mary Wickes great? And so versatile! I think it was her Everywoman look. I am even more impressed by your knowledge of/fascination with the classics now that I realize how *young* you are. I posted my own answers.

  2. Oh, lord, I remember watching Ben-Hur in the seventh grade, too--though we watched it in history class, not homeroom. But you make an excellent point about how watching it in pieces is the most effective way to see it!

  3. The Gal Herself: Thanks. I'm doing my best to catch up with the classics, but I've still got quite a ways to go. :)

    Trueclassics: Ha, you can't tell me that our teachers weren't thinking, "Well this one is good and long!" I had a similar experience with How the West Was Won, which I remember as being rather a weak movie, but it definitely filled a few classroom hours.

  4. Yeah for Peggy Cummins! Yeah for BLACK NARCISSUS! Interesting choices all.

  5. "Third favorite" Hawks seems a very strange question- you generally count one and two but after that there are really a whole bunch of ties. Ninth favorite Keaton, fifteenth favorite Lang, anyone? But, yes, Ball of Fire is my "third" favorite of Hawks' as well, so...

    How the West Was Won is mostly boring and often seems interminable but John Ford's very brief, easily missable Civil War section is the most potent statement about the absurdity of war, this side of Full Metal Jacket.

  6. Rick: Peggy Cummins is one of my great-what-ifs. So beautiful and talented. Hell, she should have been Oscar-nominated for Gun Crazy.

    Shamus: I guess "third favorite" is to make you think. I probably could come up with a "fifteenth favorite" for Hitchcock but that's about it.

    Considering that we were watching HTWWW on a cheap old VHS tape...I'm sure the film looked horrible, not that I would have noticed back then. I think the story of the Cinerama process is more fascinating to me than the film itself. There's a real sense of studio desperation in those late 50s, early 60s epics, each trying to be bigger than the last.