Professor Fate's Spring-Loaded Great-Racing Spring Break Movie Quiz

Dennis Cozzalio of the Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule blog has posted yet another movie quiz. Previous installments answering questions from Professor Russell Johnson, Dr. Smith, Professor Peabody, and Professor Severus Snape are also available... Now, onwards to Professor Fate's questions:

1) William Demarest or Broderick Crawford?

Not being overly familiar with either filmography (kinda sad when you see 100+ titles in each), I'll have to go with William Demarest because he has more titles and also because of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (even if it was a smaller role, if I remember correctly).

2) What movies improve when seen in a state of altered consciousness? (Patrick Robbins)

I guess you could go with a lot of different things here, but the one that came immediately to mind was 2001: A Space Odyssey (particularly the ending). Other things that came to mind were Altered States and Solyaris. But as someone who rarely alters their consciousness (beyond beer), what do I know?

3) Favorite studio or production company logo?

This was a hard one, because who really cares about logos? I looked around at a few logos and came up with Dark Castle Entertainment, which has a logo that is much better than most of the movies that they produce:

Dark Castle

There are tons of variations on the image, and they're all pretty good. After looking at some of the other answers, I have to admit that something like the old Looney Toons logo would probably be more iconic. I also love the Criterion/Janus logos, but do they count as a studio/production company? Focus Features, Icon, and Legendary Pictures also have some well designed logos, but I'll stick with Dark Castle.

4) Celeste Holm or Joan Blondell?

As usual, I'm not especially well versed in either actress's filmography, but I'll go with Celeste Holm because of All About Eve.

5) What is the most overrated "classic" film? (Tony Dayoub)

It's hard to answer this without just falling back on a "classic" that I don't especially like (even though everyone else does). It's also tough because a lot of movies are considered "classic" because of their context rather than their content. All that being said, one classic I've never really got on board with is Easy Rider. Goddamn hippies. In all seriousness, I just don't get the reputation this movie has. I mean, I understand that it was made during the 60s and was this counter-culture phenomenon, but it's just not that well made and it never really resonated with me. I just found it to be an incoherent mess with no real point. This is probably a decent example of a film not working outside it's context.

6) What movie do you know for sure you saw, but have no memory of seeing? (Patricia Yokoe Cozzalio)

I don't really have an answer for this (I mean, how do I know I saw it if I have no memory of seeing it?), but there are probably a bunch of films where I only remember bits and pieces. For instance, I've seen Schindler's List multiple times, but I only remember a few scenes from that movie. I distinctly remember watching it though, both at home and once at school. I haven't seen it in about 15 years, so I remember very little... and it's probably worthy of revisiting.

7) Favorite Hammer Film?

I watched a few Hammer Horror movies as part of last year's 6 Weeks of Halloween and came away unimpressed. I suppose my favorite would be Horror of Dracula, but again, it's not exactly a great movie. I think the big issue I have with the Hammer Horror films is that they call to mind the Universal Horror films, which tend to be better (for instance, The Curse of Frankenstein is ok on its own, but it pales in comparison to Frankenstein or Bride of Frankenstein).

8) Gregory Itzin or Joe Pantoliano?

Joey Pants, hands down. Dude's in everything, and he's always good.

9) Create a double feature with two different movies with the same title. No remakes. (Peter Nellhaus)

This one's hard. The first one I came up with would work, except that I don't especially like either movie all that much: Crash (1996 - Car crashes are sexy) and Crash (2005 - You're a racist). So searching out alternatives, I found The Unforgiven (1960) and Unforgiven (1992), but I haven't seen both of them and there are slight differences in the title. Then there's Jack Frost (1998 - Heartwarming Holiday picture) and Jack Frost (1997 - Serial Killer Snowman), but once again, we've got two bad movies (even though I kinda enjoy both for what they are).

So here's what I'll end with: Black Sunday (1960 - Mario Bava's creepifying tale of a witch's return from the grave) and Black Sunday (1977 - John Frankenheimer's thriller about a terrorist attack at the Super Bowl). I haven't actually seen the Frankenheimer movie, but it seems interesting. And one more answer to this question: The Enforcer (1951 - Bogart, need I say more?) and The Enforcer (1976 - Dirty Harry sequel).

10) Akiko Wakabayashi or Mie Hama? (Ray Young)

Yeah, so I don't remember who did what in You Only Live Twice, but I'll go with Mie Hama because her name in that movie was "Kissy Suzuki". I mean, it's no "Pussy Galore" but it's kinda a double entendre, right?

11) Can you think of a (non-porn) movie that informed you of the existence of a sexual act you had not known of prior? (Bob Westal)

Honestly no, but for some reason, I distinctly remembered to look up this blog entry from Kevin Smith where he explains:
We can learn a lot from those "Omen" flicks. The first time the concept of ass-fucking was introduced to me was via "The Final Conflict" - the under-appreciated third entry in the original "Omen" saga, starring Sam Neill as the now-adult Damien. He hooked up with this reporter lady, and at one point, they're getting down. Suddenly, he flips the chick over and buries it, all evil-like, in her dumper. As an eleven year old without the benefit of an internet connection (or an internet, period), I was confused, to say the least.
So I wish I could regale you with such a story, but I can't think of anything.

12) Can you think of a black & white movie that might actually improve if it was in color? (Patrick Robbins)

It's a tough call, but I'll go with Sanjuro. It's one of my favorite Kurosawa movies, and it has this great sequence where Sanjuro suggests the use of red flowers dropped into a stream as a signal to attack. Kurosawa had wanted to figure out a way to make the flowers red, but couldn't get it to work (he later managed to get something similar working with the pink smoke in High and Low). There's no question in my mind that the movie would be better if the flowers were red... but if Kurosawa was able to film the whole thing in color? I'm not sure about that. It would be interesting though.

13) Favorite Pedro Almodovar Film?

I haven't actually seen an Almodovar movie. I know, I know, something I need to rectify. Filmspotting did a marathon a while back, so I figure that's a good place to start.

14) Kurt Raab or Udo Kier?

I'll go with Udo Kier, seeing as though I've seen a lot of movies that he's in and I always like him.

15) Worst main title song (Peter Nellhaus)

Over the past two years, I've watched a number of terrible 80s slasher movies, most of which have terrible main title songs. The problem is that they're so bad that I must have repressed the memory of them. In looking at the answers on SLIFR, I see that Patrick gave an exceptional answer to this one though, and I have to agree:
No contest - that atrocity "I'm Your Weatherman" during the opening credits of Groundhog Day. The movie's sole flaw.
16) Last movie you saw in a theater? On DVD, Blu-ray or other interesting location/format?

In the theater, I saw Kick-Ass, which I enjoyed muchly. I'm not sure how well it will age for me though. If the novelty of an 11 year old girl swearing like a sailor and eviscerating her enemies doesn't run out, and if the aggresively juvenile over-the-top violence holds up, I think it might be a top 10 candidate. On Blu-Ray, I saw Extract. It was decent, but nothing special. On DVD, I saw A Colt Is My Passport, part of the Criterion/Eclipse collection of Nikkatsu Noir. A solid, entertaining Japanese gangster picture, though I'm not sure "noir" really qualifies.

17) Favorite movie reference within a Woddy Allen movie? (Larry Aydlette)

I don't know, how about the homage to silent era slapstick comedians in Sleeper.

18) Mary Astor or Claudette Colbert?

I guess I'll go with Mary Astor, because I've actually seen The Maltese Falcon.

19) Favorite trailer (provide YouTube link if possible)?

A tough one, but I'll go with this unused trailer from The Exorcist. I imagine it went unused because it's just so damn freaky. That or the studio was afraid of inducing epilepsy in the audience (there's a strobe-like effect going on here, so be warned):


20) Oddest double bill you either saw or saw listed in a theater

Well, I didn't see it, but according to this article, Grave of the Fireflies and My Neighbor Totoro "were produced and screened as a package" in Japan. Talk about your cinematic whiplash. Fireflies is one of the most relentlessly depressing and infuriating movies ever (and I suppose I mean that in a good way, though I never want to watch it again), while Totoro is pure joy and just about the complete opposite of Fireflies. I can't imagine watching them back to back, but I sure hope Totoro followed Fireflies.

21) Favoite Phil Karlson film?

I got nothing.

22) Favorite "social problem" picture?

I tend to dislike this kind of movie, mostly because I feel like I'm being lectured at, which isn't very convincing or, more importantly, entertaining. That being said, someone in the comments mentioned Lone Star, which I've always found to be effective (if pretentious).

23) Your favourite Harryhausen film/monster? (Ali Arikan)

Jason and the Argonauts. Sword fighting skeletons FTW.

24) What was the first movie you saw with your significant other? (Patrick Robbins)

Why do you hate single people?! HMMM! I'm talking to you, Patrick Robbins!

25) John Payne or Ronald Reagan?

Going to have to take (another) mulligan on this one.

26) Movie you feel a certain pressure or obligation to see that you have not yet actually seen

A while ago, I put together a list of the greatest movies I've never seen. Since then, I've seen the grand majority of films on that list, so it's probably worth revisiting in a separate post. The one in my queue for immediate consumption is The Apartment.

27) Favorite “psychedelic” movie (Hey, man, like, define it however you want, man…)

I suppose the answers here are more or less interchangeable with the answers to question #2. I tried to find something different though, and came up with a couple interesting ones: Pink Floyd The Wall (in particular, those damn marching hammers) and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

28) Thelma Ritter or Eve Arden?

Thelma Ritter. Not because I know either one well, but because I said so.

29) Favorite iconic shot or image from a film?

The way-too-obvious choice is John Wayne in the doorway from The Searchers... but I'll go with something different: The final shot from Sunset Boulevard.

Sunset Boulevard
All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.

30) What is the movie that inspired the most memorable argument you ever had about a movie?

The only thing that comes to mind is Taxi Driver. It wasn't exactly a barn burner and it was probably more the result of two clashing personalities rather than differing opinions on the movie. But it's pretty easy to win an argument where your side says that Taxi Driver is a good movie.

31) Raquel Torres or Lupe Velez?

Man, I'm doing even worse at these than usual. Pass!

32) Favorite adaptation of Shakespeare to a film?

It's funny that I almost immediately thought of Kurosawa and movies like Ran or Throne of Blood rather than direct adaptations. A quick check of the comment thread at SLIFR confirms that I'm not alone on this either.

33) Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein (in 3D)-- yes or no?

Flesh for Frankenstein has been on my list to watch for a while. If I remember correctly, it was on Netflix watch online last year and I planned on watching it for the 6 Weeks of Halloween marathon, but Netflix lost the rights or something and it wasn't available, so I never got to it. So that's a tentative "yes".

34) Favorite movie rating?

I guess I'd say R, but I do want to reference my favorite movie ratings poster, and my favorite there is the NC-17 section:

NC-17
Click for full poster

Ok, so I guess the couple that's all dressed up gets a certain point across. But the rabbit with the sunglasses? What's that supposed to mean? It's an embarrassed rabbit? And then there's the smiling loner who needs to keep his hands in his pockets. Brilliant.

35) Olivia Barash or Joyce Hyser?

Who are these people!? Seriously! Is this some sort of elaborate practical joke?

36) What was the movie that convinced you your favorite movie genre was your favorite movie genre?

Well, that would imply I have a favorite genre, though I guess Horror would count. And my lifelong fascination with horror movies can be traced back to two films: John Carpenter's Halloween and Don Coscarelli's Phantasm.

37) Favorite Blake Edwards movie?

Well, finally, I have an answer for one of these: The Pink Panther (and some of the sequels as well)

Phew! That about wraps up this edition. I know I complain about some of these questions and all, but I really do enjoy these things. I'm already anticipating the next one!