The Shadowplay Impossible Film Quiz

Win £££! Using a permanent marker on your monitor, plot your way through Mr Antonioni’s perspex labyrinth.

By popular demand — The Shadowplay Impossible Film Quiz.

Some of you may know some of the answers. Some of you may know none of the answers. But the questions have been chosen mainly for their ability to inspire interestingly wrong answers. So have a guess! Prizes will be awarded more or less at random.

Round (1) The Quotations round. What films do these salient remarks stem from? For extra points, who said them, and what was going through their minds at the time? For extra, extra points, what were they wearing?

a) “Was the smudge trying to warn Clive of danger?”

b) “Does this mean Ann-Margret’s not coming?”

c) “They have a wonderful way of baking the cheese on it so that it’s very crispy.”

d) “All that leaping up and down in those… That’s what I behaviour!” (sic)

Round (2) Lowest Common Denominators round. What do the following groups of films have in common?

a) The Piano; The Ghost Ship (Robson); Susan Slept Here.

b) American Beauty; The Devil’s Backbone; The Honeypot; Sunset Boulevard.

c) Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb; The Student of Prague (1935 version); A Dandy in Aspic.

d) The Poseidon Adventure; Night of the Hunter; A Place in the Sun (looking for something fairly specific).

e) The Pink Panther Strikes Back; Raiders of the Lost Ark; The Abominable Dr Phibes.

Round (3) Images round. Identify the films depicted here.

Round (4) Lowest common denominators Part 2. What do the following directors have in common?

a) Francois Truffaut; Rainer Werner Fassbinder; Ted Tezlaff; Jacques Tourneur.

b) Paper Moon; Kind Hearts and Coronets; The Invisible Ghost.

c) Julien Duvivier; Alan J Pakula; FW Murnau.

d) Leni Riefenstahl; Terence Young; Shin San-Ok.

Round (5) Who did what to whom?

a) Who has or had a screening room with a seat wide enough for three?

b) Who was seeing critic Gavin Lambert and actress Marilyn Monroe at the same time?

c) Who was found trussed up in the bath, dead, with rude words written on him in lipstick?

d) Who was, allegedly, choked, or possibly bludgeoned, to death with a gold statuette modeled on Valentino’s erect penis?

Round (6) Actors. What do the following groups of actors have in common?

a) Eric Campbell; Desmond Llewellyn; François Dorleac.

b) Peter Firth; Robert Shaw; Wayne Sleep; Gert Fröbe.

c) Michael Gothard; Michael Lonsdale; Caroline Munro.

d) Anne Parrilaud; Marcello Mastroianni; Marshall Thompson.

Round (7) Missing limbs round. In which films can you see the following?

a) An (apparently) eyeless Jennifer Jones?

b) An (apparently) eyeless Ida Lupino?

c) A 53-year-old albino hypnotherapist with a wooden leg?

d) A severed head attempting oral sex?

e) A headless John Malkovich doing pratfalls?

Round (8) The Forgotten. Who has amnesia and who’s faking?

a) Mr Arkadin

b) Harry Angel

c) Gertrude Kockenlocker

Round (9) Before they were famous. Who started out as

a) The Living Hypnotic Corpse

b) Worthless Willie

c) Joseph McGinty Nichol

Round (10) The halt and the lame. Tex Avery, John Ford, Nick Ray, Fritz Lang, Andre deToth and Raoul Walsh all had eyepatches or missing eyes. But who —

a) Had a steel plate in his skull?

b) Had a thumb mangled in a mangle as a child?

c) Had fingers blown off by a stick of prop “dynamite”?

d) Claimed to have no belly button (possibly)?

e) Had a third nipple?

Prizes will be negotiated for those who seem to deserve them! Ludicrous guesses are at least as valuable as correct answers. And it may interest you to know that I wrote the first six questions in December but when I came back to them today I couldn’t remember or figure out some of the answers so I had to change the questions. It’s THAT difficult.


62 Responses to “The Shadowplay Impossible Film Quiz”

  1. 6a) isn’t this death by car wreck?

    7d) at least Re-Animator, but I suppose it could have been used many times.

    8c) Gertrude Kockenlocker was faking, conveniently so since she was drunk. Easier to forget she was knocked up. Harder to disguise the fact.

  2. I think I know some of the other answers, but I just woke up and I’m not able to think too clearly. Didn’t Harold Lloyd use a prosthetic on his hand? Damn, too early in the a.m. for this.

  3. You’re on a roll! Interesting interp re Trudy K, you might be right!

  4. 1a. Some knockoff of The Blob. Can’t be The Stuff – I’ve seen that one
    1b. Probably Casino Royale (the first one)
    1c. Sounds like a David Lynch movie
    1d. Austin Powers 3

    2a. Giant spiderwebs and/or missing fingers
    2b. Narrated by a dead guy

    3. Dead Man’s Shoes

    4a. Those aren’t their real names
    4b. They’re not directors at all, but titles
    4c. Dismissed as talentless by the French New Wave
    4d. None of them actually existed.

    5a. Either Welles or Hitchcock

    7e. Something by Manoel de Oliveira, I hope

    8a. Faking!

    10c. Harold Lloyd
    10d. Hitchcock, yecchh.

    Would try to creatively answer the rest if I wasn’t busy. That first screen shot of a glass cookie-cutter maze is from Antonioni’s “I Tre Volti”? Fascinating.

  5. 5d: if one gives heed to Angerisms, that might be Ramón Novarro

  6. 2b is bang on. 4b — well spotted: one of the questions I changed because I couldn’t figure out why I’d said that Spielberg, Hitchcock, Coppola and William Castle had anything in common.

    The rest are all very entertainingly off-beam. Well done!

  7. 5d — bang on, Gloria. And it really is too spectacularly colourful to be true.

    We are told, equally reliably, that Rex Ingram named Novarro because his bottom reminded him of the Novarro Valley in Mexico — both scenic beauty spots south of the border. (Credit to David Wingrove for this)

  8. The still at the top is from I tre Volti — the most obscure of all Antonioni films. And quite teriffic.

    2B) All narrated by dead men.

    2D) Shelley!

    5B) Nick Ray

    5C) Albert Dekker

    6D) Raul Ruiz

    7B) The Devil’s Rain

    10D) Hitch

  9. All correct except 6D. With 2D I was thinking of something even more specific, but you’re right as far as you go.

  10. AnneBillson Says:

    2C All films in which the directing was taken over by someone else after the first director died.

    2D is Shelley wet, to be specific.

  11. This quiz is effin rightly-titled. The only one I know is 9A, and that’s because I spent several weeks doing research for an essay on West of Zanzibar. It’s Tod Browning.

  12. All correct, Anne and Brian, although we could of course be even more specific about Shelley.

  13. 8c) that I got from the fact that the guy who kept telling everyone “Let’s all get married” acted progressively drunker as the night wore on. I figured Trudy did the same.

  14. I figured that guy WAS progressively drunker! Trudy hitting her head seems like a Hays Code cop-out to explain she wasn’t really squaffled or squiffy or whatever. Interestingly, the Code people were very tolerant of The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, saying that it was arguably violating every rule in their book, but it did it so charmingly they couldn’t take offense.

  15. Good god, this is difficult.

    1B – Full Metal Jacket
    6C – They all appeared in Roger Moore Bond films (each in a descending order – Gothard – For Your Eyes Only; Lonsdale – Moonraker; Munro – The Spy Who Loved Me.
    9C – McG

  16. Yes, although 6C could be more specific, which would help you get the answer to 6B.

  17. AnneBillson Says:

    1B Full Metal Jacket
    2A piano overboard!

    3 – images round
    The Exorcist or Batman Begins
    How to Steal a Million
    Tales from the Crypt
    Logan’s Run

    4A They all lived with parents
    4C All victims of freak car accidents
    5B Cecil Beaton (he did everyone)
    6A They all directed films for dictators!
    6B They all studied ballet
    6C They all tried to kill James Bond
    6D They all had big career breakthroughs playing hitpeople
    10E Errol Flynn

  18. AnneBillson Says:

    We see shots of Shelley Winters underwater? It’s not drowning, because she doesn’t drown in Hunter or Poseidon.

  19. 1A is from The Asphyx, which I only know because you mentioned the immortal line in an entertaining post on one of the Hammer Frankensteins last year. I think it referred to some “sign” that appeared in photos of dead people, and perhaps he was wearing a lab coat?

    2A Do they all feature characters with some form of disability? There’s a deaf character in The Piano and a blind in Ghost Ship, but Susan Slept Here is beyond me.

    6B They all played the same role on stage and on film at some point (i.e. each of them reprised a stage role on film).

  20. 2A is a lovely idea, amusingly wrong.

    Images, all completely wrong, even as to genre, but sensible suggestions.

    4A might be true… I think FT got out just as soon as he could though. Anyhow, it’s not the answer I was after, which IS discoverable.

    4C not sure how freak they were, but death on the road is correct. Duvivier had a heart attack at the wheel, not sure if the crash finished him off.

    5B no, David E already nailed it.

    6A Bang on!

    6B Frobe in tights is a lovely, lovely image. But not what I had in mind.

    6C Good, but reverse it, and get Bond-specific.

    6D really?

    10E really? Wikipedia offers various choices for this one, should’ve been more specific or something. I was thinking of Scaramanga.

  21. Gareth, well done on 1A. Possibly my favourite line anywhere.

    2A You’re on the right track but you’ve picked the wrong character in Ghost Ship.

    6B Way too normal. Brian R’s answer to 6C might give you a clue.

  22. “Dead in the water” would sum up Shelley’s end status in those three films.

  23. 6B attempt #2: they were all killed by Sean Connery in one film or another.

    This is, incidentally, killing me. Don’t you know I have a job?!

  24. Brilliant, you got it. You definitely deserve a prize for risking dismissal in this way.

  25. 6D They all appeared in films/TV that involved people of small stature (either dwarfs or shrunken people).

  26. A startling claim, sir! Can you back it up?

  27. Mastroianni fell for a character with dwarfism in I Don’t Want to Talk About It (1994); Parillaud gave birth to a man with dwarfism in Frankie Starlight (1995); and Thompson was in a short-lived show called World of Giants (1959) as a six-inch-tall secret agent. My backup guess was that they had all appeared opposite a monkey in one role or another…

  28. That’s very impressive! What I had in mind was… well, I’ll wait and see if anyone else gets it. Mastroianni might be the best one to start from.

  29. Hmmm. This one is bugging me.

    They all played film directors.

  30. Yes! You’re 70% there. Not just any film directors…

  31. Ah, yes, film directors who were thinly veiled versions of the actual directors of the films in which they appeared…

  32. Absolutely. The White Dog one is the trickiest, but since the film he’s directing reuses the Venice home movie footage from Naked Kiss, and since he’s white-haired and cigar-chomping, we can assume he’s Fuller. Why Fuller didn’t play the part himself I’m not sure.

  33. 6A – They all died in car crashes.
    6B – They all played characters killed by Sean Connery. Firth – Hunt for Red October; Shaw – From Russia With Love; Sleep – First Great Train Robbery; Frobe – Goldfinger.
    6C – They were all killed by Bond (and killed while trying to kill him – Emile Loque, Hugo Drax, Naomi)

  34. Yes! Although “car crashes” might be too specific. Their deaths certainly involved cars and the road.

    Shaw was actually killed by Connery twice, in Robin and Marian as well as the Bond.

  35. Bugger. Should have got that one.

  36. AnneBillson Says:

    7A Portrait of Jennie?

  37. Randy Cook Says:

    Isn’t 1c Jeff Corey in SECONDS?

  38. Speaking of Shelley + Water + Death, doesn’t she die in accidents involving rainstorms and automobiles in both THE BIG KNIFE *and* LOLITA?

  39. Since no one has mentioned it yet, the albino hypnotherpist with the wooden leg was Coppola Pere’s YOU’RE A BIG BOY, NOW.

  40. Anne — no. Unless Selznick cut it.

    Randy — yes!

    C. Jerry — don’t know if rain was involved in Lolita, but the original plan was to drown her AGAIN, but it would have meant a studio shoot and Kubrick wasn’t keen.

  41. AnneBillson Says:

    7A Does she get her eyes pecked out by a giant chicken in Food of the Gods? (It COULD happen.)

  42. AnneBillson Says:

    7E Making Mr Right?

  43. 7A it could but doesn’t. It’s so gratuitous that it’s unlikely you’d guess it from her filmography, unless you just went for her most gratuitous film, in which case you’d get it.

    7E yes!

  44. John Seal Says:

    I imagine the 7D answer you’re looking for is Re-Animator, but funnily enough I just watched Wild East’s DVD of Jess Franco’s Eugenie de Sade last night, and amongst the extra features is a black and white fragment of an uncompleted, circa 1970 Franco project that includes footage of a skull engaged in oral sex. Proving once again that Jess has always been ahead of his time!

  45. Sam had his hands full getting White Dog made. I was on the set for several days and watched him work. Beyond Thrilling.

  46. 1D is, I think, from Richard Lester’s The Knack (And How To Get It). Michael Crawford says it – he did all his own stunts, you know…

  47. Correct!

    Some more severed head action in House, or Hausu, the Japanese 80s supernatural freakout — it’s not quite oral sex, but a floating disembodied head bites a girl on the ass.

    How nice to be having this conversation.

    Fuller’s late projects all seem to be incredible adventures: The Big Red One should by rights have been quite impossible with the budget and production circumstances… Even Street of No Return seems flukey and improbable.

  48. Re: late Fuller, I only recently realised that the wonderful Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street was basically an episode of a German TV show (or so I’m told – it would explain some of the weirdness).

    Look at me being late to the party, I was all panting to get my “Albert Dekker!” in but David E beat me to basically every answer I knew and many I didn’t. You need to do this more often and give us a bit of notice, DC.

  49. Hmm, maybe a monthly attraction? Speaking of which, I should announce a new Film Club.

    Tatort, the German TV show, is incredibly long-running (still going, I’m told) and successful.

  50. david wingrove Says:

    4D – Didn’t they all make deeply dodgy films celebrating some dictator or other?

    Leni, most famously, with Hitler in TRIUMPH OF THE WILL.

    Poor old Terence, in his dotage, with a ‘documentary’ about Gaddafy (never seem outside Libya) the title of which I can’t remember.

    The third director I’ve never actually heard of, but they name sounds Korean and Kim Jong-Il (the ‘beloved leader’ of North Korea) is a famous film buff, with a particular fondness for lavish trubues to himself.

    So that’s my contribution. Not much of one, I know…am I on the right track?

  51. Yes, but it’s already been guessed!

    Young’s film was about Saddam, and it’s a dramatic account of the dictator’s early years as a revolutionary “hero”. The third director was abducted by Kim and forced to make a Godzilla knock-off in North Korea.

  52. 2a) They’re all narrated by mutes.

    8b) Yeah, he’s really got some form of amnesia. I assume this one didn’t get answered due to general indifference to the film.

    10a) Van Johnson. If I recall correctly, had it installed during the filming of The Caine Mutiny.

  53. 2a) Yes! Although we stretch a point to include Susan Slept Here, which is narrated by an Oscar statuette. He’s mute through the rest of the picture!

    8b) Yes, and I bet indifference is it.

    10a) Not the answer I was looking for, incredibly, but I’ll accept it. I guess if I was working with Bogart and Dmytryk I might want a reinforced skull too.

  54. AnneBillson Says:

    If 10A is not Van Johnson, might have said Jackie Chan, except you write “had” rather than “has” and as far as I know Chan is still going strong. Keanu Reeves has a steel plate in his neck.

  55. Keanu IS a steel plate. At least at times. (Like steel, he can be surprisingly flexible.)

    Yeah, I have somebody else in mind… almost time to print the answers I think.

  56. Fuller wrote a novel called Dead Pigeon on Beethoven St., I assume before he made the movie. Don’t think most of the actors in that were series regulars, so maybe Tatort is a pretty loose series. I looooved Dead Pigeon – shame the rumored DVD release (with Christa Lang commentary) never came out.

    One of the most obscure late Fullers is “Thieves After Dark”, but at least I’ve seen that on VHS. Never come across his “Day of Reckoning,” an episode of Patricia Highsmith’s Tales, in any format.

  57. I must have another burst of Fuller soon. Perhaps a Fuller week. There’s so much to explore. For years (pre-IMDb) I thought his career ended with White Dog, and then I found all this other mysterious stuff.

  58. Is image 3d from Treasure Island?

  59. Yes! The Ruiz version. Good, was worried nobody was going to get any of them. They are pretty damn difficult.

  60. Robert Thomson Says:

    1b] Matthew Modine, thinking of Tet-Day bombing’s down-side in FULL METAL JACKET, wearing Marine fatigues.
    1d] Michael Crawford, thinking of schoolgirls distracting his class in THE KNACK, wearing tank-top and elbow-pads style teacher gear.
    3] ii] North By North West; iii] The Asphyx?
    5b] Arthur Miller?
    8] Mr Arkadin is faking and Harry Angelhas amnesia.

  61. Ah, you know me too well… you’re wrong on 5b and the pictures. Your answer for 3iii oddly enough would be correct if applied to 1a.

    Everything else — BANG ON.

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