The Shadowplay Impossible Film Quiz: April

As we inexplicably and wrongly celebrate the persecution and assassination of a progressive religious teacher, what better way to get into the swing of things than by a frustratingly obscure pop quiz?

Round (1) The dreaded Quotations Round.

a) “Diabetes? I ought to know better than to hire someone with a disease.”

b) “…am about to embark upon a hazardous and technically unexplainable journey into the outer stratosphere.”

c) “You pooped in the refrigerator? And you ate a whole wheel of cheese? How’d you do that? I’m not even mad. That’s amazing.”

d) “Who they are?”

Round (2) Lowest Common Denomonators. What do the following have in common?

a) John Candy; Brandon Lee; Oliver Reed.

b) Lee Marvin; Ed Harris; Chuck Norris.

c) Jane Fonda; Elizabeth Shephard; Tippi Hedren.

d) Federico Fellini; Neil Jordan; Troy McClure.

Round (3) Images round. Identify the following films ~

Round (4) What connects the following directors?

a) Fritz Lang; Costa-Gavras; Oliver Stone; Tim Blake Nelson.

b) Ylmaz Guney; Roger Avery; Roman Polanski; Edward Dmytryk.

c) CT Dreyer; William Wellman; Merian C Cooper; Howard Hawks.

d) Sam Raimi; Tobe Hooper; William Friedkin; Peter Jackson.

Round (5) The God Round.

a) What connects Peter Cushing; Dustin Hoffman; Alejandro Jodorwoski?

b) Marty Feldman and Keith Gordon?

c) Robert Altman; Luis Bunuel; Zack Snyder.

d) Graham Chapman; Steve Coogan; Jim Carrey.

Round (6) Dwarfs round.

a) What, very specifically, connects GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933; the 1933 ALICE IN WONDERLAND; BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN?

b) What did David Rappaport say was the best thing about being a schoolteacher?

c) Why cried, “Let the dwarfs hang!” and on which film?

d) What were the Tumbling Piccolos employed to do in Scotland?

Round (7) Missing limbs round.

a) What connects Jean-Louis Trintigant and Sissy Spacek?

b) What connects Lee Marvin; Herbert Lom; Ralph Fiennes?


d) Who said, “An empty sleeve is revolting to most people”? Or at any rate, name the film.

Round (8) Music round.

a) A calliope plays as a cigarette lighter reflects in a pair of spectacles. Which film?

b) A jazz tune is created by bubbling chemicals… finally, the bubbling comes to stand for a thought process.

c) A big loose drum signifies the sound of bodies landing in a coal train.

d) The action grinds to a halt while we watch the Zombies play on a pub TV.

Round (9) Before they were famous.

a) A combat photographer in WWII before he turned to filming another kind of action.

b) In the Hitler Youth, in a neutral country.

c) His mother used to take him to plastic surgeons, saying, “Can you do something about my son’s enormous lips?”

d) Studied clinical psychology; played in a band; worked as floor manager in live TV.

Round (10) The halt and the lame.

a) What impacted upon the beauty of Merle Oberon, Zita Johann and Carole Lombard?

b) What fictional deformity afflicted Anthony Hopkins and Christopher Guest?

c) What real nonconformity afflicts Jane Seymour, David Bowie and Dan Ayckroyd?

d) What, in a roundabout way, connects Edna Best (and Boots Mallory) and Paul McCartney?

75 Responses to “The Shadowplay Impossible Film Quiz: April”

  1. rosemurasaki Says:


    2a all died before end of filming, forcing film-makers to “complete” their performances either by CGI or with old footage.

    2c they all wore wigs? Klute (if that shag isn’t a wig, it certainly looks like one), Tomb of Ligeia, Marnie?

    4b all spent time in prison

    8a Strangers on a Train?
    8b The Man in the White Suit?
    8c The Ladykillers?

    10a all scarred in car crashes

  2. rosemurasaki Says:

    9a is Russ Meyer, I think.

    10c they all have one blue, one brown eye?

  3. All yes! Except the wigs. 2c is kind of more obvious, in a way.

  4. 3d Simon del Desierto
    10a Jack Pierce

  5. Ooo ooo i know one! 6c is Max Ophüls, on the set of Lola Montès (1955)

    Do I win some sort of prize?

  6. 1c – ron burgundy in ANCHORMAN

    3c – ROBBERY

    6d – pilot a midget submarine in TPLOSH

    10c – bowie doesn’t actually have heterochromia. he has a permanently dilated pupil. does this win me anything?

  7. 4c All had films banned by the BBFC?

    The Evil Dead
    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
    The Exorcist
    Meet the Feebles (?)

  8. 9b is Bergman

  9. 8c is The Ladykillers

  10. 10b – hannibal lecter and count rugen each have six fingers on one hand

  11. 9d – richard lester?

  12. Well done Bags. You’ve been reading Ustinov? I think you have to get a few more right before I’ll consider you for a prize. The BBFC ban wasn’t what I was looking for, and I don’t think Meet the Feebles was ever banned here. I saw it on release.

    Well done Alex. All correct. You win the heterochromia award, a single contact lens of the colour of your own choosing.

    Excellent work, McKie.

    Good work on the still, Gloria. Jack Pierce is a very good answer to 10a, but can you back it up? “Rose Murasaki” got the answer I had in mind, which was, basically, windscreens.

  13. Dan Schreber Says:

    1c. For the Love of Benjie

    2a. They liked pie
    d. They peed themselves sometimes.

    7 abc Very thin extensions of nerve

    8d Night of the Living Dead

  14. rosemurasaki Says:

    2d They’ve all appeared on The Simpsons?

    3a Eyewitness?

  15. ExperimentoFilm Says:

    5a – holy mountains?

  16. chuckstephens Says:

    8d Bunny Lake is Missing

  17. chuckstephens Says:

    3b Village of the Giants (which looks strangely familiar…)

  18. ExperimentoFilm Says:

    7a – talking, floating brains.

  19. ExperimentoFilm Says:

    7c – leglessness.

  20. 6c — Max Ophuls Lola Montes

  21. 7a – Costa-Gavras

  22. ExperimentoFilm Says:

    7d – Franz or Gottfried in BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ?

  23. chuckstephens Says:

    p.s. it’s Dan “Aykroyd”…

  24. Randy Cook Says:

    1b: The Wizard in WIZARD OF OZ


    4c: Biplane Pilots

    6a: Is Billy Barty in BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN?!

    7b: Are noses limbs? Tim Strawn had his bit off in a fight, Enspector Dreyfuss shot his off (regenerating in next scene, Warner Bros. style), and the scary guy in Harry Potter had his digitially removed at great expense.

    7c: Actors running on their hands?

    9d: SHAUN OF THE DEAD…got all the others, but late, damn it all

    9d: Telly Savalas…could also be 9c for all I know

    10a auto accident

  25. 4 (a) is that all four have made films with one-letter titles (M, Z, W, O).

  26. 8 (d) is Bunny Lake is Missing.

  27. And 2 (d) has to be something to do with mermaids…. or fish-women.

  28. ExperimentoFilm Says:

    10d – marriage to a uniped.

  29. chuckstephens Says:

    2b: all played “Walker”

  30. I have a feeling that 5 (b) has got something to do with the great neglected Keith Gordon movie Static (directed and later disowned by Mark Romanek), but I can’t figure out the Feldman connection.

  31. 1a) His girl Friday
    1b) Wizard of Oz
    1c) Anchorman

    7c) Legless characters? I seem to remember a legless character in G/B/U and a limbless character in Freaks.
    8d) I know I’ve seen this recently. Is it Diner?

  32. Piggybacking off Paul’s mention of STATIC for 5b, Keith Gordon and Marty Feldman each wrote movies about religion and commerce (Feldman’s being “In God We Tru$t”).

    4d: could it be that each directed a movie commonly credited to the writer or producer – Raimi’s Crimewave = coen bros, Tobe’s Poltergeist = spielberg, Friedkin’s Jade = joe eszterhas, Jackson’s Frighteners = robert zemeckis. Or maybe I’ve got it backwards, since Peter Jackson gets media credit for Blomkamp’s District 9.

  33. 5c: atheist directors who’ve made movies with angels in ’em
    5d: played God in one way or another (Brian, Bruce, Alan Partridge, heh)
    9c: Edward G Robinson?

  34. ExperimentoFilm Says:

    7d – scratch ALEXANDERPLATZ. It’s DR X. Thanks, Google!

  35. ExperimentoFilm Says:

    2c – something to do with dying their hair?

  36. I’m back! Apologies to those who were awaiting moderation before their answers could appear, and to those who answered the same questions only to find some invisible person answered the same questions half an hour earlier.

    To business!

    Dan — excellent answers, all entertainingly wrong. More please!

    “Rose” — wrong on both counts, although that is indeed Mark Lester in the film that isn’t Eyewitness (it’s something much, much worse).

    Experimontofilm, yes and yes to brains and leglessness, no to Holy Mountains and Berlin Alexanderplatz.

    David E, yes to Lola M, but you were trumped by Bags. The Costa-Gavras connection is great but has nothing to do with missing limbs (although CG did direct Missing. Had he also directed a film called Limbs I would have allowed this).

    Chuck, correct on the Zombies and on the correct spelling of Ayckqroyddd, and well done on Village of the Giants — perhaps that’s your frame grab? If so, well done! Also well done on 2b, Walker is it.

    Randy, correct on 1b, the Wizard, 3b, Village ot Giants (although now that Chuck’s answer has been approved you can see he got their first, albeit independently), correct on 4c pilots, Billy Barty is right for 6a but there’s MORE TO IT, and 7b, for our purposes, yes, noses are limbs. So you get the point. 7c is technically almost right, but ExperimentoFilm’s answer is more specific, kind of. 8d, incredibly, no, Chuck got this one. 9d and c, Telly Savalas is a good answer to any question in my book, but not alas correct here. 10a, correct, but you’re not the first to say it.

    Paul, great on 4a, now what can we spell with that? Bunny Lake is right but a previously invisible competitor steals the prize. The mermaid thing is so close I’m tempted to say yes. “I thought you said Troy McClure was dead?” “No, I said he sleeps with the fishes.”

  37. Experimento: 10d – marriage to a uniped is bang on!

    Paul, I’m amazed that you can get Static but not the connection to Feldman! Well done, in a way.

    Bryan Kam, three out of three correct quotes, with only 1d now remaining unguessed-at. Try saying it in a high-pitched voice, while wearing a single tusk. Correct, but trumped, on the legless. It’s not Diner — see above.

    Brandon, yes to the religion and commerce comment, but you can go further, focussing on the characters’ employment. 4d: “Could it be that each directed a movie commonly credited to the writer or producer” – Afraid not. But an interesting and elaborate theory! 5c, it’s not angels.
    5d, “played God in one way or another” – no, it’s sort of fairer than that.
    9c: “Edward G Robinson?” Not so far as I know.

    ExperimentoFilm Says:
    “7d – scratch ALEXANDERPLATZ. It’s DR X. Thanks, Google!” Correct!
    “2c – something to do with dying their hair?” Nope. Think violent attack.

  38. 3a) Night Hair Child

  39. ExperimentoFilm Says:

    2c – aggressive avian assaults!!

  40. rosemurasaki Says:

    2c they were all attacked by birds! Hedren is obvious, Shepherd in Omen 2 – though can’t remember it happening to Fonda – did they attack her in Barbarella? Only assailants I can remember are the horrible dolls.

    (Oh and you can call me Anne if you like – the RoseMurasaki seems to have been drafted in from some other wordpress blog I signed up to.)

  41. Chuck V, yes!

    Experimento and Anne (she’s Anne Billson, everybody!), yes, I’ll call this a tie. Fonda is savaged by starlings “This is a much too poetic way to die!” in Barbarella. The effect is similar to the doll attack: artfully shredded Paco Rabanne costuming.

  42. ExperimentoFilm Says:

    5a – something to do with playing characters “playing God”?

  43. rosemurasaki Says:

    Bugger, I missed that last one by a whisker.

  44. Hmm, if I’d included John Denver in that list with Carrey, Chapman and Coogan it’d have been much clearer. Consider him included!

  45. The movie where the Zombies sing on TV is of course ”Bunny Lake is Missing”, you might have doubled it and asked who directed their TV performance for the film.

  46. Randy Cook Says:

    Oh, OK, Billy Barty playing a baby, then.

  47. That’s it. OK, I email!

  48. Dying to hear the answers to the God round, which seems to have flummoxed everyone.

  49. It’s always possible I’ve got my facts wrong, making the questions genuinely impossible. Perhaps it would help if I specified that the Graham Chapman film was Holy Grail?

  50. Oh yeah, Coogan’s a God in that bloody Harry Potter knock-off that’s out at the moment, isnt he? And Carrey is Bruce Almighty. Chapman, God in ….the Holy Grail. There you go. The Feldman one has be beat, though.

  51. Has ME beat I mean.

  52. Did not know that about Bergman! Give that man a mitre!

  53. No it is Otto. When I first read of the film’s production in Chris Fujiwara’s book, I was surprised that Preminger personally shot it, I thought Preminger had taken an actual TV performance. But then that wouldn’t have been as weird I guess. I incorrectly thought that people would be as surprised as I am.

  54. Round 3 images:

    The last is of Sylvia Pinal in Simon of the Desert (I’d know those thighs anywhere.)

  55. Yes, but Gloria named the thighs first.

    I guess a man like Otto wasn’t going to use anybody else’s footage.

    What I had in mind is that Coogan in 24hr Party People, Chapman as King Arthur in Holy Grail, and Carrey in Bruce Almighty (and John Denver in Oh God!) all TALK TO GOD. But I think the fact that Coogan also played the God he talked to, and Chapman was in another, more religious film, made it confusing.

    The Feldman-Gordon link — unless I’m mistaken — is that they both work in crucifix factories in Static and In God We Trust. Gordon collects defective crosses (crucified blobs, two Christs on a single cross) whereas Feldman, a monk, has the job of nailing the Tiny Christs onto their crosses on a conveyor belt.

  56. Still unanswered, I think:
    2d (although we’re close)
    Gonna have to make the next one harder!

  57. Well, it’s twenty-two years since I last saw Static (I thought he was a TV repairman or drove a school bus, that’s how much I remember). The fact that the character invented a TV that could see heaven had me on the wrong track WRT Feldman- it was an interesting wrong track tho!

  58. 6b. Did Rappaport say something about being able to look 10 year olds in the eye?

  59. Yes! I think I’m going to have more dwarfquotes next time.

    I know KG has a magic TV, but he works in a factory I think, only he loses his job when they find he’s been taking the defective Jesuses (Jesi?) home.

  60. “Troy McClure” connects to Fellini in that he’s a washed-up acotr — a favorite Fellini figure. Can’t figure the link to Neil Jordan, however.

  61. I don’t think anybody will. They’re all fish-fetishists. The eel handling woman appears as a fantasy figure in Juliette of the Spirits and City of Women. Troy McClure’s career was recked by a piscine sex scandal. And Neil Jordan obsessively crams fish into every film, and has finally made a mermaid movie.

  62. 4d) Directing sequels? Raimi directed EVIL DEAD and ED 2 and ARMY OF DARKNESS as well as Spider-Man, S-M 2, and S-M 3; Hooper directed TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and TCM 2, Jackson directed LOTR: FELLOWSHIP, TWO TOWERS, and RETURN OF THE KING. Can’t figure out how Friedkin fits in, though. Starting a franchise (FRENCH CONNECTION, EXORCIST)?

  63. It’s much, much more specific. The films I’m thinking of are Poltergeist, Evil Dead I or II, The Two Towers, The Guardian. The answer is to do with something that’s IN all of those films.

    I guess I could have added The Wizard of Oz too.

  64. RoseMurasaki Says:

    Trees! Trees which walk and clutch and attack!

  65. Aha! I think I have 4d now.. is it to do with directors whose films have included a tree killing something? The Guardian gives it away.

  66. Yes! Both correct, and independently too.

  67. I’m going to start giving away answers.

    1d – The Elephant Man. Since he doesn’t use baby talk most of the time, it always seemed strange and interesting that he says “Who they are?” when looking at Anthony Hopkins’ family photos. But it turns out the script reads “Who are they of?” an unspeakable line which John Hurt obviously choked on, so that the line came out funny and Lynch embraced the oddness.

  68. 5a — I was quite proud of this one. Crucifixes used as weapons, featuring in all Peter Cushing’s Van Helsing roles, Dustin Hoffman swinging a cross in The Graduate, Jodorowski’s cruci-gun in The Holy Mountain. Are there any other examples?

    5c Altman (MASH), Bunuel (Viridiana) and Snyder (Watchmen) have all spoofed DaVinci’s Last Supper.

    9c Francis Ford Coppola’s mom was horrified by his big lippy kisser, and sought medical intervention.

  69. 5c Doh! If you had thrown in Bava, I think I would have gotten this one.

  70. Oh, what’s that, Lisa and the Devil?

  71. ExperimentoFilm Says:

    Yeah, 5a was a good one – I thought of it this morning. Still say holy mountains count though (Cushing in SHE and Hoffman LITTLE BIG MAN). You could have added Tony Robinson, of course.

  72. ExperimentoFilm Says:

    5c – Mel Brooks and Alex Cox too!

  73. ExperimentoFilm Says:

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