The Shadowplay Summer Impossible Film Quiz

Emile Cohl explores the depths of the human psyche.

This season’s Shadowplay Impossible Film Quiz is all about the connections — your likely failure in answering these questions will be based not so much on what you don’t know, but on your inability to think like me. Be grateful.

And I’m going to start colouring in the questions that have been answered correctly.

[1] ROLE OVER

What role connects ~

(a) Donald Calthrop, Peter Lorre and Pierre Pierade

(b) Conrad Veidt, Colin Clive and Mel Ferrer

(c) Charles Brabin, Ralph Ince, Hank Azaria

(d) Donald Sutherland, Zalman King, Martin Donovan

[2] CHARACTER ASSASSINATION

Not even the fictional are safe. What connects —

(a) Catherine Tramell, Enzo Ferrari, Vilos Cohaagen

(b) Captain Fearless, Barry Lyndon, Stathis Borans

(c) Chauncey Gardener, Officer Murphy, General Zod, Father Urbane Grandier

(d) Raymond Shaw, Harry Palmer, Alex DeLarge

[3] STRANGE DEATHS

I make no distinction between movie deaths and real life ones. Hey, I’m just like a film censor!

What grim fates connect ~

(a) Craig Wasson and John Vernon

(b) William Holden and Jean Seberg and Yvette Vickers

(c) Kenneth Colley and Basil Rathbone

(d) Charles Napier and Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anthony Perkins

(e) THE GODFATHER PART II, ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN.

[4] TUNES OF GLORY

What connects the music of the following —

(a) L’IDEE, CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, THE BILLION DOLLAR BRAIN, THE RED SHOES

(b) VELVET GOLDMINE, LIGHT SLEEPER, MASK

(c) THE HUNGER, TRUE ROMANCE, CARLITO’S WAY

(d) BLACK NARCISSUS, ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST,

(e) Bonus question: When did Maurice Jarre stop being good?

[5] CHANGES

Everyone is going through them, as Alan Price sang, but what specific transformations afflicted those below ~?

(a) Margaret Whiting, Arthur Lowe, Akim Tamiroff

(b) Annie Ross, Shinya Tsukamoto

(c) Stephen King, Richard Wordsworth

(d) Dean Jones, Dudley Moore, Matthew Modine

[6] SITUATIONS ~

As vague as it sounds: a particular kind of thing, perhaps happening in a particular kind of place —

(a) THE TRAGEDY OF OTHELLO (Welles), EASTERN PROMISES, FIREFOX

(b) ATTACK THE BLOCK, WINTER KILLS

(c) BRAZIL, CARLOS, ESSENTIAL KILLING

(d) THE JERK, THE EXORCIST, TRAINSPOTTING

[7] WHO WAS THAT MASKED MAN?

Identify, if possible, the character, the film, the actor, and anything else you feel like identifying.

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

[8] PROPS ~

What objects connect:

(a) SO I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER, DETOUR, THE HORN BLOWS AT MIDNIGHT

(b) THE PASSION OF DARKLY NOON, LA GALERIE DE MONSTRES, FREAKED

(c) ZARDOZ, FELLINI CASANOVA, FELLINI SATYRICON

(d) THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (special edition)

[9] PARABNORMAL ACTIVITIES

Strange stuff is often transacted by the following people — but which particular activities connect them?

(a) Jon Hall; Kenneth Williams and Suzanne Danielle

(b) Cary Grant; Gregory Peck; Eva Green

(c) William Hurt; David Naughton

(d) Elizabeth Shue; Michelle Monaghan (kind of)

[10] THE OTHERWISE INEXPLICABLE

Just tell me WHY —

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

59 Responses to “The Shadowplay Summer Impossible Film Quiz”

  1. rosemurasaki Says:

    2b They all lose feet or legs? In Stathis Borans’s case, from being dissolved by fly saliva.
    3b Their bodies weren’t discovered until quite some time after their horrible and lonely deaths?
    4c The flower duet from Lakme by Delibes.
    5c King and Wordsworth both turn into extra-terrestrial sort of icky plantlife.
    8a Giant coffee cups?
    8c Giant disembodied heads?

    I have to stop there and go and do stuff. Otherwise I’ll be faffing about here all day. (Damn you, Cairns!)

  2. 2b Yes! Bonus point available for identifying who Captain Fearless is.

    3b Yes! The warmth of summer has me thinking of such things.

    4c Yes! Ah, the beautiful sound of cliche.

    5c Yes! Although as King may be a fungus and funguses are neither plant nor animal, maybe we should just leave it at “mutates into another kingdom,” as weird as that sounds.

    8a Yes! “Excuse me, I believe I ordered a LARGE cappuccino?”

    8c …made of stone, yes.

    Ah, feels good to earn another “Damn you, Cairns!”

  3. rosemurasaki Says:

    I’m ba-ack! (But not for long.)

    Here’s a wild guess at 9c. Did both Hurt and Naughton lose their clothes and have to find impromptu concealment for their private parts? In Naughton’s case I think it was balloons (in American Werewolf in London, which apart from Hot Dog!, is the only film I’ve seen him in). I vaguely recall Hurt got naked in Altered States, though I haven’t seen that since it came out; he could well have grabbed a balloon or two in that.

  4. They both wake up naked in the zoo, yes. I was thinking of including Nastassja Kinski too, but I think she only does it in feline form.

  5. Jenny Eardley Says:

    3d) Total guess, did they all play character who died by exploding a bomb near them (like Belmondo in Pierrot le fou)?

  6. Yes! Specifically dynamite. I think Napier gets it in Harry, Cherry and Raquel, preceded by Road-Runner toot on the soundtrack. Perkins gets it at the end of The Trial, in a controversial departure from Kafka. However did you guess?

  7. GeraldF Says:

    7c) Jacques Champreux as L’homme sans visage in Franju’s Nuits rouge?

  8. Jenny Eardley Says:

    I’ve seen the Trial so maybe I sort-of remembered that. Charles Napier is in silly comedies often playing full-of-himself sheriffs so I thought he might get what’s coming to him in something. Hooray! That may be my only correct answer this time. This is a doozy!

    I’ll take a punt at 8c) Tiny pants. Or otherwise ridiculous underwear-as-outerwear.

  9. jhendrie Says:

    2d. They all underwent forms of brainwashing in, respectively, The Manchurian Candidate, The Ipcress File and A Clockwork Orange.
    3e. Something to do with being shot through the specs? Shecky Green in Godfather II. The old lady in Potemkin.
    5d. Dogs. Dean Jones is the Shaggy D.A. Matthew Modine is reincarnated as Fluke. Not sure of the Dudley connection.
    6a. All feature murderous attacks in bathhouses.

  10. GeraldF Says:

    1b) Orlac
    1d) All played Jesus. Zalman King in the decidedly odd The Passover Plot

  11. jhendrie Says:

    Actually scrub the answer to 3e. it was Moe Green in Godfather I.

    Is 3b to do with gas cooker explosions?

  12. jhendrie Says:

    Argh I mean 6b = gas cooker explosions.

  13. GeraldF Says:

    5b) They got mechanised/computerised. Annie Ross in Superman III, Shinya Tsukamoto in Tetsuo.

  14. Jenny, 8c — probably true, but not what I had in mind — see Rose’s answer above.

    JHendrie, 2d yes, brainwashing it is. And you’re right, re 3e, I was thinking of Godfatther I. Either Joe Pesci or Burt Young, I forget which, is shot through a jeweler’s eyeglass in OUATIA. 6b, no, not cooker explosions.

    GeraldF, yes to 5b!

  15. rosemurasaki Says:

    5b Annie Ross (Superman IIi) and Shinya Tsukamoto (Testsuo) both get transformed into metal people. That bit of Superman III was really rather scary.

  16. rosemurasaki Says:

    Sorry – TETSUO.

  17. rosemurasaki Says:

    1b Are they all Orlac? as in hands of?

  18. rosemurasaki Says:

    Oops sorry, missed it. GeraldF already got the metal people question.

  19. Yes to Orlac!

  20. Oh no, I’m late to the party! Which ones are still up for grabs, please?

  21. 1a, c, d
    2a, c
    3a, c
    4a, b, d
    5a, d
    6a, b, c, d
    7a, b, c, d
    8b, d
    9a, b, d
    10a, b, c, d

    Short answer: lots!

  22. 4(b) the soundtracks for all three films had to be replaced/re-recorded after Bowie, Dylan and (insert name of third artist here) refused permission for use of their music.

  23. 4(d) the music was played on the set during the shooting process.

  24. 6(a) Murder in a Turkish Bath! Or Whatever those Steamy Rooms are Called!

  25. 6 (d) CAT JUGGLING! (not really, but trying to come up between a connection between those three films has blown all my fuses).

  26. (3a) Nude defenestration?

    I think GeraldF already got 7c?

  27. (2c) Aquatic gait?

  28. specterman Says:

    7c is Ernst Moerman’s ‘Monsieur Fantômas’.

  29. specterman Says:

    Let me take that back, 7d is in fact Ernst Moerman’s ‘Monsieur Fantômas’.

  30. jhendrie seems to have guessed 5d – could the Dudley connection be BEDAZZLED?

  31. jhendrie and Paul Doane seem to have 6a?

  32. (6c) Dream-flying?

  33. Paul, 4b, yes!
    4b, yes!
    6a, yes!
    6d GOOD ANSWER, but no.

    Experimento, 3a YES to nude defenestration. Point Blank and Ghost Story. I want to meet the man who made Craig Wasson’s penis wag realistically in the breeze and, well perhaps not shake his hand, but smile encouragingly.

    And yes to 2c, aqua-perambulation.

    Gerardf YES to Nuits Rouges. Sorry I missed that one before. And yes to 1d Jesus too.

    Jhendrie gets the dogs link in 5d (Dudley pooches out in The Bed Sitting Room), and the bathhouse assassination is indeed 6a.

    Specterman, yes and WELL DONE on 7d. Johnny Halliday’s dad does Fantomas. 6c, nice try, but it’s not dream-flying.

  34. 7c, hmm, military torture is too vague… white horses, near-death fantasies… haven’t seen CARLOS.

    10.a-d: Because they heard Mystery Science Theater was hiring?

    Having just watched a Zalman King movie, I never expected to see his name ever again. But there it is. Don’t know the connection with Sutherland and Donovan, but he costarred with Richard Pryor in a slow but nudity-flecked drama in which he wakes Sleeping Beauty. Hal Hartley made a mythical-beast movie once, but Donovan wasn’t in it.

    Oh I’m too late for Dudley Moore. Just watched the Bed Sitting Room for the first time. I need an audio commentary for dense Americans, please.

  35. rosemurasaki Says:

    4a I cheated a bit on this (merci imdb) but all those soundtracks feature the Ondes Martenot, an instrument producing a sound not unlike that of the theremin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yy9UBjrUjwo Love it!

  36. Andreas Says:

    1c) Abraham Lincoln!
    6d) Heads spinning 460 degrees?
    8b) This is a total cheat/guess based on good search engine skills, but: really big shoes?

  37. Andreas Says:

    (I meant 360 degrees, of course — though sometimes that extra 100 degrees can really help.)

  38. 6 (c) could be something to do with getting abducted by helicopter?

  39. Alas I’ve come too late. Oh well. HERE!

  40. And now a question of my own. Who does Sumi Jo (seen in the above clip) dub in the opera scene of what recent much-noted adaption of a famous novel already famously adapted years ago?

  41. Brandon, 10a, nice answer! A set of annotations for The Bed Sitting Room and How I Won the War would be nice. A lot of them is pure nonsense, but I appreciate it’s hard to tell the English cultural references from the absurdism sometimes.

    The Zalman question was answered — he played Christ.

    Rose, 4a, correct! I’m obsessed with the Martenot.

    Andreas, yes 1c Lincoln! Yes 6d Exorcist head-rotation is duplicated in The Jerk and by the unconvincing ceiling baby in Trainspotting. And yes to 8b, as Randy Quaid says, “Now THAT’S a big shoe!”

    Paul, you and Brandon are on the right track with imprisonment/abduction speculation re BRAZIL, CARLOS and ESSENTIAL KILLING. But think: why does BRAZIL seem so much like a prophecy of the BUsh administration and the War on Terror?

  42. David E, I don’t know, but I’m keen to find out!

    Oh, wait, it must be Mildred Pierce, whoever’s playing Winslet’s kid.

  43. 7A is Belphegor. The 1966 film? Or the 1965 TV version?

  44. 1966 it is! Well spotted, sir.

    Now there’s just 7b to get in that round. Clue: a ski instructor with a big bottom.

  45. John Parkinson Says:

    Is 9b that they’ve all taken showers with their clothes on? Cary Grant in Charade, Eva Green in Casino Royale, Gregory Peck in… well… something (Roman Holiday?).

  46. Brilliant! Yes, Peck showers fully clothed with Sophia Loren, who isn’t, in Arabesque, a kind of swinging follow-up to Charade.

  47. Ali Catterall Says:

    Question 5a’s for the birds.

    As Zenobia in Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, Whiting accidentally turns herself into a seagull (well, her foot anyway – “not enough!” she cries, as her transformation juice runs out. Loved that film as a kid).

    In The Bed Sitting Room, nuclear radiation turns Arthur Lowe into a parrot.

    And in The Vulture, Mr Tamiroff turns into a budgie.

    Do I win some seed?

  48. Ali Catterall Says:

    Just to be clear, Whiting is turning herself *back* into a human from a lesbian seagull, but doesn’t quite make it. We’ve all been there.

  49. I’ll scatter some millet in your direction. Or how about a nice cuttlefish?

  50. I bet 8d is potatoes!

  51. I wish it was! But I wouldn’t have had to specify “the special edition” in that case.

  52. Is 9d severed fingers? I vaguely recall there was one of those in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. And Elisabeth Shue has been around for so long she’s bound to have dealt with one or two severed digits in her time. There’s more of those around than you’d think.

  53. You know, I toyed with the idea of a severed finger question, but in this case it was “jerry-rigged defibrillators” — Monaghan jump-starts Tom Cruise with a standard lamp and a plate in Mission Impossible III while Shue turns a defibrillator into an electro-magnet to open a door in Hollow Man (which wouldn’t work, since it was a metal door).

  54. Chuck V. Says:

    8d) What with CE3K’s quoting of “When you Wish Upon a Star” and Baron Munchausen getting swallowed by that whale, is there a Pinocchio in both films? I suppose he counts as an object as long as he’s inanimate.

  55. That’s a nice idea — bonus point! But I was thinking of a ship in sand, which happens in the Gobi desert sequence in CE3K, and on the moon in Munchausen.

  56. Curses I completely missed this. Okay, 3c is death by catapult (Court Jester and jabberwocky). Caw, Kenneth Colley was good in that with that one line he had.

  57. Excellent! I wondered if anybody would recognize his name and get that.

    Answers:
    1a) They all play the journalist in the French, German and English versions of FP1 doesn’t answer, perhaps THE seminal Floating Platform movie of the 30s.

    2a They were all nearly characters in David Cronenberg films that never happened: Basic Instinct II, Red Cars and Total Recall.

    4e I think it’s right after Lawrence of Arabia, but Zhivago has great bits.

    6b Dangling from flags/
    6c Bags over heads.

    7b Helmut Berger in Fantomas, the TV series from Chabrol and Bunuel Jnr.

    9a Naked skydiving! Invisible Agent and Carry on Emmanuelle.

    10a The Man without a Body, head transplant
    10b The Night Before the Divorce (Siodmak), moose head custody battle
    10c They’ve stolen a Bomb, radioactive theft
    10d The Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, listening device.

  58. […] David Cairns’s Summer Impossible Film Quiz offers some pleasant ponderers; not least that none of his commentators was enough of a fan of a certain director to have gotten 2a. […]

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