PROFESSOR RUSSELL JOHNSON'S "MY ANCESTORS CAME OVER ON THE MINNOW" THANKSGIVING/CHRISTMAS MOVIE QUIZ
It’s been a good long while, relatively speaking, since any of the prestigious SLIFR faculty has been tapped to create a movie quiz for the faithful (if slightly masochistic) readership of this blog. And we figured that in order to find the best person to handle the task of a creating a quiz that would be unprecedented in its volume of questions, one that would cover the breadth of the holiday season, we would have to go to the man or woman who exhibited the sheerest of confidence in the face of an overwhelming percentage of likelihood against one’s projected outcome, someone not at all uncomfortable with flying directly into the harsh winds of posted odds and all good sense. After some debate within these hallowed halls (a debate which partially accounts for the lateness of the quiz’s posting), we felt that the only logical choice was perhaps our most ingenuous and inspired teacher. We turned readily to our most illustriously logorrheic staff member, physics specialist and jack-of-all-trades Professor Russell Johnson, and it is our good fortune to report that he readily accepted this latest in a long line of career challenges. Professor Johnson, who has long since abandoned his given name in favor of that of the lantern-jawed ‘50s contract player whom he uncannily most resembles, and whom gained immeasurable pop culture cachet as the nom-de-plumeless Professor on TV’s Gilligan’s Island (“It used to get me girls,” claims the dotty scientist), came up with several great questions, and some that were determined to be insufficient for the high standards established by other quiz-writing professors who have tried their hand at this game. (Professor Kingsfield left the room in a huff when presented with Professor Johnson’s potential query, “How many Double Stuf Oreos can you eat during a screening of Werckhemister Harmonies?”) So for this quiz Professor Johnson, only slightly miffed at his colleagues’ dismissive attitude, proposed that the student body itself be polled for possible questions that could substitute for the ones rejected from Professor Johnson’s submissions. This turned out to be a smashing idea, and the response was enough to make the professor admit that some of his ideas weren’t all that spiffy. (“That Sutpen kid—give me what he had for breakfast! And Gelderblom—the Kennedy/North juxtaposition is genius. I couldn’t think of anybody but George Lazenby to pair with Kennedy, and that’s for shit!”)
As always, when answering the questions please be sure to cut and paste the questions and write your answers underneath so that when your answers are displayed in the comments section it’s easy to recall what the answer is in reference to. Also, a reminder about Blogger’s relatively new 4,000-or-so character restriction on length of comment. Most of you will need at least two or three separate posts to post your completed answers under the quiz post here at SLIFR. Do not worry about taking up too much space. As long or as short as you want to go, it’s always fun reading your answers and it causes no technical inconvenience or hardship for your complete answers to be posted here. If, however, you have your own blog and would like to post the answers there, that’s cool too—just make sure to leave a link where we can go to read and enjoy them wherever they may be. So, without further ado, we present Professor Russell Johnson’s “My Ancestors Came Over on the Mayflower” Thanksgiving/Christmas Quiz. As the title implies, we here at SLIFR University hope to be receiving your submissions all the way through the Christmas holiday and into the new year. I promise too that I will submit my own answers in a timely fashion before the end of the year. (Professor Johnson may be dotty, but he’s a hothead about missed deadlines.)
Have fun, folks!
1) Second-favorite Coen Brothers movie.
2) Movie seen only on home format that you would pay to see on the biggest movie screen possible? (Question submitted by Peter Nellhaus)
3) Japan or France? (Question submitted by Bob Westal)
4) Favorite moment/line from a western.
5) Of all the arts the movies draw upon to become what they are, which is the most important, or the one you value most?
6) Most misunderstood movie of the 2000s (The Naughties?).
7) Name a filmmaker/actor/actress/film you once unashamedly loved who has fallen furthest in your esteem.
8) Herbert Lom or Patrick Magee?
9) Which is your least favorite David Lynch film (Submitted by Tony Dayoub)
10) Gordon Willis or Conrad Hall? (Submitted by Peet Gelderblom)
11) Second favorite Don Siegel movie.
12) Last movie you saw on DVD/Blu-ray? In theaters?
13) Which DVD in your private collection screams hardest to be replaced by a Blu-ray? (Submitted by Peet Gelderblom)
14) Eddie Deezen or Christopher Mintz-Plasse?
15) Actor/actress who you feel automatically elevates whatever project they are in, or whom you would watch in virtually anything.
16) Fight Club -- yes or no?
17) Teresa Wright or Olivia De Havilland?
18) Favorite moment/line from a film noir.
19) Best (or worst) death scene involving an obvious dummy substituting for a human or any other unsuccessful special effect(s)—see the wonderful blog Destructible Man for inspiration.
20) What's the least you've spent on a film and still regretted it? (Submitted by Lucas McNelly)
21) Van Johnson or Van Heflin?
22) Favorite Alan Rudolph film.
23) Name a documentary that you believe more people should see.
24) In deference to this quiz’s professor, name a favorite film which revolves around someone becoming stranded.
25) Is there a moment when your knowledge of film, or lack thereof, caused you an unusual degree of embarrassment and/or humiliation? If so, please share.
26) Ann Sheridan or Geraldine Fitzgerald? (Submitted by Larry Aydlette)
27) Do you or any of your family members physically resemble movie actors or other notable figures in the film world? If so, who?
28) Is there a movie you have purposely avoided seeing? If so, why?
29) Movie with the most palpable or otherwise effective wintry atmosphere or ambience.
30) Gerrit Graham or Jeffrey Jones?
31) The best cinematic antidote to a cultural stereotype (sexual, political, regional, whatever).
32) Second favorite John Wayne movie.
33) Favorite movie car chase.
34) In the spirit of His Girl Friday, propose a gender-switched remake of a classic or not-so-classic film. (Submitted by Patrick Robbins)
35) Barbara Rhoades or Barbara Feldon?
36) Favorite Andre De Toth movie.
37) If you could take one filmmaker's entire body of work and erase it from all time and memory, as if it had never happened, whose oeuvre would it be? (Submitted by Tom Sutpen)
38) Name a film you actively hated when you first encountered it, only to see it again later in life and fall in love with it.
39) Max Ophuls or Marcel Ophuls? (Submitted by Tom Sutpen)
40) In which club would you most want an active membership, the Delta Tau Chi fraternity, the Cutters or the Warriors? And which member would you most resemble, either physically or in personality?
41) Your favorite movie cliché.
42) Vincente Minnelli or Stanley Donen? (Submitted by Bob Westal)
43) Favorite Christmas-themed horror movie or sequence.
44) Favorite moment of self- or selfless sacrifice in a movie.
45) If you were the cinematic Spanish Inquisition, which movie cult (or cult movie) would you decimate? (Submitted by Bob Westal)
46) Caroline Munro or Veronica Carlson?
47) Favorite eye-patch wearing director. (Submitted by Patty Cozzalio)
48) Favorite ambiguous movie ending. (Original somewhat ambiguous submission---“Something about ambiguous movie endings!”-- by Jim Emerson, who may have some inspiration of his own to offer you.)
49) In giving thanks for the movies this year, what are you most thankful for?
50) George Kennedy or Alan North? (Submitted by Peet Gelderblom)