Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I never did get around to posting my answers from the SLIFR summer quiz, and I vowed I would not let the next one pass before I managed to put my own answers down for posterity. I have been meticulously preparing the path for undertaking this task, and now, just as my level of enthusiasm is approaching the perfect height to finally grapple with my own quiz, along comes another distraction, this one of the highest order. Anne Thompson alerted me this morning that the esteemed writer and critic David Thomson has just updated The New Biographical Dictionary of Film for a fifth edition, but there’s something special to accompany it that Anne cheerfully passed along to readers of her Thompson on Hollywood blog at IndieWIRE.

It seems that Mr. Thomson, no doubt inspired by years of SLIFR quizzes (…) and perhaps just a little encyclopedic knowledge of his own, has devised a 50-question quiz to commemorate the fifth edition of his essential tome, which he sent along to Anne. Anne published the quiz this morning and is offering copies of the fifth edition of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, signed by Mr. Thomson, to the first three of her readers to submit 50 correct answers to Thomson’s puzzler before 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 14, 2010. If no one guesses all 50, then the three entries with the most correct answers will be declared the winners. (Participants in the recent SLIFR Great Halloween Horror Screengrab Contest will be familiar with this wrinkle.) The questions are all derived from information straight out of Thomson’s volume, but this is going to be a hard one to cheat on open-book style—you’re gonna have to know your stuff to get one of these prizes. Here’s a sample question or four:

6. Name a director who has filmed material from Ed McBain, Dostoyevsky and Shakespeare.

13. What’s the bond between The Third Man and Johnny Guitar?

15. In the Cut and Panic Room – who’s the missing link?

39. What links Sunrise and A Place in the Sun?

Whew. Just looking over the list of questions there might be-- might-- be 10 that I can answer off the top of my head without hesitation or fear of looking stupid. The rest are going to take some serious caffeine and much grinding and gnashing off teeth. But what else do you and I have to do? Contact Anne at with your answers—don’t deposit them in her comments thread, because all you’ll be doing then is giving away answers to everybody that not everybody may have. And for God’s sake, don’t put ‘em in my comments thread—they won’t do you a lick of good there. Although, wait— Um, y-yeah, yeah. Go ahead and put your answers in my comments thread, or better yet, send ‘em to my e-mail address. I’ll make sure that Anne gets ‘em, and in a timely fashion too. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. Yeah…

It’s David Thomson’s 50-question quiz now playing through November 14 exclusively at Thompson on Hollywood. Have fun!



Samuel Wilson said...

Looks tough. At first glance I felt certain about 18 answers out of 50, including one of your samples. I suppose I must hit the books (or IMDB) if I want to save some money.

Peter Nellhaus said...

I got 6 and 15 off the top. The other two require more research than I'm willing to give at this time. I'll just wait for the holiday season quiz that I'm assuming will appear at SLatIFR.

Chris Stangl said...

Yikes. I got twelve of these off the top of my head, but I don't know if I could get any more of 'em without, say, opening a reference book or six. Besides reminding one of the value of Thompson's volume, these questions made me nostalgic for the 1983 Trivial Pursuit Silver Screen Edition supplement. Playing with this card set was always irresistible to me as a child, even though it is ridiculously difficult and focused on golden age Hollywood. This basically dragged every Trival Pursuit match out for hours, until I lucked into questions about Universal horror movies.

Mr. Peel aka Peter Avellino said...

I think I've got 17 of them--thought I had a few more than that but when I looked up a few I realized I was wrong on a couple. But I guess it's not so bad. Still trying to figure out that IN THE CUT and PANIC ROOM one.

Squish said...

Hey Dennis,

Just wanted to let you know that there's a "Trip To The Moon" blog-A-Thon happening @ in honour of the 1001 Movies You Must See Before you Die Blog Club.

It would be great if you visited!