Answers to the World’s Hardest Movie Quiz


“Many men are stored full of unused knowledge,” once wrote Henry Ward Beecher. “Like loaded guns that are never fired off, they are stuffed with useless ammunition.” Well, Keith Uhlich, of Brooklyn, got a chance to fire off, grabbing the honor as this year’s film-nut winner of the Stuart Byron “World’s Hardest” Movie Trivia Quiz.

Cutting to the chase, then: the climactic spoken words (1) belonged to Psycho (A), Ashes of Time (B), Grand Illusion (C), 2001: A Space Odyssey (D), Woman in the Dunes (E), Champion (F), The Last Detail (G), The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (H), and L’Avventura (I). Breathless (2) had its final subtitle restored from the cryptic “A little what? I don’t understand.” to the fabulously wry “What’s a scumbag?” The first Arab feature film (3) was The Girl From Carthage, made in Tunisia in 1924. The peak moment for working movie theaters in the U.S. (4) was 1929, with over 23,350 one-screen establishments cranking away.

Besides John C. Reilly, the only performer to have acted in three out of five Best Picture-nominated movies in one year (5) was Gibson Gowland, who in 1944 appeared—uncredited—in Wilson, Gaslight, and Going My Way. The record-holder for appearances in Best Picture nominees (6) seems to be the estimable Bess Flowers, whose 20 qualifiers range from 1934’s It Happened One Night to 1962’s Judgment at Nuremberg. In Take One‘s 1970s poll (7), Francois Truffaut chose Rosemary’s Baby as his American fave of that shakily defined era. Of the fest award-winners (8), five was the record amount of trophies, though each movie (9)—The Boat Is Full, Tema, Before the Rain, 17 Years, and The Circle—grabbed theirs all at one of the four fests listed, not a mix thereof.

Leo McCarey, Martin Scorsese, David Cronenberg, Mike Nichols, and Paul Verhoeven (10) have all had one of their films transformed into TV series. No one got it. When Sam Peckinpah (11) returned from service in 1946, Orson Welles bought the young vet an airport cocktail. In other news (12), Howard da Silva snapped a bulb in They Live by Night (A), Silvano Mangano shaved her famous brows for Dune (B), Sarah Miles wipes her moistened hand on Charles Dance’s corpse in White Mischief (C), Steve Martin is nonplused by Keith Moon’s hotel-door chop in a TV-special clip featured in The Kids Are Alright (D), Catherine Deneuve strolls an ancient cave in The Convent (E), Lillian Gish chows down on leftovers in Broken Blossoms (F), Liam Neeson glares into lens-ward for 50+ seconds in John Boorman’s entry to Lumiere & Co. (G).

The elementary school attendees (13) were Maya Deren (A), Orson Welles (B), Roberto Rossellini (C), and David Cronenberg (D); the alumni of Lycee Janson de Sailly (E) have been numerous, but include Sacha Guitry and Preston Sturges. The longest theatrically released doc (16) was Peter Watkins’s The Journey, which outdistances Shoah by over five hours and saw a full 1992 run in The Public’s still-missed film program. Both Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe (15) saw their films banned in Egypt after converting and marrying Jews, while only Guatemala is on record as having officially banned movies for “lack of artistic merit” (16). Regarding the movie-starring books (17), The Way of All Flesh was thumbed conspicuously in A Room With a View (A), The Basic Kafka got a nightstand closeup in The Big Chill (B), From Ritual to Romance sat amid Kurtz’s papers in Apocalypse Now (C), copies of Leaves of Grass figured in both Reds and Bull Durham (D), Klaus Kinski’s autobio was Ethan Hawke’s train reading in Before Sunrise (E), and a diner chat over Tropic of Cancer began After Hours‘ long night’s journey (F). For the unique-language movies (18)—IMdB was easier exploited here than I thought, and so every three titles earned one point—the dozens of qualifiers included Deafula (sign language), Sebastiane (Latin), Bitter Sweet (Cornish), Incubus (Esperanto), Atanarjuat (Inuktitut), Vera (Mayan), and Minister (Tigrigna).

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