April 16, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

A FILM FAN’S FAVORITES

Back to School Exam!
It’s September, and for the kids it’s back to school, homework and tests. For adults, here’s a different kind of test—a movie quiz. Be careful; this is not easy!

1. What actor appeared in only five feature films but all nominated for Best Picture?
1.    John Cazale.
2.    James Dean
3.    Jackie Gleason
4.    Sal Mineo
5.    Mickey Mouse

2. In which television series did each of the following appear before becoming movie stars?
1.    Clint Eastwood
2.    James Garner
3.    Sally Field
4.    Goldie Hawn
5.    Steve McQueen
6.    Bruce Willis

3. Name six actors and actresses who won Academy Awards for roles in which they spoke no English (or virtually none)?

4. Who won an Academy Award for acting, and then waited 34 years until his next role?

5. Which screen “pairings†appeared together the most times? You’ll be surprised by the results! Two actors have appeared in 38 movies together, can you find out who?

ANSWERS:

1.John Cazale, best known for his role of Fredo in The Godfather and The Godfather II, also appeared as Al Pacino’s henchman, Sal, in Dog Day Afternoon, and in The Conversation, and The Deerhunter. Both Godfather films, and The Deerhunter, won Best Picure. Sadly, he passed away in 1978, after making some of the greatest films ever.

2.
 
1.    Clint Eastwood—Rawhide
2.    James Garner—Maverick (Rockford Files came after he had made several major movies)
3.    Sally Field—Gidget, and The Flying Nun
4.    Goldie Hawn—Laugh In
5.    Steve McQueen—Wanted: Dead or Alive
6.    Bruce Willis—Moonlighting

In the early days of television, it was considered a career stopper to go from movies to TV, but many used the small screen as a passport to the silver screen. Interestingly, Sally Field won two Best Actress Oscars, and Goldie Hawn a Supporting Actress Academy Award, and was nominated for Best Actress. None of these men won for acting (Clint Eastwood won twice as a director, while Garner and McQueen were each nominated for Best Actor once).

 
3.

Roberto Benigni—Best Actor in Life is Beautiful spoke Italian
Sophia Loren—Best Actress in Two Women spoke Italian
Robert De Niro—Best Supporting Actor in The Godfather II spoke Italian (primarily, with some English)
Patty Duke—Best Supporting Actress in The Miracle Worker (didn’t speak; she played Helen Keller, who was deaf, dumb and blind)
Marlee Matlin—Best Actress in Children of a Lesser God (she played a deaf person, and is deaf herself)
Jane Wyman—Best Actress in Johnny Belinda (played a deaf mute)

 
4.

Harold Russell won 1947’s Best Suporting Actor for his role in 1946’s Best Years of Our Lives. A WWII veteran who lost both hands in the war, he also received an honorary award for the film. Thirty-four years later, he was in Inside Moves.
 

5. The silver screen’s most frequent pairings were:

TEN FILMS TOGETHER

Fred & Ginger—- Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers danced in ten films together, but she won Best Actress (for the dramatic role of Kitty Foyle) without him. He was nominated once, for his dramatic role in The Towering Inferno.

Judy & Mickey—Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland appeared in a series of “backstage” musicals, as well as the Andy Hardy series. Neither won an Oscar, although he was nominated four times, and she was twice, and given an Honorary Oscar for The Wizard of Oz.

Lemmon & Matthau—Jack Lemmon & Waler Matthau were close friends, and are best known for The Odd Couple. Lemmon was nominated for 8 Oscars, and won Best Supporting Actor (Mister Roberts) and Best Actor (Save the Tiger).Matthau was nominated three times, and won Supporting Actor (The Fortune Cookie).

Martin & Lewis—Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis were huge stars on TV and in night clubs, but their movies never quite captured their zany appeal. Neither was ever Oscar-nominated, but Martin won acclaim in several dramas and westerns, and Lewis is revered in France.

ELEVEN FILMS TOGETHER

Taylor & Burton—Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor became lovers on the set of Cleopatra, and married and divorced—twice. Their off-screen lives often eclipsed their on-screen performances, but they were two of the greatest actors in movies. She won Best Actress twice (Butterfield Eight and Who’s Afraid of VIrgina Wolf), and was nominated three other times. He was nominated seven times, but never won. Virgina Wolf (directed by Mike Nichols) contains some of the best acting in movie history.

THIRTEEN FILMS TOGETHER

Allen & Farrow—Woody Allen & Mia Farrow were another pair of lovers who teamed up onscreen. She was never nominated for an Oscar, but Allen was nominated 21 times!—for acting, writing and directing, and won three times (Writing and directing Annie Hall, and writing Hannah and Her Sisters).

Bronson & Ireland—Charles Bronson & Jill Ireland are another couple who liked to work together. Neither was ever Oscar-nominated, but his biggest hits made him such a box office draw, he could insist on her co-starring in other films.

Hope & Crosby—Bob Hope & Bing Crosby were enormous stars, and their movies together included seven “Road” pictures (with Dorothy Lamour). Hope was never nominated, but Bing was nominated for Best Actor three times, and won for Going My Way.

Loy & Powell—Myrna Loy & William Powell established the urbane, married “detective couple” in The Thin Man (and four sequels), but their chemistry was so appealing that they also made eight other movies. She was a box office leader, and although never nominated, received an honorary Oscar. He was nominated for Best Actor three times (The Thin Man, My Man Godfrey, and Life With Father), but never won.

EIGHTEEN FILMS TOGETHER

Cushing & Lee—Peter Cushing & Christopher Lee were two serious English actors (both appeared in Olivier’s Hamlet, and Houston’s Moulin Rouge, for example). In 1958, they starred in The Curse of Dracula, the first of Hammer Films series of Horror films, and wound up appearing in The Hound of the Baskervilles and a slew of Frankenstein/Dracula/Mummy-type Grade B features for Hammer.

TWENTY-ONE FILMS TOGETHER

Rogers & Evans—Roy Rogers & Dale Evans were another husband and wife team. Westerns were inexpensive to produce, and valuable in filling out the double features that typified the movie industry before the age of television. This popular couple starred in 21 movies between 1944 and 1950.

THIRTY-SEVEN FILMS TOGETHER
Abbott & Costello—Bud Abbott & Lou Costello made 37 movies together, from 1940 to 1959, most by the early 1950’s. Hugely successful, they did not get along with one another. Their iconic routine “Who’s on First” was done differently each time, on TV or in person, and is the epitome of comic timing.

THIRY-EIGHT FILMS TOGETHER
Laurel & Hardy—Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy starred in 38 movies between 1927 and 1951. They were silent movie veterans, before Hal Roach teamed them in a series of shorts, and then they gracefully made the transition to “talkies”. Each was a master of “takes”, and their chemistry together was superb.

Palisadian David Meister has been a passionate moviegoer since his childhood. He was a top executive at HBO, where he also launched Cinemax, was president of Time Life Films, and later created The Sundance Channel for Robert Redford. E-mail him at davidmeister@westsidetoday.com

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