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April 21, 2009


Once again, it's the seasonal quiz at Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule. Because of my current work schedule, it took me a couple of nights to answer the questions. While some of my answers duplicate those given by others, it is purely coincidental.

1) Favorite Biopic: Raging Bull. For so many reasons.


2) Dyan Cannon or Tuesday Weld?: Dyan is cute, but Tuesday Weld was in some better films, especially Pretty Poison and Bachelor Flat.

3) Best example of science fiction futurism rendered silly by the event of time catching up to the prediction: How about me being silly, thinking that the world would end based on George Pal's version of The Time Machine.

4) Annette Funicello & Frankie Avalon or Troy Donahue & Sandra Dee?: Troy and Sandra have Delmer Daves' A Summer Place and Douglas Sirk's Imitation of Life on their resumes. Case closed.

5) Favorite Raoul Walsh movie?: Only one? The Roaring Twenties.

6) Sophomore film which represents greatest improvement over the director’s debut: Repulsion, primarily because it set the stage for Polanski's career as a major, English language filmmaker.

7) Ice Cube or Mos Def?: Mos Def, mostly for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe.

8) Favorite movie about the music industry: Grace of my Heart.

9) Favorite Looney Tunes short (provide link if possible): Booby Hatched, by Frank Tashlin, about an unhatched egg named Robespierre.

10) Director most deserving of respect or upwardly mobile critical reassessment: Gordon Douglas is getting better with age. If nothing else, he was a solid craftsman.

11) Ruth Gordon or Margaret Hamilton?: This Bud's for you - Margaret Hamilton, based on her appearance in Brewster McCloud.

12) Best filmed adaptation of a play: Roman Polanski's version of the Scottish play.

13) Buddy Ebsen or Edgar Buchanan?: "Petticoat Junction" wins here. Edgar Buchanan.

14) Favorite Jean Renoir movie?: Boudu Saved from Drowning.

15) Favorite one-word movie title, and why: Dick. Just no way you can improve upon the use of this title for a film about Nixon.

16) Ernest Thesiger or Basil Rathbone?: Rathbone, more for the horror films he showed up in during the end of his career.


17) Summer movies—your highest and lowest expectations: I expect to enjoy the coolness of my apartment watching DVDs. I am looking forward to Monster X Strikes Back: Attack the G8 Summit.

18) Whether or not you’re a parent, what would be your ideal pick as first movie to see with your own child (or niece/nephew)? Why?: I didn't see it with her, but the first movie I bought for my niece was Babe. Something a child could enjoy on her level but that an adult could watch and enjoy as well.

19) L.Q. Jones or Strother Martin: Jones, for directing A Boy and his Dog.

20) Movie most recently seen in theaters? On DVD/Blu-ray?: Theater: Scott Walker: 30 Century Man. On DVD: Frank Borzage's Lazybones.

21) Do you see more movies theatrically or at home? Why?: Home is where I range. Less distraction, comfortable seating, better food, better choice of films.

22) Name an award-worthy comic performance that was completely ignored by Oscar and his pals.: Eddie Murphy in The Klumps: Nutty Professor II. Not only were there several distinctly different characters, but Murphy reminded me how laugh out loud funny he could be.

23) Zac Efron & Vanessa Hudgens or Robert Pattinson & Kristen Stewart : Twilight of the high school musical? I'm going Hong Kong old school with Linda Lin Dai and Peter Chen Ho.

24) Name a great (or merely very good) movie that is too painful to watch a second time (Thanks to The Onion A.V. Club): William Wellman's Island in the Sky is a pretty good film with a performance by John Wayne that is worth noting. However, I almost tore my eyes out at the dorsal view of Andy Devine in swim trunks. At least he wasn't wearing Speedos.

25) Beyonce Knowles or Jennifer Hudson?: Beyonce is my dreamgirl.

26) Favorite Robert Mitchum movie?: The Yakuza.

27) Favorite movie featuring a ‘60s musical group that is not either the Beatles or the Monkees: Petulia, featuring The Grateful Dead and Big Brother and the Holding Company in performance.

28) Maria Ouspenskaya or Una O’Connor?: O'Connor is in more movies I like.

29) Favorite Vincent Price movie?: Tomb of Ligeia.

30) Name a movie currently flying under the radar that is deserving of rabid cult status.: John Woo's Red Cliff. A huge hit in Asia, but only available as an import DVD stateside. It's the top nominee for the Hong Kong Film Awards for good reason.

31) Irene Ryan or Lucille Benson (or Bea Benaderet)?: Bea Benaderet, for providing a voice for many cartoons including one titled Puss n' Booty. The perfect cartoon to be shown with a movie titled Dick.

32) Single line from a movie that never fails to make your laugh or otherwise cheer you up. (This may be obvious, but the line does not have to come from a comedy.): "This coffee's so thick a mouse can dance on it." from Convicts 4.

33) Elliot Gould or Donald Sutherland?: after MASH. Gould worked more with Alman as well as Ingmar Bergman. Sutherland was in more good films by more good directors with Don't Look Now and 1900 among the high points, plus Animal House. Sutherland also played Homer Simpson in Day of the Locust.

34) Best performance by a director in an acting role: Suzuki Seijun in Sleepless Town.

35) Favorite Barbara Stanwyck movie?: Young Babs: Bitter Tea of General Yen. Never ask a woman her age Babs: Forty Guns.

36) Outside of reading film criticism or other literature about the movies, what subject do you enjoy reading about or studying which you would say best enriches or illuminates your understanding and appreciation of life, a life that includes the movies?: Buddhism.

Posted by Peter Nellhaus at April 21, 2009 12:31 AM