A Movie Trivia Quiz of the Funny,
the Obscure, and the Strange

This movie trivia quiz is a bit different. The ques­tions are intended to intrigue or amuse the reader more than test knowledge. Most of these things are obscure, but hopefully interesting. So don’t be dis­appointed if you don’t know the answers. Heck, if you get half of them right you are a movie maven of the highest order.

To reveal the answers, just click anywhere on the question.

1. “He looked like he wore a diaper under his pants and had the face of a baby dope fiend.” What silent-era comic star was so colorfully described?

2. “There but for the grace of God, goes God.” Who said it about whom?

3. Spot the phonies:
A. Movie shot where the actors walk and perform backwards while the camera runs in reverse so that when shown everything is forwards again
B. Movie wherein the lead actor appears live in the theater and conducts a dialogue with himself on screen
C. Movie made entirely of footage discarded from other movies that make up an entirely new, unscripted movie
D. Horror movie made in sign language for the deaf
E. Movie with two endings running simultaneously, one happy, one unhappy, that the viewer could choose to see by means of different colored glasses.

4. Who was Cedric Gibbons and what likely unbeatable Hollywood record does he hold?

5. Perhaps the most absurd film credit of all time is “Additional dialogue by Sam Taylor.” Why, for what film?

6. What distinction do these movie characters share?
A. Lola Burns of “Bombshell”
B. Sandy Bates of ”“Stardust Memories”
C. Norma Desmond of ““Sunset Boulevard”
D. Dino of “Kiss Me, Stupid”

7. A man with a rope around his neck, two men in bowler hats, a man with a whip, and a boy. Not characters in a movie, but from a famous play, the main characters of which were inspired by two famous movie actors. What play and who were the actors?

8. Born to a family of artists, he helped found a theater troupe that become a band. As a young man, in a moment of callow romanticism, he quit Western civilization in favor of the Orient where he almost died of contagion. He not too successfully tried his hand at directing before becoming one of the more prolific film score composers going. Name him.

9. He’s most proud of the fact that every movie he’s ever made (and he’s made plenty) has shown a profit, or at least so he claims. Who?

10. This movie, made by one of America’s most famous eccentrics, was so long in production it had to be entirely reshot because changes within the industry made it obsolete upon completion. In fact, its director shot over 2 million feet of film for a release print of 9,024 feet. Its Hollywood premiere was a huge sensation (it inspired "The Day of the Locust") and propelled its leading lady, in her first major role, to instant stardom. What’s the movie, who was its maker, who was the star and what caused them to reshoot it?


1. Harry Langdon

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2. Herman J. Mankiewicz speaking about Orson Welles.

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3. A. “The Impossible Convicts” in 1905
B. “Sign of the Rose” in 1922
C. This is the phony, I made it up. The others were real.
D. “Deafula” in 1975
E. an unnamed Plasticon short of 1922.

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4. He was head art director at MGM and by contract was given credit for art direction on all films produced by the studio whether he actually worked on them or not. His name appears on over 1,500 films, by far the most personal film credits of all time.

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5. It was for the 1928 version of “The Taming of the Shrew.” A fellow named William Shakespeare wrote the rest.

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6. They were characters in movies wherein stars played more or less versions of themselves.
A. Jean Harlow as a sexpot movie queen with dysfunctional relatives sponging off her.
B. Woody Allen as a director whose fans prefer his earlier, comic films.
C. Gloria Swanson as a faded, silent movie star.
D. Dean Martin as a boozing, womanizing crooner.

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7. Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot.” The main char­ac­ters, Estragon and Vladimir, were patterned after Laurel and Hardy.

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8. Danny Elfman. His mother is an author, his father a musician and his brother is a film director. The theater troupe was The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo. Among his film scores are “Peewee’s Big Adventure”, “Batman”, and the theme for “The Simpsons.”

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9. King of the budget B movie, Roger Corman.

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10. “Hell’s Angels” made by Howard Hughes and starring Jean Harlow. The advent of sound made them reshoot, as it was originally a silent. This movie was also partly in black and white and partly in color, the old 2-color Technicolor process. It has the only know color photography of Jean Harlow, but before she adopted her famed platinum blonde hair. It also contained the famous, now cliched line, “Mind if I slip into something more comfortable?”

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