Wednesday, July 23, 2008

We have a winner ...

... as of 10:19 E.T. tonight (7/23). Congrats to James Cubby of Fair Lawn, N.J., who was the first to message me with all 14 correct answers. He walks away with these prizes.

And now, the answers:

14: This celebrated sessionplayer and Warren Zevon compatriot can be seen going down with the ship in the original THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE. Name the performer.
Robert "Waddy" Wachtel. In addition to being Zevon's long-time guitarist, he plays a member of the band performing on the S.S. Poseidon during its ill-fated final cruise.

13: When it was released in the United States, this British film was retitled to make it seem as if it were based on a work by Edgar Allan Poe, with a new voiceover by its star to cement the connection. Name the film’s original title.
WITCHFINDER GENERAL (1968). When it was released in the U.S., it was retitled THE CONQUEROR WORM, after the Poe poem, which star Vincent Price reads over the credits.

12: In 1977’s NEW YORK, NEW YORK, Jimmy Doyle and Francine Evans first meet during a performance by what band?
The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. In the film, Dorsey is played by real-life trombonist and bandleader William Tole.

11: Though he went on to star in other films for director Akira Kurosawa – sometimes in lead roles – this actor has only the briefest walk-on in the director’s 1954 classic SEVEN SAMURAI. Name the actor.
Tatsuya Nakadai. He appears briefly in the scene in which the searchers are sizing up passing samurai as possible hires. Reportedly, he and Kurosawa spent five hours on the scene, because the director didn't feel his walk was natural enough.

10: How old is Travis Bickle at the beginning of TAXI DRIVER?
26. He gives his age while he's applying at the cab company.

9: How many men are left behind to fight the rearguard action in Sam Fuller’s FIXED BAYONETS?
48. One of the easier questions, but taken from an excellent low-budget film set during the Korean War, while the war was still going on.

8: In the words of Warner Oland, this plant “is the only known cure for werewolfery.” Name the plant.
The mariphasa, as avowed by Dr. Yogami (Oland) in 1935's WEREWOLF OF LONDON.

7: Quentin Tarantino named a now-defunct distribution company after this violent 1970s B-film. Name the film.
ROLLING THUNDER (1977). Scripted by TAXI DRIVER writer Paul Schrader and directed by John Flynn, it was about a Vietnam vet (William Devane) who turns vigilante after his family is brutally attacked. An early (and great) co-starring role for Tommy Lee Jones.

6: This Hong Kong action classic makes use of a Lionel Richie song as a musical code among undercover police. Name the film.
HARD-BOILED (1992). This John Woo-directed action epic even has star Chow Yun-Fat singing lines from Richie's hit song "Hello."

5: In Steven Spielberg’s CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, government forces mobilize using trucks bearing the logo of this real-life supermarket chain. Name the chain.
Piggly Wiggly, the nation's "first true self-service grocery store." It operates mainly in the South and Midwest.

4: In the circus soap opera CARNIVAL STORY (1954), a stunt diver (Lyle Bettger) and his wife (Anne Baxter) are featured in a photo spread in a real-life magazine. Name the magazine and the person on its cover.
Life Magazine, featuring then vice president Richard Nixon on its cover.

3: What iconic image – a fixture of almost every werewolf film – does *not* appear in the 1940 classic THE WOLF MAN?
The full moon. It's never shown in the film.

2: Before helming a science fiction blockbuster, this writer/director helped create a popular TV show and co-wrote and co-produced an acclaimed crime drama from 2000. Who was it?
Matt Reeves. The CLOVERFIELD director co-created TV's "Felicity" with J.J. Abrams, and co-wrote and co-produced the crime drama THE YARDS with his film school classmate James Gray.

And finally ...

1: Who are Charles Rains, Joseph Scilose and John Doe and in what Best Picture nominee are they characters?
They're the three men Travis Bickle kills at the climax of TAXI DRIVER. Their names aren't mentioned in the film or in the credits, but they're visible in the newspaper accounts of the shooting that adorn Travis' wall at the end of the film (though winner Cubby correctly notes that it should be "Anthony Scilose" instead of "Joseph"). Rains (or alternately "Rain") is Harvey Keitel's character, though he's referred to as both "Matthew" and "Sport" in the course of the film. (screenwriter Schrader reused the name "Charlie Rane" for the hero of ROLLING THUNDER, played by Willian Devane, see above). Scilose is the mafioso played by Bob Maroff, and the John Doe is Iris' timekeeper, played by Murray Moston, who loses his right hand to Travis' .44 Magnum.

However, it might well be that Cubby had an inside line on that final answer, being that he hails from Fair Lawn, which, as everyone knows, is also home to Henry Krinkle.

And that, folks, is the end of The Ultimate Post-Internet Movie Trivia Contest, now and forevermore.

I'm going to leave these questions and answers up for about a week and then delete them from the blog for space reasons. Hope someone had some fun with them along the way.


JMags said...

The picture of Travis Bickle points to a constant Stroby route - Taxi Driver.

wstroby said...

Which is why I'm surprised more people didn't get the answer to Question No. 1 more quickly.

James C. said...

Is TAXI DRIVER your favorite film?

wstroby said...

I waver between that and CARNIVAL STORY.

James C,. said...

Well, I see some connection ... Anne Baxter's acting style is as psychotic as Travis Bickle's personality.

Michael said...

Congratulations to James Cubby and thanks again to Stroby for a great quiz!
- Mickey Tennenbaum, Quiz loser and frustrated clue-seeker

Bryan said...

Wow - kudos. I've been working on this one for weeks...and to THINK that the answer came from one of my favorite films of all time! It was right under my nose...

JMags said...

I hear that Jerry Bruckheimer is producing a new version of Taxi Driver starring Paul Walker (Fast & Furious). just kidding.

JMags said...

No word from Tennenbaum yet.

Michael said...

Re: JMAGS comment -- see my post above, under "michael" . I'm nothing if not a good loser.

james c. said...

Re: Jmags comment ... Bruckheimer is producing, yes, that is right, but Michael Bay is directing Shia LeBeouf in the Bickle role, it's taking place in San Francisco AND the Taxi changes into a Transformer. Can you see him staring at the Taxi/Robot and saying, "You ... talking ... to ME??!!"

pattinase (abbott) said...

This was quite a challenging quiz. Way out of my depth here. And I see a movie a week at least. And that's just at theaters. It's remembering them that's tough.

JMags said...

Will you be attending any Bruce shows at Giants Stadium in the next couple of days? I don't think I will but I did go to a show in 2003 at Giants.

wstroby said...

Yes, though I'm not crazy about stadiums, I'm attending a couple of the Springsteen shows. And anyone who wonders how all the best seats seem to end up on eBay and StubHub at five times face value should read this.