Professor Kingsfield’s Hair-Raising, Bar-Raising Holiday Movie Quiz


By Marilyn Ferdinand

I got an extension on Professor Kingsfield’s Hair-Raising, Bar-Raising Holiday Movie Quiz. Here’s what’s what with me.

1) What was the last movie you saw theatrically? On DVD or Blu-ray?
Theatrically, part of Rachel Getting Married. Got vertigo from the handheld at about the 40-minute mark and left. On DVD, Lady Vengeance.

2) Holiday movies—Do you like them naughty or nice?
Nice. I love all the holiday trappings, music, snow, etc. It’s magic to me.


3) Ida Lupino or Mercedes McCambridge?
Mercedes McCambridge: “I’m going to kill you.” Joan Crawford: “I know. If I don’t kill you first.”

4) Favorite actor/character from Twin Peaks.
Never watched it.

5) It’s been said that, rather than remaking beloved, respected films, Hollywood should concentrate more on righting the wrongs of the past and tinker more with films that didn’t work so well the first time. Pretending for a moment that movies are made in an economic vacuum, name a good candidate for a remake based on this criterion.
My fondest wish is for Nelson Algren’s Man with the Golden Arm to get a good screen treatment. The Preminger Abomination should be obliterated.


6) Favorite Spike Lee joint.
School Daze.

7) Lawrence Tierney or Scott Brady?
Lawrence Tierney. He’s so good in his early and late movies. I especially like his grizzled father of Ryan O’Neal in Tough Guys Don’t Dance.

8.) Are most movies too long?
In general, yes. When you see how much filmmakers used to be able to say in 80 minutes, it’s obvious how self-indulgent a lot of “auteurs” are these days.

9) Favorite performance by an actor portraying a real-life politician.
Paul Scofield as Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons.

10) Create the main event card for the ultimate giant movie monster smackdown.
The monsters from The Host and Cloverfield.

11) Jean Peters or Sheree North?
Sheree North. She’s so cute.

12) Why would you ever want or need to see a movie more than once?
If I really liked it. If I really liked the actors in it. If I needed to write an essay for my blog about it. If I wanted to accommodate the hubby or a friend. If it’s a tradition, like watching Sleepy Hollow on Halloween.


13) Favorite road movie.
Sullivan’s Travels, because comfort was never more than a few hundred feet away.

14) Favorite Budd Boetticher picture.
Seven Men from Now.

15) Who is the one person, living or dead, famous or unknown, who most informed or encouraged your appreciation of movies?
My mother.

16) Favorite opening credit sequence. (Please include YouTube link if possible.)
Ed Wood.

17) Kenneth Tobey or John Agar?

18) Jean-Luc Godard once suggested that the more popular the movie, the less likely it was that it was a good movie. Is he right or just cranky? Cite the best evidence one way or the other.
Somewhat cranky, but essentially right. How the hell is A Beautiful Mind, the Best Picture Oscar winner for 2001, better than Mulholland Drive or even Ghost World? This is the rule, not the exception.


19) Favorite Jonathan Demme movie.
Tough question. I like so many. But I’ll pick Something Wild for the “extra credit” of Ray Liotta’s performance and the marvelous soundtrack.

20) Tatum O’Neal or Linda Blair?
Tatum O’Neal. Linda Blair was a parody before her first movie was over.

21) Favorite use of irony in a movie. (This could be an idea, moment, scene, or an entire film.)
I’ve grown to quite hate irony. Its potency has been debased. Before it was, though, I think The Conformist has the most devastating ironies, showing a man trying to conform because he really thinks he’s different, and finding out he was never different at all.


22) Favorite Claude Chabrol film.
The Comedy of Power.

23) The best movie of the year to which very little attention seems to have been paid.
I don’t know if it’s the best movie of the year—in fact, it’s probably not—but it was quite good and fairly overlooked: What We Do Is Secret.

24) Dennis Christopher or Robby Benson?
Dennis Christopher.

25) Favorite movie about journalism.
His Girl Friday.

26) What’s the DVD commentary you’d most like to hear? Who would be on the audio track?
I don’t listen to these, but if I could, I’d love to hear Colleen Moore’s voice, perhaps while watching Her Wild Oat. I think she’d be charming company.

27) Favorite movie directed by Clint Eastwood.
Bronco Billy. “I’ve got a special message for you little pardners out there. I want you to finish your oatmeal at breakfast and do as your mom and pa tell you because they know best. Don’t ever tell a lie and say your prayers at night before you go to bed. And as our friends south of the border say, Adios, amigos.”

28) Paul Dooley or Kurtwood Smith?
Paul Dooley. You got a thing for Breaking Away in this quiz? If so, I’m on board. It’s one of my favorites.

29) Your clairvoyant moment: Make a prediction about the Oscar season.
That it will be even more boring and irrelevant than usual.

30) Your hope for the movies in 2009.
That some new independent distributors like The Shooting Gallery come on the scene and distribute all the great films I see at festivals for everyone to watch.

31) What’s your top 10 of 2008?
I don’t make lists, and if I did, you wouldn’t recognize most of the films on my list for 2008. Let’s just make it easier on both of us and pretend I did.

Cop%20Rock%201.JPG32) What was your favorite movie-related Christmas gift that you received this year?
We don’t exchange gifts or celebrate Christmas. But just because, the hubby got me the complete “Cop Rock” series. It’s a TV show, but I count those.

  • Rod spoke:
    10th/01/2009 to 4:46 am

    Kenneth Tobey.

  • Marilyn spoke:
    10th/01/2009 to 8:28 am

    Thanks, Rod. I sort of remember you mentioning him in a review. I’ll take your word for it.

  • Rod spoke:
    10th/01/2009 to 9:00 am

    You need to watch The Thing From Another World again, like, now.

  • Jonathan Lapper spoke:
    10th/01/2009 to 10:40 am

    4) Favorite actor/character from Twin Peaks.
    Never watched it.

    Me too! I just went to SLIFR and put your list up as my list as well in the comment section because I agree with you so much on this one. Almost entirely. Great answers.

  • Marilyn spoke:
    10th/01/2009 to 1:15 pm

    Rod – Do I have to? James Arness is such a bad alien.
    Jonathan – Seriously? My mom influenced you, too? Man, she got around!

  • Jonathan Lapper spoke:
    10th/01/2009 to 2:39 pm

    No, but my mother did. Seriously, she’s my number one influence as well. My dad on the other hand has seen about 12 movies his entire life.

  • Rod spoke:
    10th/01/2009 to 7:40 pm

    I hate you and everything you stand for.

  • Pat spoke:
    11th/01/2009 to 4:23 pm

    Marilyn –
    So you love “Breaking Away? Me,too. It holds a special place in my heart since it was filmed at Indiana University during my sophmore year there. I and some friends can be glimpsed, oh so briefly, in the crowd during the singing of the national anthem just before the big race.

  • Marilyn spoke:
    11th/01/2009 to 6:36 pm

    How cool is that, Pat! Yes, I’m very fond of that film. It’s just a wonderful family film, funny, and a good coming-of-age film. I was married to a competitive cyclist, so that part of it I knew from the inside.

  • Jonathan Lapper spoke:
    11th/01/2009 to 9:15 pm

    “Refund? Reeefund!!!”

  • Banjo spoke:
    27th/07/2009 to 11:40 am

    Bronco Billy is also Eastwood favourite movie!
    (And, obviously, my favourite Eastwood movie)
    Clint told me this thing, in Cannes, years ago.

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