The moment you’ve all been waiting for has arrived. Here it is, the thrilling conclusion of the quiz from Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule which I began in the post before this one. Let’s get right to the action:
- Best Film of 1979.
Absolutely, definitely, unequivocally Manhattan.
- Most realistic and/or sincere depiction of small-town life in the movies.
The one that made the biggest impression on me was All the Real Girls.
- Best horror movie creature (non-giant division).
Hurh? How big can a creature be and still be “non-giant?” …Whatever, I’ll avoid making a call on that by going with the creepy little thing outside John Lithgow’s airplane window in Twilight Zone: The Movie. And yes, nerds, I’m aware that it was based on an episode of the old TV show where the passenger was played by William Shatner. I’ve seen it, and it’s not scary — the monster was, by the look of it, nothing more than a guy in a gorilla suit. That’s not menacing, it’s comical! In the Lithgow version, though, it’s this bug-eyed, slimy reptilian thing that zips around really fast and pops up right in your face. It looks like it really could claw apart the wing and bring down the plane. I was a kid when I saw the movie in the theatre, and that lizard thing freaked my shit out.
- Second-favorite Francis Ford Coppola film.
The Godfather (behind only The Godfather: Part II).
- Name a one-off movie that could have produced a franchise you would have wanted to see.
A tough one, because I’m a little weary of movie franchises. You know what? I think I could be psyched for a sequel to Heathers, updated to flip the bird to the pretensions of a later time period. Obviously you wouldn’t have the three Heathers anymore, but so what. All that’s important are the Veronica (Winona Ryder) and J.D. (Christian Slater) characters, and the misanthropic comedy. And yes, musical theatre nerds, I’m aware that they’re adapting Heathers into a Broadway musical. I’d be more intrigued by it if I weren’t depressed by the fact that the only new musicals that get produced on Broadway are stage adaptations of movies. It’s almost enough to make me wish Andrew Lloyd Webber would stumble across another book of poems. Almost. As for the show I predict will be daringly titled Heathers: The Musical, I’ll admit that I did get a kick out of the news that it will include a number called “I Love My Dead Gay Son.”
- Favorite sequence from a Brian De Palma film.
I’ve gotta say the prom humiliation/revenge sequence from Carrie. De Palma is sometimes guilty of over-indulging in cinematic flashiness, but the Carrie scene directly called for DePalma’s whole bag of movie magic tricks. And oh, did he bring it: He pulls out slow motion, swelling lyrical music, split screen, trippy kaleidoscopic image and sound editing, and his trademark buckets of blood (in an actual bucket, no less). Put it all together and you’ve got a mini-opera, a dream-turned-nightmare-turned-explosion-of-supernatural-vengeance. Bravura filmmaking, and totally badass.
- Favorite moment in three-strip Technicolor.
The dream ballet from Singin’ in the Rain.
- Favorite Alan Smithee film.
Where Alan Smithee credits are concerned, I think “favorite” is really not the right word. In any case, the only Smithee-credited film I’ve seen is the first segment of the afore-mentioned Twilight Zone: The Movie, on which the 2nd A.D. “smitheed” after actor Vic Morrow was killed during the filming of an action sequence.
- Crash Davis (Kevin Costner) or Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau)?
Excuse me? Crash all the way! I’m putting the signs down, Meat. Just follow the signs.
- Best post-Crimes and Misdemeanors Woody Allen film.
Bullets Over Broadway. See also the “Part I” post of this quiz re: Jennifer Tilly as Olive Neal.
- Best Film of 1999.
Magnolia, hands down.
- Favorite movie tag line.
The Fly. Concise, effective, and as it turned out, sticky enough to become part of the general pop culture lexicon.
- Favorite B-movie western.
Does Silverado count? Yeah. I say it does.
- Overall, the author best served by movie adaptations of her or his work.
Margaret Mitchell, since to my knowledge only the one book of hers was made into a movie.
- Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn) or Irene Bullock (Carole Lombard)?
I at this time must invoke my right under the fifth amendment to avoid the possibility of, in a manner of speaking, incriminating myself, or at least revealing the depths of my cinematic illiteracy vis-a-vis Bringing Up Baby and My Man Godfrey.
- Favorite musical cameo in a non-musical movie.
The only one I can think of at the moment is Dooley Wilson’s iconic rendition of “As Time Goes By” in Casablanca.
- Bruno (the character, if you haven’t seen the movie, or the film, if you have): subversive satire or purveyor of stereotyping?
I haven’t seen it, so I’ll say subversive satire. From what I hear, seeing the movie might change my mind, though.
- Five film folks, living or deceased, you would love to meet.
I have a hard time answering this kind of question, for the extremely trite reason that there are so, so many people in the history of the movies whose work I admire greatly and whom I would love to meet. Therefore, these five feel quite arbitrary, because I could name dozens of others whom I’d be just as pleased to meet. Anyway, I’ll say Billy Wilder, Meryl Streep, Maggie Smith, Groucho Marx, and Peter O’Toole. The first three simply due to my profound admiration for their body of work, and the last two partly for the same reason but even more because were/are delightful raconteurs. Here’s a little example of the kind of anecdote I’d hope to hear, from a 1993 interview of O’Toole by Terry Gross on NPR’s “Fresh Air.” As the clip begins, he’s been talking about the filming of Lawrence of Arabia.