Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Can it be that he went from this:
to this:
to this:
to this:
to this:
to this:
to this:
and to this:
in only thirteen years?

Happy Birthday to my baby child S.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

answers: to kill a mockingbird trivia quiz

These are the answers to the quiz here.

1962 ... 'To Kill a Mockingbird'Image by x-ray delta one via Flickr

  1. 1960. Though the story is set in the 1930's, it is told from the point of view of a grown Scout and therefore was written, and published, later. The film came out soon after, in 1962.
  2. Monroeville, Alabama. Director Robert Mulligan wanted to film the movie on location in Monroeville, but found the town so changed with postwar development that they opted instead to use a backlot at Universal Studios, with a replica of the Monroeville courthouse for the trial scene.
  3. Amasa Coleman Lee. Harper Lee's mother's maiden name was Finch, Atticus's surname.
  4. Alice Ghostley. Esmerelda was the nervous, vanishing maid on Bewitched (1969-72), but Ghostley was a well-regarded Broadway actress at the time she was cast in the movie.
  5. Robert Duvall. Duvall was recommended by the screenwriter Horton Foote, who had been impressed by his performance in a Foote play a few years earlier. They were to work together often over their careers.
  6. Banana Boat Song (Day-O) by Harry Belafonte. Peters later became known for roles in Star Trek and Soylent Green.
  7. Truman Capote. I thought this fact was better known, but only one person in our group got it. Harper Lee later helped Capote with the researching of In Cold Blood, as noted in the movies Capote and Infamous.
  8. Rock Hudson. Astounding, isn't it? But Hudson was a huge star and box office draw in 1962. It was eventually decided that Hudson was too young at 36, and the part was offered to James Stewart. Stewart rejected the part, believing the film to be too liberal and controversial.
  9. great acting
  10. Jean Louise. You knew it wasn't Thelma Louise, right? :)
  11. a freestanding closet. The chifforobe figures prominently in the trial, where Mayella Ewell testifies that she asked Tom in to help "bust up a chifforobe. " Tom later testifies that he had broken up the chifforobe months before, but that she had asked him in to reach something on top of a different chifforobe.
  12. all of them. This was included so that everyone will get at least one answer correct.
  13. Best Actor—Gregory Peck, Best (Adapted) Screenplay—Horton Foote, Best Art Direction (Black & White)—Henry Bumstead, Alexander Golitzen and Oliver Emert.
  14. Brock Peters. Any of them might have been a possibility, however. Peck remained close with Badham and Lee to the end of his life. He was also friends and neighbors with Michael Jackson, frequently riding horses with him at Neverland. Jackson helped plan Peck's funeral service.
  15. none. Except for the movie, whose set she visited and which she publicly admired, Lee has rejected all commercialization of her novel.
Tie-breaker Question: It is ranked number 25 on the AFI's 10th anniversary list of greatest American movies of all time.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

to kill a mockingbird trivia quiz

Last year my friend Cathy casually mentioned that she tries to watch To Kill A Mockingbird every fall. It's a fall movie, she explained, with the climactic scene occurring on the evening of a Halloween pageant at the school.

I was intrigued. My sister and I watch White Christmas every holiday season, largely because it was broadcast each Christmas Eve where we grew up; but it never occurred to me to have an annual movie for other times of year.

So I invited Cathy and some other friends over this past weekend to watch To Kill A Mockingbird on our screen. We served big bowls of popcorn, chocolate and tea; people arrived in the rain with blankets and bottles of wine; and we started as we often do around here—

—with a trivia quiz. C and I have played on a trivia team on and off for some years now, and we enjoy the format. Knowledge, even trivial knowledge, makes everything more interesting, doesn't it? We always hand out a small prize—this year it was a used copy of the 50th anniversary edition of To Kill A Mockingbird.

Below is the quiz as given. It helps to begin with some common ground: that the movie was adapted from the book by Harper Lee, who based it on people and events from her childhood. Some of the questions were quite easy, especially if you know the book or the movie. Some were fairly esoteric. Most were facts lifted wholesale from trivia and movie websites. My only contribution was to turn them into multiple choice questions, which makes the quiz relatively fast and easy and gives everyone a fair shot at each question.

To Kill A Mockingbird
trivia quiz
  1. What year was To Kill A Mockingbird published?
    • 1936
    • 1949
    • 1957
    • 1960
  2. The events take place in Maycomb, Alabama. The model for Maycomb was Harper Lee's hometown of:
    • Magnolia Springs, Alabama
    • Maytown, Alabama
    • Mobile, Alabama
    • Monroeville, Alabama
  3. Atticus is one of the more unusual names in American literature. What was Harper Lee's father's real name?
    • Abraham
    • Amasa
    • Ambrose
    • Arthur
  4. Which actress from the tv series Bewitched made her film debut as Stephanie Crawford?
    • Agnes Moorhead (Endora)
    • Alice Ghostley (Esmerelda)
    • Elizabeth Montgomery (Samantha)
    • Marion Lorne (Aunt Clara)
  5. Which actor from The Godfather made his film debut as Boo Radley?
    • Al Pacino (Michael)
    • James Caan (Sonny)
    • John Cazale (Fredo)
    • Robert Duvall (Tom Hagen)
  6. Brock Peters, who played Tom Robinson, also sang background vocals on:
    • Alley Oop
    • Banana Boat Song
    • Twist and Shout
    • Unforgettable
  7. The character of Dill was based upon which childhood friend of Harper Lee?
    • Bill Haley
    • Jimmy Carter
    • Truman Capote
    • William Styron
  8. Gregory Peck was not the first choice to play Atticus. Which actor was?
    • Gary Cooper
    • Fred MacMurray
    • James Stewart
    • Rock Hudson
  9. When Harper Lee saw Gregory Peck in costume, she remarked that he looked just like her father, down to the little pot belly. Peck replied, "That's not a pot belly, Harper—that's..."
    • a beer belly."
    • great acting."
    • my wallet. These pants have no pockets."
    • padding from wardrobe."
  10. What is Scout's given name?
    • Harper Louise
    • Jean Louise
    • Mary Louise
    • Thelma Louise
  11. What is a chifforobe?
    • a type of chair
    • a freestanding closet
    • a framed mirror
    • a dressing gown
  12. Mary Badham, who played Scout, didn't continue her acting career for long, but her brother John Badham became a director. Which of the following films did he direct?
    • Dracula
    • Saturday Night Fever
    • Short Circuit
    • War Games
  13. To Kill A Mockingbird was nominated for 8 Academy Awards and won 3. Name one of the 3 categories in which it won:
    • ______________________________
  14. Who performed the eulogy at Gregory Peck's funeral in 2003?
    • Brock Peters (Tom Robinson)
    • Mary Badham (Scout)
    • Harper Lee
    • Michael Jackson
  15. To Kill A Mockingbird has also been adapted into a play, which is performed annually in Harper Lee's hometown. How many times has Harper Lee seen the play?
    • none
    • once
    • twice
    • she has attended every peformance since its debut in 1990.
Tie-breaker Question
What is To Kill A Mockingbird's ranking on the AFI's 100 Greatest Movies of All Time? _________________________________
How nerdy can I get about these things? Well, you can click here for a printable .pdf file if you like. I'll post answers tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I'm curious: do you have a movie you watch every year?
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