Thursday, February 6, 2014

Did anybody catch Jeopardy! last night?

No, not the Barbara Stanwyck movie, but the quiz show. They've been running the first week of a Battle of the Decades tournament which will ultimately see five contestants from each of the show's first three decades going for a cool million in May. This week has been the preliminaries with a bunch of contestants from the first ten years, and the show has been having a lot of "vintage" categories, as opposed to more current populat culture.

Anyhow, last night's Double Jeopardy! round included a "Cinema of My Youth" category, which was apparently referring to Alex's youth, since the movies were all from the 1940s and 1950s. The contestants got the first three clues with no problem, but understandably had some difficulty with the last two. I'm paraphrasing since I didn't copy the clues, but they were roughly:

$400: Elia Kazan got the idea for this 1954 movie after reading an article on corruptino among dockworkers
$800: When William Holden accepted the Best Actor Oscar for this POW movie, all he said was a terse "Thank You"
$1200: Steve McQueen's first starring role was in this movie about a gelatinous invader from outer space
$1600: [This was a video clue, with a letterboxed clip of a woman with long red hair in an old-timey house, wearing an apron and frosting a cake] The woman seen here was used by John Ford in several of his movies
$2000: [This was a Daily Double] Leopoldine Konstantin says, "We are protected by the enormity of your stupidity" to Claude Rains in this Hitchcock classic

I can't blame the contestants for not remembering Maureen O'Hara on the $1600 clue; after all, I blog about old movies and it took me an extra second or two to get it. And as for the Daily Double, when there's only one person who can guess on a clue, sometimes they just don't know it. There's nothing particularly plot-related about that clue that can allow anybody to figure out which Hitchcock movie is being discussed; it's more a question of whether or not you know which Hitchcock movie had Claude Rains in the cast. It's like asking which one had Kim Novak in the cast, although perhaps not quite as easy. Or Henry Fonda, or Shirley MacLaine.

And did anybody record last night's episode? I'm sure the closing credits mention which movie the clip was from, but it's driving me nuts. I'd guess Spencer's Mountain, but I'd also think they would have looked for a John Ford movie for the clue since it referenced him.

Amusingly, watching too much TCM helped with a non-movie question on Tuesday. There was a category in whcih they gave an event and wanted the decade in which that even occured. The last one was, "Leonardo Da Vinci" painted the 'Last Supper'". I immediately thought of the TCM piece on letterboxing, which has a shot of the "Last Supper" captioned with the year, the name of the paining, and the artist's name. Do you really care whether you get all twelve disciples, or just six? Either way, you still get Jesus.

1 comment:

Tom said...

No, I didn't catch it last week.