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Classic Movie Trivia for Seniors: Questions and Answers

Film quiz night

Are you a true movie buff? If you enjoy watching and rewatching your favorite classic flicks, this quiz is for you. Test yourself with these 13 questions that will take you back in time to your favorite moments on the silver screen.

  1. 1. What classic Christmas movie was a flop when it was first released?

It’s a Wonderful Life bombed at the box office when it was released in 1946. It also got mixed reviews from critics. 

After its copyright lapsed, however, TV stations were able to show it for free, so they regularly played it during the holiday season. Millions of viewers gave the movie a second chance, and watching it has become an annual tradition.

  1. 2. What was the first movie to “sweep” the Oscars by winning in every major category?

It was It Happened One Night, the 1934 romantic comedy starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. The movie, directed by Frank Capra, won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Lead Actor, Best Lead Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

  1. 3. What was the shortest acceptance speech in Academy Awards history?

In 1953, William Holden won his first and only Academy Award for his starring role in Stalag 17. When he accepted the award, he simply said, “Thank you,” and nothing else.

Holden blamed the short cutoff times for speeches and later took out ads in the trade publications thanking everyone he felt deserved it.

  1. 4. In which movie did Bette Davis utter the famous line, “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night”?

It was in All About Eve, the 1950 film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and starring Bette Davis, Ann Baxter, George Sanders, and Celeste Holme. The movie was nominated for 14 Oscars and won six.

  1. 5. What famous gangster movie features the line, “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli”?

In the 1972 blockbuster The Godfather, Peter Clemenza is leaving the house when his wife asks him to get cannoli while he’s out. After Clemenza and a colleague assassinate the driver Paulie Gatto, Clemenza tells him to abandon the car and gun but not the cannoli.

  1. 6. How many women auditioned for the role of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind?

More than 1,400 actresses vied for the part of the world’s most famous southern belle. It eventually went to Vivien Leigh.

  1. 7. Who was the first actress to win an Oscar for a foreign language film?

It was the gorgeous, talented Sophia Loren, who won it for her performance in Vittorio Sica’s 1962 movie Two Women.

  1. 8. How many movies did Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall star in together?

The couple enjoyed a lifelong love affair both on and off the big screen. They starred in four movies together:

  • To Have and Have Not in 1944
  • The Big Sleep in 1946
  • Dark Passage in 1947
  • Key Largo in 1948
  1. 9. Who was the first African American actor to have equal billing as a star along with a white actor?

That honor went to Sidney Poitier in the 1958 movie The Defiant Ones. His co-star Tony Curtis refused to do the movie unless equal billing went to both men.

  1. 10. Who was the first Hollywood celebrity to appear on a postage stamp?

In 1993, the United States Postal Service issued a postage stamp bearing the image of Grace Kelly. By then, Kelly had become the Princess of Monaco following her 1956 marriage to Prince Rainier III. After a successful Hollywood career, she retired from acting at the age of 26.

  1. 11. Which movie had the most expensive costumes in film history?

The budget-busting award goes to The Devil Wears Prada, starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway. The stars and supporting actors all wore actual designer clothing, jewelry, and accessories from the world’s top designers. After filming, Streep donated her wardrobe to a charity auction.

  1. 12. What famous time-travel movie was rejected by studios 44 times?

Screenwriters Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis were turned down 44 times by studios before being greenlit to produce Back to the Future. Even then, the studio heads at Universal Pictures insisted that nobody would see a movie with “Future” in the title. Despite these misgivings, the movie was the top-grossing release of 1985.

  1. 13. Mildred’s Big City Foods is a popular Gainesville, Florida, restaurant. What classic film noir inspired that name?

The restaurant is named after Mildred Pierce, a 1945 classic. The main character is an ambitious woman who becomes wealthy by opening a chain of restaurants. Joan Crawford won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Mildred.

Independent living at Meadow Lakes is the definition of “free time.” Plan a movie night with friends and enjoy the wide range of activities our senior living community has to offer!

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