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With the exception of Lady Gaga’s Sound of Music medley, this year’s Academy Awards show wasn’t one of my favorites (But don’t we say that every year?). Still, the show did get me thinking that it was high time I came up with another quiz for the Back Page. And so I have. The quiz below has to with the Oscars, naturally, but since this magazine is called Booklist, it also has to do with books, specifically, books made into movies. I’m hoping the following questions prove neither too easy nor too hard for movie lovers of all ages (though, granted, an interest in older movies is required). My question is the one about J. D. Salinger. Drinks are on me for anyone who gets it right. And, now, it’s Showtime!
2. Meryl Streep has been nomination for a gazillion Oscars and won half-a-gazillion, often for movies that came from books. All of the authors listed below wrote a book that was made into a movie starring Meryl Streep, and four of those five movies produced an Oscar nomination (not necessarily a victory) for Streep. Whose book failed to deliver a nomination? Extra credit: name the films made from the books that go with each writer. (a) William Kennedy, (b) Robert James Waller, (c) William Styron, (d) Michael Cunningham, (e) Avery Corman
3. More Meryl: Which of these authors never wrote a book made into a movie starring Meryl Streep? (a) Lillian Hellman, (b) Anne Tyler, (c) Richard Condon, (d) Garrison Keillor, (e) Nora Ephron
4. All of these canonical authors have had multiple books made into movies, and all but one has had at least one of those movies nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. Whose books never got a screenwriting nod? (a) Boris Pasternak, (b) Henry Fielding, (c) John Steinbeck, (d) James Jones, (e) Sinclair Lewis
5. Which one of these stars from the mid-twentieth century never appeared in a movie based on a Tennessee Williams play? (a) Joanne Woodward, (b) Robert Mitchum, (c) Burt Lancaster, (d) Deborah Kerr, (e) Maureen Stapleton
6. These popular and critically acclaimed YA novels were all made into movies; many did well at the box office, but only one received an Oscar nomination. Which one? (a) Speak, (b) The Fault in Our Stars, (c) The Maze Runner, (d) The Book Thief, (e) The Giver
7. More than 50 Best Picture winners have been based on novels. Name the Best Picture winners based on novels by these writers: (a) Daphne Du Maurier, (b) Colette, (c) Thomas Keneally, (d) Pierre Boulle, (e) Michae Ondaatje, (f) Winston Groom, (g) Larry McMurtry
8. For most of his life, J. D. Salinger famously refused to sell rights to his works to Hollywood. But early in his career, he did just that (his disgust with the resulting picture produced his change of heart), and despite being critically panned, the movie, based on one of his short stories, earned two Oscar nominations (for Best Actress and Best Song). Name the movie and the story. Hints: the movie and song have the same title; the song became a jazz standard, notably in a duet recording by Tony Bennett and Bill Evans; the story that was the basis for the movie was included in the celebrated collection Nine Stories.
9. Which of these Best Picture–winning movies was not based on a nonfiction book? (a) Argo, (b) Twelve Years a Slave, (c) Million Dollar Baby, (d) The French Connection, (e) The Last Emperor
Answers: (1) part 1, e; part 2, c (2) d (extra credit: Kennedy’s Ironweed, Waller’s Bridges of Madison County, Styron’s Sophie’s Choice, Cunningham’s The Hours, Corman’s Kramer vs. Kramer (3) b (4) c (5) b (6) d (7) Du Maurier’s Rebecca, Colette’s Gigi, Keneally’s Schindler’s List, Boulle’s Bridge over the River Kwai, Ondaatje’s The English Patient, Groom’s Forrest Gump, McMurtry’s Terms of Endearment (8) movie: My Foolish Heart; story: “Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut” (9) e (10) 1,m; 2,f; 3,i; 4,k; 5,h; 6.n; 7,o; 8,l; 9,g; 10,a;
11,d; 12,b; 13,c; 14,j; 15,e
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