I finally tried Vanity Fair‘s Movie Madness Trivia app, and it’s kind of fun because of four factors. One, many of the questions (suggested by VF contributors Peter Biskind, David Kamp, Frank DiGiacomo and Rebecca Keegan) aren’t easy. Two, you have to answer fairly quickly or you lose. Three, you have to prove your mettle before taking all the quizzes (i.e., if you’re too clueless you “stay back” like in high school). And four, the animated “Little Graydon” character gives snappy little replies whether you’re right or wrong.
I did fairly well — well, not too badly — but I also dropped the ball a few times, partly out of ignorance and partly due to the ticking-clock thing making me nervous.
The app asks two wrongos though — misleading questions in which the “answer” is incorrect.
One asks which actress has never appeared nude in a film. Two of the choices are Julia Roberts and Julie Andrews . Everyone knows Roberts has never gone there, but for some reason I chose Andrews because (a) Roberts has shown more skin than Andrews ever did with somewhat revealing outfits or bikinis, and (b) the only skin-revealing moment Andrews had in a film was a fleeting breast-baring moment in Blake Edwards‘ S.O.B (’79). But the VF app said I was wrong. No, they’re wrong. “Breast-baring” does not equal “nude scene.”
Another asks which actor “constantly wears a football helmet” during his screen time in this or that film. VF’s correct answer is Jack Nicholson in Easy Rider. Except Nicholson’s alcoholic Southern lawyer doesn’t constantly wear a football helmet — he wears it in maybe two scenes (if that) when he’s shown riding on the back of Peter Fonda‘s chopper. The rest of the time we’re shown Jack’s natural follicles (i.e., what little he had of them, even back in ’69). So I didn’t choose Nicholson, and the app said I was wrong and “Little Graydon” put me down besides…little fucker.
Otherwise the app is very cool. It’s the most difficult film trivia test I’ve ever taken since the late Stuart Byron used to run exra-difficult movie quizzes in the Village Voice in the late ’70s.