Posted in film, tv

Batman and the Actors Who Played Him

Batman is known as one of the most iconic superheroes of all time.   In this episode of Trivia Rewind, find out how the character came into existence.  One man used to take the credit and after years of fans trying to right that wrong, two men now share that honor.  After a brief look at how it all got started,  I’ll give you ten trivia questions about Batman films and the actors who played Batman.  Plus, get lots of fun facts.  

You can find Trivia Rewind wherever you listen to podcasts.

Posted in film, tv

The Sound of Music

In 1965, a classic was born.  That movie was The Sound of Music. This musical drama was an adaptation of the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein stage musical of the same name.  In November of 1966, The Sound of Music became the highest grossing movie of all time AND it took home 5 Academy Awards, one of which was for Best Picture. 

Some say The Sound of Music saved Twentieth Century Fox from going under after their movie Cleopatra didn’t earn enough to cover the cost of making it.  To put things into perspective, it cost around $42 million to make Cleopatra and the budget to make The Sound of Music was just over $8 million. The Sound of Music really raked it in and saved Twentieth Century Fox. 

While the movie was a commercial success, some movie critics didn’t have the nicest things to say. One was movie critic Pauline Kael who wrote a review of the movie for McCalls Magazine and said the film was “the sugar-coated lie people seem to want to eat” and that audiences have “turned into emotional and aesthetic imbeciles when we hear ourselves humming the sickly, goody-goody songs.”  Well, that comment didn’t bode well with the female readers of McCalls Magazine and according to a New York Times article from 1966 she was fired as their movie critic. 

She wasn’t the only one that had issue with one. One of the main stars of the film hated it for years and years and even called it horrible names such as “The Sound of Mucus.” In my podcast, find out which actor this was and if they ever changed their tune!

On the movie’s 50th anniversary, critic Leonard Maltin said the film is timeless and he said the opening scene with Julie Andrews is hard to beat. 

Not only was the movie a hit in the United States. It was a hit worldwide.  In the Philippines the crowds trying to get tickets got so unruly that police had to be called in.  

On February 29, 1976, viewers were able to watch The Sound of Music for the first time on television.  ABC had the rights to air the movie one time and the viewership that night was high.  In 1977, NBC acquired the broadcast rights and for twenty years aired it annually.  It still airs yearly on various networks and you can find The Sound of Music on multiple streaming platforms.  For me as well as millions of other fans out there, we’ve seen the film numerous times thanks to television.

This film showed people how beautiful Salzburg, Austria is. Fans from around the world travel there each year (well, before Covid) and take tours of the sights seen in the film. Since most of us can’t hop on a plane tomorrow and go take that tour, I found an online tour for you. And it’s free!

In this episode of Trivia Rewind, I’ll ask you ten trivia questions from the movie and give you some amazing fun facts. 

Below, you will find the transcript for this episode. You can listen to Trivia Rewind on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Posted in film

March Movie/TV Quotes Madness

Have you seen any good movies this week? There are a lot of movies and TV series over the years that leave us with one good quote that makes it forever memorable. That’s the topic of this week’s episode of Trivia Rewind. It’s all about movie or TV quotes.  I’m bringing back some of our Midweek Movie/TV Quotes segments. In previous episodes, I would read the quote. This time I’ll play a clip from a movie or TV series and you’ll have to guess which movie or series the quote comes from.  After I give you the quote and answer, I’ll give you some fun facts.

Speaking of good movies, I do have a lot of movies I consider favorites but last week, I had to pick just one. I was a guest on the podcast called Your Next Favorite Movie. I discussed one of my favorite movies with Josh, the host of the show. If you have a chance, go listen! There is a special reason why the movie I discuss is one of my favorites and I share that personal reason why with Josh.

Below, you will find the transcript for this episode. You can listen to Trivia Rewind on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. Please tell a friend, leave a positive review and 5 star rating if you like Trivia Rewind. Thank you for listening and supporting Trivia Rewind! 

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Trivia Rewind Episode 39 March Movie/TV Quotes Madness

[00:00:00] [00:00:00] Movie Clip: [00:00:00] Todo, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.

[00:00:18] Debi Jenkins: [00:00:18] Hey, welcome to Trivia Rewind. I’m Debi Jenkins. Have you seen any good movies this week? There are a lot of movies over the years that leave us with one good quote that makes the movie forever memorable. And that’s the topic of this week’s episode of Trivia Rewind. It’s all about movie quotes.

[00:00:40] This time with a twist. I’m bringing back some of our Midweek Movie Quote segments, where you’ll listen to the quote from the movie and you’ll have to guess which movie the quote comes from. On our past Midweek Movie Quote episodes, I would read you the quote. This time you get to hear it from [00:01:00] the movie.

[00:01:01] I’ll give you some fun facts about the movie after I give you the answers. Stick around to the very end and I’ll tell you about a podcast that I recently appeared on as a guest, where I shared about one of my favorite movies. I’ll tell you where to tune in and listen to that episode. If you’re ready, let’s get started.

[00:01:23] Movie Clip: [00:01:23] Uh, this is Houston. Uh, say again please. Houston. We have a problem. We have a main bus B undervolt.

[00:01:33] Debi Jenkins: [00:01:33] That is from the movie Apollo 13. In the film, you will hear actor Tom Hanks say the line. This popular quote is actually not quite the correct quote from the actual Apollo 13 mission. Astronaut Jack Sweigert first says, okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem here.

[00:01:54] And then when NASA asks them to repeat, astronaut Jim Lovell says, [00:02:00] uh, Houston, we’ve had a problem. Well, the screenwriter made the change because the original verb tense wasn’t as dramatic. And I say, I’d have to agree because I recently went to YouTube and watched this part from the movie and I watched the NASA recording.

[00:02:17] The movie definitely was more dramatic, but that would probably have to do with the acting and the dramatic score that went along with it.

[00:02:28] Movie Clip: [00:02:28] I will go up to the sixth finger man and say, hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father. Prepare to die.

[00:02:42] Debi Jenkins: [00:02:42] Well, this well known movie line is from the movie The Princess Bride. This line was said by actor Mandy Patinkin as character Inigo Montoya, a Spanish fencer. Mandy Patinkin has told people [00:03:00] this was his favorite movie role. Patinkin attended Julliard and actor Kelsey Grammar was a classmate of his.

[00:03:15] Movie Clip: [00:03:15] Hey doc, you better back up. We don’t have enough road to get up to 88. Roads, where we’re going we don’t need roads.

[00:03:24] Debi Jenkins: [00:03:24] This memorable line came from the 1985 movie Back to the Future. In the movie, Dr. Emmett Brown, the inventor of the time machine says this to Marty McFly. This line occurs at the very end of the film when Doc says he’s going to take Marty to the year 2015. Well, unfortunately in 2015, we still needed roads. Flying cars were not the thing.

[00:03:54] Movie Clip: [00:03:54] I do wish we could chat longer, but I’m having an old friend [00:04:00] for dinner. Bye.

[00:04:03] Debi Jenkins: [00:04:03] Well, I sure wouldn’t want to be the guest of that dinner party because that movie quote comes from the thriller, The Silence of the Lambs. The character Hannibal Lecter played by Anthony Hopkins says this line to Clarice Starling played by actress Jodie foster. This movie really cleaned it up at the Academy Awards. It took home five Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay. In the year, 2003, the American Film Institute gave the character Hannibal Lecter, the honor of being named The Greatest Villain in American Cinema.

[00:04:49] Movie Clip: [00:04:49] Surely you can’t be serious. I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.

[00:04:53] Debi Jenkins: [00:04:53] This line comes from the movie Airplane and it said by Dr. Rumack portrayed by actor [00:05:00] Leslie Nielsen. Leslie Nielsen saw a boost in his career after this movie. Actor Leslie Nielsen was born in Canada and even enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

[00:05:12] After the movie Airplane, his roles took a turn toward slapstick comedy. Even in death, Leslie Nielsen left a bit of humor. On his tombstone are the words Let ‘er Rip, a reference to his favorite practical joke, a portable hand controlled fart machine.

[00:05:32] Movie Clip: [00:05:32] That’ll do pig. That’ll do.

[00:05:41] Debi Jenkins: [00:05:41] That is from the movie Babe. Farmer Hogget says  this line to Babe the pig in the 1990 film, Babe. Farmer Hogget is played by actor James Cromwell. James Cromwell received an Oscar nomination for his role as Farmer Hogget. [00:06:00] Because of the movie, he even became a vegetarian. In an article from The Vegetarian Times he’s quoted as saying, “I decided that to be able to talk about this movie with conviction, I needed to become a vegetarian.” This film was nominated for seven Academy Awards.

[00:06:24] Movie Clip: [00:06:24] You’re going to need a bigger boat.

[00:06:26] Debi Jenkins: [00:06:26] That line came from Steven Spielberg’s hit Jaws. In the movie, Sheriff Brody says this line to the character Quint. Roy Scheider played the role of Sheriff Brody. According to Scheider’s obituary, he ad-libbed the line. Supposedly the line was kind of an inside joke among the cast and crew. A large barge was used to house all of the equipment for the movie and only a small boat was used to support it.

[00:06:55] People would tell the producers “you’re going to need a bigger boat” and [00:07:00] whenever any problems would arise on set, that line would be used as a joke. So when Roy Scheider ad-libbed that line for the movie, imagine the laughs that must have produced among the rest of the cast and crew.

[00:07:13] Movie Clip: [00:07:13] I know this is hard for you, but winter is coming.

[00:07:23] Debi Jenkins: [00:07:23] This quote comes from the series Game of Thrones. Winter is coming as the motto of House Stark. The first time this line was used was by Ned Stark, the head of House Stark. This role was played by English actor, Sean Bean. Before game of Thrones, Sean Bean was widely recognized for his role as Boromir in The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring.

[00:07:48] Bean has been married five times, has three kids, and is even a grandfather. Sean Bean should not be confused with the quirky character Mr. Bean [00:08:00] played by Rowan Atkinson. If you think that’s a ridiculous thing to say, it has actually happened multiple times when he’s received fan mail meant for the other Bean. And who would have guessed that this tough guy is afraid of flying.

[00:08:15] Supposedly during the filming of The Fellowship of the Ring, he would hike to their shooting location instead of going by helicopter with the rest of the actors. And he was in full costume when he made the hike.

[00:08:29] At the beginning of the show, I mentioned a podcast I recently appeared on as a guest. That podcast is called Your Next Favorite Movie. While I have a lot of favorite movies in different genres, the favorite I discuss in this episode comes from the following movie. See if you can guess the movie by hearing a small portion of it.

[00:09:07] [00:09:00] Movie Clip: [00:09:07] I have to find my way back home.

[00:09:10] Debi Jenkins: [00:09:10] That movie gets me every time. Hear my interview by listening to the podcast, Your Next Favorite Movie, which can be found wherever you listen to podcasts. Thank you for tuning in to Trivia Rewind, and I’ll be back next week with another episode. [00:10:00] .

Posted in Uncategorized

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

The 80s were sure a great decade for memorable movies. So many iconic films came out in the 80s…ones that we still watch and talk about decades later. This episode of Trivia Rewind is about a Steven Spielberg classic from 1982.  E.T.  I was just 10 years old when this movie came out.  What a magical age to see this film for the first time. I was obviously so touched by the movie that I even had a pet box turtle that I named E.T. which I said stood for Elliot Turtle.

Before E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial became the official title, it was originally called “A Boy’s Life” and then it was called “E.T. and Me”  before finally settling on its official title. 

Recently, I sat down and watched a great documentary called  The Making of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. This documentary came out in 1996 and includes rare behind the scenes footage as well as interviews with a lot of the cast and production team.   Steven Spielberg talks about wanting to tell a story about a lonely boy and the divorce of his parents. These were very personal issues to Spielberg.  He said that E.T. was on his mind for 15-20 years. He talks about being in Tunisia directing Raiders of the Lost Ark and one day he had some down time and took a walk in the Tunisian desert. While there, the idea for the E.T. movie really formed in his mind. 

Now he needed someone to write the script.  Harrison Ford, the star of Raiders of the Lost Ark was also in Tunisia along with his girlfriend at the time, screenwriter Melissa Mathison. Steven Spielberg approached Mathison about writing the script for E.T.  and she agreed. Both she and Spielberg collaborated on the script and in just 8 weeks time, she had the first draft written.  In the documentary, Spielberg said that after reading the first draft, it was a script that knocked him out.  He said the script was honest and came from both his and Mathison’s hearts. In the documentary, Spielberg’s co-producer Kathleen Kennedy recalls how Steven said It was the best first draft he ever read.

In the United States, E.T. was released on June 11, 1982 and was number one at the box office. It stayed number one for 6 weeks.  At the time, it set the record for being at number one for 16 weeks in total.  This film broke a lot of records!  The movie was such a hit that when the movie was test-screened at the Cannes Film Festival, it received a 15 minute standing ovation.  Can you imagine!?  

The film has many nominations, awards and honors.  Here are a few. In 2003, Entertainment Weekly called the film the eighth most “tear-jerking” film.  In 2006, It was Ranked #6 on the American Film Institute’s 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time.  In 2008, it was Ranked #3 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 10 greatest films in the genre “sci-fi”.

E.T. was nominated for 9 Oscars at the 55th Academy Awards. It won four Academy Awards: Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Visual Effects. At the 40th Golden Globes, it won for Best Picture in a Drama and it won for Best Score. The list goes on. 

In the episode, I mention young Henry Thomas’ amazing E.T. audition with Steven Spielberg. If you haven’t see this, you must watch it! I also talk about Henry Thomas reprising his role as Elliot in a 4 minute long 2019 Xfinity commercial. E.T. returns 37 years later and sees that Elliot now has a family of his own. In the episode I mention a cool YouTube video that compares the original 1982 release and the 2002 release. It’s fun to watch a side by side comparison of the two versions. I really think you’ll enjoy taking a deeper look with these links.

I hope you enjoy this episode!

Below, you will find the transcript for this episode. You can listen to Trivia Rewind on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Please tell a friend, leave a positive review and 5 star rating if you like Trivia Rewind. Thank you for listening and supporting Trivia Rewind! 

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Here is the transcript. Spoiler alert! Unless you’ve already listened to the episode, don’t look below because you’ll find the answers.

Trivia Rewind Episode 30 –  E.T.  the Extra-Terrestrial

[00:00:00] Trivia rewind. 

[00:00:05] Debi Jenkins: [00:00:05] Hey there, this is Debi Jenkins, the host of Trivia Rewind. In this episode, I’ll be talking about a Steven Spielberg classic from 1982, E.T.  I was just 10 years old when this movie came out. I even had a pet turtle that I named E.T. which I said stood for Elliott Turtle. It wasn’t only eighties kids that loved E.T.

[00:00:27] The movie still has a following today. Before E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial became the official title it was originally called A Boy’s Life and then it was called E.T. and Me before finally settling on its official title. Recently, I sat down and watched a great documentary called The Making of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.  This documentary came out in 1996 and includes rare behind the scenes footage as well as interviews with a [00:01:00] lot of the cast and production team. Steven Spielberg talks about wanting to tell a story about a lonely boy and the divorce of his parents. These were very personal issues to Spielberg. He said that E.T. was on his mind for 15 to 20 years.

[00:01:16] He talks about being in Tunisia, directing Raiders of the Lost Ark and one day he had some downtime and took a walk in the Tunisian desert. While there the idea for the E.T. movie really formed in his mind. Now he needed someone to write the script. Harrison Ford, the star of Raiders of the Lost Ark was also in Tunisia along with his girlfriend at the time, screenwriter Melissa Mathison. Steven Spielberg approached Mathison about writing the script for E.T., and she agreed. Both she and Spielberg collaborated on the script and in just eight weeks time, she had the first draft written. In the documentary, Spielberg said that [00:02:00] after reading the first draft, it was a script that knocked him out.  He said the script was honest and came from both his and Mathison’s hearts. In the documentary Spielberg’s co-producer Kathleen Kennedy recalls how Steven said it was the best first draft he had ever read. 

[00:02:20] In the United States, E.T. was released on June 11th, 1982, and was number one at the box office. It stayed number one for six weeks. At the time it set the record for being at number one for 16 weeks in total. This film broke a lot of records. The movie was such a hit that when the movie was test screened at the Cannes Film Festival, it received a 15 minute standing ovation. Can you even imagine? The film has many nominations, awards and honors. Here are just a few. In 2003 [00:03:00] Entertainment Weekly called the film the 8th most tear-jerking film. In 2006, it was ranked #6 on the American Film Institute’s 100 Most Inspiring Movies Of All Time. In 2008, it was ranked #3 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 10 Greatest Films in the Genre Sci-Fi.  E.T. was nominated for nine Oscars at the 55th Academy Awards. It won four Academy Awards: Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Visual Effects. At the 40th Golden Globes, it won for Best Picture in a Drama and it won for Best Score. The list goes on. 

[00:03:47] So now that I’ve talked a little bit about this endearing film, Let’s talk trivia and fun facts. In this episode of Trivia Rewind, I’ll ask you 10 questions about the movie. Then I’ll go [00:04:00] back and give you the answers and some fun facts. Are you ready? 

[00:04:05] Here’s question one. At the beginning of the film what game are the kids playing around the kitchen table that they won’t let Elliott join in on?

[00:04:18] Question two. At the beginning of the movie, what were the aliens coming to the Earth to get specimens of?

[00:04:28] Question three. What is the name of Elliott’s sister?

[00:04:34] Question four. When Elliott introduces E.T. to some of the things in his bedroom, what toy does E.T. try to eat? 

[00:04:46] Question five. When everyone thinks E.T. is dead how does Elliott know he’s really alive? 

[00:04:55] Question six. What does E.T. dress up as on [00:05:00] Halloween? 

[00:05:02] Question seven. Why did Elliott’s science teacher send him to the principal’s office? 

[00:05:10] Question eight. When Elliott is about to introduce E.T. to his brother what does he make his brother take off so it won’t scare E.T.? 

[00:05:21] Question nine. What popular electronic toy does E.T. use as part of his device he makes to phone home?

[00:05:31] And question 10. At the end of the movie, as E.T. is about to leave, what is the last thing he says to Elliott? 

[00:05:41] Those were our 10 questions. Let’s go back and get the answers and fun facts. Question one. At the beginning of the film, what game are the kids playing around the kitchen table that they won’t let Elliott join in on?  They were playing Dungeons and Dragons. [00:06:00] Actor Henry Thomas plays Elliott. In the documentary Steven Spielberg said he had a hard time finding the right person to play Elliott. About four to five weeks out from shooting the film Henry Thomas was recommended to Steven Spielberg. Henry, hadn’t read the script and only knew a little bit about the movie when he auditioned for the role.  

[00:06:21] In the documentary  Henry Thomas talks about the improvisation he did during the audition. It’s an unforgettable audition and I will post a link to it on triviarewind.com in case you have never seen it. It’s so amazing to see young Henry Thomas audition for this film. At the end of the audition, you can hear Steven Spielberg say, “okay, kid. You got the job.” Later, Thomas said that he thought of his dead dog for inspiration. Everyone inside the room was in tears after his emotional audition. Many of the memorable scenes with Elliott and E.T. were done in one take. Steven Spielberg filmed E.T. in [00:07:00] chronological order. That’s not the way movies are always filmed. In E.T. this was mainly done because of the child actors. Filming it out of order would be hard to get the kids to show the right kinds of emotions if they weren’t invested in the story from the beginning. 

[00:07:15] Playing Elliott in E.T. was a breakout role for Henry Thomas. Prior to E.T. he only had one other credited role. A People Magazine article from 1992, mentions that Henry Thomas’ mom said they set up a trust for him and gave him $5 a week for her allowance. Nowadays, you can find Henry Thomas in a variety of productions one of which is The Haunting of Hill House, a Netflix drama series, which in 2019 he won a Saturn Award for Best Actor in a Streaming Presentation. In a 2012 article with The Mirror, Thomas admits that his new found fame wasn’t always a plus. The article quotes him as saying,  [00:08:00] “My world went completely crazy. I was that stupid kind of famous where you can’t go anywhere. It was like that for the first six months after E.T. was in cinemas. I’d go out and get mobbed. I was a shy kid and being approached by adults all the time just freaked me out. I was like a circus freak. But the only time I had to deal with it was when I left the house. So I stopped leaving the house. I became an 11 year old hermit.”  In 2005 Henry Thomas ranked #4 in E’s 50 Cutest Child Stars All Grown Up and in 2013, he was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame. In 2019 Henry Thomas reprised his role as Elliott in an Xfinity commercial. In the commercial Elliott is all grown up now and has his own family.  I’ll post a link to the four minute commercial on triviarewind.com. 

[00:09:00] [00:09:00] Question two. At the beginning of the movie, what were the aliens coming to the earth to get specimens of? They were coming to get plant specimens. Government agents show up and when the aliens quickly take off, they leave one alien behind and there starts our movie. In the documentary, Steven Spielberg said that he wanted E.T. to only be three feet tall. Originally Spielberg didn’t want someone to be in an alien suit to play E.T., but producer Kathleen Kennedy convinced him that for some scenes it would work. In order to finish off their model they found someone to make glass eyes to really make E.T. look real. Three different people put on the E.T. suit for the movie.

[00:09:47] Spielberg didn’t like the jerky hand movements of the electronic E.T. model so he hired Caprice Roth, who is credited as the E.T. Movement Coordinator. He wanted someone that could do mime type of [00:10:00] work. Spielberg really thought this brought E.T. to life. In one scene when E.T. puts his hand on Elliott’s shoulder, you can see that E.T.’s hand is a little shaky. Spielberg said that Caprice Roth had coffee that morning and that caused her hand to shake a little.

[00:10:17] Question three. What is the name of Elliott’s sister? Her name is Gertie and she is played by actress Drew Barrymore. This was her breakout role and had only been credited in one movie prior to being in E.T.  In 1982,  she won the Young Artist Award for Best Young Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. In the documentary, Steven Spielberg said Drew Barrymore was the first choice for this role. She had previously tried out for a role in Poltergeist but Spielberg didn’t think the role was right for her. In the documentary  Spielberg says that nobody else was even considered for the role of Gertie. In the [00:11:00] movie when she looks at E.T.’s feet, she improvises the line,  “I don’t like his feet.” Spielberg wanted to let the kids be kids and say things that might not be in the script. This often worked to his advantage. Near the end of the movie when Elliott is sick, Gertie cries and in the documentary Drew Barrymore says they were genuine tears and that she had never had tears so readily available. 

[00:11:27] Question four. When Elliott introduces E.T. to some of the things in his bedroom, what toy does E.T. try to eat?  E.T. tries to eat a metal matchbox type of car. 

[00:11:41] The person that did the voice of E.T. was Pat Welsh. The story of how she got the job is pretty cool. She was at a photo store and the person in line behind her was the movie’s voice designer, Ben Burtt. He heard Pat talking and then once outside talked with her about doing the [00:12:00] voice role for E.T. According to a People Magazine article, she was just a housewife at the time. It’s been reported that she smoked two packs of cigarettes a day and that gave her the voice they were looking for. In the People Magazine article it says it only took a nine and a half hours for her to complete the voice work and she was paid $380. 

[00:12:23] Ben Burtt, E.T.’s voice designer changed her voice by lowering it just a little bit. He then mixed her voice with the sound of a breathing animal to give it the non-human alien sound. He said that there were actually 18 different contributors to the voice of E.T. A lot went into giving us E.T.’s voice. While filming the movie, actress Debra Winger and Steven Spielberg both provided the voice in the first cut so that the actors could hear E.T.’s dialogue. Spielberg didn’t want to use Debra Winger’s voice as the voice for E.T. in the film because he didn’t want a [00:13:00] recognizable voice to voice the part. 

[00:13:03] Question five. When everyone thinks E.T. is dead, how does Elliott know he’s really alive? As Elliott watches, dead flowers come back to life and bloom. That’s how Elliott knows that E.T. really is alive.

[00:13:21] So much about the making of E.T. can be learned in the documentary. Two things that Steven Spielberg says he regrets about the movie is that a gun was used to threaten the children when riding on the bicycles to get away. And he regrets that the guys running to the empty van had guns in their hands. He said he regrets using any guns in the movie. When he re-released the movie in 2002, Spielberg replaced the guns digitally and gave them walkie talkies instead. In his next re-release in 2011, he went back to the original version. I found a cool video [00:14:00] on YouTube that puts the original version next to the 2002 version so you can see all the differences. I’ll post a link to this video on triviarewind.com. It’s kind of fun to watch. 

[00:14:12] Question six. What does E.T. dress up as on Halloween? The kids put a sheet on E.T. and dress him up as a ghost. In this scene Steven Spielberg has someone dress up as Yoda as one of the trick-or-treaters that the kids and E.T. pass when walking down the street. When E.T. sees the Yoda character, it’s like he recognizes him and he starts saying “home home.”  Maybe they’re from the same planet!  In the documentary George Lucas talks about seeing the Yoda character and how everyone in the screening audience cheered. He was flattered that Spielberg included his character in E.T.  You may even hear some familiar music in this scene. The award-winning composer John Williams not [00:15:00] only did the score for E.T. he did it for the Star Wars movies as well. 

[00:15:06] Question seven. Why did Elliott’s science teacher send him to the principal’s office? Elliott created quite a scene in his classroom. As his class was about to dissect frogs, Elliott let his frog go and opened the jars that belong to several of his classmates and lets their frogs go toto. This prompted the other students to release their frogs. Then to top it off Elliott kisses a girl in the class. The teacher grabs him by the collar and walks him off to the principal’s office. In the documentary Steven Spielberg said that when he was a kid, he let frogs go in his science class and never got caught. Spielberg discusses this scene in the movie and how Henry Thomas did not want to do the scene where he kissed the girl. He joked that Henry Thomas was [00:16:00] willing to give up his entire movie career over this one scene. In the documentary Henry Thomas said that when he read the script and saw the part about kissing a girl, he thought, no way I have to do this? 

[00:16:13] One scene that was cut out of the movie was a scene when you actually see Elliott in the principal’s office. The actor that played the school principal was Harrison Ford. You can see this cut scene in the documentary. In this unseen footage, as well as other footage you see in the movie, rarely are the adult’s face shown. Steven Spielberg did this intentionally. Really the only adult’s face you see is Elliott’s mom’s face until you get towards the end of the movie. And if you feel like this movie is shot from a low angle, that’s because Steven Spielberg wanted it at the eye level of a child.

[00:16:52] Question eight. When Elliott is about to introduce E.T. to his brother, what does he make his brother take off [00:17:00] so it won’t scare E.T.? He makes his brother take off his football shoulder pads. Robert McNaughton plays Michael, the older brother to both Gertie and Elliott. Spielberg called Robert McNaughton the anchor of the kids. He had the most experience of all the child actors on set. In 1983 he won a Young Artist Award in the Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture category. Remember that scene where E.T. is in the closet and hiding amongst all the stuffed animals? The idea for that scene came from filmmaker  Robert Zemeckis.

[00:17:39] Question nine. What popular electronic toy does E.T. use as part of his device he makes to phone home? That toy was a Speak and Spell. The electronic toy Speak and Spell was created by Texas Instruments and debuted in 1978 at the [00:18:00] Consumer Electronic Show. A 1978 model was used in the movie. Do you remember any of the other items that E.T. used along with a Speak and Spell to try and phone home?  Some of those items were a hanger, a record player, a coffee can, a saw blade and lots of wires. 

[00:18:22] Question 10. At the end of the movie, as E.T. is about to leave, what is the last thing he says to Elliott? He says, “I’ll be right here.” In the documentary, Steven Spielberg said this particular E.T. was his favorite. He said this E.T. was operated by wires. Did you know that there was an alternate ending to E.T.? In that ending, it showed the boys back in the house playing Dungeons and Dragons and this time Elliott gets to play  and is the dungeon master. The emotional ending we see [00:19:00] now won in the end and I can see why. It’s a great way to end the movie and it really tugs at your heart. 

[00:19:07] E.T. was a hit even as far as the White House. Steven Spielberg gave president Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan a personal screening of E.T. in June of 1982. A 1982 issue of People Magazine talks about the movie and quotes Spielberg as saying, “Nancy Reagan was crying toward the end”  he reports “And the president looked like a ten-year-old kid.” In the documentary, the topic of a sequel was discussed. The producers decided never to do a sequel. Steven Spielberg said it would shame the memory of E.T. if they tried.  To see the documentary about the making of E.T., visit triviarewind.com.  I’ll post the link to where you can watch it for free.

[00:19:56] Well, that’s it for this week’s episode.  I hope you learned [00:20:00] something new about this great film. Please subscribe to Trivia Rewind and leave a positive review wherever you listen to podcasts. Visit us on Twitter and Instagram and you can visit us at triviarewind.com. Thanks for listening. And I’ll be back next week for more Trivia Rewind. .

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Back to the Future

Let’s kick off the last week of 2020 with one of the greatest movies of the 80s and one of my favorites, Back to the Future! 

I was 13 years old when this movie came out and I can remember one summer when my dad and I watched it over and over again.  We basically could recite most of the movie lines as we watched.  

The film stars Michael J. Fox and was written by Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis. Robert Zemeckis directed the film.  Gale and Zemeckis met at USC film school.  Would you believe that when the two pitched the movie, it was rejected 40 times. When Disney said no, the reason they gave was that they thought the movie was too much about incest.  

There was however, one person who believed in the movie from the very beginning and he helped set up Back to the Future with his new production company. That person was Steven Spielberg and his new production company was Amblin Entertainment which was set up at Universal Studios. This was the first film to be made by Amblin Entertainment that was not directed by Steven Spielberg.  

Sid Sheinberg, the head of Universal at the time suggested changing the name of the movie to “Space Man from Pluto.” Thankfully that didn’t happen. There would be some hiccups when they started filming but in the end it all paid off. Back to the Future became the highest grossing film of 1985.

In the episode I talk about how actor Eric Stoltz was first cast to play Marty McFly. Check out a clip of him in the role instead of Michael J. Fox!

I’d like to take a minute to mention that Michael J. Fox has a new book out titled “No Time Like the Future.” One thing he discusses in the book is how he is living with Parkinson’s Disease.   When I recorded this episode, the book was #5 on the New York Times Best Sellers in the Hardcover Nonfiction category.  In 1991, when Michael J. Fox was only 29 years old, he was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s Disease.  In 1998, he made the diagnosis public. In 2000, Michael J. Fox established the The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research which is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease.  For more information on his foundation and how you can contribute, visit their Website.

So, before we get to the trivia questions, let me explain how this episode is a little different from my other episodes.  This episode will have two segments.  In the first segment I will ask you ten trivia questions about the movie, then I’ll go back and review the questions and give you the answers plus some fun facts.

In the second segment, I’ll give you 20 additional trivia questions with no fun facts.  This should be a lot of fun and cover a lot of the great moments from this memorable film. 

Below, you will find the transcript for this episode. You can listen to Trivia Rewind on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Please tell a friend, leave a positive review and 5 star rating if you like Trivia Rewind. Thank you for listening and supporting Trivia Rewind! 

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Here is the transcript. Spoiler alert! Unless you’ve already listened to the episode, don’t look below because you’ll find the answers.

Trivia Rewind Episode 29 – Back to the Future

[00:00:00] Trivia Rewind.

[00:00:02] Debi Jenkins: [00:00:02] Hey Trivia Rewind listeners. I’m Debi Jenkins, your host. If you’re a first time listener welcome. If you’re a longtime listener thanks for coming back. Let’s kick off the last week of 2020 with one of the greatest movies of the 1980s and one of my favorites, Back to the Future. I was 13 years old when this movie came out and I can remember one summer when my dad and I watched it over and over again. We basically could recite most of the movie lines as we watched. I’m sure that you can too if you’re a fan of the movie.

[00:00:37] The film stars Michael J. Fox and was written by Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis. Robert Zemeckis directed the film. Gale and Zemeckis met at USC film school. Would you believe that when the two pitched the movie, it was rejected 40 times. When Disney said no, the reason they gave was that they thought the movie was too much about incest.

[00:00:59] There [00:01:00] was however one person who believed in the movie from the very beginning and he helped set up Back to the Future with his new production company. That person was Steven Spielberg and his new production company was Amblin Entertainment, which was set up at Universal Studios. This was the first film to be made by Amblin entertainment that was not directed by Steven Spielberg. Sid Sheinberg, the head of Universal at the time suggested changing the name of the movie to Space Man from Pluto. Thankfully that didn’t happen. There would be some hiccups when they started filming, but in the end it all paid off.

[00:01:45] So before we get to the trivia questions, let me explain how this episode is a little different from my other episodes. This episode will have two segments. In the first segment I will ask you ten trivia questions about the [00:02:00] movie. Then I’ll go back and review the questions and give you the answers plus some fun facts. In the second segment I’ll give you twenty additional trivia questions with no fun facts. This should be a lot of fun and cover a lot of the great moments from this memorable film. Stick around to the end where I’ll tell you about Michael J Fox’s new book and his foundation for Parkinson’s research. Are you ready to go back in time with Back to the Future?

[00:02:31] Here are the questions. Question one. In Back to the Future, what is the name of the town where Marty McFly lives?

[00:02:43] Question two. What is the date that Marty goes back in time to and why was that date important to Dr. Emmett Brown?

[00:02:54] Question three. When Marty goes back to 1955 and Lorraine’s [00:03:00] father accidentally hits him with the car, why does Lorraine call Marty by the name of Calvin?

[00:03:07] Question four. Which musician has a cameo role as one of the Battle of the Bands judges at Marty’s high school?

[00:03:17] Question five. When Marty goes back to the future, what is the name of the shopping mall in his town?

[00:03:26] Question six. At the beginning of the movie, what kind of vehicle does Marty tell his girlfriend he would one day like to have?

[00:03:37] Question seven. What is the name of the Hill Valley high school dance where Marty’s parents fall in love?

[00:03:46] Question eight. What is the name of Doc Brown’s dog?

[00:03:52] Question nine. When Marty goes back to 1955, what two drinks does he ask [00:04:00] for in the cafe?

[00:04:03] And question ten. When Marty goes back to the future, his father is now a successful author. What is the name of George McFly’s book?

[00:04:15] Those were our first ten questions. Let’s go back and get the answers and fun facts. Question one. In Back to the Future, what is the name of the town where Marty McFly lives? Well the town he lives in is called Hill Valley. Michael J. Fox plays Marty McFly, but did you know that he wasn’t originally cast as Marty, actor Eric Stoltz was. It took five weeks of shooting for everyone to realize that it wasn’t going to work out with Stoltz. He just didn’t carry off the humor they were looking for. In an Esquire article, it talks about how Robert Zemeckis had to let Stoltz know about their decision to let him go. The article mentions the book titled [00:05:00] Blockbuster by Tom Shone, where it quotes Zemeckis as saying, “It was the hardest meeting I’ve ever had in my life and it was all my fault. I broke his heart.” Well, not only did this movie break the heart of Eric Stoltz, it costs the studio $4 million in wasted footage.

[00:05:18] Want to see a clip of the wasted footage? Visit triviarewind.com for a link where you can see Eric Stoltz as the Marty McFly character. In the very beginning, Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis wanted Michael J. Fox to play Marty. However, Michael J. Fox was playing Alex P. Keaton on the TV series, Family Ties and that shooting schedule prevented him from taking the movie role.

[00:05:44] Supposedly the producer of Family Ties wouldn’t even let Michael J. Fox see the script when the Back to the Future filmmakers asked that they show it to him. Well, as we all know, it did end up working out for Michael J. Fox to become Marty McFly. [00:06:00] Because Michael J. Fox was also shooting Family Ties, filmmakers had to work around that schedule. Michael J. Fox has said that many nights he’d only get two to three hours of sleep between working on Family Ties and Back to the Future. Talk about burning the candle at both ends.

[00:06:19] Question two. What is the date that Marty goes back in time to, and why was that date important to Dr. Emmett Brown? Well, the date was November 5th, 1955, and that’s the day Doc Brown invented time travel and had the vision for the Flux Capacitor. Actor Christopher Lloyd had the role of Dr. Brown. In the original script he was called Professor Brown. At least 40 actors were considered for that role. Supposedly one of the actors who was a front runner for the role was John Lithgow. In the movie, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the [00:07:00] Eighth Dimension, John Lithgow played an eccentric scientist. That was one reason he was considered for the Doc Brown role. In an Empire Magazine list of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time, Dr. Emmett Brown ranked number 20. They said his defining moment was when he offered his apology for the crudeness of his ridiculously detailed scale model of Hill Valley.

[00:07:27] Question three. When Marty goes back to 1955 and Lorraine’s father accidentally hits him with the car, why does Lorraine call Marty by the name of Calvin? She calls him Calvin, assuming that’s his name because the name Calvin Klein is written all over his underwear. The role of Lorraine is played by Leah Thompson. In the original script the name of Marty’s mom wasn’t going to be named Lorraine, Sid Sheinberg, the head of Universal [00:08:00] Studios at the time asked that they change the character’s name to Lorraine in honor of his wife, Lorraine Gary, the actress who played Ellen Brody in the 1975 film Jaws. Michael J. Fox’s  real life love interest is his wife, Tracy Pollan. The two played boyfriend and girlfriend in Family Ties and were married in real life in 1988.

[00:08:26] Question four. Which musician has a cameo role as one of the Battle of the Bands judges at Marty’s high school? Well, that musician was Huey Lewis. After Marty’s band plays their song, Lewis stands up and tells them, “Thank you fellas. I’m afraid you’re just too darn loud.” Huey Lewis and his band Huey Lewis and the News had their first number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with their song, The Power of Love, that was written for the [00:09:00] Back to the Future movie. In this scene, Marty and his band actually play a version of this very song.  The song was nominated for two American Music Awards and was also nominated for an Academy Award. In a USA Today article, Huey Lewis says he almost passed on the offer to write a song for the movie. He had never written a song for a movie. However, he told director Robert Zemeckis that he’d send him the next song he wrote, he’s quoted as saying, “So we wrote Power of Love. I had not read the script or seen the film and they used it perfectly. I didn’t even think it was going to work. So to their credit it did.”

[00:09:44] Question five. When Marty goes back to the future, what is the name of the shopping mall in his town? When Marty goes back to the future the mall is now called  Lone Pine Mall instead of Twin [00:10:00] Pines Mall.  Remember when Marty went back to 1955 and the DeLorean landed in old man Peabody’s field? Well, it drove over one of his two pine trees therefore changing the name from Twin Pines to Lone Pine. The mall that was used to film this scene was the Puente Hills mall in City of Industry, California.

[00:10:23] When making the movie, they had a lot of issues with the DeLorean. It would break down or other issues would arise. The Universal Studios special effects department built three DeLorean time machines for the movie and referred to them as A car, B car and C car. A car is currently at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California and featured in their exhibit called Hollywood Dream Machines. Unfortunately due to COVID-19, the museum is currently closed.

[00:10:55] Want your own DeLorean?  Well visit the official Back to the [00:11:00] Future website at backtothefuture.com and you can purchase your own DeLorean slot car or a die-cast DeLorean, or even a plush DeLorean. Back to the Future fans can go crazy shopping their online store. Go and take a look.

[00:11:20] Question six. At the beginning of the movie what kind of vehicle does Marty tell his girlfriend he would one day like to have? Well, he wanted a black Toyota 4×4 truck. At the end of the movie when Marty goes back to the future, he comes home to find himself the owner of the very truck he wanted at the beginning of the movie. The truck was a Toyota Xtra Cab SR5 pickup truck. Supposedly the truck used in the movie was given away as a prize and the person that won it wrecked it. Earlier this year, a replica of the truck sold for $58,000 at an [00:12:00] auction.

[00:12:01] Question seven. What is the name of the Hill Valley high school dance where Marty’s parents fall in love? The dance was The Enchantment Under the Sea dance. The Hill Valley High School scenes were filmed at Whittier High School in Whittier, California. This is particularly interesting to me because my grandfather was a teacher there in the 1950s. When they filmed the Enchantment Under the Sea dance, that scene was filmed inside of Hollywood United Methodist Church.

[00:12:38] Question eight. What is the name of Doc Brown’s dog? Well, his dog was named Einstein. In the original script instead of a dog, Doc Brown was going to have a pet chimp named Schemp. One of the producers, Sid Sheinberg said no to the chimp idea [00:13:00] and next up came the idea for Einstein the dog. In the first Back to the Future movie, a dog named Tiger played Einstein.

[00:13:10] Question nine. When Marty goes back to 1955, what two drinks does he ask for in the cafe? Well, first he asks for a Tab, then he asks for a Pepsi Free. A great play on words is found in the dialogue that comes during this scene. Well, Tab debuted in 1963 and was the first diet soda from the Coca Cola company.  It was marketed to women who wanted to keep tabs on their weight. The soda was popular in the 1960s and seventies, and even in recent years it still had a faithful following. In October of this year, the Coca Cola company announced that it will stop production of Tab by the end of 2020.

[00:14:00] [00:14:00] In 1982, Pepsi Free was introduced and in 1987 they phased that name out and started calling it Caffeine Free Pepsi. According to frugalcooking.com, in recent months, it’s been harder to find Caffeine Free Pepsi due to the COVID-19 pandemic causing a shortage of aluminum used for canned drinks. I guess it’s that whole supply chain thing. Product placement is a huge part of the movie business. Pepsi had a huge presence in Back to the Future. In a Consequence of Sound article, it says that “writer/ producer Bob Gale famously stated that the Back to the Future trilogy taught him to never do product placement, ever, due to the creative control surrendered when corporate suits expect to see a commercial, rather than a film.

[00:14:55] And question ten. When Marty goes back to the future [00:15:00] his father is now a successful author. What is the name of George McFly’s book? Well this one may be a little trickier, but the book is titled A Match Made in Space. Marty’s father George McFly was played by actor Crispin Glover. In a Guardian article, Bob Gale, the co-writer and a producer of Back to the Future talks about Crispin Glover and says, “A lot of those mannerisms were actually his. He had to be reigned in occasionally. The hardest thing was getting him to act like a completely normal person for the final scenes of the movie.” In the early days of the Back to the Future script, the writers had George McFly end up being a professional boxer and not an author. And here’s something interesting. Crispin Glover, well in the movie he’s playing the father to Michael J. Fox’s character and he is actually three years younger than [00:16:00] Michael J. Fox in real life.

[00:16:03] Well, those were our first ten questions. Before we go to the second segment, I’d like to take a minute and ask that you make sure and stay tuned until the end of the show where I’ll tell you about Michael J. Fox’s new book and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Are you ready for part two of the show? In this segment, I’ll give you twenty extra trivia questions without any fun facts. Unlike the first round, I won’t go back and repeat the questions before giving you the answers. After I ask you the question, I’ll pause a few seconds before giving you the answer. So if you need to hit your pause button after the question, feel free to do so.

[00:16:46] Are you ready? Here’s question one. How much electricity is needed to run Doc’s time machine?

[00:16:57] The answer is [00:17:00] 1.21 Gigawatts.

[00:17:02] Question two. What is the name of the guy that bullies George McFly both in high school and as an adult before Marty goes back in time?

[00:17:15] His name is Biff Tannen.

[00:17:20] Question three. In order for the DeLorean to travel through time, how fast must the car be going?

[00:17:30] The answer is 88 miles per hour.

[00:17:36] Question four. In the opening scene of the movie, what time can be seen on all the clocks?

[00:17:46] The answer is 7:53.

[00:17:51] Question five. What time does Doc ask Marty to meet him at the Twin Pines Mall?

[00:17:59] The [00:18:00] answer is 1:15 in the morning.

[00:18:04] Question six. What is the name of Marty’s high school principal?

[00:18:11] His name is Mr. Strickland.

[00:18:15] Question seven. When Marty auditions for the Battle of the Bands, what does Marty say the name of his band is?

[00:18:26] They were The Pinheads.

[00:18:30] Question eight. When Marty goes back to the future, what is the name of the mayor, someone that in 1955 Marty told him he would one day be a mayor?

[00:18:43] That mayor was Goldie Wilson.

[00:18:48] Question nine. What is the name of the subdivision where Marty and his family live?

[00:18:56] The answer is Lion Estates.

[00:19:01] [00:19:00] Question 10. Who does Doc steal plutonium from?

[00:19:08] The answer is Libyan nationalists.

[00:19:13] Question 11. What movie is listed on the marquee of the theater when Marty arrives in Hill Valley in 1955?

[00:19:24] That movie was The Cattle Queen of Montana.

[00:19:30] Question 12. When Marty walks in to Lou’s Cafe after first arriving in the 1955 Hill Valley, what song is playing on the jukebox?

[00:19:45] That song was the Ballad of Davy Crockett.

[00:19:50] Question 13. On what street does Doc Brown live in 1955?

[00:19:59] He [00:20:00] lived on Riverside Drive.

[00:20:04] Question 14. In 1955 George doesn’t want to go to the school dance because he’ll miss his favorite show called what?

[00:20:16] The answer is Science Fiction Theater.

[00:20:21] Question 15. When George goes into Lou’s Cafe to ask Lorraine to the dance, what drink does he ask for?

[00:20:32] The answer is chocolate milk.

[00:20:36] Question 16. Near the end of the movie, Marty gives Doc an envelope. What does he write on the front of the envelope?

[00:20:48] The answer is “Do not open until 1985.”

[00:20:56] Question 17. What is the name of the [00:21:00] band that is performing at The Enchantment Under the Sea dance?

[00:21:05] That band was Marvin Berry and the Starlighters.

[00:21:11] Question 18. Biff tells Marty that it costs him how much to fix the damage to his car?

[00:21:22] The answer is $300.

[00:21:26] Question 19. At The Enchantment Under the Sea dance, Marty goes on stage and joins the band for two songs. Name one of the songs.

[00:21:41] Well, those two songs were either Earth Angel or Johnny Be Good.

[00:21:48] And question 20. When Marty goes back to the future, what is the name of Biff’s business? 

[00:21:58] Well, Biff’s [00:22:00] business is Biff’s Automotive Detailing.

[00:22:04] Well, how’d you do on those questions?  Back to the Future is such a great movie.

[00:22:10] Before I end this episode, I’d like to take a minute to mention that Michael J. Fox has a new book out titled, No Time Like the Future. One thing he discusses in the book is how he is living with Parkinson’s disease. When I recorded this episode, the book was number five on the New York Times Bestsellers in the Hardcover Nonfiction category. In 1991 when Michael J. Fox was only 29 years old, he was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s disease. In 1998, he made the diagnosis public. In 2000, Michael J. Fox established the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research which is dedicated to finding a cure for [00:23:00] Parkinson’s disease. For more information on his foundation and how you can contribute, visit triviarewind.com for a link to the website.

[00:23:11] Thank you for listening to this episode of Trivia Rewind. You can find us on Twitter and Instagram and all the links can be found at triviarewind.com. Have a great day. And I’ll be back next week for a new episode of Trivia Rewind.

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Guess the Christmas Movie

It’s almost Christmas and time to wrap up our month of  special Christmas episodes. This week, I have something new for you.  This episode will be a little different than what you’re used to.   In this episode of Trivia Rewind, I’m going to describe 30 Christmas movies or TV specials and you have to guess what movie or TV special the clue is based on.  There will be no fun facts on this episode, just 30 straight clues.  Here’s an example of what you’ll find.

My neighbors are mad at me because I won’t put the plastic Frosty on our roof.  My wife feels like she has to hide in our own house because the neighbors won’t leave us alone about it!  Why am I being so stubborn about this neighborhood tradition?  What movie am I in?

Here’s how it will work. I will read you the question and then I’ll wait a few seconds before giving you the answer.  So, if you’re playing this with friends or family, you can pause after each question if you want to have more time to guess the answer before I reveal it.  This will be fun! 

Below, you will find the transcript for this episode. You can listen to Trivia Rewind on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Please tell a friend, leave a positive review and 5 star rating if you like Trivia Rewind. Thank you for listening and supporting Trivia Rewind! 

The background Christmas Music heard on the episode is by JuliusH from Pixabay

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Here is the transcript. Spoiler alert! Unless you’ve already listened to the episode, don’t look below because you’ll find the answers.

Trivia Rewind Episode 28 – Guess the Christmas Movie

[00:00:00] Trivia Rewind

[00:00:05] Debi Jenkins : [00:00:05] Merry Christmas, I’m Debi Jenkins, your host for Trivia Rewind. It’s almost Christmas and time to wrap up our month of special Christmas episodes. This week, I have something new for you. This episode will be a little different than what you’re used to. In this episode of Trivia Rewind, I’m going to describe 30 Christmas movies or TV specials, and you have to guess which movie or TV special the clue is based on. There will be no fun facts on this episode, just 30 straight clues. It should be a lot of fun.

[00:00:38] Here’s how it’ll work. I’m going to read you the question and then I’ll wait a few seconds before giving you the answer. So if you’re playing this with friends or family, you can pause after each question if you want to have more time to guess the answer before I reveal it. So are you ready? Let’s play.

[00:00:57] Here are the questions. Question [00:01:00] one. My name is Kate and I work as an elf at a Christmas shop in London. Several years ago I had a heart transplant. What movie am I in?  The answer is Last Christmas.

[00:01:20] Question two. I’m a Netflix original and the two kids in my movie set up a trip wire and a hidden camera to try and catch Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. What movie am I?  The answer is The Christmas Chronicles.

[00:01:39] Question three. On Christmas morning, I opened my presents and the one thing I wanted most wasn’t under the tree. Yes. I’m a little disappointed, but my dad secretly hid one last present and when I opened it, there it was, the exact thing I wanted. [00:02:00] What movie am I in? The answer is A Christmas Story.

[00:02:08] Question four. My neighbors are mad at me because I won’t put the plastic Frosty on our roof. My wife feels like she has to hide in our own home because the neighbors won’t leave us alone about it. Why am I so stubborn about this neighborhood tradition? What movie am I in? The answer is Christmas with the Kranks.

[00:02:35] Question five. My wife died and all I want for Christmas is for my grown kids to come home for the holidays and get along. What movie am I in? The answer is Almost Christmas.

[00:02:52] Question six. I did a house swap over Christmas. Someone used my house in Los Angeles and I [00:03:00] used their house in London. Both of our lives changed for the better that Christmas. What movie am I in? The answer is The Holiday.

[00:03:13] Question seven. My brother dreamed of leaving town and one day going to college and traveling the world. However, he gave me the money that was supposed to be for him to go to college. I went instead and I even fought in World War II where I earned the Medal of Honor. But in the end I call my brother the real hero. What movie am I in? The answer is It’s a Wonderful Life.

[00:03:43] Question eight. I discover a reindeer in the woods and hide him in the shed to protect him. What movie am I in? The answer is Prancer .

[00:03:58] Question nine. [00:04:00] Santa gave me a bell, but when I first got it, I couldn’t hear it ring when I shook it. Eventually I did here it ring. Santa, let me keep it so I put it in the pocket of my robe to take home. What movie am I in? The answer is The Polar Express.

[00:04:21] Question 10. I am a department store Santa and I tell someone that they can get the item they want at a competitor’s department store. People don’t think I’m really Santa and they try to have me committed. What movie am I in? The answer is Miracle on 34th street.

[00:04:45] Question 11. In my movie, I feature love stories about couples five weeks before Christmas. What movie am I? The answer is Love [00:05:00] Actually.

[00:05:02] Question 12. All I wanted was to reconcile with my wife and I ended up taking down a bunch of bad guys on Christmas Eve. What movie am I? The answer is Die hard.

[00:05:20] Question 13. I really hate Christmas and I can’t stand all the singing. I have reached my breaking point and I’m going to try and stop Christmas. What movie am I in? The answer is How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

[00:05:40] Question 14. I heard a noise during the night and went outside to investigate. Santa fell off my roof. That was the end of him. Why did I put on the Santa suit? What movie am I in? The answer is The [00:06:00] Santa Clause.

[00:06:02] Question 15. I thought I’d go to Chinatown and buy my son a Christmas present. What a mistake that was! Worst gift ever. What movie am I in? The answer is Gremlins.

[00:06:22] Question 16. My dad can’t handle the Santa’s duties any longer. One child’s toy has been lost. That’s unacceptable. My brother wants the job. Even though I’m kind of clumsy my dad ends up giving me the job instead of my brother, because my dad sees that I really do care about others. What movie am I in? The answer is Arthur Christmas.

[00:06:52] Question 17. My boss fired me on Christmas Eve and with the little bit of money he paid me, [00:07:00] I bought Christmas dinner for my family. My boss has a big change of heart that night and the next day he re-hires me and even buys my family a Turkey. What movie am I in? The answer is A Christmas Carol.

[00:07:19] Question 18. I really messed up and want to buy my son a Turbo Man toy for Christmas. I never should have waited until the last minute. What movie am I in? The answer is Jingle All the Way.

[00:07:38] Question 19. My family accidentally locked me in the attic on their way to the mall. I pass the time by watching old family movies. I even shed a tear or two. What movie am I in? The answer is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

[00:08:00] [00:08:00] Question 20. I thought I picked out a good Christmas tree, but my friends sure didn’t think so. I’m not going to let commercialism ruin my Christmas. What Christmas show am I in? The answer is A Charlie Brown Christmas.

[00:08:20] Question 21. I don’t want to be an elf and make toys and Santa’s workshop. I want to be a dentist. I’m outta here. What show am I in? The answer is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

[00:08:39] Question 22. An angel is sent to help me at my church. Through the whole ordeal, I realize that my family really is the most important thing in my life. When the angel leaves, he gives my family a decorated Christmas tree. What movie am I in? The answer is [00:09:00] The Preacher’s Wife.

[00:09:03] Question 23. You would think that there would be snow in Vermont at Christmas time. Well, there was no snow when we arrived here to put on a show. We’re going to do something special for our former General, General Waverley. What a surprise it will be. Oh, and can you believe it finally snowed? What movie am I in? The answer is White Christmas.

[00:09:31] Question 24. Thank goodness my family keeps a lot of junk in the basement. All that stuff really helped me fool some bad guys. What movie am I in? The answer is Home Alone.

[00:09:47] Question 25. The shower at my apartment wasn’t working so I decided to shower at work. I’m singing a classic Christmas tune and the next thing I know, I hear some guy singing along with [00:10:00] me. What movie am I in? The answer is Elf.

[00:10:06] Question 26. My TV station has a live production of A Christmas Carol to shoot on Christmas Eve. I’m making everyone work. Who cares that it’s Christmas Eve. What movie am I in? The answer is Scrooged.

[00:10:25] Question 27. I give my son a harmonica and jokingly tell him it’s magical. After I die in a car accident, you won’t believe what happens when my son builds a snowman and plays that harmonica. What movie am I in? The answer is Jack Frost.

[00:10:48] Question 28. You know, I was known as the Christmas guy in town before that new guy with his trophy wife moved in. Now he’s trying to take over my title. [00:11:00] By the end of this movie, our wives have had it with us. What movie are we in? The answer is Deck the Halls.

[00:11:11] Question 29. I have a lot going on in my life. First, my son is on the naughty list for vandalizing the school with spray paint. His principal is not happy. And to make matters worse, I need to get married before Christmas Eve or my life will change as I know it. What movie am I in? The answer is the Santa Clause 2.

[00:11:37] And question 30. I got myself into a lot of trouble in the big city. Thanks to a pigeon lady who I become friends with, she helps me out of the mess. At the end of the movie, I give her a ceramic turtledove as a token of our friendship. What movie am I in? The answer [00:12:00] is Home Alone 2:  Lost in New York.

[00:12:05] Well, that was our last question. I hope you enjoyed this special edition of Trivia Rewind. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. Don’t forget that there are a lot of Trivia Rewind episodes that you can go back and listen to over the holidays. Please subscribe and leave a positive review wherever you listen to podcasts. Visit us on Twitter and Instagram. All the links can be found triviarewind.com. Thanks for listening and I’ll be back next time for more Trivia Rewind. .

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It’s a Wonderful Life

It’s a Wonderful Life warms the heart of movie watchers each winter. As a child, my family watched this film every Christmas. We always thought my grandfather resembled Jimmy Stewart and maybe that’s why it made the movie even more special. Over the years I have grown to appreciate the film even more. Yes, it’s a long movie. Yes, it can be pretty depressing. No, my kids don’t beg to watch it. I mean come on, how can it compete with Elf (as I put words in the mouth’s of my kids)? Regardless, this movie has become a Christmas staple.  

The movie was produced and directed by Frank Capra and released in 1946. Frank Capra’s production company Liberty Films produced the film.  The film is based on a short story titled, “The Greatest Gift” written in 1939 by Philip Van Doren Stern. Philip Van Doren Stern sent out this short story as his Christmas card in 1943. It’s a Wonderful Life didn’t do so well at the box office.  It fell $525,000 short of breaking even. Frank Capra’s reputation took a hit and his production company went bankrupt.  

So how did It’s a Wonderful Life become the Christmas classic it is known as today?  Well, you can thank Republic Pictures, the motion picture production-distribution corporation for failing to renew the copyright in 1974.  That allowed the movie to become part of the public domain and television studios had the opportunity to pick it up which they did and it started airing yearly on television. That yearly airing drew television audiences in and made the movie a Christmas classic.

According to the website Slate.com, “Republic regained control of the lucrative property in 1993 by flexing a new Supreme Court ruling that determined that the holder of a copyright to a story from which a movie was made had certain property rights over the movie itself.”  According to the American Film Institute, “Unauthorized video copies of the film were destroyed, and the NBC network acquired exclusive television rights.”   In a Medium.com article it quotes the Duke Law School’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain as saying, “Ironically, a film that only became a success because of its public domain status was pulled back into copyright.”

Most people have no idea about this behind the scenes history of how It’s a Wonderful Life went from box office flop to Christmas classic. 

In this week’s episode, I will give you ten trivia questions about It’s a Wonderful Life.  After I ask you the questions, I’ll go back and give you the answers and some fun facts.  Find out about Jimmy Stewart’s impressive military career and which scene of It’s a Wonderful Life made him nervous to shoot. Find out why Jimmy Stewart is seen sweating in the movie, in the middle of a snowstorm! Those are just a few of the fun facts I’ll discuss in this episode of Trivia Rewind.

As you’ll hear me mention in the episode, fans of It’s a Wonderful Life will be excited about an event taking place this week! On Sunday, December 13, 2020 Actor Ed Asner is hosting a star studded virtual gala and table read of It’s a Wonderful Life. Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson will read the role of George Bailey.  Proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Ed Asner Family Center, which is dedicated to promoting mental health and enrichment programs for special needs children and their families.  The virtual event is taking place on Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 5 p.m. PST and 8 p.m. EST. Visit the Ed Asner Family Center Website to order tickets and see what other actors are taking part in the table read. This is an event you won’t want to miss.

Below, you will find the transcript for this episode. You can listen to Trivia Rewind on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Please tell a friend, leave a positive review and 5 star rating if you like Trivia Rewind. Thank you for listening and supporting Trivia Rewind! 

The background Christmas Music heard on the episode is by JuliusH from Pixabay

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Here is the transcript. Spoiler alert! Unless you’ve already listened to the episode, don’t look below because you’ll find the answers.

Trivia Rewind Episode 26 – It’s a Wonderful Life

[00:00:00] Trivia Rewind.

[00:00:05] Debi Jenkins: [00:00:05] Welcome to this episode of Trivia Rewind. I’m Debi Jenkins. In this episode, I’m taking you back to the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life. The movie was produced and directed by Frank Capra and released in 1946. Frank Capra’s production company, Liberty Films produced the film. The film is based on a short story titled, The Greatest Gift, written in 1939 by Philip Van Doren Stern. Philip Van Doren Stern sent out this short story as his Christmas card in 1943.

[00:00:43] It’s a Wonderful Life didn’t do so well at the box office.  It fell $525,000 short of breaking even. Frank Capra’s reputation took a hit and his production company went bankrupt. So how did It’s a Wonderful Life become the [00:01:00] Christmas classic it is known as today? Well, you can thank Republic Pictures, the motion picture production and distribution corporation for failing to renew the copyright in 1974. That allowed the movie to become part of the public domain and television studios had the opportunity to pick it up, which they did and started airing it yearly on television. That yearly airing drew television audiences in and made the movie the Christmas classic that it is today. According to the website Slate.com, Republic regained control of the lucrative property in 1993, by flexing a new Supreme court ruling that determined that the holder of a copyright to a story from which a movie was made had certain property rights over the movie itself.

[00:01:53] According to the American Film Institute, unauthorized video copies of the film were destroyed and the [00:02:00] NBC network acquired exclusive television rights. In a medium.com article it quotes the Duke Law School’s Center for the Study of Public Domain as saying, “ironically, a film that only became a success because of its public domain status was pulled back into copyright.”

[00:02:20] Most people have no idea about the behind the scenes history of how It’s a Wonderful Life went from box office flop to Christmas classic. In this week’s episode, I will give you 10 trivia questions about It’s a Wonderful Life. After I ask you the questions, I’ll go back and give you the answers and some fun facts.

[00:02:43] Are you ready? Let’s play Trivia Rewind.

[00:02:46] Question one. What is the name of the character that actor Jimmy Stewart plays in the film?

[00:02:56] Question two. What is the [00:03:00] name of the town where the story takes place?

[00:03:05] Question three.  When George was a child what happened that caused him to be deaf in one ear?

[00:03:16] Question four.  During World War II why was George Bailey ineligible to serve?

[00:03:24] Question five? What is the name of the angel that was assigned to Jimmy Stewart’s character?

[00:03:33] Question six. Which character misplaces $8,000 before he is able to deposit it at the bank?

[00:03:44] Question seven. What is the name of the cantankerous character that makes life hard for Jimmy Stewart’s character?

[00:03:56] Question eight. Who threw a rock at the [00:04:00] old Granville house and broke a window?

[00:04:04] Question nine. What does George say he’s going to lasso for Mary?

[00:04:12] And question ten. What gift does Clarence leave for George at the end of the film?

[00:04:21] Those were our 10 questions. Let’s go back, review, get the answers and fun facts.

[00:04:27] Question one. What is the name of the character that actor Jimmy Stewart plays in the film? Jimmy Stewart plays the main character George Bailey. Instead of Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant almost played George Bailey. On the American Film Institute’s 2003 list of The 50 Greatest Screen Heroes, George Bailey ranked ninth. Jimmy Stewart’s role as George Bailey earned him an Oscar nomination.

[00:04:59] This was the [00:05:00] third time in his acting career that he had been nominated for an Oscar in the Best Actor category. Growing up, Jimmy Stewart was a shy child who loved working on model airplanes and dreamed of one day being an aviator. He attended Princeton University and it was there that he started acting.  Stewart’s major burst of stardom came out when he took the lead role in Frank Capra’s  You Can’t Take it With You, a film that won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

[00:05:35] Question two. What is the name of the town where the story takes place? Well, It’s a Wonderful Life takes place in the fictional town of Bedford Falls, New York. Seneca Falls, New York claims that Bedford Falls was modeled after their town.

[00:05:54] Seneca Falls has embraced It’s a Wonderful Life and even has a museum [00:06:00] dedicated to the film. In 2021, the city will hold its 75th anniversary “It’s a Wonderful Life Festival” celebration. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the 2020 events will be held virtually. I will post a link to information about these events on triviarewind.com. It’s a Wonderful Life was filmed both on the RKO Radio Picture Studios lot and the RKO Movie Ranch in Encino, California. One of the largest sets in Hollywood history was built for this movie. The crew made use of sets from the 1931 movie Cimarron when building Bedford Falls. The entire set took up four acres and included 75 stores and buildings. They even transplanted 20 full grown oak trees. Those were just a few of the things that made up this magnificent set. Would you believe that [00:07:00] this Christmas movie full of snowy cold scenes was actually filmed in the middle of a July, 1946, California heat wave. When watching the movie, it’s hard to even comprehend that.

[00:07:13] Some people have said that you can see sweat on Jimmy Stewart’s head during the scene on the bridge, near the end of the film. Supposedly there were times during the filming of the movie that Frank Capra would have to shut down filming just so that they could get out of the heat. So how did they make the snow look so real in the middle of a heat wave?

[00:07:34] Russell Shearman the films special effects artist came up with a new way of making snow for movie sets. He used was called Foamite and mixed it with soap and water and some have said sugar. Then they’d put that mixture in front of really big fans which made it look like falling snow. Shearman and the RKO Radio Studio special effects  department won a Technical [00:08:00] Achievement Award at the 19th Academy Awards for the development of a new method of simulating falling snow on motion picture sets. That’s a big step up from the painting cornflakes white, something they had done to create snow on movie sets before. Imagine stepping on crunchy cornflakes. That’s definitely louder than the sound of walking on crunchy snow.

[00:08:24] Question three. When George was a child, what happened that caused him to be deaf in one ear? In 1919 George and his friends, as well as his brother Harry were sledding on a frozen lake and the ice broke. Harry fell in and George went into the icy water to save his brother. After being in the frozen water George developed an ear infection, which caused him to go deaf in that ear. The child that played the role of George Bailey was Bobby Anderson.  Remember the [00:09:00] scene when the pharmacist Mr. Gower slaps young George in his ear causing it to bleed?  In a Los Angeles Times article, Bobby Anderson said his ear actually did bleed. H.B. Warner, the actor that played Mr. Gower really did hit him in the ear. The article quotes Anderson as saying, “We rehearsed and as the day progressed, the louder and more demanding H.B. got. We’d rest for a little while.  I’d go back to school. They’d bring me back out and we’d spar a little more.” However Bobby Anderson did have fond memories of working with H.B. Warner. He said,  “I was a baby, he says. At the end, when it was all over, he was very lovable. He grabbed me and hugged me and he meant it.” When you start watching It’s a Wonderful Life, Mr. Gower’s voice is the first voice you will hear in the film. He says the words “I owe everything to George [00:10:00] Bailey. Help him, dear father. “

[00:10:03] Question four. During World War II why was George Bailey ineligible to serve? Well, the answer is he was ineligible to serve because he was deaf in one ear. Jimmy Stewart’s character George Bailey may have been ineligible to serve in World War II, but in real life, Stuart had quite the military career. This was his first film after returning from serving four years in World War II. According to military.com “When the U.S. entered World War II, Stuart was drafted into the Army, but was rejected because he was underweight for his height.

[00:10:43] He worked with colleagues to put on the necessary pounds and successfully enlisted with the Air Corps. According to the National Museum of the United States Air Force,  “he began flying combat missions and on March 31st, 1944 [00:11:00] was appointed operations officer of the 453rd bomb group, and subsequently chief of staff of the 2nd combat wing, 2nd air division of the 8th Air Force. Stewart ended the war with 20 combat missions. He remained in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and was promoted to brigadier general on July 23rd, 1959. He retired on May 31st, 1968.”

[00:11:30] Question five. What is the name of the angel that was assigned to Jimmy Stewart’s character? The name of the angel was Clarence and he was played by English actor, Henry Travers. In the movie his angel rank was angel second class. He hadn’t earned his wings yet. Did you know that the character Clarence was only visible on screen for 15 minutes of the entire movie? [00:12:00] Before his role in It’s a Wonderful Life, Henry Travers was nominated for a Best Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar for the movie Mrs. Miniver. Seven of the movies he appeared in were nominated for Best Picture Oscars. Travers died in 1965 and would never know that his role as Clarence would become his most memorable role or that It’s a Wonderful Life would become the Christmas classic it is today.

[00:12:29] Question six. Which character misplaces $8,000 before he is able to deposit it at the bank? That unfortunate character was uncle Billy. That Christmas Eve scene is really hard to watch. Here’s an extra trivia question about uncle Billy. Do you remember what his phone number was? It was Bedford 247.  Actor Thomas Mitchell had the role of uncle Billy.  In [00:13:00] his acting career, Thomas Mitchell was the first actor to win what’s called The Triple Crown of Acting. He won an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony award. He had an extensive career in both film and television. He has not one but two stars on the Hollywood walk of fame; one for his work in television and one for his work in films.

[00:13:26] Question seven. What is the name of the cantankerous character that makes life hard for Jimmy Stewart’s character? Well, that grumpy guy’s name was Mr. Potter. Actor Lionel Barrymore played Mr. Potter and I can’t think of one nice thing to say about this character. Supposedly the Mr. Potter character was based on the Ebeneezer Scrooge character from A Christmas Carol. The Mr. Potter character was so unlikable that on the 2003 American Film Institute’s list of the 50 Greatest Villains [00:14:00] in American Film History, he ranked number six. Actor Lionel Barrymore comes from a long line of actors. He is the great uncle of actress Drew Barrymore. In the movie, Mr. Potter is in a wheelchair due to polio.  In real life Lionel Barrymore was in a wheelchair due to severe arthritis.

[00:14:22] Question eight. Who threw a rock at the old Granville house and broke a window? That character was Mary, played by actress Donna Reed. While she already had quite the career this was Donna Reed’s first starring role in a film. The old Granville house is where Mary and George spent the first night of their honeymoon and then fixed it up to live in. This is the house that George later refers to as a drafty old house. He says, “gosh, it’s this old house. I don’t know why we don’t all have pneumonia. This drafty old barn. Might as well be [00:15:00] living in a refrigerator. Why did we have to live here in the first place and stay around this measly crummy old town?”  Here’s an extra trivia question about this house. Do you remember the house’s address? It was 310 Sycamore Street.

[00:15:18] Question nine. What does George say he’s going to lasso for Mary? He says that he’s going to lasso the moon. He says, “what is it you want Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.”  Remember the scene when George and Mary both have their ear up to the telephone and then they kiss? Supposedly Jimmy Stewart was very nervous about this scene. This was his first on-screen kiss since he returned to Hollywood after serving in World War II. The scene was done in one take. A 2014 Huffington Post article lists this [00:16:00] kiss as one of the Top 11 Classic Hollywood Kisses that Will Send Shivers Down your Spine.

[00:16:06] And question ten. What gift does Clarence leave for George at the end of the film? Clarence leaves George a copy of the book, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  Inside the book is a note that says, “Dear George, remember, no man is a failure who has friends? Thank you for the wings. Love, Clarence.” Then we all know what happens in one of the movie’s most famous scenes. A bell on George and Mary’s Christmas tree rings and what does their daughter Zuzu say? “Look, daddy, teacher says every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.”  It’s a Wonderful Life was nominated for five Oscars and Frank Capra won the Golden Globe award for Best Motion Picture Director. In [00:17:00] 1947, the movie was listed as one of the top 10 films by the National Board of Review. In 2006, It’s a Wonderful Life topped the list of  AFI’s 100 Most Inspiring Films of all Time. Watching George Bailey give up all his big dreams for the betterment of Bedford Falls is definitely inspirational.

[00:17:23] And here’s something fans of the movie will be excited about. Actor Ed Asner is hosting a star studded virtual gala and table read of It’s a Wonderful Life. Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson will read the role of George Bailey. Proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Ed Asner Family Center which is dedicated to promoting mental health and enrichment programs for special needs children and their families. The virtual event is taking place on Sunday, December 13th, 2020 at 5:00 PM pacific time and 8:00 PM eastern time. Visit [00:18:00] triviarewind.com for a link to tickets and see what other actors are taking part in the reading.

[00:18:07] Well, that’s it for this week’s episode. Make sure before 2020 is over you take the time to watch this holiday classic and end your year with a little inspiration. Please subscribe to Trivia Rewind and leave a positive review wherever you listen to podcasts. You can visit us on Twitter and Instagram. All the links mentioned in this episode can be found at triviarewind.com. Thank you for listening and I’ll be back next time for more Trivia Rewind.

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Elf Movie Trivia + Christmas Movie Quotes

Do you have a favorite Christmas movie?  For a lot of people, that movie is Elf?  Every once in a while a movie comes along that becomes a pop culture sensation. I don’t know about you, but at our house, Elf gets watched way more than once during the Christmas season and we all can recite multiple lines from the movie. 

Will Ferrell does a great job as the star of Elf and I can’t think of a better person to play the part. You know originally, Jim Carrey was offered the role of Buddy but the movie took almost 10 years to get off the ground and in that time Jim Carrey moved on and starred in a different Christmas movie, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  

Elf is directed by Jon Favreau, known more recently for directing such hits as Iron Man, Iron Man 2, the 2019 Lion King and the 2016 The Jungle Book.  In addition to directing Elf, Favreau even has a minor role where he plays Dr. Ben Leonardo, the Hobbs’s family pediatrician that gives Buddy the DNA test.  Also, Favreau is the voice of the Narwhal that says the line “Bye Buddy. Hope you find your dad.” That’s pretty cool that in addition to directing, he got to have a little role in the movie as well. 

Here’s how this episode will work.  In the first segment,  I’ll ask you ten trivia questions about the movie Elf, then I’ll go back and review the questions and give you the answers plus some fun facts about the movie. Find out what trick director Jon Favreau used to get a genuine scared reaction out of Will Ferrell when he was testing the jack-in-the-box toys. Find out how long it took sculptors to build that New York City skyline out of Legos. I will tell you about a technique Jon Favreau’s team used called Forced Perspective to make Buddy appear bigger than the other elves. Plus, find out why actor James Caan says there won’t be an Elf sequel.  Those are just a few of the fun facts in this episode.

Then,  I’ll move on to our movie quotes segment where I’ll give you five quotes from random Christmas movies and you have to guess which movie the quotes came from.   You’ll find out about some pretty amazing set designs. I mention one movie and its trailer that tricked everyone into not knowing it was a Christmas movie. After you listen to the episode, watch the movie’s trailer here. Find out what iconic Christmas movie was filmed in the middle of a July California heat wave and how over the years snow has been made on movie sets.  Those and more fun facts await you. 

Below, you will find the transcript for this episode. You can listen to Trivia Rewind on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Please tell a friend, leave a positive review and 5 star rating if you like Trivia Rewind. Thank you for listening and supporting Trivia Rewind! The background Christmas Music heard on the episode is by JuliusH from Pixabay

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Here is the transcript. Spoiler alert! Unless you’ve already listened to the episode, don’t look below because you’ll find the answers.

Debi Jenkins 0:05
Welcome to another episode of Trivia Rewind. I’m Debi Jenkins your host. Are you a fan of the movie Elf? In this episode of Trivia Rewind, that’s what I’ll be talking about. Every once in a while a movie comes along that becomes a pop culture sensation. I don’t know about you, but at our house, Elf gets watched way more than once during the Christmas season. I’m sure most people listening to this can recite at least one or more lines from the movie. Will Ferrell is the star of Elf and I can’t think of a better person to play the part. You know, originally, Jim Carrey was offered the role of Buddy, but the movie took almost 10 years to get off the ground and in that time, Jim Carrey moved on and starred in a different Christmas movie, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Elf is directed by Jon Favreau known more recently for directing such hits as Iron Man, Iron Man 2, the 2019 Lion King and the 2016 The Jungle Book. In addition to directing Elf, Favreau even has a minor role where he plays Dr. Ben Leonardo the Hobbs’s family pediatrician that gives Buddy the DNA test. Also Favreau is the voice of the narwhal that says the line “Bye Buddy, hope you find your dad.”

Debi Jenkins 1:24
Well, before we get to the trivia questions I’ll review how this works. This episode contains two segments. In the first segment, I’ll ask you 10 questions about the movie Elf? Then I’ll go back and review the questions and give you the answers plus some fun facts about the movie. After our Elf trivia segment, I’ll move on to our movie quotes segment where I’ll give you five quotes from random Christmas movies and you have to guess which movie the quotes come from. Are you ready? Let’s play Trivia Rewind.

Debi Jenkins 1:59
Question one. When elves discover a human baby in their workshop, how do they come up with the name Buddy?

Debi Jenkins 2:09
Question two. What is Buddy’s job at the North Pole?

Debi Jenkins 2:16
Question three. Buddy is horrified when Santa tells him what fact about his birth father?

Debi Jenkins 2:25
Question four. What is the name of the department store where Buddy gets a job?

Debi Jenkins 2:34
Question five. What is the name of the character played by actress Zooey Deschanel?

Debi Jenkins 2:42
Question six. What is the name of the author that Buddy gets into a fight with at his father’s office?

Debi Jenkins 2:51
Question seven. Buddy tells the department store Santa that he smells like what?

Debi Jenkins 3:00
Question eight. What is one of the three items that is recited in the Code of Elves?

Debi Jenkins 3:10
Question nine. What does Buddy say are the elves four main food groups?

Debi Jenkins 3:19
And question 10. Where do the reindeer get their magic to make Santa’s sleigh fly?

Debi Jenkins 3:28
Those were our questions. Let’s go back, get the answers and fun facts. Question one. When elves discover a human baby in their workshop, how do they come up with the name Buddy? Well, the elves look at the label on the baby’s diaper and see that it says Little Buddy Diapers. That’s the moment they start calling him Buddy. Well do the elves’ costumes look familiar to you? If you’re a fan of the classic Rankin-Bass Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer special, you may recognize the costumes. The ones in the movie Elf are replicas of those very costumes from the television special. By the way, if you didn’t catch our last episode, you definitely need to go listen. It was all about those classic Christmas television specials like Rudolph. When director Jon Favreau first got the script for Elf he said it was much darker and had more of a PG-13 vibe. After taking a year to do rewrites, the film came more in line with what he wanted, an innocent Buddy the elf in a world that felt like the old Rankin-Bass television specials.

Debi Jenkins 4:39
Question two. What is Buddy’s job at the North Pole? Well, since he couldn’t keep up with the other elves making toys, Buddy is given the job of toy tester. While he’s never played an elf before, in real life actor Will Ferrell was once Santa for five weeks. In an article from Spliced Wire, he says that actor Chris Kattan was his elf at an outdoor mall in Pasadena, California, where together they passed out candy canes. Remember the scene in Elf when Buddy has to test all those jack-in-the-box toys? Do you remember his surprised reaction to the last jack-in-the-box? Jon Favreau had a remote control for that one and he wanted to get a genuine scared reaction out of Ferrell when he was least expecting it. It definitely worked. In the movie, the head elf is named Ming Ming. He was played by the star of a very popular Christmas movie. Actor Peter Billingsley, who played Ralphie in A Christmas Story had a cameo role in Elf playing the Ming Ming character.

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Question three. Buddy is horrified when Santa tells him what fact about his birth father? Well, Santa tells Buddy that his father is on the naughty list. Actor Ed Asner played Santa Claus. Asner is a charter member of the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame. He has played Santa in several movies. An IGN Film Force article says that Santa’s wardrobe was modeled after the 1950s Santa in Coke advertisements. Actor James Caan plays the role of Buddy’s birth father, Walter Hobbs. James Caan is definitely known for his Oscar nominated role in the movie The Godfather. His character in Elf was the exact opposite of Buddy’s character. From what I’ve read, Will Ferrell had fun messing with James Caan on the set. In a Spliced Wire article, Ferrell is quoted as saying, “My objective in this movie was trying to drive James Caan crazy, both on a story level, and in just constantly messing with him. It was great.”

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Question four. What is the name of the department store where Buddy gets a job? The department store was Gimbels. Instead of Gimbels the store featured in the movie was almost going to be Macy’s. The filmmakers were in talks with Macy’s about the possibility of filming there. Macy’s was going to allow them to use the store to shoot parts of the movie. However, one of the stipulations was that Santa couldn’t be revealed as fake. I can’t imagine any department store ever wanting to insinuate that their Santa might be a fake. So I can see why Macy’s had this stipulation. Faveau and his team decided to go with Gimbels, a store that was once a competitor of Macy’s. Both Macy’s and Gimbels were the topic of another Christmas movie, the 1947 movie Miracle on 34th Street. The filmmakers got permission to use the Gimbels name, and they filmed the department store scenes inside the cafeteria of a mental hospital in Vancouver, Canada. Did you know that the Gimbels department store was the first department store to have a Thanksgiving Day Parade? It wasn’t Macy’s.

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Question five. What is the name of the character played by actress Zooey Deschanel? She plays Jovie, an elf in Santa Land at Gimbels. When they started filming the movie, the director didn’t know that Zooey Deschanel could sing. When Favreau found out she could sing he wrote that into the script. In addition to her acting roles, Zooey Deschanel has a musical career. She is one half of the musical group called She and Him. Currently, Zooey is dating one of the Property Brothers, Jonathan Scott.

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Question six. What is the name of the author that Buddy gets into a fight with at his father’s office. That author’s name is Miles Finch, played by actor Peter Dinklage. Many fans now recognize Peter Dinklage, not from his Elf role, but for his role as Tyrion Lannister on the HBO hit series Game of Thrones. Peter Dinklage was born with Achondroplasia, a genetic disorder whose primary feature is dwarfism. Because of this condition, he has often turned down roles that he felt were demeaning, such as playing magical characters like elves and leprechauns. His roll in Elf definitely doesn’t fall into that category.

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Question seven. Buddy tells the department store Santa that he smells like what? He smells like beef and cheese. Buddy and Santa had a pretty amazing fight. They only had one chance to film this scene. There were no second chances because they would have to rebuild that entire elaborate set that Buddy and Santa destroy in the fight. Imagine having to rebuild that New York City skyline made out of Legos. Elf production designer Rusty Smith discusses the Lego situation in an Entertainment Weekly article. H e says, “We had Legos and Favreau said, ‘How about a whole city made of Legos and then they destroy it?’ I was like, Yes, that is so brilliant. But then I turned and looked at my art director, and he was ashen.” I can imagine. It took five sculptors two weeks to build that skyline from scratch. They had to scramble to find enough of the types of colors and different types of Legos needed to build their masterpiece. After all that hard work, it took Santa a few seconds to destroy it. In the article, Rusty Smith discusses more about the transformation that Buddy made inside the Santa Land. He said “It had to feel handmade. It had to feel like Buddy actually did it.” Remember all those snowflakes that Buddy cut out of paper? Smith said it took weeks and weeks for the art department to create those.

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Question eight. What is one of the three items that is recited in the Code of Elves? Here they are, they are treat every day like Christmas. There’s room for everyone on the nice list. And the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. I’m sure you remember the scene when all the elves were seated in the classroom reciting the Code of Elves. To make the other elves look so much smaller than Buddy a technique called forced perspective was used. Director Jon Favreau was inspired by the 1959 film, Darby O’Gill and the Little People. This forced perspective technique was used in a lot of the scenes when you see Buddy with the elves. Check out triviarewind.com, where I’ll post a link to some behind the scenes photos that show exactly how they did this.

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Question nine. What does Buddy say are the elves four main food groups? Well, they are candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup. When making the movie, Will Ferrell actually had physical effects from eating so many sweets. It’s been said that he suffered from headaches due to all that sugar. Remember the scene where Buddy puts candy and all kinds of other sweets on top of his spaghetti? Supposedly they had to shoot that scene twice because he threw up the first time. I can see why. And speaking of candy, in the scene where Buddy is at the doctor’s office eating cotton balls, well, what he’s eating is actually cotton candy that had not yet been dyed.

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And question 10. Where do the reindeer get their magic to make Santa’s sleigh fly? Well, that magic comes from Christmas spirit. Remember the end of the movie when Buddy is in Santa’s sleigh and everyone is at Central Park and start singing Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and it’s showing Christmas spirit, the one thing needed to get Santa’s sleigh in the air? This scene brought tears to Will Ferrell while watching the movie at the L.A. premiere. In a Rotten Tomatoes interview he says, “I’m like, oh, I can’t let everyone see me cry here at my own movie. I was like, oh gosh, this is working on a level that I didn’t anticipate. And that was pretty cool.” People can’t get enough of this movie, and many people, including myself would love to see a sequel. Unfortunately, Will Ferrell turned down $29 million to star in a sequel. In an interview with The Independent James Caan says the reason there won’t be a sequel is that Will Ferrell and director Jon Favreau didn’t get along during the filming. This is something I haven’t heard before. Neither Favreau or Ferrell have publicly stated whether it’s true. Whatever the reason, we will still watch Elf year after year. In 2017 Fandango fans named Elf the number one Christmas movie of the 21st century.

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And now for our Christmas movie quotes segment. Before we start, I’d like to take a quick break and ask a favor. If you are enjoying this episode, please subscribe to Trivia Rewind and leave a five star review. If you’re listening on Apple podcasts or another podcast app that allows comments, I’d love it if you would leave a positive comment about Trivia Rewind. Thank you for listening and spreading the word about this podcast. Now back to our Christmas quote segment. I’ll give you five quotes the answers and fun facts.

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Here’s quote one. “Nobody’s walking out on this fun old fashioned family Christmas.”

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Quote two. “Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.”

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Quote three. “Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.”

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Quote four. “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole doesn’t he?”

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And quote five. “You’re skipping Christmas. Isn’t that against the law?”

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Those were our quotes. Let’s go back get the answers and fun facts. Quote one. “Nobody’s walking out on this fun old fashioned family Christmas.” This quote is said by the character Clark Griswold in the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Actor Chevy Chase plays the role of Clark. Chevy Chase’s real name is actually Cornelius Crane Chase. His grandmother is the one that gave him the nickname Chevy after the medieval English ballad titled The Ballad of Chevy Chase. Chevy Chase was one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live. He had his own satire news segment called Weekend Update, and it’s where he is known for saying the much remembered phrase “I’m Chevy Chase, and you’re not.” He won three Primetime Emmy Awards for his work with Saturday Night Live. When it came to the Christmas Vacation movie, supposedly Chevy Chase wasn’t that easy to work with according to the originally slated director, Chris Columbus. In a Chicago article, he is quoted as saying, “To be completely honest, Chevy treated me like dirt.” So Columbus left the movie and several weeks later, Jon Hughes gave him a different Christmas movie to direct, Home Alone.

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Quote two. “Seeing is believing but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.” This quote is from the 2004 film The Polar Express. This quote is said by the conductor, voiced by Tom Hanks. Tom Hanks had seven voice roles in this movie. He was the voice of Hero Boy, Hero Boy’s father, Conductor, Hobo, Scrooge puppet, Santa Claus and the narrator. The movie is quite the production. It combines stage acting, motion capture and computer graphics to bring the characters to life. Robert Zemeckis helped write the screenplay and he directed the film. In a Wired article Zemeckis said that he didn’t want the movie to look like animated cartoons. Well, it went way beyond that. Tom Hanks had to wear a bodysuit that had reflective dots on it. Sixty-five infrared cameras recorded his movements in 3D. For close-ups, Tom Hanks had to have 152 marks glued to his face in order to capture every expression he made. The wired article said that it took over fifty minutes to glue these to his face. After they recorded, all the data then went to a computer where the next steps in the process took place. This is all just part of what gives the film its unique look.

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Quote three. “Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.” This line was said by character Doris Walker, played by actress Maureen O’Hara in the 1947 movie Miracle on 34th Street. Maureen O’Hara was one of a few actresses often referred to as the Queen of Technicolor. On Miracle on 34th Street she plays the mother to a little girl named Susan, played by actress Natalie Wood. In Maureen O’Hara’s career she played the role of mother to almost 40 children. Here’s something interesting about the filming of Miracle on 34th Street. The actual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was going on and they shot the movie’s parade sequences live when the real event was happening. And here’s the craziest fact of all. We would all assume this movie was released around Christmas time. I mean, it was a Christmas movie. Nope. It was released on May 2, 1947. The head of 20th Century Fox thought more people went to the movies in the summer when it was warm outside. But do people want to watch Christmas movies in the summer? Well, when they marketed the movie, there was no mention that it was about Christmas. The movie’s trailer made sure of it. I’ll post a link to the trailer on triviarewind.com and you can see how they promoted this Christmas movie in a non-Christmassy way.

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Question four. “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole doesn’t he?” Clarence the angel says this line in the 1946 movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. One of the largest sets ever built in Hollywood history was for this movie. The Bedford Falls Main Street took three city blocks, and included 75 stores and buildings, all of which had to be built for the movie. They even transplanted 20 full grown oak trees. You’d never guess that this cold looking snowy Christmas movie was actually filmed in the middle of a July California heatwave. Russell Shearman the movie special effects artist came up with a new way of making snow for movie sets. He used what’s called foamite and mixed it with soap and water, and some people say sugar also. Then they put the mixture in front of really big fans, which made it look like falling snow. Shearman and the RKO Radio Studio special effects department won a Technical Achievement Award at the 19th Academy Awards for the development of a new method of simulating falling snow on Motion Picture sets. I’ll post a link to a video on triviarewind.com that talks about the making of snow on movie sets over the years. Amazingly, as great as we think this film is today, when the movie was first released, it didn’t even earn enough at the box office to pay what it cost to make it. The movie grew in popularity beginning in the 1970s when the copyright expired and it was available for TV stations to air royalty free. Those reruns over the years have made it a Christmas classic.

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And quote five. “You’re skipping Christmas? Isn’t that against the law? This quote comes from the character Spike in the 2004 movie Christmas with the Kranks. The movie was based on a John Grisham book titled Skipping Christmas and stars Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis. A lot of the movie takes place in the Kranks’ neighborhood. The production team couldn’t find just the right neighborhood so they built their own. Building their own neighborhood would save them from having to ask real people in a real neighborhood to leave their home for an extended period of time. This gave them more control over the production. In a How Stuff Works article, Garreth Stover, production designer and Karen O’Hara, set decorator provide specific details about what it took to pull this off. A parking lot in Downey, California was the blank slate. Here’s just a few of the crazy facts. They spent 504 hours designing the set. Twelve weeks building the set. They built 17 houses that were each 2400 square feet. They planted over 500 trees. They laid over 60,000 square feet of sod. I could go on and on. I mean this was a big production. Stover said, “Even though it lacks structural foundation, it was built to code.” While all this seems extravagant for one movie, the neighborhood on Hemlock Street is available for other movies and television shows to use. And remember the scene where they had the canned ham and it gets run over? Well they use 26 cans of ham to film this one scene.

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Well that’s it for this week’s episode of Trivia Rewind. Please subscribe and leave a positive review wherever you listen to podcasts. Visit us on Twitter and Instagram. All the links talked about in this episode can be found at triviarewind.com Thanks for listening. And I’ll be back next time for more Trivia Rewind.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai