guess who?

She was nicknamed “The Hoosier Tornado”.

She was signed to an acting contract after being spotted playing baseball in the street.

She never had a dressing room when shooting a movie. Instead, she preferred to socialize with the cast and crew members during her breaks.

In describing her, director Howard Hawks said, "Marvelous girl. Crazy as a bedbug.”

Part of her honeymoon with Clark Gable was at the Willows Inn in Palm Springs. The Inn continues to operate to this day and anyone can stay in the same room, called "The Library Suite" today. The room remains largely unaltered since the Gables stayed there more than 60 years ago.

She was posthumously awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as the first woman killed in the line of duty in WWII. Roosevelt greatly admired her work for the war effort. She was returning from an engagement selling War Bonds when her plane crashed.


murder by death

the year: 1976

the genre: comedy

the cast: Eileen Brennan (Tess Skeffington); Truman Capote (Lionel Twain); James Coco (Milo Perrier); Peter Falk (Sam Diamond); Alec Guinness (Bensonmum); Elsa Lanchester (Jessica Marbles); David Niven (Dick Charleston); Peter Sellers (Sidney Wang); Maggie Smith (Dora Charleston); Nancy Walker (the Maid); Estelle Winwood (Nurse Withers); James Cromwell (Marcel); Richard Narita (Willie Wang)

the plot: Millionnaire Lionel Twain invites the five most brilliant private eyes to a dinner - and a murder. Exactly at midnight, a murder is set to take place, and Mr. Twain offers a million dollars to the one who can solve the murder. Will the most brilliant minds of our time be able to see through the elaborate set-up staged by a criminal mastermind?

listen for: "Oh, there. Voice come from cow on wall..." "Moose! MOOSE, you imbecile!"

did you know: the screaming doorbell uses Fay Wray's screams from King Kong.

extra bonus points: if you can name all the "real" fictional detectives that this movie spoofs.

don't miss: two of my favorite scenes here.

also listen for: "I don't hear nothin'. What do you hear?" "Double negative, and dog."


quotes: pirates

Name the movie:


tammy and the bachelor

the year: 1957

the genre: comedy

the cast: Debbie Reynolds (Tambrey "Tammy" Tyree); Leslie Nielsen (Peter Brent); Walter Brennan (John "Grampa" Dinwitty); Mildred Natwick (Aunt Renie)

the plot: When Pete's plane crashes in the swamp, he's rescued by young Tammy, an unsophisticated backwoods girl who lives with her lay-preacher/moonshiner grandfather. When Pete's well, he goes back home to his fiancée. But then Grampa gets sent to jail and he sends Tammy to stay with Pete. At Pete's house, Tammy's home cooking, enthusiasm and quaint sunshiny personality bring about changes in Pete's family and in Pete himself.

don't miss: Aunt Renie's paintings.

did you know: when the movie was initially released, it fared poorly in theaters. On a whim, the studio released Debbie Reynold's song "Tammy" from the movie. The song spent 23 weeks on the "Top 40" charts, and was #1 for five weeks. After the success of the song, the studio rereleased the film. It did MUCH better.

listen for: "She loves him for richer...but not for poorer!"

extra bonus points: if you recognize the actress who played Peter's mother and know why she's famous.

also listen for: "I'm not a wolf-on-the-make Pete."

count: Leslie Nielsen's dimples. (sigh.) He was a looker at this age.

you can watch the movie in parts, starting here.


guess who?

He was suppose to co-star with Bing Crosby in the film classic White Christmas but was sidelined with pneumonia (which he had caught from his animal co-star in another film) and replaced by Danny Kaye.

Judy Garland was one of his best friends.

He was inducted into the International Tap Dance Hall of Fame in 2004.

He has three middle names: David Dixon Ronald.

He began performing in movies when he was 12.

His stint hosting the Oscars earned him two Emmy nominations.

After his death, he was reported to have expressed tongue-in-cheek thanks to the Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement that he expected to receive at a "future date".


the ultimate gift

the year: 2006

the genre: drama

the cast: James Garner (Howard "Red" Stevens); Bill Cobbs (Theophilus Hamilton); Lee Meriwether (Miss Hastings); Abigail Breslin (Emily); Drew Fuller (Jason Stevens); Ali Hillis (Alexia)

the plot: After the death of the oil tycoon Howard 'Red' Stevens, his greedy family is gathered in the office of his lawyer, partner and friend Mr. Theophillis 'Ted' Hamilton and his associate Miss Hastings for the reading of the will. For his reckless and selfish grandson Jason Stevens, who hated him, Red assigns twelve apparently simple tasks called "gifts" - challenging Jason to a journey of discoveries.

listen for: "Hello Emily, I missed you." "Whatever. Let's cut to the chase."

did you know: the (blind) author of this story, Jim Stovall, makes a cameo appearance in the move as a limousine driver.

extra bonus points: if you can name the 12 gifts.


born yesterday

the year: 1950

the genre: comedy

the cast: Judy Holliday (Emma "Billie" Dawn); Broderick Crawford (Harry Brock); William Holden (Paul Verrall)

the plot: Uncouth, loud-mouth junkyard tycoon Harry Brock descends upon Washington D.C. to buy himself a congressman or two, bringing with him his mistress, ex-showgirl Billie Dawn. Brock hires newspaperman Paul Verrall to see if he can soften her rough edges and make her more presentable in Capital society. But Harry gets more than he bargained for as Billie absorbs Verall's lessons in U.S. history and not only comes to the realization that Harry is nothing but a two-bit, corrupt crook, but in the process also falls in love with her handsome tutor.

listen for: "Shut up! You ain't gonna be tellin' nobody nothin' pretty soon!" "DOUBLE NEGATIVE! Right?" "Right."

did you know: that to help build up Judy Holliday's image, particularly in the eyes of Columbia Pictures chief Harry Cohn, Katharine Hepburn deliberately leaked stories to the gossip columns suggesting that her performance in Adam's Rib was so good that it had stolen the spotlight from Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. This got Cohn's attention and Holliday won the part.

also listen for: "How about the story of your life?" "Oh no. Much too long... and mostly untrue."

count: how many times Billie "looks it up".

extra bonus points: if you can list who starred in the 1993 remake.

you can watch the movie in parts starting here.