Come with me to the casbah.
Perhaps one of classic movies’ most quoted lines. But did he really say it?
We’re talking Charles Boyer here, the pride of Figeac, a medium-sized city in France’s southwest Cahors wine district, who started making movies in Europe in 1920 before being lured to Hollywood 11 years later by a succession of big studios — MGM, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox and producer Walter Wanger.
Boyer continued making films in Hollywood and Europe right up until until 1976, two years before his suicide in 1978 in, of all places, Phoenix, Arizona. He is credited with appearances in more than 90 films and tv shows, and played opposite some of Hollywood’s classiest leading ladies (Garbo, Dietrich, Hedy Lamarr, Ingrid Bergman, Jennifer Jones, Irene Dunn).
Best of all, Boyer worked hard to shed his superficial Hollywood image as the ultimate Continental smoothie. He became an actor of strength, conviction and real power. And he certainly did not deserve the way his life ended, and the personal trials suffered along the way.
So today’s Monday Quiz is our small salute to this fine actor. Let’s see how much you know about him. You may be surprised at what you DON’T know. (As usual, questions today and answers tomorrow.)
1) Question: Getting to our question above, in which movie did Boyer actually say the line, Come with me to the Casbah? a) The Garden of Allah; b) The Thirteenth Letter; c) Algiers; d) Boyer never uttered the line.
2) Question: Boyer and Hedy Lamarr made a big splash in 1938’s Algiers, but which French film starring Jean Gabin is this Hollywood movie based? a) Le Jour Se Leve; b) Le Grande Illusion; c) Pepe LeMoko; or d) Martin Roumagnac.
3) Question: Boyer’s hometown of Figeac in France continues to publicly and officially celebrate its famous Hollywood son. a) True; or b) False.
4) Question: By 1942 Boyer managed to become one of Hollywood’s top five best paid screen actors. a) True; or b) False.
5) Question: Although Boyer made three movies opposite Ingrid Bergman, the two did not get along on a personal level, and avoided each other offscreen. a) True; or b) False.
6) Question: Boyer and Elvis Presley had a strange and remote artistic connection concerning their respective vocal preferences. Can you tell us what that connection is? (Bonus points for the right answer.)
7) Question: Boyer has stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (number 6304) for his contributions as a movie actor AND for his tv work. Can you explain what Boyer did on tv that merited such acclaim? (More bonus points for the right answer.)
8) Question: Boyer did live out his continental lover image by his successive marriages to world famous beauties? a) True; b) False?
9) Question: Can you identify the movie that won for Boyer a citation at the Cannes Festival as well as a New York Film Critics Award as best supporting actor? a) Gaslight; b) Lost Horizon; c) Stavisky; or d) Barefoot in thePark.
10) Question: Although often cast as a sleek sophisticate, Boyer was in reality a simple man with little formal education. a) True; or b) False.