The blarney-spewing Irishman, the cop, the priest. In the 1930s and 40s Pat O’Brien played them all.
Was he really just another professional Irishman or was he a rounded, versatile actor of often astonishing ability? We come down firmly on the latter.
Pat O’Brien, we believe, was often a much better actor that his movie roles gave him credit for. Still in all, he emerged to become one of the most durable professionals of the classic Hollywood period, with nearly 150 big screen and tv roles to his credit. (Born in 1899, he died in 1983 at age 83)
We suspect that you don’t know as much about O’Brien as you perhaps should. Our Monday Quiz today is, hopefully, designed to help remedy that. We’ll try our best.
Ok, on to our Quiz. As usual, questions today and answers tomorrow.
1) Question: Pat O’Brien not only played Irishmen but was purely Irish himself, born in Dublin. a) True or b) False?
2) Question: O’Brien was considered part of Hollywood’s “Irish Mafia” which got together socially to swap stories and exchange opinions. Which one of the following was NOT a member of the group? a) Ralph Bellamy; b) Bert Lahr; c) Louis Calhern; or d) Barry Fitzgerald.
3) Question: O’Brien used to say that he had just three really great movie parts in his career. Which one of the following was NOT included? a) 1940’s Knute Rockne All American; b) 1931’s The Front Page; c) 1940 The Fighting 69th; or d) 1938 Angels With Dirty Faces.
4) Question: Although he professed to be a devout Roman Catholic, O’Brien in reality was a chronic womanizer who married four times. a) True or b) False?
5) Question: O’Brien was great pals with James Cagney. How many movies did they make together? a) four; b) two; c) nine; or d) 12.
6) Question: While in the Navy during World War I, O’Brien inadvertently sparked the career of one of America’s best comedians. Who is he? a) Milton Berle; b) Ed Wynn; c) Jack Benny; or d) Edgar Bergen.
7) Question: Pat O’Brien spoke with an Irish brogue that he had to work hard to lose. a) True or b) False.
8) Question: Which one of the following is considered O’Brien’s breakthrough picture, the one that sparked his long Hollywood career? a) Shadows of the West; b) The Freckled Rascal; c) The Front Page; or d) Fury of the Wild.
9) Question: In addition to James Cagney, O’Brien was had a longterm friendship with another A-list classic actor. Can you identify him? a) Spencer Tracy; b) Clark Gable; c) Edward G. Robinson; or d) George Raft.
10) Question: O’Brien informally called his friend Cagney “the far-away fella.” Why and what did he mean by that? a) That Cagney would always duck out when the check came; b) That Cagney was a “dreamer”; c) That Cagney was shy and had to make an effort to socialize; or d) That Cagney loved to get out of Hollywood at every opportunity.