Before we get to the answers to our Gregory Ratoff Quiz — not about the actor most notable for his appearance in All About Eve but about the movie director — permit us this anecdote.
Ratoff was a friend and confidante (as well as employee) of Twentieth Century Fox mogul Darryl Zanuck. In his informative 2000 book, ‘All About ‘All About Eve’, author Sam Staggs write this about the actor-director:
Born in 1897 in St. Petersburg, Russia… Ratoff produced, directed and acted in New York before going to Hollywood in the early 1930’s. There he was often cast as eccentric directors and producers with ludicrous accents, like the one he plays in ‘Eve.’
The effusive and flamboyant Ratoff seems to have been as entertaining off-screen as on. In her memoirs, Anne Baxter (who, of course, plays Eve Harrington in ‘Eve’) recounted how Ratoff suggested to Zanuck that he cast the 23-year-old Baxter for a principal role in 1946’s The Razor’s Edge.
‘Nah!’ Zanuck snarled digustedly. ‘She’s a cold potato.’
Then, Ratoff (nearly 50 at he time) offered that he knew otherwise from intimate experience. ‘I’ve had it — it’s marvelous.’
Continued Baxter: Monday morning my agent got a call. Could I dine with Edmund Goulding, the man who would direct ‘The Razor’s Edge,’ and test Tuesday? Noted author Staggs: The role won her an Oscar.
Ok, on to our Quiz. The idea was to identify the movie directed by Ratoff based on the individual descriptions of content and cast. Here we go with our answers. (To review the questions, just scroll down to the blog below.)
1) Answer: Intermezzo.
2) Answer: Irish Eyes Are Smiling.
3) Answer: Paris Underground.
4) Answer: Oscar Wide.
5) Answer: Operation X.