Ok, we realize that we have already published (on May 26) a Monday Quiz covering today’s subject — perhaps the finest character actor that Hollywood ever produced.
But we figured that if we can cover Peter Lorre in two stages in the Monday Quiz format — as we recently did — we can certainly similarly accommodate the commodious figure of Sydney Greenstreet.
After all, he and Lorre are justifiably regarded today by classic movie fans as one of the screen’s great actor duos. They appeared together in nine titles. Critic David Thomson refers to them as “Lear and the Fool” with Lorre taking the latter designation.
There is no question that Greenstreet qualifies for Joe’s accolade — that of character actor/STAR. As author-critic David Thomson notes, few (movie) introductions have been as dramatic as Greenstreet’s “the fat man” in John Huston’s groundbreaking 1941 film noir, The Maltese Falcon.
How much do you really know about this vast and vastly entertaining screen actor? Well, we cordially invite you to take our latest quiz, and find out. Answers tomorrow.
1) Question: Which of the following Greenstreet titles is NOT consider prime cut film noir? a) Conflict; b) The Maltese Falcon; c) The Mask of Dimitrios; or d) Flamingo Road.
2) Question: Where was Greenstreet born? In a) England; b) Ceylon (now Sri Lanka); c) Tasmania; or d) South Africa.
3) Question: Born in 1879, Greenstreet worked which of the following jobs before becoming a stage actor. a) Tea planter; b) Brewery manager; c) Bank clerk; or d) Waiter at Sardis.
4) Question: Greenstreet’s first stage role was as a murderer in a Sherlock Holmes melodrama. a) True; or b) False.
5) Question: Who said this about Greenstreet — He was perfect from the world go…I had only to sit back and take delight in him and his performance? a) Humphrey Bogart; b) Peter Lorre; c) Daryl Zanuck or d) John Huston.
6) Question: Greenstreet was the classic warrior actor who “died with his boots on” while he was making a movie. a) True; or b) False.
7) Question: Which of the following worked with Greenstreet in a Broadway stage production of a highly successful drama? a) Montgomery Clift; b) Phyllis Thaxter; c) Alfred Lunt; or d) Thomas Gomez. (Editor’s warning: this is a trick question when we first asked it in May, and it still is. So be careful.)
8) Question: Once Warner Brothers realized what a popular character actor Greenstreet proved to be, the studios pushed him despite his advance age to make how many movies in how many years? a) 24 movies over eight years; b) 19 films in five years; c) 30 titles in nine years; or d) 15 movies in seven years.
9) Question: After his movie career, Greenstreet played a famous detective on radio. Can you name the character? a) Nero Wolfe; b) Sam Spade c) Hercule Poirot; or d) The Shadow.
10) Question: In the 1930’s Greenstreet was a key member of a renowned stage troupe headed by one of the most famous acting couples in American Theater. Can you name this couple?