We’ve published blogs and have run a number of Monday Quizzes devoted to what we see as the Queens of Film Noir, notably including Marie Windsor, Audrey Totter, Lizabeth Scott, Jane Greer, Gene Tierney, Coleen Gray, Veronica Lake and Jean Gillie.
But for some dumb reason we have not focused on perhaps the Queen of the Queens — Gloria Grahame. To make amends, this superb actress, who hovered between femme fatale B-picture roles and genuine A-list Hollywood stardom, is the subject of this week’s Monday Quiz.
Not only did Grahame see her share of Oscar action, but she was celebrated by the tabloids of the time for her tempestuous personal life, which was strange even by Hollywood standards. She was a great onscreen sulker, she could play sexy, smart-mouthed women better than anyone.
Grahame was justifiably renowned for her onscreen sultriness, her ability to telegraph unadulterated lust to audiences of the Forties and Fifties. But she was no bimbo. Grahame often played well grounded women betrayed by boneheaded choices in men. Usually the the Grahame character came up short.
How much do you know about this admirable actress. We like her a lot, and hope today’s Quiz will spread the word. As usual, answers tomorrow. Here we go:
1) Question: In which one of the following movies did Grahame’s character get a pot of boiling coffee thrown in her face? a) Naked Alibi; b) It’s A Wonderful Life; c) A Woman’s Secret; or d) The Big Heat.
2) Question: Grahame won her best supporting actress Academy Award for which one of the following pictures: a) Crossfire; b) The Bad and the Beautiful; c) The Greatest Show On Earth; or d) Odds Against Tomorrow.
3) Question: The night she won her Oscar, Grahame did something that bolstered her screen image as a sexy slut. What happened? a) She a engaged in tongue-kissing session with host Bob Hope; b) She stumbled on her way to the award stage suggesting she was tipsy; c) She used vulgar language caught on an unguarded mike; or d) She shameless flirted with a bevy of male stars.
4) Question: Grahame’s first starring role opposite Humphrey Bogart in 1950’s In A Lonely Place was a uniquely personal one for the actress. Why?
5) Question: Grahame was NOT Bogart’s first choice as his In A Lonely Place costar. Who was? a) Lauren Bacall; b) Hedy Lamarr; c) Joan Crawford; or d) Gene Tierney.
6) Question: Grahame set the tabloids of the day afire because of her torrid onscreen love scenes with Harry Belafonte in the tough 1959 film noir, Odds Against Tomorrow. a) True; or b) False?
7) Question: Grahame had four unsuccessful marriages, two of them to director Nicholas Ray. a) True; or b) False?
8) Question: A best personal friend of Grahame’s also played a supporting role in In A Lonely Place. Can you name her? a) Hedda Brooks; b) Ruth Gillette; c) Martha Stewart; or d) Jeff Donnell.
9) Question: In 1955, Grahame landed a part in a bigtime Hollywood adaptation of a bigtime Broadway musical. Can you name this tuner?
10) Question: Grahame died young. How young? a) 38; b) 41; c) 52; or d) 57.