Here are two looks at the Paramount Pictures studio gates in Hollywood. As we write this, there’s not much happening at the moment behind these portals.
Why? The caronavirus pandemic has halted pretty much everything.
But in the studio’s heyday in the classic Hollywood period, Paramount churned out a vast array of entertainment from Alfred Hitchcock to Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis — and much in between — not to mention the contributions of one Cecil B. DeMille.
Yesterday, we showed you the Paramount logo — a mountain surrounded by an arc of stars.
Trivia question: what do they represent?
Answer: Paramount founder Adolph Zukor was said to have actually sighted the mountain in the state of Utah, and, captivated by the site, insisted it be incorporated in the studio logo. The arc of stars (all 22 of them) represent the number of actors and actresses first hired by Paramount way back in 1916.
Ok, on the answers to our Paramount Quiz.
1) Question: Which one of the following founded Paramount? a) Adolph Zukor; b) Cecil B. Demille; c) Harry Cohn; or d) Jesse Lasky.
Answer: As mentioned above, Adolph Zukor. As regular reader Dan puts it: Adolph Zukor’s Famous Players and Jesse Lasky’s company came together almost immediately to become Paramount. But I guess Zukor was the official founder.
2) Question: These two 1944 Paramount releases (see below), although wildly different in tone and content, are certifiable classics today. Can you name them? And, what did they have very much in common?
Answer: Directly below are Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck in the dark film noir Double Indemnity. And, beneath them are Barry Fitzgerald and Bing Crosby in the sunny Going My Way. Both films were nominated in the same year for Oscars (Going My Way won as best picture).
3) Question: He was Paramount’s biggest male star in the Forties, often teamed with Veronica Lake. Here (below right) he the protagonist of director George Stevens’ 1953 classic Western, Shane. Who is he, and why was he nicknamed “Tiny?”
Answer: Alan Ladd, who was in fact short (about 5-foot-6) and self conscious about it.
4) Question: Bob Hope and Bing Crosby made a series of “Road To…” comedies released by Paramount mostly in the Forties. The pair’s frequent traveling companion (below left) was a) Joan Caulfield; b) Dorothy Lamour; c) Corinne Calvet; or d) Ann Sheridan.
Answer: b) Dorothy Lamour.
Question 5: One of Paramount’s most celebrated releases is 1950’s Sunset Boulevard, costarring Gloria Swanson and William Holden. Below is director Billy Wilder posing with Swanson and another prominent Paramount personality. Who is he?
Answer: Cecil B. DeMille, one of Paramount’s most powerful directors, who has an acting role in Sunset Boulevard.