This week we thought we’d highlight a studio instead of a star or director.
Paramount Pictures was one of so-called of the big 8, comprising “the majors” of Hollywood’s Golden Era. That’s the period roughly between the late Twenties until the early Fifties, shortly after Paramount and the other studios were forced by the government trust busters to divest themselves of theater chains.
Besides Paramount, the others were RKO Radio Pictures, MGM, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Columbia Pictures, Universal and United Artists. The first five, because of their extensive theatrical holdings, were the heavyweights of the group; Columbia, Universal and UA were considered the lighter weights.
But worry not. We don’t intend to bore you with a corporate history. Rather, we emphasize the “personality” of a studio, the stars they hired, the kinds of pictures they made and the kinds of executives that ran them.
Today’s Quiz asks the question — what sort of outfit was Paramount? Questions today and answers tomorrow. Here we go:
1) Question: Which one of the following founded Paramount? a) Adolph Zukor; b) Cecil B. Demille; c) Harry Cohn; or d) Jesse Lasky.
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?
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?”
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.
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?