The Inside Scoop on TCM Classic Movie Trivia
We’re excited to have Shannon Clute, Brand Activation Manager at Turner Classic Movies, guest posting about TCM Classic Movie Trivia today. To celebrate the launch of the book, we’re giving away a copy to one lucky commenter. To enter, just let us know your favorite classic film by Friday, October 14th. Good luck!
The staff at Turner Classic Movies is a diverse bunch. Within our small Brand Activation group, which is responsible for TCM’s publications, there is a film studies grad with a background in running film festivals, a fine arts photography major with experience in consumer marketing, a broadcast communications major with experience in mass communications and journalism, and a romance studies grad who quit a position as a French and Italian professor to write fiction and film reviews. Just about every division at TCM looks like that, which would seem to suggest a sort of fragmented eclecticism.
But beneath these superficial differences, we’re all united by a passion for movies. We recognize that films are likely the most powerful and enduring pop culture history of the 20th century and, despite the proliferation of media in recent years, that isn’t likely to change anytime soon. So while there is a tremendous amount of collaboration between these very diverse folks at TCM, there is rarely a “low stakes” film conversation. Mention that you’re not a fan of such underappreciated stars as Richard Basehart or Ann Savage, and you’ll get an earful from someone. Attend one of the “Top Ten” list meetings, as TCM staffers try to hash out their favorite films in any given category, and you’ll feel like you’ve entered the gladiatorial arena. It’s not that we don’t love working with each other—what could be better, after all, than working with others who love film as much as you do? It’s just that nothing is more important to us than movies.
In this context, you’ll understand that the production of the new TCM Classic Movie Trivia book took time, and a little good old-fashioned politicking, because everyone had opinions on what should be included. In the end, it blossomed into a book with more than 4,000 questions, organized under 18 different topics and given context with some 50 editorial features and 200 photographs.
By the time it got internal signoff, it was bound to be an eclectic mix sure to satisfy casual movie fans and diehards alike. So it is that the “Early Hollywood” chapter has spotlight features on such icons as John Barrymore and Marion Davies, but also on Anna May Wong. So it is that you’ll find questions any movie fan can appreciate: “Cary Grant plays a chemist in what comedy opposite Ginger Rogers and Marilyn Monroe?” (A: Monkey Business). But you’ll also find questions for those fanatics who believe that movie history and History, with a capital H, are largely one and the same: “Woody Strode posed for a painting commissioned by whom? (A: Adolf Hitler).
In other words, it’s the movie trivia book for those who believe that movie history is anything but trivial. We hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed creating it.
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