Screenwriting Quiz


Film as dream, film as music.
No art passes our conscience in the way film does,
and goes directly to our feelings,
deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.
--Ingmar Bergman


The answers appear after the last question, number 20.


1. Robert Riskin penned what script, based on Samuel Hopkins Adams' short story "Night Bus," about a runaway heiress and a fired newspaperman who meet on a bus and fall in love?

a. It Happened One Night
b. Bad Day at Black Rock
c. Smash-Up
d. One from the Heart

2. Jack Nicholson, Rita Moreno, Carol Kane, Candice Bergen, Ann-Margret, and Art Garfunkel are actors in Carnal Knowledge, a 1971 Mike Nichols' (the director) film. Who wrote the screenplay?

a. Robert Kaufman
b. Elaine May
c. Paul Simon
d. Jules Feiffer

3. What playwright wrote The Goodbye Girl directly for the screen?

a. Neil Simon
b. Ruth Gordon
c. Blake Edwards
d. Tennessee Williams

4. Budd Schulberg wrote what 1954 movie, starring Marlon Brando, about union racketeering?

a. The Rainmaker
b. My Sister Eileen
c. Semi-Tough
d. On the Waterfront

5. The Lost Weekend, about a writer who goes on a five-day binge, was based on a novel by Charles Jackson and starred Ray Milland. What producer and director teamed up to write the screenplay?

a. Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder
b. Daniel Melnick and Sam Peckinpah
c. Norman Lear and George Romero
d. Norman Lear and George Cukor

6. What related team, with Howard Koch, wrote the screenplay for Casablanca, which was based on the play Everybody Comes to Rick's, by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison?

a. Groucho and Harpo Marx
b. Fred and Frank O'Hara
c. Julius and Philip Epstein
d. Henry and Phoebe Ephron

7. Sidney Buchman wrote what screenplay about a small-town hero sent to the Senate?

a. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
b. Desk Set
c. The Pleasure Garden
d. The Terminal Man

8. Howard Koch wrote what script, based on a play by Somerset Maugham, about a wife (Bette Davis) of a rubber-plantation owner in Singapore?

a. Rich and Famous
b. The Letter
c. A Man and a Woman
d. The Heartbreak Kid

9. The Philadelphia Story had it all: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, James Stewart, George Cukor, and gowns by Adrian. Who wrote this 1940 romantic comedy?

a. Philip Barry
b. Rob Thompson
c. Emeric Pressburger
d. Truman Capote

10. What Dashiell Hammett thriller, starring Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade and Mary Astor as Brigid O'Shaughnessy, was directed and written for the screen by John Huston?

a. Law and Disorder
b. Sabotage
c. Quest for Fire
d. The Maltese Falcon

11. Adapted by Anita Loos and Jane Murfin, The Women--with Rosalind Russell, Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer, and Joan Fontaine--was written by what talented wit?

a. Clare Booth Luce
b. Dorothy Parker
c. Ring Lardner
d. Eleanor Roosevelt

12. Adapted from a James Cain novel, what film has Joan Crawford rising from rags to riches and winning an Oscar for her performance?

a. Limelight
b. Lillian Russell
c. Mildred Pierce
d. Lilith

13. Who wrote the script for Spellbound, a murder mystery about a group of psychoanalysts and clues found in a dream?

a. Anthony Veiller
b. Ben Hecht
c. Alfred Hitchcock
d. Billy Wilder

14. Who wrote the The Blues Brothers?

a. Dan Aykroyd and John Landis
b. John Belushi and Carrie Fisher
c. Carrie Fisher and Penny Marshall
d. Henry Gibson and John Belushi

15. The Miracle Worker was written first as a play by whom?

a. Jean Poiret
b. Carson McCullers
c. William Gibson
d. George Sommers

16. From Maurice Walsh's short story "Green Rushes" and adapted for the screen by Frank S. Nugent, what film depicts an American prizefighter (John Wayne) who returns to Ireland?

a. The Farmer's Daughter
b. Our Daily Bread
c. The Return of a Man Called Horse
d. The Quiet Man

17. What director also scripted All About Eve, based on a short story and radio play by Mary Orr?

a. Joseph Mankiewicz
b. George Cukor
c. Jack Pulman
d. Charlie Chaplin

18. Who wrote the screenplay for The Third Man, directed by Carol Reed and starring Joseph Cotton?

a. Orson Welles
b. Harry Lime
c. Fred C. Dobbs
d. Graham Greene

19. Walter Bernstein wrote what comedy about the blacklisting in the entertainment business during the McCarthy era?

a. The Front
b. The Thin Man
c. Kings Row
d. Faces

20. Written by Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli, and Brunello Rondi, what film examines a mousy wife's fantasy life?

a. Interiors
b. Private Lives
c. Juliet of the Spirits
d. The Three Faces of Eve


answers: 1-a, 2-d, 3-a, 4-d, 5-a, 6-c, 7-a, 8-b, 9-a, 10-d, 11-a, 12-c, 13-b, 14-a, 15-c, 16-d, 17-a, 18-d, 19-a, 20-c

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