Saturday, January 26, 2013

How Well Do You Know Your Oscar Winning Performers? Let’s Find Out.

I’ve finished my Mainers Making Movies category and leading up to Oscar night I am going to review as many of the 2013 Oscar nominated films as I can see and would recommend.  First up will be the nine Best Picture nominees, then a post ranking them, then reviews of other nominees, then my Oscar picks, and finally the Oscar results and observations.  That should cover the next month here at this site.  Before starting on that, though, let’s have some fun.

Sometimes Oscar winners seem to come out of nowhere, but most of the time they have paid their dues in low budget, I-need-the-paycheck kind of movies.  Not everyone can be Meryl Streep who started her film career with Best Picture nominee Julia (1977), Best Picture winner The Deer Hunter (1978), Woody Allen’s Manhattan (1979), and Best Picture winner Kramer vs. Kramer (1979).  More often than not they were like Oscar nominee Johnny Depp who was in the teen sex comedy Private Resort (1985) early in his career.

Let’s see how well you know the early careers of some of the more recent Oscar winners.  Below you will find two columns.  On the left are the names of Oscar winners.  On the right are the names of the not-quite-Oscar-worthy movies that they were in before they won their Oscars.  Match each person in the first column with their movie in the second column.

Note: you will see a set of three movies grouped together as a single choice.  That is because one performer was in all three.

Hint: alphabetical order has already lined up three of the answers for you.

Alan Arkin
Age of Consent
Sandra Bullock
Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman
George Clooney
BMX Bandits
Marion Cotillard
Calypso Heat Wave
Clint Eastwood
Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest
Morgan Freeman
Chopper Chicks in Zombietown
Angelina Jolie
Cyborg 2
Nicole Kidman
Grizzly 2: The Concert
Return of the Killer Tomatoes!
Return to Horror High
Heath Ledger
The Next Karate Kid
Helen Mirren
Hilary Swank
Revenge of the Creature
Charlize Theron
My Sex Life…or How I Got into an Argument
Billy Bob Thornton
Tag: The Assassination Game
Marisa Tomei
The Toxic Avenger
Forrest Whitaker
Who Says I Can’t Ride a Rainbow!

Answer Summary: 1-D, 2-B, 3-H, 4-L, 5-K, 6-O, 7-G, 8-C, 9-J, 10-A, 11-I, 12-E, 13-F, 14-N, 15-M


1.  Alan Arkin (winner for Little Miss Sunshine) was in Calypso Heat Wave (1957)
2.  Sandra Bullock (winner for The Blind Side) was in Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (1989)
3.  George Clooney (winner for Syriana) was in Grizzly 2: The Concert (1987), Return of the Killer Tomatoes! (1988), and Return to Horror High (1987)
4.  Marion Cottilard (winner for La vie en rose) was in My Sex Life…or How I Got into an Argument (1996)
5.  Clint Eastwood (winner for directing Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby) was in Revenge of the Creature (1955)
6.  Morgan Freemen (winner for Million Dollar Baby) was in Who Says I Can’t Ride a Rainbow! (1971)
7.  Angelina Jolie (winner for Girl, Interrupted) was in Cyborg 2 (1993)
8.  Nicole Kidman (winner for The Hours) was in BMX Bandits (1983)
9.  Heath Ledger (winner for The Dark Knight) was in Paws (1997)
10. Helen Mirren (winner for The Queen) was in Age of Consent (1969)
11. Hilary Swank (winner for Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby) was in The Next Karate Kid (1994)
12. Charlize Theron (winner for Monster) was in Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (1995)
13. Billy Bob Thornton (winner for writing Sling Blade) was in Chopper Chicks in Zombietown (1989)
14. Marisa Tomei (winner for My Cousin Vinny) was in The Toxic Avenger (1984)
15. Forrest Whitaker (winner for The Last King of Scotland) was in Tag: The Assassination Game (1982)

How well did you do?

Zero Correct – You apparently only watch good movies.  Congratulations.
1-5 Correct – You’ve seen a few cult movies, or tracked down all the movies your favorite performer was ever in.
6-10 Correct – You’ve seen a ton of movies and have a great memory.
11-14 Correct – You scare me a little bit.
All 15 Correct – So there is an app for that.

Finally, it’s not just bad movies that performers start out their careers with.  Sometimes they are also in music videos.  You should recognize this teenager in Meat Loaf’s 1989 music video Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through.


  1. Ha ha! I scored zero -- does that mean I have good taste? These movies are definitely not my cup of tea. Though I may have to seek out Chopper Chicks in Zombietown, well, just because. :-)

    Fun quiz and an awesome post!

    1. Congratulations on your score. :-)

      Thanks for the compliments. I appreciate it. I knew a few of these, but had to research the rest for the post, so it did take some time to put it together.

  2. I got 2, Swank and Clooney, and I only got Clooney because I've seen two of those films, and they're both absolutely terrible. Return of the Killer Tomatoes is downright awful, but Return to Horror High is of the so-bad-it's-entertaining-well-at-least-if-you're-a-little-drunk category.

    1. When I thought of this category I knew Clooney had been in the Tomatoes movie, but I found out about the other two while looking up the title of it on his IMDB page. I also knew Swank (I've seen The Next Karate Kid), Bullock (several years ago I sought out this movie after learning she was in it), Kidman (because someone who knows her said in an interview that if you ever wanted to tweak Kidman then tell her that her best performance was in BMX Bandits), Mirren (I've seen it, and she was the one consenting), and Thornton (at some point I read a joking comment that he's still the only Oscar winner to come out of that movie.)

      That means I would have scored a 6. The rest I researched by going back through recent year's winners and nominees that I knew had won earlier.

  3. I've not seen any of the b-movies listed here. I knew Kidman was in BMX Bandits, and Clooney was in Return of the Killer Tomatoes! That was about all I could figure out by myself. Geeky fun, in a good way :)

  4. There is shocking news in the sports betting world.

    It has been said that any bettor must watch this,

    Watch this now or quit betting on sports...

    Sports Cash System - Advanced Sports Betting Software.