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The Ghosts of Oscars Past

By Matt Slovick
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, March 21, 1999

Oscar Trivia You've seen the movies, made your picks and plan on watching the Academy Awards ceremony Sunday night. But how much do you know about the ghosts of Oscar past? Test your knowledge about Oscar winners and losers – although most actors consider it an honor even to be nominated.

1. The settings of this year's five best picture nominees are in the past: "Saving Private Ryan," The Thin Red Line" and "Life Is Beautiful" in the 1940s; "Elizabeth" (1558-1603) and "Shakespeare in Love (the late 1500s). This also occurred in 1984. Name the five movies and their time frames. Answer

2. The 13 nominations for "Shakespeare in Love" are one short of the record set by "Titanic" and "All About Eve." Five other films have picked up 13 nods. Name them. Answer

3. Warren Beatty has four Oscar nominations as an actor, two as a director (winning for "Reds") and four for screenwriting, including this year's nod for "Bulworth." Name the other three films he co-wrote. Answer

4. All four of Beatty's screenwriting nominations were shared, including this year's with Jeremy Pikser. One of his former co-writers also received a nomination this year. Name the writer, this year's nominated film and the film that was written with Beatty. Answer

5. Italy's "Life Is Beautiful" became the first film in three decades to be nominated in best picture and best foreign language film categories. This happened only once before in the same year. Name the movie and year. Answer

6. "Life Is Beautiful" set a record for nominations by a foreign film with seven. Name the two movies that shared the previous record of six. Answer

7. Fernanda Montenegro was nominated as best actress for the foreign film "Central Station." Only one actress has won an Oscar for a foreign-language film. Name her and the film. Answer

8. Meryl Streep's 11th Oscar nomination ties her with Jack Nicholson, one short of Katharine Hepburn's record of 12 acting nominations. Hepburn also has the record with four wins. Name the three people who have taken home three Academy Awards for acting. Answer

9. It's been 32 years since Lynn Redgrave's last nomination. Name that 1966 film. Answer

10. Redgrave's sister, Vanessa, has been more successful, earning six nominations and winning a 1977 Oscar as supporting actress. Name the film. Answer

11. Both Lynn and Vanessa Redgrave were nominated for best actress in 1966, but lost. Name the woman who won and the film she appeared in. Answer

12. Robert Benigni earned three nominations for "Life Is Beautiful" as a writer, director and actor. Three other men have achieved this feat, and two of them were also nominated as a producer for best picture. Name the nominees and their films. Answer

13. Three movies set during World War II were nominated for best picture this year. "Schindler's List" won in 1993, but nominees Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes failed to pick up a statue. Name the last WWII film to win best picture as well as an Oscar for one of its stars. Answer

14. The Vietnam War also has been the subject of many movies. Name the two Vietnam films that have won the best picture prize. Answer

15. The Academy Awards were first telecast in 1953 with Bob Hope as master of ceremonies. Name the year in which the Oscars were first telecast in color. Answer

16. Period pieces have been popular with the Academy in the costume design category. Both "Elizabeth" and "Shakespeare in Love" are nominated this year along with "Beloved," "Velvet Goldmine" and "Pleasantville." Past winners include "Amadeus," "Dangerous Liaisons" and "Henry V." Name the most recent winner of best costume that was set in the 16th to 18th centuries. Answer

17. Edith Head is the record holder for nominations and Oscars by a costumer-designer. Name the total nominations and Oscars she received. Answer

18. Tom Hanks is the eighth actor or actress who has received an Academy Award nomination while appearing in a film directed by Steven Spielberg. None of the previous seven have won. What man has the record for directing actors to 14 Oscar victories? How many times was he nominated as best director, and how many times did he win? Answer


1. "Amadeus," the late 1700s; "The Killing Fields," the 1970s; "A Passage to India," the late 1920s; "Places in the Heart," the 1930s; "A Soldier's Story," the 1940s. Back to quiz

2. "Gone With the Wind" (1939) and "From Here to Eternity" (1953), won eight Oscars each; "Mary Poppins" (1964), five Oscars; "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (1966), five; "Forrest Gump" (1994), six.
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3. "Reds" (1981), "Heaven Can Wait" (1979) and "Shampoo" (1976).
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4. Elaine May, who helped Beatty write "Heaven Can Wait," is nominated for "Primary Colors." Back to quiz

5. "Z" in 1969. "The Emigrants," nominated in both categories during different years, was released in Europe in 1971 and in the United States in 1972. Back to quiz

6. "Das Boot" (1982), no Oscar wins; and "Fanny & Alexander" (1983), four Oscars, including best foreign film. Back to quiz

7. Sophia Loren for "Two Women" (1961).
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8. Ingrid Bergman, Walter Brennan and Nicholson. Bergman won as best actress for "Gaslight" (1944) and "Anastasia" (1956) and as supporting actress for "Murder on the Orient Express" (1974). All of Brennan's wins were for best supporting actor: "Come and Get It" (1936), "Kentucky" (1938) and "The Westerner" (1940). Nicholson was best actor for "As Good as It Gets" (1997) and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975), best supporting actor for "Terms of Endearment" (1983). Bergman was nominated seven times and Brennan four.
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9. Lynn Redgrave received a nomination as best actress for "Georgy Girl." Back to quiz

10. "Julia." Vanessa Redgrave's best actress nominations came for "Morgan!" (1966), "Isadora" (1968), "Mary, Queen of Scots" (1971) and "The Bostonians" (1984). She was nominated as best supporting actress for "Howards End" (1992). Back to quiz

11. Elizabeth Taylor for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" The other nominees beside the Redgraves were Anouk Aimee for "A Man and a Woman" and Ida Kaminska for "The Shop on Main Street."
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12. Orson Welles for "Citizen Kane" (1941); Woody Allen for "Annie Hall" (1977); and Warren Beatty for "Reds" (1981). Welles and Beatty also picked up the fourth nomination as producer. Welles won only as a writer and Beatty as a director. Allen earned two Oscars for directing and writing. Back to quiz

13. "Patton" in 1970. George C. Scott did not show up at the awards to collect his Oscar as best actor.
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14. "The Deer Hunter" (1978) and "Platoon" (1986).
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15. 1966. Back to quiz

16. "Restoration" in 1995. Back to quiz

17. Cinematography, art directing and costume design had black-and-white and color divisions until 1966. Edith Head had 35 nominations, eight Oscars. Back to quiz

18. William Wyler. Nominated 12 times, Wyler won three Oscars as best director for "Ben-Hur" (1959), "The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946) and "Mrs. Miniver" (1942). Back to quiz

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