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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Just trivia, but very well done.

Author: F Gwynplaine MacIntyre from Minffordd, North Wales
20 May 2007

'The Movie Game' was, simply, the time-honoured parlour game of Movie Trivia staged in a game-show format. In the only episodes I've seen, the compere (host) was Larry Blyden: an under-rated actor and an interesting choice for a movie-oriented TV show, as Blyden had some minor credits as a film actor but he was much more successful as a Broadway and television actor. Earlier episodes were compered by Sonny Fox, better known as a kiddie-show host.

Minor celebrities on the order of Larry Storch and William Windom made guest appearances as contestants. Correct answers were only awarded points, not prizes, so this quiz show avoided the scandals which affected several other quiz programmes.

Basically, the host would ask movie-trivia questions, usually in a multiple-choice format, and the contestants would try to give the proper answer ... if necessary, as a guess. The only real visual aspect was when the host showed a brief clip from a film; not every question rated a film clip. I would love to know if Larry Storch fielded any questions involving film clips of 1930s character actor Warren Hymer, since I've often noticed the strong similarities between Storch's and Hymer's screen performances.

I recall being impressed that this show's trivia questions emphasised the golden era of the Hollywood studios, the 1930s and '40s. I was also impressed that the questions tended to concentrate on the less well-known films of the lesser stars: for instance, in one instalment Larry Blyden told the contestants they would be seeing a clip from a William Powell film, but he didn't reveal the film's title. After the clip was shown, Blyden named three Powell movies and challenged the contestants to identify which of those three titles matched the clip they'd just seen. The correct answer was 'Lawyer Man'. I was impressed that this show would ask questions about a comparatively obscure actor such as Powell (rather than his more popular contemporaries Bogart and Cagney), and I was likewise impressed that the question involved an obscure Powell movie rather than the well-known 'Thin Man' series or 'Mr Roberts'.

If this show were revived nowadays, you just know that it would only deal with current movie stars: nothing so far back as the dusty 1970s, thank you.

Thanks to reference sources like IMDb and technological advances such as home video and DVD, now anybody who wants to do so can swot up on old-time movies and obscure actors. It would be interesting to revive 'The Movie Game' ... not as a TV show, but as a DVD.

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