Hooray! It’s time for a Pop Quiz.
What – did you think we were never going to have a Pop Quiz? Where’s the fun in life if you can’t enjoy a surprise test every now and then?
Today’s quiz is based on the Warner Bros. animated short, Hollywood Steps Out. This eight-minute film is a send-up of Hollywood celebrities circa 1941. It has lively music, well-drawn caricatures and lots of funny lines.
The action takes place at a swanky Hollywood hot spot called Ciro’s, which was an actual nightclub on Sunset Boulevard. All the biggest names went to Ciro’s in the 1940s and 50s, including Joan Crawford, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe.
The palatial Ciro’s in the Merrie Melodies short is remarkably similar to the real Ciro’s, which was established in 1940 by William R. Wickerson, the founder of The Hollywood Reporter and, apparently, discoverer of Lana Turner. (Click HERE for a gallery of vintage Ciro’s photos.)
As the film opens, it’s immediately evident Ciro’s is not a place for regular folk. Animators jokingly point this out to us by providing a sign on the roof that reads:
De Luxe Dinner
$50.00 and Up
6 Months to Pay
Small Down Payments
(According to the inflation calculator, $50.00 in 1941 would be $832.67 today. You’d have to be a Hollywood star to eat there; otherwise, you really would need six months to pay.)
Are you ready for today’s Pop Quiz? Here we go!
Below is a link to Hollywood Steps Out. The quiz involves (a) watching the film, and (b) naming as many celebrities as you can. But, before you start, you should know there are a whack o’ celebs, although not all of them have speaking parts. You’ll have to Be On The Lookout.
Even so, you’ll be surprised at how many stars you’ll recognize. (Yes, you.) In fact, we recommend you keep score, just to prove to everyone what a smarty-pants you are. Give yourself points for correctly identifying the following:
Each A-List Star = 5 Points
Each Character Actor = 10 Points
Each Famous 1940s Personality (that no one’s heard of since) = 20 Points
Leon Schlesinger = 30 Points
If you know who Leon Schlesinger is = 40 Points
If you liked the film so much you watched it multiple times = 50 Points
Click HERE to watch Hollywood Steps Out free on Vimeo. Have fun!
P.S. If you get stumped and can’t identify all the celebrities, you can find a Cheat Sheet HERE on Wikipedia.
P.P.S. In case you were wondering, Ciro’s became the rock and roll hang-out in the 1960s where The Byrds were discovered. It was sold in 1972 and became The Comedy Store.
Hollywood Steps Out: voiced by Dave Barry, Sara Berner, Mel Blanc. Directed by Tex (Fred) Avery. Written by Melvin Millar. Warner Bros. Pictures Inc. Vitaphone Corp., 1941, Technicolor, 8 mins.
This post is part of the One of My All-Time Favourite Cartoons hosted by Movie Movie Blog Blog. Click HERE to see the other fab entries.