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A seasonal virtual cultural quiz

WHO PLAYED the down-on-his-luck reporter who sabotaged a rescue mission to spin a story out, in Ace in the Hole (1951)? Nope, us neither. No peeking at the Internet Movie Database, on your honour.

That was - for us - one of the harder questions from the London Freelance Branch seasonal quiz on 13 December. Yes, the theme of our quiz was journalism in popular culture. Early questions featured classic National Union of Journalists recruitment posters:

Quiz question: text below

What newspaper's office featured in The Day the Earth Caught Fire?

The Day the Earth Caught Fire was a 1961 British science fiction disaster movie that featured real journalists. It was partly filmed in an actual national newspaper office. The paper’s editor appeared in an acting role. It’s an iconic office building in Fleet Street, now the UK headquarters of the investment bank Goldman Sachs. The paper does still exist. Which one is it?

Recruitment poster featuring a journalist alone in an office

Perhaps this question will be easier: All the President's Men is among the most complimentary movies about journalism ever made, even in the USA where they can’t get enough of heroic reporters. It tells the story of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, whose dogged investigations into the Watergate scandal led to the downfall of disgraced US President Richard Nixon in 1974. The pair were played by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. Which paper did Woodward and Bernstein work for?

Of course we didn't forget photographers:

Migrant Mother

Who shot Migrant Mother from the US Dust Bowl in 1936?

Or, indeed, photographers' subjects:

Moon landing: see question in caption

Neil Armstrong’s famous Man On The Moon pic from the first landing in 1969 showed which one of his fellow astronauts?

We couldn't leave out non-human or - a clue - inhuman subjects:

A complex mechanism: see question in caption

It’s 1945. What’s this?

Congratulations to the quiz-setters, who included Tim Gopsill, Alistair Dabbs and Matt Salusbury. By popular request of the participants, Matt has produced a filmography and book list. The complete quiz (with answers after each of the sections) is here.


Answers to questions above

  1. Kirk Douglas
  2. The Daily Express, then operating from the iconic "Black Lubyanka" building on London's Fleet Street (Google Street View)
  3. The Washington Post
  4. Dorothea Lange: the subjects are Florence Owens Thompson and her children
  5. Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin
  6. The first atomic bomb, exploded at White Sands, New Mexico on 16 July 1945. Photo © as successor to the Manhattan Project