Movie connections, part 2b

Here’s the answer to last week’s movie-connections puzzle.

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Movie connections, part 2a

I’ve mentioned before how, years ago, I created a series of interesting movie-trivia puzzles for my colleagues on the IMDb, puzzles that couldn’t be solved using the IMDb. I posted one of them here and have intended (and still do) to post others. What I didn’t expect was to create new ones, but that’s just what happened yesterday afternoon, so without further ado, here it is:

There’s an actor who, in one film, played the badass leader of a hardcore military team obliged to drag along a bespectacled Ph.D. with mission-critical knowledge. The same actor, in another film two years later, was himself the bespectacled Ph.D. with mission-critical knowledge dragged along on a mission with a team of military badasses. Who is it, and what are the films?

Since this puzzle is new, I’m not going to include the answer here. I’ll post it in a week or so.

Movie connections, part 1

Years ago I was a founding member of the Internet Movie Database. The other team members and I were distributed around the globe. We coordinated our efforts by e-mail and the occasional crowded conference call. In 1999 we finally all met for the first time, gathering for a memorable weekend in L.A. At that meeting one of our geeky pastimes was to quiz one another about movies. In person, and in real-time, this was a fun challenge; but when we got back home to our computers it was too easy to take a question from e-mail and use our own database to answer it. (Today it would be even easier, with Google.)

Then one of the members hit on an interesting kind of quiz that the database could not help with: he sent sheet music snippets in e-mail and challenged us to identify which movie’s theme music it was! Brilliant. I came up with my own solution to the problem: finding connections among multiple movies involving descriptions of scenes or other unsearchable aspects that require you actually to have seen the films. For a while I challenged the team with one such question each week, and it was a popular feature while it lasted. I have since used the questions at parties, shared them with trivia buffs, and mailed them hither and yon, but never posted them here despite promises to do so; so here is the first one. The answer appears below. See if you can solve it without peeking!

Believe it or not, there’s a top Hollywood actress who, in the space of two years, was in two otherwise unrelated major films in which her male costar’s lower jaw fell off! Who is she, and what are the films?

Here’s a hint if you need it:


The answer is:


When I posed this question to the denizens of Ken Jennings’ site, one of them reported that it’s now easy to answer this one “from scratch” via Google. Oh well. I’ll post a hard one next.