Natural History | 1940 | Sound | B/W
An American quiz show, "Fancy Answers: What's Your I.Q.? - No. 5" where viewers answer questions against the clock. Includes a variety of interesting scenes, including saluting an American flag, an equestrian stunt, Ava Gardner's film debut, 1940's swimsuits, and more. With excellent narration.
00.00.00 Opening credits.
00:00:45 Rolling text: "Here's a new quiz picture in which we hope to entertain you and tax your ingenuity. You will have ten or fifteen seconds to answer each question. Ready? Let's go!"
00:01:00 A man raises an American flag on a flagpole while a crowd of children, policemen, and others watch against a background of large trees. A group of schoolchildren stand in a line with their right hands on their hearts. Two uniformed policemen stand and salute. Three businessmen in suits and ties stand holding their hats to their hearts. Two women stand with their hands on their hearts facing the camera.
00:01:14 Clock face counting up 10 seconds, "5 … 10 … " on a clock that shows the numbers 5, 10, 15, and 20. Overhead view of an American flag waving in the wind with a small crowd of onlookers standing at the base.
00:01:34 Close up of a spinning globe, the globe stops spinning at rests on South America. A black screen with a grey circle outline which then changes to a semi circle. A white porcelain or china semi-cup of tea and a saucer. A white porcelain or china demi-coffee cup and saucer. A graphic of an earth at the left of the frame with "Hemi-"m then the word "Semi-" appears at right, and "Demi-" appears in the centre. Text with "HemiSemiDemiQuaver" appearing and a large question mark. Text: "A slight earthquake?", "A musical term?", "A small sized jerk?" superimposed onto a ticking clock in the background. A conductor and an orchestra. Close up of a male musician holding a piccolo and wearing tuxedo with tails and a white bowtie with a music stand at left looking anxiously at the conductor (off screen), he wipes the mouth of the piccolo on his sleeve. Close up of the male orchestra conductor holding a baton and conducting the orchestra. The piccolo player tries to start playing his piccolo but then stops. Close up of the orchestra conductor shaking his head no (to the piccolo player off camera) as he continues to conduct. The piccolo player tries again to play but then puts his piccolo down and makes an upset face.
00:02:45 An empty stage, an impressive burst of smoke and an explosion, and a witch appears with a hat and a broomstick. Close up of the witch with a long crooked nose. The witch turns to her left (facing screen right) and does a little dance as she itches and scratches her skin as text appears superimposed, "Q-U-I-T-C-H". Text superimposed on a ticking clock: "A sudden irritation?", "A kind of grass?", "An impatient lover?". Text: "A kind of grass".
00:03:34 Female swimsuit models wearing bikinis walk towards the camera and turn as they show off their clothing. Close up of a woman wearing a bikini top with curled brunette hair who spins in a circle followed by a woman wearing a bikini top with curled blonde hair who smiles and spins wearing a polka-dot bikini. A tropical scene, a woman with long brown hair wearing a pareu and a flower in her hair walks towards the camera and reaches for a towel hanging on a tree at left. Text superimposed on a ticking clock: "A canopy?", "A pareu?", "A sarong?", "A tired look?". Clock face pointed to the number 15 (a 20 second clock with increments of 5, 10, 15, and 20). Tropical scene of a woman wearing a pareu facing the camera, she takes a comb to her hair and begins to comb it.
00:04:21 An orchestra conductor with an orchestra. Close up of a male piccolo player wearing a tuxedo, facing the camera, and with a worried expression on his face (waiting for the conductor to cue him), he looks disappointed and takes a handkerchief from his coat pocket and wipes his forehead with it and picks up his piccolo. Close up of the conductor. The piccolo player gestures to the conductor as he holds his piccolo up to his mouth (waiting to contribute his hemidemisemiquaver). The conductor shakes his head no and continues conducting. Close up of the visibly upset piccolo player who sits back in his chair.
00:04:44 Camera pans right of a close up of a car. A traffic jam with many cars and men standing out of the doors of their cars shouting and gesturing angrily. Close up of a humours scene of a dog carrying a puppy in its mouth across the street. A person wearing a gas mask picks up a furry black and white skunk and holds the skunk up to his face by the tail. Close up of a guinea pig facing the camera through a wire cage. (Narrator asks "How hard would it be to pick up a guinea pig by its tail?") Clock face with text superimposed: "Easy?", "Impossible?", "Difficult?". Side view of a black and white guinea pig. Frontal view of a black and white guinea pig cleverly "talking" to the camera (a mouth is superimposed onto the guinea pig). A white hen lays an egg in a wooden box with straw. The hen hops out of the box onto the floor below. A billiards or snooker table with a cue lined up to hit the white billiards ball which subsequently hits two coloured balls. An American football match, the ball is thrown to a player who gets tackled and flips forward. Clock face with text superimposed: "Number One?", "Number Two?", "Number Three?", "Number Four?". Clock face counting 10 seconds. Clock face superimposed with text: "Number Three".
00:06:33 An aged female opera singer singing in front of a piano wearing formal attire consisting of a black dress, diamond tiara, and pearls as she sings and bows. An formal audience seated in a theatre listening to a performance. Three women, including Ava Gardner (making her film debut) in the centre, and two men seated in a balcony at the theatre, clapping and smiling, all wearing formal attire including tuxedos, furs, and silk dresses. Close up of the female singer smiling and acknowledging the applause.
00:07:17 Slow motion scene of an equestrian feat, a horse galloping around four uniformed young men, who then turn, following the horse, and simultaneously run and jump onto the back of the horse, all standing together on the back of the horse as a ringleader stands in the centre of the ring with a whip, the horse continues to trot in a counter-clockwise direction. Clock face superimposed with text: "A white horse with black stripes?", "A black horse with white stripes?". A zebra. A reverse negative of the zebra (its white stripes turn to black and its black stripes turn to white).
00:08:12 An orchestra conductor with an orchestra. Close up of the frantic piccolo player holding the piccolo and ready to play. The conductor cues the piccolo player. The piccolo player plays one note with a slightly possessed look upon his face. The conductor continues to direct the orchestra. Close up of the piccolo player who looks up and appears unwell, and faints. The orchestra conductor continues to conduct the orchestra. Close up of the music sheet with only one note written on the page along with the piccolo. A large white arrow points to the lone note on the music sheet. A formal party, with dancers in the background and several well-to-do guests relaxing and moving about in the foreground. A formally dressed couple stands at the top of a formal stairway chatting, the woman (a duchess) is taller than the man. Clock face superimposed with text: "Precede her?", "Descend at her side?", "Follow at a respectful distance?". Text: "Descend at her side" superimposed in front of a clock. Amusing scene, the woman picks up the bottom of her dress and the couple simultaneously turn in a circle and step in unison. Close up of the well-dressed couple unpredictably sliding down the banister of the stairs together and falling to the ground at the bottom.
00:09:32 End credits.
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