John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

Trivia has led me astray

A sign you know too much Oscar trivia: You're doing a crossword, and when you see the clue [Oscar winner for "The Bridge on the River Kwai"] with a twelve-letter answer, you immediately think, "must be PIERRE BOULLE!" The correct answer was, of course, ALEC GUINNESS; in my defense, it was a Saturday puzzle from the New York Times, so the obvious answer is never a safe bet.

I may as well add at this point that the story behind Boulle's award is an interesting one. The screenplay for The Bridge on the River Kwai was written by Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson, neither of whom could be credited due to having been blacklisted as Communist sympathizers. Producer David Lean therefore credited Boulle, who wrote the novel on which the film was based (and Planet of the Apes, he added irrelevantly) as the screenwriter, even though Boulle by his own admission spoke no English. In 1984, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences added Foreman and Wilson's name to the award, but did not remove Boulle's.

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