HeadScratcher No. 68: Making 'History'

15282__rg_lSo, what do Frances de la Tour, Richard E. Grant, Shirley MacLaine, Daniel Radcliffe, and Christina Ricci have in common? "I’m pretty sure they all have something to do with the play or movie The History Boys," writes PopWatcher Mitchell Allen. Indeed they do: namely, they’ve all acted opposite the marvelous Richard Griffiths, who starred as controversial teacher Hector (pictured) in the London and Broadway stage versions and in the new film adaptation that opened in theaters last week. Griffiths costars with de la Tour in History Boys, with Grant in Withnail & I (a comedy you MUST RENT NOW), with MacLaine in Guarding Tess, with Radcliffe in most of the Harry Potter movies, and with Ricci in Sleepy Hollow.

Some of you noticed other, less timely connections among the five. Several of you pointed out that they’ve also all appeared in movies about witches and witchcraft — there’s Radcliffe as Harry Potter, of course, but also de la Tour (as Madame Maxime) in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Grant in Warlock, MacLaine in Bewitched, and Ricci in Sleepy Hollow and the Addams Family movies. Astute PopWatcher Jordan Moblo noticed that they’ve also all costarred with Miranda Richardson, who played Rita Skeeter in Goblet of Fire (opposite de la Tour and Radcliffe) and who costarred with Grant in The Miracle Maker (a stop-motion film about the life of Jesus), with MacLaine in The Evening Star, and with Ricci in Sleepy Hollow.

A couple of entertaining wrong answers: "They have all been nude on stage? (If so, Frances de la Tour gets a resounding ‘le eeeewww’!)" wrote S.H. Meehan. Mark Henry took a wild guess: "They starred in or are huge fans of the movie Mermaids." (Um, that works for Ricci; don’t know about the rest.) Those who guessed the right answer are listed after the jump.

addCredit(“The History Boys: Alex Bailey”)

Jeff Commings
Cary Finkelstein
Sarah Marshak
Sean Patterson
Vickie Perreault
Johnny Pomatto
Jan Willemsen
Harold Reynolds
Wendy Swiggett
Patrick A. Yearout

Thanks for playing, everyone! Come back Friday afternoon for another HeadScratcher…

Comments (4 total) Add your comment
  • Sarah

    Richard Griffiths was absolutely phenomenal in The History Boys- I saw it three times, and it got even better with each performance I saw. I wish the movie was coming to South Florida before December 22nd- how cruel of Fox Searchlight to make me wait so long.

  • Nick

    Why EW is lending their weight to endorse a pro-borderline-pedophilia film is beyond me.

  • Josh

    I haven’t seen it so don’t know if it’s “pro” anything, but great writing and great acting deal with all subjects, even the tough ones.

  • Nick

    Josh, are you saying that if the film had great writing and great acting you can excuse it in the case that it is pro-pedophilia? Because on all accounts I’ve read about the play and movie, the pedophiliac is painted in a saintly light, while the administration that fires him is painted in a negative light. You can smell the pro-pedophilia progaganda wheels start turning…

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