TV and Cinema

TV and Cinema Trivia

Did you know the first TV soap began its run on February 21st, 1947? No? Well, you really need to check out this Lesson – there’s plenty more stuff like that. All you have to know about TV and Cinema.

Level — Intermediate and above


  • The first daily broadcast was started by the BBC in November 1936.
  • The first regular TV soap was called A Woman to Remember, and began its run on February 21st, 1947.
  • With 200 million, China has the most TV sets in the world.
  • US citizens watch the most TV. By the age of 65, an average American will have watched nine years worth of TV.
  • The 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was the first major international TV transmission.


  • The first film animation, called Humorous Phases of Funny Faces, was made in 1906.
  • The Walt Disney company was founded in 1923. In 1927 Walt came up with the idea for an animated mouse called Mortimer Mouse. His wife, Lillian, convinced him to change it to Mickey Mouse.
  • Cartoon cat and mouse partnership Tom and Jerry were created in 1939 by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
  • Mel Blanc, who was the voice of Bugs Bunny, was allergic to carrots.
  • Jack Mercer was the voice of Popeye the Sailor for 45 years.

Video and DVD

  • The Japanese company JVC introduced VHS in 1976.
  • 85% of DVD players are made in China.
  • The first pop video was Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, released in 1975.
  • A DVD holds 4.7 GB of data — seven times as much as a CD-ROM.
  • On average, a film makes about five times more from its DVD sales than at the cinema box office.


  • The first film to be shown to the public was made by Auguste and Louis Lumiиre in 1895.
  • The largest cinema in the world is Radio City Music Hall in New York. It opened in 1932 and seats almost 6,000 people.
  • Hollywood’s first full-length film was The Squaw Man, released in 1913.
  • The longest kiss in a movie is in Andy Warhol’s Kiss. Rufus Collins and Naomi Levine kissed for the entire 50 minutes of the movie.
  • The movie with the most extras was Gandhi, made in 1982. It featured 300,000 extras.

Actors and Actresses

  • Kirk Douglas, father of Michael Douglas, was born Issur Danielovitch Demsky.
  • The actress with the most Oscars for Best Actress is Katharine Hepburn, who won four golden statuettes in 1932, 1967, 1968 and 1981.
  • Julia Roberts is still the highest-paid Hollywood actress. She can ask for at least Ј20 million per movie.
  • Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta Jones and Richard Burton were all born in Wales.
  • Al Jolson was the first person to speak in a movie. The Jazz Singer, released in 1927, was the first movie to use sound.

Scenes From the Movies

  1. Large, loft-style apartments in New York City are well within the price range of most people—whether they are employed or not.
  2. At least one of a pair of identical twins is born evil.
  3. Should you decide to defuse a bomb, don’t worry which wire to cut. You will always choose the right one.
  4. Most laptop computers are powerful enough to override the communications system of any invading alien society.
  5. It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts: your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out their predecessors.
  6. When you turn out the light to go to bed, everything in your bedroom will still be clearly visible, just slightly bluish.
  7. If you are blonde and pretty, it is possible to become a world expert on nuclear fission at the age of 22.
  8. Honest and hard working policemen are traditionally gunned down three days before their retirement.
  9. Rather than wasting bullets, megalomaniacs prefer to kill their arch enemies using complicated machinery involving fuses, pulley systems, deadly gasses, lasers, and man-eating sharks, which will allow their captives at least 20 minutes to escape.
  10. All beds have special L-shaped cover sheets that reach the armpit level on a woman but only to waist level on the man lying beside her.
  11. All grocery shopping bags contain at least one stick of French bread.
  12. It’s easy for anyone to land a plane providing there is someone in the control tower to talk you down.
  13. Once applied, lipstick will never rub off—even while scuba diving.
  14. You’re very likely to survive any battle in any war unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.
  15. Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German or Russian officer, it will not be necessary to speak the language. A German or Russian accent will do.
  16. The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window in Paris.
  17. A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating, but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.
  18. If a large pane of glass is visible, someone will be thrown through it before long.
  19. If staying in a haunted house, women should investigate any strange noises in their most revealing underwear.
  20. All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red readouts so you know exactly when they’re going to go off.

TV and Cinema Trivia – Glossary

allergic adjective affected by an allergy: I’m allergic to nuts.

animation noun [uncount] animated films, or the process of making them

broadcast verb [intransitive or transitive] to send out messages or programmes to be received by radios or televisions: The BBC will be broadcasting the match live from Paris.

carrot noun [count or uncount] a long hard orange vegetable that grows under the ground

cartoon noun [count] a film or TV programme made by photographing a series of drawings so that things in them seem to move

come up with phrasal verbto think of something such as an idea or a plan: Is that the best you can come up with?

convince someone verb [transitive]to persuade someone to do something: They tried to convince him to buy a cheaper car.

coronation noun [count]a ceremony at which someone officially becomes a king or queen

create verb [transitive] to make something new exist or happen:He was only 22 when he created this masterpiece.

data noun [uncount] information in a form that a computer can use:data storage/processing

extra noun [count] someone who has a very small part in a film

found verb [transitive] to start an organization or institution:The newspaper was founded in 1909.

GB abbreviationgigabyte

introduce verb [transitive]to bring something into existence or use for the first time: City schools have introduced stricter rules for dealing with drug users.

partnership noun [count] a company that is owned by two or more partners

release verb [transitive]to make a film, video, or CD available for people to see or buy:They have just released their second album.

run noun [singular] a period of time when something continues:The play is enjoying a successful run on Broadway.

seat verb [transitive] to have places for a particular number of people to sit:The new stadium will seat up to 80,000 people.

soap opera noun [count]a television or radio series about the imaginary lives of a group of people

sound noun [count] something that you can hear:The sound of voices/laughter/footsteps.

transmission noun [count or uncount] the process of sending electronic signals such as radio or television signals, or a signal that is sent in this way:New telephone lines allow faster data transmission by fax or modem.

TV set noun [count] a television

VHS noun [uncount] video home system: a system for recording television programmes at home

Here are the answers to some questions

Read the text in the very beginning and prepare questions for the answers below.

  1. the BBC
  2. February 21st, 1947
  3. The Jazz Singer
  4. 200 million
  5. Mortimer Mouse
  6. Lillian
  7. Tom and Jerry
  8. carrots
  9. for 45 years
  10. VHS
  11. Bohemian Rhapsody
  12. 4.7 GB
  13. 6,000
  14. 1913
  15. 50 minutes
  16. 300,000
  17. Kirk Douglas
  18. four
  19. 120 million
  20. Wales

Suggested questions

  1. Who started daily broadcasts in 1936?
  2. On what date/When did the first soap begin its run?
  3. How many TV sets are there in China?
  4. What did Walt Disney name his animated mouse?
  5. What was Walt Disney’s wife called?
  6. Who were created in 1939 by Hanna and Barbera?
  7. What was Mel Blanc allergic to?
  8. How long was Jack Mercer the voice of Popeye for?
  9. What did JVC introduce in 1976?
  10. What was the title of the first pop video?
  11. How much data does a DVD hold?
  12. How many people does Radio City Music Hall seat?
  13. When was the first full-length film (The Squaw Man) released?
  14. How long did the kiss last in Andy Warhol’s film?
  15. How many extras were there in the film Gandhi?
  16. Who was born Issur Danielovitch Demsky?
  17. How many Best Actress Oscars did Katharine Hepburn win?
  18. How much can Julia Roberts ask per movie?
  19. Where was Catherine Zeta Jones born?
  20. What was the name of the first movie to use sound?
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