Movie Quiz: Notable Music Biopics

Elvis Presley has been portrayed and personified countless times on stage and on screen. But surprisingly, the king of rock and roll has never been the subject of a big screen biopic until now.

“Elvis” is a glitzy, whimsical account of the legendary musician’s life. Who would expect less from the Australian author of excess Baz Luhrmann?

Now is the time to test your knowledge of other movie musical biographies of the biggest names in rock, pop, country, soul and hip hop.
1. Dennis Quaid played rock pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis in “Great Balls of Fire!” in 1989. The classic title song from that film was also featured in his future wife Meg Ryan’s 1986 film “Top Gun,” starring Val Kilmer. What real historical figure was played by both Quaid and Kilmer in separate films?

2. Val Kilmer also played Jim Morrison in 1991’s “The Doors” (opposite Meg Ryan!) and was criminally unnominated for an Oscar. Which of the following actors was also NOT nominated for his role as a rock icon: Gary Busey as Buddy Holly in ‘The Buddy Holly Story’; Lou Diamond Phillips as Richie Valens in “La Bamba”; Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan in “I’m Not Here”; or Angela Bassett as Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got to Do With It”?

3. “I’m Not There” co-writer Oren Moverman scripted Brian Wilson’s 2014 biopic “Love & Mercy.” Which two actors played the Beach Boys founder at different ages?

4. Jennifer Lopez played Tejano star Selena Quintanilla Perez in “Selena” in 1997, two years after Quintanilla was killed by her fan club manager on March 31, 1995. What a famous hip hop star, himself a part from a 2015 musical biography, died five days earlier on March 26, 1995, after a short illness.

5. Rami Malek won an Oscar for playing Queen singer Freddie Mercury in 2018’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” in which Mercury’s bandmate, bassist John Deacon, was played by Joseph Mazzello, best known for his role in the old blockbuster. decades old with a sequel in theaters now?

6. Aaron Taylor-Johnson got his breakout role in 2009’s “Nowhere Boy” as teenage John Lennon while still a teenager himself. What else notable has come out of his involvement in this film?

seven. Which of these musical biographies was the most successful at the worldwide box office: “Ray”, about Ray Charles; “Rocketman”, about Elton John; or “Walk the Line”, about Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash?

8. True or False: Anton Corbijn, the director of the 2007 film ‘Control’ about Joy Division singer Ian Curtis, who killed himself in 1980, began his career as a music photographer, taking pictures of artists and groups, including Joy Division.

9. In 2014’s “Get on Up,” starring Chadwick Boseman as the godfather of soul James Brown, actor playing Brown’s agent Ben Bart also starred in 1980 with Brown himself in the singer’s first film (other than the little-seen “The Phynx”). Name the actor.

ten. Club 27 is based on an unscientific theory that musicians most often die at age 27, like Jim Morrison (“The Doors”) and Jimi Hendrix (“Jimi: All Is by My Side”). Match these three other people who died at 27 with the movie or upcoming movie that is directly or loosely based on them: A. Kurt Cobain; B. Janis Joplin; C. Keith Moon. I. “Last Days”; II. “The real me”; III. “The Rose”


1. Doc Holliday (Quaid in “Wyatt Earp” in 1994; Kilmer in “Tombstone” in 1993)

2. Lou Diamond Phillips

3. Paul Dano and John Cusack

4. NWA band Eazy-E (“Straight Outta Compton”) died of HIV/AIDS a month after being diagnosed

5. “Jurassic Park”

6. The 18-year-old actor, then known as Aaron Johnson, began a relationship with his 42-year-old director, Samantha Taylor-Johnson, then known as Samantha Taylor-Wood.

seven. “Rocketman”

8. True

9. Dan Aykroyd starred with John Belushi in ‘The Blues Brothers’, alongside James Brown as Reverend Cleophus James

ten. AI; B-III; C-II