For Monday, we have a mystery lad.
Yesterday, I received a couple of responses to the mystery photo that gave me pause.
It’s true, I have never said anything explicitly against using Google image search, but it seems to go against the spirit of the mystery photos. This is supposed to be an amusing feature that begins with a fairly challenging photo on Monday and becomes simpler as the week progresses so that by Friday pretty much everyone can guess the answer. My idea in doing the mystery photos is to have a variety of genres: silents, foreign films, noir, Westerns, pre-code, etc., so that everyone has a bit more of an advantage, based on their knowledge and interests.
This week’s movie was a short subject – which I have never done before – the 1946 “A Boy and His Dog,” which won an Academy Award. The film that isn’t on DVD or on YouTube as far as I can determine, but airs occasionally on TCM. Our mystery lad, Billy Sheffield, made exactly eight films in his life. So it should have been fairly challenging. And yet several people submitted the correct/incorrect response as found in a Google image search: “Billy Sheffield in ‘The Boy With Green Hair.’ ” (Sheffield also appears in that 1948 film).
There are some people in the Brain Trust who do these from memory. There are others who examine comparison images to refine their guesses. And that seems to be OK to me. But this is supposed to be an entertaining test of movie knowledge, not a test to see how well people can use Google.
It is far too labor intensive for me to check every mystery image in a Google search to see if it’s going to turn up. People need to be on the honor system.
What should I do? I am going to suspend this week’s mystery movie and open this thread for comments on what the ground rules should be on the mystery movies and general thoughts on the mystery photos.