How well do you remember Being John Malkovich?

By: Torrance Grey
Image: The Movie DB

About This Quiz

Released in 1999, "Being John Malkovich" is still thought of as one of the most original movies ever to come out of Hollywood! Now, see how well you remember this satire on celebrity, identity and sexuality with our quiz!

Who played the lead, Craig Schwartz?

Cusack plays sad-sack Schwartz, a smart guy, unsuccessful at his work. This is telegraphed by his scraggly facial hair and John Lennon glasses.

Which actress was nearly unrecognizable as Schwartz's wife, Lotte?

Diaz played Lotte with frazzled, reddish-blonde hair and shapeless mismatched clothes. Even in her more "cleaned up" scenes she didn't look like herself so much as a makeup-less Julia Roberts.

What artistic type of work does Craig do?

Craig might be struggling to keep his life and finances together, but he's actually quite good at his work. The movie opens with a puppet show featuring a life-sized "Craig" figure that is elegant and lifelike in its motions.

What job does Lotte hold?

Lotte brings home her work in the form of several exotic pets. The dog, the most typical of the Schwartz's animals, is actually the one we see the least.

What kind of animal is Elijah?

Elijah, the chimp, is the pet we see the most in "Being John Malkovich." Their parrot, Orrin Hatch, also gets a bit of screen time.

What kind of job does Craig apply for and get?

Craig answers an ad in the paper. It calls for "A Man With Fast Hands," which Craig believes he has.

On which floor of the Mertin-Flemmer Building is Lestercorp?

Yes, it really is half a floor. The ceilings are claustrophobically low, and a fellow elevator passenger has to show Craig how to stop the elevator and use a pry bar to open the doors, so he can get to his job interview.

Which character supposedly has a speech impediment?

Dr. Lester runs the filing-services company. His secretary, Floris, has such bad hearing she can't understand what anyone is saying, but Lester takes the blame, believing he has a speech impediment. He also tells Craig it must be true, since Floris has a degree in "speech impedimentology."

To what does Dr. Lester credit his long life?

Lester claims to be 105. And he's still crazy for women, especially his secretary, Floris.

What is Craig's office neighbor's name? She's played by Catherine Keener.

Craig wins a sort-of date with her by guessing her name. They have a drink at The Stuck Pig, where Maxine calls for the check as soon Craig tells her he's really a puppeteer.

When Craig drops a file behind a filing cabinet, what happens?

Craig crawls through the child-sized door and falls into the actor's brain, where Malkovich is having breakfast and reading the Wall Street Journal.

Who is the first person Craig tells about the portal?

Maxine, never the warmest person in the world, laughs off Craig's discovery at first. She also doesn't know who John Malkovich is. Ouch!

How long can someone stay in Malkovich?

People in Malkovich are ejected after a quarter-hour. But there's some argument to be made for "strength of will." Craig eventually finds a way to stay inside Malkovich indefinitely, though his puppeteering skills might help him to do this.

When people are ejected from Malkovich, where do they end up?

We suspect that random, disoriented people alongside the Jersey Turnpike aren't uncommon. Or at least that drivers, on seeing them, would follow the first rule of the greater NYC area: Don't Get Involved.

What does Lotte decide after her first time inside Malkovich?

Lotte enters Malkovich for the first time while he is showering. She finds the experience of having a man's body thrilling, and wants to talk to her doctor about sex-reassignment surgery.

What role does everyone mistakenly think Malkovich once played?

The first person to suggest this is the cab driver who takes Malkovich to the theater. Craig then passes the misinformation to Maxine -- which is weird, because Craig was inside Malkovich when Malkovich told the cab driver he had never played a jewel thief.

How much do Maxine and Craig charge people to be Malkovich?

It seems people are willing to pay this. There's always a line at Lestercorp, after hours, of people waiting to get into the portal.

Who finds pictures of Malkovich in an upstairs room at Dr. Lester's house?

Lotte and Craig are having dinner at Lester's home. Lotte has already gone through the portal at Lestercorp, so she knows the wall of pictures can't be a coincidence.

When Maxine comes over for dinner, who later tries to make out with her?

After Maxine goes on a cynical riff about people "going after what they want," both Craig and Lotte lunge at her and try to kiss her. Seriously, it's simultaneous!

To which of them is Maxine attracted?

Maxine went out to dinner with the actor the night before. She tells Lotte that she sensed Lotte "peering out" from Malkovich's eyes and was turned on by it.

Who has a cameo as the friend in which Malkovich confides?

For a 1999 movie, casting Sheen in a cameo was a prescient move. Since his meltdown, Sheen has gotten far more cameo work than legitimate roles, doing basically what he did in "Malkovich," parodying his reputation as a shallow skirt chaser.

Who unties Lotte, when Craig is holding her prisoner?

The movie has a funny flashback to Elijah's life in the jungle, when he failed to save his parents from captivity. This memory inspires him to untie Lotte's hands, when Craig imprisons her in Elijah's cage.

When Malkovich himself goes through the portal, what is true of the world in which he ends up?

The world he enters is a restaurant where everyone wears his body and face, and the only thing heard is people saying, "Malkovich." This could be seen as a reflection of the narcissistic world that fame can become for the biggest stars -- though Malkovich doesn't enjoy it very much.

Why does Maxine switch her loyalties from Lotte to Craig?

Maxine is an opportunist. She decides she and Craig can live very comfortably off Malkovich's savings and the future income he'll get from acting roles.

What career change does Craig have Malkovich make?

Though Craig couldn't get work before, as Malkovich he makes puppeteering cool. This reflects how shallow audiences can be -- they like the previously-uncool art form because a famous person is now doing it.

Which of these actors is NOT seen in the John Malkovich documentary?

McEvoy was just starting out in 1999, a 20-year-old getting small parts on British television. His wouldn't have been a recognizable face back then.

Which of the actors in the documentary was a would-be puppeteer?

Penn is seen musing on camera about whether it's wise to follow in Malkovich's footsteps. Penn doesn't want to be seen as an imitator, and intends to wait a while before launching his puppetry career.

Who does Craig marry as John Malkovich?

Both Maxine and Craig turn their backs on Lotte once he gains control of Malkovich. They choose each other, leaving Lotte behind, and Maxine is soon pregnant with Craig/Malkovich's child.

Who is Dr. Lester, really?

Captain Joseph Mertin was one of the two builder's of the Mertin-Flemmer Building. He's discovered a route to immortality by jumping from body to body. At last, the Malkovich portal is starting to make sense!

On what day will Lester enter his new host?

Lester shows Lotte a manual explaining the process whereby he can move into a new "host" body. It takes 44 years for the host to be "ripe," or ready to be inhabited and controlled.

What would happen if Lester tried to enter a host body while it was still a child?

This leaves a bit unexplained. Like who wrote the manual going over all of this?

Why are there so many elderly people in Lester's home?

Lester offers Lotte the chance to come with them. He's taken a shine to her, and she likes him too ... but she's lukewarm on his proposal.

To whom does "Malkovich" intend to offer a spot inside Emily, the next host?

Charlie Sheen drops by in the film's "seven years later" segment, wearing a prosthetic semi-baldpate and a slight pot belly. Malkovich shows him the pictures of Emily and explains that immortality is possible. Fun fact: Sinise and Malkovich were founding members of the Steppenwolf Theatre.

Where is Craig at the movie's end?

Craig is trapped, just as Lester explained. This happened because Craig tried to re-enter Malkovich too late -- after the actor's 44th birthday, when the portal stopped leading to him and starting leading to the next host, Emily.

What is supposedly Malkovich's middle name?

If you guessed that screenwriter Charlie Kaufman was having fun with this, you are right. Malkovich's middle name is Gavin.

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