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You've Probably Never Heard Of Alex Trebek's Favorite Movies

While valiantly manning his post as the genial host of "America's favorite quiz show" for the last 38 years, the late Alex Trebek was also nurturing a refined — if a bit esoteric — taste in cinema. The man's a TV icon who spent his entire adult life around the industry, so perhaps it's no surprise that his taste in movies tends toward the highbrow.

Although Alex Trebek failed to name a single Marvel film or any of the 11 Star Wars movies extant during his lifetime as among his most-watched, the Jeopardy! host did share two specific films that he and his wife found themselves coming back to time and again. Both movies figure in Trebek's 2020 autobiography, The Answer Is ... : Reflections on My Life.

The Canadian-born quiz show maven shared in this memoir that his favorite film has always been How Green Was My Valley, while he and his beloved wife Jean enjoyed watching a slightly more recognizable classic together: Wuthering Heights (via People).

You can judge a lot about a man by his taste in movies, and Trebek's picks certainly suggest that he really was the classy intellectual we always presumed him to be.

Two films from a different time

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë has been adapted to film many, many, many times, and though he doesn't specify which in his memoir or the People profile that followed, we're going to assume that Alex Trebek championed the original, 1939 version starring Sir Laurence Olivier. In light of his recent passing, Trebek's words about the film and the moments he shared watching it with his wife of 30 years seem almost bittersweet.

He cites a specific line from the film in his memoir: "Whatever our souls are made of, yours and mine are the same," and goes on to write, "That's the way I look at [my relationship with Jeanie]. We are one soul in two bodies." It's just one of many heartwarming quotes Trebek delivered before passing away.

Trebek's other favorite film was a personal one. How Green Was My Valley is a 1941 drama from legendary director John Ford, which screenwriter Philip Dunne adapted from the 1939 Richard Llewellyn novel of the same name. Though the film has faded in prominence over time, it was a big hit the year of its release, famously trouncing now-iconic films like Citizen Kane and The Maltese Falcon to claim the Academy Award that year for Best Picture.

The movie chronicles the lives of a Welsh mining family, the Morgans, from the perspective of their youngest son, Huw. According to his memoir, Trebek has a particular affinity for stories that plumb the relationship between fathers and sons. It's likely that Trebek saw some of his own family in the Morgans. His own devoted father, George Terebeychuk, was a Ukrainian immigrant who came to Canada in the '20s in pursuit of a better life.

If you're looking to commune with the spirit of Trebek as we collectively mourn his passing, what better way than to cue up one of the man's favorite films. No matter which one you pick, you won't be disappointed. Alex Trebek had impeccable taste.