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RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV)

 
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RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 5/1/2011 2:38:56 PM   
FritzlFan


Posts: 4793
Joined: 19/11/2008
From: Bristol
Damn it, I'm too late. 





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ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

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Post #: 121
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 12/2/2011 12:21:41 PM   
TheDudeAbides


Posts: 783
Joined: 15/1/2006
From: In the neighbourhood, feeling a bit daffy.
30) Dick Powell as John Forbes
Pitfall, 1948





Just to clarify, my favourite film starring Powell is far and away Murder, My Sweet, in which he gives the best screen portrayal of Chandler's Marlowe by many, many miles (and I refuse to hear otherwise). However, his own personal best performance is to be found in Andre de Toth underappreciated domestic noir, Pitfall. He plays an bored insurance claims adjuster in postwar California who is drawn towards a seductive client but soon finds himself entangled in a messy, violent web of deceit. The message of the movie is crystal clear, even if it is put over a little on the heavy side - infidelity leads to ruin - and nothing communicates this message better than Dick Powell's frazzled, furrowed portrait of the increasingly screwed protagonist.

From the moment he appears on screen, engaged in a back-and-forth with his wife which is shot through with frustrated sarcasm, we can see what kind of character this is. The scene is of perfect postwar domesticity, with the wife making eggs at the stove, the endearing kid getting ready for school and the reliable, steady man of the house correspondingly ready to trot off to work in a big grey building. Except that John Forbes is a new breed of character: out of love with the American Dream, dissatisfied with what life has to offer, fundamentally unhappy and with low self-esteem and matching morale. He snaps, he gripes, he pushes people away with flinty coldness. Powell really taps into the restless frustration of a low-level businessman with no motivation and no visible light at the end of the tunnel, with a wife who sympathises with but doesn't understand his depression, and makes it easy to see why he falls for the charms of the charming Lizabeth Scott. Of course, the bitter irony the film illustrates is that John is no happier in this adulterous affair than he was before - in fact, the guilt of his betrayal and deception is etched onto Powell's face from the moment he realises what he has done. His attempt to lead a double life with her is tragic in its inevitable failure, and in this film even more explosively than most - her convict ex-boyfriend and a shady stalker mean that John really is in trouble when the secrets finally come tumbling out. The final scenes give us a bittersweet act of rebellion from John, who defies his socially hyperconscious wife's request that he not tell the police the whole truth. Although doing so is going to make his life a lot harder, he would rather do this than continue conforming in unhappy silence to the veneer of genteel respectability that has been crushing him his whole life. And that is a killer of a thought to finish a movie on.


ps. kudos must go to Elab for bringing the movie to my attention originally


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"Hammy is a stretch, I personally think he was just over zealous."
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Post #: 122
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 13/2/2011 2:01:14 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54599
Joined: 1/10/2005
Absolutely brilliant character analysis. So much better than mine!

quote:

  Powell is far and away Murder, My Sweet, in which he gives the best screen portrayal of Chandler's Marlowe by many, many miles


No argument here. Although, oddly, it isn't the highest Powell entry on my noir list.

Have you listened to Toby Stephens radio version yet? I haven't - I've been saving a couple of full stories to listen to in one go.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


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Post #: 123
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 13/2/2011 5:50:19 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
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Sadly, I haven't seen any De Toth. Happily, you haven't abandoned this thread.

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jamesbondguy:
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Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

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Post #: 124
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 13/2/2011 6:02:10 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54599
Joined: 1/10/2005
De Toth wasn't all that. Very few standouts, just workmanlike with his name generally only really remembered for the original House of Wax. For me, this is easily his best work. You might have a look at Crime Wave, but not much else. And there's an oddity with Michael Caine I haven't seen in a long time.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

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Post #: 125
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 13/2/2011 6:09:07 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

his name generally only really remembered for the original House of Wax.


Michael Curtiz might disagree with that...

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Post #: 126
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 13/2/2011 6:10:50 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54599
Joined: 1/10/2005
I should have said as part of the first failed 3D experiment anyway.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 127
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 13/2/2011 6:17:53 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
I actually think it was quite a success, a one-eyed man shooting in 3D and all. 

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Post #: 128
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 24/2/2011 2:50:46 PM   
rick_7


Posts: 6151
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: The internet
Brilliant stuff on Pitfall - I agree that the ending is a real eye-opener. Powell was a really terrific actor, if a little overzealous in his earlier years.

Have you seen Cornered? That's another one with a superbly bitter Powell performance, though this time he's driven by revenge, not stifling suburbia. It's not as good as Pitfall or the incredible Cry Danger, but his turn is incredibly powerful and the ending is absolutely brutal. He's amazing in pretty much everything he made after Murder, My Sweet: Station West, The Tall Target (in which he plays a character called John Kennedy who tries to stop a president being assassinated), The Bad and the Beautiful and To the Ends of the Earth - all that noirish stuff.

Of his lighter fare I'm a big fan of the spooky Rene Clair film It Happened Tomorrow, Sturges' Christmas in July and Gold Diggers of '33 - though he doesn't appear in that musical's staggering highlight, the greatest production number of all time.

From what I've seen, de Toth was just a hack, though he directed a fascinating snow-bound Western called Day of the Outlaw, starring Robert Ryan. It's most notable for Ryan's extraordinary monologue - which crystallises the American pioneer experience in three or four spellbinding minutes - and the bizarre, cod-Biblical ending. He also co-wrote the story for The Gunfighter, so everything else is pretty much irrelevant. And he was married to Veronica Lake.

< Message edited by rick_7 -- 24/2/2011 2:51:36 PM >


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Post #: 129
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 24/2/2011 4:49:38 PM   
TheDudeAbides


Posts: 783
Joined: 15/1/2006
From: In the neighbourhood, feeling a bit daffy.
quote:

ORIGINAL: rick_7

Brilliant stuff on Pitfall - I agree that the ending is a real eye-opener. Powell was a really terrific actor, if a little overzealous in his earlier years.

Have you seen Cornered? That's another one with a superbly bitter Powell performance, though this time he's driven by revenge, not stifling suburbia. It's not as good as Pitfall or the incredible Cry Danger, but his turn is incredibly powerful and the ending is absolutely brutal. He's amazing in pretty much everything he made after Murder, My Sweet: Station West, The Tall Target (in which he plays a character called John Kennedy who tries to stop a president being assassinated), The Bad and the Beautiful and To the Ends of the Earth - all that noirish stuff.

Of his lighter fare I'm a big fan of the spooky Rene Clair film It Happened Tomorrow, Sturges' Christmas in July and Gold Diggers of '33 - though he doesn't appear in that musical's staggering highlight, the greatest production number of all time.

From what I've seen, de Toth was just a hack, though he directed a fascinating snow-bound Western called Day of the Outlaw, starring Robert Ryan. It's most notable for Ryan's extraordinary monologue - which crystallises the American pioneer experience in three or four spellbinding minutes - and the bizarre, cod-Biblical ending. He also co-wrote the story for The Gunfighter, so everything else is pretty much irrelevant. And he was married to Veronica Lake.


Oof, I would have been a hack if I'd been stuck with Veronica Lake, too. She sounds like a nut.

According to the IMDb, Dickie-boy also directed Cry Danger and then let some other dude take credit for it. What a mensch . I just located Cornered, so I'm going to watch it. Ooh, I do love a good revenge thriller...

< Message edited by TheDudeAbides -- 24/2/2011 4:52:46 PM >


_____________________________

Reviews, film chat and the like at http://resilientlittlemuscle.blogspot.com

The Oxford Student - proud home of a film section somewhere between Siskel and Ebert: http://oxfordstudent.com/?cat=11

"Hammy is a stretch, I personally think he was just over zealous."
- IMDb reviewer on Dick Powell

"Good night, Papa. Machs gut."

(in reply to rick_7)
Post #: 130
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 24/2/2011 8:57:52 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54599
Joined: 1/10/2005
I like Cornered. Cry Danger is the business though, even better than his Murder My Sweet.

I love It Happened Tomorrow as well - best film Clair did in the US and he was on my director longlist.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to FritzlFan)
Post #: 131
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 22/3/2011 3:51:45 PM   
TheDudeAbides


Posts: 783
Joined: 15/1/2006
From: In the neighbourhood, feeling a bit daffy.
29) Tony Hale as 'Buster' Bluth
Arrested Development (2003-2006)




Devout Christian and soft-spoken family man, Tony Hale must have seemed like a strange choice to play a member of a morally bankrupt family in a recklessly censor-teasing sitcom. However, this overlooks the fact that he is very, very funny indeed as the youngest brother who 'came out a little doughy', in the words of his own father. Buster is a fantastic character because he avoids all the hallmarks of lazy, broad characterisation: he is definitely 'a little doughy' but he is not stupid, he is naive and needy but has resentment buried inside somewhere that only rarely shows itself - in a sarcastic dig that's a little too on the nose, or even occasionally sudden hilarious torrents of profanity. Hale somehow gets the specific nuances of the character down immediately and his scenes with Bluth matriarch, Lucille, who mollycoddles him even as she sets the other members of the family against each other, crackle with comic timing and a knack for emphasising the weirdness of their mutually-dependent relationship. In a show full of matchless comic creations, Hale stands out for me for completely inhabiting his character and playing him as straight as possible (compared to, say Will Arnett, probably the funniest part of the show, but very clearly playing the audience for laughs). Otherwise how could he pull off moments like Buster responding to his girlfriend (also named Lucille and played by Liza Minelli) when she complains that he is mixing her up with his mother: "It is exactly the opposite. I'm leaving my mother for you. You're replacing my mother."?

Just as important, though, he provides the heart that critics often accused the show of lacking. Despite his status as family laughing stock, he is the only Bluth who actually seems to care about the family's welfare, whilst the others self-servingly clamber over each other to get ahead. Michael might be the one keeping them all together, but this is out of dogged duty, whilst Buster seems genuinely blind to the greed and ammorality of his relatives. In season two's 'Queen For a Day', Michael fears that they have lost control of the company when its assets become frozen and everyone immediately spends their share, until he realises that Buster has not: "What? No..." Buster says guilelessly, "your letter said not to, and I would never want to hurt the family.". If we'd had more moments like this, perhaps Arrested Development would have found a bigger audience and maybe we'd still have it today. But then of course we would have missed lines like: "Whenever she changed clothes she made me wait on the balcony 'till zip-up. And yet anything goes at bath time!"

< Message edited by TheDudeAbides -- 22/3/2011 5:18:02 PM >


_____________________________

Reviews, film chat and the like at http://resilientlittlemuscle.blogspot.com

The Oxford Student - proud home of a film section somewhere between Siskel and Ebert: http://oxfordstudent.com/?cat=11

"Hammy is a stretch, I personally think he was just over zealous."
- IMDb reviewer on Dick Powell

"Good night, Papa. Machs gut."

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 132
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 4/4/2011 12:17:06 AM   
TheDudeAbides


Posts: 783
Joined: 15/1/2006
From: In the neighbourhood, feeling a bit daffy.
28) Claude Rains as Senator Joseph Harrison Paine
Mr Smith Goes To Washington, 1939




Everybody likes Claude Rains, goddammit - whether he's sleazing it up in wartime Morocco, moping around after Bette Davis or being invisible. With his inimitable velvety voice, effortless old world charisma and talent for balancing theatrical richness with naturalism, he is one of the Classic era's most watchable performers, and never more so than here, as a the jaded veteran senator showing Jimmy Stewart's wide-eyed newcomer the ropes in Capra's masterpiece. His character is a one-time idealist, the best friend and fellow crusader of Stewart's deceased father, who, unbeknownst to Jimmy, has been tempted by the security of a corrupt political machine and has for years owed his allegiance to the machine boss, Jim Taylor (Edward Arnold, ever the creepy capitalist).

When it turns out that Jeff Smith isn't as dumb as he appears and he gets to asking some uncomfortable questions about the system, Senator Paine is torn between maintaining the reputation for unassailable integrity which has made him a hero to his state and his urge to protect the youngster who represents everything he once was. Rains is just so talented at conveying both sides of Paine - when the two have their first conversation on the train to Washington DC, about Smith's father, you can see all these fantastic emotions criss-crossing Rains' face, the regret, wistfulness and pain that his dishonesty is causing him, now brought into sharp relief when contrasted with Smith's enthusiasm and innocence. But later (spoiler, I guess) when he crushes, humiliates and ultimately frames the bewildered Smith in front of the Senate, you can barely imagine hating a character more. Part of it is that Capra's eye for capturing Smith's absolute devastation at the betrayal is so unflinching, but mostly it is Rains projecting the ruthless, ugly way in which his character lashes out in self-defence. And yet, even then he manges to retain a tiny flicker of sympathy because Rains has one of those fantastic actorly faces where there's always something going on beneath the surface - we don't need any muttered asides to know that even as he falsely condemns Smith, his own conscience is tearing him up. He's no cartoon villain, but a realistic depiction of how an essentially good person can fall prey to greed and trade their moral integrity for power and security, and Rains perfectly charts his uncertain oscillation between these conflicting aspects of his personality.

The final scene, in which Paine bursts into the Senate, interrupting Smith's mammoth filibuster to proclaim the young man's innocence and admit his own guilt, would have been hopelessly melodramatic in most other hands. The script calls for wild declaiming, chest-beating mea culpas and general derangement on Paine's part, which Rains somehow manages to craft into a spine-tingling vindication which doesn't hit one wrong note. This is probably because he doesn't approach it as a 'pay attention, dramatic plot resolution' moment but as the natural conclusion of his well-developed character's journey through an ambivalent wasteland, to finally stand up again and defend the 'lost causes'.


As a delightful bonus, here's a clip of Rains charmingly ballsing-up from one of the Warner blooper reels of 1938: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LndpDYVGzI#t=02m02s. Enjoy.

< Message edited by TheDudeAbides -- 4/4/2011 12:13:38 PM >


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Reviews, film chat and the like at http://resilientlittlemuscle.blogspot.com

The Oxford Student - proud home of a film section somewhere between Siskel and Ebert: http://oxfordstudent.com/?cat=11

"Hammy is a stretch, I personally think he was just over zealous."
- IMDb reviewer on Dick Powell

"Good night, Papa. Machs gut."

(in reply to TheDudeAbides)
Post #: 133
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 4/4/2011 12:40:38 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
I'm going to have a Capra fest at some point, see if I've been wrong about any of them. Rains is always excellent. I really like him in The Unsuspected.

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Post #: 134
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 4/4/2011 11:26:13 AM   
TheDudeAbides


Posts: 783
Joined: 15/1/2006
From: In the neighbourhood, feeling a bit daffy.
I realised the other day, to my surprise, that he's probably my favourite director ever. I never really considered it, but it suddenly came upon me that none of 6 the films of his I've seen would get less than an 8 out of 10. Considering I still have at least three of his peak movies to go, that gives him the best hit rate yet.

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Reviews, film chat and the like at http://resilientlittlemuscle.blogspot.com

The Oxford Student - proud home of a film section somewhere between Siskel and Ebert: http://oxfordstudent.com/?cat=11

"Hammy is a stretch, I personally think he was just over zealous."
- IMDb reviewer on Dick Powell

"Good night, Papa. Machs gut."

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 135
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 4/4/2011 12:01:46 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54599
Joined: 1/10/2005
I have general issues with Capra but I do like Mr Smith - maybe not entirely the film as a whole, but there are so many individual performances that are absolutely brilliant, Rains being a major one of those.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to TheDudeAbides)
Post #: 136
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 4/4/2011 12:12:23 PM   
TheDudeAbides


Posts: 783
Joined: 15/1/2006
From: In the neighbourhood, feeling a bit daffy.
Yup, it's the performances that really make it for me. I could easily have had four performances from it in this list. In fact, I might have at least one more if I can't honestly find a role I like the actor better in.

I love Capra, he really isn't as saccharine as people like to make out. He's as sharp as Sturges sometimes when it comes to politics, although not as cynical. And the politics of his films are fascinating to me - I can never pin down what side of the spectrum he's coming from at any one time. I consider myself a conservative (not necessarily capital letter), yet I find all kinds of messages coming from Capra, who I believe was a Democrat. Although politics was so different then, the spectrum was nothing like it is now - I think his values are more associated with Republicanism now, although I doubt he would have had much time for their xenophobic claptrap, given he was fresh off the boat himself . Anyway, that's an aspect I find intriguing about his work - notice how the political parties are never specified in Mr Smith, either.


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Reviews, film chat and the like at http://resilientlittlemuscle.blogspot.com

The Oxford Student - proud home of a film section somewhere between Siskel and Ebert: http://oxfordstudent.com/?cat=11

"Hammy is a stretch, I personally think he was just over zealous."
- IMDb reviewer on Dick Powell

"Good night, Papa. Machs gut."

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 137
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 4/4/2011 12:22:05 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54599
Joined: 1/10/2005
Sorry - for me, Capracorn. Never a truer new word completely made up.

is it Thomas Mitchell? I love Thomas Mitchell.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to TheDudeAbides)
Post #: 138
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 4/4/2011 12:23:33 PM   
TheDudeAbides


Posts: 783
Joined: 15/1/2006
From: In the neighbourhood, feeling a bit daffy.
It was indeed Thomas Mitchell. There are so many performances to choose from, but I do love his mildly sozzled reporter guy in this. In 1939 alone, he could fill up four of five spaces 

_____________________________

Reviews, film chat and the like at http://resilientlittlemuscle.blogspot.com

The Oxford Student - proud home of a film section somewhere between Siskel and Ebert: http://oxfordstudent.com/?cat=11

"Hammy is a stretch, I personally think he was just over zealous."
- IMDb reviewer on Dick Powell

"Good night, Papa. Machs gut."

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 139
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 4/4/2011 3:21:50 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
quote:

ORIGINAL: TheDudeAbides
Capra, who I believe was a Democrat. Although politics was so different then, the spectrum was nothing like it is now - I think his values are more associated with Republicanism now, although I doubt he would have had much time for their xenophobic claptrap, given he was fresh off the boat himself .



Capra? Republican, one of the big anti-communists during the witch-hunts.

(in reply to TheDudeAbides)
Post #: 140
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 4/4/2011 3:45:25 PM   
TheDudeAbides


Posts: 783
Joined: 15/1/2006
From: In the neighbourhood, feeling a bit daffy.
I think it might be more complicated than that: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE2DF123AF930A35756C0A964958260, although I didn't know he donated to the Republicans. The fact that most of his films were written by left-wing and occasionally even Communist screenwriters doesn't make matters easier. Neither, of course, does the Democrats' pre-1950s position as the anti-integrationist, states' rights party.

Talking of Republicans, I'm about to watch Friendly Persuasion, starring husky Republican Gary Cooper as a Quaker. Were they Democrats? Were they even into voting? Maybe I'll find out...


_____________________________

Reviews, film chat and the like at http://resilientlittlemuscle.blogspot.com

The Oxford Student - proud home of a film section somewhere between Siskel and Ebert: http://oxfordstudent.com/?cat=11

"Hammy is a stretch, I personally think he was just over zealous."
- IMDb reviewer on Dick Powell

"Good night, Papa. Machs gut."

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 141
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 4/4/2011 4:03:49 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
quote:

He was an admirer of Franco and Mussolini.



(in reply to TheDudeAbides)
Post #: 142
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 4/4/2011 4:15:36 PM   
TheDudeAbides


Posts: 783
Joined: 15/1/2006
From: In the neighbourhood, feeling a bit daffy.
I can't find any corraboration for that, though. I'm highly sceptical of IMDb 'trivia' of this sort. The most I can dig up is this brief discussion, which suggests not: http://www.avmaniacs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24416&page=1. The only mentions of Capra and Fascism are in regurgitated copies of the IMDB article.
As one poster points out (and we spoke about it a little on my course last year, too), many Italians admired Mussolini right up until the war and the deportation of Jews, neither of which was popular with the electorate. That doesn't make it right, of course, but hindsight is perfect, and he brought enthusiasm and confidence to a historically downtrodden country with a MASSIVE inferiority complex.


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Reviews, film chat and the like at http://resilientlittlemuscle.blogspot.com

The Oxford Student - proud home of a film section somewhere between Siskel and Ebert: http://oxfordstudent.com/?cat=11

"Hammy is a stretch, I personally think he was just over zealous."
- IMDb reviewer on Dick Powell

"Good night, Papa. Machs gut."

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 143
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 4/4/2011 4:58:50 PM   
matty_b


Posts: 14563
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

quote:

ORIGINAL: TheDudeAbides
Capra, who I believe was a Democrat. Although politics was so different then, the spectrum was nothing like it is now - I think his values are more associated with Republicanism now, although I doubt he would have had much time for their xenophobic claptrap, given he was fresh off the boat himself .



Capra? Republican, one of the big anti-communists during the witch-hunts.



Really? I always thought it was the opposite and that was why John Wayne hated him.

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Post #: 144
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 4/4/2011 5:03:43 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
Wayne hated everyone. Racist prick as he was.

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Post #: 145
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 4/4/2011 5:19:43 PM   
TheDudeAbides


Posts: 783
Joined: 15/1/2006
From: In the neighbourhood, feeling a bit daffy.
Wayne apparently referred to Capra as a 'commie dago', but whatever. Ethnic slurs were tossed around then like nobody's business, even more so between Italians/Irish etc themselves. People just took it on the chin and had a sense of humour about it rather than getting het up and offended. It was a completely different attitude. As Jack Teagarden famously said to Louis Armstrong: "'You a spade and I'm an ofay. We got the same soul. Let's blow.'"

Wayne was a man of his time, and prone to reacting to criticism by hardening his shell and hiding behind even more fervent right-wing rhetoric, but he wasn't a bad guy. His opinions on race were old-fashioned but hardly unusual, and all three of his marriages were to Latina women. He had a passionate interest in Latin American culture and was no ignoramus. When Kennedy won the 1960 election he remarked: ""I didn't vote for him but he's my president, and I hope he does a good job." which ever since has been my personal benchmark for political grace and general class, something sadly absent from modern Republican politics.

< Message edited by TheDudeAbides -- 4/4/2011 5:26:57 PM >


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RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 4/4/2011 5:27:21 PM   
rick_7


Posts: 6151
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: The internet
He was a bit of a bad guy. Considering how much I like him as an actor, I pretty much hate him as a person. The role he and Ward Bond played during the witchhunts was absolutely reprehensible.

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RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 4/4/2011 5:27:50 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
Wayne on race in a Playboy interview from 1971

quote:

With a lot of blacks, there's quite a bit of resentment along with their dissent, and possibly rightfully so. But we can't all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks. I believe in white supremacy until blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people


In 1971. After the civil rights movement and the assassination of MLK. That's a racist prick.

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Post #: 148
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 4/4/2011 5:33:45 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
quote:

ORIGINAL: rick_7
Considering how much I like him as an actor, I pretty much hate him as a person.


Nothing wrong with that, I think. The person and their work are separate entities. I don't think much of him as an actor, I certainly don't think he had much in the way of range, but he had great screen presence.

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Post #: 149
RE: 50 Favourite Film Performances (and some TV) - 4/4/2011 5:34:15 PM   
TheDudeAbides


Posts: 783
Joined: 15/1/2006
From: In the neighbourhood, feeling a bit daffy.
I can't say it bothers me in the slightest what people back then thought about race short of condoning violence. I love history, pretty much all my heroes are dead people, so I'd be hard-pressed if I restricted my affection to those who lived by fairly recent late-20th century ideas of right and wrong.

It's a nice bonus when someone I like turns out to have been forward thinking about race (Myrna Loy springs to mind), but I never go in expecting it, or disappointed if it turns out not to be the case. Being misguided about race (after a socialisation that generally imposed racist ideas from birth) is unfortunate, but then a lot of them cheated on their wives or drank to excess and it does't stop me admiring them as a whole for other personal qualities.

< Message edited by TheDudeAbides -- 4/4/2011 5:37:04 PM >


_____________________________

Reviews, film chat and the like at http://resilientlittlemuscle.blogspot.com

The Oxford Student - proud home of a film section somewhere between Siskel and Ebert: http://oxfordstudent.com/?cat=11

"Hammy is a stretch, I personally think he was just over zealous."
- IMDb reviewer on Dick Powell

"Good night, Papa. Machs gut."

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 150
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