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Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

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Second Bananas


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4 replies to this topic

#1 Terrence1

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 12:00 PM

Dougie, I agree about the wonderful Eve Arden.  She could do it all.  In Hollywood there is even a term known as "the Eve Arden type".  That says  lot for her.  I don't have a favorite role, but I did enjoy her Russian in "The Doughgirls".  In her autobiography, she says that her performance in that movie led to her being offered a seven-year contract with the studio.


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#2 DougieB

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 08:10 AM

My personal favorite would be Eve Arden. Sometimes her seconday characters outshone everyone else on screen. She had that rare ability to make her co-stars perhaps seem funnier than they actually may have been, which made her a go-to person for second banana roles. Even when required to do the virtually impossible, such as her Russian "comrade" in "The Doughgirls", she gave it her all. And she held up well in drama, dishing up wisecracks and a shoulder to cry on in "Mildred Pierce", as well as her late career tour-de-force in "Anatomy of a Murder", my favorite of all her roles.


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"When Fortuna spins you downward, go out to a movie and get more out of life."...Ignatious J. Reilly, A Confederacy of Dunces


#3 TopBilled

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Posted 26 September 2015 - 11:00 AM

Something ironic I wanted to mention in this thread--

 

Phil Silvers usually played a second banana in studios' A films. But he is (appropriately) the star in the independently produced comedy TOP BANANA.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#4 TopBilled

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 05:47 PM

Great topic!  I love your selection of Donald O'Connor-- though keep in mind that over at Universal, his home studio, he was not a second banana. Only during this loanout to MGM where he was third-billed.

 

When I think of second bananas, I think of the thankless jobs played by the comic relief guys in all those Republic westerns. Look at how Gabby Hayes played second banana to Roy Rogers in countless pictures. Or Andy Devine. And Smiley Burnette was always the second banana to Gene Autry, and so was Pat Buttram and Sterling Holloway. Those men are unsung heroes.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#5 JamesStewartFan95

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 09:00 PM

Who is your favorite second banana in a comedy film?

 

My pick is Donald O'Connor in Singin' in the Rain because of his under appreciated ability to hold his own against Gene Kelly.






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