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Everything posted by TopBilled

  1. What I don't mean-- I don't mean the leading or top character actors. And I don't mean character actors or actresses who occasionally had a lead role in a film (like Charles Coburn). Instead I mean leading actors who really were character actors. 1. Charlie Chaplin. Always a character, always the same character. 2. Broderick Crawford. Started in support, became a bonafide leading man. But still always played character roles. 3. Jack Lemmon. Definitely not a matinee idol, when movie screens were overpopulated with them in the 50s. 4. Walter Matthau. Hit his stride in the 60s, continued through the 90s. Films like A NEW LEAF, HOUSE CALLS and HOPSCOTCH give him top billing. But he was never playing a conventional leading man, ever. 5. Boris Karloff. Star of horror. But not a traditional leading man in any way. That's what makes him unique. Honorable mentions: Vincent Price; Orson Welles; Zachary Scott; George Sanders; and Tony Randall. They all perfected certain character types. ***** 1. Carole Lombard. She could do serious dramatic parts, but we remember her for her wacky character roles. 2. Lucille Ball. Usually a flop in dramatic fare. But always a hit when she adopted a screwball persona. Audiences wanted her as a larger than life character, not as another Lana Turner or Ava Gardner. 3. Loretta Young. Like Lombard she could essay dramatic roles. But she's at her best in character roles, such as THE LADY FROM CHEYENNE and THE FARMER'S DAUGHTER and as the conniving nun in COME TO THE STABLE. She was actually very-very funny in real life and probably had a million characters inside that brain of hers. 4. Rosalind Russell. I think she tried to be a dramatic actress during her early days at MGM, and would return to that approach in films like SISTER KENNY or MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA, but she had too much joie de vivre. 5. Judy Holliday. She played a very specific character in all her movies and did it perfectly. Honorable mentions: Joan Blondell; Olivia de Havilland; Julie Harris; Shelley Winters; and Sheree North. They all perfected certain character types. Thoughts..?
  2. Underneath the exterior of this calm woman beats the heart of a killer. Mama Ethel's got a gun, and one son will soon be dead on the spiral staircase. She's at it again. This time she's aiming at Glenn Ford in THE SECRET OF CONVICT LAKE. One of her girls, Gene Tierney, is also a bit trigger happy. I don't know about you but I'm gunna stay away from these gals.
  3. TopBilled

    Norma Shearer and her family

    I really like ESCAPE (1940). I think she's very effective playing off Nazimova as Robert Taylor's mother. To me, that was her last good film. The stuff from '42 (WE WERE DANCING and HER CARDBOARD LOVER) was fairly routine by MGM standards. If she had done THE GAY SISTERS, she might have ended up signing a new contract with Warners. I am sure she could have continued to make films, even if her career was in decline. She easily could have gone on till the war ended. I don't think her over-dramatic style would have meshed with post-war realism.
  4. TopBilled

    Double Feature

    I enjoyed reading the information. *** THE DEVIL AND MISS JONES (another Oscar nomination for Charles Coburn) Next: THE GIRL FROM JONES BEACH
  5. TopBilled

    *A to Z of Movies*

  6. TopBilled

    Norma Shearer and her family

    She was owed one more film at the end of her contract, and MGM was going to loan her out to Warners for THE GAY SISTERS. She decided not to do it and retired. The part in that movie went to Barbara Stanwyck. Maybe one reason she didn't want to go to Warners was because she was afraid they wouldn't know how to light her properly, like MGM did. Unless it was an ego thing. She had never been loaned out before (because Thalberg prevented it).
  7. TopBilled


    This is a new game. The main idea of each round will be stated up front. Like if I said the category was 'Married to Liz Taylor,' then we would list all her husbands. Bonus points could be earned if someone mentioned people she was engaged to but did not marry. That sort of thing. Categories will be related to Hollywood movies (and in some instances television programs).
  8. Agree. The word "bombshell" conjures up images of Jean Harlow, Rita Hayworth or Marilyn Monroe. Not Hedy Lamarr.
  9. TopBilled


  10. TopBilled

    Norma Shearer and her family

    Great post. I thought the problem with her eyes (was it a lazy eye?) had corrected itself. They look much better in the films she made during the late 30s and early 40s. But maybe it's what you say, MGM was just lighting/photographing her better.
  11. Given your screen name, shouldn't OZ rank higher on your list?
  12. TopBilled

    The first actor/actress that comes to mind..

    Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams Next: often acted with her husband on screen
  13. TopBilled

    *A to Z of Movies*

  14. TopBilled

    TCM schedules

    May 21, 2018: 6:00 a.m. Untamed (1929) 7:30 a.m. Private Lives (1931) 9:00 a.m. But the Flesh Is Weak (1932) 10:30 a.m. Made on Broadway (1933) 11:45 a.m. When Ladies Meet (1933) 1:15 p.m. Hide-Out (1934) 2:45 p.m. Trouble for Two (1936) 4:15 a.m. Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941) 6:00 p.m. Night Must Fall (1937) THE FOUR FREEDOMS 8:00 p.m. The Grapes of Wrath (1940) 10:30 p.m. Casablanca (1942) 1:30 a.m. Deadline U.S.A. (1952) 3:15 a.m. Sunrise at Campobello (1960)
  15. TopBilled

    TCM schedules

    This is a chance to look at old TCM schedules...
  16. TopBilled

    A to Z of Characters

    Farmer, Frances -- played by Jessica Lange in FRANCES
  17. TopBilled


  18. TopBilled

    *A to Z of Movies*

  19. TopBilled

    Double Feature

    LOOK WHO'S TALKING Next: GREASE (John Travolta again)
  20. TopBilled

    Norma Shearer and her family

    You're fine. You don't have to explain yourself. Best of luck with your research. And again, keep us posted.
  21. Two from '92: Penelope Ann Miller-- THE GUN IN BETTY LOU'S HANDBAG is no longer in Betty Lou's handbag. Estelle Getty-- as the woman who gave birth to Rambo in STOP! OR MY MOM WILL SHOOT.
  22. You're welcome Princess of Tap. I couldn't find any images of Crawford holding a gun from that movie. But here's one from JOHNNY GUITAR, and she certainly looks dangerous.
  23. TopBilled

    A to Z of Characters

    Dingle, Jake -- played by Alan Hale in PURSUED
  24. TopBilled

    Double Feature

    TRACK OF THE CAT (love this film) Next: PURSUED (an earlier collaboration with Robert Mitchum & Teresa Wright)
  25. TopBilled

    *A to Z of actresses and actors*:)

    Henry, Charlotte

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