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Character actors SOTM April 2017

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I find it disappointing that the GREAT Thomas Mitchell is given such short-shrift by being passed over again and again for the singular spot of SOTM! Although I could make the argument that several of these "character" actors who are included in this month's salute are so much more than... well, Character Actors, there is no question that Thomas Mitchell is a bona fide STAR!!! In the year 1939 ( the year many film scholars consider Hollywood's greatest) he appeared in five  major films, three of which were nominated for Best Picture. In that same year he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Doc Boone in John Ford's iconic film, "Stagecoach". Mitchell is among a very small group (roughly less than a dozen) of actors who have won the triple crown of acting- Oscar, Tony, and Emmy. He worked in every medium and across all genres. His roles were major, and although supporting other actors he often stole the scenes in which he appeared. He handled the comedic and the dramatic with equal aplomb. Yes, he played "characters", but like Walter Brennan he never became a cliche or stereotype. His performances were very nuanced, his film work prolific. Let's give him his due- I nominate Thomas Mitchell for STAR of the Month!!!!! 

 

I consider Mitchell's film legacy to be the best of any supporting actor (with Brennan a close second),  but they are supporting actor and not 'stars'.    I.e. there is NO question he is NOT a 'star'. 

 

Anyhow,  TCM shows films with Mitchell all the time so he is getting his due.    Showing films he is in is more important than a SOTM tribute.

 

In addition there are many lead actors and actress that have never been SOTM.    

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I find it disappointing that the GREAT Thomas Mitchell is given such short-shrift by being passed over again and again for the singular spot of SOTM! Although I could make the argument that several of these "character" actors who are included in this month's salute are so much more than... well, Character Actors, there is no question that Thomas Mitchell is a bona fide STAR!!! In the year 1939 ( the year many film scholars consider Hollywood's greatest) he appeared in five  major films, three of which were nominated for Best Picture. In that same year he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Doc Boone in John Ford's iconic film, "Stagecoach". Mitchell is among a very small group (roughly less than a dozen) of actors who have won the triple crown of acting- Oscar, Tony, and Emmy. He worked in every medium and across all genres. His roles were major, and although supporting other actors he often stole the scenes in which he appeared. He handled the comedic and the dramatic with equal aplomb. Yes, he played "characters", but like Walter Brennan he never became a cliche or stereotype. His performances were very nuanced, his film work prolific. Let's give him his due- I nominate Thomas Mitchell for STAR of the Month!!!!! 

You are correct in stating that TCM often broadcasts films that feature Thomas Mitchell, which indicates how large a body of work he amassed. Perhaps it is true that he is not a "STAR" in the same sense as Clark Gable or Spencer Tract, et al, and yes, many actors have never been honored with SOTM, however some who are known as "Character" actors have, i.e. Walter Brennan. So if you feel that SOTM is too much time to devote to work horses like Mitchell, then perhaps an evening of programming.

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You are correct in stating that TCM often broadcasts films that feature Thomas Mitchell, which indicates how large a body of work he amassed. Perhaps it is true that he is not a "STAR" in the same sense as Clark Gable or Spencer Tract, et al, and yes, many actors have never been honored with SOTM, however some who are known as "Character" actors have, i.e. Walter Brennan. So if you feel that SOTM is too much time to devote to work horses like Mitchell, then perhaps an evening of programming.

 

I always wanted TCM to feature only supporting \ character actors as part of Summer under the Stars;  one day each for these actors.  Movies wouldn't have been the same without the talents of these workhorses.

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I always wanted TCM to feature only supporting \ character actors as part of Summer under the Stars;  one day each for these actors.  Movies wouldn't have been the same without the talents of these workhorses.

 

And fortunately, there have been days devoted to people like Charles Coburn, Thelma Ritter, Hattie McDaniel and Mary Boland.

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