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rayban

Neglected Performances by Young Actors in World-Class Films

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Neil North (left) and Jack Watling (right) in "The Winslow Boy" (1948) -

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Probably not a neglected performance, but Justin Henry in Kramer vs. Kramer is the most naturalistic performance I've ever seen from a child actor. You believe he's absolutely real every moment he's on screen. Compare him to the much-less-natural Ricky Schroder from The Champ remake from, I think, the same year.

I picked this photo because it surprised me. It's certainly not a scene from the movie, which begins the day the wife walks out. Maybe it's a photo on somebody's dresser or something.

Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, and Justin Henry in Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

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Yes, I liked Justin Henry in "Kramer vs. Kramer".

But Ricky Schroeder's performance in "The Champ" is one of the great movie performances from a child.

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Billy Chapin and Sally Ann Bruce as the Harper children in "Night of the Hunter" - 

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If you must know Jackie Cooper's performance in the original Champ (1932) with Wally Berry was top notch.  His performance  as Dink is leagues ahead of Ricky Shroeder's. He is so believable as the kid that is both Father and Son to Beery's character. The end is so heartbreaking.download-2.jpg.014f2e1f708889a55a80acb6a0e0811d.jpgdownload-1.jpg.d935e5aa5aaa12343c4166e3c37e0aec.jpg

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Didier Haudepin (right) and Francis Lacombrade (left) in "This Special Friendship" - 1964 -

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5 hours ago, arpirose said:

If you must know Jackie Cooper's performance in the original Champ (1932) with Wally Berry was top notch.  His performance  as Dink is leagues ahead of Ricky Shroeder's. He is so believable as the kid that is both Father and Son to Beery's character. The end is so heartbreaking.download-2.jpg.014f2e1f708889a55a80acb6a0e0811d.jpgdownload-1.jpg.d935e5aa5aaa12343c4166e3c37e0aec.jpg

I haven't seen it, but I would love to.

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Bobby Henrey as Philippe in "The Fallen Idol" - 1948 -

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Margaret O'Brien (Mary), Dean Stockwell (Colin) and Brian Roper (Dickon) in "The Secret Garden" - 1949 -

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I don't normally like children in films, because typically they overreact and are irritating, but with that said...

I thought Peggy Ann Garner was excellent in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  She gave such a poignant and natural performance that didn't seem forced or hammy.

I'm not sure if they're "neglected" persay, but other child performances I loved:

 

-Hayley Mills in Pollyanna

-Jackie Coogan in The Kid

-Margaret O'Brien in Meet Me in St. Louis

-Ann Blyth in Mildred Pierce (she was 16-17 when she made this film, I'm not sure if she counts as a child)

-Natalie Wood in Tomorrow is Forever

-Natalie Wood in Miracle on 34th Street

 

Shirley Temple as a child was definitely not "neglected," but I thought she was excellent in her teenage performances as well.  I loved her in I'll Be Seeing You and The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer. She was a gorgeous woman.  It's a shame that audiences couldn't get past Shirley not being a child and give Shirley the adult a chance. Natalie Wood seems to be one of a few child actors who were able to successfully transition to an adult career without being typecast.

 

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6 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I don't normally like children in films, because typically they overreact and are irritating, but with that said...

I thought Peggy Ann Garner was excellent in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  She gave such a poignant and natural performance that didn't seem forced or hammy.

I'm not sure if they're "neglected" persay, but other child performances I loved:

 

-Hayley Mills in Pollyanna

-Jackie Coogan in The Kid

-Margaret O'Brien in Meet Me in St. Louis

-Ann Blyth in Mildred Pierce (she was 16-17 when she made this film, I'm not sure if she counts as a child)

-Natalie Wood in Tomorrow is Forever

-Natalie Wood in Miracle on 34th Street

 

Shirley Temple as a child was definitely not "neglected," but I thought she was excellent in her teenage performances as well.  I loved her in I'll Be Seeing You and The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer. She was a gorgeous woman.  It's a shame that audiences couldn't get past Shirley not being a child and give Shirley the adult a chance. Natalie Wood seems to be one of a few child actors who were able to successfully transition to an adult career without being typecast.

 

Natalie Wood was indeed terrific in TOMORROW IS FOREVER.

I really liked Shirley Temple's teenage and ingenue roles, as well. Actually, I liked them much more than her child roles.

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Definitely Mary Badham and Phillip Alford in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). I'm sure everyone who's seen the movie appreciated their amazing performances, but their names seem to have faded with time, Phillip's especially, so in a sense they're neglected. I can't imagine better casting and even when I reread the book now I see their faces.

P.S. Also John Megna as "Dill". I had to go to the data base for his name, which is a shame.

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8 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I don't normally like children in films, because typically they overreact and are irritating, but with that said...

I thought Peggy Ann Garner was excellent in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  She gave such a poignant and natural performance that didn't seem forced or hammy.

I'm not sure if they're "neglected" persay, but other child performances I loved:

 

-Hayley Mills in Pollyanna

-Jackie Coogan in The Kid

-Margaret O'Brien in Meet Me in St. Louis

-Ann Blyth in Mildred Pierce (she was 16-17 when she made this film, I'm not sure if she counts as a child)

-Natalie Wood in Tomorrow is Forever

-Natalie Wood in Miracle on 34th Street

 

Shirley Temple as a child was definitely not "neglected," but I thought she was excellent in her teenage performances as well.  I loved her in I'll Be Seeing You and The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer. She was a gorgeous woman.  It's a shame that audiences couldn't get past Shirley not being a child and give Shirley the adult a chance. Natalie Wood seems to be one of a few child actors who were able to successfully transition to an adult career without being typecast.

 

I liked them all, too - but I don't like that they exactly neglected in those films.

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52 minutes ago, DougieB said:

Definitely Mary Badham and Phillip Alford in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). I'm sure everyone who's seen the movie appreciated their amazing performances, but their names seem to have faded with time, Phillip's especially, so in a sense they're neglected. I can't imagine better casting and even when I reread the book now I see their faces.

P.S. Also John Megna as "Dill". I had to go to the data base for his name, which is a shame.

Yes, of course, Mary Badham, Phillip Alford and John Megna in "To Kill A Mockingbird".

They do not deserve to be "forgotten".

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When a child like Bobby Henrey is so effective in a film like Henrey is effortlessly in "The Fallen Idol", they give you the impression that they are allowing you into their private lives - they are so fresh and unguarded.

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LOVED Quinn Cummings as Marsha Mason's precocious daughter in "The Goodbye Girl" (1977). She became one of the youngest-ever Best Supporting Actress nominees at the age of 10 years and 192 days old.

She was the co-inventor of the HipHugger, a sling-like apparatus for transporting babies. 

Now she's a stand-up comic and comedy writer known for her witticisms on Twitter.

Image result for quinn cummings

 

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20 minutes ago, rayban said:

When a child like Bobby Henrey is so effective in a film like Henrey is effortlessly in "The Fallen Idol", they give you the impression that they are allowing you into their private lives - they are so fresh and unguarded.

I totally agree about Bobby Henrey. The use of the child's point of view is brilliant; it allows the audience to see what the child, with a limited attention span, sees but also to see what the child doesn't see, the motives and subterfuge of the adults. It's a miracle of filmmaking, but I remember Robert Osborne saying once that Carol Reed had his hands full getting that performance on film. You'd never know it from watching the result.

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I never get tired of watching "The Fallen Idol" - because of Bobby Henrey's performance.

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On 5/8/2018 at 8:08 AM, rayban said:

Billy Chapin and Sally Ann Bruce as the Harper children in "Night of the Hunter" - 

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I so agree, but it makes me sad that Billy Chapin supposedly was quite jealous of his sister's longer lasting fame on the "Father Knows Best" show, as Lauren Chapin. He was a fine little actor in everything but particularly in this masterpiece from Laughton's hand.

 

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Brigitte Fossey in Forbidden Games - probably the best performance by a child ever

John Rovello in The Hours - one of the most heart-rending performances by a child

June Archer in Innocent Sinners - a film modeled after Forbidden Games in certain respects; the main character is a plain little girl, unwanted by her parents, who wishes only to plant a garden in bombed-out ground

Alan Barnes in Whistle Down the Wind - a non-professional, Alan Barnes as "our Charlie" gives the most unforgettable performance in a strong cast

Older, but still outstanding:

Darryl Hickman in Leave Her to Heaven

 

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I watched The Children Are Watching Us (1944) earlier today, and was very impressed by Luciano De Ambrosis as the lead boy. He was only 4-going-on-5 years old when the movie was made. Director Vittorio De Sica supposedly chose De Ambrosis for the role due to the young boy having recently lost his mother, and being in a melancholy, emotional state.

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3 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

I watched The Children Are Watching Us (1944) earlier today, and was very impressed by Luciano De Ambrosis as the lead boy. He was only 4-going-on-5 years old when the movie was made. Director Vittorio De Sica supposedly chose De Ambrosis for the role due to the young boy having recently lost his mother, and being in a melancholy, emotional state.

bambini_b.jpg

Yes, it is an unforgettable performance.

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Enzio Staiola as Bruno in Vittorio De Sica's "The Bicycle Thief" - 1948 -

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Martin Stephens and Pamela Franklin in Jack Clayton's "The Innocents" - 1961 -

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