GGGGerald

Overrated talents ?

56 posts in this topic

The Paulette Goddard thread in "Your Favorites" got me thinking. We all can think of stars who should have been given more of a chance (better roles, more roles etc...), to be a bigger star. But, that's easy.

My question is this: Who are actors/actresses who got lots of studio support and really didn't deserve it ? Or they didn't have the potential some studio head may have thought they did ?

I see this a lot today, but, how about in the classic era ?

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I think Elvis was overrated as an "actor." If he wasn't a popular singer, he wouldn't have had a Hollywood movie career. Or at least not much of one.

Occasionally producers and studio moguls liked to promote their wives/girlfriends, when some of them had limited talent.

Fox promoted the hell out of Tyrone Power. He was decent in a handful of films. Dreadful in most of the others.

Many of the child stars were overrated. They perfected one kind of scene, the all-important crying scene, but most of them couldn't play comedy very well and were out of their depth when it came to subtler forms of drama.

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10 hours ago, laffite said:

The term "overrated" is over---, uh ... used.

Well, I couldn't think of another word that fit :wacko:

I'm talking about those who had the studio's full support and resources. And maybe shouldn't have. Elvis is a great example. Although he did sell well.

 

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June Allyson ?   Although, come to think of it, June's grown  on me over the years. I used to really dislike her and think she was a no-talent, but now I've come around a bit to at least not minding her. But she was maybe over-promoted, given she was rather ordinary. Perhaps it was that very ordinariness that made the studios want to promote her.

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Posted (edited)

Linda Christian is one that comes to mind. Very pretty lady but not very talented, IMO.

Annabella - see Linda Christian. Both were married to Tyrone Power but Annabella actually started her acting career before Tyrone Power started his.

Lauren Bacall - another beauty but not someone I felt could truly act. She was okay with Bogart but that's it.

Sonja Henie - Never should have been allowed to 'act'. Great skater, terrible actress.

Simone Simon - I can only tolerate her in Cat People. Terrible actress.

Gene Raymond - To me, he was just plain boring.

I'll probably think of more later......

Edited by DawnM74
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I think this one's gonna get a lot of personal "dislikes" posted as "overrateds" .  There are a lot of actors and actresses that many people really adore that many others just can't stand for one reason or another, and vice-versa. 

I very early on in my tenure here, expressed MY feeling that ADOLPHE MENJOU only had a talent for being an annoying presence, and the "blowback" from many here, who are/were HUGE fans was Tsunami like.  So........

Sepiatone

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4 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

I think this one's gonna get a lot of personal "dislikes" posted as "overrateds" .  There are a lot of actors and actresses that many people really adore that many others just can't stand for one reason or another, and vice-versa. 

I very early on in my tenure here, expressed MY feeling that ADOLPHE MENJOU only had a talent for being an annoying presence, and the "blowback" from many here, who are/were HUGE fans was Tsunami like.  So........

Sepiatone

Well, Tsunamis can also be overrated too ya know, Sepia.

(...especially if you live inland) ;)

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1 hour ago, Dargo said:

Well, Tsunamis can also be overrated too ya know, Sepia.

(...especially if you live inland) ;)

What about that "Ocean Front Property In Arizona?"

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6 hours ago, Michael Rennie said:

What about that "Ocean Front Property In Arizona?"

Aaah! You must be referring to THIS thing here, eh M.R.?

san-andreas-fault-map.jpg

Well, the nearest I can figure, when this baby goes, we here in Sedona will STILL have to travel to San Bernardino to get our beach fix.

And THEN it'll be for me, and as Bugs here once said about Pismo Beach...

(...I like clams, ya know)

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I do live in CA. Dargo, but now worry so much more about wildfires, then floods.

I suppose you've not been to San Berdoo.

I've not been to Arizona.

"It's a dry heat."

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The thing is that if studios over promoted and the actors failed to perform at the box office, then they were dumped at the first opportunity. 

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I think Bette Davis was really overrated. She wasn't a good actress and was a bit homely. As for comedians, I think Joe E. Brown was just annoying with that odd laugh of his. 

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1 hour ago, Gershwin fan said:

I think Bette Davis was really overrated. She wasn't a good actress and was a bit homely. As for comedians, I think Joe E. Brown was just annoying with that odd laugh of his. 

She did have those "Betty Davis Eyes."

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5 hours ago, Michael Rennie said:

I do live in CA. Dargo, but now worry so much more about wildfires, then floods.

I suppose you've not been to San Berdoo.

I've not been to Arizona.

"It's a dry heat."

Au Contraire, mon frere. I've been to and through San Berdoo(hey, that rhymed!) many a time in my life.

First, and as a kid in the late-'50s and early-'60s, and when my immediate family would spend alternate Christmases at my Aunt Bess and Uncle Frank's home in San Bernardino. We'd drive there from our home in the South Bay area of L.A.

Secondly, now days I pass through the town on I-10 while driving back to my old stompin' grounds.

Or, to paraphrase an old W.C. Fields line: "AH yes, San Bernardino...I spent a week there one night!"

(...btw...one day you should visit both Sedona and the Grand Canyon...both are majestic)

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16 hours ago, Dargo said:

(...btw...one day you should visit both Sedona and the Grand Canyon...both are majestic)

Yes, Yes I should!

EDIT: In 2017, nearly 60,000 California residents moved to Arizona, according to that year’s Census Bureau data.

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I've felt this way about most SNL (Saturday Night Live), actors that get their character spun into movies. Every once in a while, SNL will do a funny skit. But, most of the show to me is 30 second bits stretched out into 10 minutes of tedium. Then they turn that into 90 mins of movie. Its basically adding bits and pieces and a flimsy plot to make it work.

Sure we remember the Eddie Murphy's and other hits. The bombs are quickly forgotten. But, I always feel that money could have gone to something more substantial.

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15 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

I think this one's gonna get a lot of personal "dislikes" posted as "overrateds" .  There are a lot of actors and actresses that many people really adore that many others just can't stand for one reason or another, and vice-versa. 

Sepiatone

Isn't this whole message board designed for people to voice their personal likes and dislikes ?

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WHOA!

Back off the FaceBook rhetoric there, boy!

But the thread asks about those "talents" that were/are overrated.  And of course, that's hard to reach any overall consensus on.  It's too subjective a subject, unless EVERYBODY here is a drama teacher or such.  And even then, I'll bet STELLA ADLER and LEE STRASBERG  probably wouldn't always see eye to eye.............  :huh:

Sepiatone

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On 4/22/2019 at 4:04 AM, Sepiatone said:

But the thread asks about those "talents" that were/are overrated.  And of course, that's hard to reach any overall consensus on.  It's too subjective a subject, unless EVERYBODY here is a drama teacher or such.

Incoming opinion. I don't think that finding a consensus is really the goal at hand. It isn't to me, anyway. I like to hear other people's opinions, especially those that I disagree with, simply because it shows me a new side of what I'm looking at. Hearing about the way certain things effect other people expands my frame of reference altogether, helping me form a more complete view of things, and giving me insights into the ways other people look at things. Sometime hearing negative commentary makes me love the things I love even more, because I will understand them better.

I'm a believer in discourse, and, IMO, people too often shy away from adding their negative impressions to a conversation for fear of being a party-pooping negative Nancy. It doesn't have to be that way. Conversations where everyone agrees on the subject aren't that much fun, anyway, and we know it's not really true. Let's hear those opinions and discuss them.

Just looking over this thread I'm already interested by the comment about Bette Davis not being able to act. :lol: That's sure not a universal opinion, but being in the minority doesn't make it "untrue." It depends more on what constitutes "good acting" for you. The field of acting is a pretty wide spectrum, and it's perfectly possible for an actor to be "overrated" in one way, and "underrated" in another.

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On 4/21/2019 at 5:13 AM, Sepiatone said:

I think this one's gonna get a lot of personal "dislikes" posted as "overrateds" .  There are a lot of actors and actresses that many people really adore that many others just can't stand for one reason or another, and vice-versa. 

I very early on in my tenure here, expressed MY feeling that ADOLPHE MENJOU only had a talent for being an annoying presence, and the "blowback" from many here, who are/were HUGE fans was Tsunami like.  So........

Sepiatone

I would have to agree about Menjou. Not a particular favorite of mine either. 

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42 minutes ago, Kay said:

Incoming opinion. I don't think that finding a consensus is really the goal at hand. It isn't to me, anyway.

Nor is it to me. I wanted to hear different personal opinions. Because there are quite a few that are very popular whom I can't stand. I'm sure others feel the same about someone.

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8 hours ago, Kay said:

Incoming opinion. I don't think that finding a consensus is really the goal at hand. It isn't to me, anyway. I like to hear other people's opinions, especially those that I disagree with, simply because it shows me a new side.

I like opposing views as well-sometimes it points out something you missed. I often find opinion changes as you age.

Most here on the board know my unpopular opinion of the most overrated actor: Tom Hanks. He can't act, or maybe just barely. Hanks built his reputation on his boyish cute looks & decently written, but unchallenging roles. BOSOM BUDDIES, SPLASH & BIG come to mind.

But put Hanks in a challenging role or movie and he just BOMBS.

APOLLO 13 is a great story with just a so-so script & direction and Hanks performance/believability fails miserably. In contrast, Kevin Bacon totally outshines him with his smaller, less showy role! It's very apparent, Hanks relies on supporting talent - most often his director, to assist him.

I last saw in in SAVING MR BANKS and again, Hanks just walked through his role, actually making the great character of Walt Disney come across as one dimensional, flat. His co-star was only a little better The strength of the movie comes from the production talent who crafted the story.

Some actors are so good, their performance can elevate a so-so script, amateur supporting actors, even the production. Other actors really need a high level of professional support to perform well. (I think Elvis fits in that category) Hanks is one of those actors who just isn't strong enough to carry a film on his own. Popular, but over rated.

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I agree on Elvis and even though she was integral to Hollywood's historical Golden Age and discovered Janet Leigh I'd have to say Norma Shearer - I had to google her name I forgot it- I just don't find her very appealing nor important. Now Mae West - she was a woman ;)

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On 4/20/2019 at 11:05 PM, DawnM74 said:

Linda Christian is one that comes to mind. Very pretty lady but not very talented, IMO.

Annabella - see Linda Christian. Both were married to Tyrone Power but Annabella actually started her acting career before Tyrone Power started his.

Lauren Bacall - another beauty but not someone I felt could truly act. She was okay with Bogart but that's it.

Sonja Henie - Never should have been allowed to 'act'. Great skater, terrible actress.

Simone Simon - I can only tolerate her in Cat People. Terrible actress.

Gene Raymond - To me, he was just plain boring.

I'll probably think of more later......

Totally agree on Bacall.  Her movies with her boyfriend worked, while nothing else she did ever rose to those. I swear she actually never really learned to act...

Gene Raymond is spot on in Red Dust, only because he gets to play a boring guy! So yea, if you wanted dull, he's your guy!

Simone Simon.  Again.  Spot on.  Cool role in that odd movie, but it works.  But only there.

 

Cheers!

 

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