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bklynrose

Greatest Actor Ever

50 posts in this topic

Brando was an actor who really needed a good director to bring out his best qualities and prevent him from overacting. And he also worked and came off best when surrounded by actors of the same school

 

A truly great actor can take a really lousy script - or even a really lousy line - and make it seem real and reasonable. Claude Rains is one of these, though he seemed to be pretty shrewd in not appearing in poorly-written projects. Even when his character was flamboyant (DECEPTION, FOUR DAUGHTERS) his external characterization was always matched by his internal energy. Tracy was another who was able to make very line his own. Completely different styles but both achieving an amazing reality in their performances. Olivier could be great, but he could also be very external with not much to back it up.

 

IMHO, of course!

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Thanks for giving me my first big laugh of the day!

 

See him in the invisible man! you joker you!

 

Rains is clearly one of the best actors of all time.

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No one seems to have mentioned Robert Downey Jr. along the way. Also, how about Meryl Streep & Vanessa Redgrave. And, y'know, Cher was pretty good too.

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Well the thread is greatest actor ever and not 'pretty good too' but this is the problem with that type of question. i.e. after a while we just get a list of hundreds of actors that most people feel produced good work (PS: I agree with you on Cher as very good, but I got flack for that a while back!)..

 

This relates to the favorites listing of films and stars that one can list under in the CFU. Now I decided to list only my top 10 stars and limit the number of films I picked to around 20 or so. Why did I do this?

 

Well I feel one can learn more about me (or me about someone else), if the list is limited. I have seen people list, say > 50 stars or hundreds of movies, and thus I really don't know where they stand (well unless they love all those stars and movies equally which I find hard to believe).

 

But of course there are many stars I like and enjoy in film that I did NOT list as one of my top 10. The biggest male star would be Jimmy Steward. Again I like Steward but he just lacks that punch that say a Bogie or Mitchum have to be in my top 10. But if someone else list their top 10 and Jimmy is in it I can see which actor from my top 10 they left out (most likely Leslie Howard since he doesn't make many people's top 10).

 

Anyhow I just feel more is gained by a comparision of a limited list.

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Nice to see someone mention Meryl Streep as many film critics view her as the finest living actress, but has anyone mentioned the always wonderful Shirley Maclaine?

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I think the question is unanswerable. Brando is a favorite of mine, I think I feel him the most. Mitchum is another favorite of mine, I enjoy him a lot. But, as far as acting styles go, the two are as different as night and day. As I said in another thread, I think Toshiro Mifune is a fine actor, with a scope well beyond the samurai films he is best known for. His character is immensely powerful.

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If I am remembering it correctly, both Laurence Olivier and writer Gore Vidal consider Mickey Rooney the greatest actor that ever worked in films.

 

Something I learned during "Guest Programmer Month" in the fall of 2007.

 

I think the comment is included in this clip for *A Midsummer Night's Dream* -

http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/index?cid=185375

 

But the comment might have come up in the intros with Jerry Stiller that month too.

 

Jerry Stiller's Intro to *Andy Hardy Meets Debutante* -

http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/index?cid=186749

 

Jerry Stiller's Intro to *Boy's Town* -

http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/index?cid=186744

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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That's correct, Olivier did call Mickey Rooney the best actor America has ever produced.

 

Recently, TCM showed THE COCKEYED WONDER. It's a silly little film produced by Columbia in the early 50s. I studied Rooney carefully in that film, because I knew it was a corny programmer and wanted to see if he could elevate the material. He certainly did. How?

 

Well, there's a scene where he has to fall backwards on some rocks into a pool of water. Any ordinary actor would've just fallen. But Mickey Rooney really falls...he sort of wiggles in the air and gets every bit of energy out of that stunt. I don't even think Mickey Rooney walks or breathes on film without putting every last drop of energy into it. It doesn't make him hammy per se...it shows that he is a hard worker and he is constantly trying to make the scenes come alive. You cannot help but admire that, and you can see that warmth he has with costars...they get caught up in his Mickey-isms, and it makes the film, even a routine programmer, seem extra special. On the off chance that Mickey Rooney is given even better material (like in BOYS TOWN or THE HUMAN COMEDY), it is that much more extraordinary.

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This is quite interesting. Rooney's a great talent. I like his work. But it would never have occurred to me to heap this type of praise on him. I once heard an actress rave about Dick Van Dyke. Said playing opposite him was real. That he doesn't look like he's acting at all. There again, Van Dyke's a phenomenal comedian. His timing is uncanny. A great actor? You don't hear that every day!

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There are some actors/actresses who are praised here and on other boards (maybe more for their looks though) and I don't consider them great actors. Or some people whose looks overshadow their great acting talents. Rooney is neither of these, however, he would never make any "top" lists for me, even though I am sure those Andy Hardy films are just swell. I am only familiar with Mickey's work around the time he was trying to leave that squeaky clean image alone. He did alright as the down on his luck petty thief in QUICKSAND.

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Well when it comes to this type of discussion ('who are the greatest') looks can cause one to be overrated as well as underrated.

 

Take Cary Grant. Because he was so good looking some people might not give him as much credit as he was due.

 

Of course I see someone listed E.G. Robertson; On one could say it was because of his looks.

 

But I do notice that Errol Flynn is one of the most favorite actors listed in CFU 'favorite stars' and while I'm a fan of Flynn and he did do some good work I'm still going to assume his high ranking has something to do with his looks.

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> {quote:title=jamesjazzguitar wrote:}{quote}

> Well when it comes to this type of discussion ('who are the greatest') looks can cause one to be overrated as well as underrated.

>

> Take Cary Grant. Because he was so good looking some people might not give him as much credit as he was due.

>

> Of course I see someone listed E.G. Robertson; On one could say it was because of his looks.

>

> But I do notice that Errol Flynn is one of the most favorite actors listed in CFU 'favorite stars' and while I'm a fan of Flynn and he did do some good work I'm still going to assume his high ranking has something to do with his looks.

 

I couldn't agree more. I think many Ty Power fans are more fan of his looks and matinee idol reputation than his acting and films, and I think he was a pretty good actor and did well in some solid roles.

 

I think females are usually tooted more than men. For example, nothing is really stellar about the acting of Kim Novak or Veronica Lake...but they can easily turn a thread into 10+ pages.

 

(all of this my opinion of course)

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Ah, Leslie Howard. I'm one of those odd balls that preferred his character in GWTW to that of Rhett Butler's. I always liked gentle men, those that were kind, thoughtful & loyal, as his character was. Have never been interested in gamblers, whoremasters or those with smug confidence in their looks & power over women. Consummate actor, died too young, wish we could have seen more of him.

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I agree on all your points, especially Cary Grant. A superb actor who could play just about anything; romance, drama, silly comedy and adventure. Known for his dashing good looks, he would have been just as good had he looked like, well, me!

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Clearskies, I absolutely adore Leslie Howard in THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL, and THE PETRIFIED FOREST. For a while he was my favorite actor and I continue to think that his performances in those two films moves me to intense emotion!

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Two of my favorite movies as well. Makes me wonder what really makes an exceptional actor. Is it the script, direction, story line, location, talent? Probably a mixture of many things while sometimes a few things might be lacking the basic talent has gotta be there.

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Good to see other enjoy the work of Leslie Howard (limited as it is by his early death). Don't forget that Howard also made some very funny comedies like Its Love I'm After with Bette Davis and Olivia De Haviland (one of the top 5 comedies of the 30 in my view), as well as that other movie with Bette, Of Human Bondage.

 

The intelligence and way Howard says his line like something interesting is going on in that head of his is what always got to me.

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Guest

Everybody knows that there is one name that stands out among all the rest...JOHN WAYNE, not necessarily the best but the GREATEST! Now as to the best......BURT LANCASTER. My 2 bids.

 

Edited by: The_Destroyer on Oct 3, 2010 9:04 AM

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Some good choices. Having just watched Wm Powell & Myrna Loy again in "Love Crazy" this morning I am reminded what a sterling actor Powell is. He has had a very long & excellent career & I just never get tired of watching him. Loved him in "Libeled Lady" & "My Man Godfrey" especially, & not forgetting all those great "Thin Man" series. Great actor all around, in my opinion.

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