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Actors/Actresses Who IRRITATE You!

387 posts in this topic

I know I'm going to get stoned for this, but I have to say it: I can't stand John Wayne, never could, never will. I always thought he walked like a girl, his acting-talent was non-existent, and I just never understood the fascination. Enlighten me, please.

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Very interesting. How do you feel about Zasu Pitts in silent films? How do you feel about other ladies with deep voices, e.g.Talullah? Lauren Bacall? Eugene Pallette? (Just kidding).

 

Regarding Thelma Ritter (gotta love her) I find there are alot of actors who may not seem to have much range, but I don't find them irritating. Spencer Tracy, for example. But I like him, even though I think his range is limited.

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Based on what I have seen here at Message Boards over the years I would say Kate Hepburn is the #1 actress that takes a beating. (#1 in that she is one of the most well known and awarded).

 

I was surprised when I discovered this. Now I love many of the movies Kate is in; Mostly those with Cary Grant and pre-1950, but I can understand why Kate would get under someone's skin. Take a movie I love: The African Queen. Now for the first half or so of this movie Kate is a real pain in the rear. Bogie's character doesn't like her. Who would and in many ways that is the persona of Kate. Take the movie she with with Monty and Liz; Suddenly Last Summer. Again, an unlikeable character and full of airs, like Kate. But one is missing some great movies if they let their feelings towards Kate prevent them from seeing these movies.

 

As for an actress that bugs me; I got to agree with many others here; June Allyson

 

Edited by: jamesjazzguitar on Mar 24, 2011 7:49 PM

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As for Depp can you name the movies he has been in where you feel he is a great actor?

 

I felt the guy had potential 10 or so years ago but then he decided to go for the money. I don't blame him for that but really I don't think he cares about acting at all. Really what movies do you feel will be classics in say 20 years that Depp is the lead actor in? Chocolate is a very good movie and he does a good job there but he isn't even the star of that.

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Everytime I see Casey Adams/ Max Showalter in a movie I think of the film *Niagara* when he played Jean Peters' creepy husband. I then picture him going over the falls in a boat (instead of poor Joe Cotten).

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"Poor" Joe Cotten? The guy killed his wife.

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How John Wayne could make all those war movies when in reality he spent the war partying in Hollywood...!

I heard he tried to make an appearance at a vet's hospital where guys were shot up and dying, and they all yelled "F**k you, John Wayne!" and he left quickly.

If you ask most Americans, "Did John Wayne really serve in WW2?" most people, who remember him, think he actually did.

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I love Kate -- her style, her films, her persona, her Yankee character, even her politics. She could be a bit mannered and annyoying in the occasional scene, but that was generally character driven. For me, she is one of the greats.

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I'm afraid I almost always find her "mannered and annoying". And I don't think it's character-driven, I think it's Katharine Hepburn driven.

Although now that you mention it, she did almost always play variations on the same kind of character -another reason why I think she's over-rated. People go on and on about what a great actress she was, but she never demonstrated the versatility of, say Bette Davis or even a lesser-known star like Ida Lupino.

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Most of the actors of the golden age, in the films we love, tended to be cast in similar roles. That was the studio system, and it was a GOOD system. It wasn't the theater, where the Lunts could go on and seem to be totally different, unrecognizable people in every play. In a funny way, it wasn't about the acting -- it was about the movie. All the great character people played versions of the same role again and again, for the most part. OK, Bette Davis could put on eyebrows and seem different, but when Charlotte Vale took off those eyebrows, she was Judith Traherne. And as Julie in Jezebel, Bette is really another version of Traherne. And take Greer Garson, one of my favorites -- she was always pretty much some version of the same great lady in all of her films. And another one of my favorites -- Beulah Bondi -- a great actress -- but always pretty much Beulah Bondi.

 

I hate to say it, but in some ways the actors -- and I love them all -- in those films were to some extent props -- great directors learned to use them to the best advantage. This is all rather a simplification, obviously, but it's pretty much how things were.

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Joan Crawford. Annoyingly over the top; her acting straddles the line between awful and unintentionally hilarious. Also the least attractive lead actress of that era.

 

And, of course, Jane Fonda and Sean Penn, for reasons I've already mentioned here.

 

(Dis) honorable mention: Mickey Rooney. "If you stepped on Mickey Rooney, he'd still turn around and smile."

 

Edited by: soniquemd21921 on Mar 24, 2011 11:06 PM

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Hang the "kick me" sign on me. I always thought these two actors looked a lot alike and now I know why-they were the same person. He was okay in some roles but I was never a big fan.

 

One thing we can be glad of is that while he played Ward Cleaver in the Leave it to Beaver pilot by the time it hit our TV screens Hugh Beaumont had replaced him. The difference was night from day with Beaumont the day. I don't like putting any performer down but it's the truth.

 

Edited by: wouldbestar on Mar 24, 2011 11:28 PM

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Well, I've got to step in and defend Loretta Young. I love her in early talkies; she knows how to play off her leading man and the other actors; she doesn't take herself all that seriously and she always seems to be having fun. She's very good in PLATINUM BLONDE, WEEK-END MARRIAGE, TAXI!, MAN'S CASTLE, THE LIFE OF JIMMY DOLAN, ZOO IN BUDAPEST and MIDNIGHT MARY--they all display her casual charm and un-self conscious sensuality. I won't claim to be as familiar with her later work, but I also liked her in A NIGHT TO REMEMBER.

 

Van Heflin might not be the most riveting leading man ever, but do watch KID GLOVE KILLER and THE PROWLER to see how good he really could be.

 

June Allyson does nothing for me and I don't know why anyone allowed her to sing in some of her musicals. Kathryn Grayson's singing generally appalls me, but her overall persona might not be offensive enough to put on the "irritating" list.

 

Gregory Peck's persona is Very Serious And Virtuous, with more than a little wooden pretentiousness thrown in. I say it's spinach, and I say the hell with it.

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Barbra Streisand

Woody Allen

Carol Burnett

Baby Sandy

Janet Burstin & Bobby Blake in Our Gang.

 

Sometimes:

Mickey Rooney (especially in "Midsummer Night's Dream")

Marlon Brando (most of the time)

Lucille Ball (post-1940's, and yes, including that famous TV show of hers)

Jerry Lewis

Ben Blue

Ethel Merman (loud characters like she was in"Mad Mad World")

Almost anything post-1960.

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The George Costanza character is certain respects was based on Woody Allen. In the early "Seinfeld" episodes, he seemed very Woody-ish.

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

> Most of the actors of the golden age, in the films we love, tended to be cast in similar roles. That was the studio system, and it was a GOOD system. It wasn't the theater, where the Lunts could go on and seem to be totally different, unrecognizable people in every play. In a funny way, it wasn't about the acting -- it was about the movie. All the great character people played versions of the same role again and again, for the most part. OK, Bette Davis could put on eyebrows and seem different, but when Charlotte Vale took off those eyebrows, she was Judith Traherne. And as Julie in Jezebel, Bette is really another version of Traherne. And take Greer Garson, one of my favorites -- she was always pretty much some version of the same great lady in all of her films. And another one of my favorites -- Beulah Bondi -- a great actress -- but always pretty much Beulah Bondi.

>

> I hate to say it, but in some ways the actors -- and I love them all -- in those films were to some extent props -- great directors learned to use them to the best advantage. This is all rather a simplification, obviously, but it's pretty much how things were.

 

Swithin, you make a very good point with that. I don't argue that the studios would take an actor or actress and decide to create an image around them from which they rarely varied to any significant degree. And yes, this is true of almost all of the stars from the "Golden Age".

 

However i still say that Katharine Hepburn, even more than most stars from that era, displayed little range in her career - maybe she reached a little farther as she got older.

Bette Davis may have played variations on the same persona, but she played a far greater variety of roles than Hepburn did. For one thing, as you've mentioned yourself, she was willing to play old and unattractive women long before she was even middle-aged. She also played, especially in the 30s, girls who were prostitutes or anyway "tarts", unpleasant women (I'm tempted to say b*tches), selfish, vain , proud, nasty people, and leave us not forget murderers.

 

I may be wrong - I often am - but offhand I don't recall Katharine Hepburn taking on those kinds of roles. And I don't buy "but she had to do what the studio wanted her to do" - she was every bit as strong and assertive about what she wanted as Davis was.

 

But it isn't just the way everyone exaggerates her acting skills that bothers me; it's just, as I've said, there is, to me anyway, something offensively smug and conceited about her -oh, dahling, she's just soooo wonderful ! She seems to me like she's always thinking about herself in some way, even on screen. She's always "acting".

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Mar 25, 2011 10:19 AM

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Miss W.,

 

I agree with many of your points, at least up until your last paragraph. I think Hollywood didn't really have an actress/woman like Kate, and she was a natural for the roles they/she picked. They couldn't have cast Jean Harlow as Tracy Lord or Hepburn as the "tart" in *Dinner at Eight*. She was an upper middle class Yankee, and that's generally what she played.

 

And -- not that this reflects on her acting one way or the other -- I admire the way she lived her life -- independent, progressive politically at a time when it was dangerous to do so. And basically a kind person, as contrasted with Davis, whose nastiness to the cast (including Lillian Gish) on the set of *Whales of August* is unforgiveable.

 

I love Bette Davis. She certainly played a greater diversity of roles than Kate. There was probably less range in Bette's acting than people give her credit for, but the sheer number of great performances and great films is amazing. But there is a scene in *Juarez* -- a film in which Davis has many towering scenes -- in which she suddenly becomes just Bette Davis. It's when she's talking to Brian Aherne about the time she was a little girl at court. Her whole tone in that scene is out of keeping with the film.

 

Also, Bette's off-screen persona is not as noble as Kate's. I'm not talking about "personal life." I can't imagine Davis making the speech that Kate made on Broadway, right after the Kent State Massacre in 1970. We can of course say that the politics had nothing to do with Kate's acting; but I do think Kate's independent spirit infused her work to a great degree.

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Perhaps Hepburn was more admirable in her public life than Davis. I was unaware that Bette Davis could be nasty like that to her co-stars (and to Lilian Gish, just as venerable as Davis ! ? ) and that's a little disillusioning for me.

 

There was a thread not too long ago about stars and their personal lives and whether people think about their misbehaviour when watching them on screen. I come down very strongly on the side of those who try- usually successfully - to forget all about whatever the actor is like off-screen. no matter what they've done, it has no bearing on their art. The only time their private life bothers me is if some moral or political stand they've taken in their art conflicts with some thing they've done in their personal life. In other words, some kind of hypocrisy is involved. This obviously would apply more to directors or writers than actors.

 

I've never seen *Juarez* - I'll try and catch it next time it's on.

 

Maybe it just comes down to the original title of this thread...when all's said and done, sometimes an actor/actress is irritating to us, we can't even always explain why. And sometimes we can be enthralled with a star for the same reason -or rather, lack of reason. It's all very subjective, isn't it?

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James Spader's acting style always puts me to sleep within minutes. It seems that the more listless and monotonous his line deliveries get, the more acting awards he wins. Very irritating . . .

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Yes, the on-screen/off-screen subject is oft debated in all art forms, really. An actor I generally like on screen -- Walter Brennan -- was a vicious, unrepentent racist. I try not to let that influence my enjoyment of his work on screen. But the difference with Hepburn is that her off-screen independence and commitment DID infuse her on-screen choices and performances. And since I tend to share Kate's values, that means something to me.

 

And yes, it's all very subjective! Like the man who posted here who basically seems not to like women with deep voices; or the one who doesn't like Edward Everett Horton because of his voice!

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

> Everyone in your "sometimes" section is extremely well-known except for Ben Blue. How did he sneak into the list?

>

Because of the way he acts in the Hal Roach "Taxi Boys" shorts.

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Just for the record as far as movies they were in and their legacy on the sceen I love both Bette and Kate, but Bette is #1 in my book (Kate is #6). But I do question how indepedent Kate was. Can someone really claim to be independent when they waited around for a married man (Tracy) to come vist them when the guy could get away from his family committments? I really don't think so. I'm not saying a women has to be married and I'm not judging their affair from a moral POV but to me an indepedent women would of moved on. My understanding was that Tracy wasn't really a very nice man and I just don't see a women, that is known for being such an independent sprit putting up with that entire affair. In some ways Kate acted like a 15 year of school girl. Yes, she was independent in that she had a busy life and didn't need or want (so she claims but I'm not buying it), a great love. My gut tells me she was loney and this 'I don't need anyone' was more of her putting on airs.

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I'm curious whether Kate turned down roles that were outside her "narrow" range, or just was not offerred them. BRINGING UP BABY was certainly a role that was outside the range of those she had been playing.

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