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A new appreciation

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One of the first actors I gained new respect for was the great Eddie Albert. I had watched him for years in the old Warners films as the second lead [ or third at times] in light comedies.But when I watched his performance in "Attack" as the cowardly Captain, I was blown away. I knew nothing of his war record at the time. A few years later he again knocked me for a loop when he co-starred with Gregory Peck in the much under rated "Captain Newman M.D.".  I became a big fan of his work, although he continued in lighter roles, at times he did cross over to the more dramatic i.e. the prison warden in Burt Reynolds "The Longest Yard". He always gave a stellar performance even if the movie didn't live up to it's potential Eddie Albert did...

Nice post. I've long thought Eddie Albert deserved a Summer Under the Stars tribute. He made many good films.

 

He's also one of those rare actors, like Fred MacMurray and Brian Keith, who could do a lead role on a sitcom and go right back to playing important roles in movies. 

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Albert Finney...due to SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING.

I agree he's great in that film. 

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Albert Finney...due to SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING.

I didn't take to Finney until SHOOT THE MOON.

 

But, THAT was before I got around to seeing MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS and LOOKER.

 

 

Sepiatone

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Law And Order SVU seems to be a ideal place for comedic actors to play very serious characters, usually very villainous types. Jerry Lewis, Martin Short, Robin Williams, Carol Burnett, ( and there may be others) all did memorable guest shots on that show.

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Law And Order SVU seems to be a ideal place for comedic actors to play very serious characters, usually very villainous types. Jerry Lewis, Martin Short, Robin Williams, Carol Burnett, ( and there may be others) all did memorable guest shots on that show.

Yes-- it's called casting against type. Sometimes Murder, She Wrote resorted to this trick-- they would put very likable stars into stories where they turned out to be the killers. You would never expect Dean Jones to murder someone after all those warm and fuzzy Disney movies, but there he was committing the heinous crime! Thank goodness Jessica Fletcher was on to him. :)

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Yes-- it's called casting against type. Sometimes Murder, She Wrote resorted to this trick-- they would put very likable stars into stories where they turned out to be the killers. You would never expect Dean Jones to murder someone after all those warm and fuzzy Disney movies, but there he was committing the heinous crime! Thank goodness Jessica Fletcher was on to him. :)

I would have liked to see John Belushi do some serious acting.(He was voted the greatest cast member in SNL's history.)

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Joan Crawford

 

Never liked her much, then she was SOTM in Jan 2014 and it changed me about her. I found myself liking some of her later films (1950s) which I would not have expected. I am a bona fide Joanie fan now.

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Law And Order SVU seems to be a ideal place for comedic actors to play very serious characters, usually very villainous types. Jerry Lewis, Martin Short, Robin Williams, Carol Burnett, ( and there may be others) all did memorable guest shots on that show.

 

A few years back and a few months after Mel Gibson made a fool of himself during a traffic stop by a police officer, Chevy Chase(believe it or not) was actually pretty decent in a Law & Order episode playing a dramatized version of this incident and its aftermath.

 

(...but then again, that probably wasn't really all that much of stretch for Chevy, as I understand it's pretty well known in the Industry that in real life he can be as big a jerk as Mel can be!) LOL

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Joan Crawford

 

Never liked her much, then she was SOTM in Jan 2014 and it changed me about her. I found myself liking some of her later films (1950s) which I would not have expected. I am a bona fide Joanie fan now.

 

Funny how these SOTM spotlights can change a long-held opinion about certain actors and actresses, isn't it laffite?!

 

In my case it was last year (I think) when this series featured Eleanor Parker. I always thought she specialized in the "whinny" roles, and then I caught her in "Scaramouche".

 

(...and no, she didn't do the "fandango" in it...she didn't need to) ;)

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Funny how these SOTM spotlights can change a long-held opinion about certain actors and actresses, isn't it laffite?!

 

In my case it was last year (I think) when this series featured Eleanor Parker. I always thought she specialized in the "whinny" roles, and then I caught her in "Scaramouche".

 

(...and no, she didn't do the "fandango" in it...she didn't need to) ;)

 

You know, Dargo, I had a similar Eleanor Parker appreciation moment via TCM, but for me the movie was A MILLIONAIRE FOR CHRISTY.

I'm not sure I'd ever heard of Eleanor Parker before watching TCM.

She really blew me away in A MILLIONAIRE FOR CHRISTY. And that kissing scene in the moonlight with her and Fred McMurray was smoking hot especially for the early 1950s and it seemed so real. 

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You know, Dargo, I had a similar Eleanor Parker appreciation moment via TCM, but for me the movie was A MILLIONAIRE FOR CHRISTY.

I'm not sure I'd ever heard of Eleanor Parker before watching TCM.

She really blew me away in A MILLIONAIRE FOR CHRISTY. And that kissing scene in the moonlight with her and Fred McMurray was smoking hot especially for the early 1950s and it seemed so real. 

 

Yep Holden, that's definitely a nice little latter day-made screwball comedy, alright. And yeah, you're right. That romantic beach scene along the Pacific between L.A. and San Diego they perform that night IS smoldering, as Eleanor and Fred showed some real chemistry there.

 

(...yep, this movie shown during her SOTM turn also might have contributed to my warming to Eleanor...good call)

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Dennis Morgan!

 

For years I knew him as The Guy In CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT. Then I found out he was doing his own singing in that movie. Then I saw him in more movies. Then I found out he was a great guy in real life-- stayed married to the same person, etc. Now I love him and actually seek out Dennis Morgan movies. :)

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Dennis Morgan!

 

For years I knew him as The Guy In CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT. Then I found out he was doing his own singing in that movie. Then I saw him in more movies. Then I found out he was a great guy in real life-- stayed married to the same person, etc. Now I love him and actually seek out Dennis Morgan movies. :)

He's even a pleasure to watch in his B films. Check out TEAR GAS SQUAD, made early in his career at Warners. He plays an Irish cop and sings several classic Irish tunes. Mary Gordon is his mother, and John Payne is his brother in that one.

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Lately I've been developing a newer, deeper appreciation for Ray Milland. He turned up recently on two episodes of Columbo, made in the early 70s. In the first one, he is a distraught husband with a much younger wife who has been murdered, and he helps the rumpled detective get to the bottom of things.

 

In the second one, he is the villain--staging a kidnapping with the intention of killing the victim. Of course, smart as he is, he's no match for Peter Falk's character.

 

Oh-- and it's worth saying that in the first episode of Columbo he did, he allows himself to be photographed bald (he had lost most of his hair by that point) and in the later episode he is wearing a toupee. So he wasn't afraid to do whatever was required for the role.

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A bit more about Ray Milland:

 

While looking at the list of Best Actor Oscar recipients in the 1940s-- is he just one of the best or what? It probably helped that he began directing movies in the 50s, because when we see him in those television programs near the end of his career, he is absolutely perfect. There isn't one false note in any of his roles, because he seems to be directing himself at the same time he is taking direction from someone else.

 

He is also very good in both of the Rich Man, Poor Man miniseries. 

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He is also very good in both of the Rich Man, Poor Man miniseries. 

Milland was also good in Testimony of Two Men, another miniseries that aired around 1980.  It wasn't on a major network, but rather, independent stations across the country.  It co-starred David Birney and Linda Purl.

 

For me, one actor I had seen on numerous television shows in the 60's and 70's made me wonder "who's he, and what's the big deal with him"...During the 1980's, I caught a film of his on my local PBS station.  They show classic movies (usually 2 or 3) on Saturday nights.  The movie was Alfred Hitchcock's 'Saboteur', starring Bob Cummings.  I thought he was very good in it.  Thanks to TCM, I've been able to catch other movies of his.  He may not have the screen presence of a Gable, Heston, or Wayne, but it seems most of the roles he played on the big screen were very believable and thoughtfully performed.

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For me, one actor I had seen on numerous television shows in the 60's and 70's made me wonder "who's he, and what's the big deal with him"...During the 1980's, I caught a film of his on my local PBS station.  They show classic movies (usually 2 or 3) on Saturday nights.  The movie was Alfred Hitchcock's 'Saboteur', starring Bob Cummings.  I thought he was very good in it.  Thanks to TCM, I've been able to catch other movies of his.  He may not have the screen presence of a Gable, Heston, or Wayne, but it seems most of the roles he played on the big screen were very believable and thoughtfully performed.

Yes, Cummings is a fairly good actor. He did an installment of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour...and then he also turned up later on an episode of Here's Lucy. 

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I'm not sure I'd ever heard of Eleanor Parker before watching TCM.*

 

 

The first time I saw an Eleanor Parker movie was back in 1972,.  It was "Home for the Holidays", an ABC Movie of the Week offering.  It co-starred Sally Field, Jessica Walter, Julie Harris, and Walter Brennan.  It was a thriller-type movie, and even though I saw it only once, some parts of it still stick with me.  Once I got up the nerve to watch The Sound of Music, I noticed she was in that too, but her role wasn't very substantial.  Like you, I wasn't all that familiar with her work.  TCM has been a real treasure trove of actors and actresses that  I had either forgotten about never really knew much about to begin with.

 

*Quote attributed to HoldenIsHere!

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I'm not sure I'd ever heard of Eleanor Parker before watching TCM.*

 

 

The first time I saw an Eleanor Parker movie was back in 1972,.  It was "Home for the Holidays", an ABC Movie of the Week offering.  It co-starred Sally Field, Jessica Walter, Julie Harris, and Walter Brennan.  It was a thriller-type movie, and even though I saw it only once, some parts of it still stick with me.  Once I got up the nerve to watch The Sound of Music, I noticed she was in that too, but her role wasn't very substantial.  Like you, I wasn't all that familiar with her work.  TCM has been a real treasure trove of actors and actresses that  I had either forgotten about never really knew much about to begin with.

 

*Quote attributed to HoldenIsHere!

 

Parker is the actress I also 'discovered' that to TCM featuring her as Star of the Month.     Yea,  I had heard of Parker and I had seen her in a few films but it wasn't until she was SOTM that I really took notice of how fine an actress she was.

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Parker is the actress I also 'discovered' that to TCM featuring her as Star of the Month.     Yea,  I had heard of Parker and I had seen her in a few films but it wasn't until she was SOTM that I really took notice of how fine an actress she was.

I've been looking at some of Hedda Hopper's columns from the mid-60s-- and in one of them, she was talking about Eleanor Parker returning to the screen in THE SOUND OF MUSIC. She didn't even mention Andrews or Plummer. 

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I've been looking at some of Hedda Hopper's columns from the mid-60s-- and in one of them, she was talking about Eleanor Parker returning to the screen in THE SOUND OF MUSIC. She didn't even mention Andrews or Plummer. 

 

Well in the early 60s Parker started doing TV work and didn't make any movies for a few years so I assume this is what Hopper meant by 'returning'.    Andrews hadn't been in or out of the movie business long enough for any 'return'.

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Well in the early 60s Parker started doing TV work and didn't make any movies for a few years so I assume this is what Hopper meant by 'returning'.    Andrews hadn't been in or out of the movie business long enough for any 'return'.

Yes. My point is that today when people refer to this movie, Andrews or Plummer dominate the discussion. And Parker is but a footnote. However, when the film first was released, Hedda (who was obviously an Eleanor Parker fan) was giving her more press than the two leads.

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Nan Grey -- always liked her in The Invisible Man Returns. Recently saw her in Three Smart Girls -- there's a hilarious little scene where she's riding a rocking horse -- you have to see it to appreciate it! I'll never think of her the same way! Also caught her in one of those Crime Club movies.

 

Akim Tamiroff -- I know him mainly from Touch of Evil. I've since seen him in Topkapi and Dangerous to Know. Too bad he didn't get more lead roles.

 

Ilona Massey --First saw her in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. Saw her recently in International Lady. She was great! I'm only sorry she wasn't in more movies.

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