kingrat

Lead or Supporting Role?

544 posts in this topic

Who are the leading roles in "The Importance of Being Earnest"? Is Joan Greenwood leading or supporting?

 

For "From Here to Eternity" I would suggest that Lancaster, Clift and Kerr are three leading roles. 

 

For "How to Marry a Millionaire" I think there are three female leading roles; each has her own storyline.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who are the leading roles in "The Importance of Being Earnest"? Is Joan Greenwood leading or supporting?

 

For "From Here to Eternity" I would suggest that Lancaster, Clift and Kerr are three leading roles.

 

I have Greenwood as supporting as do some others.  Some have suggested that Edith Evans might be considered a lead but the house is divided.  Redgrave is a lead for certain!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joan Greenwood has one of the most wonderful line readings in The Importance of Being Ernest, making this sound like the greatest tragedy of all time:

 

"I asked for bread and butter, but you have given me cake."

 

You probably have to have the Greenwood voice to make this a memorable line.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I re-watched The Caine Mutiny recently because my spouse expressed an interest in seeing it (love it when that happens). He expressed surprised that Humphrey Bogart's entrance in the film was so delayed. He also was surprised that we didn't learn what happened to Captain Queeg after the trial. I think his reactions point up how clearly Bogart is playing a supporting role here. By the way, I looked up Wikipedia's article on the novel: Captain Queeg is sent to a naval supply depot in Iowa, obviously the end of his career.

 

Because I was looking for such things, it seemed very clear that Robert Francis plays the one and only leading role. The film opens with his graduation from Annapolis; he gets the only romantic interlude; and we follow his career and maturation from stage to stage. He's the only person we follow after the trial, as he reunites with his girlfriend. Francis' inexperience and relative lack of charisma make it harder to recognize how large his role is. He's not bad, and is perfectly cast for the part, but he can't hold his own against the top-notch pros.

 

Although I hadn't remembered Tom Tully much at all, this time I thought he gave a very fine performance as Francis' first captain. Always believable, never reaching for effects. His Oscar nomination isn't as much of a head-scratcher as I had thought.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only movie that comes to mind where there are TWO Leading Roles is Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in 1962's What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. Bette was up for best actress for that movie but Joan sabotaged it so no one would nominate Bette for her role of Baby Jane Hudson. If Crawford hadn't gone around to everyone telling them not to nominate Davis--Davis would have been the first actress to win 3 Oscars.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is Eva Marie-Saint lead or supporting for North by Northwest?  The case for supporting is that she's the last major character to appear, and she basically appears in four scenes (the train, Chicago/the auction, the Mount Rushmore restaurant and the climax). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is Eva Marie-Saint lead or supporting for North by Northwest?  The case for supporting is that she's the last major character to appear, and she basically appears in four scenes (the train, Chicago/the auction, the Mount Rushmore restaurant and the climax). 

 

I think that Saint is the lead in the film.  She is the character who uses her feminine wiles to lead Grant to Vandamm.  Without her, Grant wouldn't have found Vandamm.  I would say that James Mason is a lead as well, as it is he who causes Grant to get into his predicament in the first place.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only movie that comes to mind where there are TWO Leading Roles is Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in 1962's What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. Bette was up for best actress for that movie but Joan sabotaged it so no one would nominate Bette for her role of Baby Jane Hudson. If Crawford hadn't gone around to everyone telling them not to nominate Davis--Davis would have been the first actress to win 3 Oscars.

 

There are plenty of films where there are two leading roles: (Double Indemnity, Barbara Stanwyck & Fred MacMurray; Casablanca Humphrey Bogart & Ingrid BergmanIt Happened One Night, Claudette Colbert & Clark Gableto name a few).

 

Bette Davis was nominated for her role in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? but Joan Crawford was not.  In the days leading up to the Academy Award ceremony, Crawford contacted all the other Best Actress nominees to find out if any of them could not accept their awards and to ask if she could accept on their behalf.  Anne Bancroft ended up winning for The Miracle Worker, but could not attend the ceremony because she was in New York appearing in a play.  Bancroft told Crawford she could accept her award.  When Bancroft's name was announced and Davis' wasn't, Crawford triumphantly rushed up stage to accept it--she was absolutely thrilled that Davis hadn't won--even if Davis' victory would have meant more business for their film.

 

Crawford and Davis' contempt for one another is the reason why Crawford quit one-week into the production of Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte and was replaced with Olivia de Havilland, a close friend of Davis'. 

 

For what it's worth, I much prefer Davis over Crawford.  I like Crawford in one part of her career, her 1940s-1950s output, before she had the enormous lips and eyebrows.  I didn't think she was that great in her 1930s films, her dancing is horrible.  In the 1960s, she became a parody of herself.  Davis, I think, was a more interesting personality on screen and had a more well-rounded career.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that Saint is the lead in the film.  She is the character who uses her feminine wiles to lead Grant to Vandamm.  Without her, Grant wouldn't have found Vandamm.  I would say that James Mason is a lead as well, as it is he who causes Grant to get into his predicament in the first place.  

 

I don't think the strategic importance of the character to the plot can be what decides the issue.  Otherwise Claudius and Hamlet's father would also be leads, as would the murder victim in every murder mystery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Saint is definitely a lead in North by Northwest. The closer question is On the Waterfront. Is Brando the only lead, or is Saint also a lead? I'm inclined to consider her a lead there, too, but will go along with the group.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Saint is definitely a lead in North by Northwest. The closer question is On the Waterfront. Is Brando the only lead, or is Saint also a lead? I'm inclined to consider her a lead there, too, but will go along with the group.

I think she's supporting.  While her story definitely influences the storyline, it is ultimately Marlon Brando's story of him trying to prove himself as more than a dense, wannabe prizefighter.  He wants to show his corrupt union bosses that he's not afraid to testify against them for the crime he witnessed.

 

I would say that On the Waterfront only has one lead--Brando.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Saint is definitely a lead in North by Northwest. The closer question is On the Waterfront. Is Brando the only lead, or is Saint also a lead? I'm inclined to consider her a lead there, too, but will go along with the group.

 

I agree with speed racer that Saint is a lead in North by Northwest and supporting in On the Waterfront.  She is very much the focus in the first and not so much in the latter.

But I would think that James Mason is the male supporting actor in NBN.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

1953: Children are almost automatically put in the supporting category, even Tatum O’Neal in PAPER MOON. SHANE is seen through the eyes of Brandon de Wilde, and I think he has a leading role. Geraldine Page in HONDO should be in the lead category, too, whereas Antony in JULIUS CAESAR is a supporting role—only Brutus is a lead—and Marlon Brando should be moved to supporting.

 

 

Leading vs. Supporting Categories in 1953…

 

I agree that Marlon Brando belongs in the supporting category for Julius Caesar.  He just isn’t the focus of the film for any length of time.  James Mason is the only lead in that film.

 

Yes, Geraldine Page belongs in the leading category for Hondo.  I’m not sure why Oscar put her in support.

 

Both Yves Montand and Charles Vanel are leads in The Wages of Fear and the others are supporting.

 

Danielle Darrieux and Charles Boyer are the leads of The Earrings of Madame De… and the others supporting.

 

Having seen The Big Heat again recently I concluded that Gloria Grahame’s part was supporting.

 

Marilyn Monroe, Jean Peters and Joseph Cotten are all leads in Niagra.

 

 

Brandon de Wilde, Shane and Ava Gardner, Mogambo are probably rightfully in the supporting categories.  I see your point about Shane being from the p.o.v. of de Wilde but is he actually in the film that much?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dang it, if Charles Vanel has a lead role in The Wages of Fear, I don't have a best supporting actor. It's a year where I have a dozen or more candidates who ought to be considered, but not an obvious best of the best, except for Vanel.

 

Although if I have to move Vittorio De Sica from lead to supporting in The Earrings of Madame de . . . , does that give me a winner?

 

1953 was an incredible year for foreign films.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anne Bancroft in The Graduate?

 

Alan Arkin in Wait Until Dark?

 

In Cold Blood - who are leads beside Robert Blake, anyone?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anne Bancroft in The Graduate?

 

Alan Arkin in Wait Until Dark?

 

In Cold Blood - who are leads beside Robert Blake, anyone?

 

I have Bancroft as a lead.

Alan Arkin as support.

Robert Blake and Scott Wilson as co-leads.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who are the leads in The Last Picture Show?

 

The town?  No, seriously I don't think I have a lead for that film.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have Bancroft as a lead.

Alan Arkin as support.

Robert Blake and Scott Wilson as co-leads.

Agreed on all counts, Bogie.

 

Timothy Bottoms is the lead in The Last Picture Show. It's like Robert Francis in The Caine Mutiny, and you forget about him for some of the same reasons. You might also make an argument for Cybill Shepard as a lead. The supporting actors are likelier to turn up on the best performance lists.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed on all counts, Bogie.

 

Timothy Bottoms is the lead in The Last Picture Show. It's like Robert Francis in The Caine Mutiny, and you forget about him for some of the same reasons. You might also make an argument for Cybill Shepard as a lead. The supporting actors are likelier to turn up on the best performance lists.

 

Yes, Timothy Bottoms is the lead.  Thanks!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed on all counts, Bogie.

 

Timothy Bottoms is the lead in The Last Picture Show. It's like Robert Francis in The Caine Mutiny, and you forget about him for some of the same reasons. You might also make an argument for Cybill Shepard as a lead. The supporting actors are likelier to turn up on the best performance lists.

 

I'll have to see The Caine Mutiny again.  I've long considered Bogart as supporting but I had Van Johnson as a lead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we discussed in the past that Brando is actually supporting in The Godfather. Would Pacino be the sole lead, then?

 

Jason Miller in The Exorcist is actually the male lead, despite his supporting Oscar nomination. Agreed? The story is as much his as it is Burstyn's.

 

Dustin Hoffman in Papillon is really supporting, isn't it? He gets equal billing, and a lot of screentime, but isn't it McQueen's story? Or no?

 

American Graffiti - any leads or all supporting?

 

The Godfather Part 2 - Are Pacino and DeNiro co-leads, or is Pacino the sole lead again?

 

Teri Garr in Young Frankenstein?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we discussed in the past that Brando is actually supporting in The Godfather. Would Pacino be the sole lead, then?

 

Jason Miller in The Exorcist is actually the male lead, despite his supporting Oscar nomination. Agreed? The story is as much his as it is Burstyn's.

 

Dustin Hoffman in Papillon is really supporting, isn't it? He gets equal billing, and a lot of screentime, but isn't it McQueen's story? Or no?

 

American Graffiti - any leads or all supporting?

 

The Godfather Part 2 - Are Pacino and DeNiro co-leads, or is Pacino the sole lead again?

 

Teri Garr in Young Frankenstein?

 

I have Pacino as the sole lead in The Godfather.

I have Jason Miller as a lead in The Exorcist.

I have Dustin Hoffman as supporting in Papillon.  

I have Paul Le Mat and Richard Dreyfuss as leads in American Graffiti.

I have Al Pacino as the sole lead in Godfather Part II.

Not sure about Teri Garr in YF.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finished my 1972-1974 lists tonight. The only trouble I had was Best Actress of 1972. I could only find 3 nominees, as opposed to 15 Best Actor nominees. I also found no juveniles for the year.

 

In contrast, 1973 has 4 juvenile nominees.

 

And 1974 is one of the best years for Best Actor nominees. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are not many instances where I chose to ignore the imdb or wikipedia but this is one of them.  Of course, everyone is free to chose as they wish.

I am going with 1967 for Mel Brooks The Producers.  Wikipedia says the film was released March 18, 1968 but then in its release notes it goes on to say that it had a disastrous initial release in Pittsburg on November 22, 1967.  So, for me 1967 it is.

 

Last night I finally got around to watching the TCM interview of Gene Wilder by Alec Baldwin.  Asked if The Producers was an initial success, Wilder said that it wasn't.  He also said that Mel Brooks was offered the choice to change the film's title back to its original working title, Springtime For Hitler but that by then all of the promotional materials had been prepared for the films release in Philadelphia (Nov.22,1967-wikipedia)  He added that after the film tanked there the distributors pulled it and sold it to television.

So whatever wikipedia and the imdb say about it being a 1968 film is wrong.  The Producers was released in Philadelphia in 1967.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us