LawrenceA

In Like Jim: James Coburn

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James Coburn (1928-2002) was born in Nebraska, but during the Depression his family moved to California. They settled in Compton, where Jim was raised. After a stint in the Army he studied acting and quickly started getting roles in commercials. He made his dramatic TV debut in 1957 on Studio One in Hollywood, and he would continue to guest on TV shows regularly over the next six years, appearing in everything from Wagon Train, M Squad, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Bronco,  and Bat Masterson, to Have Gun-Will Travel, Peter Gunn, Wanted:Dead or Alive, Perry Mason and The Twilight Zone, among many more. He made his movie debut in 1959 in Budd Boetticher's Ride Lonesome. He alternated between television and film for the next several years, gaining roles in such well-loved movies as The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, and Charade. 

 

He reached stardom with the lead roles in Our Man Flint and In Like Flint, two of the better James Bond spoofs of the era. His lean, macho persona, played just a tiny bit over the top, made him a perfect fit for the role of Derek Flint, an expert in more fields than can be counted, who is called upon to save the world. Coburn stayed a film star for the next decade or so, but as the last half of the 70's came around, the roles started drying up, and the ones he got weren't up to the old caliber. By the 1980's, he developed severe rheumatoid arthritis, crippling his hands and limiting his work. After making a recovery of sorts, he started acting in more films in the 1990's, and even earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his brief role in 1998's Affliction, an honor that was seen as largely a career nod. He seemed to genuinely revel in this acknowledgment of his work, but his celebration was relatively short, as he passed away just over 3 years later, while at home listening to music.

 

James Coburn was a unique star. He wasn't conventionally handsome, but he never had trouble getting the girl either. His toothy grin and charming demeanor, matched with his great, easily recognizable voice made him enjoyable as secret agents, pickpockets, Wild West bandits and lawmen, and whatever else he was called on to play. He seems now like a particularly 60's type of star, with his fashion sense, a new girl on his arm each night, a love of fast cars, being seen at the hottest nightspots and trendiest swinging Sixties events. He even found time to be a student of Bruce Lee, and would display his martial arts prowess even into old age. He was the type of character that can't really exist anymore, but a lot of guys wish they could be. If Steve McQueen was the King of 60's Cool, then Coburn was the Baron, never as big of a star, but with more of a devilish twinkle in his eye.

 

james-coburn-shelia-17.jpg

 

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I have seen 47 movies out of the 88 James Coburn appeared in. Here are my favorites. These are listed in order of Coburn's performances, not the over all movie.

 

Our Man Flint (1966)

The President's Analyst (1967)

The Great Escape (1963)

Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)

In Like Flint (1967)

The Magnificent Seven (1960)

Major Dundee (1965)

The Americanization of Emily (1964)

Duck, You Sucker!/Fistful of Dynamite (1971)

Hard Times (1975)

Affliction (1998)

Hudson Hawk (1991)

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Hello, Mr. Corburn.

 

I love James Coburn.  He is one of my favourite supporting turned lead actors of all time.

 

I saw him in Affliction and loved it.  I even saw Snow Dogs for him.

 

I love it when I see him in Television.

 

 

My favourite  films of his are The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, and Charade

 

My other favourite films of his in no particular order are:

 

Ride Lonesome

Dead Heat on a Merry go Round

The last of Sheila

Affliction

Our Man Flint

In Like Flint

The Carey Treatment

Sister Act II

 

 

I'll have to double check imdb to see what I am missing.  I think I have seen about 50% of his career

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Other favourites I missed because I accidently hit post before I finished you have listed:

 

Hard Times

Fistful of Dynamite

The Americanization of Emily

Pat Garett and Billy the Kid

The President's Analyst

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James Coburn is definitely one of my favorites. And I was bummed that circumstances kept me from rewatching The Carey Treatment (1972) when it was on TCM recently.
 

At the risk of being put on "Ignore" by my fellow poster, JakeHolman, James Coburn epitomized 1960s cool to me more than Steve McQueen did. That may be because I saw Our Man Flint (1966) and In Like Flint (1967) at an early impressionable age. Or it may be because Mr. Coburn always seemed like he was having more fun in his movies than Mr. McQueen did in his.

 
A few more of Mr. Coburn's movies that I enjoyed that are not yet mentioned in this thread:
 
Harry in Your Pocket (1973)
Bite The Bullet (1975) w/ Gene Hackman
Cross of Iron (1977) w/ Maximilian Schell and James Mason
 
And, for those of you who receive Grit TV, Major Dundee (1965) is being shown on the 10th, the 12th, the 17th, the 28th and the 30th of this month.
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Cross of Iron (1977) w/ Maximilian Schell and James Mason

 

I really want to see this one.

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I really want to see this one.

I've seen this every so often.  it airs on Silver Screen Classics.  I enjoy this movie a lot specifically for the actors.

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James Coburn is definitely one of my favorites. And I was bummed that circumstances kept me from rewatching The Carey Treatment (1972) when it was on TCM recently.
 

At the risk of being put on "Ignore" by my fellow poster, JakeHolman, James Coburn epitomized 1960s cool to me more than Steve McQueen did. That may be because I saw Our Man Flint (1966) and In Like Flint (1967) at an early impressionable age. Or it may be because Mr. Coburn always seemed like he was having more fun in his movies than Mr. McQueen did in his.

 
A few more of Mr. Coburn's movies that I enjoyed that are not yet mentioned in this thread:
 
Harry in Your Pocket (1973)
Bite The Bullet (1975) w/ Gene Hackman
Cross of Iron (1977) w/ Maximilian Schell and James Mason
 
And, for those of you who receive Grit TV, Major Dundee (1965) is being shown on the 10th, the 12th, the 17th, the 28th and the 30th of this month.

 

I'm not sure Jake has read this thread.  He is not worried about any love I have of Yul Brynner movies.  :)

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Hey, Larry.

 

Would love to pm you about stuff, but well, I disabled the messenger.  As you stated before:

 

James Coburn had arthritis in his hands and could not work for a long time.  You can see it in Snow Dogs.  He was a courageous man.

 

My favourite scene of his remains in Charade: he puts up a mirror to Charlie to see if he is breathing.

 

Funniest Funeral EVER!

 

You never did tell me how old you are,.  I know you are a February baby like I am.  I imagine you are around my Mom`s age or generation.

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I liked him very much. His: Flint movies are among my favorites.

 

I feel that comparisons with: Steve McQueen have little basis. They were both cool but it was of vastly different types.

 

S. McQueen was cool because he was his own man with his own interests and had no care if any other person approved or disapproved. He appreciated and respected women who knew their own minds.

 

J. Coburn had boyish charm and embraced what was cool at the moment. He chased girls and amused himself with those who were attracted to him. I feel he exemplified the old adage: men get older but they never grow up. 

 

They were very different types of men.

 

I believe that my favorite role of: J. Coburn was: The President's Analyst (1967). He was charming and thoughtful and dithering and dynamic. The movie embraced all the quirky elements of: 1960s comedies and he was perfect in the role.

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Caught Midway (1976) on Sundance this evening. A movie with James Coburn that has not been previously mentioned on this thread. And with good reason. A 'blink and you'll miss it' cameo that could have been done by just about anyone. He may have gotten third billing for this movie but that was just because alphabetical order was in his favor. But I'll never begrudge a man or a woman an honest paycheck.

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My own personal favorite is 'Waterhole #3' (1967).

 

Coburn takes the anti-hero scoundrel to a new level - think 'Alfie' but willing to kill. Delightful movie.

 

'Cross of Iron' is a pretty darn good war movie. Hollywood hasn't made many movies about the Germans fighting on their eastern front. Leave it to Sam Peckinpah to do so.

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Glad you mentioned The President's Analyst (1967) SansFin, because it reminded me of at least one movie starring Coburn I enjoyed.

Funny McQueen was also mentioned, because I feel similarly ambivalent about both stars. Most likely, it's the type of movie & their roles that kind of leave me cold, because there is the rare stand out role I like them in. 

 

Must admit, I love Coburn's face-what a cutie.

And thanks for the heads up on MAGOR DUNDEE ('65)

 

I'm always open to giving a star (or movie) another try and often find my tastes will "age" along with me.

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My favorite Coburn movie would be "Hard  Times" as the roguish Speed.

Also liked him in "The Rifleman" when he takes a strap to that sod-buster McCain and his kid.

A smallish role he did a good job with but not mentioned so far would be in "Looker" as the head of Reston Industries.

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Must admit, I love Coburn's face-what a cutie.

 

You'd probably love him in 'Waterhole #3'. Sexiest role for him ever - he had my girlfriend actually moaning in the theatre as he was kissing Maggie Blye's nape.

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Must admit, I love Coburn's face-what a cutie.

 

On the other hand, you may find his character in Major Dundee (1965) to have a bit too much coverage for your liking...

 

3314-11893.jpg

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James Coburn is definitely one of my favorites. And I was bummed that circumstances kept me from rewatching The Carey Treatment (1972) when it was on TCM recently.
 

At the risk of being put on "Ignore" by my fellow poster, JakeHolman, James Coburn epitomized 1960s cool to me more than Steve McQueen did. That may be because I saw Our Man Flint (1966) and In Like Flint (1967) at an early impressionable age. Or it may be because Mr. Coburn always seemed like he was having more fun in his movies than Mr. McQueen did in his.

 
A few more of Mr. Coburn's movies that I enjoyed that are not yet mentioned in this thread:
 
Harry in Your Pocket (1973)
Bite The Bullet (1975) w/ Gene Hackman
Cross of Iron (1977) w/ Maximilian Schell and James Mason
 
And, for those of you who receive Grit TV, Major Dundee (1965) is being shown on the 10th, the 12th, the 17th, the 28th and the 30th of this month.

 

HARRY IN YOUR POCKET shows Coburn in a very unusual role; and as always, he plays it to perfection.

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You'd probably love him in 'Waterhole #3'. Sexiest role for him ever - he had my girlfriend actually moaning in the theatre as he was kissing Maggie Blye's nape.

 

Must look for this movie!

 

A little friend and I saw Our Man Flint at the movies and found his appearance almost comical.  I remember giggling between bites of our bonbons, though come to think of it that may well have been giddy, nervous laughter.    He had a sure, easy way with women that some (many?) of us find appealing, and he also seemed like a real man's man.   And what a wonderfully expressive face.  His sense of humor came through in every role, and a canniness.  He was special.  ​ The Last of Sheila is my favorite because of my love of that smart, witty film and its great ensemble cast.

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James Coburn is definitely one of my favorites. And I was bummed that circumstances kept me from rewatching The Carey Treatment (1972) when it was on TCM recently.

 

I am not missing this one this time!

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I am not missing this one this time!

 

If you can get past the laughably amateurish acting of Jennifer O'Neill in it, it's not so bad. Man, is she awful though.

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I have regrettably only see him in The Muppet Movie. Still a decent appearance.

 

James Coburn-Frogs have warts.

 

Kermit the Frog: No. That's a myth.

 

J.C.-A what?

 

K.T.F.-A myth! A myth!

 

Carol Kane-Yes?

 

P.S.: This is actually Telly Savales.

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Definitely would be interested in more movies from Coburn.  I have about 2/3 of Lawrence's favorites list.  Can't believe I don't have In Like Flint.  Other stuff that looks like it might be interesting to me:

The Internecine Project (1974) [NS]

The President's Analyst (1967) [LS=2009]

Looker (1981) [NS]

Dead Heat On  A Merry-Go-Round (1966) [LS=2013]

What Did You Do In The War, Daddy? (1966) [LS=2009]
I can't vouch for any of these because I haven't seen any of them yet, but I suspect he makes them entertaining.

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