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About FiendishThingie

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  1. Clore: Now I remember the character! I don't really know why I'd blocked that character out. Can't recall if I tasted ham while watching him in that one. Will have to re-watch (won't mind, either, 'cause I like that film. Last month was my intro to it). Re: quoting... I will try out the text colouring and see how it goes. Thanks. Hi, Finance: For me, he's effective enough, but he could have taken it down a couple of notches. I really don't want to be chuckling when it's not a comedy. I will say this for O'Brien: He didn't phone it in, and that counts for something. Miss Wonderly, I found this explanation of its origin on the net: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/chew_the_scenery Also looked for the phrase on Wikipedia proper. They don't have a main page for "chew the scenery"; it's contained in the main page entitled "overacting" and, no word of a lie, they have a single picture of William Shatner there. Too much!
  2. QUOTE: "I find his is the worst performance in an otherwise remarkable ensemble." (Sorry, but I can't seem to use the quote function, emoticons, etcetera with Windows 7. They used to work w/XP. Go figure.) Clore, I agree. Isn't it distracting? Especially that one scene in which his character is being held against his will by the military. When he gets on the phone and begins to bluster, all I can see are rooster feathers. Kind of takes me out of the movie for a bit, since I always start laughing at a point in the story that's obviously not meant to be humourous. He was in "Liberty Valance"? I just watched that last month on Jimmy Stewart's day. Are we talking about more ham? If so, maybe that's why I don't remember. I must have subconciously blocked out the performance. Weird.
  3. Quote: "I know what you mean about O'Brien, Fiendish. I actually think he's hammy in every movie he's ever been in (that I've seen). Bette Davis & Glen Close also get my votes for hammiest actor." Does that include "Birdman of Alcatraz" or "The Killers"? Thankfully, he seems more subdued in those two (to me, anyway, esp. in "Birdman"). I guess there is a slice of ham in his "Hunchback of Notre Dame" portrayal, but I attribute that to youth & it being his first role. Haven't seen much of his work apart from those films, so perhaps there is more hamminess yet to be discovered. Despite being a Bette fan, I can totally see how she & Close would make the list. Both can definitely chew the scenery from time to time. I think I'll add Irene Dunne's name to the roster. I forget what movie it was, but she sounded as though she was trying to mimic Katharine Hepburn's speech patterns. A performance that was annoyingly oinky.
  4. When I watched "Seven Days in May" last night, Edmund O'Brien had me thinking about this thread. Sometimes his character reminds me Foghorn Leghorn ("Ah say, boy, ah say, keep yuh eye on the ball!"). O'Brien's not an actor I normally consider to be hammy, but there are moments when his performance in this one film skirts the borders of Ham City.
  5. Reverend Harry Powell in "The Night of the Hunter" (1955) and Max Cady in "Cape Fear" (1962) -- two legendary film villians portrayed by Robert Mitchum (who had a gift for line delivery like few others).
  6. Thanks, misswonderly :-) Nice to see fellow Be-a-tles movie fans here. (Funny how the "quiet" one seemed to get the best lines in their movies, isn't it?)
  7. Almost sounds as though Hitchcock would have preferred being a novelist to being a filmmaker. Film's such a collaborative art... I guess the fact he put out so many great films in spite of (or because of?) this rigid style of directing is further proof of his genius. I thought storyboards were akin to a writer's story outline: they're a guide and a foundation, but not something to be adhered to slavishly. Some of the best performances have been a result of spontaneity & "happy accidents." I'm not an actor, but if I were, it's doubtful that I could work with those kinds of constraints. Too suffocating.
  8. This is only a theory, but... maybe Hitchcock's aversion to method actors was an extension of his need for ultimate control over his films and actors (whom he famously likened to "cattle"). From what I understand, he could be a bit of a control freak. The process of a method actor's preparation -- a method that involved a lot of independent work of an introverted & psychological nature --probably resulted in an actor being less reliant upon Hitchcock's direction in developing his character and performance than a "traditional" actor might have been. I don't know if this was actually the case, but, if so, I can imagine that the loss of control would drive an overly-controlling director to distraction.
  9. Gene Kelly! While Fred's dancing is perfection, I really love the kind of rough-and-tumble athleticism of Kelly's style. And, dancing aside, I prefer Kelly as an actor. Just a matter of personal taste, really.
  10. Hi, MontyC: I like your taste in actors! I think the name of the film he did with Jones is "Indiscretion of an American Wife". While, to be totally honest, I thought his Italian accent needed work, I still love his performance, which imo carries the film, really. Like you point out, his eyes say so much, ALWAYS, to the degree that you can see him reacting to his fellow actor whether or not s/he is off camera. I think he's terribly underrated, in part due to people of that era taking his talent for granted because he was so handsome. Also, in part due to his career being hindered considerably by that debilitating automobile accident. Even though he was in pain, fighting his private battles, he still seemed to be giving every role all he had, pre-and-post accident. I really believe he's one of the best film actors who ever lived. I wish he'd had a happier life, though.
  11. > {quote:title=Goalieboy82 wrote:}{quote} > dont forget anything monty python. Hear, Hear! The really funny thing was that Michael Palin and sometimes Eric Idle actually looked attractive in drag (though I can't say the same for John Cleese).
  12. The whole time I was watching, I thought "Vito's got to be at least 27." It was a bit distracting. Maybe the filmmakers thought that using a real teenager would be too controversial. The "cougar flick" that really impressed me was "Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing." Maggie Smith and Timothy Bottoms were so good in it, and the mixture of humour with pathos was expertly done.
  13. Seventy-four seems so young for someone who was such a survivor. I'm gonna miss him. Great actor, a genuinely talented visual artist, and one of the last links to Hollywood's Golden Age. Rest in peace, Mr. Hopper, and thank-you.
  14. I'm interested in learning about every pov, so I appreciate these links. Thanks for posting them. Bookmarked! I'll make use of the Google books search engine for more info as well. Edited by: FiendishThingie on May 14, 2010 5:27 PM
  15. Hi, Fred. Thanks for your clarification and for your thoughtful response. Although I think we'll have to agree to disagree on some points, I enjoyed reading your post; I also checked out those links. The accounts presented are difficult to stomach, to say the least. Any instance in which people, especially children, are brutalized or slaughtered makes me wonder how we humans can repeatedly visit such evil upon one another. I've no doubt that, as a historian, you're acquainted with the other side of these accounts. For every white woman or child who had been subjected to grievous harm at the hands of a "savage", there was at least one Native American woman or child who suffered the same fate at the hands of a white person during that era. There is a book I'm sure you heard of, or maybe read (it's become quite popular) called "_Black Elk Speaks_" by John G. Neihardt. It gives a first-person account of the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890. Black Elk's narration of what he saw--large numbers of Native American women and children who were murdered by U.S. soldiers before his eyes--is heartwrenching to read.( I could be wrong on my dates, but I don't think it made its way into any school's curriculum until the 1960s at the earliest.) Every life is priceless, which is why these atrocities that were committed by both sides were equally heinous in nature. Still, I have to wonder how often the other side's story was included in those old 19th century history books. > {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote} > *But ?friendly Indians? in the early film days didn?t make for interesting subjects for movies, so the minority of savage Indians of the 19th Century got the majority of attention in old traditional Hollywood films. This is similar to the way Hollywood has treated Germans during the past 70 years. Hollywood tends to think that they can make more exciting movies and more money showing bad, mean, savage Nazi Germans in films, than by showing nice, polite, peaceful Germans.* > I think this is one of the points that Professor Geiogamah has made a number of times during his commentary. The average depiction of Native Americans in early cinema (i.e.- up until the last 20 years or so) has been of a savage, warmongering and needlessly violent stereotype. The trouble is that this stereotype became so commonplace that it has wreaked damage upon those most affected by it--Native Americans. Now people are speaking up in an attempt to undo that damage, as they should. > *Modern schools and history books don?t teach this stuff anymore. It?s covered up in school history classes today, so as not to offend modern Indian people. But you can still find the information in old 19th Century magazine articles and history books.* > It's good that this information is still available after all this time. If it's available on the world wide web, I don't consider it suppressed info. On the contrary... it's available for anyone and everyone to read. > *Old timers like me learned this stuff from history books and even school history classes, when we were growing up in the ?40s and ?50s, but this type of historical information is generally not taught in schools today, and the guest host this month doesn?t want to discuss it.* > To be honest, I'm glad that modern college instructors, historians, filmmakers, et al are more mindful of including both sides of the story so as to maintain some parity in the telling. Whether a person chooses to view that as fairness (which I do), or as covering up is at the discretion of the individual. > Personally, today, I think the full true story should be told, including the story about the minority of bad ?savages? as well as about the majority of good peaceful Indian farmers. I agree wholeheartedly that the full story should be told. The trouble is that we've heard so much for so long about the bad "savages" that it is this version of the Native American which came to be accepted as the norm, not as the exception. Thanks again for the information and the civil exchange, Fred. Hope you enjoy tonight's features. (I'm looking forward to watching Lancaster & Hepburn myself.)
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