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ROBERT RYAN - The Real Quiet Man


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

> House of Bamboo was really like a comic book movie, to me. The good guys vs the bad guys, in kimonos.

>

> There's more to Ryan's character than that. A LOT more.

 

Tell me what! I missed it.

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

> You won't want to know. It may pique Jackie's interest about Ryan's character, but not you. The film would have more appeal if Robert Stack wasn't the protagonist. He's terribly unexciting.

 

Oh, I think I know what you mean. Yes, I sensed this but it still didn't make his

character seem more complex somehow. He was the bravest of the lot, and the smartest,

as usual, but I don't know, I found the movie a let down.

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Oh, I think I know what you mean. Yes, I sensed this but it still didn't make his

character seem more complex somehow. He was the bravest of the lot, and the smartest,

as usual,

 

I think the character is classic Ryan in that he's playing both strong and weak. He's hiding.

 

but I don't know, I found the movie a let down.

 

I also found the film to be disappointing, mainly because I expect a lot from a Fuller film. But Ryan is definitely a strong aspect of the film. It's his film. I liked the location-shooting, too.

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That's for sure. That's why he's my favorite actor.

 

I'd say his character in House of Bamboo is more complex than in The Naked Spur. His character is crooked but his intentions are straightforward in the latter. He just happens to be more charming, more warm. In House of Bamboo, his character is cold but there's a lot boiling inside. That's where Ryan really knows how to act.

 

The Naked Spur - outward

House of Bamboo - inward

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> I'd say his character in House of Bamboo is more complex than in The Naked Spur. His character is crooked but his intentions are straightforward in the latter. He just happens to be more charming, more warm. In House of Bamboo, his character is cold but there's a lot boiling inside. That's where Ryan really knows how to act.

>

> The Naked Spur - outward

> House of Bamboo - inward

 

That's well put. I thought what was more interesting in HofB is that these guys didn't seem

to be able to adjust to "civilian life" after the war. They really showed the bad effects of war

on dubious characters. And you're right about Robert Stack. This was the boringest I

ever saw him.

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I thought what was more interesting in HofB is that these guys didn't seem

to be able to adjust to "civilian life" after the war. They really showed the bad effects of war

on dubious characters.

 

That's a very good point. It's Fuller's The Best Years of Our Lives. :D

 

And you're right about Robert Stack. This was the boringest I ever saw him.

 

It may have been interesting to see a more "outward" protagonist going up against the "inward" antagonist. Stack is very monotone. He lacks any kind of color. Oh crap, he's me. :P

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> That's a very good point. It's Fuller's The Best Years of Our Lives. :D

>

 

lol!

 

>

> It may have been interesting to see a more "outward" protagonist going up against the "inward" antagonist. Stack is very monotone. He lacks any kind of color. Oh crap, he's me. :P

 

Ha!!

 

Who would you have cast instead of Stack?

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

> Who would you have cast instead of Stack?

>

> I'm not sure. I really don't know performers all that well. A younger Jimmy Stewart would have been interesting.

 

You mean like he is in After the Thin Man?

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You mean like he is in After the Thin Man?

 

I haven't seen that one. No, I mean like the Stewart in Mann's westerns. Make him younger and he really becomes interesting in a film like House of Bamboo. Stack lacks charisma, an energy. I think a protagonist who has this would have added the needed spice to House of Bamboo.

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> I haven't seen that one. No, I mean like the Stewart in Mann's westerns. Make him younger and he really becomes interesting in a film like House of Bamboo. Stack lacks charisma, an energy. I think a protagonist who has this would have added the needed spice to House of Bamboo.

 

Jimmy wasn't there yet, I think, when he was younger, though there is a hint of it in After the Thin Man. I'm not as fond of his character in *The Naked Spur,* to be honest, as in the other Mann films. I felt he was too unhinged. He's a cooler customer in the others and I like that better.

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Oh my god, you are so right...Stack was just god awful in HofB. It made it painful to watch. In fact, I'll admit I didn't get all the way through it, I fell asleep. I think Jimmy would have been great if you could have put him in the wayback machine. Heck, anyone with a flicker of life in them would have been preferable to Stack.

 

And you are also right about Ryan's warmth in *The Naked Spur*... and I think you hit on what kind of performances of his that I like. I like cold characters played warm. Odds Against Tomorrow is another. Miss Lonelyhearts actually had that too, but he was so .... mean.... I couldn't take it. I think if I managed to sit through it again, I might like him much better. Really, the whole rest of the movie is such a downer, I couldn't take his character on top of Maureen Stapleton and Monty Clift. They were depressing enough on their own. If he and Myrna had been in a separate film, I might have appreciated him more.

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>Jimmy wasn't there yet, I think, when he was younger, though there is a hint of it in After the Thin Man. I'm not as fond of his character in The Naked Spur, to be honest, as in the other Mann films. I felt he was too unhinged. He's a cooler customer in the others and I like that better.

 

Again, with the opposite sides, MissG! I like Jimmy's hotness here. But it's not like his "get mad" routine... it's total, deep, sustained, burning anger in a very sympathetic character. I loved it.

 

Edited by: JackFavell on Jul 20, 2010 9:57 PM

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Jimmy wasn't there yet, I think, when he was younger, though there is a hint of it in After the Thin Man.

 

Yes, I know. I just meant I'd like to see the "Mann" Stewart as the protagonist in House of Bamboo, just younger.

 

I'm not as fond of his character in The Naked Spur, to be honest, as in the other Mann films. I felt he was too unhinged. He's a cooler customer in the others and I like that better.

 

"Unhinged" is a good word for him. He's obsessed, ala "Scottie" in Vertigo. You see glimpses of this kind of Stewart in his other "Mann" westerns, too, namely The Man from Laramie.

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> Again, with the opposite sides, MissG! I like Jimmy's hotness here. But it's not like his "get mad" routine... it's total, deep, sustained, burning anger in a very sympathetic character. I loved it.

>

 

:D He was simmering alright. I think Bronxgirl and I were discussing his character once, maybe in Western Rambles.

 

He's great, and I think what my problem really is that I have seen The Naked Spur too many times. I bet I've watched it at least twenty times in my life. It's played out and hard for me to see the nuances or anything new in it anymore. This has happened with movies I liked even more than TNS.

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

 

> He's great, and I think what my problem really is that I have seen The Naked Spur too many times. I bet I've watched it at least twenty times in my life. It's played out and hard for me to see the nuances or anything new in it anymore. This has happened with movies I liked even more than TNS.

 

I hear you. I have always loved Wuthering Heights and I find I cannot watch it anymore. I'd like to put it away for about five years and come back fresh. Or maybe watch it with someone who has never seen it before.

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> Yes, I know. I just meant I'd like to see the "Mann" Stewart as the protagonist in House of Bamboo, just younger.

>

 

That would have saved the film for me.

 

>

> "Unhinged" is a good word for him. He's obsessed, ala "Scottie" in Vertigo. You see glimpses of this kind of Stewart in his other "Mann" westerns, too, namely The Man from Laramie.

 

But what I like more about those others, or at least in Vertigo, is he balances the unhinging with very cool, apparent control. You know he's suggestive of something underneath that could snap out at you and bite your head off, but he's so smooth. It's more of a balance.

 

I will say that what is nice about the Mann films and, though I hate to admit, Ransom Stoddard, is there isn't that "aw shucks" aspect so much. Well, maybe a little in *Night Passage,* with the accordion, lol.

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Oh my god, you are so right...Stack was just god awful in HofB. It made it painful to watch. In fact, I'll admit I didn't get all the way through it, I fell asleep.

 

If you focus on Ryan and the locales, I think you'd come to appreciate the film... a little more. But you can't escape Stack, and this will always be the drag.

 

I think Jimmy would have been great if you could have put him in the wayback machine. Heck, anyone with a flicker of life in them would have been preferable to Stack.

 

:D And since there is a very interesting romance in the film, it would be much better if the protagonist had some sort of life to them. Burt Lancaster, possibly. Burt may be too much, though.

 

And you are also right about Ryan's warmth in The Naked Spur... and I think you hit on what kind of performances of his that I like. I like cold characters played warm. Odds Against Tomorrow is another.

 

I find Ryan's character to be hateful but hurting in Odds Against Tomorrow. I don't like the guy, but I do feel sorry for him. He's feeling inadequate, like less than a man. So he makes up for this by taking his self-hate out on others. I love Shelley Winters in the film. She loves her husband but what she's doing to him is making his self-hate worse. She isn't aware of this, though.

 

Geez, look at the depth that's to be found in Odds Against Tomorrow. It's not just a simple "robbery" film. It's sooooooooo much more. It's very social, very political, very deep. Ahhhhh, Robert Wise.

 

Ryan is a smiling snake in The Naked Spur. His charm is very appealing. Although, how many of you gals are gonna jump whenever your guy tells you to rub his back? :D Still, he's very "accessible." He's gonna look to make love to you with his words, ala "Earl" in Clash by Night.

 

Miss Lonelyhearts actually had that too, but he was so .... mean.... I couldn't take it. I think if I managed to sit through it again, I might like him much better. Really, the whole rest of the movie is such a downer, I couldn't take his character on top of Maureen Stapleton and Monty Clift. They were depressing enough on their own. If he and Myrna had been in a separate film, I might have appreciated him more.

 

I found Lonelyhearts to be quite fascinating. So much hurt and pain in one little film. It's remarkable. Ryan's character was consumed with self, yet he did have an unselfish side to him. It's definitely one of the most interesting characters Ryan ever played. Love Myrna's performance and character. I found Ryan's character to be cold, but the ending makes you turn his way.

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>I found Lonelyhearts to be quite fascinating. So much hurt and pain in one little film. It's remarkable. Ryan's character was consumed with self, yet he did have an unselfish side to him. It's definitely one of the most interesting characters Ryan ever played. Love Myrna's performance and character. I found Ryan's character to be cold, but the ending makes you turn his way.

 

But is he cold? In the end you see him in a totally different way.... that's why I think I would need to watch it again to see if I feel the same way about him this time... so is he cold or is he hot underneath it all?

 

Does that make sense?

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But what I like more about those others, or at least in Vertigo, is he balances the unhinging with very cool, apparent control. You know he's suggestive of something underneath that could snap out at you and bite your head off, but he's so smooth. It's more of a balance.

 

But he snaps in Vertigo, too! He completely loses it!

 

The ending to The Naked Spur is emotionally potent. It really shook me, this time. To see "Kemp" break down as he does is stunning. You can just feel all of the pain he's been carrying with him finally coming out. It's a "cleansing."

 

I will say that what is nice about the Mann films and, though I hate to admit, Ransom Stoddard, is there isn't that "aw shucks" aspect so much. Well, maybe a little in Night Passage, with the accordion, lol.

 

Mann didn't direct that! And I'm someone who loves the "aw, shucks" Jimmy. But, yeah, I much prefer the darker side of Jimmy.

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> But he snaps in Vertigo, too! He completely loses it!

>

 

He snaps, meaning he goes from cool and controlled to losing it. I feel

in TNS he is always unhinged, from the start. There's less variation to

the performance.

 

> The ending to The Naked Spur is emotionally potent. It really shook me, this time. To see "Kemp" break down as he does is stunning. You can just feel all of the pain he's been carrying with him finally coming out. It's a "cleansing."

>

 

It's a great scene, especially as Jackie described it. but I was more moved

by the breakdown in Vertigo.

 

> Mann didn't direct that! And I'm someone who loves the "aw, shucks" Jimmy. But, yeah, I much prefer the darker side of Jimmy.

 

He started on the picture, and probably did the prep work! I love "aw, shucks" Jimmy, too, just not necessarily in westerns (except Destry Rides Again)

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Hola, Spunky -- But is he cold? In the end you see him in a totally different way.... that's why I think I would need to watch it again to see if I feel the same way about him this time... so is he cold or is he hot underneath it all?

 

I think he's lost his way. He's lost who he is. You almost get the sense Florence (Myrna Loy) is waiting and hoping the real Bill (Robert Ryan) comes back. So, I'd say, he's cold on the outside but warm on the inside. He does let some of the warmth come out, too.

 

Does that make sense?

 

When do you ever?! :P

 

Ciao, Snippy -- He snaps, meaning he goes from cool and controlled to losing it. I feel

in TNS he is always unhinged, from the start. There's less variation to the performance.

 

This is true. We see how Scottie (James Stewart) becomes obsessed and unhinged in Vertigo. We see all of this happen before us. In The Naked Spur, we join Kemp "already in progress." He's already obsessed and unhinged. We only learn of the reason why through our "narrator," Ben (Robert Ryan). We're basically seeing Kemp after his stay at the mental hospital, if you will. He's trying to force Judy to be Madeleine. If he can only get the reward money for Ben, make him Madeleine, it will all be back to the way it was. But it won't be.

 

It's a great scene, especially as Jackie described it. but I was more moved by the breakdown in Vertigo.

 

The nervous breakdown in the middle? I actually prefer The Naked Spur eruption.

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> The nervous breakdown in the middle? I actually prefer The Naked Spur eruption.

 

No, the nervous breakdown was just a fainting spell then a catatonic state. His meltdown at the end in the bell tower. I felt terrible for him. "You shouldn't have been....so sentimental." That was wrenching. Maybe being privy to what happened to him also built up sympathy for him. He was being used from day and we saw it happen, whereas in TNS it's just told to us. In TNS, the woman who Howie lost (or did she betray him?), she's just a plot device or character motivation.

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