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Actors/Actresses Who You Feel Are Brilliant


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I forgot Helen Mirren in my list of brilliant actors (hasn't ACTRESSES outlived it's usefulness as a term, pls). 

 

From O Lucky Man (on my Top Ten list of movies) to the Queen to the Debt and Woman in Gold; then, there's Gosford Park (Robert Altman at his BEST). 

 

And then, two of the greatest TV shows, Prime Suspect; and currently  Documentary NOW on IFC. She's heavy as Jane Tennison; and hilarious as a BBC-type host on the latter.

 

Whenever she's onscreen I have to watch; and OH that accent.

,  

 

Yeah marcar, I have to agree with ya here.

 

(...but the question remains: How's SHE at pronouncing French names, HUH?!!!)

 

;)

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Jack Lemmon is really hit and miss for me.

 

I used to think of him as brilliant after seeing him in his first two Billy Wilder comedies (Some Like It Hot, The Apartment). But I later found that he had an annoying tendency to grate on my nerves with the considerable amount of scenery chewing that he did in some films, even in some of his most dramatic moments in Days of Wine and Roses, one of his most hailed performances. To me he looked like an actor shooting for an Oscar there. Look at all that excessive ham as Prof. Fate in The Great Race as a further illustration.

 

He was fine in The China Syndrome when he was a bit more subdued.

 

I think Lemmon's performance in Costa-Gravas' "Missing" is probably his most brilliant.

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Wasn't really sure how to respond since I didn't wish to just list my favorite actors,  so I'm going with actors that come off as very intelligent and deep thinkers.

 

For me that would be Leslie Howard and Basil Rathbone.   

 

For an actress I would say Stanwyck and Deborah Kerr.

 

PS:  Mitchum is another actor I would consider but he has so much mystery in his screen persona it is hard to tell what is going on in the brain of his!

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PS:  Mitchum is another actor I would consider but he has so much mystery in his screen persona it is hard to tell what is going on in the brain of his!

 

Mitchum had more talent than he, and many critics, gave himself credit for. He's a toss-up with Humphrey Bogart for my favorite classic film actor, and while I didn't list them among my own picks as most brilliant, they both were in their own way. While not disappearing into their roles, they both knew what elements of their respective screen personas to focus on in each film. They were movie stars more than classically trained actors, and they were merely called on to bring their iconic personas into each script's situations. But they rarely seemed to be phoning it in, although Mitchum did on more than one occasion. But that's perhaps forgivable in a career as long and as bumpy as Mitchum's was. 

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I've always liked Mitchum but one of the frustrations that I have with him, as opposed to Bogart, among other stars, was that he was in few really outstanding films.

 

My top five Mitchum films: Out of the Past (47), Night of the Hunter (55), The Sundowners (60), Cape Fear (62) and Farewell My Lovely (75).

 

Of those only Night of the Hunter ranks as a bona fide classic to me. I know that film noir buffs will probably rank Out of the Past, which I think is pretty good, way up there, but, to me, genre buffs are always far more generous in their appraisal of any film of their favourite genre than they probably would be otherwise. Just like horror buffs or sci fi buffs.

 

Am I being unfair to Mitchum to say that, reliable as he always was in a film, he was in very few classics?

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I've always liked Mitchum but one of the frustrations that I have with him, as opposed to Bogart, among other stars, was that he was in few really outstanding films.

 

My top five Mitchum films: Out of the Past (47), Night of the Hunter (55), The Sundowners (60), Cape Fear (62) and Farewell My Lovely (75).

 

Of those only Night of the Hunter ranks as a bona fide classic to me. I know that film noir buffs will probably rank Out of the Past, which I think is pretty good, way up there, but, to me, genre buffs are always far more generous in their appraisal of any film of their favourite genre than they probably would be otherwise. Just like horror buffs or sci fi buffs.

 

Am I being unfair to Mitchum to say that, reliable as he always was in a film, he was in very few classics?

 

While Mitchum is in my top-5, I can't disagree with what your saying.    My favorite films of his are gritty noirs but other than Out of The Past none are 'bona fide classics' (I include OOTP because it is often referred to as one of the best,  if not the best, of the genre).  

 

But yea, overall Mitchum was just really good in a lot of really good films.    One other 'classic' I believes deserves consideration is Heaven Knows,  Mr. Allison;   Mitchum and Huston getting together to make a film similar to the Bogart \ Huston African Queen.

 

Also I assume many consider Ryan's Daughter to be a bona fide classic being a Lean epic an all, and having won 4 Oscars,  with the major ones being best actress and best supporting actor.

 

(and since I haven't seen White Witch Doctor,  maybe that is one as well,  ha ha).

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My pick is Marlon Brando - most brilliant actor I've ever seen.....just the performances in On the Waterfront and Streetcar Named Desire show the brilliance of this actor.

 

Brando's consecutive string of The Men to A Streetcar Named Desire to Viva Zapata! to Julius Caesar to The Wild One to On the Waterfront is one of the greatest runs for an actor in film history, in my opinion. I know Brando is a controversial figure around here, but to me, at his peak, no one was ever better. 

 

The closest I can think of was Al Pacino's string starting with The Panic In Needle Park to The Godfather to Scarecrow to Serpico to The Godfather Part II to Dog Day Afternoon.

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A few not yet mentioned:

 

Alan Arkin

Kate Winslet

Christina Ricci

Robert Downey Jr.

 

And of those four it's Arkin who, like Lemmon, that's typically thought of as comic material.  Despite his several dramatic high points.

 

 

Sepiatone

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Actors

 

James Cagney

Spencer Tracy

Paul Muni

Fred Astaire

Gregory Peck

James Dean

Marlon Brando

Jerry Lewis

Danny Kaye

Jack Lemmom

Warren Beatty

Paul Newman

Robert Redford

Gene Wilder

Gene Hackman

Richard Dreyfuss

Dustin Hoffman

Al Pacino

Robert Deniro

Robert Duvall

Tom Hanks

Kevin Kline

Steve Martin

Robin Williams

 

Actresses

 

Barbara Stanwyck

Bette Davis

Katharine Hepburn

Claudette Colbert

Carole Lombard

Judy Garland

Ginger Rogers

Olivia DeHavilland

Rosalind Russell

Ida Lupino

Debbie Reynolds

Audrey Hepburn

Faye Dunaway

Jane Fonda

Diane Keaton

Meryl Streep

Glenn Close

Jill Clayburgh

Shirley MacLaine

Anne Bancroft

Madeline Kahn

Annette Bening

Sally Field

Julianee Moore

Julia Roberts

 

 

 

 

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