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Seven "squirrely cherubs"....


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I wanted to write about character actors. I was going to call this thread "S.Z. Sakall, Oscar Homolka, and Felix Bressart...." then I realized that 2 of my favorite character actors were in Ball of Fire together (and I'm not even mentioning Richard Haydn, Henry Travers, Aubrey Mather, Tully Marshall, Allen Jenkins, Charles Lane, etc...) Felix Bressart was in the remake of Ball of Fire - A Song is Born. So I decided to change the title of my thread.

 

I love character actors. When one of them shows up, it's like seeing a long lost friend. Someone you haven't seen since before the Great War. When ten of them are in the same movie, it is heaven! I only have to hear a particular voice (Pat Flaherty comes to mind) and I drop the dishes back into the sink, put my feet up on the coffee table and enjoy.

 

So, I wanted to say thank you to John Qualen, Warren Hymer, Roscoe Karns and Abner Biberman. To James Gleason, Eugene Pallette, Rhys Williams, and Frank Morgan - I lift my New Year's glass high!

 

Please feel free to post pictures. I don't know how, and I would love to see my favorites posted here.

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Hi Jackie---I'll be happy to post some pix because, like you, it just makes a movie for me when my favorite character performers are there to say "welcome home".

 

One of my favorite actresses, Thelma Ritter:

 

ThelmaRitterAllAboutEve.jpg

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hlwdkjk- Thanks sooo much for the pics! Last night I was thinking about more character actors, and I thought of Mr. Pettibone (Billy Gilbert), so we are on the same wavelength. His scenes in "His Girl Friday" are the best in a movie full of great ensemble acting.

 

MissG- Thelma Ritter is awesome! Can you imagine being in all the great movies she was in? I really can't believe that she never won an Oscar. My favorite Ritter performance (though it's hard to pick one) is in "All About Eve". Although she could crack wise with the best of them, I always see her caring heart underneath.

 

Speaking of the ladies, I realize that I left out an important segment of the population.Being a solid, upstanding New Englander, I love Edna May Oliver's weird combination of common sense and insanity. Her portrayal of Aunt Betsey in "David Copperfield" is wonderful- her energy really takes the film to a higher level.

 

Elsa Lanchester also springs to mind. Sometimes she is only in one scene. I'm thinking of "The Razor's Edge", in which she plays a secretary or librarian, I don't know. She made me laugh out loud, in a movie with no laughs at all. Her lascivious looks at Tyrone Power were probably not in the script!

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Hi!

 

Speaking of the ladies, I realize that I left out an important segment of the population.Being a solid, upstanding New Englander, I love Edna May Oliver's weird combination of common sense and insanity. Her portrayal of Aunt Betsey in "David Copperfield" is wonderful- her energy really takes the film to a higher level.

 

I love Edna May Oliver, too! My favorite of her roles is in Drums Along the Mohawk, that woman was afraid of NO ONE, hee!

 

Elsa Lanchester also springs to mind. Sometimes she is only in one scene. I'm thinking of "The Razor's Edge", in which she plays a secretary or librarian, I don't know. She made me laugh out loud, in a movie with no laughs at all. Her lascivious looks at Tyrone Power were probably not in the script!

 

You're right, those scenes are hilarious and her obvious infatuation for Larry Darrell tickles me pink.

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I love all the guys who played the professors in *Ball of Fire*, especially S.Z. Sakall or "Cuddles" as most people called him. Another ones of my faves is James Gleason. I saw him first in *Meet John Doe* as the hard boiled newspaper editor Mr. Connell. Everytime I see him in something else I say 'look it's Mr. Connell' :).

 

Here he is with Gary and Barbara in *Meet John Doe*.

 

meetjohndoe10.jpg

 

This one's a three-fer with Walter Brennan, James Gleason and Irving Bacon.

 

meetjohndoe7.jpg

 

Here's a scene with Edward Arnold who played a great bad guy.

 

meetjohndoe16.jpg

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At a recent screening in Chicago of his Romance & Cigarettes at which he was present, John Turturro started riffing and said something along the lines of: "People say I'm such a good character actor and I guess I should take that as a compliment, but I'm not sure if they mean what it means to me. Every role every actor plays is a character, so every actor is a character actor."

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Oh, what great pics you guys! I love it. This website is the best.

 

Chio- John Turturro was right, but in writing the thread I could not think of one other phrase that meant the same thing :)

 

James Gleason is wonderful in every movie he was in, but to me he will always be Max Corkle in "Here Comes Mr. Jordan". I get all choked up now when I see him.

 

I feel the same way about William Demarest since my dad introduced me to "Miracle of Morgan's Creek". Demarest does high kicks, gets irascible, and then turns surprisingly sweet two-thirds of the way through the movie. My dad (who is pretty irascible himself) and I both cry with joy every time we watch this ridiculous movie.

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I hope I didn't give the wrong impression in my initial post. I didn't mean that the pics should just be MY favorites- please feel free to post pictures or talk about any of YOUR favorite bit players, character actors, etc.

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Somewhere there's a picture of all seven of the "Ball of Fire" professors, each with a sign proclaiming him "Doc" or "Grumpy". Has anyone else seen this picture? I know I have it in one of my books, somewhere.

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Once I get a little more time, I'll post some more of my favorite character actors and actresses. Here are some for now:

 

Raymond Walburn in Christmas in July

 

christmasinjuly1.jpg

 

William Demarest in The Lady Eve

 

ladyeve1.jpg

 

Charles Coburn in The Lady Eve

 

ladyeve2.jpg

 

Louis Calhern in The Asphalt Jungle

 

asphaltjungle1.jpg

 

Elisha Cook Jr. in The Killing

 

killing2.jpg

 

Elsa Lanchester in The Razor's Edge

 

razorsedge11.jpg

 

Elsa Lanchester in Mystery Street

 

mysterystreet1.jpg

 

One of my very favorites: Esther Howard in Sullivan's Travels

 

sullivanstravels1.jpg

 

Esther Howard in Murder, My Sweet

 

murdermysweet1.jpg

 

Esther Howard in Born to Kill

 

borntokill1.jpg

 

My very favorite character actress: Thelma Ritter in A Letter to Three Wives

 

threewives5.jpg

 

Thelma Ritter in Rear Window

 

rearwindow1.jpg

 

rearwindow5.jpg

 

Thelma Ritter in Pickup on South Street

 

pickup1.jpg

 

pickup2.jpg

 

pickup3.jpg

 

pickup4.jpg

 

This one is for ChiO: Timothy Carey in The Killing

 

killing1.jpg

 

And this one is for the Blonde Blizzard: Ward Whatever in some film I'm unfamiliar

with. Maybe someone out there knows the title. I just pulled these caps off the Net.

 

gonewiththewind4.jpg

 

gonewiththewind5.jpg

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I've always appreciated Sara Haden -- she played old maids with such grace and sensitivity. I particularly like her turns in THE BISHOP'S WIFE, THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER, and in the Andy Hardys as Aunt Millie.

 

Message was edited by: Bronxgirl48

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Happy New Year, Bronx Babe!

 

I'm thinking about getting The Shop Around the Corner DVD tomorrow. If I do,

I'll post a Sara Haden cap for ya. Ironically, I just plopped some Dove candy in my

mouth and the wrapper read, "send a love letter this week." You want a love letter

in your box? How 'bout moms? What? Forget the letter and send the candy?

Ohh, I see. You'd rather have the Dove than the love. Get in line.

 

Sara Haden in Mad Love

 

madlove1.jpg

 

I know I'm breaking the rules with this one since this fella is THE star of the show.

 

bilko1.jpg

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Well, How-dee, FG! (That's my Minnie Pearl impression) And a very Happy New Year back at you.

I envisioned you over the holidays enjoying mouthwatering Pennsylvania Dutch food at your family's table. I gained twenty pounds just thinking about it. So no candy for me, lol. But I'll take a giant sub sandwich. (the kind that Ed Norton whips out in the "t.v." episode of The Honeymooners when he's watching Captain Video)

 

As for "l'amour, l'amour, toujours l'amour" (as whatsername says in THE WOMEN; pardon me, I'm having a damned "senior" moment) it could be overrated; why do people always equate it with the flu?? Is it all it's cracked up to be? How cynical am I getting? I better buck up -- I've got a wedding in six months. (you're all invited; I decided it's going to be a cowboy theme; Duane will wear spurs -- only not for the honeymoon)

 

I didn't remember Sara was in MAD LOVE. THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER is one of my favorite movies. You haven't seen it? It's wonderful. Thanks in advance for the cap!

 

Mom loves anything crunchy to eat. You could send her chocolate covered grasshoppers.

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Well, How-dee, FG! (That's my Minnie Pearl impression) And a very Happy New Year

back at you.

 

Hee Haw from the Bronx? Hey now. I used to watch Hee Haw at my "country"

grandparents.

 

I envisioned you over the holidays enjoying mouthwatering Pennsylvania Dutch food

at your family's table. I gained twenty pounds just thinking about it.

 

New Year's Day was the Pennsylvania Dutch day. It's tradition to eat pork and sauerkraut

on New Year's Day for good luck. I'm someone who doesn't like too many veggies, but

for some odd reason, I love sauerkraut. I'm all PA Dutch with that. And if you can make

good chicken corn soup, I'm all yours.

 

As for "l'amour, l'amour, toujours l'amour" (as whatsername says in THE WOMEN;

pardon me, I'm having a damned "senior" moment) it could be overrated; why do people

always equate it with the flu?? Is it all it's cracked up to be? How cynical am I getting?

 

:D Have you been talking to mom about marriage again?

 

Love? Ohhh, I don't know. How would I know? I'm too much of a fool to know. All that I

know is that I'm not know. Ya know? No? Yeah, that's the "no" I do know.

 

I better buck up -- I've got a wedding in six months. (you're all invited; I decided it's going

to be a cowboy theme; Duane will wear spurs -- only not for the honeymoon)

 

A cowboy theme? You've been spending entirely too much time at Miss Kitty's Saloon

Gallery, Missy. Well, if you insist on going western, I guess I'll have to go as this lonely

cowpoke:

 

Pompey will be my date.

 

valance92-1.jpg

 

THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER is one of my favorite movies. You haven't seen it?

It's wonderful.

 

Have I seen it? Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, that's probably a matter of opinion. :D Let's just say

that I don't see how any guy is gonna want a musical cigar box. ;)

 

Mom loves anything crunchy to eat. You could send her chocolate covered grasshoppers.

 

If she likes Hershey's, she's set.

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I can make a great regular old New Yawk chicken soup, with parsely and carrots and fresh stock.

And of course thin egg noodles. Mighty tasty eatin'. I'll throw in the corn for you. (fresh shucked)

Aw, shucks. I used to enjoy kraut with my hot dogs; but now I prefer Chicago dressings.

 

How could I not remember you've seen THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER many times -- we all bantered about it in other threads. I really think my brain cells are atrophying. It's this subtropical climate; the synapes go haywire from the humidity. (of course, now we're having a cold spell; it's about 30 degrees out and I'm freezing)

 

Mom isn't the type to talk about love. Instead, she'll wax enthusiastic over her latest diet.

The woman is 86 years old and has been dieting for 70 years. I tell her she looks just fine and it's o.k. for her to have, say, a piece of coconut cake now and then. Her response: "Coconut will kill you". I just respond, "Oooooo-kay".

 

"The man who shot Liberty Valance, he shot Liberty Valance, he was the bravest of them all....."

 

I might enlist Sterling Hayden to play his guitar at the wedding.

 

Message was edited by: Bronxgirl48

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I can make a great regular old New Yawk chicken soup, with parsely and carrots

and fresh stock. And of course thin egg noodles. Mghty tasty eatin'. I'll throw in the

corn for you. (fresh shucked) Aw, shucks. I used to enjoy kraut with my hot dogs;

but now I prefer Chicago dressings.

 

Carrots is a no go for me. I'm Mr. Boring when it comes to food... oh heck, everything.

 

How could I not remember you've seen THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER many

times -- we all bantered about it in other threads.

 

Noooo, your mind is doing juhhhhst fine, Bronxie. I actually watched The Shop

Around the Corner for the very first time early last month. I've since been told that

I prefer lonely places to warm and friendly shops. All I said was that the blouse was

awful. That was my honest opinion. And if I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't get

married. Straight-up honesty is the best policy.

 

Mom isn't the type to talk about love. Instead, she'll wax enthusiastic over her latest

diet. The woman is 86 years old and has been dieting for 70 years. I tell her she looks

just fine and it's o.k. for her to have, say, a piece of coconut cake now and then. Her

response: "Coconut will kill you". I just respond, "Oooooo-kay".

 

Your mom is a doll. As for you, well... ;)

 

Coconut is another yuck, horrors for me. :)

 

I might enlist Sterling Hayden to play his guitar at the wedding.

 

If Johnny's there, I'm there. And if Mr. Scratch is on the fiddle, you know I'll be there.

I wonder if Bella Dee will dance with me? I bet I could just wear her out.

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Oh my! Just call me a bucket of mush and a puddle of passion after seeing that gorgeous hunka man, Ward Bond! And with handle-bar mustaches a girl can grab onto! ;) Hee!!

 

Yes, just where were they all night, Rhett? ;)

 

I LOVE Raymond Walburn and Esther Howard, too! She was hilarious in Sullivan's Travels. You chose the most piquant screen moments to capture for all of those great performers. Well done.

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You'll have to fight me for Pompey. He's so cute.

 

How could Liberty not be great? It's got Woody Strode, Edmond O'Brien ( what a great job he does), Lee Marvin, Andy Devine, John Carradine, Jeanette Nolan, John Qualen, Strother Martin.... I could go on all day....

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