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Seven "squirrely cherubs"....


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Hi Jackie! Look what I dusted off! :D I was perusing back through this thread and I thought

it might be fun to revive it and for everyone to list their top ten favorite performances by a

character actor and top 10 performances by a character actress, in order of preference if possible. All genres can be considered. I'm the first to admit that there is a fine line between

a "supporting role" performed by someone who also does leading roles, but I'll try to limit my

selections to people who spent most of their career in supporting or "character" parts.

 

Here's mine, at least as of today and subject to change, of course!

 

Favorite Performances by a Character Actor:

 

1. *Tom Santschi* as Bull Stanley in 3 Bad Men

2. *Woody Strode* as "Pompey" in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

3. *Victor McLaglen* as Sgt. MacDuff in Wee Willie Winkie

4. *Harry Carey* as Daniel in The Shepherd of the Hills

5. *Walter Brennan* as Pa Clanton in My Darling Clementine

6. *Ward Bond* as Sgt. O'Rourke in Fort Apache

7. *Felix Bressart* as Pirovitch in The Shop Around the Corner

8. *Thomas Mitchell* as "Doc Boone" in Stagecoach

9. *Sig Ruman* as "Concentration Camp Ehrhardt" in To Be or Not to Be

10. *Finlay Currie* as Mr Shunderson in People Will Talk

 

 

Favorite Performances by a Character Actress:

 

1. *Sara Allgood* as Mrs Morgan in How Green Was My Valley

2. *Alice Brady* as Mrs Bullock in My Man Godfrey

3. *Thelma Ritter* as Stella in Rear Window

4. *Flora Robson* as Mrs. McKlennar in Drums Along the Mohawk

5. *Hattie MacDaniel* as Mammy in Gone with the Wind

6. *Jane Darwell* as Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath

7. *Olive Carey* as Mrs Jorgensen in Searchers

8. *Thelma Ritter* as Isabel in The Misfits

9. *Ann Sothern* as Gracie Argona in Sylvia (1965)

10. *Jessie Royce Landis* as Jessie in To Catch a Thief

 

Oh my goodness, there are sooooooo many more I could have listed! What are yours?

 

Message was edited by: MissGoddess

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I know. I kind of sped through mine otherwise I knew I'd end up agonizing for days on it. I

can go on and on and on. I had so many Ford movie listed because they came rushing

to the fore, but if I were to really spend time and think back there are just so many others.

Ford makes it easy, because his movies were usually not about flashy stars, with the

exception of Wayne, Stewart and Fonda. He focused more on character parts. The

Long Voyage Home is exclusively an ensemble exercise. Even Wayne is just one

of many, part of the tapestry, not the star. *The Grapes of Wrath* feels that way, too. Oh,

dear, that reminds me, I didn't include a John Carradine performance....

 

Films noir have tons of character performance stand-outs, so no doubt you'll find plenty

there to choose from.

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Oh golly, I just wasted my brain comparing *M* and *The Third Man* on another thread.... and besides, MissG! You took some of my favorites already- like Thomas Santschi, Woody Strode, Ward Bond, Alice Brady and Jane Darwell....I guess it is easy to pick Ford's supporting actors.....

 

I have to think about it, but one performance comes to mind immediately, especially since you mentioned "Grapes". It may be my favorite supporting performance of all time. I just love John Qualen's Muley - he is almost the key to the whole movie for me. I always feel his pain, sitting in the dirt, an old graveyard ghost. I totally believe his dust bowl farmer.... "and some of us died for it...."

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I know. I kind of sped through mine otherwise I knew I'd end up agonizing for days on it. I

can go on and on and on.

 

:D You are right. You have seen so many classic films whereas I have not. For this very reason, it's much easier for me to compile a list.

 

I had so many Ford movie listed because they came rushing to the fore, but if I were to really spend time and think back there are just so many others.

 

Like usual, I was teasing you, Fordy Guns. Your lists are quite good; very you.

 

Ford makes it easy, because his movies were usually not about flashy stars, with the

exception of Wayne, Stewart and Fonda. He focused more on character parts. The

Long Voyage Home is exclusively an ensemble exercise. Even Wayne is just one

of many, part of the tapestry, not the star. The Grapes of Wrath feels that way, too. Oh,

dear, that reminds me, I didn't include a John Carradine performance....

 

Terrific point. I have noticed how much the Fordian players add great depth to his highly-detailed films.

 

Films noir have tons of character performance stand-outs, so no doubt you'll find plenty

there to choose from.

 

I'm guessing this is where the majority of mine will come from.

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You have too many brains to ever worry about wasting any, Jackie! ;)

 

I just love John Qualen's Muley - he is almost the key to the whole movie for me. I always feel his pain, sitting in the dirt, an old graveyard ghost. I totally believe his dust bowl farmer.... "and some of us died for it...."

 

I'm in tears just reading it---I was scrambling for a John Qualen performance, too, I can't

believe I left that one out. I hope to see it on your list. He breaks my heart in that scene,

oh, it's so wrenching!

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Hi folks--I liked your list April--and the Ford thing "is what it is" I have a few of my own that came from the same source and one movie in particular as I am sure you will notice below....

 

I did a little thinking and came up with a mixed list of 10--both women and men. I was afraid I'd be here for a year and a day trying to come up with 10 of each--it could go on and on.... I'm sure my list is not as well organized as yours, and likely will be more "hit and miss" on some. But these are the character actors I always seem to like the most.....

 

1) Walter Brennan:favorite roles were in Sgt. York, Meet John Doe, The Westerner, (and about a gazillion other westerns too)

 

2) Ward Bond--he's in so many of my favorite movies--how could I not choose him? The Quiet Man...The Searchers...Sgt York....I will stop at three but the original list I wrote on paper has about 8 or so.

 

3) Victor McLaglen--same story. TQM, Gunga Din, She Wore A Yellow Ribbon...etc etc.

 

4)Barry Fitzgerald--TQM--no surprise there

 

5) Mildred Natwick--there is a definite pattern developing here--TQM, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon... Oh my favorite of all has to be 3 Godfathers...it's a pretty small role but how heartbreaking!

 

6) Edna May Oliver--Pride and Prejudice, David Coppefield, Little Women

 

7) Spring Byington--Presenting Lily Mars, Little Women--most favorite of all has to be You Can't Take it With You.

 

8) Frank Morgan- The Wizard of Oz, Shop Around the Corner

 

9) Henry Jones....Leroy--my boy!! (from the Bad Seed)

 

10) Jack Elam--...He can play some really rotten charcters but he's also good with the comedy. (Support Your Local Sherriff and all his many "westerns" were great) I like his "sterotypical" greasy, grimy guy that he plays so well...but I also enjoyed him in The Way West...just saw that recently and it is a variation on the theme of the typical "grizzly' looking guy he usually plays....a bit of a change in character anyway.

 

I'm sure there are many I am leaving out, but this will have to do for now....Oh wait--what about Beulah Bondi---and Edmund Gwenn....or how about Ernest Borgnine..or maybe Josephine Hull....I told you this could go on and on.....

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Hmmm....I do seem to sense a certain pattern there in your choices... ;) For one thing,

they're all great!

 

*Henry Jones* as "Leroy". How excellent! I'm laughing right now about the "stick bloodhounds"!

LOL!! FrankGrimes needs to see The Bad Seed if he hasn't. That movie is just something out

of the ordinary.

 

How about Beulah Bondi in Of Human Hearts? Or on the other side of the coin, in *Track*

*of the Cat* or The Sheherd of the Hills?

 

GASP!!! I cannot believe who I left off my own list, I should be shot. Harry Carey, Sr. I'm

revising my list _now_.

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FrankGrimes needs to see The Bad Seed if he hasn't. That movie is just something out

of the ordinary.

 

Do you wish me to see it so that I understand you better, Seedy?

 

GASP!!! I cannot believe who I left off my own list, I should be shot.

 

I'll tell "Doniphon" to find the nearest shadow and take aim. :P

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1. John Qualen- The Grapes of Wrath

2. Frank Morgan- The Wizard of Oz

3. Oscar Homolka- I Remember Mama

4. William Demarest- The Miracle of Morgan's Creek

5.Cuddles- Casablanca

6. Walter Brennan- The Westerner

7. George Sanders- Uncle Neddy- The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

8.Leon Ames- Meet Me in St. Louis

9. Edmond O'Brien- The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

10. Billy Gilbert- Mr. Pettibone- His Girl Friday

 

1. Marie Dressler- Carlotta Vance- Dinner at Eight

2. Edna May Oliver- David Copperfield

3.Jean Dixon- My Man Godfrey

4.Jean Cadell- Mrs. Pearce-Pygmalion

5.Judy Holliday- Adam's Rib

6.Fay Bainter- Quality Street

7. Diana Lynn- The Major and the Minor

8. Dame Edith Evans/Margaret Rutherford - The Importance of Being Earnest

9. Ethel Barrymore- Portrait of Jennie

10. Alice Brady- My Man Godfrey

 

I tried really hard not to copy any that anyone else picked but I just had to pick a couple of the same performances. I also could not make up my mind between Margaret Rutherford and Edith Evans so I plopped them both on the list. I have to cheat every time we do one o these lists.... I am the Bad Seed!

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Jack, can you or someone else tell me what's the difference between a squirrely cherub and a fussbudget???

 

He's not a fussbudget or a squirrely cherub, but I am absolutely over the moon over character actor: Samuel S. Hinds.

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I guess I would say a "squirrely cherub" would be a slightly cuckoo old cutie, like S.Z. Sakall; whereas a "fussbudget" would be either a prim, fussy person (Franklin Pangborn) or a loud, complaining pain in the neck (Laura Hope Crews). :)

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I am the Bad Seed

 

Jack!! Never in a million years!!! Don't even think it! :-) I'm not one for any sort of eastern mysticism here, but that little child was Adolph Hitler re-incarnate! HA!!

 

Yes Frank-she's so bad...she's even worse than you!! :-) (or me).

 

Jack I love your list. I have to admit there are some I'm not as familar with as others, but I wish I had thought of Leon Ames, Judy Holliday, and Ethel Barrymore!

 

I wanted to put Agnes Moorhead on mine...but it was so late last night...she was on the "list in my head" but didn't make it to the paper version so I missed her when I typed it in. :-) (I must really be turning into an old fogey-I just can't stay up late like I used to!!)

 

And by the way, thanks for the little tune this thread has put into my warped subconscious...sing along everybody..

 

7 Squirrely Cherubs.... 6 Fussy Fussbudgets.... 5 Golden Rings!!!!!

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The Sheherd of the Hills

 

April--although I haven't gotten to see this one again--and it's been a really long time since I saw her in this role, with regard to Beulah-this movie and It's a Wonderful Life were the two I was thinking of....I haven't seen the other two films you mentioned...but I bet she was great....she was pretty versatile if you compare just the two I was thinking of.

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What a marvelous list, Jackie! I can see so many I would have had on my list had I thought a little harder. What would we DO without all those marvelous players? Hollywood would have been so much duller. I was watching STAGE DOOR for the gazillionth time ( ;) ) and saw about a half dozen more wonderful choices like Eve Arden and oh, how on earth can I be so consistently stupid as to consitently OVERLOOK Adolph Menjou? I should be stood up against the wall for that oversight as well. That man was just amazing. One of the best actors, really, in the kind of parts he played---that kind of role, that self-aware, ultra sophisticated and worldly man---no one, I mean not even among leading men, could surpass him. If they were really good they might equal him. He was so good but he's another that made it look easy. But he gets ALL the comedy and nuances you can out of that kind of character. Just brilliant. Brilliant.

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Awww don't beat yourself up MissG. At least you paid kudoes to the great Menjou. I enjoyed him in "The Hucksters" as well. Urbane, debonaire and that mustache. Testifying...not so good, but a fine actor.

 

(Missed "StageDoor" this morning, but it is also one of my favorite films: Eve, Lucy, Ginger, Kate, Gail...all having nice careers in their own right. Great film).

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