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Burt Lancaster Movies


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Why is it that they don't give Burt Lancaster movies frequently? Especially the ones when he was young; like the Flame and the Arrow, Kentuckian, and the Crimson Pirate? Those movies were awesome! He was so cool and incredibly handsome. They don't make movies like that anymore. Of course, times change and technology changes also. So does actors and actresses. Not to mention acting itself. New is always good, but old was the best!

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They do show them from time to time. Maybe in November (his Birthday) Do you have Encore Western Channel. They have been showing "Apache, Lawman ,The Unforgiven, Valdez is Coming and "The Hallelujah Trail" lately. I would love seeing the others you mentioned.

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vallo (Burt's name in the Crimson Pirate)

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

> Has "The Rose Tattoo" ever been shown on TCM?

 

I don't think it has been shown in the last year or so, I had to get the DVD when I wanted to watch it. It's a Paramount title, so maybe it's just a matter of time, since TCM does have a deal with Paramount but they don't seem to have a lot of titles yet.

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I saw 'The Swimmer' discussed elsewhere in a thread on this forum sometime in the past few days as I was browsing threads. That's a crucial film in the progress of Lancaster's career; one of the major highlights. Sensitive and touching--Burt's affability really works when portraying someone deranged, someone with a psychological blind spot.

Really though, you could say that emotionally-vulnerable characters comprise the bulk of his best performances. Going all the way back to 'the Swede' in 'The Killers'. Or 'Steve' in "Criss-Cross". In each film, he falls so hard for the female that he crosses the line of reason and common sense.

To my way of thinking, these 'distraught' performances what set him off from other big-framed, strongly-built, tough-guy actors among his peers. He always seemed to seek out these more challenging roles rather than just skate on his athletic ability.

Sure, 'Crimson Pirate' and 'The Flame and the Arrow' are essential to see where he came from in the 50s and how he developed. He could have done flicks like that for the rest of his run, but he didn't. I particularly enjoy 'The Kentuckian' where he faces villain Walter Matthau (a fave actor of mine) wielding a whip. But in the same era he opts for Tennessee Williams' "Rose Tattoo".

Jump ahead to the 60s and we find him in amazing movies like John Frankenheimer's "The Train". A very physical, rigorous assignment--but the role also calls for seething rage, and Lancaster delivers that too. Or, even that trapeze movie with Tony Curtis too--pungent emotions there as well.

And so look at what he did later: really splendid achievements in pics like Visconti's "The Leopard" and Louis Malle's "Atlantic City", or "Local Hero".

I don't think there's any contemporary star (subsequent to Pacino, Nicholson, Voight, DeNiro, Hoffman, Caan, Duvall, Hackman) who will ever have a career remotely as extraordinary as Lancaster's. Everything's too 'safe' and 'calculated' these days; variety almost nil. The studio system was too superb; too efficient. When actors were doing four movies per year, everyone reaped a bounty.

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