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Milquetoasts in Movies


CaveGirl
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As we all know, the term "milquetoast" comes from the comic strip, "Caspar Milquetoast" which was created by a man named Webster [can't think of his first name]. The poor soul was described as a man who "speaks softly and gets hit by a big stick" paraphrasing you-know-who. This comic was popular through the early 1900's and in the 1920's was a big hit in the newspaper called "The New York World". 


The term became popular as a description for a certain type of male, who was, shall we say...meek, weak, bland, retiring, shy, quiet, fearful, ineffectual, and extremely timid. In movies, oddly enough, Donald Meek eponymously played the part to perfection, but some actors were relegated to such roles, and mostly played this part throughout their career.

Once in a while, you would have a fine actor like Eddie G. play such a wimpish fellow, as in "Scarlet Street" which was against typecasting, but still effectively portrayed, due to his innate skills as a thespian.


Name a perennial milquetoast in films or a person who became a milquetoast only once or a few times, in their career. Though the term does not seemingly have a gender specific meaning, I have always tended to think of it referring to men, but if you can name a female milquetoast, knock yourself out!

 

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Add just a pinch of the snob into the mix here and Allyn Joslyn was always fairly good at playing this type.

Here he is making the mistake of introducing his gal Gene Tierney to his bad boy cousin Don Ameche in 1943's Heaven Can Wait...

heaven-can-wait-43.jpg

(...and ya don't have to have seen this wonderful movie in order to know who'll end up with Miss Tierney's affections and that sexy as hell overbite of hers, now do ya)

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CAVE GIRL do you mean a character or an actor.  For a character, i will give to RICHARD BASEHART in TENSION, where he plays a meek but sympathetic character that gets emotionLLY abused by his wife Claire.  The rub is that he will not stay humble towards the end of the film.The film will be back on August 6th on a Monday as a part of the tribute to AUDREY TOTTER. 

download-1.jpg

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On 7/30/2018 at 10:08 AM, CaveGirl said:

Though the term does not seemingly have a gender specific meaning, I have always tended to think of it referring to men, but if you can name a female milquetoast, knock yourself out!

Dude Bashing!

Isn't Milk Toast for when you get sheet faced?

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Edward G. Robinson's characters in Scarlet Street and Woman in the Window.  His versatility is amazing.  He can play anything from the gangster (Little Caesar), the shrewd businessman (Double Indemnity), to the conservative dairy farmer (Good Neighbor Sam).  Then there are his characters in Scarlet Street and Woman in the Window who are almost afraid of their own shadow!

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29 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

Edward G. Robinson's characters in Scarlet Street and Woman in the Window.  His versatility is amazing.  He can play anything from the gangster (Little Caesar), the shrewd businessman (Double Indemnity), to the conservative dairy farmer (Good Neighbor Sam).  Then there are his characters in Scarlet Street and Woman in the Window who are almost afraid of their own shadow!

Don't forget his meek newspaper reporter in THE WHOLE TOWN'S TALKING, where he also displays his tough guy persona with the look-alike gangster.

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