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Actors So Perfect In Their Roles You Cannot Envision Anyone Else


TomJH
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It may not have anything to do with acting ability. It may their attitude, their physical appearance or, perhaps, their screen persona that does it for you. Most likely it's a combination of them.

Whatever it is about the casting of that actor/actress in a certain role, that person so inhabits the part that it is all but impossible for you to envision someone else in the role. Or, if someone else had attempted it, he or she just couldn't do the part the same justice, as far as you're concerned.

 

Here is one of mine:

Maureen O'Hara as the proud, fiery, exasperating Mary Kate Danaher in John Ford's The Quiet Man.

Not only was O'Hara a haunting beauty as photographed by Winton C. Hoch in 1951 when she played Mary Kate but the actress completely brought the role vibrantly to life. O'Hara is Mary Kate: proud, haughty, stubborn, ready to stand nose to nose with any man (even though the screenplay has her disappointingly "tamed" at the end). She also enjoyed, probably more here than in any of her other films with John Wayne, an extraordinary chemistry with her leading man. Even Wayne haters would probably admit that.

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Very few would probably ever call Maureen O'Hara a great actress but her Mary Kate remains an unforgettable vision and screen presence right from her very first appearance in Ford's film . . .

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Name a film performer that falls into this same category for you.

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What a fabulous topic!

At first I went through a laundry list of actors & actresses and some of their more renowned roles, casting off one after another when I had to admit that a particular role of theirs could possibly have been pulled off by someone else. Until it came like a bolt:  JAMES CAGNEY in "YANKEE DOODLE DANDY"

It is simply impossible to separate him from that role and plunk in anyone else. His style of dance was already reminiscent of Cohan's as was his Irish energy & patriotic enthusiasm a match, I'm sure, for Cohan's as well.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Zea said:

What a fabulous topic!

At first I went through a laundry list of actors & actresses and some of their more renowned roles, casting off one after another when I had to admit that a particular role of theirs might possibly be pulled off by someone else. Until it came like a bolt:  JAMES CAGNEY in "YANKEE DOODLE DANDY"

It is simply impossible to separate him from that role and plunk in anyone else. His style of dance was already reminiscent of Cohan's as was his Irish energy & patriotic enthusiasm a match, I'm sure, for Cohan's as well.

 

 

Cagney loved the role, too, of course, but you're right, Zea. Who else but that high energy dynamo could have done so much justice to the role of Cohan?

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Say what ya want about the actor and/or the movie, but in the feel-good hit of '76, I can't think of anyone else playing a certain washed-up club fighter than this one young actor here who you had probably never heard of before...

rocky-balboa-sylvester-stallone.jpg

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18 minutes ago, calvinnme said:

Jim Carrey as Cohan and Bill Maher as his dad. Even though they are only six years apart. Going by the record of the remakes made lately.

That's one remake that'll never be made. No one (except filmophiles & Broadway hounds) under 40 knows who the hell George M. Cohan was, nor would they care even if they were told.

Unlike something that's pretty timeless & generic like "A STAR IS BORN", which, I'm sure, will be remade at least 1/2 dozen times over after we are all long gone and probably show up in some future Martian cinema starring two synths.

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4 hours ago, Dargo said:

Say what ya want about the actor and/or the movie, but in the feel-good hit of '76, I can't think of anyone else playing a certain washed-up club fighter than this one young actor here who you had probably never heard of before...

rocky-balboa-sylvester-stallone.jpg

Would it really be that unthinkable imaging the role being played by Harvey Keitel, Robert De Niro or John Cazale?

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James Cagney as Cody Jarrett in White Heat

He was middle aged paunchy when he made his first gangster film in a decade, but Cagney knew how to play a cold blooded psychopath. Others can do that, too, and very effectively. It's impossible for me to see anyone else, though, being as convincing as Cagney was in his two emotional breakdown scenes, the prison cafeteria sequence and the legendary "Made it, Ma. Top of the world!" climax.

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With a burning Hell surrounding him and knowing he is about to die in a fiery explosion, Cagney plays his final scene as though it is a moment of triumph.

He's about to go out his way.

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Charlton Heston as Moses in "THE TEN COMMANDMENTS".

Many of Chuck's personal appearances and some movie roles post-TTC gave the distinct impression he really thought he parted the Red Sea and anyone who dared would have to pry that staff from his cold dead hands.

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7 hours ago, hamradio said:

Time will tell when someone does a remake. :wacko:

Nah, they'd never do a remake--

It's not a struggle-out-of-bankruptcy MGM/UA property, like the Magnificent Seven, Ben-Hur, Poltergeist, Robocop, Total Recall, Amityville Horror, Carrie, Scarface, Death Wish, Thomas Crown Affair, Rollerball and Clash of the Titans remakes.

(Only streaming fans have started to notice the Suspicious Link.)

2 hours ago, bluebirdsfly said:

I have a few that I just can't see anyone else playing these roles: 

Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind 

From the archival screen tests, early favorite Paulette Goddard would've stepped up to the role.

 

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3 hours ago, Zea said:

Charlton Heston as Moses in "THE TEN COMMANDMENTS".

Many of Chuck's personal appearances and some movie roles post-TTC gave the distinct impression he really thought he parted the Red Sea and anyone who dared would have to pry that staff from his cold dead hands.

Heston is too melodramatic.

I think "Exodus: Gods and Kings" (2014) is very good.  The main cast don't behave like they came out of a Shakespearean acting school.  Having a kid to be "God" was weird though. Loved when Ramesses II hung that so called "Expert". :lol:

13188-exodus-gods-kings-cast.1200w.tn.jp

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5 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Keitel or De Niro maybe. But John Cazale? No.

And I'LL say De Niro maybe, but not Keitel and definitely not Cazale.

(...and even THEN, De Niro, and as good an actor as he is, couldn't muster up the "likability factor" that Stallone did in his breakout and signature role)   

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Stallone, the mythology has it, really had to fight to get himself cast in the role. Every studio in Hollywood wanted to purchase his screenplay, but he held out until he was guaranteed he could play the title role. His career had been going all right up to that point - bit parts in A-list films like Bananas and The Prisoner of Second Avenue and memorable roles in The Lords of Flatbush and Death Race 2000 - but obviously the studios would have preferred a DeNiro. Well, he did all right in his own boxing movie a few years later.

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13 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

Stallone, the mythology has it, really had to fight to get himself cast in the role. Every studio in Hollywood wanted to purchase his screenplay, but he held out until he was guaranteed he could play the title role. His career had been going all right up to that point - bit parts in A-list films like Bananas and The Prisoner of Second Avenue and memorable roles in The Lords of Flatbush and Death Race 2000 - but obviously the studios would have preferred a DeNiro. Well, he did all right in his own boxing movie a few years later.

Yep, that he did, sewhite, and Raging Bull is a great movie featuring a great performance by De Niro. 

However, and as I just replied in regard to skimpole's suggestion of possible alternate actors playing the Rocky Balboa character and about how I feel that character has to be "likable" enough to root for him, De Niro effectively played Jake LaMotta as a very UNLIKABLE guy in RB.

And hence my rationale for saying even the great De Niro couldn't have pulled off the Rocky Balboa character as well as Sly did.

(...Bobby's just too "intense")

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3 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

Burt Reynolds said he turned down the part, and George Lucas allegedly pursued Al Pacino, but for me, it's unthinkable anyone else could have ever played this role:

Harrison Ford in Star Wars (1977)

And which might now prompt the question:

Would Tom Selleck(Spielberg and Lucas' first pick for the part) have been as good as this guy in the Indiana Jones role?

 

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21 minutes ago, Dargo said:

And which might now prompt the question:

Would Tom Selleck(Spielberg and Lucas' first pick for the part) have been as good as this guy in the Indiana Jones role?

I'd say yes. Selleck became a major sex symbol, anyway -- and won a Primetime Emmy for his work on "Magnum, P.I." And he's become a solid presence on the long-running television series "Blue Bloods." If CBS hadn't blocked him from starring in "Raiders of the Lost Ark," he might have had a bigger film career.

Ford likely would have continued to be successful because of the "Star Wars" movies. If not, he always could have returned to carpentry.  

Image result for selleck as indiana jones

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