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What Current Big Stars Will Be Forgotten?


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Okay, I admit it...the post about some not knowing the name Chaplin, made me think of this topic.

Now in Chaplin's case, I don't think he will really be forgotten universally as have been many former luminaries of the stage and screen. I once heard someone say that even today, if you show footage of Chaplin roller skating around a rink and doing amazing stuntlike work, that people will stop and watch. Sure, maybe some don't know of Chaplin, but his talent still amazes when they get the chance to see his work.

What's different though, is seeing the work of a former actor and not enjoying it at all, in an old movie. We all know of big stars who just seem dated and people now can't relate to them. Or they were overhyped at the time and really not that great anyway. I won't name names but you know of what I speak. I doubt there are any major film revivals of the work of Wanda Hendrix but I might be wrong, as I would go to a Sybil Jason film fest, but to each his own.

But again I've digressed, so I ask just who, actor or director, will be not accorded incredible acclaim in about the next fifty years? I will start and don't hate me, but I shall be honest and say, I think it will be Matthew McConnaughey as an actor who was an AA winner and for director, I will say...Spielberg.

Yes, I went there. So kill me but I'm being honest and you wouldn't want me to lie now would you? Feel free to speak your truth also and I will defend your choices even if they are people I think are magnificent. All opinions are welcome, as any of them could come true. 

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Spielberg? No he’s made too many touchstone films, whether you like it or not. I will say Francis Ford Coppola though, and he directed two of my top five favorite films. He’s just not that prolific. 

Actors? Maybe Goldie Hawn. She was everywhere in the 70’s & 80’s but just quit working. Kevin Costner was huge in the 80’s & 90’s but seems forgotten now (I know he still makes films but is low profile.) 

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18 minutes ago, HelenBaby2 said:

Spielberg? No he’s made too many touchstone films, whether you like it or not. I will say Francis Ford Coppola though, and he directed two of my top five favorite films. He’s just not that prolific. 

Actors? Maybe Goldie Hawn. She was everywhere in the 70’s & 80’s but just quit working. Kevin Costner was huge in the 80’s & 90’s but seems forgotten now (I know he still makes films but is low profile.) 

Respectfully, I can't agree since many people in the past made films which might have been seen then to be important or "touchstone" films and they are not remembered now at all. As you know, one man's "prolific" could be another man's "hack" and I think that might be Spielberg's fate. But we'll just have to wait to see if either Spielberg or Coppola lose their allure in the future, Helen but I appreciate your candor.

Times change and I'm putting my money on Spielberg being downgraded drastically as an important film director. Thanks for your decision to put Coppola on the list though, as that is going out on a limb also, and I can dig it.

Good choices also with Goldie and Kevin who could end up forgotten too, or maybe will be bigger stars than ever. It can go both ways as we see often in film history.

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13 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Perhaps the better question to ask here is why do stars become forgotten?

A film friend of mine once said "The public can only have so many stars in their consciousness" hence some have to be downgraded and forgotten I guess, TB.

Well, that's one theory but it could be wrong also...

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5 minutes ago, CaveGirl said:

A film friend of mine once said "The public can only have so many stars in their consciousness" hence some have to be downgraded and forgotten I guess, TB.

Well, that's one theory but it could be wrong also...

Interesting comment. I will come back to it, when I've had more time to think it over. There's a lot to that.

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20 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Perhaps the better question to ask here is why do stars become forgotten?

Many reasons.

Right off the bat, comedy stars who's comedy is of their particular time. When that time passes by, their humor doesn't seem to work as well. And they fall by the wayside. I would put Adam Sandler in that category.

8 minutes ago, CaveGirl said:

A film friend of mine once said "The public can only have so many stars in their consciousness" hence some have to be downgraded and forgotten I guess, TB.

Well, that's one theory but it could be wrong also...

I see it like an assembly line. When one becomes the new hot star, the last old star begins to fade.

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Have fun with altering my post title to your heart's content, MCO!

I did post it that way though since fame is often fleeting and many a giant star could be forgotten in decade.


Look at the career of silent star, Wallace Reid. A matinee idol, adored by millions, starred in hundreds of movies up into the 1920's and then...POOF! Gone due to his substance abuse, and his fame did not live on. Frankly with all the movies I've seen, I've only once had a chance to see one of his pictures and it's not the scarcity of the films that demoted him I believe. Some people just don't wear well to a new generation. I'm sure some people from the Depression years would think George Brent would be more well known now that a character actor like Peter Lorre.

But it is hard to predict the future, so I hope I'm still alive in fifty years to see who lasts.

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40 minutes ago, HelenBaby2 said:

Spielberg? No he’s made too many touchstone films, whether you like it or not. I will say Francis Ford Coppola though, and he directed two of my top five favorite films. He’s just not that prolific. 

Actors? Maybe Goldie Hawn. She was everywhere in the 70’s & 80’s but just quit working. Kevin Costner was huge in the 80’s & 90’s but seems forgotten now (I know he still makes films but is low profile.) 

I think Goldie might hold on.....two of her 90s titles, Death Becomes her and The First Wives Club, have large cult followings today, and films like Shampoo, Cactus Flower, Private Benjamin, Overboard, and Foul Play are still fondly remembered.

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About current stars that might end up being forgotten, I have a hunch it will happen with many stars who are most famous for playing superheroes. With the exception of a few of them who were already established like Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo, and Scarlett Johansson, the superhero films are mainly the reason they are famous, and its probably true that audiences go to them more for the comic book connection then for who is actually starring in it.

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27 minutes ago, TheCid said:

All of them!

Yeah, gotta agree with Cid here. ALL of 'em. ALL of 'em will eventually be forgotten.

Well, except of course for Will Ferrell.

(...his brand of highly sophisticated comedy will live on in the pantheon of cinema history and in the public consciousness for centuries to come)

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6 hours ago, CaveGirl said:

A film friend of mine once said "The public can only have so many stars in their consciousness" hence some have to be downgraded and forgotten I guess, TB.

Well, that's one theory but it could be wrong also...

I thought this over. I would agree with the friend's comment. In fact this is why I think people seem to know about John Wayne-- very young people, including seven year olds. It's easy (and a little bit lazy maybe) for people to associate all westerns with John Wayne. So that gets passed down from one generation to another. Just like when these same people think about the 1950s they retain Monroe and Dean in their memory and forget about the rest. It means they don't have to remember hundreds of names and thousands of details germane to the actual history of movies for that specific time period.

One thing I've been doing is memorizing years for movies. I spent time memorizing stars' filmographies, just the titles. Now I am adding the year to those titles in my brain, to ensure my understanding is more detailed. In some instances I've made a point to remember the release dates (meaning the month and day of the year the films were released). In the case of someone like James Dean I've focused on his bit parts and his live TV work so I have more than just an understanding of three movies he made.

I guess what I am saying here is that we remember what we choose to remember. We know and understand what we work hard to know and understand.

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6 hours ago, MovieCollectorOH said:

 

What Current Big Stars Will Be Forgotten Remembered?

There I fixed that for you.

Yeah, the remembered list is going to be shorter than the forgotten list.

Spielberg will be remembered.  Although he's put out some schmaltz, he's directed enough good movies that will withstand time like JAWS and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN.  Ditto Goldie Hawn.

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I believe that the late Burt Reynolds will diminish to the stature of someone like, say, Dane Clark, and Reynolds was a huge star for a decade or so. Wallace Reid is a great example of a big star who has been more or less forgotten today, even by film buffs. Thanks for that one, Cave Girl. Gloria Swanson is remembered because of Sunset Boulevard; had Mary Pickford taken the role of Norma Desmond, she would now be much better remembered than Swanson.

Even the most ardent film buffs today have to remind themselves that Betty Grable was a top box-office star for about a decade. It's easy to think of many talented and attractive people who seemed on the verge of stardom and then weren't: Matthew Modine, Josh Hartnett, Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Natalie Portman are some of the names that came to mind first. Hilary Swank is already a more obscure two-time Oscar winner than Luise Rainer. I'm not even sure that people like Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence have found a secure niche in film history yet.

 

 

 

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When ever I'm in a dentist or doctors waiting room and if I can't find anything decent to read I'll pick up and flip through a People magazine and be amazed that I don't know hardly anybody in it.

Remember Andy Warhol's prediction of "15 minutes of fame"? Seems so prescient, no?

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5 hours ago, kingrat said:

I believe that the late Burt Reynolds will diminish to the stature of someone like, say, Dane Clark, and Reynolds was a huge star for a decade or so.

 

I agree. A series of trivial films dominating a career will do that to you.

His career could have used a few more Deliverances in it.

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George Clooney might be forgotten, even though he just won the AFI lifetime achievement award. When they first started handing these awards out, these people were from decades past and very definitely in the "remembered" category.  Younger people already do not know what the TV series "ER" is, Clooney's original claim to fame,  and it just went off the air less than ten years ago.

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8 hours ago, kingrat said:

I believe that the late Burt Reynolds will diminish to the stature of someone like, say, Dane Clark, and Reynolds was a huge star for a decade or so. Wallace Reid is a great example of a big star who has been more or less forgotten today, even by film buffs. Thanks for that one, Cave Girl. Gloria Swanson is remembered because of Sunset Boulevard; had Mary Pickford taken the role of Norma Desmond, she would now be much better remembered than Swanson.

 

  

 

 

Maybe Mary Pickford would be better remembered, but one problem she had that she shared with so many silent stars besides just the disappearance of the silent film is that they made huge amounts of money during the 20s when the income tax was very small. Then they invested that money in California real estate which boomed in later decades.  Thus lots of them pretty much retired from acting and even from public life in 1930 or so because they had amassed huge fortunes that they could live off of for the rest of their lives. Plus they didn't cultivate the memory of their films. At one point Pickford wanted all of her films destroyed because she thought they made her look silly!  I think one reason people remember Buster Keaton today is that he had to keep working, he had to make that deal with Raymond Rohauer that got his films restored and out in front of the public, because he went broke in 1932 from a combination of his first wife spending all of his money and then taking what was left in a divorce just as the Great Depression hit hard.

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1 hour ago, calvinnme said:

George Clooney might be forgotten, even though he just won the AFI lifetime achievement award. When they first started handing these awards out, these people were from decades past and very definitely in the "remembered" category.  Younger people already do not know what the TV series "ER" is, Clooney's original claim to fame,  and it just went off the air less than ten years ago.

I don't know how often ER is rerun, but I think syndicated reruns plays into a star's ongoing popularity. If I Love Lucy had faded from view like I Married Joan then Lucille Ball would be as forgotten as Joan Davis seems to be.

I watched the Doris Roberts interview she did on the Emmy Legends website. She said one of the reasons Remington Steele was cancelled, even though it had a huge fanbase and there was a letter writing campaign to save it, was because NBC felt there wasn't much of a syndication market for those kinds of shows. And if you think about it Remington Steele has hardly been rerun since it went off the air. It had DVD releases, fortunately, but it's always been hard to find in syndication. On the other hand Everybody Loves Raymond has been in reruns continuously since it ceased production. Sitcoms tend to fare better than mystery and action shows in syndication.

So it depends on what kind of show a star gets known for and how visible that show remains in subsequent years. This applies to films as well as television series, because some films turn up on television quite often and gain new audiences, while other films never air and collect dust.

Therefore a person's ongoing popularity depends on how visible they remain, even after their death, due to home video and rebroadcasts.

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Since most 'stars' are forgotten,  to me the better question is:  50 years after their death,  what movie industry personal will be remember?    

I say Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro,  and Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese.     Oh, and of course Harvey Weinstein.

(and along those lines,  Woody Allen and Roman Polanski).

 

 

 

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35 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Since most 'stars' are forgotten,  to me the better question is:  50 years after their death,  what movie industry personal will be remember?    

I say Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro,  and Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese.     Oh, and of course Harvey Weinstein.

(and along those lines,  Woody Allen and Roman Polanski).

 

 

 

Tom Hanks and Daniel Day Lewis will be remembered as well. Not many actresses of today will be remembered because more of their value to the industry is based on their youth. It is rare to have someone like Streep who continues to work as an actress into old age.

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57 minutes ago, calvinnme said:

Tom Hanks and Daniel Day Lewis will be remembered as well. Not many actresses of today will be remembered because more of their value to the industry is based on their youth. It is rare to have someone like Streep who continues to work as an actress into old age.

Those two are solid choices but I can also see them being forgotten but for the polar opposite reasons:  Lewis because,  while one of the best actors of his generation wasn't in many blockbuster films,  and Hanks because too many view him as a so-so \ everyday man,  actor (i.e. a not so memorable screen persona).

Note that Harrison Ford should be part of the discussion based on block office take associated with the serials Raiders and Star Wars,  but like Hanks,  he may fall off the radar because he didn't have many 'must see' performances like De Niro.

 

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