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Has there ever been a star you liked but then later came to disrespect?


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When someone falls out of public favor it is usually because of a scandal (Fatty Arbuckle, Bill Cosby, Kevin Spacey). Or because they've said something that was taken out of context (Barbra Streisand). Or they are expressing their political or personal beliefs in a way that disturbs others (Madonna).

Stars fall out of favor with me when I realize they're lazy and just phoning in a performance for a paycheck. 

How about you?

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Hmm, I agree more with the second line. I also find it hard to respect an actor who is defensive of their screen image and does not want to diversify their roles, like refusing to accept supporting/character parts, or playing an unscrupulous type that might disillusion their fans. I like actors who seek out untypical parts that will challenge their abilities. I think it's sporting. I also gain huge respect for an actor who will deliver a great performance in a bad movie or bad part. When I see someone great "phoning it in" in a bad movie I can't help but think, "Nooo, you could have SAVED it!" (That having been said, I saw Jack Palance acting his butt off in an episode of Buck Rogers a while ago, and.... it was futile. But I do RESPECT the effort!)

As for artists personal lives... There are a lot of great artists that I enjoy but know absolutely nothing about, especially in music. A lot of them may have been horrible people, but it doesn't effect my enjoyment of their work because I'm blissfully ignorant. So, when I DO know a lot about an artist I feel like I probably shouldn't, and if it affects my opinion of their work I feel like it's a human folly on my part. There's a lot of bad people in the world, you can't control them all, and most of them don't produce good art or have to put up with the public scrutiny that artists do. That doesn't mean they should be above the law, of course; but someone's art should stand on it's own virtues, not on the ethics of it's creator.

Heck, I think I could even listen to Spade Cooley if his music was really all that good...

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I don't put people on pedestals. I treat people all basically the same. I consider them all human with human frailties. Of course they sometimes do things I don't care for but, that's their life. If I really don't like it, I won't patronize their films.

My favorite actor during the 80's was Mickey Rourke. He had a string of movies I thought was really good. I was interested in seeing how far he could go. Then substance abuse, domestic abuse etc... and basically threw away all that promise.

Then of course he tried to get some of it back later but, the spotlight have already faded.

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I remember liking Russel Crowe, the first time I saw him in The Insider, Gladiator and Master and Commander--Does anyone remember liking him?? 

I mean...that's like liking Liam Neeson, the first time you saw him in Schindler's List, Darkman and Star Wars: Episode I.  Who knew??

(To be fair, though, Kevin Spacey was still annoying as far back as Seven.)

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Yes, sure. Why certainly. Its like asking whether one sticks with a band after they've sold out. Rod Stewart was once an authentic rocker. So was Phil Collins. But I can't go along wit em once they turned on to that infernal, downward, path.

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19 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

Yes, sure. Why certainly. Its like asking whether one sticks with a band after they've sold out. Rod Stewart was once an authentic rocker. So was Phil Collins. But I can't go along wit em once they turned on to that infernal, downward, path.

Victims of their own success? Is that what you're saying?

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I can't venture a guess as to why they sold out. But it changed their music for the worse (according to the way I see it, anyway) even if it boosted their career or made 'other types of fan' happy. Me, I'm a rocker and I was very disappointed in their decision. I wouldn't change my seat if they were in my row on a plane flight but I'd have to bite my lip not to say something awkward.

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5 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

I can't venture a guess as to why they sold out. But it changed their music for the worse (according to the way I see it, anyway) even if it boosted their career or made 'other types of fan' happy. Me, I'm a rocker and I was very disappointed in their decision. I wouldn't change my seat if they were in my row on a plane flight but I'd have to bite my lip not to say something awkward.

So they moved from rock to pop...that's the problem you have with them?

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2 hours ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

In a word, yes. They are each very good musicians. I've even seen Phil in concert. They're both just 'better' than the style they chose to pursue. No need for it. Inexplicable and disappointing.

I don't know enough about either one of them to comment on their careers.

The reason I started this thread is because I had recently watched some TV movies that James Stewart did. They were made in the 1970s. I really felt he was just doing them for the money. He gave his usual above average performance, but he was not really connecting with the material. And his chemistry with several costars was lacking, as if he felt he was slumming by doing television and above them-- so he wasn't even connecting with them on an emotional level. I lost a lot of respect for him watching these telefilms.

They're interesting in terms of how his career was evolving, and there are some stock players (character actors) who are used a few times in them...so one gets a sense of what this production crew was like when the cameras stopped rolling. But while the writing was actually quite good and the overall production values commendable, I was somewhat disappointed and that boiled down to Stewart's paint-by-numbers performance.

screen-shot-2019-04-10-at-6.47.04-pm.jpe

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2 hours ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

Yes, sure. Why certainly. Its like asking whether one sticks with a band after they've sold out. Rod Stewart was once an authentic rocker. So was Phil Collins. But I can't go along wit em once they turned on to that infernal, downward, path.

Perfect reason why rock has declined to simply a niche genre. All art has to be able to grow and evolve. Rock fans won't allow that to happen. Anything that's not pure is ruined. And anyone who doesn't tow the line is a sellout. Who cares if it means "selling out" arenas all over the world. And making more money than they could ever spend.

Rod Stewart has a great unique voice. But, apparently there's an unwritten rule that he can only sing Maggie Mae and Blues tunes all his life.

 

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2 hours ago, GGGGerald said:

I've never been comfortable watching Polanski movies. I'm sure they're probably good.

Ya know Gerald, come to think of it, I was ESPECIALLY uncomfortable watching Polanski splitting Jack Nicholson's nose open with a knife in one of his movies!

(...but other than THAT, I've always kind'a liked that flick about how they brought water to L.A.!) ;)

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Okay now. Ya know when I lose a little respect for an actor or actress?

It's when during their Oscar acceptance speech they start bawlin' and blubberin' like some damn little kid!

(...I mean REALLY, what the hell is there to cry about here?...you freakin' WON, you crybaby!!!)

LOL

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11 hours ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

Yes, sure. Why certainly. Its like asking whether one sticks with a band after they've sold out. Rod Stewart was once an authentic rocker. So was Phil Collins. But I can't go along wit em once they turned on to that infernal, downward, path.

But, that's from THEN ON, isn't it?  I mean...

I still routinely listen to "Gasoline Alley", "Footloose and Fancy Free" and "Every Picture Tells A Story". But not much(if anything) since "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?"  And I think his more current "American Songbook" crap is just that.

In some retrospect(and in keeping on-topic) I won't lose interest or my love of an actor's past work done way before any scuzzy behavior is ever linked to them.  I still think earlier Cosby routines are STILL funny, and still like all the same John Wayne movies I always did despite our being so far apart in our politics.  There are others I could mention, but I figure by now you got the gist.

Sepiatone

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I've said before that I typically have no problem separating an artist from his 'personal politics', his 'crimes', etc. The only star 'unsavoriness' I've balked at so far is the creepiness of Raymond Burr who allegedly indulged in male rape. Involuntary reaction on my part. I just don't want to look at the guy's face anymore, (or seek out those movies of his which I haven't already seen yet) after hearing that about him. Sure, I'll continue to enjoy films of his which I've already enjoyed, but that's it. It would not be fun to view a fresh scene of his where he might play opposite some young male actor and wonder 'what he was thinking'. Ugh. :blink:

GGGgerald:

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But, apparently there is an unwritten rule that he can only sing Maggie Mae and Blues tunes all his life.

Its the rule of good taste I suppose. Since rock music encompasses so many other formats (gospel, country, blues, jazz, folk, r&b, motown, and even orchestral or opera) its not really demanding too harshly that a rock musician to stay 'constrained' to this, the most diverse and mature form of popular music ever invented. Yea, instead of copping out  --cheapening himself to commercialism; piddling around with infantile notes and simplistic tones better designed for crib monitors.

Jeepers. Since when has this basic criteria for art (artists' self-respect) become passe' or 'dated'? I wouldn't want to be in your shoes if that's how you look at authors, painters, etc. When is it ever right to shed standards? :o

'Sellouts' always deserve scorn and shame, that's never going to change. If its too much rigor for you to employ in your own personal audience-ship, fine. But then I guess that may be why we have 'Captain Marvel' in movie theaters lately; (if droves of people feel as you do, across the board). Audiences get what they deserve. To my way of thinking, If you don't hold artists to certain standards of skill, professionalism and talent, then water will simply seek the lowest level. :(

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rock has declined to simply a niche genre.

That's not the fault of rock, which can always be as rich as it ever was. The trend you highlight here, speaks volumes ...but only about the shi*tty, declining caliber of audiences. Corrupted palates.

The 'unwritten rule' you're decrying above, is found not just in rock music, but in any robust art-form. If there weren't such inherent guidelines for quality, then symphony orchestras might deploy plastic kazoos ...skateboards would feature blinking neon lights ...and Jeff Bridges might be found playing Rooster Cogburn in a remake of 'True Grit'.

Pick your poison and drink hearty, as for me I'll stick with verifiable measures of talent! No gold stars issued for anyone lip-syncing. No babying anyone with million-dollar paychecks when they use computers for harmony. ;)

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TopBilled sez:

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slumming by doing television

Well stated, TB. Your post above about Jimmy Stewart.

Another example (from the casebook of Sgt Markoff, stringent demon for high standards) might be a guy like Michael Caine. We know Caine made things like 'Beyond the Poseidon Adventure', 'The Swarm', 'The Island', 'Jaws Revenge' etc. He hasn't hid the fact that he did these purely for the paycheck.

Are these howlers enough to make me dislike Michael Caine? Blame him? No, but I certainly have to turn a blind eye to these episodes in his career. They're not projects of his I'd like to dwell on or mull over at length. (Thank heavens I'm not a professional movie reviewer where one is forced to view such dross. Big downside of such a profession).

Perhaps the better way to look at it is to generously acknowledge that we aren't in the shoes of these actors (Stewart, Caine) when they make their career decisions. Caine has said he wants to leave his children very comfortably well off. I can't argue with that. Stewart may have taken some 'easy' roles. He might have been tired, sick, fed up. Still, I have to let this pass and not allow it to shake my faith in him. Actors are also businessmen; and also fallible human beings like everyone else.

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25 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

Perhaps the better way to look at it is to generously acknowledge that we aren't in the shoes of these actors (Stewart, Caine) when they make their career decisions. Caine has said he wants to leave his children very comfortably well off. I can't argue with that. Stewart may have taken some 'easy' roles. He might have been tired, sick, fed up. Still, I have to let this pass and not allow it to shake my faith in him. Actors are also businessmen; and also fallible human beings like everyone else.

With James Stewart in 1973 he was not getting lead roles in feature films anymore. He had tried a sitcom, which only lasted a season. He was at a crossroads and his movie career was in decline after years of being a box office draw. He was quite wealthy and didn't need to keep working. 

But I'd say he took those TV movie jobs because he could still be THE STAR he prided himself on being, but he knew these projects were a step down. It reflects in his performance.

At one point he quit doing the TV movies saying that he felt the work wasn't as consistently good as features. Basically he was complaining about TV's quick production schedule, but also probably complaining that the directors were not the auteurs he was used to working with, and the costars were not fellow "A" listers. 

So after doing a batch of TV movies he goes back to feature films. By now he's doing extended cameos in big budget films (AIRPORT 77 and THE SHOOTIST)-- where he is no longer the star but gets special billing and gets to work with other big names from his generation like Olivia De Havilland and John Wayne. 

Again, he didn't need the money, but it was a status thing for him. He had slummed for a few years in TV movies and he obviously regretted it. He was struggling to maintain his status as a bonafide movie star. He didn't want to be a TV star. His film career eventually petered out by 1980. After THE SHOOTIST, he was in some forgettable films, stuff with smaller budgets. Worse quality than the TV movies.

Unlike contemporaries such as Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda who were still working in high profile productions and earning Oscars, Jimmy Stewart's career at this time was in the toilet. 

He would do another TV movie in 1983, then a special guest starring role in a TV miniseries in 1986, a series of commercials for Campbell's soup, then a voiceover for an animated film in 1991. So whether he liked it or not, he didn't go out on top.

But those TV movies he did in the early to mid-70s are interesting, because he was certainly in transition and trying to hold on to his stardom. You can see those telefilms are vanity projects, not projects where he is giving his all and really engaging with the material.

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23 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

TopBilled sez:

Well stated, TB. Your post above about Jimmy Stewart.

Another example (from the casebook of Sgt Markoff, stringent demon for high standards) might be a guy like Michael Caine. We know Caine made things like 'Beyond the Poseidon Adventure', 'The Swarm', 'The Island', 'Jaws Revenge' etc. He hasn't hid the fact that he did these purely for the paycheck.

Are these howlers enough to make me dislike Michael Caine? Blame him? No, but I certainly have to turn a blind eye to these episodes in his career. They're not projects of his I'd like to dwell on or mull over at length. (Thank heavens I'm not a professional movie reviewer where one is forced to view such dross. Big downside of such a profession).

Perhaps the better way to look at it is to generously acknowledge that we aren't in the shoes of these actors (Stewart, Caine) when they make their career decisions. Caine has said he wants to leave his children very comfortably well off. I can't argue with that. Stewart may have taken some 'easy' roles. He might have been tired, sick, fed up. Still, I have to let this pass and not allow it to shake my faith in him. Actors are also businessmen; and also fallible human beings like everyone else.

You beat me to the punch, Sarge!  I was thinking along the same lines that we don't know what's really going on in the private lives of celebrities we enjoy watching on the big or small screen or on stage in a production or concert.  While we refer to them as being 'sell-outs' as their careers shift once they get older, we should give them some consideration for doing what they do.  They could have a physically or mentally disabled child/spouse/parent that we don't know about, and they have to pay the bills for things just like we do.

I sort of treat movies like I treat music.  I don't have a specific genre that I'm really into, but rather base my likes and dislikes for a person off a particular movie or song.  For somebody like Michael Jackson, for instance, I think we can pretty much say the guy was one weird dude.  Even though he was cleared of sexual abuse allegations when he was alive, I feel like the charges brought against him ranged from plausible to accurate.  Despite that, I still like some of the music he put out during his career.  I don't look past a celebrity and write them off completely and refuse to watch any film they were in or listen to any song they recorded.

Like everyone else throughout history, we don't stay the same physically (or even emotionally).  My head will tell me I'm 30 and I can still hit the deck on a volleyball court.  In reality, I'm 60 and while I might be able to still hit the deck to keep a ball in play, it's going to take longer for me to get back on my feet!

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11 hours ago, TopBilled said:

The reason I started this thread is because I had recently watched some TV movies that James Stewart did. They were made in the 1970s. I really felt he was just doing them for the money. He gave his usual above average performance, but he was not really connecting with the material. And his chemistry with several costars was lacking, as if he felt he was slumming by doing television and above them--

As you said...

Many movie actors did TV for a paycheck...no movie roles being offered?

Also, I can't help but think Jimmy Stewart lamented the fact that he wasn't working with the top notch

actors and directors from the golden age.

Poignant

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Well said, midwestan. Indeed it can be difficult to keep 'consistent' in the way we apprehend celebrities, their lifestyles, and the corresponding 'performances' they give us. It probably feels incoherent for them as well. Maybe its too rigid for anyone to be stringent about.

Naturally I'm sure we'd all like to be as forgiving as possible. Like I said above, I attended a Phil Collins concert well after his conversion to pop music. If I happened to find myself seated next to him on a jet, I certainly wouldn't harangue or haze him for his career choice. I might tease him just a little, yes. But his early career in one of the greatest rock bands in history, that sure cuts a lot of ice with me.

Whew. Can we go back to talking about whether its too effeminate for a character to consume tea in a film??

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17 minutes ago, Arteesto said:

As you said...

Many movie actors did TV for a paycheck...no movie roles being offered?

Also, I can't help but think Jimmy Stewart lamented the fact that he wasn't working with the top notch

actors and directors from the golden age.

Poignant

Some of those old time directors had also gone into television. They didn't just stop working or disappear. The directors who went from "A" films to episodic series and telefilms had also taken a step down. In Jimmy Stewart's case, he easily could've found guest starring roles on episodic television in the 80s.

If he wanted to keep working with stars from his generation, he might have done special episodes of Aaron Spelling programs. Ginger Rogers did Hotel; Lana Turner did a two-part Love Boat; Luise Rainer and Don Ameche costarred on an episode of Love Boat; Jane Powell did several episodes of Fantasy Island. Those opportunities were undoubtedly there for Jimmy Stewart, too, where he could have reunited with his favorite directors and stars from the golden age.

But he did no guest starring work on television, except for the special role in the miniseries North and South which was obviously a prestige project. He was not going to appear on Love Boat or Murder She Wrote because that was beneath him. Instead he did soup commercials.

It is poignant, but it also shows what kinds of mistakes he made. Why does Henry Fonda go out on top with an Oscar, while James Stewart is doing voice-overs as Grandpa in a 30-second commercial?

 

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It used to bother me a little when famous actors resorted to hawking products. Not anymore. I’ve seen a couple films with Liam Nesson in his action/adventure role, and he seems to be fully invested in the performance.  However, let me allow to segue to an actress that at first I was apathetic about, and lately have become fascinated with. And that’s Hedy Lamarr. It’s when I saw her in Algiers, in a relatively minor role, that I finally came around to seeing why she was such a big deal.

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