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Supporting Oscar Nominated Performances For The Same Film


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I was thinking of doing this another time, but there are so many that I didn't have the patience. Now I am bored out of my skull with nothing to do in NYC, I thought I would try it. Name and discuss who you think was the best performance in the film from these nominees. I will do it in sections since there are so many.

Part 1 1939-1949

1. 1939 Harry Carey and Claude Rains Mr Smith Goes To Washington

 Olivia de Havilland and Hattie McDaniel Gone With The Wind

2.  1941 Patricia Collinge and Teresa Wright  The Little Foxes

3, 1943 Gladys Cooper and Ann Revere The Song Of Bernandette

4. 1945 Eve Arden and Ann Blyth  Mildred Pierce

5.  1947 Celeste Holm and Ann Revere  Gentleman's Agreement

6, 1948 Barbara Bel Geddes and Ellen Corby I Remember Mama

7, 1949 Celeste Holm and Elsa Lanchester Come To The Stable

Ethel Barrymore and Ethel Waters Pinky

My Choices

1. I choose Rains, I can't really recall much about Carey. 

A close one, but McDaniel for me, she was very entertaining and stole some scenes.

2. Collinge was touching as the abused Birdie.

3. I would give it to Cooper, she was very effective as the mean nun.

4. I got to give to Blyth as evil daughter, she was excellent.

5. I guess Revere as the kind mother, I honestly can't  remember much about Holm's performance.

6. Haven't seen this one.

7, Ethel Waters was very touching and the most memorable in the film. I haven't seen Stable.

 

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I won't tackle these all at once. Looking at the first one, I was more impressed by the Claude Rains performance when I first saw the film many years ago. He was one of those recurring character actors I latched onto in my earliest days of getting interested in classic film. Like Thomas Mitchell (also in this movie), I started noticing him everywhere. But in my last two or three viewings, I've paid more attention to Carey as the Senate president (which I assume means he's also the US Vice President, though the film doesn't mention that). He both carries authority and lets us know he's not someone to be trifled with, but he's also charming in the way he's easily amused by Jimmy Stewart's earnestness.

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Don't forget Madeline Kahn and Tatum O'Neal.  I just watched it again last night and think Kahn should have won, she was the supporting star and Tatum was the lead star.  Both gave great performances.  A masterpiece of American cinema.  TCM should play it more often.

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Seems I've read speculation that De Havilland was really upset about losing out to McDaniel. I would hope race had nothing to do that. Anyway, pointless to speculate on that. Looking strictly at the performances, Scarlett is constantly finding Melanie to be too good to be true, and De Havilland certainly plays her that way, angelic and beatific almost to the point of being insufferable, though I do like several moments in particular - when she immediately intuits how to play along with Rhett's ruse about Ashley's whereabouts, while Scarlett is clueless; her acceptance of the generosity of Belle Watling, a character deemed so low by everyone else that even black people in the Antebellum South are allowed to trash-talk her; and her accepting Scarlett at the party even when her heart must be breaking. McDaniel gets a lot more zing; she has most of the movie's best lines; she's virtually the only black character not treated like a total idiot; I love her interplay with Gable once she accepts Rhett. I would have voted for McDaniel for all those reasons and also probably because of the social importance of her nomination, though I would be willing to listen to the argument that this shouldn't matter.

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9 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

I was thinking of doing this another time, but there are so many that I didn't have the patience. Now I am bored out of my skull with nothing to do in NYC, I thought I would try it. Name and discuss who you think was the best performance in the film from these nominees. I will do it in sections since there are so many.

Part 1 1939-1949

1. 1939 Harry Carey and Claude Rains Mr Smith Goes To Washington

 Olivia de Havilland and Hattie McDaniel Gone With The Wind

2.  1941 Patricia Collinge and Teresa Wright  The Little Foxes

3, 1943 Gladys Cooper and Ann Revere The Song Of Bernandette

4. 1945 Eve Arden and Ann Blyth  Mildred Pierce

5.  1947 Celeste Holm and Ann Revere  Gentleman's Agreement

6, 1948 Barbara Bel Geddes and Ellen Corby I Remember Mama

7, 1949 Celeste Holm and Elsa Lanchester Come To The Stable

Ethel Barrymore and Ethel Waters Pinky

My Choices

1. I choose Rains, I can't really recall much about Carey. 

A close one, but McDaniel for me, she was very entertaining and stole some scenes.

2. Collinge was touching as the abused Birdie.

3. I would give it to Cooper, she was very effective as the mean nun.

4. I got to give to Blyth as evil daughter, she was excellent.

5. I guess Revere as the kind mother, I honestly can't  remember much about Holm's performance.

6. Haven't seen this one.

7, Ethel Waters was very touching and the most memorable in the film. I haven't seen Stable.

 

Fun topic, Det. Jim.

1. Claude Rains. Like you, I don't recall much about Harry Carey.

Oscar logic worked fine, as Hattie McDaniel won (important historical moment) and Olivia De Havilland went on to win two Oscars. However, I would vote for De Havilland. She had the wit to understand that she would never be cast as Scarlett and that she could make something of Melanie. Good, long-suffering characters are extremely difficult to play well. Usually we just want to put them out of our misery! Structurally, the main opposition in the film is not Scarlett/Rhett or Scarlett/Ashley but Scarlett/Melanie, and GWTW works so well because Olivia as the perfect Southern lady of the time is such a good foil for Vivien Leigh's selfish and rebellious Scarlett. Even an actress as good as Joan Fontaine, who read for Melanie, would have been eaten for breakfast by Scarlett.

2. I'll go along with Jim in preferring Patricia Collinge as Birdie

3. Gladys Cooper certainly is effective as the mean nun, so I'll pick her too, but Anne Revere as Bernadette's mother is a convincing peasant.

4. Eve Arden is fun as usual, but Ann Blyth has the face you want to slap in this one.

5. Celeste Holm was excellent as the brittle, sophisticated woman who has designs on Gregory Peck, and she has the showier role, but I have to pick Anne Revere, who does so much as the mother who has set Gregory Peck's moral standards and expects him to live up to them. Again this is a part--"the mother role"--that could be routinely played, but isn't when Revere digs into the part.

6. I've only seen bits of I Remember Mama, so no vote here.

7. Ethel Barrymore vs. Ethel Waters is a tough call. I'll have to study on that one. As for Come to the Stable, Celeste Holm has the fun role of a tennis-playing nun, but I'll pick Elsa Lanchester, who has the deeper role, an untutored but talented painter. The writers may have been thinking of someone like Grandma Moses.

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Patricia Collinge makes me weep every single time I watch this film and I have seen it frequently.  Teresa's performance is quite fine, but poor, dear, delicate abused Birdie brings me to tears.

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Part 2 1950-1959

1. 1950 Celeste Holm and Thelma Ritter All About Eve

2. 1953 Brandon de Wilde and Jack Palance Shane

3. 1954 Lee J Cobb, Karl Malden and Rod Steiger On The Waterfront

Jan Sterling and Claire Trevor The High And The Mighty

4. 1956 Eileen Heckert and Patty McCormack The Bad Seed

5. 1957 Arthur Kennedy and Russ Tamblyn Peyton Place

Hope Lange and Diane Varsi Peyton Place

6. 1959 Arthur O'Connell and George C Scott Anatomy Of A Murder

Susan Kohner and Juanita Moore Imitation Of Life

My Choices

1. Ritter has some good wisecracks as usual but I pick Holm. She had the more substantial role and seems to be just a dutiful wife, but proves to be one of the more intelligent characters as she figures out what's going on before anyone else.

2. A very tough call, Palance has great presence as the villain, but I will give it to de Wilde since he did a good job with a large role for a little kid.

3. I choose Malden though all three had great moments. Malden showed a lot of toughness in the role of the priest.

Jan Sterling had a touching scene on the plane when she removes her makeup, so that clinched it for me.

4. No contest here, Patty McCormack gets my vote, she was chilling as the little murderess. 

5. Tamblyn was good as the sensitive youth, but Kennedy was more memorable as the brutal father.

I definitely would pick Lange, she was heartbreaking as the abused daughter

6. A close call, but I give it to Scott as the tough prosecutor.

Another close one since both were excellent, but slight edge to Moore since she had to be more quiet and long suffering. Kingrat made a great point of this when talking about Olivia De Havilland in GWTW. 

 

 

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But don’t you think O’Connell has the more compelling story? Scott is the guy who does what he has to do; O’Connell has to basically make a choice between doing meaningful work or a continuous wasted life with no good end. 

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2 hours ago, HelenBaby2 said:

But don’t you think O’Connell has the more compelling story? Scott is the guy who does what he has to do; O’Connell has to basically make a choice between doing meaningful work or a continuous wasted life with no good end. 

Now that I think about it, yes I agree. O'Connell was very touching, one of his best. Scott is good, I guess I was thinking more about him since the courtroom scenes were some of most compelling parts.

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One thing I realize looking at these lists is how it seems the Academy just had certain favorite films each year. So instead of spreading the nominations out among skilled performers in other films not up for Best Picture, they just looked at the casts of the year's most important pictures and nominated multiple people from those same films. I am not saying some of these people didn't deserve to be recognized, but a few of them are obviously just included because they are associated with an important film or an important director, not because they did anything truly spectacular during the given year.

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4 hours ago, HelenBaby2 said:

But don’t you think O’Connell has the more compelling story? Scott is the guy who does what he has to do; O’Connell has to basically make a choice between doing meaningful work or a continuous wasted life with no good end. 

Certainly there's some nice pathos to O'Connell's redemption story.  I don't know that I agree that the character's life is wasted, if he already put in a number of years of good work and brings the Jimmy Stewart character pleasure by reading law with him.  He still has some purpose.

I think I would still vote for Scott because I have more fun watching his character.

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1 hour ago, TopBilled said:

One thing I realize looking at these lists is how it seems the Academy just had certain favorite films each year. So instead of spreading the nominations out among skilled performers in other films not up for Best Picture, they just looked at the casts of the year's most important pictures and nominated multiple people from those same films. I am not saying some of these people didn't deserve to be recognized, but a few of them are obviously just included because they are associated with an important film or an important director, not because they did anything truly spectacular during the given year.

Two films mentioned so far, All About Eve and Peyton Place seemed to garner the most acting nominations, in addition to the supporting nominations above, in the first one there were two Best Actress noms for Bette Davis and Anne Baxter, as well as supporting actor win for George Sanders and Lana Turner got an Best Actress nom for the second. 

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23 minutes ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

Two films mentioned so far, All About Eve and Peyton Place seemed to garner the most acting nominations, in addition to the supporting nominations above, in the first one there were two Best Actress noms for Bette Davis and Anne Baxter, as well as supporting actor win for George Sanders and Lana Turner got an Best Actress nom for the second. 

I am okay with most of the nominations and wins for ALL ABOUT EVE. But I do feel that THE RAZOR'S EDGE, GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT and PEYTON PLACE are incredibly over-nominated. 

Interestingly, these are 20th Century Fox films. So the studio's publicity department must have been working nonstop to court favor with Academy voters.

When they over emphasize these so called "important" A pictures, then strong performances in so called "lesser" films get neglected. This is really why B films never get many Oscar nominations and there are a lot of standout acting jobs in B films.

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On 3/21/2020 at 10:57 AM, Det Jim McLeod said:

I was thinking of doing this another time, but there are so many that I didn't have the patience. Now I am bored out of my skull with nothing to do in NYC, I thought I would try it. Name and discuss who you think was the best performance in the film from these nominees. I will do it in sections since there are so many.

Part 1 1939-1949

1. 1939 Harry Carey and Claude Rains Mr Smith Goes To Washington

 Olivia de Havilland and Hattie McDaniel Gone With The Wind

2.  1941 Patricia Collinge and Teresa Wright  The Little Foxes

3, 1943 Gladys Cooper and Ann Revere The Song Of Bernandette (It's been so long since I've seen this)

4. 1945 Eve Arden and Ann Blyth  Mildred Pierce

5.  1947 Celeste Holm and Ann Revere  Gentleman's Agreement

6, 1948 Barbara Bel Geddes and Ellen Corby I Remember Mama

7, 1949 Celeste Holm and Elsa Lanchester Come To The Stable

Ethel Barrymore and Ethel Waters Pinky

 

 

8 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

Part 2 1950-1959

1. 1950 Celeste Holm and Thelma Ritter All About Eve

2. 1953 Brandon de Wilde and Jack Palance Shane

3. 1954 Lee J Cobb, Karl Malden and Rod Steiger On The Waterfront

Jan Sterling and Claire Trevor The High And The Mighty

4. 1956 Eileen Heckert and Patty McCormack The Bad Seed

5. 1957 Arthur Kennedy and Russ Tamblyn Peyton Place

Hope Lange and Diane Varsi Peyton Place

6. 1959 Arthur O'Connell and George C Scott Anatomy Of A Murder (confession time: this film made nil of an impression on me)

Susan Kohner and Juanita Moore Imitation Of Life

 

 

 

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Re: Anne Baxter and Bette Davis in ALL ABOUT EVE. I feel the picture belongs to Anne Baxter. Without her, there is nothing driving the narrative.

If Claudette Colbert had stayed in the cast, she probably would have been pushed for a supporting Oscar, and that might have paved the way for Baxter to win over Judy Holliday. But Bette, who over-acts considerably in this production, was also put in the running for lead actress, so she canceled out Baxter's work. And I think that's a shame.

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14 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

I am okay with most of the nominations and wins for ALL ABOUT EVE. But I do feel that THE RAZOR'S EDGE, GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT and PEYTON PLACE are incredibly over-nominated. 

Interestingly, these are 20th Century Fox films. So the studio's publicity department must have been working nonstop to court favor with Academy voters.

When they over emphasize these so called "important" A pictures, then strong performances in so called "lesser" films get neglected. This is really why B films never get many Oscar nominations and there are a lot of standout acting jobs in B films.

Who would you have liked to seen nominated in lieu of some of the people who were?

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1 hour ago, CinemaInternational said:

Who would you have liked to seen nominated in lieu of some of the people who were?

I'd have to go through the filmographies and the respective years. But I think they should be judged on versatility. In some of her films, in fact in many of her films, Yvonne De Carlo not only does drama and comedy with ease, but she also sings (not dubbed), dances, and she does her own horseback riding and a lot of her own stunts. On top of all this, she projects glamour and femininity; and I have never seen a film where she did not have chemistry with the lead male plus half the men in the supporting cast. To me that is what a lead actress should be lauded for doing, basically everything, even if it's not in a huge A-level film or is not work guided by a top director. It means she has done it all on instinct and her own sheer will in striving to interpret the role to the audience.

Screen Shot 2018-06-02 at 3.11.15 PM.jpg

The Oscar winner has to be someone who is all things and does all things possible for the audience. And it's even more remarkable, when it's done in a film with budgetary restrictions and a lack of big studio promotion.

As for the men, I think John Payne was one of the most versatile lead actors of his generation. With him we get singing, dancing, comedy, drama, beefcake/masculinity, fencing, skiing, horseback riding (and a host of other things that suggest his well-rounded athleticism). 

Again they should get the Oscar for having been able to put all the pieces together and being able to do it all. Not because they're playing a character that tugs on the audience's heartstrings or because they're in a social message story that is nothing but glorified propaganda  for a specific crusade or political point of view.

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53 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

If Claudette Colbert had stayed in the cast, she probably would have been pushed for a supporting Oscar, and that might have paved the way for Baxter to win over Judy Holliday.

If it wasn't Holliday who won, it should have been Gloria Swanson.

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8 minutes ago, Fedya said:

If it wasn't Holliday who won, it should have been Gloria Swanson.

Well, some say Eleanor Parker was deserving in CAGED.

My theory about this is that these were conservative times (the McCarthy witch hunts were underway). You could not win for being a villain. 

Parker becomes a villain at the end of CAGED, Baxter's a villain in ALL ABOUT EVE, Swanson is certainly playing a sordid and debauched character. So using this criteria, it means the only morally acceptable wins in this category for 1950 were Davis in ALL ABOUT EVE and Holliday in BORN YESTERDAY. Since Baxter and Davis basically cancel each other out, that pushes Holliday forward.

It had nothing to do with acting talent or versatility. It had to do with the kind of role that was being rewarded/awarded.

This is why Loretta Young's performance of a more virtuous character in THE FARMER'S DAUGHTER won over Rosalind Russell's depraved character in MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA. And why James Cagney's Cody Jarrett wasn't even in the running for WHITE HEAT.

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6 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Well, some say Eleanor Parker was deserving in CAGED.

My theory about this is that these were conservative times (the McCarthy witch hunts were underway). You could not win for being a villain. 

Parker becomes a villain at the end of CAGED, Baxter's a villain in ALL ABOUT EVE, Swanson is certainly playing a sordid and debauched character. So using this criteria, it means the only morally acceptable wins in this category for 1950 were Davis in ALL ABOUT EVE and Holliday in BORN YESTERDAY. Since Baxter and Davis basically cancel each other out, that pushes Holliday forward.

It had nothing to do with acting talent or versatility. It had to do with the kind of role that was being rewarded/awarded.

This is why Loretta Young's performance of a more virtuous character in THE FARMER'S DAUGHTER won over Rosalind Russell's depraved character in MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA. And why James Cagney's Cody Jarrett wasn't even in the running for WHITE HEAT.

You have a point. The best actress category is famously prone for having heroic characters win the prize. Only three have won for being flat-out villains: Lousie Fletcher in 1975, Kathy Bates in 1990, and Charlize Theron in 2003.

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1 minute ago, CinemaInternational said:

You have a point. The best actress category is famously prone for having heroic characters win the prize. Only three have won for being flat-out villains: Lousie Fletcher in 1975, Kathy Bates in 1990, and Charlize Theron in 2003.

And those three gals won after the abolishment of the production code.

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Part 3- 1961-1972

1. 1961 Jackie Gleason and George C Scott The Hustler

2. 1963 Diane Cilento, Dame Edith Evans and Joyce Redman Tom Jones

3, 1965 Joyce Redman and Maggie Smith Othello

4. 1967 Gene Hackman and Michael J Pollard Bonnie And Clyde

5. 1970 Helen Hayes and Maureen Stapleton Airport

6. 1971 Jeff Bridges and Ben Johnson The Last Picture Show

 Ellen Burstyn and Cloris Leachman The Last Picture Show

7. 1972 James Caan, Robert Duvall and Al Pacino The Godfather

 

My Choices

1.  I had to think a bit, but since Gleason so successfully underplays and makes you forget his boisterous TV image, I give it to him.

2. The sexy lusty Cilento made the biggest impression on me.

3. Smith was a touching Desdemona, I don't even recall Redman in this.

4. Pollard's impish performance gives him the edge here.

5. Hayes was such a delight as the elderly stowaway, I have to give it to her.

6. Johnson deserved it, he had some good moments as the old time Texas cowpoke.

I liked Leachman more, as the frustrated wife, a nice subtle performance

7. Definitely Pacino, his best performance ever, and a fascinating character study of a clean cut soldier turned into cold blooded crime boss.  

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7 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

Part 3- 1961-1972

1. 1961 Jackie Gleason and George C Scott The Hustler

2. 1963 Diane Cilento, Dame Edith Evans and Joyce Redman Tom Jones

3, 1965 Joyce Redman and Maggie Smith Othello

4. 1967 Gene Hackman and Michael J Pollard Bonnie And Clyde

5. 1970 Helen Hayes and Maureen Stapleton Airport

6. 1971 Jeff Bridges and Ben Johnson The Last Picture Show

 Ellen Burstyn and Cloris Leachman The Last Picture Show

7. 1972 James Caan, Robert Duvall and Al Pacino The Godfather

 

 

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Part 4-1973-1980

1. 1973-Madeline Khan and Tatum O'Neal Paper Moon

2. 1974-Robert DeNiro, Michael V Gazzo and Lee Strasberg The Godfather Part II

3. 1975- Ronee Blakley and Lily Tomlin Nashville

4. 1976-Burgess Meredith and Burt Young Rocky

5. 1977- Jason Robards and Maximilian Schell Julia

6. 1979- Jane Alexander and Meryl Streep Kramer Vs Kramer

7. 1980 Judd Hirsch and Timothy Hutton Ordinary People

My Choices

1. I have to go with Tatum O'Neal, I know many will say that director Peter Bogdanovich had to coax the performance out of her, but I have to go with what I saw on screen, and she came off best.

2. DeNiro, especially since he had to do the part in Italian and in a role made famous by Marlon Brando.

3. Blakley in the part of the mentally fragile singer, plus her singing was great too. 

4. A close call, but Meredith impressed me a bit more as the crusty trainer.

5. Haven't seen this one.

6. Streep because the character had to be a bit selfish but still a loving mother.

7. No contest, Hutton was brilliant as the suicidal son, by far the most compelling character in the film.  

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38 minutes ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

Part 4-1973-1980

1. 1973-Madeline Khan and Tatum O'Neal Paper Moon

2. 1974-Robert DeNiro, Michael V Gazzo and Lee Strasberg The Godfather Part II

3. 1975- Ronee Blakley and Lily Tomlin Nashville

4. 1976-Burgess Meredith and Burt Young Rocky

5. 1977- Jason Robards and Maximilian Schell Julia

6. 1979- Jane Alexander and Meryl Streep Kramer Vs Kramer

7. 1980 Judd Hirsch and Timothy Hutton Ordinary People

My Choices

1. I have to go with Tatum O'Neal, I know many will say that director Peter Bogdanovich had to coax the performance out of her, but I have to go with what I saw on screen, and she came off best.

2. DeNiro, especially since he had to do the part in Italian and in a role made famous by Marlon Brando.

3. Blakley in the part of the mentally fragile singer, plus her singing was great too. 

4. A close call, but Meredith impressed me a bit more as the crusty trainer.

5. Haven't seen this one.

6. Streep because the character had to be a bit selfish but still a loving mother.

7. No contest, Hutton was brilliant as the suicidal son, by far the most compelling character in the film.  

Interesting comments. I think I have to disagree, however, with your choice for #7. I would say Hirsch was equally effective, perhaps more so, as the therapist. Sometimes a subtle understated performance can be just as powerful. I think Hutton had the showier role but he lacked some of the technique and finesse that Hirsch demonstrates.

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