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Actors You Didn't Like....But Changed Your Mind


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OK I'm getting a bit sad over all the actors/actresses/comedians people are freely naming in the "Do Not Like" thread. I can understand not believing their acting or something personal about them annoys you, etc.

But what about those in classic Hollywood movies you didn't care for at first, then changed your mind? I think that often happens when you see them in a particular role and experience a different perspective.

For me, as a kid I really hated my kiddie records that had Burl Ives singing. I thought he had the flattest, most whiney voice. How could this guy who didn't even use his voice well, turn out to be a SINGER?  I couldn't stomach those Rankin Bass cartoons as a kid-not only lousy animation, but there was his VOICE!

Well then I started seeing him in movies, most notably CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF. I was struck by his wonderful performance as Big Daddy. His line delivery was odd, but it actually added to the realism of the charactor.

I started enjoying his often small but colorful performances in movies and -eghad- started listening to his singing performances. And then my feelings just switched-realizing he was a folksy kind of singer whose vocal talents were beyond a good sounding voice, but instead bringing expressiveness to songs.

And now, I love Burl Ives and don't miss an opportunity to see his work on film. 

Burl-Ives.jpg

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There are quite a few actors/actresses whom I had to warm up to before actually liking them, but one actor I just didn't like until I saw a specific film was Tim Holt.  I only had seen his films in which he played a spoiled, arrogant young man and I just really disliked him. It took a comedy, FIFTH AVENUE GIRL, to change my mind about him. After that,  I enjoyed his part in GOLD IS WHERE YOU FIND IT and completely changed my mind about him in TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE. Now I even like  his B-Westerns!

TimHoltRioGrandePatrol.jpeg

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Thanks for balancing out the Actors You Do Not Like thread with yours, TikiSoo.

I didn't like Kristen Bell at first. I couldn't exactly pinpoint the reason why. (Has that ever happened to anyone?) I eventually gave her another chance and liked how cute and playful she was on-screen. (For all you Disney fans out there, Kristen Bell voices Princess Anna in the Frozen movies.)

Rock Hudson was another one. At first, I thought he was one of those actors who coasted through movies with his looks. I saw Rock in Written on the Wind and Magnificent Obsession, and his performances in those movies won me over. Now, I can't wait to see more of him.

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Frank Sinatra.

As a kid couldn't understand his popularity, especially since I found Dean Martin, by comparison, so much more personable and I liked his laid back crooning style more, too.

Since then, however, I have come to appreciate the genius of Sinatra as a singer, particularly in his hurtin' ballad days of the late '50s, when he had Nelson Riddle doing the musical accompaniment. And, in viewing some of his straight dramatic film work, such as in From Here to Eternity and The Manchurian Candidate, when he tried, Sinatra could be a fine actor.

Looking at my CD collection I have eight or nine CDs of Sinatra to only one or two of Dino. That says it all about my evolving tastes (though Martin will always have a special place in my heart, if only due to The Dean Martin Show's nine seasons on television).

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The first two who come to my mind here and who when I was young I just couldn't fathom why they seemed so highly praised for their film work were, James Cagney and Barbara Stanwyck.

However, within the past twenty years or so, it has dawned on me why both these giants of studio era films not only had such long careers in the industry, but also why they have been held in such high regard by so many for so long and to this day.

(...and besides their performances in films which I've now come to appreciate, it has also become nice knowing that both of them were known to be extremely professional and well liked by those who worked with them...their fellow cast members and by the production crew...just "icing on the cake", so to speak)

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15 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

...And now, I love Burl Ives and don't miss an opportunity to see his work on film. 

Burl-Ives.jpg

BURL IVES started as a Folk singer and eventually proved himself a fine actor.  He is an all time favorite of mine.  

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10 minutes ago, Allhallowsday said:

BURL IVES started as a Folk singer and eventually proved himself a fine actor.  He is an all time favorite of mine.  

Yep! There was a very good reason why Ives won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in '58 for his role in The Big Country.

(...I agree)

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An actress I didn't "get" for a long time was Loretta Young.

To this day she is not included in my list of Top 20 Classic Film Actresses. But that is not because I dislike her.

It is because I have grown to appreciate her so much she's in her own category.

I think Loretta is indescribably unique. 

What I love most about her is her human-ness, despite the fact she was constantly striving for the divine. It sounds strange to say but she's a perfect blend of mortal and immortal, which I think is what all movie stars demonstrate. Only in Loretta's case it is much more pronounced.

Am I making sense here..?

Screen Shot 2020-08-24 at 8.08.00 AM

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This is more of a modern actor who I changed my mind about - Nicolas Cage. I still think he's been in some stinker movies, but I have grown to find his performances intriguing even if some of his movies are not. The guy takes chances.  Fifty years from now I think Cage will be an actor whose technique people will study. 

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I've gone the other way too.  Liked Doris Day and Rock Hudson when younger, but my tastes changed over the years.

For the actors I've changed my opinion about, sometimes it has to do with when I first saw them.  My first taste of Bette Davis was in movies like The Nanny or Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.  Fred McMurray was Steven (sp?) Douglas on My Three Sons.  It was only later on that I saw them much earlier in the respective careers.  I realized how pretty Bette was (and those eyes).

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Just now, chaya bat woof woof said:

I forgot to add Vincent Price to the list.  First taste of him was in horror movies.  He does a magnificent job in Laura.

And he's wonderful in THE WHALES OF AUGUST (1987).

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61SuO6Ybx8L._AC_SX522_.jpg

I was only a kid when I saw Robert Ryan as Master of Arms, John Claggart in Billy Budd (1962) and at that age could not separate his evil character with the performance.  So for many years his great acting in Billy Budd put me off him completely.

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57 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

An actress I didn't "get" for a long time was Loretta Young.

To this day she is not included in my list of Top 20 Classic Film Actresses. But that is not because I dislike her.

It is because I have grown to appreciate her so much she's in her own category.

I think Loretta is indescribably unique. 

What I love most about her is her human-ness, despite the fact she was constantly striving for the divine. It sounds strange to say but she's a perfect blend of mortal and immortal, which I think is what all movie stars demonstrate. Only in Loretta's case it is much more pronounced.

Am I making sense here..?

Screen Shot 2020-08-24 at 8.08.00 AM

I agree and I would add that when I was watching classic films on television when I was young the pre-code era films were simply not available and she did some of her best work in those years.

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3 hours ago, LsDoorMat said:

This is more of a modern actor who I changed my mind about - Nicolas Cage. I still think he's been in some stinker movies, but I have grown to find his performances intriguing even if some of his movies are not. The guy takes chances.  Fifty years from now I think Cage will be an actor whose technique people will study. 

Thank you,  LsDoorMat,  for praising Nicholas Cage !   I almost said "poor old  Nicholas Cage", because this actor is so disrespected now.  He seems to have become a bit of a laughing stock, especially with  smug media types.  I don't care what poor artistic choices he's made in recent years, he deserves better than the mockery he often receives now if only because of all the good work he's done in the past.   And even in his "stinkers", I find him entertaining, even if the movie itself isn't so much.

Some of his really good films from former days:  Raising Arizona,  Moonstruck,  Red Rock West,   Leaving Las Vegas,  Adaptation,  National Treasure  (yes, I really like National Treasure,  I don't understand why this fun little film gets such a low rating.)

I concede,  he does seem to have gone a bit bonkers in recent years.  But he's earned our respect from the films listed above, as well as others where he at least showed he was willing to take risks.

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I'm actually hard put to think of actors whom I used to dislike but have since changed my mind about them.  I guess the main one who comes to mind is Eleanor Parker. Unfortunately,  the first two films I ever saw her in,  she was cast as a nervous, clingy, somewhat "whiney" character:  Between Two Worlds, in which she plays the wife of Paul Henreid, a musician who has decided to end his life due to his belief that he can no longer play the piano -- this is not really a spoiler, it happens quite early on in the film.  Eleanor seems to have a worried look on her face throughout the entire movie. But then, maybe so would I if my husband had decided to turn on the gas and close the windows.

The other unflattering role I saw her in was as -  again a clingy wife !  -  Frank Sinatra's deceitful handicapped spouse in The Man with the Golden Arm,  in which she plays an insecure fretful woman who wants to control her husband (Frank) by whatever means necessary.

It's actually a testament to her acting talent that she was so convincing as this character.  Once I complained about her on these boards  (it was probably another , earlier version of  a "Name an Actor You Don't LIke" thread)  and another poster who is very well versed in classic movies enlightened me as to Eleanor's talent, and suggested several films I had not yet seen in which Eleanor Parker plays a very different kind of character from the "whiney" one  for which I'd judged her.

Caged (intense),  A Millionaire for Christy  (funny),  and Scaramouche  (feisty)  all come to mind, just to name a few of her performances where she' s sympathetic and enjoyable to watch, and definitely NOT  "whiney". 

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1 hour ago, misswonderly3 said:

Thank you,  LsDoorMat,  for praising Nicholas Cage !   I almost said "poor old  Nicholas Cage", because this actor is so disrespected now.  He seems to have become a bit of a laughing stock, especially with  smug media types.  I don't care what poor artistic choices he's made in recent years, he deserves better than the mockery he often receives now if only because of all the good work he's done in the past.   And even in his "stinkers", I find him entertaining, even if the movie itself isn't so much.

Some of his really good films from former days:  Raising Arizona,  Moonstruck,  Red Rock West,   Leaving Las Vegas,  Adaptation,  National Treasure  (yes, I really like National Treasure,  I don't understand why this fun little film gets such a low rating.)

I concede,  he does seem to have gone a bit bonkers in recent years.  But he's earned our respect from the films listed above, as well as others where he at least showed he was willing to take risks.

I love him in Valley Girl.  I love teen movies and this is one of my favorites and I thought that Nicholas Cage did a great job as Randy, the guy from outside "The Valley." 

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1 hour ago, misswonderly3 said:

I'm actually hard put to think of actors whom I used to dislike but have since changed my mind about them.  I guess the main one who comes to mind is Eleanor Parker. Unfortunately,  the first two films I ever saw her in,  she was cast as a nervous, clingy, somewhat "whiney" character:  Between Two Worlds, in which she plays the wife of Paul Henreid, a musician who has decided to end his life due to his belief that he can no longer play the piano -- this is not really a spoiler, it happens quite early on in the film.  Eleanor seems to have a worried look on her face throughout the entire movie. But then, maybe so would I if my husband had decided to turn on the gas and close the windows.

The other unflattering role I saw her in was as -  again a clingy wife !  -  Frank Sinatra's deceitful handicapped spouse in The Man with the Golden Arm,  in which she plays an insecure fretful woman who wants to control her husband (Frank) by whatever means necessary.

It's actually a testament to her acting talent that she was so convincing as this character.  Once I complained about her on these boards  (it was probably another , earlier version of  a "Name an Actor You Don't LIke" thread)  and another poster who is very well versed in classic movies enlightened me as to Eleanor's talent, and suggested several films I had not yet seen in which Eleanor Parker plays a very different kind of character from the "whiney" one  for which I'd judged her.

Caged (intense),  A Millionaire for Christy  (funny),  and Scaramouche  (feisty)  all come to mind, just to name a few of her performances where she' s sympathetic and enjoyable to watch, and definitely NOT  "whiney". 

I love Eleanor Parker.  Though I didn't start watching her in the two films you mentioned first, Between Two Worlds and The Man With the Golden Arm.  I suppose she didn't have a chance to make a negative first impression on me.

I first saw Parker in Never Say Goodbye as Errol Flynn's ex-wife Ellen.  I thought she was so gorgeous and I loved her voice.  I thought she made a great pairing with Flynn.  Even in their other film, Escape Me Never, which isn't the greatest film by any means, I thought she was very good.

I love Caged! I thought she did a fantastic job, she just had the misfortune of being in the same 1950 Best Actress Oscar category with those other amazing performances.

I also enjoyed A Millionaire for Christy.  Eleanor did screwball very well.

She's also really good in a WWII drama, The Very Thought of You where she plays a young woman who falls in love with soldier Dennis Morgan while he's on leave.  The rest of the film deals with her family's opposition to  their relationship (mainly based on  her sister's experience being the wife of a soldier) and Parker and Morgan's attempts at staying together while he's gone.  This film unfortunately doesn't seem to be in print, so it's up to TCM to air it again.  I have a copy saved on my DVR from the last time it aired.  I wish Warner Archives would release a MOD of it. 

She was also really good in Detective Story as Kirk Douglas' wife.  I especially thought she was effective in the scene where Douglas discovers the real reason she hasn't been able to conceive a child.

I've also seen her in Pride of the Marines, Escape From Fort Bravo, The Voice of the Turtle/One for the Book, The Woman in White, Interrupted Melody, and A Hole in the Head.  Parker's presence in a film prompts me to record it each and every time.  She appears in such a variety of different genres and roles, and she's adept at each and every part she played.  It's a shame that she wasn't more well known. 

The one film of hers that I haven't seen is the one that she's most famous for: The Baroness in The Sound of Music

 

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1 hour ago, misswonderly3 said:

Thank you,  LsDoorMat,  for praising Nicholas Cage !   I almost said "poor old  Nicholas Cage", because this actor is so disrespected now.  He seems to have become a bit of a laughing stock, especially with  smug media types.  I don't care what poor artistic choices he's made in recent years, he deserves better than the mockery he often receives now if only because of all the good work he's done in the past.   And even in his "stinkers", I find him entertaining, even if the movie itself isn't so much.

Some of his really good films from former days:  Raising Arizona,  Moonstruck,  Red Rock West,   Leaving Las Vegas,  Adaptation,  National Treasure  (yes, I really like National Treasure,  I don't understand why this fun little film gets such a low rating.)

I concede,  he does seem to have gone a bit bonkers in recent years.  But he's earned our respect from the films listed above, as well as others where he at least showed he was willing to take risks.

I totally agree MissW.  I'd add Honeymoon In Vegas. Such a cute, funny film and he was perfect in it., ps. Thanks for remembering and the kind words about  my recommendation of  Eleanor in Scaramouche :)

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Since I'm the only one (I think) to mention Nicolas Cage in a negative light on here recently, I feel I need to elaborate on the reason for my inclusion of him in my list of "bad" actors. One reason that Cage gets dragged as much as he does is precisely because he was once thought of as a good actor, an exciting performer, and known for unconventional choices. The movies listed above (Valley GirlRed Rock WestLeaving Las Vegas, etc.) are all good (although I wasn't thrilled by National Treasure), and I even consider Raising Arizona among my top two or three favorite comedies ever made. 

However, the newest film in the above lists is from 2004, and in the 16 years since, Cage has appeared in 47 movies. Of those, maybe 4 were good, while the great majority of the rest are abysmal, some as bad as the worst stuff featuring Steven Seagal or Dolph Lundren. 

I've seen 79 movies featuring Nicolas Cage, and I plan on seeing the handful of others that I've missed thus far, but he went off the rails a long time ago. Even if he manages to still make stuff I love like Mandy (which most if not all of the TCM crowd would despise).

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When I was a kid I didn't care much about Doris Day! I didn't even care about her singing voice. I think I had a change of heart when I watched Calamity Jane on tv in my teens. I'm a devoted fan of Doris' and never tire seeing her films, in fact as many times as I've seen almost all of them, I look forward to seeing them again and again.

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11 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Since I'm the only one (I think) to mention Nicolas Cage in a negative light on here recently, I feel I need to elaborate on the reason for my inclusion of him in my list of "bad" actors. One reason that Cage gets dragged as much as he does is precisely because he was once thought of as a good actor, an exciting performer, and known for unconventional choices. The movies listed above (Valley GirlRed Rock WestLeaving Las Vegas, etc.) are all good (although I wasn't thrilled by National Treasure), and I even consider Raising Arizona among my top two or three favorite comedies ever made. 

However, the newest film in the above lists is from 2004, and in the 16 years since, Cage has appeared in 47 movies. Of those, maybe 4 were good, while the great majority of the rest are abysmal, some as bad as the worst stuff featuring Steven Seagal or Dolph Lundren. 

I've seen 79 movies featuring Nicolas Cage, and I plan on seeing the handful of others that I've missed thus far, but he went off the rails a long time ago. Even if he manages to still make stuff I love like Mandy (which most if not all of the TCM crowd would despise).

There's a podcast that I listen to where the host has managed to mention Mandy in like every episode, no matter how tangentially related it is to the main conversation.  I just read the synopsis of it--definitely not up my alley, but from reading about it, I can see how someone would like it.  It almost sounds like one of those movies you watch just to say that you watched it.

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9 minutes ago, lavenderblue19 said:

When I was a kid I didn't care much about Doris Day! I didn't even care about her singing voice. I think I had a change of heart when I watched Calamity Jane on tv in my teens. I'm a devoted fan of Doris' and never tire seeing her films, in fact as many times as I've seen almost all of them, I look forward to seeing them again and again.

I didn't care for Doris Day at first either because I thought that she only made squeaky clean musicals.  Then, I saw her in Pillow Talk and found her character so endearing and not so goody goody.  This woman wasn't virginal, she was interested in dating, she was just sick of this man being on her phone all the time! But I did love her singing because she had such a beautiful voice.  Then, I saw her other two films with Rock Hudson, The Pajama Game (which should be shown more often), That Touch of Mink with Cary Grant, and even some of her thrillers (Julie, Midnight Lace, The Man Who Knew Too Much) and now she's one of  my favorites! I even like her "squeaky clean musicals" like On Moonlight Bay and By the Light of the Silvery Moon. I even like With Six You Get Eggroll, even though I don't typically like kid-centric films.

The only film of hers that I can truly say I dislike is Please Don't Eat the Daisies.  It's not even because of Doris, she's fantastic.  It's because they have an adult dubbing a baby's voice and I just can't handle it.  It completely takes me out of the film because it's so bad. 

I think I also came around to liking Doris because at the time, she was still alive and was one of the last remaining pieces of the Golden Age of Hollywood and I wanted to support her as much as I could, I suppose as a testament to her longevity.

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Dick Powell would make my skin crawl whenever I saw him as an ever smiling cutesy singer in any of the Busby Berkeley musicals.

Later, though, starting with Murder My Sweet, I saw him as a cynical private eye demonstrating a great facility for delivering throwaway one liners and had a major reappraisal of him as a performer. I was shocked at what a good Philip Marlowe he was, and eventually saw him in his other noirs (there weren't enough of them). Later he became a director and a major television pioneer producer and I came to realize what a major multi talent Powell was. I became envious of him, too, when I learned he was married to Joan Blondell in the '30s (let's all forget his later marriage).

And today I can even stomach him in those Berkeley musicals.

The guy had versatility and talent.

From this (when I initially had a difficult time appreciating him) . . .

42ndStreet2.JPG

to this (in which he was one of the great screen cynics) . . .

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to this . . .

R-12733769-1540924025-9415.jpeg.jpg

Within a couple of years of his death, without Powell's business brains behind it, the immensely successful Four Star Television vanished.

 

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