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Top Ten Gregory Peck Films


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8 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Reading the book about John Huston,   Peck was treated as poorly as Bogie was when filming The African Queen.    

The rubber whale faired better than Peck! 

And screenwriter Ray Bradbury later wrote a book, "Green Shadows, White Whale"--a twist on the John Huston/African Queen  roman a clef "White Hunter, Black Heart"--based on his experiences dealing with John Huston at his most 50's unstoppable.

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1 hour ago, Allhallowsday said:

First film I thought of.  An overlooked gem. 

Not sure The Gunfighter is overlooked.      Clearly not from the folks at this forum.    E.g.  a majority selected it as part of their top 10.  

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On 10/21/2020 at 12:21 PM, DougieB said:

and there are at least a couple I hadn't heard of, particularly The Hundred Pound Note (1954), a comic English period piece which sounds like something I'd really enjoy.

Nitpick: You mean The Million Pound Note, also known as Man With a Million.  The movie wouldn't work if Peck could break a £100 note.  😉

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3 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Not sure The Gunfighter is overlooked.      Clearly not from the folks at this forum.    E.g.  a majority selected it as part of their top 10.  

You misunderstand my perspective.  Most friends communicate they love movies but are not old movie fans and know all that... stuff like THE YEARLING thru TV broadcasts as long as I and they remember... I am the most movie devoted person I see and I never saw THE GUNFIGHTER on TV in the old days and only discovered that one at TCM 20 or so years ago.  I know movie fans know the good stuff, but sometimes they spurn Westerns, especially in B&W.  Yeh, it's true my oldest friend (45 years) won't watch bw. 

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12 hours ago, Fedya said:

Nitpick: You mean The Million Pound Note, also known as Man With a Million.  The movie wouldn't work if Peck could break a £100 note.  😉

Yes. Sorry. A brain **** from an old man. I wonder if TCM has ever shown it. Can you tell us anything about it? Peck himself apparently liked the experience. 

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43 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Is Peck better in westerns than John Wayne?

Interesting question, I haven't seen many Peck westerns, but several of Wayne's. I thought I would compare when they played a similar role, the western outlaw.

The Gunfighter vs Stagecoach. Then I realized their characters have the same name, Jimmy Ringo (Peck) and the Ringo Kid (Wayne). Wayne is an outlaw falsely accused of a crime and looking to avenge his father and brother's death, so he seems to be OK with his reputation as a tough guy not to be messed with. Peck is a world weary character who is tired of the fast gun reputation and is looking to get out of that life. Both were excellent, but I give the edge to Peck since his character was more complex and his performance more subtle.

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My own candidate of course is the legendary TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, though Leonard Maltin calls 12 0'CLOCK HIGH his finest work as an actor

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10 hours ago, DougieB said:

Yes. Sorry. A brain **** from an old man. I wonder if TCM has ever shown it. Can you tell us anything about it? Peck himself apparently liked the experience. 

Yes, they have shown it, since I saw it on TCM many years back.  I don't recall how long ago it was, though.

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11 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

Interesting question, I haven't seen many Peck westerns, but several of Wayne's. I thought I would compare when they played a similar role, the western outlaw.

The Gunfighter vs Stagecoach. Then I realized their characters have the same name, Jimmy Ringo (Peck) and the Ringo Kid (Wayne). Wayne is an outlaw falsely accused of a crime and looking to avenge his father and brother's death, so he seems to be OK with his reputation as a tough guy not to be messed with. Peck is a world weary character who is tired of the fast gun reputation and is looking to get out of that life. Both were excellent, but I give the edge to Peck since his character was more complex and his performance more subtle.

It also comes down to who had better scripts and better directors.

Sometimes Wayne was working with good directors but mediocre scripts.

I think Peck usually worked with good directors AND good scripts.

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I'd say generally the western roles that Peck played in his career would be much better aligned with the roles that Gary Cooper played in his career than with the ones John Wayne played.

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34 minutes ago, Dargo said:

I'd say generally the western roles that Peck played in his career would be much better aligned with the roles that Gary Cooper played in his career than with the ones John Wayne played.

My question wasn't really about alignment. It's just that I realized when I was going over Peck's filmography that his westerns as a whole seem stronger than a lot of the ones Wayne made. My observation had nothing to do with the roles they played or the types of western characters they were associated with...but the overall quality of their western films.

The main reason I wanted to discuss this is because Peck is not primarily considered a western movie star (and neither is Cooper which may be why you were aligning them).

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1 hour ago, TopBilled said:

My question wasn't really about alignment. It's just that I realized when I was going over Peck's filmography that his westerns as a whole seem stronger than a lot of the ones Wayne made. My observation had nothing to do with the roles they played or the types of western characters they were associated with...but the overall quality of their western films.

The main reason I wanted to discuss this is because Peck is not primarily considered a western movie star (and neither is Cooper which may be why you were aligning them).

What are ya talkin' about here, Hombre?! Gary Cooper wasn't primarily considered western movie star???

Sorry TB, but if anything, Coop was and still is considered primarily a star of westerns, and even though he, like Peck, also starred in many a different film genre.

Betcha if you asked 10 people about Coop, the majority of 'em would say Coop is primarily remembered for his westerns.

(...but with this being said, yes, the reason I brought up Coop's name in this thread and after you brought up this whole Greg Peck in westerns thing, was because I felt when both Coop and Greg did star in this genre, their films tended to be a little more "adult" and more nuanced in tone, or seemingly more so than your typical John Wayne western, anyway)

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1 hour ago, Dargo said:

What are ya talkin' about here, Hombre?! Gary Cooper wasn't primarily considered western movie star???

Sorry TB, but if anything, Coop was and still is considered primarily a star of westerns, and even though he, like Peck, also starred in many a different film genre.

(...betcha if you asked 10 people about Coop, the majority of 'em would say Coop is primarily remembered for his westerns)

Sorry Darg, I don't quite agree...I think Cooper is more remembered for his precodes at Paramount, THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES and SERGEANT YORK. 

I do think that Cooper and Peck both have one thing in common: the westerns they made were "A" westerns. They never made "B" westerns like Wayne did at the beginning of his career.

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19 minutes ago, Dargo said:

What are ya talkin' about here, Hombre?! Gary Cooper wasn't primarily considered western movie star???

Sorry TB, but if anything, Coop was and still is considered primarily a star of westerns, and even though he, like Peck, also starred in many a different film genre.

Betcha if you asked 10 people about Coop, the majority of 'em would say Coop is primarily remembered for his westerns.

(...but with this being said, yes, the reason I brought up Coop's name in this thread and after you brought up this whole Greg Peck in westerns thing, was because I felt when both Coop and Greg did star in this genre, their films tended to be a little more "adult" and more nuanced in tone, or seemingly more so than your typical John Wayne western, anyway)

You're right, Dargo. Cooper made westerns in the silents,and became a star with The Virginian in 1929. He was later cast as Wild Bill Hickok in Demille's The Plainsman, and a few years later was memorably co-starred with Walter Brennan in The Westerner, the same year he played a Texas Ranger in North West Mounted Police. While Coop varied his films roles with his hits with Capra and playing a few real life heroes like Alvin York and Lou Gehrig, he was still so associated with the western genre that he spoofed his  cowboy image as a dead shot in Along Came Jones. Cooper is associated with the western genre, despite the variety of his work including  a few comedies.

Gregory Peck appeared in a few pensive, 'thinking man" westerns like The Gunfighter and The Big Country, making an impressive contribution to the genre with them. This was during the 50s, when Coop was also making quite a few westerns, some of them of the "thinking man" variety, too, such as High Noon and the Hanging Tree.

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2 minutes ago, NipkowDisc said:

are I know about Peck is hearing once he was very selective about his roles.

he didn't just take anything. he had to have a reason to play someone.

Now that I believe.

I think Peck chose scripts where the writers' politics were in line with his own world views. Of course a lot of actors do this. But with Peck, it feels more deliberate..and as a result, there is considerable empathy put into the characters' situations, even the "villains" he is playing.

I find his filmography endlessly fascinating.

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1 hour ago, TomJH said:

You're right, Dargo. Cooper made westerns in the silents,and became a star with The Virginian in 1929. He was later cast as Wild Bill Hickok in Demille's The Plainsman, and a few years later was memorably co-starred with Walter Brennan in The Westerner, the same year he played a Texas Ranger in North West Mounted Police. While Coop varied his films roles with his hits with Capra and playing a few real life heroes like Alvin York and Lou Gehrig, he was still so associated with the western genre that he spoofed his  cowboy image as a dead shot in Along Came Jones. Cooper is associated with the western genre, despite the variety of his work including  a few comedies.

Gregory Peck appeared in a few pensive, 'thinking man" westerns like The Gunfighter and The Big Country, making an impressive contribution to the genre with them. This was during the 50s, when Coop was also making quite a few westerns, some of them of the "thinking man" variety, too, such as High Noon and the Hanging Tree.

They all were making quite a few westerns in the 50s. Guys like Robert Taylor, Richard Widmark, William Holden, Van Heflin and Glenn Ford. Even James Cagney. Everyone but Cary Grant who seemed to be able to keep his career going without saddling up.

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I recall an interview that Gregory Peck had in the early '60s.

When asked to name a film of his he didn't like Peck responded, "Cape Fear, if you want a real turkey."

I wonder if he changed his mind about that film over the years. He had a cameo appearance in the 1991 remake of the film he called a turkey. It's my belief that few talked about the original Cape Fear until Scorcese, an admirer of the film, did his remake. Since then there have been comparisons, with many preferring the Peck-Mitchum version.

Still, when Gregory Peck had that interview not long after his version had been released, I wonder how positive the reviews had been or the public response to the film to possibly account, in part, at least, for Peck's disdain towards the film.

I could be wrong but I believe that somewhere I heard that the scene depicted below was an unexpectedly uncomfortable one for Peck inasmuch as Mitchum held him under the water longer than Greg had expected.

Gregory-Peck-Cape-Fear-Robert-Mitchum-J.

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9 minutes ago, TomJH said:

When asked to name a film of his he didn't like Peck responded, "Cape Fear, if you want a real turkey."

I recall another interview when asked about the film and he said "It's Bob's picture, best performance he ever gave!"

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17 hours ago, TomJH said:

I recall an interview that Gregory Peck had in the early '60s.

When asked to name a film of his he didn't like Peck responded, "Cape Fear, if you want a real turkey."

Ohh, the EARLY 60's--That's why he didn't say "Marooned".

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