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Bad Actors of the Golden Age


reneex
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10 minutes ago, reneex said:

Belafonte was a good friend and contemporary of Sidney Portier. Both competed for the so few roles offered to black actors during that era but in all fairness, Belafonte IMHO, wasn't much of an actor either.  Like NKC, he was fine singer and basically, eye candy. Didn't offer much in any of his limited roles.

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Hmmm...so I take it you've never watched Odds Against Tomorrow then. eh?

(...I've always thought he was REALLY good in THAT one, anyway)

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2 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

Sorry Darg, but I'm still unsettled as to what I think is the most UNfunniest "comedy" show ever.  Three way tie between;

BIG BANG THEORY

SEINFELD

WILL AN GRACE

But you did say it's all a matter of opinion.  

To the bad actors list I'd add...

ADOLPH MENJOU

GARY COOPER

PAT O'BRIEN(yeah, I know.  Some kind of "icon" but face it.  Had the range of a man with serious prostrate problems.  ;) ) 

Sepiatone

WOW! Gotta say here Sepia ol' chum that I'm surprised, first, that you never liked those three sitcoms you listed up there.

And secondly, that you apparently are one of those out there who's never realized that Gary Cooper WAS one of the finest film actors to ever grace the silver screen.

(...yup, he sure was...few actors have ever been able to express true human emotions through just their eyes as he could)

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17 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Who's this "Robert Osbourne" character you're speaking of here?

The spelling of the late great TCM host's last name didn't include that superfluous letter 'u', ya know.  ;)

(...but hey, anyone who'd think Van Heflin was a lousy actor might not know this either, huh)  LOL

Okay...I mispelled his surname but you knew who I was referring to.

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7 minutes ago, Dargo said:

WOW! Gotta say here Sepia ol' chum that I'm surprised, first, that you never liked those three sitcoms you listed up there.

And secondly, that you apparently are one of those out there who's never realized that Gary Cooper WAS one of the finest film actors to ever grace the silver screen.

(...yup, he sure was...few actors have ever been able to express true human emotions through just their eyes as he could)

I never said I disliked Coop,  just that I think he really wasn't that "great" of an actor. 

Sepiatone

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4 hours ago, Dargo said:

WOW! Gotta say here Sepia ol' chum that I'm surprised, first, that you never liked those three sitcoms you listed up there.

And secondly, that you apparently are one of those out there who's never realized that Gary Cooper WAS one of the finest film actors to ever grace the silver screen.

(...yup, he sure was...few actors have ever been able to express true human emotions through just their eyes as he could)

When Cooper was in a role that was right for him (The Westerner, Meet John Doe, Sergeant York, Friendly Persuasion) he was a perfect fit. And within his limited range he could also play, aside from westerners, homespun Capra heroes such as Mr. Deeds, romantic comedy (Desire), screwball comedy (Ball of Fire), and macho heroes (Lives of a Bengal Lancer, General Died at Dawn). Coop's two Oscars and five nominations also show how much the Hollywood community appreciated his acting skills.

Watching the simplicity and sincerity with which he delivers his "I'm the luckiest man on the face of the earth" address to the Yankee Stadium crowd at the end of Pride of the Yankees has made more than a few audience members tear up. At his best Gary Cooper was a master of understatement.

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On 5/16/2021 at 9:28 AM, reneex said:

Okay...I mispelled his surname but you knew who I was referring to.

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Yeah, I knew.

(...but you haven't been about here long enough to know that one of my ongoing little running jokes around here is making fun of the British use of what I call the "superfluous-'u'" in spelling)

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3 hours ago, Allhallowsday said:

I was waiting to see that name...

People (including my mother) mix up Troy Donahue and Tab Hunter all the time - but I know the difference. Like I said in an earlier post, I'm a fan of Troy Donahue. I'm not ashamed to say I think he was beautiful. Tab Hunter on the other hand.......

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6 hours ago, jinsinna13 said:

it's all a matter of opinion.

Typically with such questions  it isn't just "a matter of opinion" but instead sample-size.      E.g.  I assume that when someone says they believe XYZ is a bad actor (when most others believe they are good) that this person is basing their opinion on seeing said actor in one or two movies where the actor wasn't at their best,  wasn't suited for the role,  or the overall film was a stinker.     I.e.  a very limited sample of their work.

I try hard to not make an overall judgement on someone's ability unless I have viewed (or listen to in the case of a musician \ singer),   over 50% of their work.

       

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4 hours ago, reneex said:

Even the late TCM host Robert Osbourne wasn't impressed with her acting skills.

Would you PLEASE spell Robert Osborne correctly. Thank You. Most around here loved him and it's disrepectful to him and us to continue to spell his name incorrectly

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37 minutes ago, lavenderblue19 said:

James, too bad if you don't like it. The poster was already corrected. He/she spelled Osborne incorrectly, there is no U in Osborne. They spelled it again with a U a 2nd time. What's to be confused about? Once was bad enough, but again in just a few hours, Not good.

I don't see where they posted the misspelling twice (clearly not at this thread).      In addition they are a newbie (total 38 post),  and someone already corrected them.  

But hey,   if doing what you do gives you kicks go for it!

 

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6 hours ago, reneex said:

Even the late TCM host Robert Osbourne wasn't impressed with her acting skills.

Bette Davis was a huge fan and modeled herself on her in her early career. I don't know what R.O. said about her, but I remembered him liking "Female."

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6 minutes ago, Leighcat said:

Bette Davis was a huge fan and modeled herself on her in her early career. I don't know what R.O.  about her, but I remembered him liking "Female."

I agree Leighcat. I don't know what RO said about her and I also remember him liking Female. I'd say that Bette modeling herself after Chatterton was high praise.

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It would be interesting to know the percentage of films in an actor's/actress's career that has been seen by some of the posters on this thread. While it's undoubtedly true that personal taste plays a role in anyone's appraisal at the same time not all opinions expressed here will have equal weight. A person who is judging an actor by only three or four films, be those films good, bad or indifferent, clearly doesn't have the same depth of knowledge about that actor as does someone who has seen that same performer in 15, 20 films or more.

Only having seen an actor, for example, in a handful of films made in what may have been the declining years of that actor's career (and having no knowledge of that same performer's more hallowed films and performances) hardly makes that poster's opinion a fair one in an overall appraisal of that actor's career. I mention this because of some of the names selected as "bad actors" in this thread. I can name mediocre performances given by any of a number of actors that I think were, overall, good actors. If those mediocre performances are all that a poster is judging that performer by it undercuts the fairness of his appraisal.

By the way I am not immune to judging some actors on limited viewings myself. I would classify Troy Donahue, for example, as a stiff, wooden performer based, I admit, on a small handful of his films. In that respect maybe I am not being entirely fair to Donahue but my enthusiasm for him is so limited that I do not make a point of seeking out more of his films.

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I'm not going to knock men or women who were able to land roles and earn a paycheck doing something most of us only wish we could do (or could have done).  Sure, we all have our favorite performers and some we'd rather not care to mention.  I think one aspect of the entertainment industry that sometimes gets overlooked is how good someone is at acting, even if they have more recognition as a dancer or singer.  People like Irene Dunne, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Jeannette MacDonald, Hoagey Carmichael, Leslie Caron, Jane Powell, Fred Astaire, Doris Day, Gene Kelly, Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Ginger Rogers, Dean Martin, Ethel Merman, Betty Hutton, and Jimmy Cagney I think were excellent in films where they did not primarily sing or dance.

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13 hours ago, midwestan said:

I'm not going to knock men or women who were able to land roles and earn a paycheck doing something most of us only wish we could do (or could have done).  Sure, we all have our favorite performers and some we'd rather not care to mention.  I think one aspect of the entertainment industry that sometimes gets overlooked is how good someone is at acting, even if they have more recognition as a dancer or singer.  People like Irene Dunne, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Jeannette MacDonald, Hoagey Carmichael, Leslie Caron, Jane Powell, Fred Astaire, Doris Day, Gene Kelly, Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Ginger Rogers, Dean Martin, Ethel Merman, Betty Hutton, and Jimmy Cagney I think were excellent in films where they did not primarily sing or dance.

Leslie Caron was not a good actor in An American in Paris. She should be given a break on that though. It was her first movie and as a native French speaker had to work in English. It had to be terrifying speaking in a secondary language on a big budget musical alongside Gene Kelly.

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3 hours ago, Citizen Ed said:

John damn Carradine.

Films were good despite this honey glazed ham being in them not because he was.

Jack Webb. I love the guy and I'll watch his stuff all day long but lord almighty! I've seen animatronics that emote better.

He seems almost human in Sunset Blvd., though...

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On 5/15/2021 at 9:32 PM, reneex said:

We have celebrated the greatest entertainers in Hollywood and even chuckled at the worst films ever directed. How about a TCM tribute dedicated  to some of the worst actors of the Golden Age ?

Here's my short  list of some of a number of actors/actresses from the Golden Age who should never have been afforded a screen test.

1. Ruth Chatterton

2. Jayne Mansfield

3. Guy Madison

4. Lupe Velez

5. Nat King Cole

6. Farley Granger

7. Van Heflin

8. Troy Donahue

9. James Dean

10. Jane Russell

Please provide other nominees for this ever expanding list and there  far more we can pin point today!

 

 

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James Dean? Are you kidding me????

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