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50 minutes ago, filmnoirguy said:

James Dean? Are you kidding me????

At this  forum many have said they feel Dean overacted;  E.g.  that in certain scenes his acting screams;  look I'm ACTING!

I tend to feel Dean doesn't come off as natural in highly emotional scenes.

 

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3 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

At this  forum many have said they feel Dean overacted;  E.g.  that in certain scenes his acting screams;  look I'm ACTING!

I tend to feel Dean doesn't come off as natural in highly emotional scenes.

 

Thank God I'm not one of the "forum's many."   Three pictures, two Oscar nods.  Not bad!

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10 minutes ago, filmnoirguy said:

Thank God I'm not one of the "forum's many."   Three pictures, two Oscar nods.  Not bad!

Yep, exactly.

(...or as I mentioned at the top of this thread about him in my assessment of the OP's assessment of the young ill-fated actor , "A very good actor who would've only gotten better")

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47 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Yep, exactly.

(...or as I mentioned at the top of this thread about him in my assessment of the OP's assessment of the young ill-fated actor , "A very good actor who would've only gotten better")

Either that or Dean might have squandered his early reputation to a degree with a series of self indulgent portrayals in an uneven collection of films. I'm thinking of Brando when I write that. How much more assured would Marlon be today of an even bigger reputation if he had had an early death after, say, The Wild One and On the Waterfront.

Dying tragically young certainly helps in the screen immortality department.

Java Dreams Painting by Chris Consani

And on the occasion when Brando did  make it into one of these celebrity portraits . . .

Marilyn Monroe James Dean Marlon Brando Elvis Presley | Etsy

. . . it's not the walrus sized Marrlon of his final years I see here.

 

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4 minutes ago, TomJH said:

Either that or Dean might have squandered his early reputation to a degree with a series of self indulgent portrayals in an uneven collection of films. I'm thinking of Brando when I write that. How much more assured would Marlon be today of an even bigger reputation if he had had an early death after, say, The Wild One and On the Waterfront.

Dying tragically young certainly helps in the screen immortality department.

Java Dreams Painting by Chris Consani

And on the occasion when Brando did  make it into one of these celebrity portraits . . .

Marilyn Monroe James Dean Marlon Brando Elvis Presley | Etsy

. . . it's not the walrus sized Brando of his final years I see here.

 

On the other hand, with James Dean to compete with, Brando may have pushed himself even further.  After Dean's death, he seemed to lose his steam.

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10 minutes ago, TomJH said:

Either that or Dean might have squandered his early reputation to a degree with a series of self indulgent portrayals in an uneven collection of films. I'm thinking of Brando when I write that. How much more assured would Marlon be today of an even bigger reputation if he had had an early death after, say, The Wild One and On the Waterfront.

Dying tragically young certainly helps in the screen immortality department.

Java Dreams Painting by Chris Consani

And on the occasion when Brando did  make it into one of these celebrity portraits . . .

Marilyn Monroe James Dean Marlon Brando Elvis Presley | Etsy

. . . it's not the walrus sized Brando of his final years I see here.

 

Actually here Tom, first because Dean was never a "beefy" guy like Brando was, the chances of him "letting himself go physically" like Bando did, would have been miniscule. Nope, I see a Dean in his later years still being fairly fit and lean.

And scondly, my take on Dean's career would be that he would've gotten many a role that someone like Paul Newman would get during his career.

(...but yeah, there's no denying that dying young and before missteps happen, helps ensure one's legacy...no doubt about it)

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And, while I hate quoting myself here...

15 minutes ago, Dargo said:

...my take on Dean's career would be that he would've gotten many a role that someone like Paul Newman would get during his career.

 

...the thought just now came to me that Dean would've been terrific in the title role of Hud.

(...and if you think about it, the character of Hud is pretty much a lower-rent version of Jett Rink in Giant)

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12 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Actually here Tom, first because Dean was never a "beefy" guy like Brando was, the chances of him "letting himself go physically" like Bando did, would have been miniscule. Nope, I see a Dean in his later years still being fairly fit and lean.

And scondly, my take on Dean's career would be that he would've gotten many a role that someone like Paul Newman would get during his career.

(...but yeah, there's no denying that dying young and before missteps happen, helps ensure one's legacy...no doubt about it)

Well, who can say whether Dean would have flourished as an actor or, like Brando, make some questionable decisions with self indulgent performances? My point is that Dean's early death after three impressive performances helped to assure his screen immortality while Marlon lived a longer, at times bizarre life that leaves his acting reputation an uneven one.

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Just now, TomJH said:

Well, who can say whether Dean would have flourished as an actor or, like Brando, make some questionable decisions with self indulgent performances? My point is that Dean's early death after three impressive performances helped to assure his screen immortality while Marlon lived a longer, at times bizarre life that leaves his reputation as a more uneven one as an actor.

Yes, perhaps "uneven" but even still, Brando's legacy is that he's considered one of the greats and often credited with singlehandedly "changing the craft of acting".

(...and as I'm sure you know)

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1 minute ago, Dargo said:

Yes, perhaps "uneven" but even still, Brando's legacy is that he's considered one of the greats and often credited with singlehandedly "changing the craft of acting".

(...and as I'm sure you know)

Yup. I agree.

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23 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Actually here Tom, first because Dean was never a "beefy" guy like Brando was, the chances of him "letting himself go physically" like Bando did, would have been miniscule. Nope, I see a Dean in his later years still being fairly fit and lean.

And scondly, my take on Dean's career would be that he would've gotten many a role that someone like Paul Newman would get during his career.

(...but yeah, there's no denying that dying young and before missteps happen, helps ensure one's legacy...no doubt about it)

Actually, Dean had been cast in "Somebody Up There Likes Me," which, of course, went to Newman after Dean's death.

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Strange the quirks of fate. Who knows what would have happened to unknown young actor Brando if John Garfield had not turned down the role of Kowalski for the 1947 Broadway run of Streetcar.

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1 hour ago, filmnoirguy said:

Thank God I'm not one of the "forum's many."   Three pictures, two Oscar nods.  Not bad!

Note I wasn't trying to make you change your mind,   but when one makes a statement like "James Dean? Are you kidding me????",   to me that comes off as saying that people with a different opinion are nuts.      I didn't reply with "you believe,  Dean was a good actor,,,   are you kidding me!!!!".

 

 

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On 5/17/2021 at 4:44 PM, TomJH said:

Strange the quirks of fate. Who knows what would have happened to unknown young actor Brando if John Garfield had not turned down the role of Kowalski for the 1947 Broadway run of Streetcar.

Garfield felt that the part of Stanley didn't have enough lines and said he would consider it with additional lines. However, although Garfield often talked about leaving Hollywood for good and going back to Broadway, that's not what he did.

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On 5/17/2021 at 6:59 PM, TomJH said:

Either that or Dean might have squandered his early reputation to a degree with a series of self indulgent portrayals in an uneven collection of films. I'm thinking of Brando when I write that. How much more assured would Marlon be today of an even bigger reputation if he had had an early death after, say, The Wild One and On the Waterfront.

 

:o

B-b-b-but then we wouldn't have had such GEMS as---

A COUNTESS FROM HONG KONG        and

LAST TANGO IN PARIS

:rolleyes:

On 5/17/2021 at 7:44 PM, TomJH said:

Strange the quirks of fate. Who knows what would have happened to unknown young actor Brando if John Garfield had not turned down the role of Kowalski for the 1947 Broadway run of Streetcar.

I don't know about Garfield in that role.   I don't think Blanche was supposed to be taller than Stanley.  ;) 

Sepiatone

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10 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

I don't know about Garfield in that role.   I don't think Blanche was supposed to be taller than Stanley.  ;) 

Sepiatone

Rest assured, Sepia , that Garfield at 5'7" was taller than either Margaret Sullavan, considered for the role of Blanche, or Jessica Tandy, who actually got the role. Brando, for that matter, was only about two inches taller than Garfield.

24 minutes ago, kingrat said:

Garfield felt that the part of Stanley didn't have enough lines and said he would consider it with additional lines. However, although Garfield often talked about leaving Hollywood for good and going back to Broadway, that's not what he did.

Garfield was looking at play options in his final  Hollywood blacklist months. He had a 55 night run of Golden Boy at the ANTA Playhouse on 52nd Street in New York. Is that Broadway? The play ended barely a month before the actor's fatal heart attack.

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4 hours ago, kingrat said:

Garfield felt that the part of Stanley didn't have enough lines and said he would consider it with additional lines.

This is interesting, because even Elia Kazan (when directing the original production of the play) felt that Brando's performance was so magnetic, and Brando himself so charismatic, that it threw off the entire balance of the play and turned Tennessee Williams' intentions upside down.  According to a New Yorker profile ("Method Man" by Claudia Roth Pierpont), Jessica Tandy, the original Blanche, was "furious that the audience laughed along with Stanley’s jokes at her expense—as though he were a regular guy putting an uppity woman in her place—and stunned that it openly extended its sympathies more to the executioner than to his victim."

 

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On 5/15/2021 at 10:32 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!

 

 

 

Van Heflin?  Really?  I actually kind of like, or at least, don't mind all those actors on your list.  But the only one I have to protest their being on any "bad actor" list is Van Heflin.  Van was great, he played many different types of characters.  Offhand, the only film he could maybe be accused of over-acting in in Johnny Eager.  He played Robert Taylor's  melancholy  philosophical alcoholic friend, and yes, definitely wallowed in the drunken slurred speechifying alcoholic characters were so often given then.  Does come across as hammy, but this could have been the direction as much as Van's interpretation of the character.

Other than that,  I don't think it's fair to put Van Heflin on a "bad actor" list.    But then,  full disclosure,  I hardly ever notice bad acting.  Hardly anyone's a bad actor in my book.  Maybe I just like bad acting- the hammy over-the-top kind of bad acting, anyway.  It's entertaining.  Wooden acting not so much.

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Robert Taylor - more of a mannequin than an actor, although there is a noir he was in the late 40s, The High Wall, that  he's good in.    In the technicolor costume pictures of the 50s like Ivanhoe and Quo Vadis, he looks great, although after seeing Quo Vadis, I definitely thought a lot about George Clooney in Hail Ceasar!

I agree about Ava Gardner.  She is beautiful, but not much of an actress.  The same with Hedy Lamarr.  From  my reading of her biography, I gather she was not really that interested in acting (but more in ideas, inventions, music, etc.); maybe that's why she looks like this bored, beautiful mask.

Like others, I completely disagree about Heflin, Chatterton, and Dean.  I even think Farley Granger turned in some good performances, such as in They Live by Night.   Cooper was the master of underplaying and could say more with his eyes and expression than with a thousand lines.  

 

 

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On 5/16/2021 at 8:48 PM, 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.

midwestan,  you make a great point.  I agree about everyone you mention in your post who was primarily a singer or dancer (or both) but who also acted, and often acted really well.

My only quibble is with the last name on your list:  James Cagney.  Although it's known that Cagney wanted to be a "hoofer" or "song and dance man",  and yes, he starred as such in Yankee Doodle Dandy,  he was primarily an actor, and a great one at that.  Most of his films are dramas of one kind or another  (ok, mostly crime films), although he did explore comedy a bit (check out One Two Three, for instance).  Anyway,  Jimmy Cagney is for sure known, rightly, as first and foremost an actor,  not a singer or dancer.  And as an actor, he was one of the best of "Hollywood's Golden Age".

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1 hour ago, misswonderly3 said:

midwestan,  you make a great point.  I agree about everyone you mention in your post who was primarily a singer or dancer (or both) but who also acted, and often acted really well.

My only quibble is with the last name on your list:  James Cagney.  Although it's known that Cagney wanted to be a "hoofer" or "song and dance man",  and yes, he starred as such in Yankee Doodle Dandy,  he was primarily an actor, and a great one at that.  Most of his films are dramas of one kind or another  (ok, mostly crime films), although he did explore comedy a bit (check out One Two Three, for instance).  Anyway,  Jimmy Cagney is for sure known, rightly, as first and foremost an actor,  not a singer or dancer.  And as an actor, he was one of the best of "Hollywood's Golden Age".

I see your point mw3...I probably should have taken out Cagney and replaced him with Dick Powell.

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21 minutes ago, midwestan said:

I see your point mw3...I probably should have taken out Cagney and replaced him with Dick Powell.

Please  just take Cagney out,  but don't replace him with Dick Powell.   Otherwise you will be pounded for being unaware of the many fine noir films he was in!

I.e. much of Powell's work after 1944 (starting with Murder My Sweet),  doesn't feature Powell singing.      

Powell gave up singing after Joan Blondell left him (now this is a joke,  but after seeing Joan in Bullets or Ballots,  I was reminded of just how darn sexy Blondell was!).

Bullets or Ballots (1936) – The Motion Pictures

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17 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

midwestan,  you make a great point.  I agree about everyone you mention in your post who was primarily a singer or dancer (or both) but who also acted, and often acted really well.

My only quibble is with the last name on your list:  James Cagney.  Although it's known that Cagney wanted to be a "hoofer" or "song and dance man",  and yes, he starred as such in Yankee Doodle Dandy,  he was primarily an actor, and a great one at that.  Most of his films are dramas of one kind or another  (ok, mostly crime films), although he did explore comedy a bit (check out One Two Three, for instance).  Anyway,  Jimmy Cagney is for sure known, rightly, as first and foremost an actor,  not a singer or dancer.  And as an actor, he was one of the best of "Hollywood's Golden Age".

And that's high praise indeed for a guy who broke into show biz as a chorus girl.  ;) 

Sepiatone

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