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Dependable and underrated


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I would like to mention some folks that never get any widespread recognition, but they always deliver decent performances.

I'm not talking about character actors and actresses or second leads, but studio stars that we overlook.

57A4ECA3-1125-4AF8-8267-6F9C6C8F6737_4_5005_c

1. Evelyn Keyes...gives a fine performance in THE KILLER THAT STALKED NEW YORK (1950).
2. Signe Hasso...how come people don't discuss this great European import..?
3. Geraldine Fitzgerald...brilliant actress.
4. Anna Sten...another underrated import. Unfairly compared to Garbo, but very skilled.
5. Ruth Roman...always dependable.

Screen Shot 2021-07-24 at 4.16.19 PM

6. John Payne...sturdy versatile leading man in musicals, noir, westerns and adventure flicks.
7. Paul Douglas...talented guy who makes it look easy.
8. Brian Donlevy...does heroes, villains and men in-between without missing a beat.
9. James Dunn...an extraordinary career.
10. Richard Basehart...superb in THE HOUSE ON TELEGRAPH HILL (1951).

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15 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

 

57A4ECA3-1125-4AF8-8267-6F9C6C8F6737_4_5005_c

1. Evelyn Keyes...gives a fine performance in THE KILLER THAT STALKED NEW YORK (1950).

I'll check out "The Killer that Stalked New York".  I learned that it's about a virus outbreak which is relevant right now.  I'm looking for other films to watch with the actors and actresses on your list.  Thanks for posting!

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Heres a small handful of Other Artistic/Performance Considerations

 

 

 

     Richard Boone. Honestly (have) NEVER seen aTHING from him where i was not Impressed.

     Dorothy MaGuire (sp). I Honestly do Not think theres a ceiling in existence for the amount of kudos and superlatives that this Lady "deserves"

    Richard Widmark.  See Dorothy's "explanation. Justification," above.. ☝️

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7 hours ago, Aritosthenes said:

Richard Boone. Honestly (have) NEVER seen aTHING from him where i was not Impressed.

     Dorothy MaGuire (sp). I Honestly do Not think theres a ceiling in existence for the amount of kudos and superlatives that this Lady "deserves"

    Richard Widmark.  See Dorothy's "explanation. Justification," above.. ☝️

Totally agree about Richard Boone. He makes a great villain in western films.

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14 hours ago, TopBilled said:

3. Geraldine Fitzgerald...brilliant actress.

Totally agree here. She rarely (if ever) got any leading roles in films but makes a great impression in all of them.

I recently saw her again as Bette Davis's faithful friend in Dark Victory (1939)

She has a striking scene as an evangelist in Rachel Rachel (1968)

She also a poignant scene in Harry And Tonto (1974), playing an old girl friend of Harry (Art Carney) and she now suffers from dementia. Ironically Fitzgerald would die of Alzheimer's in real life.

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43 minutes ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

Totally agree here. She rarely (if ever) got any leading roles in films but makes a great impression in all of them.

I recently saw her again as Bette Davis's faithful friend in Dark Victory (1939)

She has a striking scene as an evangelist in Rachel Rachel (1968)

She also a poignant scene in Harry And Tonto (1974), playing an old girl friend of Harry (Art Carney) and she now suffers from dementia. Ironically Fitzgerald would die of Alzheimer's in real life.

Well she did have leads in British films so that is why I mentioned her, because she was more than just a supporting second tier actress.

TURN OF THE TIDE (1935) features her in a lead female role. So does CAFE MASCOT (1936) and THE LATE EDWINA BLACK (1951) which she made after going back to Britain.

In Hollywood, Warners gave her leads in A CHILD IS BORN (1940), SHINING VICTORY (1941) and NOBODY LIVES FOREVER (1946). At 20th Century Fox she had the lead female role in WILSON (1944) as Edith Wilson. And at Paramount she played a lead role opposite Alan Ladd in O.S.S. (1946) which I consider her very best.

In addition to the memorable supporting roles you mentioned, Sam Goldwyn cast her in WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939) for which she received a supporting actress nomination. 

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16 hours ago, Toto said:

I'll check out "The Killer that Stalked New York".  I learned that it's about a virus outbreak which is relevant right now.  I'm looking for other films to watch with the actors and actresses on your list.  Thanks for posting!

Screen Shot 2021-07-25 at 8.37.44 AM

is currently on YouTube.

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Roger Livesey. Maybe because he was a Welsh born actor and best known in  England, we in the states may not know him from a lot of productions. I think he was outstanding in I Know Where I'm Going and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp.

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3 hours ago, Stallion said:

Roger Livesey. Maybe because he was a Welsh born actor and best known in  England, we in the states may not know him from a lot of productions. I think he was outstanding in I Know Where I'm Going and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp.

Livesey is great. Another one is Anton Walbrook, who was also in COLONEL BLIMP. He does extraordinary work in GASLIGHT (1940) and THE RED SHOES (1948).

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I'd like to discuss Signe Hasso for a moment.

She has a role in Ernst Lubitsch's light-hearted romp HEAVEN CAN WAIT (1943) but typically she did war films and noir in the 40s. 

Screen Shot 2021-07-25 at 5.47.25 PM

A few nights ago I watched DANGEROUS PARTNERS (1945) which teams her with James Craig, and she is totally in control of their scenes together. She's even better in THE HOUSE ON 92ND STREET (1945) cast in a villainous role...and in JOHNNY ANGEL (1945) and A DOUBLE LIFE (1947).

Like so many others, she transitioned to television and had guest starring roles on shows like BonanzaRoute 66CannonThe Streets of San Francisco (another juicy villainess role) and Trapper John M.D. 

On the episode of Trapper John that I watched, she plays a concentration camp survivor who comes to the hospital to find a doctor (played by Harold Gould) that is an old Nazi with a new name/identity. She tells a harrowing story of how the doctor had taken her children from her because they were blond and blue-eyed, and that the children were adopted by "good" Nazi parents. She spent years trying to find her kids, and at this stage of her life, she has tracked down the doctor to exact revenge. There's a chilling scene where she corners him in an elevator and shoots him dead.

A powerful actress who could convey a lot of different emotions.

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18 hours ago, Aritosthenes said:

Heres a small handful of Other Artistic/Performance Considerations

 

 

 

     Richard Boone. Honestly (have) NEVER seen aTHING from him where i was not Impressed.

     Dorothy MaGuire (sp). I Honestly do Not think theres a ceiling in existence for the amount of kudos and superlatives that this Lady "deserves"

    Richard Widmark.  See Dorothy's "explanation. Justification," above.. ☝️

Really love Dorothy McGuire (I assume you meant McGuire rather than MaGuire?) and not recognized enough.  Two of her favorite performances for me is the mother in "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" and her role as girlfriend to Gregory Peck in "Gentleman's Agreement".  She feels very authentic and transforms into her characters.  I also love Richard Widmark.  I think of his great performances in noir movies and Judgement at Nuremburg.    I have to investigate Richard Boone and his parts.

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I'm a big fan of John Payne and Dorothy McGuire.  Of course, a lot of their films don't get shown on TCM because they both made a lot of films at 20th Century Fox.  Ruth Roman is another favorite.  She was great in The Window.  Evelyn Keyes was a fine actress--liked her in some of those noir films.

 

 

 

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As long as we're discussing some of the Pressburger and Powell stock players, how about Marius Goring, who was the earnest young composer and love interest in The Red Shoes and the foppish "conductor" of souls in A Matter of Life and Death? He was also in everything from Exodus to The Barefoot Contessa to Pandora and the Flying Dutchman.

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On 7/24/2021 at 7:18 PM, TopBilled said:

Richard Basehart

Saw him last week on, of all things, The Love Boat.  Kuh-rap script, his performance was wonderful!   One of my favorites, of course, I love La Strada

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On 7/24/2021 at 7:18 PM, TopBilled said:

Brian Donlevy...does heroes, villains and men in-between without missing a beat

I read he was difficult to work with.  He certainly makes an impression. 

On 7/24/2021 at 7:18 PM, TopBilled said:

James Dunn...an extraordinary career.

He will forever be in my heart.    A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN is a perfect realization of that book, even with the omissions.  JAMES DUNN is stunning.  And of course he is in one of the greatest SHIRLEY TEMPLE movies... 

Brighteyes.jpg

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How about James Mason? Certainly an actor of some reputation, but I think generally underrated. He was fearless in his choice of roles, frequently playing characters who weren't highly sympathetic.

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21 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Livesey is great. Another one is Anton Walbrook, who was also in COLONEL BLIMP. He does extraordinary work in GASLIGHT (1940) and THE RED SHOES (1948).

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I agree, sir. The pairing of Livesey and Walbrook in Colonel Blimp, through the ages was very endearing. Those two together are as outstanding a coupling of actors as anyone I can recall.

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10 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

How about James Mason? Certainly an actor of some reputation, but I think generally underrated. He was fearless in his choice of roles, frequently playing characters who weren't highly sympathetic.

I'd also put HERBERT LOM in that Brit category as well.  

Sepiatone

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I agree about Geraldine Fitzgerald.   Also memorable later on opposite Rod Steiger as a sympathetic New York City social worker in THE PAWNBROKER.   

Another vote for Roger Livesey.  So charming in I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING.   And a fine performance as Laurence Olivier's father in THE ENTERTAINER.

Another cast member from that film -- Brenda de Banzie. Never disappoints.  Excellent actress in everything else I've seen her in such as HOBSON'S CHOICE (as Charles Laughton's determined, stubborn daughter), THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, and other films which don't immediately come to mind (mainly because my Baby Boomer memory is occasionally faulty).

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12 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

How about James Mason? Certainly an actor of some reputation, but I think generally underrated. He was fearless in his choice of roles, frequently playing characters who weren't highly sympathetic.

Though I LOVE ROGER LIVESEY, JAMES MASON must be my favorite British actor.  Fearless, dependable, talented. 

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6 minutes ago, Allhallowsday said:

Damn I LOVE ROGER LIVESEY!  He is the best part of THE ENTERTAINER

Along, imo, with Brenda de Banzie.   (Hell, in HOBSON'S CHOICE she stole every scene from Charles Laughton!!!)

I love that old British vaudeville song Livesey sings.

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21 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I'd like to discuss Signe Hasso for a moment.

She has a role in Ernst Lubitsch's light-hearted romp HEAVEN CAN WAIT (1943) but typically she did war films and noir in the 40s. 

Screen Shot 2021-07-25 at 5.47.25 PM

A few nights ago I watched DANGEROUS PARTNERS (1945) which teams her with James Craig, and she is totally in control of their scenes together. She's even better in THE HOUSE ON 92ND STREET (1945) cast in a villainous role...and in JOHNNY ANGEL (1945) and A DOUBLE LIFE (1947).

Like so many others, she transitioned to television and had guest starring roles on shows like BonanzaRoute 66CannonThe Streets of San Francisco (another juicy villainess role) and Trapper John M.D. 

On the episode of Trapper John that I watched, she plays a concentration camp survivor who comes to the hospital to find a doctor (played by Harold Gould) that is an old Nazi with a new name/identity. She tells a harrowing story of how the doctor had taken her children from her because they were blond and blue-eyed, and that the children were adopted by "good" Nazi parents. She spent years trying to find her kids, and at this stage of her life, she has tracked down the doctor to exact revenge. There's a chilling scene where she corners him in an elevator and shoots him dead.

A powerful actress who could convey a lot of different emotions.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     I like her too for her heartfelt portrayal of Laurel Marshall supportive wife of scientist Dr. Marshall ( george macready ) in the original outer limits ep Production and Decay of Strange Particles my favorite ep.

 

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