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My first post, and a question.


Grumpytoad
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I've seen posts referring to popular movies some people just personally don't like.

But are there¬†any well-known classic actresses or actors whose performances you don't understand the appeal of?¬†ūüėĎ

The main one that comes to mind in my case is Lee Tracy. I like wise guy characters in general, but this guy...
 

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Dialogue was fast and furious back in the day, and Tracy delivered it at lightning speed with the best of them. He sorta seemed to disappear for about 20 years there, but I think as an older man, he delivered a great performance in The Best Man, for which I'm pretty sure he received an Oscar nomination.

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There are several actors I generally don't care for, but I can't think of any offhand who are in no movies at all that I like.  I'm not wild about Lana Turner, Gene Tierney, Shelley Winters,  Marlon Brando, and the aforementioned Charles Bronson, but all of them are in at least one movie that I do like.

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Loyfan, I'm with you on Marlon Brando.  Never warmed to him very much, though I thought he was ok in "Superman."

The other one -- along the lines of Brando, sort of -- is James Dean.  I know he was only in three major pictures, but his acting style gets too tiresome to watch.  At least for me, anyway.  His role in "Giant" is more supporting and less an intrusion, so I can handle that one.  "Rebel Without a Cause" is watchable for me, even with Dean.  But "East of Eden" I've seen once and have little interest in seeing again -- but don't hold me to that boast.  I'll probably take another look at it some time.

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2 minutes ago, brianNH said:

Loyfan, I'm with you on Marlon Brando.  Never warmed to him very much, though I thought he was ok in "Superman."

The other one -- along the lines of Brando, sort of -- is James Dean.  I know he was only in three major pictures, but his acting style gets too tiresome to watch.  At least for me, anyway.  His role in "Giant" is more supporting and less an intrusion, so I can handle that one.  "Rebel Without a Cause" is watchable for me, even with Dean.  But "East of Eden" I've seen once and have little interest in seeing again -- but don't hold me to that boast.  I'll probably take another look at it some time.

Dean had so few roles, I've never been able to decide if it's his performances, or the characters he's playing, especially in his first two films, that turn me off.  I wasn't a real angsty teen, so maybe I just can't relate to those roles.  I thought he was great in Giant, though.

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57 minutes ago, brianNH said:

Loyfan, I'm with you on Marlon Brando.  Never warmed to him very much, though I thought he was ok in "Superman."

The other one -- along the lines of Brando, sort of -- is James Dean.  I know he was only in three major pictures, but his acting style gets too tiresome to watch.  At least for me, anyway.  His role in "Giant" is more supporting and less an intrusion, so I can handle that one.  "Rebel Without a Cause" is watchable for me, even with Dean.  But "East of Eden" I've seen once and have little interest in seeing again -- but don't hold me to that boast.  I'll probably take another look at it some time.

I'm with you on James Dean.  He would have been on my list if I had thought about  him.

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And all these years I thought I was the only one who didn't care for the poor guy.  Now it looks like we may have enough people to load up a bus and head off some place for a convention.  Maybe we could get TCM to throw in some uncurated wines for the trip.  Now wouldn't that be an absolutely delicious hoot!

In all fairness, I am inclined to agree with TX about the sadly small body of work to judge him by.  Open question what could have happened over the next 30, 40 or so years -- to see how his acting style would face changes in the movie-going ****'s tastes and sensibilities.  But then, that's why people love these message boards to flesh out the might-have-beens of actors' lives when taken so very young.

Now let's see what others can come up for an answer.

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James Dean would have been a shoo-in to play Colombo. "Uhh. Just uh, one more thing, ma'am, if uh (sigh) if you don't mind I ... I got to know. How much you pay a month to keep the lights on in a place like this?"

Or a variety show. Doing skit comedy with The Pointer Sisters. 

Making headlines getting into brawls in Vegas with Dennis Hopper.  Seated ringside with Raquel Welch at Ali-Frazier.

But he kicked butt in Giant, a favorite of mine, and many of my favorite scenes involve him. His character is central to the action throughout. 

East of Eden has problems that go beyond Dean. I don't know that I've watched Rebel all the way the way through. I might be more interested if it had been shot in black and white, or had more of an exploitation feel. Just seems overdone. 

 

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Welcome to the boards Grumpy! And yes, this thread has been asked before. (maybe I've been on the board too long/15+ years)

All the old timers here know I can barely stomach Tom Hanks. I enjoyed him on TV's BOSOM BUDDIES but his acting leaves me cold. Like the DeCaprio complaint earlier, he just looks like he's acting, like his mind is elsewhere. I've seen interviews with him where he seems like a decent guy, but he always gives a wooden performance. Sometimes I like the movie despite him, but his presence always diminishes my enjoyment, like a black hole.

I used to say the same thing about Kevin Costner, but others have caught up to me by this point.

 

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7 hours ago, LuckyDan said:

East of Eden has problems that go beyond Dean. I don't know that I've watched Rebel all the way the way through. I might be more interested if it had been shot in black and white 

You do know you can change the tint/specifications of a color TV and make the image black-and-white...yes?

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In the "classic" mode,  I never saw the "charm" or appeal in ADOLPHE MENJOU .  Never really cared much for CHARLEY CHASE.    Or noticed much beauty in the ostrich faced MARLENE DIETRICH.  And this may be considered blasphemous, but-----

RANDOLPH SCOTT always made me think of an encyclopedia salesman trying to play cowboy.  And I'll gladly let GRETA GARBO be alone.  ;) 

I agree with Dan that East Of Eden has problems beyond James Dean.  One of my favorite novels, I find the wasting of two hours of film stock on only 1/3 of the story somewhat disappointing.  especially when later someone would waste  THREE hours of it on Dr. Zhivago.   But all in all, I withhold judgement on Dean's acting since his output was tragically cut short and we've been denied the sight of his full potential. 

Sepiatone

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As a big fan of HAZEL when I was a kid, I do have a soft spot for Shirley.  

And my affinity for Vic goes to my Mother's  "heartthrob" adoration of him.  Plus his not taking himself so seriously( as many ego-driven yet talentless actors and actresses of his time did).  As in his reasoning with the director of a country club the golf addicted Mature gave for why he should be granted membership in the club that had a "no actors" policy....

"I'm NOT an actor,"   asserted Vic, "And I've got 30 pictures under my belt that proves it!"  :lol:

Sepiatone

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I've noted a common complaint that some actors are "wooden" . . . except real-life people are /wooden/ so if some actors are 'wooden' then it's more like 'real-life', innit?  Many movies strive for "realism" and most folks are in the 'real world' are decidedly not animated and 'antic' in their speech and mannerisms.  

For example, some of you may know I like to watch those old Masters Tournament final-round telecasts that were uploaded to YouTube in March of 2018.  The long-time Masters Chairman, CLIFFORD ROBERTS, who died in 1977 was soooooo wooden in real-life you have to see it for yourself.  If you watch the Green Jacket presentation on the 18th Green following the 1970 Masters playoff Roberts gives a short speech.  Every time I've seen him speak he's like that; speaking in short, choppy words and sentences.  W-O-O-D-E-N! 

Quite amazing, really. 

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15 hours ago, Grumpytoad said:

The main one that comes to mind in my case is Lee Tracy. I like wise guy characters in general, but this guy...

Who doesn't want to p!ss on a bunch of Mexican soldiers?

(That would also explain why he seemed to disappear for 20 years.)

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36 minutes ago, Fedya said:

Who doesn't want to p!ss on a bunch of Mexican soldiers?

(That would also explain why he seemed to disappear for 20 years.)

Not correct. The incident you described took place during the filming of VIVA VILLA (1934). He was dropped by MGM but continued to find plenty of acting jobs at other studios and made 16 more feature films from 1935 to 1947. Yes, some of them were "B" films but the point is that he was not blackballed in Hollywood as is commonly and erroneously reported.

Starting in 1949 he transitioned to television, like so many others from his generation who were all finding less work on the big screen. During the 50s Lee Tracy starred in three television series. He also appeared on Broadway in three different plays in the 50s, and did two more plays on Broadway in the 60s. One of those was THE BEST MAN which led to his return to movies.

But he had no real significant gaps on his resume. He worked steadily until 1965, three years before his death.

So the incident on the set of VIVA VILLA really did not affect him, only that it prevented him from working at MGM again...which in the scheme of things was certainly not the end of the world.

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Ooh!  Sean Connery!  I don't understand how women find him so attractive.  Especially since it's well known he's cool with beating women to "keep them in their place".  

Also, and I'm going to get a lot of flack for this, but Humphrey Bogart.  He just seems too wooden.  What's the attraction?

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18 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

RANDOLPH SCOTT always made me think of an encyclopedia salesman trying to play cowboy. 

Omigod I had forgotten about Randolph Scott. If he's billed in a movie, I skip it. I cannot believe he ever became a big star in Hollywood.

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12 hours ago, Lizbeth4 said:

Ooh!  Sean Connery!  I don't understand how women find him so attractive.  Especially since it's well known he's cool with beating women to "keep them in their place".  

Also, and I'm going to get a lot of flack for this, but Humphrey Bogart.  He just seems too wooden.  What's the attraction?

I don't think Connery ever said that.

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Kind of surprised people didn't like Dean's performances.  I find is acting in all three of his features to be superb and a toss up between Rebel and Eden on which one was better.  Love both Rebel and Eden and can easily watch them again and again.  East of Eden is probably my favorite Steinbeck novel although i think there's one i haven't read still.  Were there issues with the production of Eden?  I've never heard anything about that shoot.

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