Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Those Small Performances in Films That You Love


TomJH
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hoagy Carmichael in The Best Years of Our Lives

Having just seen the film again last night, a film with as magnificent an array of performances as any produced during the '40s, I marvelled at the comforting presence that Hoagy Carmichael brought to his small role as the owner of a bar who is also a friend of just returned veteran Harold Russell. Hoagy cares about Russell and is looking out for him in his own laid back way. Hoagy was the kind of friend we all need, at times, and, it occurred to me, Carmichael, never a trained actor, is so natural and perfect in his role.

Original Film Title: THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES. English Title: THE BEST  YEARS OF OUR LIVES. Film Director: WILLIAM WYLER. Year: 1946. Stars:  FREDRIC MARCH; HAROLD RUSSELL; HOAGY CARMICHAEL. Credit: RKO /

THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES: half a dozen responses | Jonathan Rosenbaum

I love the composition of these shots by William Wyler. In the foreground we have Hoagy playing the piano with Harold Russell, both having a good time, as Fredric March looks on. In the background we see Dana Andrews, out of a sense of decency and honour, making a phone call we know will break his heart

 

There are so many small performances like Carmichael's in the movies. They may have limited screen time but they bring us a special pleasure when we watch them.

Anyone else care to name any favourites of their own?

  • Like 15
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reginald VelJohnson in Die Hard

Die Hard's Reginald VelJohnson Isn't Ruling Out a Return For Sergeant Al  Powell - Ultimate Action Movie Club

Reginald VelJohnson reveals how 'Die Hard' helped him get cast in 'Family  Matters'

Another incredibly natural performance that I love to watch of an actor in a small role. Reginald VelJohnson as Sgt. Al Powell, the twinkie eating cop and, initially, the one guy on the outside who believes Bruce Willis' communications about the "terrorist" seizure of an LA high rise. Even though they don't share any physical scenes together until the end of the film there is a rapport established between Willis and VelJohnson in their walkie talkie communications with one another.

VelJohnson brings a common man of the streets quality to his cop portrayal, as well as humour, warmth and the strong sense that he's a good guy, the kind of person who would believe Willis while all authority figures in command in the film dismiss his dire warnings.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tom D'Andrea in Dark Passage

Performances of Limited Screen Time That Still Have A Jolting Impact - Page  5 - General Discussions - TCM Message Boards

The lonely, talkative cabbie who decides to help Humphrey Bogart on the run from the law. D'Andrea's showcase moment is when he has an amusing "slippity slop" story about the time he drove a passenger with two gold fish in a bowl up and down the streets of Frisco. D'Andrea tells his tale with relish.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can I talk about a small performance I hate? The drunk in Me and My Gal (1932). He interrupts lots of scenes in the first half and his act gets tedious and tiresome in about ten seconds. Maybe during Prohibition people thought this was funny. Every time he would reappear I would cringe. Fortunately he is completely missing from the second half. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first actor that comes to mind is Constance Bennett in The Unsuspected.    Of course Bennett (older sister of Joan), was a big star in the 30s but by the 40s her career had waned.    Thus she has a supporting role in The Unsuspected but makes the most of it;  she still brought that same charm,  wit,  and sense of humor to her character that she had in the 30s.   I always like when a major star is able to give this type of performance once their star is no longer shinning as bright.

 

87 The Unsuspected Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty Images

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

His wife got all the attention and the song, but how about Murray Hamilton as MISTER Robinson in The Graduate? He has two big scenes - a supremely awkward encounter early on when he's giving Benjamin Braddock all sorts of generic fatherly advice blissfully unaware that not one minute earlier his wife had stripped naked and offered herself to Benjamin. Then later on, once he's aware of all that's happened, when he's a wounded soul but also hilariously incapable of communicating with Ben on any human level. If that part is too big, I would offer up Norman Fell from the same movie.

image.jpeg.1e46b59761f80435a09cb3b8bc842daf.jpeg

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When it comes to performances, it probably doesn't get much shorter in length in a film than the following one that actor Dick Elliott (who's probably best remembered as the first mayor of Mayberry in The Andy Griffith Show) gives here in one of my favorite movies and in one of my favorite scenes in it:

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Allhallowsday said:

E21hdILXMAIne0v.jpgshop+5+a.jpg

 

FRANK MORGAN in THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940)

Morgan is, indeed, wonderful in this film but he has a major supporting role in the production, almost as much screen time as the film's two stars. I was thinking more along the lines of a performance you enjoy with far more limited screen time.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, TomJH said:

Morgan is, indeed, wonderful in this film but he has a major supporting role in the production, almost as much screen time as the film's two stars. I was thinking more along the lines of a performance you enjoy with far more limited screen time.

I see your point.  He carries the film as far as I'm concerned. 

How about J. CARROL NAISH in CLASH BY NIGHT

DUEeV5eX0AATgLj.jpg

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Where Danger Lives,  Claude Rains has only a one-scene performance.    I believe that scene runs less then 12 minutes or so.

Of course Rains was a major star playing leading roles,  as well as supporting roles.   I just viewed the film (again),  a few nights ago,  and while watching that scene I wondered why an actor of Rains stature,  was cast for such a small (but key), role.    Anyhow,  I'm glad he was since he was one of the best actors in the industry.

PS:  I can't say this is a film I love.     The film is fine up to,  and including this scene (which is A+),  but the rest of the film is mostly chase-me scenes that don't have a lot of tension.      But I do believe it is  the only time Mitchum and Rains were in a film together.

Where Danger Lives (1950) Robert Mitchum,Claude Rains, Film Noir, John  Farrow | Film noir, Claude rains, Mitchum

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Every time I've seen Juano Hernandez in a movie, his, usually supporting or brief, role is incredibly impactful. The three movies that come immediately to mind are "The Breaking Point," "Kiss Me Deadly" and "Young Man with a Horn." He's a major talent. 

 

Edit add, just thought of one more, "Trial."

 

  • Like 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, TomJH said:

Morgan is, indeed, wonderful in this film but he has a major supporting role in the production, almost as much screen time as the film's two stars. I was thinking more along the lines of a performance you enjoy with far more limited screen time.

I was thinking as I watched this for about the millionth time during the week of Christmas that it would be a good candidate for the Ensemble Movies thread.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, mkahn22 said:

Every time I've seen Juano Hernandez in a movie, his, usually supporting or brief, role is incredibly impactful. The three movies that come immediately to mind are "The Breaking Point," "Kiss Me Deadly" and "Young Man with a Horn." He's a major talent. 

 

Edit add, just thought of one more, "Trial."

MV5BNjBlYTE0ZjktNjE0MC00NzA4LWExMGItYWU2MGFjNDhhM2UwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTk2MzI2Ng@@._V1_FMjpg_UX631_.jpg.6aba03c90f7e0dc65c7a6c3add93ae21.jpg

Let's add The Pawnbroker to that list. I'm always glad when Juano Hernandez gets the recognition he deserves.

Let me add a little-known actress in a little-known film: Geraldine Wall in High Barbaree. I am not always a fan of June Allyson, but she is excellent in this film and has never looked more attractive. Not only are Van Johnson and June Allyson charming in the film, the studio found two children who sure enough look like the young Van and June. Geraldine Wall plays Van's mother, a woman who seems so interesting that we want to say, "Tell us more about her."

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, mkahn22 said:

Every time I've seen Juano Hernandez in a movie, his, usually supporting or brief, role is incredibly impactful. The three movies that come immediately to mind are "The Breaking Point," "Kiss Me Deadly" and "Young Man with a Horn." He's a major talent. 

 

Edit add, just thought of one more, "Trial."

MV5BNjBlYTE0ZjktNjE0MC00NzA4LWExMGItYWU2MGFjNDhhM2UwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTk2MzI2Ng@@._V1_FMjpg_UX631_.jpg.6aba03c90f7e0dc65c7a6c3add93ae21.jpg

Juano Hernandez always brings a quiet dignity to his roles. While I wouldn't call it a small role, Hernandez is quite magnificent as a proud black man who refuses to behave in a subservient manner in a small white rural town in the wonderful Intruder in the Dust, a film of racial intolerance that I think deserves to be better known.

Intruder in the Dust captures the chilling reality of Jim Crow | Library of  America

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Katie_G said:

Marginally 'classic' but John Turturro did more with just 3 minutes than anyone ever, imo. Take that, Spielberg.  Nobody **** with the Jesus.

*language warning*

 

 

Yeh, okay, he's a bit of a creep. But Jesus, he could BOWL!

 

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

© 2022 Turner Classic Movies Inc. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...