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Those Small Performances in Films That You Love


TomJH
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Have you ever watched a film a second time and been surprised at how little time a performer you liked actually had on screen? I believe Max von Sydow has only one scene in Winter Light as the man who's terrified of nuclear war now that the Chinese have the bomb. I don't care much for the film, but von Sydow is great.

Then there's Zohra Lampert in Splendor in the Grass, who has (I think) two scenes, one when she's in her element in the Italian restaurant and then at the end of the film when marriage has turned her into a farmer's wife in, of all places, Kansas.

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Peter Lorre as Ugarte in Casablanca

Peter Lorre | The Bogie Film Blog

"You despise me, don't you?"

"Well, if I gave you any thought I probably would."

One of my favourite dialogue exchanges of the movies. Those Epstein brothers!

Ugarte, what a ruthless, sleazy little man but not without a certain oily charm, as played by Peter Lorre.

Casablanca, one of my top ten movies, but my one grievance with the film has always been that they knock off Lorre far too soon.

Casablanca – How To Write a Screenplay

"Rick, help me! Rick, hide me! Do something, you must help! Rick!!!!"

I almost wish that Rick could.

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screen-shot-2020-03-04-at-1.01.57-pm-e15

John Qualen as Muley Graves in The Grapes of Wrath (1940) is one of the great unsung performances by an actor in a minor role IMO.  Qualen gives a devastatingly emotional performance that sets the tone and plot for the entire film.  I think perhaps this magnificent performance is often forgotten because it comes so early in a great film that offers more and more to the very end.

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1 hour ago, Bogie56 said:

screen-shot-2020-03-04-at-1.01.57-pm-e15

John Qualen as Muley Graves in The Grapes of Wrath (1940) is one of the great unsung performances by an actor in a minor role IMO.  Qualen gives a devastatingly emotional performance that sets the tone and plot for the entire film.  I think perhaps this magnificent performance is often forgotten because it comes so early in a great film that offers more and more to the very end.

Classic illustration, I feel, of a great small performance. Thanks for mentioning this one, Bogie.

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9 hours ago, King Rat said:

Have you ever watched a film a second time and been surprised at how little time a performer you liked actually had on screen? I believe Max von Sydow has only one scene in Winter Light as the man who's terrified of nuclear war now that the Chinese have the bomb. I don't care much for the film, but von Sydow is great.

Then there's Zohra Lampert in Splendor in the Grass, who has (I think) two scenes, one when she's in her element in the Italian restaurant and then at the end of the film when marriage has turned her into a farmer's wife in, of all places, Kansas.

My husband says that I looked like Zohra when I was young, but only in the face, not her body type  -- I'm very petite - around 5'1".   Anyway, he always watches the end of that film for her performance - she also has a great voice.  Too bad she ended up just doing horror and TV.

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On 1/1/2022 at 11:59 AM, TomJH said:

Elisha Cook Jr. and Bob Steele in The Big Sleep

Both actors shine in small roles in this Howard Hawks production. Cook is "Jonesy," in contrast to his usual low life characters, an honest (or relatively honest) straight shooter who has been around and one of the few characters in the film to have Marlowe's respect. Then there's Bob Steele as Canino, the cold blooded killer. A friend of mine, who used to hang out in the streets, once referred to some drug gang members as having "shark eyes," cold, no expression, people capable of doing anything. Steele has those same expressionless shark eyes in this film.

The scene below, the only one in the film in which the two characters meet, is riveting.

The Big Sleep (1946)

 Always Loved how Cook made his Recipes. Steele is, Definitely No Slouch either.

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Ted De Corsia in The Enforcer

The Enforcer (Jan. 25, 1951) | OCD Viewer

Ted de Corsia

Ted De Corsia Humphrey Bogart Editorial Stock Photo - Stock Image |  Shutterstock

Maybe I'm stretching it by calling it a "small" performance but I can't help but include a reference to one of my favourite movie tough guys, Ted De Corsia, playing the second from the top of Murder Inc. in The Enforcer. I love watching him in this film, in particular, because, in addition to his usual nasty cold blooded moments, the script allows the actor to also act scared. And he does a great job of it, at one point (as the key witness for prosecuting DA Humphrey Bogart) trying to make an escape (for fear of becoming a gangland hit himself) by crawling out onto the ledge of a high rise. He then loses his nerve and tries to crawl back in. It's a great suspenseful scene, courtesy director Raoul Walsh (uncredited on the film).

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On 1/1/2022 at 8:03 PM, TomJH said:

Good pick, mkan22. I always get a laugh out of scenes like this in older films in which it's not until the gorgeous actress takes off her glasses and literally lets down her hair that the male realizes she's a knockout. Well, Dorothy Malone is a knockout in this scene but she didn't have to take off her specs for me (and, I suspect, just about everybody watching the film) to realize it.

One more small female performance in The Big Sleep also worthy of mention:

Just Noir🕵️ on Instagram: “Joy Barlow: If you can use me again sometime,  call this number. Bogie: Day and night? Joy: N… | Numbers to call, American  crime, Bogie

Joy Barlow as the cabbie who gives Marlowe her card should he want to see her afterward. Now why do I never see taxi drivers like this?

 Honestly such a "slo-mo" time delay has always kinda bugged and annoyed me.

   NEVER Understood why it takes some of us (on/in the flickers or even in actual present time and space) such delayed, pregnant time to recognize (and realize) a Bombshell is a BombShell and a Gorgeous Knockout a Knockout..

 

 

Thats "Clear" To See

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7 minutes ago, TomJH said:

Ted De Corsia in The Enforcer

The Enforcer (Jan. 25, 1951) | OCD Viewer

Ted de Corsia

Ted De Corsia Humphrey Bogart Editorial Stock Photo - Stock Image |  Shutterstock

Maybe I'm stretching it by calling it a "small" performance but I can't help but include a reference to one of my favourite movie tough guys, Ted De Corsia, playing the second from the top of Murder Inc. in The Enforcer. I love watching him in this film, in particular, because, in addition to his usual nasty cold blooded moments, the script allows the actor to also act scared. And he does a great job of it, at one point (as an key witness for prosecuting DA Humphrey Bogart) trying to make an escape (for fear of becoming a gangland hit himself) by crawling out onto the ledge of a high rise. He then loses his nerve and tries to crawl back in. It's a great suspenseful scene, courtesy director Raoul Walsh (uncredited on the film).

Corsia's Always been STELLAR in All and Every Role i've Seen him in.

 

 

   Maybe just me. (Probably is. lol) but would have LOVED to See him in a bond feature. THAT wouldah been Something 

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Honestly there's too many to list. And probably remember. But there are REAMS of Stellar, Gorgeous, On-Point, Beautiful Cameos within the Adventures of Jim West and Artemus Gordon. (While Perhaps within each respective episode, these Performers and Artists Did In Fact lay claim by and large to Prominant roles. Within context to Their Larger Careers, such roles were just a blink and you miss it drop in the bucket)

Of Particular remembrance Note, the Episiode (earlier on in the shows run) with Madam Pamela Austin is Enough to make ANYone* Twitterpated.. (She's Absolutely GLOWING and RADIATING during that Gorgeous, Sensual, Beautiful Ending.. "Will, You. Wind ME,? ..Up ,?! ,???..."

 

 

    WOWZER.

He's Glowing.. ...and Rather Twitter-Pated himself ..

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Every Single Actress, Actor, Performer, and Artist (with)in the Transcendental Juggernaut Cloud Atlas.

Due to the (simple ha.) Construct(s) of this mental saw-mill extravaganza; Each Artist Simultaneously Exists in (exact same roles) that are both Smallest Ever. And of Utmost Importance to Human Kind..

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17 hours ago, TomJH said:

Peter Lorre as Ugarte in Casablanca

Peter Lorre | The Bogie Film Blog

"You despise me, don't you?"

"Well, if I gave you any thought I probably would."

One of my favourite dialogue exchanges of the movies. Those Epstein brothers!

Ugarte, what a ruthless, sleazy little man but not without a certain oily charm, as played by Peter Lorre.

Casablanca, one of my top ten movies, but my one grievance with the film has always been that they knock off Lorre far too soon.

Casablanca – How To Write a Screenplay

"Rick, help me! Rick, hide me! Do something, you must help! Rick!!!!"

I almost wish that Rick could.

Lots of small memorable people in this— love Cuddles Sakall as well!

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On 1/1/2022 at 9:03 PM, TomJH said:

Good pick, mkan22. I always get a laugh out of scenes like this in older films in which it's not until the gorgeous actress takes off her glasses and literally lets down her hair that the male realizes she's a knockout. Well, Dorothy Malone is a knockout in this scene but she didn't have to take off her specs for me (and, I suspect, just about everybody watching the film) to realize it.

One more small female performance in The Big Sleep also worthy of mention:

Just Noir🕵️ on Instagram: “Joy Barlow: If you can use me again sometime,  call this number. Bogie: Day and night? Joy: N… | Numbers to call, American  crime, Bogie

Joy Barlow as the cabbie who gives Marlowe her card should he want to see her afterward. Now why do I never see taxi drivers like this?

This one gets my vote too.

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1 hour ago, Hoganman1 said:

This one gets my vote too.

According to IMDb Joy Barlowe was uncredited in all but one film in her career. Among her films she had a bit standing around the piano, with Hoagy Carmichael playing in To Have and Have Not, I believe.

Joy Barlow - Wall Of Celebrities

Her role as the cabbie in The Big Sleep was uncredited, too, and yet here we are talking about her all these years later. It may be the only good scene in the actress's film career yet, brief as it is, it leaves a lasting impression - for some, at least.

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Although an otherwise dismal movie,  in A COUNTESS FROM HONG KONG('67) British actor PATRICK CARGILL's performance as Marlon Brando's middle aged valet was actually a high point in the movie for me.

Sepiatone

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8 hours ago, TomJH said:

According to IMDb Joy Barlowe was uncredited in all but one film in her career. Among her films she had a bit standing around the piano, with Hoagy Carmichael playing in To Have and Have Not, I believe.

Joy Barlow - Wall Of Celebrities

Her role as the cabbie in The Big Sleep was uncredited, too, and yet here we are talking about her all these years later. It may be the only good scene in the actress's film career yet, brief as it is, it leaves a lasting impression - for some, at least.

Wow, great catch! As a big Bogart fan, I didn't notice her in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT. I'll be sure to look for her that next time I watch that film. 

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24 minutes ago, Hoganman1 said:

Wow, great catch! As a big Bogart fan, I didn't notice her in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT. I'll be sure to look for her that next time I watch that film. 

Joy Barlowe is in the white dress on the right leaning on Hoagy's piano.

 

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