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Joseph Cotten


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I was so pleased to be watching Joseph Cotten films earlier this night. I admire his talent especially when he isn't playing his usual likable roles. He really does do darker roles quite well. Just wondering what everyone else thinks about him.

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An eminently watchable actor. Not as versatile as Cagney and Grant, but light years more enjoyable, for me, than Cooper and Gable.

 

He was so very believable in Shadow Of A Doubt and new to me, thank you TCM, was A Steel Trap with both of the same leads.

 

My mother told me that in her day (1940s), the girls were ga-ga over his hair.

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I love Joseph Cotten. As long as he is in the opening credits, I will watch the film (I've sat through a few horror crapfests from later in his career because of this dedication but I digress)

 

I find him to be very likable and versatile. He is an actor that seemed to know his range in his prime and picked some great films to be in.

 

He was made for the "good guy trying to get to the truth" roles he played in THE THIRD MAN, PORTRAIT OF JENNIE and even A BLUEPRINT FOR MURDER. I love him in film noir but I even like this silly little Loretta Young film HALF ANGEL because of him!

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I've long since given up citing films as noir because as you note, something like SHADOW OF A DOUBT is arguably a noir. Well, if someone wants to think that, let them - I'm not going to argue the point.

 

But I will recommend these films to a noir fan regardless of the label:

 

Journey Into Fear

The Third Man

Beyond the Forest

Walk Softly, Stranger

Niagra

A Blueprint For Murder

The Killer is Loose

The Money Trap

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On the 19th, TCM is showing the Hitchcock film *Under Capricorn* , which stars Joseph Cotten and Ingrid Bergman (the 3rd and last film she did for Hitchcock). I haven't seen this one in a long, long time and I don't believe it gets shown much at all. This film always gets panned as one of Hitch's worst, but is that a fair rating? If it's only "bad" when compared to other Hitch films then its probably a decent film in its own right. Will be interesting to see what comments people will have after the 19th.

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Absolutely, Joseph Cotten and Charles Boyer were fine distinguished actors. Joseph Cotten carrys himself as a Man with total confidence. In Cotton's movies he makes a woman feels(while watching his movies) as though she is totally safe when he's around. I don't feel that way with some Male actors roles of today It seems as though in Movies of today, the Woman doesn't have a strong male to look forward to. Maybe I'm just old fashioned. Just saying.

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How could I forget about THE MONEY TRAP. First introduced to me by TCM about 3 years ago and I loved it.

 

Like clore, I don't want to get into the noir vs crime argument but I do like his list.

 

Aside from people possibly owning it on DVD, out of all of Hitch's post 1939 films, I think this one is aired the LEAST on TV - HBO/Cinemax (which had the rights to many Hitch films in 2011), TCM, and local classic film stations like Retro, Antenna and THIS.

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MrRoberts thanks for the heads up about the 19th, I haven't seen Under Capricorn (at least that I remember). I have enjoyed reading everyone's posting about Cotten. The comment about somehow feeling safe when he was around hit with me although he does play such a great creepy guy especially in Shadow Of A Doubt.

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Hey! Have I ever told you folks around here about my "theory" that Joseph Cotten is really David Letterman's dad?!!!

 

(...oh...I have, huh?!...never mind then...sorry, I won't bring it up again...well, that is, until maybe there's another thread around here about Joseph Cotten...and then, don't hold me to this, okay?!)

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Yes, Dargo, I have heard that comment because there is this resemblance. Maybe there is a fresh thread in Hollywood's Secret Progeny? Like Lookalikes, except generational.

 

Could it be that Joseph Cotton was paired with Jennifer Jones because David O Selznick thought Cotton a romanticized version of himself? My favorite movie of Cotton's is Love Letters with Jennifer Jones. Since You Went Away is right up there too.

 

He seems to have this persona that plays well at non-threatening characters, which makes his turn at Shadow of a Doubt very effective.

 

Edited by: casablancalover on Jan 4, 2012 8:47 AM

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I'm also a huge fan of *Love Letters*. Cotten and Jennifer Jones were both under contract to Selznick, and Selznick made a lot of money loaning them out to other studios. I've always been amused that Jennifer is supposed to be too young for him in *Since You Went Away*, but not in *Love Letters, Portrait of Jennie*, or *Duel in the Sun*.

 

Cotten is a solid, reliable actor, and I'd love to have hair like his. He liked to point out that Welles said *Citizen Kane* was his favorite film, Carol Reed said *The Third Man* was his favorite, and Hitchcock said *Shadow of a Doubt* was his favorite, and Cotten was in all three.

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I remember a few months back someone starting a thread on Joseph

Cotten and his amazing string of pictures during the 1940s. While

some people pointed out that he wasn't a major star, it was still a

most impressive list.

 

I've always found the character he played in SYWA to be one of the

most likeable in film--smart, charming, playful, with a job to do, but

never taking himself too seriously.

 

It was strange seeing him playing the husband of Teresa Wright in

The Steel Trap in light of their past relationship in Shadow of a Doubt.

I think I recognized Teresa as much by her voice as by her looks, at

least initially.

 

 

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