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Favorite Drunk


Guest olmsted, l

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Guest olmsted, l

I know this is an odd discussion, but it could be kind of fun! Who do you think played the best drunk? Now, this could be an actor playing A drunk like Lemmon in DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES or Milland in LOST WEEKEND or simply and actor playing drunk temporarily like Garbo in NINOTCHKA (one of my favorites). I find a lot of times actors don't play it realistically, but the ones that do are fantastic.

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Guest K, Sandy

Thomas Mitchell as Uncle Billy in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE gets my vote. The scene where he leaves the house the night that Harry Bailey has come home with his bride cracks me up. My favorite part is the crash that happens out of camera range with Mitchell calling "I'm all right! I'm all right!" I've heard that the crash was accidental (a crew member dropping something) and that Mitchell's response was ad-libbed. Brilliant!

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Guest son, jery

Bette Davis bravura drunk scene in "Dark Victory," when she discovers she's going to die. She sits in a bar with Ronald Reagan and she's all decked out in fur hat, fur coat, etc. She sings along with the orchestra, "Oh, Give me time for tenderness...just give me time..."

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Guest olmsted, l

Ok, I know I'm going to overdo it with the Marilyn Monroe references, but I loved when she got drunk in PRINCE AND THE SHOWGIRL. It was so natural and very funny. It was also a big leap talent-wise from her earlier wide-eyed, over-enunciated way of acting.

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Guest B, Jenny

Jimmy Stewart in the Phildephia Story was superb! His singing of Somewhere over the Rainbow' was the best yet- and he won an oscar for it.

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I like Cary Grant in NORTH BY NORTHWEST. The scene is where the bad guys try to get him schnockered, fill him full of alcohol, and run his car off the road. Grant is hilarious at the police station and testifying in court the next day. His mother's reaction is also very funny--she has no trouble believing he got drunk on his own accord!

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Guest r, cyndi

...Being a bartender, I tend to notice drunks alot!!! Another one to add to this growing list---Thelma Ritter in "Pillow Talk". One of the best!!!

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Guest mongo

How about Jack Norton who actually was known on screen as the ultimate drunk. With his thin moustache and top hat he was tipsy in over 100 films including "The Bank Dick", "The Palm Beach Story", "Blue Skies" etc. In real life the man drank tea.

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Guest Kohut, Gail

I don't know the name of the actor who played this character, but my all-time favorite is the waiter in that Peter Seller's movie, THE PARTY. He just gets drunker and drunker. The best scene of course is while Sellers' character is sitting down to dinner and you see the waiter and the chef fighting every time the swinging door to the kitchen opens.

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Guest cooper, jeane

I have not seen that movie - but could it be the British actor Graham Stark? He was always playing waiters and such in films of the 60's, 70's and 80's. A non comic role was in "Alfie" as the man who married the mother of Micheal Caine's child. Blake Edwards used him in the Pink Panther series and in Victor/Victoria (He was the waiter at the "cockroach" restaurant)

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Guest olmsted, l

After watching High Society for the umpteenth time yesterday, I realized that Grace Kelly played a wonderful drunk. Though I love Frank Sinatra, I didn't think he quite matched her. I am partial to Hepburn and Stewart, though, who originated those roles and played great drunks.

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Guest Dan, Coffee

Charles Butterworth's low-key comedy style was perfect for playing drunks. Charlie played a drunk differently than most actors. His drunk characters were trying terribly hard not to appear drunk, which was even funnier. He did this wonderfully in ILLICIT, where he stole every scene he was in, and he gave a speech demonstrating a "modern" baby carriage which was hilarious! And you can't forget Robert Benchley, one of my heroes both on screen and off -- a great writer and a great comic actor. He played drunk or slightly tipsy in most of his feature film appearances, and he was great in CHINA SEAS, in one scene trying his best to light a cigarette in a raging storm at sea. Another great drunk is Lew Ayres in HOLIDAY, where he tells his sister, Katharine Hepburn, what it's like to get drunk and how to go about it. Funny and sad at the same time, particularly since Ayres drinks to forget how much he hates his life, and encourages Hepburn to do what she can to change hers.

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Guest mongo

Susan Hayward was a realistic drunk in "I'll Cry Tomorrow" portraying Lillian Roth. Some scenes were actually harrowing ala Ray Milland in "The Lost Weekend".

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest cassidy

Favorite Drunks: Cary Grant:North By Northwest Jack Lemmon:Days of Wine and Roses Bette Davis:Dark Victory Joe E. Brown:Show Boat James Mason:A Star is Born Jimmy Stewart & Katherine Hepburn:Piladelphia Story Red Skelton:Merton of the Movies

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Guest Amariei, Mima

I can't believe that no one has mentioned Clark Gable for his portrayl as a drunk in GWTW. The scene when Vivian comes downstairs and goes to the dinningroom and she sees Gable sitting at the table looking very drunk. They start talking about how she is still in love with Ashley and not in love with him. He is angry because she wishes and thinks that Ashley should be her husband instead of himself. He is so angry that he tells her that tonight is one night that she won't cast him out or something like that and he picks her up and carries her up the stairs to the bedroom. Anyway, I think that was a best drunk scene.

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Guest Alix

Thanks for mentioning Charles Butterworth. He was very funny in most movies he appeared in--whether drunk or sober. My all-time favorite movie of his was with Winnie Lightner in LIFE OF THE PARTY, where he plays a guy who owns a race horse. He was also great in BEAUTY AND THE BOSS, although I don't remember him as a drunk.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Goebel, Angela

I love Van Heflin in "Johnny Eager" for which he won best supporting actor. There is a brief scene with Ingrid Bergman in "Notorious." Also, Vivien Leigh pours her heart out to Gable when she is slighty drunk in the GWTW scene where Gable proposes.

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Guest mongo

Heflin is a good choice Angela. It reminds me of Robert Stack as the spoiled rich drunk in "Written on the Wind" a surprisingly good performance.

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Guest Breland, Amber

I have a number of favorite drunks, here are two that come to mind first. Frank Sinatra: From Here to Eternity John Wayne: McLintock (going up the staircase)

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