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Movies best drunk?


doctorxx
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For a comic drunk:

Definitely Arthur Housman (sort of preceded Jack Norton in the 1930's).

 

Hilarious with Laurel & Hardy. And there are some Thelma Todd / Patsy Kelly shorts (such as DONE IN OIL and TREASURE BLUES) in which he is just excellent - he seemed to have a special chemistry with them.

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The problem with drunks in the Golden Age is that 90% of them are played for comic effect, and they're all so tiresomely predictable. I'd go with Charles Buttersworth as the least worst of the lot, and Frank McHugh the most pathetically unfunny, but the problem is more with the screenwriters than with the actors. What would have been interesting would have been to let some actor known for his acidic wit---George Sanders or Clifton Webb come to mind---be given a few belts and then play a dramatic scene or two unscripted. It might have made for some juicy outtakes of All About Eve or Laura . ;)

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> musicalnovelty wrote: Definitely Arthur Housman (sort of preceded Jack Norton in the 1930's).

> Hilarious with Laurel & Hardy. And there are some Thelma Todd / Patsy Kelly shorts (such as DONE IN OIL and TREASURE BLUES) in which he is just excellent - he seemed to have a special chemistry with them.

I agree. Arthur Housman is my pick too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*I would say John Garfield in The Breaking Point*

 

You're right, James. That's a beautifully underplayed scene by Garfield, a completely natural piece of acting.

 

One of my favourite screen drunk scenes, *Frederic March in The Best Years of Our Lives*, when they're in the bar and March starts to flirt and dance with wife Myrna Loy, not even knowing that she's his wife because of his drinking. March gave us a classic screen moment there.

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My favorite is Eileen Eckhart in 'The Bad Seed' , Hortense Daigle! She is the mother of the boy that Rhoda Penmark drowned, because she wanted his penmanship medal. (!) The Bad Seed in general does NOT get enough love, imho. It is one of my favorite movies, and Eileen is one of the reasons why....!

 

 

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You are so right, *The Bad Seed *is a film that is definitely not appreciated as much as it should be. The performances of Nancy Kelly, Eileen Heckart, and Henry Jones are outstanding. And Patty McCormack as Rhoda is the most chilling, disturbing performance by a child actor that I have ever seen. Why she did not win an Academy Award is beyond me.

 

Eileen Heckart does portray a very good drunk in the film. Another good portrayal was by *Barbara Loden* in *Splendour in the Grass*.

 

Edited by: Geminigirl on Mar 7, 2012 8:25 PM

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Yes, I agree Eileen Heckart in "The Bad Seed." She played the part on Broadway, I believe before she did the movie. I had the chance to meet her a few years before she died and I told her what a great actress I thought she was. Very gracious lady. Now that she is gone I will break her anonymity- Eileen was a recovering alcoholoc. Maybe her own experience helped her play the role. She finally did win an Oscar for "Butterflies are Free." And her turn as Aunt Flo on "Tha Mary Tyler Moore" show was priceless. Rest in Peace Eileen Heckart.

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I think that"filmimg the play" as was done with Bad Seed takes away from it some what. The wife's father and her husband for instance have more movie experience I think and appear more natural. Even the janitor is believeable. Some of the cast seem broadway stilted. The child and mother especially.

 

 

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I would add to all these drunk portrayals the performance John Barrymore did in *Dinner At Eight* . But I can't be sure if John was acting or not. In any case, the part couldn't be called a "stretch".

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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> {quote:title=TomJH wrote:}{quote}

>

> One of my favourite screen drunk scenes, *Frederic March in The Best Years of Our Lives*, when they're in the bar and March starts to flirt and dance with wife Myrna Loy, not even knowing that she's his wife because of his drinking. March gave us a classic screen moment there.

> I was thinking of Fredric March in *TBYOOL* also, Tom.

>

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, don't forget March is a little tipsy almost throughout the picture, as it appears his drinking is somewhat "helping" him cope with his return to civilian life.

 

 

And so, MY favorite scene of his in that film where he appears to have had a few too many is where he stands up and gives his speech(and a not too subtle public dressing down to his boss) at his Welcome Home banquet.

 

 

(...and I love Myrna Loy in that scene also, where she's taking her folk to tally how many drinks her husband has had, and especially the way she beams with pride at him as he completes his speech...that never fails to put a lump in my throat)

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