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Dennis Morgan vs Ray Milland


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I know these two men are coem from two different times, but I wanted to get people's opinions. In movies that both of them star in, I start watching the movies trying not to like them but I end up just loving them!

 

Ray Milland, I tell myself that he is not attractive, but then he gets under my skin. Like in the movie Irene, I don't want to like him but his acting and silly hair wins me over everytime.

 

Then I start to watch a Dennis Morgan movie and I tell myself that he is too corny. Yet his charm wins me againa and I love him. It must be his gift of the blarney! In movies like Kitty Foyle, even when he is wrong, he is right.

 

What do you guys think? Who is better? I would have to say Ray Milland.

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Was anyone else as distressed as I was to see Ray Milland in the dreadful "Incredible 2-Headed Transplant"? Such a fine actor, and he apparently was not being offered roles up to his abilities. I know that aging is tougher on actresses, but here's a clear example of what "not being in the loop" can do to an actor as well. Another film he did for AIP, which was noted for it's schlocky pictures, is the surprising good " Panic in the Year Zero." This is a realistic film about what might happen during and after a nuclear attack.(One of the few serious films ever made on the subject i.e. no mutants or giant bugs.)Ray is wonderful in this character study of a civilized husband and father who finds that he must break with the old code of "Civilized" behavior in order to protect his family. An excellent, nuanced performance.

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Yeah, slappy, with Rosie Greer being the other head. I remember going to the drive-in when I was a senior in HS and saw the trailer for that movie. Definitely a step way down for Mr. Milland. Kind of like Crawford in that awful Trog. I think Olivia de Havilland may have been in one of those terrible 1970's horror films too. Poor things.

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Yes, it's sad the types of roles that some of our great actors were relegated to. And slappy, I've never paid much attention to those cheesy horror flicks from the 70's but I'll keep my eye out for "Panic in the Year Zero." After reading your description I'd now like to see it.

 

 

As for who's better, Milland Or Morgan, personally I'd have to go with Morgan. He's in one of my all time favorite movies, "Christmas in Connecticut," and not only did he have a charming personality, but he could sing beautifully. And he was always cool - he just seemed like a regular guy, a guy you could hang out with. I always liked this "naturalness" about him. It made his performances very subtle and real.

 

Milland was certainly a good actor, especially in "The Lost Weekend," but I developed a lesser opinion of him after seeing him in "Easy Living" with Jean Arthur. He acted so stupid in it, comedy was obviously not his forte. And I know it's a screwball comedy, but to me he just couldn't pull it off at all. But when it came to drama, he was definitely good. But between the two, I'd have to choose Dennis Morgan.

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I don't see any valid comparison between the two. They are totally different types. As for acting, I'd have to give the edge to RAY MILLAND--who, incidentally, was also excellent in light comedy. In fact, his rise to stardom depended more on romantic comedies than dramas. And, of course, he was at his peak of dramatic ability in THE LOST WEEKEND.

 

DENNIS MORGAN, on the other hand, could sing a little, could act a little, and certainly was one of the handsomest men at Warner Bros. during the '40s. But he had a very limited range as an actor, dependable as he was. If we're comparing actors to each other, better to compare him with Ronald Reagan--who, as an actor, was also considered a lightweight. Morgan was never considered a strong enough actor to deal with material of Academy Award caliber, while Milland was. So, my friends, the proof is in the pudding.

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Moviejoe; "Panic in the Year Zero" is from 1962 and features Jean Hagen (the unforgettable Lina Lamont in "Singing in the Rain") as Ray's wife and Frankie Avalonas his teen-aged son. Forget who plays his daughter... Good luck trying to see it though. May have to rent or buy it. I has been released on VHS. PS Bracken: there is one good scene in "2 Headed Transplant"; Where Rosie tries to explain to his VERY annoyed wife how this angry white man's head just happened to get grafted onto his body.

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My vote would have to be for Ray Milland. I first saw him many many years ago in "The Uninvited", which thank heavens TCM nnow has in the library now. That was one of the scariest movies I'd ever seen, and I still get goos bumps in spots.

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I think both of these guys are good actors. Morgan is my choice between these two. I like his scottish accent and grin and he plays in a wide variety of quality roles in the 40's. I really enjoyed him in "3 Cheers for the Irish", "Bad Men of Missouri" and "God is my Co-pilot". He's one of my top 10 favorite actors. Ray Milland is very good too. I love him with Ginger Rogers in "The Major and the Minor" and in "The Doctor Takes a Wife" with Loretta Young. Milland definitely had a talent for comedy. Morgan's just a better all around actor in my opinion

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The plain facts dispute the opinion that Morgan "is the best all around actor." Dennis Morgan, however popular he may have been during the 1940s, has not a single award to his credit. No nominations, nothing.

 

RAY MILLAND has won an Oscar for THE LOST WEEKEND, the N.Y. Film Critics Award for the same, a Golden Globe Best Actor for THE THIEF, an Emmy for RICH MAN, POOR MAN in the '70s, and appeared on Broadway with distinction. His film credits are much more distinguished than Dennis Morgan who is really known as a lightweight actor.

 

I like Dennis Morgan, personally, but never would put him in the same class with an actor like Ray Milland who was equally at home in comedy or drama. Incidentally, anyone who doubts that he had any acting ability in comedic roles, has only to watch THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR to see how wonderful he was with wacky comedy. Other great Milland performances were in THE BIG CLOCK (suspense drama with Charles Laughton) and THE UNINVITED (one of the best ghost stories of all time).

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