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Child Actors Can Make or Break Your Whole Movie


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Far as a chiildren that made the movies, Haley Joel Osment in "The Six Sense". Found it strange I haven't seen him since.

 

Mandy Miller in "Mandy" and :Peter Billingsby in "Christmas Story"

 

Far as breaking a movie, Hillary Duff *almost* did in "Casper Meets Wendy". The wrong choice by which she wasn't all that cute (far from the comic charactor) and was snotty and arogent. Should I blame the lazy casting director or Hollywood not making a decent sequel to the 1995 "Casper" movie?

 

How about a child actress that became a star even though she starred in a turkey. Shirley Temple in "Stand Up and Cheer". Not even she could save that film from being a boring flop.

 

I like to pose the question the other way around. What if a movie makes or breaks a child actor. Case in point Sybil Jason, who got into the wrong studio, Warner Brothers gave her substandard material to work with.

 

Edited by: hamradio on Nov 14, 2012 9:00 PM

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Haley Joel Osmet has been in a few films since The Six Sense: AI, Pay It Forward, (which was lambasted on another thread even though the idea itself isn't bad) Second Hand Lions, Home Of The Giants, and the wonderfully titled The Misadventures Of Dunderheads, (I have it on my DVR.) He doesn't seem to make that many films.

 

Scarlett Johansen gave maybe her best performance when she was 12 in Manny And Lo.

 

I just saw a film called Trust about a 14 year old girl who gets sexually assaulted after meeting a old man on the Internet. Newcomer Liana Liberato gave a memorable heartbreaking performance. (Maybe 14 is older than the intent of the thread?)

 

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

>

>

> I like to pose the question the other way around. What if a movie makes or breaks a child actor. Case in point Sybil Jason, who got into the wrong studio, Warner Brothers gave her substandard material to work with.

>

 

That is certainly true with Ms. Jason and it's something we often debate concerning the one I follow. Would a studio have made a difference?

 

I do have a TV example that breaks the rule. Larry Mathews just may have been the worst child actor ever and The Dick Van Dyke Show is still a classic.

 

Of course, they could just leave him in his room for seasons at a time.

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Just about all the kids in A Christmas Story were real good - and the adults too.

 

And I will make the obligatory Natalie Wood in Miracle on 34th St reference before anyone else!

 

Only the Barone kids of Everybody Loves Raymond were shown less than poor Larry Mathews in TDVDS....

 

Edited by: exapno on Nov 14, 2012 11:07 PM

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Sorry, I made a typo. The girl met an older man not an old man.

 

Dakota Fanning does not seem to have substance abuse issues so she may have one up on Lindsay Lohan.

 

Another good kid performance, (wow back to classic movies) was Peggy Ann Gardner in A Tree Grows In Brooklyn.

 

My favorite scenes in a Shirley Temple movie were Jane Withers acting like a brat, ("oh good Uncle Ed Doesn't have to live with us anymore") I get that kid.

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The two kids in Yasujiro Ozu's Good Morning form a devestating "big guy, little guy" comic duo.

 

Petula Clark had a small but delightful part in I Know Where I'm Going. Another Powell & Pressburger, A Canterbury Tale, features a great war games sequence involving a group of children.

 

The 400 Blows and The Innocents, of course.

 

The Nanny, a Hammer Horror with Bette Davis, has some great child performances in it.

 

More recently, Moonrise Kingdom features two of the best child performances of all time (Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward.) Wes Anderson's earlier Rushmore launched Jason Schwartzman; 17 at the time but clearly incapable of playing older than a high school student.

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True and true. The Barone kids were awful, every one. On Christmas Story, it's a sad career that Flick came to take.

 

ginnyfan, FAR worse than Larry Matthews was I Love Lucy's Little Ricky, his "that's what I've been trying to tell you!" is the stuff that nightmares are made of.

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We've seemed to move a bit from child actors in movies to those who appear in TV shows. OK then, my nomination for a good "kid" actor is the kid who plays "Brick" in "The Middle". I put the quotation marks on kid because my WIFE is convinced he's really 30 years old!

 

 

In movies, MARA WILSON had a lot of chops. PLUS the ability to be utterly adorable in spite of not really being cute. How good is THAT?

 

 

I was never particularily fond of MARGARET O'BRIEN, but still undecided if it's HER, or the type of kids they had her play.

 

 

Larry Mathew's "Ritchie" was the most candy-a**ed, whiny, twerpy little brat ever to grace the tube. I don't BLAME the Petries for keeping him out of sight a lot.

 

 

And I always thought in lieu of how the character Ray Barone behaved, them having children was redundant.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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Sorry, Sepiatone, I tended to turn off movies with kids in them, since I hated Shirley Temple and her ilk. Was it Margaret O'Brien who had that annoying voice? Blech.

 

With television shows, I stuck around for the show, and ignored the kids.

 

Atticus Shaefer of The Middle has Osteogenisis Imperfecta (Brittle Bone Disease), is that what your wife is finding different about him?

 

OT, I loved Natalie Wood in Miracle On 34th Street. Oh, and Josephine the Plumber was an hilarious child actor. Hah, so there are two I liked.

 

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Sepia,

 

Mara Wilson has a lot of chops as an adult, just not on screen. Her blog is great, as is Quinn Cummings' s. I got a good look into the psyche of the former child actor through both of them.

 

Larry Mathews problem, or should I say one of them, was that he would start to grin and look off camera for approval every time he had a line. When they did their reunion show about a decade ago, they still only let him have one scene.

 

Will,

 

If you are going to like a child actor, and it isn't the one I write about ;) , you can't do better than Jane Withers (Josephine to you).

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I saw Moonrise Kingdom a couple of weeks ago. You're right, those kids were great. It might have been one of Wes Anderson's best movie.

 

(maybe another thread can be about Wes Anderson and how his movies resemble 30's screwball comedies.)

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If we're still talkin' television here, all the kids on "Modern Family" are first rate little actors. In fact, they're as good as the adult actors on that show...and they're all very good.

 

(...yep, there is a reason why that show and its actors keep winning Emmy after Emmy)

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I used to think it was acceptable for a child actor to be spotty or just not good. I figured "hey they're just kids" but I saw Dakota and Elle Fanning, Chloe Grace Moretz, Bailee Madison. Then I remembered and rediscovered Shirley Temple and Freddie Bartholomew and now I find it totally unacceptable for child actors not to be on par with them. It just kind of makes me wonder why child actors who are spotty get casted. But I guess they can't all be perfect.

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I made that comment before I saw this, which goes along with my point:

> {quote:title=helenbaby wrote:}{quote}Maybe it has more to do with the director than the children.

And I have to say that, this being said, if the kid is just annoying there's no getting around it.

 

Edited by: LonesomePolecat on Nov 15, 2012 7:02 PM

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