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Lagamorpha

Stars who you don't think were good actors but still are your favorites

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Sonja Henie was a bit below average in acting talent in my opinion but Maria Montez made her look like Vivien Leigh. Nonetheless I adore both Henie and Montez and love watching their movies.

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I love Faith Domergue but, personally, I don't think she was the greatest actress. I LOVE watching her as a lady scientist in those 1950's sci-fi epics like "It Came From Beneath The Sea", wearing a smock and looking at all those beakers of boiling water while taking notes on a clipboard. "Oh. The water's boiling. I'd better make a note of that." Right.

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Finance---Ava Gardner???? Please explain Ava with a good dozen or so photos. Did she have some sort of otherworldly appeal?? Maybe two dozen photos would help my tiny slobbering mind.

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John Wayne in most of his movies except Red River, The Searchers, The Quiet Man, and Stagecoach was not a very good actor to me. He was an incredibly larger-then-life big-man screen persona with great presence but except for the above movies he was not a good actor IMO though a favorite of mine.

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I like the "Duke" in most of his movies but I've always felt he was only as good as his material. When given a well written character and lines he could deliver the goods. But the really good actors can usually rise above what they have to work with and give a great performance. So I guess I'm saying he was a good, but not great actor. He built that screen persona over many years of work.

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I would add George Raft. I like his style and when given a part that fit his stiff persona he was fine, but he wasn't a very good actor in that he couldn't rise above his persona.

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In the same vein as George Raft, George Bancroft never struck me as incredibly skilled, but I love every picture I have seen him in, especially his later supporting roles. From what I have read about him, his inflated ego often got in the way especially in his prime.

 

A more recent actor who in my opinion is not as skilled as many of his contemporaries is Kevin Costner. It makes me cringe sometimes when he performs his lines like he is reading them directly off the script, especially during love scenes. However, I enjoy almost all of his movies, and any perceived flaws don't seem to get in the way of that enjoyment.

 

I acknowledge finance's argument about John Wayne and his skill, or lack thereof. I don't think anyone could ever compare Wayne to Olivier or Brando, or hundreds of other actors who by training or pedigree were much more skilled. I am sure this topic has been argued for years ad nauseum on these message boards. So it's not my intent to re-open that can of worms. However, I love almost every picture John Wayne ever made especially the westerns. I would watch any of them, even the Yakima Canutt chasing himself ones from the 30s, anytime. Few of his performances were Oscar-worthy, but it doesn't matter. To me, it is all about the feeling I get watching those films. The true beauty of film is that entertainment is strictly in the eye of the beholder. That is why this is such a great question. Thank you for offering it.

 

By the way, I enjoy the work of Olivier and Brando and the hundreds of others also.

 

Edited by: tommyphils31 on Nov 26, 2013 8:55 PM

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Montez was a wooden actress whose only asset ws her dark skinned beauty. Henie was only called upon to "ACT" to stitch her skating scenes together. Veronica Lake would have flunked a high school acting class.

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As was said in The Scarlet Primpernel; Nothing is as bad as something that isn't bad.

 

(in reply to someone saying something 'wasn't bad').

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Audie Murphy. I agree with the TIME Magazine review of (I Think) INVASION USA. Discussing star Chuck Norris, the article said, in part: "If he is more in control of his career than most athletes-turned-actor, he is also the most bankable truly bad actor since Audie Murphy."

 

He worked best within his range of talent. When cast outside that range, the story had to be carried by an able supporting cast. THE UNFORGIVEN, POSSE FROM HELL, and NO NAME ON THE BULLET were the best scripts he ever worked with in terms of his strengths as an actor.

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.....but she would have aced a peek-a-boo hair style class.

 

Both Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake fit this category as a team.    They made 4 movies together and 3 of them are really good movies.  But it isn't because of their acting.    Their personas fit the characters and the vibe of these noir \ criime pictures.  

 

But in each of these films there were other actors that were much better; Brian Donlevy, Howard De Silva,  Laid Cregar,  etc....

 

At least Ladd improved as time marched on. 

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