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Favorite International Star

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The coolest man to ever emerge from the international ranks has got to be Jean Gabin. Gabin is often cited as the French Bogart, but I have always found him to exude more of a machismo than Bogart. I particulary enjoy Gabin's full talents in movies such as The Grand Illusion, Lady Killer, P?p? le Moko, and many more. My second favorite international star is Toshiro Mifune who also exudes that certain essence of cool that alot of American actors lack.

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I couldn't begin to document my favorite foreign stars, since I can't remember their names. But since they are not categorically 'stars' but can all act Tom Cruise under the table, let's just say just about all foreign actors, especially those trained on the British stage, are my favorites.


However, I find the career of Roberto Benigni especially interesting. He was just wonderful in Johnny Stecchino, but has been cloyingly annoying (a la Robin Williams) in just about everything else. Even his 'you like me, you really like me' jump on the armrests at the Oscars was annoying. And where has he been lately?

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as I like all the people you've already mentioned, especially Marcello, so I'll add:


Anton Walbrook

Jean Marais

Dirk Bogarde

Terence Stamp

Rachel Roberts

Simone Signoret

David Hemmings

Monica Vitti

Oskar Werner

Jean-Paul Belmondo

Edward Woodward

the Fox brothers, Edward and James

Anton Diffring

Michael Rennie

Valentina Cortese

And last but not least...don't laugh, that Nikolai Cherkasov, who played Ivan the Terrible. His ability to go from a youthful looking man to the old gaunt and diabolical Ivan, was fascinating!

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My list would be so long.


An interesting approach too is to consider famous "collaborations", i.e., Mifune and Kurosawa, Giannini and Wertmuller, Karina and Luc-Godard. I like all of these ... (Who can think of others?).


Jacques Tati is a favorite of mine. Though primarily a director (actually, I'm wrong, he was foremost a pantominist), he gave us the inimitable Monsieur Hulot in a number of movies, including one of my favorites of all time, Mon Oncle.


This could be a great thread. International movies and stars seem to get short shrift. I'm going to be thinking more about this.


Thank you, Nickdimeo, for bringing it up!

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My list would be very, very long so I'll just name a few.


In Martial Arts/Samurai type movies..I love the Zatoichi and I believe that actor is Shintaro Katsu , I also enjoy Toshiro Mifune/Akira Kurosawa films, Jet Li (Hero), Ken Wantanabe (The Last Samurai)and Sammo Hung from kung fu films.


Others..I loved Gerard Depardieu in Cyrano and I loved Roberto Benini in Life Is Beautiful,this movie tore my heart out. I cried for hours after it was over.



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Cool topic! I find it even more interesting because I just became interested in foreign films from an international film class I took this year. I must say that I really like Guilietta Masina, who played in a few of Fellini's films (she was Fellini's wife). Loved her in Nights of Cabiria, one of my favorite films. I also like Harriet Andersson (not sure of spelling), Gunnar Bjornstrand (once again, not sure of spelling) and Bibi Andersson from Sweden. All three played in many of Ingmar Bergman's films, including Smiles of a Summer Night, another one of my favorites.

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Amitabh. Not for nothing was he named "Star of the Millenium."

Raj Kapoor.

Guru Dutt.

Naseeruddin Shah.

Shahrukh Khan.

Akshaye Khanna.



Shabana Azmi.


Zeenat Aman.

Manisha Koirala.

Urmila Matondkar.

Aishwariya Rai.


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I was so pleased to find that having not experienced the joys of his films, that they were so much more amusing to me, than reading about them in film books, made them appear.


They really just have to be seen. And I also like trying new things that I had thought I would not enjoy...based on being too set in my ways, and finding I was wrong to have ignored them for so long.


In the past year, having put Tati on a back burner for so long, and being that his stuff just has to be bought, as I've never seen it on television...I finally got sensible and ordered "Mon Oncle" from Criterion.


What a delight! HIs sight gags are just so sublime, and I thought the film might start off slowly, but I was laughing from the first minute after the credits. The parts with the boys playing gags on passersby, and the water spraying, and then the fancy home with all the bizarre modern conveniences...is unlike any film I've ever seen.


I then bought his seaside vacation film and loved it too, but am not distraught that "Playtime" is OOP. I can only hope I find a copy of it somewhere. I now can see tributes to Tati in other films, like with a man carrying a red tube emulating him in the background of a scene, and it is fun to know that people like the Pythons admired Tati's filmic contribution.


I like your idea about International film collaborations, so I shall nominate Michaelangelo Antonioni, and his muse, Monica Vitti.


Great thread, Nick!

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therealfuster, I understand perfectly when you say Mon Oncle is "unlike any film I've ever seen," because I think the movie genuinely unique, not so much in it?s main theme---the little wars between man and machine (gadgetry)---but in its comic technique. Aside from the sight gags (that you pointed out), or maybe because of them, there is something subtle going on that I don?t think is easy to nail down. All I know is that after viewing this picture (as well as Playtime), I can go for a walk or a drive and look around at everyday, ordinary people, places, and things and see something vaguely amusing about them, as if seen through a Tati lens. Even sound effects can have a comic effect. I can't name any other picture that does this in quite this way.


Sort of like gazing at Escher?s pictures for hours and then looking around at real objects while seeming to discover some newfound, heretofore untapped visual acuity.


If I understand correctly that you haven?t seen Playtime yet, I envy you. Speaking of uniqueness, there is no experience quite so, as seeing a great film for the first time.


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  • 3 months later...

The luminescent and extraordinarily charismatic Gong Li.

For the uninitiated, watch Raise the Red Lantern and you will be transfixed by her hypnotic face. Isabelle Adjani (who I wish would make more english speaking films) is a distant second.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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