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Give actors the credit they deserve.


Vertigo2
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I am surprised by a new trend in film credits to list actors' names LAST. It's one thing to skip the names at the film's beginning ( nowadays they don't even always bother with the title of the movie) but as a film fan who admires good acting I like to see who played whom. Even in trailers every last producer's name is given, but often no names of who is in it. Is the SAG that weak that they can't determine that actors are given more immediate credit than the accountants, caterers, or carpenters who worked on the set?

I hated the trend that probably stemmed from all the special effects epics beginning in the late 70's of having credits after the film ends that go on forever. I like to see a movie from first frame to last (OCD), but also enjoy listening to the film's soundtrack, but it has become more and more of an effort as the list of names grew longer and longer and now that endless list of credits often has actors listed late or near the end I am often the only one sitting there as the final frame goes by and the theatre clean-up crew stares at me like "Why are you still here?"

SPOILER ALERT I was amused though by the fact that at the end of the recent "Thor" sequel there were only about three or four other people remaining in the theatre in what had been a packed house to see the actual last moment of the film when Thor returns to London and reunites with his lady love (Natalie Portman) in a nice romantic kiss and embrace as one of the monsters unleashed from his world lopes by outside. "That'll teach them all for leaving early," I thought, including my impatient friend who was waiting for me in the lobby.

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I agree with you.........personally, I don't know much about SAG, or why any actor or actress should ever be excluded from the cast. Case in point, Sylvia Arslan portrayed young Fanny Skeffington brilliantly. I still tear up during the restaurant scene with Claude Rains. Yet she was not credited for the role. It drove me crazy for years that I did not know who this talented young actress was. Finally, after purchasing my computer I googled the information. And I also savor a good musical score; that's one thing I like about the MeTv channel...........after every show, they take the time to play the whole theme song, and run the credits....slowly, so that I can read them and appreciate who was responsible for what I just viewed.................

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Vertigo and GG totally agree. When watching a tv show (not the old ones) but contemporary ones, it's driven me nuts over the years to see the credits sped up. What is also intolerable is that they cut the credits, place them in a tiny spot on the side while showing scenes from another upcoming show. Just another example of how rude and disrespectful people in charge are becoming

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The way that many studios did it in the 30's was perfect: After the studio logo and the opening title shot, you'd see brief shots of the leading actors of the film. For instance, in The Public Enemy, we'd see a grinning Jimmy Cagney swiping the beer off his puss (or something like that), while underneath it would say "JAMES CAGNEY as Tom Powers", and so on, down to the fifth or sixth character actor. There might be a brief mention after that of the top dozen non-actors involved in the film, always including the producer and the director, but that was it. For those who are (or were) fairly new to this period of Hollywood, it was a great way to learn to associate the names of the actors with their faces.

 

And at the end, it just said THE END. Which it was. The tenth assistant makeup crew members would have to find their glory in their paychecks.

 

I should add that in the 50''s and early 60's this practice was revived in a handful of movies, but with the names and faces coming at the end, rather than at the beginning. Either way was far more enjoyable than today's laundry list of people whose names mean nothing to 99.99999% of the audience outside their friends and family members.

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> And I also savor a good musical score; that's one thing I like about the MeTv channel...........after every show, they take the time to play the whole theme song, and run the credits....slowly, so that I can read them and appreciate who was responsible for what I just viewed.................

 

What's funny in that comment Gemini is that they do NOT play the credits slowly. They play them at the original pace! And what I also like about ME is they don't use up screen space with graphics telling us what's coming on in SIX WEEKS.

 

As for movies, what's great about Vertigo's comments was the patience he claimed in waiting through all the useless credit info to get to what he wanted. THEN catching something pertinent to the film. WHY do they do that? Your guess is good as mine. Some still do the "outtake" thing. But this has been a peeve of mine for years. It's not a recent thing.

 

Now, I can press a button on my remote to get the information I want, usually what's the name of the MOVIE that's coming on. Before, I had to wait until all the other egos were massaged...

 

"Slimtonone Films presents...."

 

"Along with Shifty Entertainment...."

 

"And Noclue Films...."

 

"An Earstwhile productions presentation..."

 

"In association with..."

 

"Bilious Bobcat distributors..."

 

"A Steptoe McGurk film..."

 

"For..."

 

"Jaundiced Syndicate Inc."

 

And on and on and on...

 

At the end of the film, we DO get to see who was in the cast, but names only. NOT the parts they played. Maybe, just MAYBE, that list will show up, as originally posted, AFTER we learn who did what right down to who cleaned the toilets on the Canadian crew.

 

I'm just as disgusted with it as anyone else.

 

Sepiatone

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Coincidentally after this discussion here, I saw August:Osage County today (Meryl Streep -wow! - another awesome performance) and guess what? After the film ended they did the kind of credit AndyM and I had praised 1930's films for using. They showed a still of each actor and gave the actor's name! Thank you to whomever brought ths about. Loved it.

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I think you're right about that.

 

Another gripe I have is that I really don't care who catered the set, I don't care where the flowers came from, I don't care who gave colonics to the leading lady (they haven't gone that far but I'm sure it's coming!).

 

Just give us the essentials and keep it simple!

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Last year I attended a big screen showing of the remastered The Great Escape. That movie ended with out takes of the cast, starting with the smaller roles and building up to the big stars - Steve McQueen as Hilts, The Cooler King. This was accompanied by a reprise of Bernstein's rousing march theme.

The audience cheered and clapped louder as every name appeared. Lovely experience.

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I believe in giving credit where credit is due, but....

 

How does knowing who the caterer or the limo drivers were SELL THE MOVIE? Nobody cares about that useless info.

 

IMO, unless it's an Academy Award category, leave the other ENDLESS credits OFF.

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I agree that the actors' names should be listed first or at least close to first. Usually it's an actor, actress, specific pairing of actors or a specific director that brings in the movie crowds. Listing their names ahead of the title of the film makes complete sense. If it's an ensemble piece, I would probably list the name of the movie first, the major actors second, then the producer, director and anyone else that provided the most assistance in getting the film made. Or those who are "the names" of the movie and/or those who probably got paid the most (lol) and whose contracts dictated their credit placement. Since today's actors aren't contracted to any specific studio, I don't know if they negotiate their credit placement for each film, or not at all. Back in the day, actors had it in their contracts that they would be credited above the title, or receive top billing (regardless of how large their role was in the film. Case in point: Errol Flynn received top billing in "The Prince and the Pauper" even though he played neither the prince nor the pauper. He was just the "name" that would bring in the audience). I think movie credits these days have gotten out of hand, especially on an animated and/or special effects heavy film.

 

One of the things I love about old movies is how short the credits are. You'll get 1-3 slides in the beginning showing the major players who worked on the film, then the movie starts. The end of the film will be roughly the same credits again. They don't list every single person who showed their face (or body, foot, hand, whatever) in the film. If the actor had a role that was either crucial to the plot or they had a small part with a couple lines, I agree they deserve a credit. However, if their whole role, non-speaking, was serving coffee to Humphrey Bogart and that's it, their job was basically an extra

 

Nowadays with all the extra content interspersed with the credits and a lot of movies (especially those which will most likely produce sequels) where there will be an extra scene at the end which usually alludes to the next movie. You've almost got to sit through the 5 hours of credits just to get to the extra scene, otherwise, you haven't "seen" the whole movie. Haha. I like when the credits have blooper reels interspersed. Bloopers are usually always funny. Anyway, I don't care about who the assistant to the assistant of George Clooney was, who catered the production, who cleaned the dressing rooms, whatever. A lot of the credits aren't even people who worked on the movie directly, they just supported the people who were making the movie. They got their credit, in the form of a paycheck.

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@speedracer: if their whole role, non-speaking, was serving coffee to Humphrey Bogart and that's it, their job was basically an extra.

 

It's fun to spot familiar faces in such uncredited roles, like Stooges maven Ann Doran as a waitress in SUN VALLEY SERENADE. But credits can help: I didn't realize the waitress serving beer to Robert Mitchum in CAPE FEAR was Joan Staley until I saw it in the credits.

 

This is not saying we should have to sit thru hours of paymasters and assistants to Ms. Parker in our lifetimes.

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On an "Untouchables" episode on METV last night( or early this morning?), JAMES CAAN showed up as "Special guest star" Lee Marvin's brother. But his name was in the closing credits...just UNDER actor ROY THINNES, who played another brother!

 

Sepiatone

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