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Great Movie Performances By Child Actors


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Great list of performances. I didn't see Christian Bale in Empire of the Sun being mentioned (sorry if it was & I missed it).

 

A few more from the modern era:

 

Anna Paquin in Fly Away Home

 

Asa Butterfield & Chloe Grace Moretz in Hugo

 

Elle Fanning in Super 8 (though the movie itself was a letdown)

 

P.S. In some ways, I think it's more impressive when a kid gives a great comedic performance compared to playing a dramatic role.

 

Oh and I removed Phoenix from my list since I think he probably was in his late teens at the time.

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Has anyone else seen No Greater Glory (1934)? It came on during the Second Looks spotlight, and I haven't seen it air since. It's an engaging movie with some good performances, especially young George Breakston, who stars. The film's lead cast is almost entirely children, some teenagers. It seems to make a strong statement about war, though I've heard varied opinions of exactly what that statement is.

 

Apr_NoGreaterGlory.jpg

 

I think that's George behind his commanding officer, played by Jimmy Butler. He was good in this, too.

 

noGreaterGlory1_b-e1342372209531.jpg

 

Children at war.

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Ugghh - The Piano.

 

One of my least favorite movies ever.

Totally agree with you, what an overrated pile.  I found both Hunter and Paquin really annoying and the plot rather tedious, although I usually like movies like that. Paging Eleanor Parker!

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I removed Phoenix from my list since I think he probably was in his late teens at the time.

 

I included River Phoenix  In STAND BY ME (as well as Wil Wheaton) on my list.

River Phoenix was 15 at the time the movie was shot; Wil Wheaton was 13. 

The characters they play in the movie are 12. 

At 18, River Phoenix was nomiated for a Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in RUNNING ON EMPTY although he has the most screen time of any actor in the movie. 

 

standbyme_chris.jpg

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Totally agree with you, what an overrated pile.  I found both Hunter and Paquin really annoying and the plot rather tedious, although I usually like movies like that. Paging Eleanor Parker!

 

Just five years after this one, Anna Paquin was in Hurlyburly, and at 15 or 16, I thought she did a great job in her role as Donna.  It certainly was quite a different turn from The Piano.

 

I thought Margaret O'Brien and Butch Jenkins were pretty good in 'Our Vines Have Tender Grapes'.

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My favorite child actors are Sybll Jason, and Billy Gray.

 

Though he shot more to fame as Bud on tv in "Father Knows Best", he was so fab in films like "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and others.

 

I think he even has a bit part in "In a Lonely Place" asking Dixon Steele for his autograph.

 

Of course, Jackie Coogan is my all-time favorite child star and again I will beg TCM to show some of his old silent films, and then early talkies of the 1930's, like "Tom Sawyer".

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My favorite child actors are Sybll Jason, and Billy Gray.

 

Though he shot more to fame as Bud on tv in "Father Knows Best", he was so fab in films like "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and others.

 

 

 

Billy Gray was very good as Doris Day's brother in ON MOONLIGHT and BY THE LIGHT OF THE SILVERY MOON. 

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Coming in very late here, but first reaction to the question is Judy. Has to be one of the great iconic classic performances to get all the nuances of emotions called for. Followed by Tatum. That performance was no fluke. It's too good. Brandon De Wilde and the child from the Search.   

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  • 3 weeks later...

THE 400 BLOWS aired this morning as part of the Summer Under The Stars tribute to Jeanne Moreau.

While Moreau's role in the film is a small one (her "character" is "Woman In Street With Dog"), I am glad TCM aired the film. It was a great way to start the day.

I can watch Jean-Pierre Leaud's performance  as Antoine Doinel in this movie over and over.

 

Here is his first audition for the film:

 

 

 

(Yes, I've posted this clip before, but I am posting it again.)  

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My apologies if someone has already mentioned Peggy Ann Garner in A Tree grows In Brooklyn.

 

Runner up possibly Umas Das Gupta in Pather Panchali

 

Bogie56:  Have you posted on the various threads related to an actor being miscast for a part?   You wouldn't need say anything since your profile picture tells it all!  

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StBarts, I think you may have been the first to mention Brandon de Wilde and you beat me to the punch. 

 

Actually I was the first to mention Brandon deWilde in the very first post of this thread.

I have been asking TCM for a tribute to Brandon deWilde for quite some time, particularly asking that they air BLUE DENIM, which has never been released on video.

 

8729216604_3dd5990c16_z.jpg

 

 

Here is my list from the very first post of this thread:

 

Freddie Bartholomew CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS

Elizabeth Taylor NATIONAL VELVET

Natalie Wood MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET

Brandon deWilde SHANE

Jean-Pierre Leaud THE 400 BLOWS

Mary Badham TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

Tatum O’Neal PAPER MOON

River Phoenix STAND BY ME

Will Wheaton STAND BY ME

Leonardo DiCaprio THIS BOY’S LIFE

 

 

In hindsight (after only posters mentioned them) I am adding:

Ivan Jandl THE SEARCH

Luciano De Ambrosis THE CHILDREN ARE WATCHING US

 

 

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  • 2 months later...
  • 8 months later...

Bogie56:  Have you posted on the various threads related to an actor being miscast for a part?   You wouldn't need say anything since your profile picture tells it all!  

Geesh ... how time flies JamesJazz. 

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