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Tyrone Power


jbowman46
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I would love to see the movie "Mississippi Gambler" once again on TCM

 

I've always enjoyed MG but then I have a fondness for movies about old New Orleans.

 

Check out The Gambler From Natchez, which came out a year later. It's an antebellum rewrite of The Count Of Monte Cristo.

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TCM has shown this movie before so hopefully TCM will show it again.  

Are you sure about that, James? I got TCM in 2005 and they haven't seen it since then.

 

For those who really want top see it, The Mississippi Gambler is available from the Universal Vault collection. It can be found on amazon, among other locations. I happen to have a copy on order now.

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[sorry, didn't mean to hit quote button] ---laffite

 

Not a fan. One of the least convincing actors I've ever seen. There is something amusing about him on screen, up there trying to act. He looks so damn pleased just to be in a film. But, hey, wait a minute, there's good news. He's actually pretty good in Jesse James (1939). an anomaly. Henry Fonda, co-star, plays brother Frank.

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Not a fan. One of the least convincing actors I've ever seen. There is something amusing about him on screen, up there trying to act. He looks so damn pleased just to be in a film.

 

I've never gotten that pleased-with-himself vibe from Power.

 

There were invariably other other actors who could have played Power's roles with more depth and conviction. He was never as able a swashbuckler as Flynn, as believable a cowboy as Cooper, as amusing a light comedian as Grant, or as charming a rogue as Cagney. But Power was generally quite competent in all those roles.

 

I certainly always found him more interesting and lively on screen than his successor as Fox's golden boy, Gregory Peck.

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Not a fan. One of the least convincing actors I've ever seen. There is something amusing about him on screen, up there trying to act. He looks so damn pleased just to be in a film. But, hey, wait a minute, there's good news. He's actually pretty good in Jesse James (1939). an anomaly. Henry Fonda, co-star, plays brother Frank.

That assessment could be impacted to a degree, based upon which Power films you've seen.

 

I will admit that, generally speaking, I do find him to be charming enough but a bit callow in most of his '30s films. Not much better than the '30s Robert Taylor over at MGM then. But just as Taylor improved with time, so, too, did Power.

 

Starting with 1940's Mark of Zorro he really grew as a screen personality,IMHO, and showed off, among other things, a beguiling ability at subtle humour. He is also, in my opinion, truly romantic and dashing as an adventurer in that film, as well.

 

But perhaps you don't care for swashbucklers.

 

If that is the case, then look at what are considered to be his strongest dramatic performances in Nightmare Alley, Long Gray Line (in which he has a perfect Irish brogue in a Mr. Chips-type role), and Abandon Ship, one of his most starkly realistic characterizations in which he must portray a man caught up in a morale conflict versus pragmatic realities.

 

If you've seen those performances and still don't care for Power, well then, fine, you probably never will be a fan.

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laffite, you know you're my buddy and I love you, BUT how dare you! That's Hogwash!That's my heartrob you're talking about LOL- Seriously, I think you're WRONG,WRONG,WRONG- maybe you're confusing him with a different actor and NOT MY TYRONE LOL

 

LOL, you crack me up, Lav ...

 

... but to my immense displeasure I must inform you that I am not confusing him with a different actor. He is just another of these pretty-boy, leading men, image icons, who can't act their way out of a paper bag.

 

... but hey, I'm sure he was a nice man and if I were a girl I'm sure I would be as smitten as you are.

 

...remember too, I said he was a pretty good Jesse James. Is that worth anything? Yes? ...

 

...am I forgiven? :D

 

...please :D

 

Seriously, Lav, have you seen that movie? If not, you should, he is younger and quite dashingly good looking. You'll love him even more.

:)

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NO! You are Not forgiven :D I LOVE HIM, and I think he was a great actor :D and I've seen many, many Tyrone movies. Oh c'mon now. He was not just a pretty boy. Watch BLOOD and SAND, WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION, THE RAZOR'S EDGE, SON OF FURY, THE GREY LINE, JESSE JAMES, etc. This is the very first time we're not in agreement, so I'll reluctantly give you a pass on this one :D But you're still WRONG, WRONG, WRONG

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My only problem with Tyrone Power is with the movies he was in, not with Power himself.  When he was given a meaty role like Stan in Nightmare Alley or Leonard Vole in Witness For The Prosecution, he was terrific.  But when your main point is to look pretty and dress up in some antiquated costume and do sword tricks, that can get old and tired pretty fast.

nightmare-alley-12.jpg

THIS

 

01_Tyrone+Power+as+Zorro.jpg

NOT THIS

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I've never gotten that pleased-with-himself vibe from Power.

 

There were invariably other other actors who could have played Power's roles with more depth and conviction. He was never as able a swashbuckler as Flynn, as believable a cowboy as Cooper, as amusing a light comedian as Grant, or as charming a rogue as Cagney. But Power was generally quite competent in all those roles.

 

I certainly always found him more interesting and lively on screen than his successor as Fox's golden boy, Gregory Peck.

 

Not exactly "pleased with himself" but rather a self-consciousness that is not professional (amateurish).

 

You say he is competent but at the same time you compare him unfavorably with several other actors in various roles. That's not necessarily a contradiction but it's not an overwhelming vote of confidence either. (But it's certainly honest, and I appreciate that).

 

In my view, Gregory Peck is the polar opposite of Tyrone Power. He has everything in the way of sheer onscreen appeal and acting skill that Tyrone Power does not have, IMO.

 

But let me say this, I don't think I'm contradicting myself in saying that Tyrone Power is probably a better actor than I think he is. I may simply have a perceptual problem with him. (After all, I am in the minority.) All of this is subjective, obviously ... and I may just not get it with him.

 

Another thing, I haven't seen all his movies, including some that I believe are considered his biggest ... so who knows ... ?

 

I haven't seen Blood and Sand (gasp!) so maybe I shouldn't pronounce so heavily ... Hear that, Lavender, I'm giving him another chance

:D

 

Ya know, folks, Lavender says she's giving me a pass on this ... but I don't know ...I think I better give ole Ty here another chance ...

:D

;)

--

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My only problem with Tyrone Power is with the movies he was in, not with Power himself.  When he was given a meaty role like Stan in Nightmare Alley or Leonard Vole in Witness For The Prosecution, he was terrific.  But when your main point is to look pretty and dress up in some antiquated costume and do sword tricks, that can get old and tired pretty fast.

nightmare-alley-12.jpg

THIS

 

01_Tyrone+Power+as+Zorro.jpg

NOT THIS

Your above statement, Andy, is more a reflection, I feel, of your own preference for one genre (and intolerance of the other) than it is a balanced assessment on Power's versatility as an actor. You may not care for swashbucklers but to those who do Power's perfomance in The Mark of Zorro ranks as a classic (and his duel with Rathbone at the film's climax as a remarkable demonstration of fencing choreography).

 

In complete contrast to that, Power was equally impressive in Nightmare Alley in portraying a man with a souless ambition that permitted him to exploit others while at the same time using his charm and physical attractiveness as lures.

 

The list of actors who have succeeded in their portraits of denizens of the dark streets and back alleys in film noir is far longer than those who have excelled in swashbucklers. It takes a deft touch to bring convincing athleticism combined with physical attractiveness, charm, a lightness in spirit and sense of romance to portray a great movie swashbuckler. Flynn, Power in The Mark of Zorro, Granger in Scaramouche and Fairbanks in the best of his silents are the very few indivduals who could carry off that genre convincingly, and they're pretty unique in their ability to do so. Theirs is a talent that is too often overlooked.

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Your above statement, Andy, is more a reflection, I feel, of your own preference for one genre (and intolerance of the other) than it is a balanced assessment on Power's versatility as an actor. You may not care for swashbucklers but to those who do Power's perfomance in The Mark of Zorro ranks as a classic (and his duel with Rathbone at the film's climax as a remarkable demonstration of fencing choreography).

 

In complete contrast to that, Power was equally impressive in Nightmare Alley in portraying a man with a souless ambition that permitted him to exploit others while at the same time using his charm and physical attractive as lures.

 

The list of actors who have succeeded in their portraits of denizens of the dark streets and back alleys in film noir is far longer than those who have excelled in swashbucklers. It takes a deft touch to bring convincing athleticism combined with physical attractiveness, charm, a lightness in spirit and sense of romance to portray a great movie swashbuckler. Flynn, Power in The Mark of Zorro, Granger in Scaramouche and Fairbanks in the best of his silents are the very few indivduals who could carry off that genre convincingly, and they're pretty unique in their ability to do so. Theirs is a talent that is too often overlooked.

Tom, I checked LIKE THIS, but LOVE THIS would be more accurate. This week it will be 6 years I've been on the boards, in those 6 years this post of yours about Tyrone in his Swashbuckler roles is the best and most perfect decscription of what made Tyrone so great and I agree that Flynn, Granger( as Scaramouche) and Fairbanks were brilliant.

 

Tyrone was a great actor and believeable in all genres. Thank You for a wonderful post :)

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Your above statement, Andy, is more a reflection, I feel, of your own preference for one genre (and intolerance of the other) than it is a balanced assessment on Power's versatility as an actor. You may not care for swashbucklers but to those who do Power's perfomance in The Mark of Zorro ranks as a classic (and his duel with Rathbone at the film's climax as a remarkable demonstration of fencing choreography).

 

In complete contrast to that, Power was equally impressive in Nightmare Alley in portraying a man with a souless ambition that permitted him to exploit others while at the same time using his charm and physical attractive as lures.

 

The list of actors who have succeeded in their portraits of denizens of the dark streets and back alleys in film noir is far longer than those who have excelled in swashbucklers. It takes a deft touch to bring convincing athleticism combined with physical attractiveness, charm, a lightness in spirit and sense of romance to portray a great movie swashbuckler. Flynn, Power in The Mark of Zorro, Granger in Scaramouche and Fairbanks in the best of his silents are the very few indivduals who could carry off that genre convincingly, and they're pretty unique in their ability to do so. Theirs is a talent that is too often overlooked.

 

Well I'm in agreement with Andy.   To me the performance by Power in The Mark of Zorro is a grade below others in this genre.  I would also include Leslie Howard in The Scarlett Primpernel.   e.g.  when the Power character is acting like a wimp I find him far less convincing then Howard in Primpernel.

 

Power was able to get the job done but I feel he had only two great performances.     

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Thanks very much for the compliment, lavenderblue.

 

I know that Tyrone Power is a star that you truly love. I get the impression that he may even be your favourite, therefore you may not be enthralled with what I am about to say.

 

I can understand why those who have perhaps seen him in a limited number of his films may jump to an unfair conclusion about his talent because an awful lot of his Fox films really did limit his opportuities to shine. That, I feel, is particularly true of his '30s films (Lloyds of London, In Old Chicago, etc - gad, need we mention Marie Antoinette?).

 

However, when Power was given the opportunity it's apparent that he could, indeed, be a fine actor. When I look at the complete conviction of his work when he did get the opportunity to show that he coud be something other than a pretty face, it's pretty darned impressive, I think.

 

From costume adventure (Zorro) to seedy melodrama (Nightmare Alley) to sentimental character work in which he convincingly ages (Long Gray Line) to starkly realistic, even grim, drama (Abandon Ship) to courtoom thriller (Witness for the Prosecution), Power is exceptionally good, in my opinion.

 

I'm not certain that he was the great actor that you think he was but part of the reason for that is because he simply wasn't given even more opportunities to demonstrate his range. When you look at the best of his work, however, it's all the more frustrating that he died so young at a time when he seemed to be largely breaking away from his more limited acting assignments from the past.

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Well I'm in agreement with Andy.   To me the performance by Power in The Mark of Zorro is a grade below others in this genre.  I would also include Leslie Howard in The Scarlett Primpernel.   e.g.  when the Power character is acting like a wimp I find him far less convincing then Howard in Primpernel.

 

Power was able to get the job done but I feel he had only two great performances.     

James, we differ on this one, obviously. I think that Power's work in Zorro ranks up there with the best of the genre. I'm not even certain that Flynn could have been as effective in this particular film because I don't know if Errol could have pulled off the fey humour of the Don Diego scenes with the same understated skill as did Tyrone.

 

You may find Power less convincing as a wimp than Leslie Howard, but what about the fact that his Don Diego performance is then combined with his conviction as Zorro with a sword? The truth is, I find Howard to be pretty much a caricature of a pansy in those comedy scenes (though I still enjoy watching him) while Power is far more subtle (and credible, in my opinion).

 

I have to add, though, that Zorro's director (Rouben Mamoulian) was exceptionally clever at disguising the fact that Power does very few of the action scenes in this film. He is constantly doubled, whether jumping in and out of bushes at night, leaping a wall or riding a horse in a distance shot. Where we do see Power, of course, is in much of the duel with Rathbone. And that, of course, is the part of the film that most fans remember.

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Thanks very much for the compliment, lavenderblue.

 

I know that Tyrone Power is a star that you truly love. I get the impression that he may even be your favourite, therefore you may not be enthralled with what I am about to say.

 

I can understand why those who have perhaps seen him in a limited number of his films may jump to an unfair conclusion about his talent because an awful lot of his Fox films really did limit his opportuities to shine. That, I feel, is particularly true of his '30s films (Lloyds of London, In Old Chicago, etc - gad, need we mention Marie Antoinette?).

 

However, when Power was given the opportunity it's apparent that he could, indeed, be a fine actor. When I look at the complete conviction of his work when he did get the opportunity to show that he coud be something other than a pretty face, it's pretty darned impressive, I think.

 

From costume adventure (Zorro) to seedy melodrama (Nightmare Alley) to sentimental character work in which he convincingly ages (Long Gray Line) to starkly realistic, even grim, drama (Abandon Ship) to courtoom thriller (Witness for the Prosecution), Power is exceptionally good, in my opinion.

 

I'm not certain that he was the great actor that you think he was but part of the reason for that is because he simply wasn't given even more opportunities to demonstrate his range. When you look at the best of his work, however, it's all the more frustrating that he died so young at a time when he seemed to be largely breaking away from his more limited acting assignments from the past.

 

Well said Tom.   I also see you understand that we are not bashing Power but that we can only judge what is available.   e.g.  I really wish Power was given a movie role like Bogie had in The African Queen.    Could he had pulled off that type of role?  A role where two actors dominate most of the scenes and there is little action?      When pushed Power could deliver so it is safe to assume he could have pulled that off.  

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Thanks very much for the compliment, lavenderblue.

 

I know that Tyrone Power is a star that you truly love. I get the impression that he may even be your favourite, therefore you may not be enthralled with what I am about to say.

 

I can understand why those who have perhaps seen him in a limited number of his films may jump to an unfair conclusion about his talent because an awful lot of his Fox films really did limit his opportuities to shine. That, I feel, is particularly true of his '30s films (Lloyds of London, In Old Chicago, etc - gad, need we mention Marie Antoinette?).

 

However, when Power was given the opportunity it's apparent that he could, indeed, be a fine actor. When I look at the complete conviction of his work when he did get the opportunity to show that he coud be something other than a pretty face, it's pretty darned impressive, I think.

 

From costume adventure (Zorro) to seedy melodrama (Nightmare Alley) to sentimental character work in which he convincingly ages (Long Gray Line) to starkly realistic, even grim, drama (Abandon Ship) to courtoom thriller (Witness for the Prosecution), Power is exceptionally good, in my opinion.

 

I'm not certain that he was the great actor that you think he was but part of the reason for that is because he simply wasn't given even more opportunities to demonstrate his range. When you look at the best of his work, however, it's all the more frustrating that he died so young at a time when he seemed to be largely breaking away from his more limited acting assignments from the past.

No problem with your post, in fact again beautifully written and true. For me it wasn't just that beautiful face of his, I believed him in his roles.i think he took the craft seriously and yes he was another actor frustrated with some of the roles he was given.

 

His untimely death was tragic and a great loss, not just for his loved ones and the son he so desperately wanted and never got to know. But I also believe that he would have gone on to make some great films and we all would have come to consider Tyrone one of the great actors.

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Laffite, not just the only reason but one of the reasons I'm so fond of you, you're open and fair minded :) Tyrone was classically trained as an actor. He began on the stage, not in films. You must see NIGHTMARE ALLEY, it's a great performance.

 

Dear Lavender, thank you for that, I fear you may be a little too kind though :-). It's easy to be fair minded when there is so little at stake. After all, I don't HATE the guy.

:)

 

... and, oh ... it's feels good to back in your good graces ...

:D

 

You say Tyrone was classically trained. That does surprise me ... and I don't mean that as a snipe, honest ... I wouldn't have thought it, that's all. Most Hollywood leading men are not (or so I believe, though I'm not particularly knowledgeable about the lives of our most revered stars).

 

The discussion here is interesting. I've read all the posts. I don't think I realized that he was involved in so many genres, or even that he made so many movies.

 

Swashbucklers, you say? Gosh, I should know something about that.

;)

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