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Who has the best voice...?


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I know EXACTLY of what you're sayin' here, Arturo. I used to work with a lady who's name was Jeanette CORdoba, and of course she always hated that Ricardo pronounced the name of that old Chrysler model as "CorDOba"!

How many recall the OLD SNL sketch in which Akroyd, Chase( I think) and whomever the HOST was that night( it WAS 40 years or so ago, so forgive me for not remembering)--anyway,

 

They all three were dressed in  identical whit suits and were in a small cafe arguing over WHO was WHO---

 

"You are WRONG!...am RICARDO MONTALBAN, YOU are FERNANDO LAMAS, and HE is CESAR ROMERO!"  And then another would press the same argument, changing whom was whom!

 

Kind of cracked me up,and still DOES when I think about it!

 

 

Sepiatone

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I am always slightly put off when someone has to tell us their sexual orientation. I don't find it relevant to any film discussions. 

 

I agree that Joe E. Brown did a lot of his stunts when he was younger in Hollywood. 

 

Re: Powell's range-- are we talking about his singing or his speaking voice?

Agree.

 

Brown often used his voice in what I would describe as an endearing tone, as a part of his character.  He raised the pitch of his voice whenever he was addressing a lady, and the ladies often did the same for him.  Whenever I play his movies, my dog walks over to the TV and gives it his full undivided attention.

 

In addition for Joe E. Brown, I like everything I have seen except for the batch of films he did under David L. Loew productions.  It was a low point for him too, and a move he later said he regretted.  Brown's son was killed during training exercises in the military, so to cope with that took on a pre-USO role of entertaining the troops.  This stemmed from his early experience in vaudeville, when he said he was "as poor as a church mouse".  During the WWII era he often traveled on his own dime to distant places to visit the troops and performed to audiences of hundreds, and reportedly to an audience of one - a dying soldier in a hospital.  He took mail back and forth for the troops in his travels and was very highly regarded by the Military and their families back home.  He was awarded one of only two bronze stars given to civilians during the WWII years.  Pretty exclusive club to be a member of.  I've always wondered who got the other one.

 

I will assume you meant Dick Powell.  I meant his speaking voice.  But for me it wasn't just his voice.  It was his whole persona.  He just seems like an all-around likeable guy in whatever role he did.  I just mentioned him because he wasn't one of the baritone or bass voices, but rather a fairly gifted tenor that I like to watch.

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How many recall the OLD SNL sketch in which Akroyd, Chase( I think) and whomever the HOST was that night( it WAS 40 years or so ago, so forgive me for not remembering)--anyway,

 

They all three were dressed in  identical whit suits and were in a small cafe arguing over WHO was WHO---

 

"You are WRONG!...am RICARDO MONTALBAN, YOU are FERNANDO LAMAS, and HE is CESAR ROMERO!"  And then another would press the same argument, changing whom was whom!

 

Kind of cracked me up,and still DOES when I think about it!

 

 

Sepiatone

Is this the skit that had the "¿Quien es mas macho?" routine?

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That's a good question. I think deep voices are usually related to people's ideas about sexy men.

 

But then there's a guy like Joe E. Brown. He had a rich, deep voice-- but I don't think people associate him with being very sexy. Do they?

Well, he didn't do badly with men impersonating women.

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Brown often used his voice in what I would describe as an endearing tone, as a part of his character.  He raised the pitch of his voice whenever he was addressing a lady, and the ladies often did the same for him.  Whenever I play his movies, my dog walks over to the TV and gives it his full undivided attention.

 

I will assume you meant Dick Powell.  I meant his speaking voice.  But for me it wasn't just his voice.  It was his whole persona.  He just seems like an all-around likeable guy in whatever role he did.  I just mentioned him because he wasn't one of the baritone or bass voices, but rather a fairly gifted tenor that I like to watch.

I love the comment about your dog and Joe E. Brown's voice. That's great!  Also, good observation about the way Brown plays his more endearing characters.

 

Last night I watched CORNERED, a noir Dick Powell did in the late 40s at RKO. The way his hair was cut and the fact that he was older and playing a tough-as-nails character-- made him seem much more rugged than he appears in other pictures. His voice seems a bit rougher in this picture, too.

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Here's another that may or may not fit this thread.  Lauritz Melchior.  He played the character of a bumbling yet kindly older gentleman, some say comparable to an S.Z. Sakall character.  Melchior was also a member of the NY Metropolitan Opera, so he sang too.  He did some Hollywood films, these ones aired on TCM:

 

Thrill of a Romance (1945)

Van Johnson • Esther Williams • Frances Gifford • Henry Travers • Spring Byington • Lauritz Melchior • Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra •

 

Two Sisters from Boston (1946)

Cast: Kathryn Grayson • June Allyson • Lauritz Melchior • Jimmy Durante • Peter Lawford •

 

This Time for Keeps (1947)

Cast: Esther Williams • Jimmy Durante • Lauritz Melchior • Johnny Johnston • Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra • Dame May Whitty •

 

Luxury Liner (1948)

Cast: George Brent • Jane Powell • Lauritz Melchior • Frances Gifford • Marina Koshetz • Xavier Cugat • Thomas E. Breen • Richard Derr • John Ridgely • The Pied Pipers • Connie Gilchrist •

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I love the comment about your dog and Joe E. Brown's voice. That's great!  Also, good observation about the way Brown plays his more endearing characters.

 

Last night I watched CORNERED, a noir Dick Powell did in the late 40s at RKO. The way his hair was cut and the fact that he was older and playing a tough-as-nails character-- made him seem much more rugged than he appears in other pictures. His voice seems a bit rougher in this picture, too.

 

I have 31 Dick Powell movies, and have probably only seen 10-15 of them. (more in collect mode for the time being)  Cornered is one of the ones I have yet to see.  One of his later ones that I have seen is The Tall Target, which appears to have been made about 6 years after Cornered.  In it he still had what I consider to have been his trademark thing going on that draws me in.  He was a big smoker though, which contributed to his demise.  Also he directed John Wayne in The Conqueror (1956).  Many of the those on staff for that movie later died of cancer, including Powell and Wayne, supposedly due to the filming location being near a recently used nuclear test site in Utah.

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For fans of James Mason and especially those who appreciated his reading from the 'devine Edgar' in Lolita, one can see the 1953 Columbia short subject, "The Tell-Tale Heart" on youtube.

Mason's narration in that film is very very good.

 

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I have 31 Dick Powell movies, and have probably only seen 10-15 of them. (more in collect mode for the time being)  Cornered is one of the ones I have yet to see.  

You should definitely take the time to watch CORNERED. It's a bit slower moving than his other RKO films, but it is brimming with atmospheric touches and an intelligent storyline. It contains excellent acting not only from Powell but also from supporting players Walter Slezak and Luther Adler.

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Did anyone mention John Forsythe?  Very recognizable and distinguished voice.

 

How about James Earl Jones and James Cagney?

When the topic gets around to voices, I always bring up James Earl Jones.  ROSCOE LEE BROWNE is also another astute set of pipes. 

 

I always tried to imagine a recording of  Aaron Copeland's "Lincoln Portrait" narrated by either Jones or Browne.  It would be superb!

 

 

Sepiatone

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You should definitely take the time to watch CORNERED. It's a bit slower moving than his other RKO films, but it is brimming with atmospheric touches and an intelligent storyline. It contains excellent acting not only from Powell but also from supporting players Walter Slezak and Luther Adler.

 

Ok, I'll get back to you.

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Most of the males chosen had very deep voices. Is a deep voice necessarily the most pleasing male voice?

 

Well, call me old school, but yea, I think a mellifluous voice is important.  Actors with great voices are able to

modulate them all over the place;  they can go up in their register when needed or drop back into their natural

range.  I person with a higher voice has less "tools" to work with, as their range is limited.  It doesn't mean they

aren't a great actor, but this thread was about "great voices."

 

And I certainly left out many....

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Has anyone mentioned Donald Crisp? He tends to be overlooked. I wouldn't say he has 'crisp' diction (pun intended) but there's a smoothness in the way he speaks his lines.

I can go aong with that much more easily than the notion that there is a "best" voice.

 

Isn't that subjective as well?

 

Many different people find an equal amount of different sounds appealing to them, individually.  Others might find some( or all) of MY "favorite sounds" grating to their ears.  And, it would be the same with voices .  Witness, if you're over 50, the number of people over the many years that have made fun of BOB DYLAN'S singing voice.  Yet, there WERE(or are) many who found it not too much of a distraction to be able to listen to his LYRICS.  On yet another tack......

 

My wife says she hates to hear NED SPARKS talk.  But, admit it, all-----his voice IS a large part of his screen popularity, isn't it?  If his speech sounded like CARY GRANT'S, we wouldn't remember  him so fondly.

 

Think instead,    WHOM has the "best" voice suited FOR......(insert recetitive task here)...

 

I've already posted ROSCOE LEE BROWN and JAMES EARL JONES for "LINCOLN PORTRAIT".  I've two recordings of it---one narrated by HENRY FONDA, another by CHARLTON HESTON.

 

I always toyed with the idea---back in the old VINYL days, of a TWO SIDED platter with "PETER AND THE WOLF" on BOTH sides....

 

ONE side with FRED (MR.) ROGERS narrating on one side, and PAUL REUBENS as PEE-WEE HERMAN on the OTHER side! 

 

As a kid, I had an old 78 of it narrated by BASIL RATHBONE( another good voice.  did HE make a mention it the thread so far?)

 

The version I currently have is narrated by JOHN GIELGUD.

 

 

Sepiatone

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You know who has a distinctive voice (maybe not great but certainly it stands out)--

imgres-112.jpg

Billy Halop, who worked at Warners and made all those Dead End Kid movies. I caught the tail end of an episode of All in the Family last night on Antenna TV, produced in 1975, and he played a cab driver. It was obviously a small part at the end of his career, and he barely resembled his youthful days from the late 1930s-- but the minute he spoke, I knew it was him.

billy_halop_bw.jpg

 

Billy's sister Florence Halop had a distinctive set of pipes, too-- she was a character actress who was kept busy on radio in the 1940s and 1950s. Later, she appeared on St. Elsewhere and spent a season as the beloved bailiff Flo on Night Court before passing away from cancer.

imgres30.jpg

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A related question---Which screen dog had the best bark?

 

Well, I'm not sure about "the best" bark here DGF, but any dog that can bark out the phrase, "Come quick! Timmy's stuck in the well again!" and make it clearly understandable by humans HAS to be pretty high up on this kind'a list, wouldn't ya say?!

 

lassielookhomeward5.jpg

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Well, I'm not sure about "the best" bark here DGF, but any dog that can bark out the phrase, "Come quick! Timmy's stuck in the well again!" and make it clearly understandable by humans HAS to be pretty high up on this kind'a list, wouldn't ya say?!

 

lassielookhomeward5.jpg

The most distinct bark is not necessarily the best bark. I, for one, lean toward a sultry bark.

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Howard Duff, he played Sam Spade on radio before the movies grabbed him. One of the great voices IMHO was Alan Ladd. I had more then one audio man comment on Ladd's beautiful voice...If anyone else mentioned these two, sorry......

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As my first move each and every day at this website is to check Joe's "CANDIDS 2" thread, I noticed that it was Robert Young's birthday yesterday and it reminded me of what a pleasant and reassuring voice this gentleman always had.

 

(...and "Dargo knows best", ya know!) ;)

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