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Which actors do you think are overrated?


Peskiloo
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For example.. I just don't get Joan Crawford, Gary Cooper.. And just saw Cary Grant in The Eagle and the Hawk, and thought he was awful (like him in most everything else though) - I guess I'm just wondering what people see in certain actors and why, could make for some interesting insights and discussions don't you think?

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For example.. I just don't get Joan Crawford, Gary Cooper.. And just saw Cary Grant in The Eagle and the Hawk, and thought he was awful (like him in most everything else though) - I guess I'm just wondering what people see in certain actors and why, could make for some interesting insights and discussions don't you think?

 

Who is overrated is a common topic around here.   Crawford and Copper are often mentioned as well as other major stars like Gregory Peck and both Audrey and Kate Hepburn.        I feel Copper is a very good actor.   e.g. compare his performance as the shy kind man in Mr. Deeds goes to Town with his strong man performances in westerns.   

 

As for Crawford:  I can see the POV that she was only a so-so actress but I enjoy many of her movies.   She was the star in many high quality MGM and Warner productions and I find movies like The Last of Mrs. Cheyney,  A Women's Face, Mildred Pierce,  The Dammed Don't Cry and others (like her MGM movies with Gable), very entertaining.

 

Who would I rated as overrated as an actor:  June Alyson and John Wayne. 

 

Note that since overrated is mentioned in the title of this thread actors like George Raft don't qualify since he isn't highly rated as an actor to begin with.

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I can agree on your points on Gary Cooper - he's okayyyy I guess:) With Joan Crawford, what always gets me is how fixed her eyes were all the time, like fish eyes, haha! But seriously, they always seemed to numb alot of the emotions and the thoughts that would surely be motivating some of her characters. I would always end up appreciating the movie as a whole, the story, cinematography, but not her. June Allyson, DEFinitely, I see where you're going with her. Katherine Hepburn always seemed to play her characters the same way too. I'm new to tcm and the message boards, so many topics, kind of makes your head spin!

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I can agree on your points on Gary Cooper - he's okayyyy I guess:) With Joan Crawford, what always gets me is how fixed her eyes were all the time, like fish eyes, haha! But seriously, they always seemed to numb alot of the emotions and the thoughts that would surely be motivating some of her characters. I would always end up appreciating the movie as a whole, the story, cinematography, but not her. June Allyson, DEFinitely, I see where you're going with her. Katherine Hepburn always seemed to play her characters the same way too. I'm new to tcm and the message boards, so many topics, kind of makes your head spin!

 

First,  welcome to the TCM message board.   We can always use new blood around here.    

 

As for Cooper; well you wouldn't be the only one at this forum that feels he is wooden.   

 

I'm laughing at your point about Crawford and her eyes.   I never realized that until now BUT I think you're on to something.    

 

Kate Hepburn does have a definitive screen persona and she often plays annoying characters but I still enjoy many of her performances.

 

As for The Eagle and the Hawk;   I saw that movie the other night for the first time;  Yea,  Grant didn't know now to be Grant yet in 1933.     But hey,  Carole Lombard was also in the film and she was rather flat compared to how she was just a few years after this film was released.

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Overrated?

 

John Wayne and Harrison Ford are two who spring immediately to mind. In my opinion, the majority of their performances are ones in which they portray their same old tired personas, using their same old devices. They reduced themselves to a trite cliché.

 

I suggest that there were, and are, many character actors who far outshine John and Harrison in their abilities as actors.

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Lana Turner for me.  Great face and figure but could not act a darn in my opinion. 

 

Have to agree with you there,  but sometimes she was able to overcome her lack of acting ability.   e.g. in the Postman Always Rings Twice,  her lack of ability to show much emotion works in this film since her character is a cold, hard, frustrated women.   So in that movie the face and figure is about all she needs!      I also think she did well in the Bad and the Beautiful especially when playing an actress that was inexperienced (perfect casting?).      

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Little ol' Tommy Cruise.  Most overrated actor in history.  Where his popularity arose from is way beyond me. 

 

Another excellent choice!

 

As a side note: a few times, when I've seen the subject "TCM Cruise" out of the corner of my eye, for just a second I've thought, how does an actor like Tom Cruise rate a thread here?

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At least Cruise has some pretty good performances under his belt.

 

The one I'll NEVER be able to understand becoming a leading actor A-lister is Kevin Costner. I've said it several times before in these forums, but I'll say it once more - he is one of the least dynamic actors to ever gain the type of status he somehow attained. A bargained soul is the only explanation I can think of.

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At least Cruise has some pretty good performances under his belt.

 

The one I'll NEVER be able to understand becoming a leading actor A-lister is Kevin Costner. I've said it several times before in these forums, but I'll say it once more - he is one of the least dynamic actors to ever gain the type of status he somehow attained. A bargained soul is the only explanation I can think of.

Agreed.  One day, when it was pouring rain outside, I got out all my Robin Hood movies and watched them.  Compared to Errol Flynn, Cary Elwes, Daffy Duck, and even the Disney cartoon Robin Hood, Kevin Costner's interpretation is so dull.  He lacks the energy, the charm, everything that Robin Hood traditionally possesses, Costner lacks.  The best person in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was Alan Rickman.  His interpretation of the Sheriff of Nottingham was like the rock n' roll Sheriff of Nottingham.  He was my favorite character.  The film, if you were to sub-out Costner and replace him with someone else, like Brad Pitt for example, it would have been better.

 

The problem with Costner, is that he kept making what I can only imagine were Kevin Costner vanity projects-- Waterworld, The Postman, etc. and he tries so hard with them, but the first mis-step was always casting himself as the lead.  Some of his films have good ideas, but he doesn't execute the character very well.  Maybe he should stay behind the camera. 

 

I can't believe Dances With Wolves won Best Picture over Goodfellas.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Who is overrated is a common topic around here.   Crawford and Copper are often mentioned as well as other major stars like Gregory Peck and both Audrey and Kate Hepburn.        I feel Copper is a very good actor.   e.g. compare his performance as the shy kind man in Mr. Deeds goes to Town with his strong man performances in westerns.   

 

As for Crawford:  I can see the POV that she was only a so-so actress but I enjoy many of her movies.   She was the star in many high quality MGM and Warner productions and I find movies like The Last of Mrs. Cheyney,  A Women's Face, Mildred Pierce,  The Dammed Don't Cry and others (like her MGM movies with Gable), very entertaining.

 

Who would I rated as overrated as an actor:  June Alyson and John Wayne. 

 

Note that since overrated is mentioned in the title of this thread actors like George Raft don't qualify since he isn't highly rated as an actor to begin with.

 

 

I feel John Wasyne isn't that highly rated as an actor either (though very popular), so I wouldn't include him in this discussion. I like Crawford, I think she is a brilliant actress (so I'm over-rating her according to some). I have a vastly improved notion of Gary Cooper. I never liked him but I have recently had somewhat a change of heart. He is a little like Wayne, not really highly rated in general as an actor (do I have that right?) but immensely popular. I was lukewarm on Crawford but last January she was SOTM and I was converted after watching a few of her movies.

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Spencer Tracy.  I like him ok, but for all the praise he gets, I just don't see his "great" talent.  In Boom Town and San Francisco, I am amused by his apparent attempts to out macho Clark Gable.  In Woman of the Year with Katherine Hepburn he was very good.  In most of his roles, to me, he is merely adequate.

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When rating any actor how many points do you give for actual acting skill and how many points for developing a poplar screen persona?.  It seems that those qualities often  are in conflict.  To achieve a  popular screen image, and the box office success  that goes along  with that,  you have to  narrow your choice of roles and build up a very carefully defined screen image.  That doesn't necessarily say you are a bad actor but it implies that your talents are very limited.  I most admire the actors who are willing to take chances and  take on a wide range of roles, work outside of the box.   That usually means they sacrifice a certain amount of box office because they don't build up a strong fan base.

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When rating any actor how many points do you give for actual acting skill and how many points for developing a poplar screen persona?.  It seems that those qualities often  are in conflict.  To achieve a  popular screen image, and the box office success  that goes along  with that,  you have to  narrow your choice of roles and build up a very carefully defined screen image.  That doesn't necessarily say you are a bad actor but it implies that your talents are very limited.  I most admire the actors who are willing to take chances and  take on a wide range of roles, work outside of the box.   That usually means they sacrifice a certain amount of box office because they don't build up a strong fan base.

 

In the studio era with most actors under contract they didn't have as much choice as they did after the studio-era.    Of course even after the studio-era an actor that refused roles could run into financial issues.     So to me playing a certain type doesn't imply one is a bad actor or that their talents are limited, per se, but instead that financial considerations drive these decisions.    We see the same thing with music.  e.g. after releasing albums the way they want, many musicians will return to 'selling out' in order to afford their lifestyle.

 

The starving artist is starving for a reason. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

GLENN FORD

With apologies to a certain lady who posts on the Suggest a Movie list ad infinitum about the TCM conspiracy to keep his films off the air.  : )

 

Well it all comes down to how one defines overrated.   e.g.  Cody mentions Schwarzeneger.   Who expects Arnie to play Hamlet?   To me, to be overrated one has to have high expectations that are NOT met. 

 

So while I wouldn't say Glenn Ford is a great actor,  the roles he plays doesn't require him to be and I believe he pulls off what is asked of him.     e.g.  Gilda and The Big Heat.

 

Can you name some films where Ford just doesn't cut it?   e.g. where the movie suffers because of Ford's limitations as an actor?

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