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James Mason - under-appreciated great actor, why?


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I saw it when it came out, i thought it was ok,Mason is the patriarch of a southern family on a plantation,he was suffering from a disease,i do not remember what,maybe a form of rhumatism because he was sitting in a chair and a young slave was always under his feet to àbsorb it',Susan George was the sex-starved wife of his son Perry King, she sexually wanted Ken Norton the slave Perry King was grooming to be a fighter(,Norton was a brief heavy weight boxing champ,he defeated Ali once)As expected the sex starved wife is the reason for the mayhem that followed.,they made a sequel titled Drum,without James Mason,i saw it too then but i do not remember much of it,it flopped if i remembe rwell.

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But it didn't look like he lived in a high crime area.    So why was he carrying a gun in his pocket in the fist place?

 

Was he a member of a biker gang?   ;)

Didn't you watch the movie?  Winters takes the gun out, says it was her dead husbands, says she would kill herself if she discovered that Humbert didn't believe in God.  More histrionics from the melodramatic Charlotte.  Humbert's idea of shooting her is a fleeting fantasy, not a "plan."

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Forgot to mention, the gun is not a big part of the plot.  In fact, it is of little importance, just a minor occasion for Nabakov to strut his wordsmanship.  Humbert never seriously entertains the idea of killing Charlotte.  This is obvious, both in the film and the book.

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I thought James Mason played one of the best Dr. Watsons in Bob Clark's Murder by Decree (1979).

Christopher Plummer was pretty good as Holmes but again, Mason steals every scene that he is in.

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  • 3 months later...

I may have mentioned this on another thread, but it bears repeating.  Network has just reissued a restored copy of THE NIGHT HAS EYES aka TERROR HOUSE, starring a 22 yr. old James Mason, Joyce Howard, Mary Clare, and Wilfred Lawson.  Made in 1942 on a tiny budget and directed by Leslie Arliss, the role of Stephen Deremeid was made for Mason - a seriously brooding leading man with a little sexual sadism on the side, what's not to love about him?  The available copies have all been awful, trust me, I bought four from four different sources - all terrible.  Hurrah to Network.  Now, if they will just restore ALIBI, what a happy world it will be.  ALIBI is a small movie, but important because it was the first teaming of Mason and Lockwood.

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Real talent alienates those prone to envy which explains the appeal of many "stars" now.

 

Do you really think what attracts most people to 'stars' is any different than it was 20 years ago,  50 years ago?

 

There has always been stars that appealed to the public despite their talents and artist with talent that fail to become stars.

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Two very good films.featuring James Mason imo, will be shown on FMC in the next few days:

Saturday, 5/23 @ 9 am.est:

BIGGER THAN LIFE (1956): Mason produced this story of a schoolteacher becoming addicted to cortizone.

Monday, 5/25 @ 1:10 pm:

FIVE FINGERS (1951): Espionage and intrigue based on a true story. With the gorgeous Danielle Darrieux, in a rare venture doing a Hollywood film.

Both of these films will be on FMC in the next few days. I will post later the exact schedules.

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There was a Mason sighting the other night on MeTV when he starred in The Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode "Captive Audience" (1962). James played a novelist who flips out "a bit" after discovering his new love played by Angie Dickinson isn't what she at first seems. The story is a little disjointedly presented, but Mason as always is great to watch in another role in which he mentally slowly unravels.

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Two very good films.featuring James Mason imo, will be shown on FMC in the next few days:

Saturday, 5/23 @ 9 am.est:

BIGGER THAN LIFE (1956): Mason produced this story of a schoolteacher becoming addicted to cortizone.

Monday, 5/25 @ 1:10 pm:

FIVE FINGERS (1951): Espionage and intrigue based on a true story. With the gorgeous Danielle Darrieux, in a rare venture doing a Hollyeood film.

 

ON FMC:

 

FIVE FINGERS will be on Tuesday, 9/22 @ 6 am est, Wednesday, 9/23 @ 3 am est, Thursday, 9/24 @ 11:05 am est, Friday, 9/25 @ 9:35 am est.

 

BIGGER THAN LIFE will be on Tuesday, 9/22 @ 8 am est, and Wednesday, 9/23 @ 6 am est.

 

ISLAND IN THE SUN (1957) will be on Tuesday, 9/22 @ 9:45 am est, and Wednesday, 9 /23 @ 7:40 am est.

 

Also, on TCM, James Mason will costar with Susan Hayward this Thursday, 9/24 @ 8 pm, in THE MARRIAGE-GO-ROUND (1960).

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The good news is that the Network reissue of THE NIGHT HAS EYES  arrived today, and it has been beautifully restored.  A vast improvement over the poor copies that have been available until now.  And it's quite, even surprisingly, reasonably priced.  The audio is slightly out of snyc with the picture, which I can abide, given the superior picture quality.  Although, it is odd that they would take such trouble with the visuals and be sloppy with the audio.  It is in PAL format, but if you're a serious Mason fan (or for that matter, interested in films made outside of the US), then of course, you have an all region DVD player.

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Just an insight to Mason's personal life; I just finished reading Sir John Mills' autobiography (excellent, btw) where he states, "It was the first time I had worked with Jimmy Mason. Apart from being a splendid actor, I found him a shy, charming but rather sad man, who I felt would have been happier if he had resisted the call of Hollywood, which he apparently didn't much like."

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From anything that I've read about James Mason, I have the impression that he was shy and naturally withdrawn from others. Not an unfriendly man, by any means, but with, as TikiSoo said, a touch of melancholy about him. He was a private man.

 

It's true that he was dissatisfied with, not only his Hollywood career (he never did fit into the Hollywood social scene either) but his British film career, of the '40s, as well (though, I believe, Odd Man Out was his favourite film).

 

It was during the later '60s and beyond when Mason was largely floating through a number of European-made productions that he found great satisfaction as a character actor. The films themselves may have been hit and miss in quality but Mason was a consistently intelligent and sensitive performer in them.

 

Lolita probably has my favourite Mason performance, if I have to choose just one. But I am consistently exasperated that Five Fingers, an excellent highly intelligent, fact-based spy drama that he made with Joseph L. Mankiewicz in 1952 (and blessed, at times, with some brilliant dialogue) is not better known. Mason's dry cynical disdain makes him perfect casting in the film, and the film's final scene of profound irony ranks, for me, as one of the great movie final chapters.

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From anything that I've read about James Mason, I have the impression that he was shy and naturally withdrawn from others. Not an unfriendly man, by any means, but with, as TikiSoo said, a touch of melancholy about him. He was a private man.

 

It's true that he was dissatisfied with, not only his Hollywood career (he never did fit into the Hollywood social scene either) but his British film career, of the '40s, as well (though, I believe, Odd Man Out was his favourite film).

 

It was during the later '60s and beyond when Mason was largely floating through a number of European-made productions that he found great satisfaction as a character actor. The films themselves may have been hit and miss in quality but Mason was a consistently intelligent and sensitive performer in them.

 

Lolita probably has my favourite Mason performance, if I have to choose just one. But I am consistently exasperated that Five Fingers, an excellent highly intelligent, fact-based spy drama that he made with Joseph L. Mankiewicz in 1952 (and blessed, at times, with some brilliant dialogue) is not better known. Mason's dry cynical disdain makes him perfect casting in the film, and the film's final scene of profound irony ranks, for me, as one of the great movie final chapters.

Not for lack of availability......FIVE FINGERS has been on FMC all week, usually paired with one or more film with James.Mason, and will.probably be on again a number of times.in the near future.

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Not for lack of availability......FIVE FINGERS has been on FMC all week, usually paired with one or more film with James.Mason, and will.probably be on again a number of times.in the near future.

FMC viewers are fortunate then. Five Fingers is a great film, in my opinion.

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About that restored print of THE NIGHT HAS EYES, E-Bay is selling it at an absurd price.  If you want to buy it, Network's cost is considerably less - it's in PAL format.

I think I caught The Night Has Eyes over in England on the telly.  I was incredibly disappointed by the film.

But I'm still glad to have seen it.

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I think I caught The Night Has Eyes over in England on the telly.  I was incredibly disappointed by the film.

But I'm still glad to have seen it.

 

I recommend you add 'a thousand' to the title,  then you'll have E.G. Robinson and the lovely Gail Russell.    

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He's not underappreciated as a comic actor.

See him in A Touch of Larceny (1959) and you may change your mind. He gives a droll, civilized performance with a considerable sophisticated flair.

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I think I caught The Night Has Eyes over in England on the telly.  I was incredibly disappointed by the film.

But I'm still glad to have seen it.

Really, I was incredibly entertained by the film  -  early Mason at his sexiest, most menacing, romantic self.  What's not to love about that?  No doubt it helps to be a woman to love this film.  Stephen Deremeid is one of my favorite Byronic characters.  I think Mason erred when he chose not to continue in the kind of characters that had made him such a star in England; if he had ridden that horse for as long as he kept his looks, then later, he would have had the clout to make the kind of films that he really wanted to do.  Think of all the fabulous antiheroes he could have played.  The fact is that when audiences went to see a Mason film, they expected to see Lord Rohan, or Stephen Deremeid, or Johnny McQueen, or Ivo Kern, certainly not Ed Avery.  For all his talent, Mason could not credibly play an ordinary man; his screen persona was too large.

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