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Actor/directors; Directors/actors


Sepiatone
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Ther have been and are both.  Actors who've also tried their hand at directing, and directors who went in FRONT of the camera.

 

I'm not gonna argue who was better or "best" at either, just looking for some thoughts on the matter.

 

Some actors who also directed did so wit great result and success.  Like CLINT EASTWOOD and ROBERT REDFORD.

 

Some have only ventured to the director's chair once or twice.  Their results were good, but something kept them from doing it on a more regular basis.

 

Same with directors trying out acting.  MY favories in this category are:

 

SIDNEY POLLACK

 

JOHN HUSTON

 

ORSON WELLES( although I'm not quite sure which category he FITS!)

 

In the matter of actors directing only once or twice, I don't really know of too many.  Just a few:

 

TOM HANKS  His "That Thing You Do" was a good movie, but Hanks said he'd likely not try it again.

 

CHARLES LAUGHTON I can only think of one he directed, and don't know why he didn't do more.

 

PAUL NEWMAN  Directed wife JOANN WOODWARD in "Rachel, Rachel", but I don't know of any others.

 

There are probably far more in each category that due to not knowing who, got regrettably overlooked.  I'm hoping YOU all will fill the gap!

 

 

Sepiatone

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Charles Chaplin has no peers in this regard.  That's my opinion and was also the opinion of Orson Welles and I wouldn't argue with him.

 

Even Chaplin admitted he wasn't a very creative director: "I am the unusual and do not need camera angles".

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This thread reminded me of two actors-turned-director, Martin Ritt and and the lesser-known Lamont Johnson, whose directorial styles are very similar, emphasizing effectively low-key performances. Ritt even gets a good dramatic turn from Tony Randall (in No Down Payment).

 

I've never seen Ritt as an actor. He was in Maximilian Schell's End Of The Game (1976) as well as some live TV plays in the early '50s. He was Chayefsky's original choice to play Marty (some say the role was written for him) but Ritt had McCarthy problems and was essentially "graylisted" for a spell. The part eventually went to Rod Steiger.

 

Martin Ritt directs Richard Burton and Michael Hordern on the set of The Spy Who Came In From The Cold.

 

XfLh7So.jpg

 

 

Johnson ironically enough was quite hammy as an actor -- see his Big Valley episode as a drunken trail guide for confirmation.

 

A young Lamont Johnson in an auteurial mood:

 

SLnExTO.jpg

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Charles Laughton did  some directing on the stage, but NIGHT OF THE HUNTER was his only film project. Very much praised today (and I think deservedly so) the film was not well received by critics or the public when it came out. Laughton was so discouraged that he never again wanted to direct a film. That decision was our loss, I believe Laughton would have given us some wonderful films to watch.

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Otto Preminger did a few acting parts, most notably his "Commandant" in STALAG 17.

 

I thought that was Werner Klemperer???

 

 

Oh...wait. Wrong Stalag, huh. Never mind.

 

(...yeah I know...low hanging fruit there, huh)

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The reason for not having any female actor/directors-director/actresses on the OP was because, well, two reasons>

 

I regrettably overlooked them. And...

 

This thread wasn't actually gender specific.  And there are many actresses who refer to themselves as "actors".  So....

 

But, great contributions.  And I'm saddened to realize that Paul Newman directed that blasphemous mess of an interpretation that sodomized Ken Kesy's towering novel.  :(

 

 

Sepiatone

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Bonnie Hunt wrote and directed "Return to Me" (2000), a rom-com with David Duchovney and Minnie Driver, about a man who unknowingly falls in love with the recipient of his late wife's heart. She also wrote the script for "Cars" (2006) and did one of the major voice-overs. She's someone I really admire for her smarts and her talent, but she seems to have always been stuck in some kind of mid-level showbiz limbo.

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I don't believe anyone has mentioned John Cassavetes, whom I much prefer as an actor (sacrilege, I know).

 

Barbara Loden directed and starred in Wanda, which has been shown on TCM.

 

Joseph Pevney is excellent as Jack Oakie's sidekick in Thieves' Highway.

 

Two future directors are in Counsellor-at-Law (1933): Vincent Sherman plays the radical, and Richard Quine plays John Barrymore's snobby stepson.

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Joseph Pevney is excellent as Jack Oakie's sidekick in Thieves' Highway.

 

Whoa let's not overboard there podnuh. Pevney was okay as an actor, even if he has relatively little to do in TH.

 

Pevney's best role was as Garfield's sidekick in Body & Soul

 

 

Two future directors are in Counsellor-at-Law (1933): Vincent Sherman plays the radical, and Richard Quine plays John Barrymore's snobby stepson.

 

I think I saw Richard Quine in some MGM musical of the early '40s. I recall him being rather awkward.

 

Norman Foster (Journey Into Fear, Rachel & The Stranger) started out as a juvenile, most notably in State Fair (1933).

 

Anyone here seen Blake Edwards as an actor? I mean in the late '40s, before he broke through as a writer.

 

Another Dick Powell protege, Aaron Spelling, can be seen in the classic I Love Lucy episode where the gang visits Tennessee Ernie Ford's hometown. And IIRC Spelling plays the old Elisha Cook role from I Wake Up Screaming in Vicki (where Eliot Reed replaces Victor Mature!!). But I don't know if Spelling ever directed.

 

Another producer, Ross Hunter, was the leading man in some Judy Canova vehicle from c.1946 I saw once. His acting is terrible and his hairpiece is embarassing. Going into production was the right career move.

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