Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Actors whose careers you are at a loss to account for


slaytonf
 Share

Recommended Posts

And I'm not talking about minor character actors, either.  These were big stars, with long careers, some of whom even had the temerity to be temperamental.  Each time I see a movie they're in, if I do watch one of them, I am astonished at how they enjoyed the success they did.  I can name a number of them, but I'll only list two, one from each column:

 

Anita Page.  Sometimes I think she was included in movies just to make the other actors look better by contrast.

 

George Raft.  I avoid watching his movies, because I have trouble telling him apart form the furniture.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Slayton, it might amuse you to know that Mussolini was a big fan of Anita Page.

 

Having seen Barry Lyndon and What's Up, Doc? recently, the first name that comes to my mind is Ryan O'Neal. He's maybe passable in the comedy, in way way over his head in Barry Lyndon. Kubrick actually gives the supporting players more closeups than the star, because they are the ones carrying the scenes. Don't think I've ever seen that before.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Slayton, it might amuse you to know that Mussolini was a big fan of Anita Page.

 

 

Well, ya know why that is, doncha kingrat?!

 

It's because somehow Anita back then was said to be the reason that the old Pacific Electric(Red Cars) train system of Los Angeles ran on time!

 

 

Having seen Barry Lyndon and What's Up, Doc? recently, the first name that comes to my mind is Ryan O'Neal. He's maybe passable in the comedy, in way way over his head in Barry Lyndon. Kubrick actually gives the supporting players more closeups than the star, because they are the ones carrying the scenes. Don't think I've ever seen that before. 

 

And sorry kingrat(no, not for my previous lame little joke here) but, I don't know how you can say such a thing about Ryan!

 

I mean just LOOK at how well the guy can act when he really puts his mind to it here...

 

I mean if THAT isn't great acting, than I certainly don't know what IS!

 

(...of course then again, there ARE a whole lot of things I don't know)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

Anita Page.  Sometimes I think she was included in movies just to make the other actors look better by contrast.

 

 

Anita was pretty cute in the original Broadway Melody.

 

I know what I am about to say is a shallow observation but, with the possible exception of another Anita, Anita Ekberg, it's difficult to think of any other actress who aged quite as badly as did Anita Page. Yes, I know she was very, very old (about 100, I think) at the time of her death, so one can't expect her to quite look her best. Still, if you look at any photos of the lady in her final years, as opposed to those in her youth, you would NEVER know it was the same person.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And I'm not talking about minor character actors, either.  These were big stars, with long careers, some of whom even had the temerity to be temperamental.  Each time I see a movie they're in, if I do watch one of them, I am astonished at how they enjoyed the success they did.  I can name a number of them, but I'll only list two, one from each column:

 

Anita Page.  Sometimes I think she was included in movies just to make the other actors look better by contrast.

 

George Raft.  I avoid watching his movies, because I have trouble telling him apart form the furniture.

 

It is interesting to see George Raft and "furniture" in the same sentence.  Because that is where I think Raft excels.  That reminds me of one of his harder-to-find movies, You And Me (1938).

 

That movie, directed by Fritz Lang, is a memorable one for me because of the imagery that Lang uses.  In particular the use of light and shadows, architecture, structural patterns, and actors that really look the part (including Raft, Sylvia Sidney, Barton MacLane, Roscoe Karns, Warren Hymer, and Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams) - all as part of the "deco".  There is one scene in particular where Raft is walking along a wall and up a staircase in the dark, and past what looked to be a large backlit victorian clock (white background with lots of fancy opaque black patterns in front of it).  The silhouette of Raft walking past it, wearing a hat and top coat, is even more memorable to me than the Spielberg "Amblin" image of E.T. riding a bike past the moon. 

:lol:  But Lang did quite a bit of that in some way or another.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I could come up with many different actors based on what 'at a loss to account for' means.

 

e.g.  E.G. Robinson has a face not even a mother would love and he was short with an average, at best build.  So how did he ever make it as a leading man?    Well he was just a fine actor that took on many roles,  that, on the surface, didn't suit him. but he made them his.   

 

Compare this with Raft;  he has the makings for a leading man (he sure does wear a suit well) so from that angle it makes sense why producers would cast him,  but his acting chops fall short (but I haven't seen You and Me;  it would be great to see him with Sidney as well as those other WB players).

 

Before I saw Randolph Scott in a western I wondered why he was hired for films like Roberta,  but he clearly is in his element in a western.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

(...of course then again, there ARE a whole lot of things I don't know)

 

As long as you know the way home, that's all you need.

 

 There is one scene in particular where Raft is walking along a wall and up a staircase in the dark, and past what looked to be a large backlit victorian clock (white background with lots of fancy opaque black patterns in front of it).  The silhouette of Raft walking past it, wearing a hat and top coat, is even more memorable to me than the Spielberg "Amblin" image of E.T. riding a bike past the moon. 

:lol:  But Lang did quite a bit of that in some way or another.

 

 

From your description, it was all Lang.  All Raft did was provide the silhouette.

 

I'll provide another name:

 

Horst Buchholz:  The major flaw in The Magnificent Seven.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is interesting to see George Raft and "furniture" in the same sentence.  Because that is where I think Raft excels.  That reminds me of one of his harder-to-find movies, You And Me (1938).

 

Glad you came to Raft's defense. When I read those earlier comments, my first reaction was-- oh that person hasn't seen all of Raft's films. Any Raft completist will tell you there's a reason why he was a movie star for so many years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My problem with Raft isn't that he's wooden or his dialogue delivery is bad or the other usual complaints. For me it's that he looks wrong. There's something unreal about him. He can fit into Runyonesque Broadway stories but when inserted into the more realistic world of say Warners working-class films, he doesn't quite look right. He's visually the odd man out in these films, even if movies like They Drive By Night and Manpower are probably his best performances. Yes I understand that sounds contradictory.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jim Carrey, had a couple of great movies then laid enough eggs for McDonalds.

Ooooph, surprised he didn't choke on all the scenery he chewed.

 

My favorites actors to avoid: Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Marlene Deitrich, Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, John Wayne, Pat O'Brien, Kate Hepburn, Walter Pidgeon, Greer Garson, oh so many more whose names escape me. Label them 'stahs', then or now, and you can keep them.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glenn Ford

 

I've seen a lot of his movies but he's not what I'd call versatile. But he's inoffensive so I suppose that's why he had a career. I don't seek his films as a viewer. I'll will agree he picked films that had good stories that didn't necessarily require great acting.

 

ETA: and what is the obsession with Vic Morrow that I see on many message boards, not just this one. I just don't see his career as some great body of work.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

WILL FERRELL

 

If I were him, I'd SLAP the creep that lied to me and told me I was funny.

 

He kinda reminds me of that guy in high school we all avoided hangin' with in order not to look bad to other people.  Kinda like the idiot who actually thinks it's funny to mock and make fun of the people some used to call "r e t a r d e d "

 

 

Sepiatone

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WILL FERRELL

 

If I were him, I'd SLAP the creep that lied to me and told me I was funny.

 

He kinda reminds me of that guy in high school we all avoided hangin' with in order not to look bad to other people.  Kinda like the idiot who actually thinks it's funny to mock and make fun of the people some used to call "r e t a r d e d "

 

 

Sepiatone

 

I agree with you about Will Ferrell.   Nothing about him says 'funny' to me.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glenn Ford

 

I've seen a lot of his movies but he's not what I'd call versatile. But he's inoffensive so I suppose that's why he had a career. I don't seek his films as a viewer. I'll will agree he picked films that had good stories that didn't necessarily require great acting.

 

I was working on this when I saw your post ...

 

Glenn Ford.  What was with his popularity?  JamesJazz advised he was once the biggest star of the year, if not several years.

 

I think it is that post WWII rugged silent minimalism at work.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was working on this when I saw your post ...

 

Glenn Ford.  What was with his popularity?  JamesJazz advised he was once the biggest star of the year, if not several years.

 

I think it is that post WWII rugged silent minimalism at work.  

 

You could be right about that post WWII rugged silent minimalism at work.   Another factor that may have helped Ford in the 50s was that the stars from the previous generation couldn't play younger man parts (well except if the female lead was Audrey Hepburn!),  and the other younger actors like Brando, Clift etc.. had a persona that may have been overpowering for the parts given to Ford (with the exception of Holden since he became THE guy during the decade IMO).

 

Just a theory.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saturday Night Live post 1982 or so helped to created some of the worst "comedy" actors and movies in modern era history. Everyone on that show since is expected to live up to the first participants and they never have.

 

It's like comedy is the hardest thing to do well and the easiest thing to do not well. In all acting I imagine that comedy is where the most disappointment lies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The two dullest actors I've ever seen are Richard Basehart and Edward Van Sloan. If there were a movie starring both of them, I don't think I'd be able to keep my eyes open 'til the end of the opening credits.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with you about Will Ferrell.   Nothing about him says 'funny' to me.   

 

Yeah, but you two HAVE to at least admit that he does one terrific Harry Caray impression!

 

(...and no all you movie but not baseball fans out there, I didn't misspell his name here...I'm NOT talkin' about the actor that John Wayne idolized, I'm talkin' about the old Chicago Cubs baseball announcer here)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...