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Richard Johnson 1927-2015


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Sorry to hear about this.

 

For me, Richard Johnson will always be remembered as the comforting, reassuring presence of stability in Robert Wise's The Haunting.

 

That was probably his best role, but when I heard he had died my first thought was of his army go-between in Khartoum, one of my favorites in the "last stand" subgenre of the '60s (Zulu, 55 Days At Peking, The Alamo, etc...)

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That was probably his best role, but when I heard he had died my first thought was of his army go-between in Khartoum, one of my favorites in the "last stand" subgenre of the '60s (Zulu, 55 Days At Peking, The Alamo, etc...)

I'm a big fan of Khartoum, as well, Richard, a "thinking man's" epic that seems to have always been a bit unfairly dismissed. When I heard of Richard Johnson's death yesterday, this was the second film of his that came to my mind.

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I'm a big fan of Khartoum, as well, Richard, a "thinking man's" epic that seems to have always been a bit unfairly dismissed. When I heard of Richard Johnson's death yesterday, this was the second film of his that came to my mind.

I found Heston surprisingly effective as 'Chinese' Gordon.

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My favorite Richard Johnson role is his "Dr. Monk" in 80,000 SUSPECTS (1963), where he stumbles across a smallpox outbreak that spreads and spreads, and no one knows where it came from.  Terrific early 'viral apocalypse' entry, although it's more than a decade after Evelyn Keyes smuggles in pox-laden diamonds in 1960 New York City.

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Richard Johnson, always good, was an outstanding Cassius in the 1960s version of Julius Caesar, with John Gielgud excellent as Caesar and Jason Robards just awful as Brutus. Worth seeing for Gielgud and Johnson, and with Richard Chamberlain's Octavius a boost for his career.

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