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Why Is Montgomery Clift Underappreciated?


JaguarJack
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I wish there was more shown on Clift on TCM. Besides A Place in the Sun and From Here to Eternity, Clift has had an excellent library of credits with him. Clift was an extraordinary (and tortured) actor who deserves a lot more that what is available on him. Anyone know of good Clift resources? I read Patricia Bosworth's biography on him and was disappointed on how it glossed over important details on Clift's life.

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Jack, for your information TCM has presented many of Montgomery Clift's films including "The Search", "The Heiress", "Red River", "I Confess", "Raintree County", "Lonelyhearts", "Suddenly Last Summer", "The Misfits" "Judgment at Niremberg" plus the two films that you mentioned.

Since he didn't make that many films there were only a few others that were not shown on TCM including "The Young Lions" and "The Big Lift".

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Jaguar Jack -

 

Montgomery Clift is NOT underappreciated - if you took a poll of film critics as to the best screen actors of all time, his name would appear near the top of the list, probably in the top two (the other being Marlon Brando). I do agree that he is not idolized by the general public as are James Dean and Marilyn Monroe - probably because Clift did not die as young or tragically (or in mysterious circumstances) as did the other two. But in the acting community, Clift is still considered one of the very best - ever.

 

Clift had a brief career on Broadway (notably with the Lunts) before he was discovered by Hollywood. He was a star from his first film and remained so until the day he died, although (like Monroe) he was self-destructing long before his life actually ended.

 

Patricia Bosworth's biography is considered the definitive biography of Montgomery Clift.

 

Thanks for bringing his name up, though. I think he was number one.

 

Ralph

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I know I appreciate Montgomery Clift! My sister and I both love him and all of his films. "The Search" especially is one of our favorites. He seems to be fairly well known and I see his movies aired on various stations including TCM of course.I am a big fan and I cannot get enough of him and could stand looking at that handsome face even more if possible with even more of his movies being shown, but I think TCM does a good job.

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I have to disagree here. I don't think Clift is underappreciated at all. He's always spoken of as one of Hollywood's greatest actors of the 50's, and is considered to be on ths same par as Marlon Brando and James Dean. Liz Taylor speaks very highly of him, and considers him to be the greatest ever. I don't know where a "lack of appreciation" would be coming from, but it doesn't come from any fan of classic movies, and it sure as hell doesn't come from TCM, who gives regard to everyone, especially the big stars like Clift.

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Clift, to me, is underappreciated in the cultural sense. A lot of average folks do not know who Montgomery Clift is. James Dean? Yes. Liz Taylor? Yes. Charlton Heston? Yes. Film nuts know who he is and the cinema elite do, of course. But Clift's image and status in the common eye is neglected. I did not like Bosworth's book on him and am disappointed by the lack of other written works on him.

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I don't know if I think he's underappreciated or not, but I've always thought he was a much better actor than Marlon Brando, James Dean, Liz Taylor, Frank Sinatra and Charleton Heston - as well as many others from that time era that haven't been mentioned - but upon thinking about it, they really aren't even deserving of mention. I really love Monty.

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