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FRED MACMURRAY- Nice Guy and Underrated Actor

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I watched PUSHOVER this morning, and it was every bit as good as I remembered. I hadn't seen it in a few years. 

Screen%2Bshot%2B2016-01-21%2Bat%2B11.45.

And I must say that TCM is to be commended for showing a restored print of BORDERLINE that aired directly after PUSHOVER.

 

In a way, these two crime dramas should have been saved for primetime. 

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There is something about Fred MacMurrary that I find appealing when he plays a bad guy. DOUBLE INDEMITY, THE CAINE MUTINY, PUSHOVER, and THE APARTMENT, he is so interesting when cast against type that my focus is on him. Tall and handsome, it is very believable that Fred was so good in these roles. BORDERLINE also qualifies because Fred appears to be a scoundrel in half of this film noir.I wish that Fred had acted in a few more of these despicable roles.

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There is something about Fred MacMurrary that I find appealing when he plays a bad guy. DOUBLE INDEMITY, THE CAINE MUTINY, PUSHOVER, and THE APARTMENT, he is so interesting when cast against type that my focus is on him. Tall and handsome, it is very believable that Fred was so good in these roles. BORDERLINE also qualifies because Fred appears to be a scoundrel in half of this film noir.I wish that Fred had acted in a few more of these despicable roles.

He plays these kinds of villainous parts in westerns too. In FACE OF A FUGITIVE he is quite shady.

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LOL

 

Yeah, especially THIS year!

 

(...where DOES the NFL find these bozo refs lately anyway, HUH?!!!)

 

I hope next year they can pin down what constitutes "a catch."  It's pretty much a fundamental aspect to the game--unless you're going to form your offensive plan around how fast your running backs can run and how well they're able to dodge tackles.

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I'm watching A Millionaire For Christy with MacMurray and Eleanor Parker.  This film has been very entertaining so far and is definitely the right film to watch after a particularly hellish evening which has left me with my leg elevated and an ice pack on my knee (it's swollen).  MacMurray was such a talented actor and I wholeheartedly agree with the title of this thread.  He was definitely underrated.  He was so versatile and I agree with the previous post stating that he is appealing when he is playing the cad.  I watched The Apartment last night and he's so fantastic as Mr. Sheldrake.  It's a shame that he was caught up in the My Three Sons and live-action Disney film world for the remainder of his career after 'Apartment.'   I also really like him as Errol Flynn's rival and later as a comrade in Dive Bomber.  He starts out as angry and upset with Flynn but later comes around as he learns about the work that Flynn and Ralph Bellamy are doing in terms of overcoming altitude sickness.  MacMurray brings about this attitude shift subtly.  It is very believable.

 

Right now, in 'Christy,' MacMurray plays straight-man to Parker's zaniness.  He really performs the befuddled character very well.  This film is allowing him to perform in a variety of different genres.  While the film is ultimately classified as a "screwball comedy," I'm seeing it as more of a romantic comedy.  I love how MacMurray starts out as confused about Parker's sudden appearance in his life and later, his having to defend himself to his fiancee when he hadn't done anything (yet).  The change in his attitude toward Parker starting with annoyance and later, finding himself completely charmed and enchanted with Parker, it all seems so natural.  In this film and Alice Adams (another film I love), he performs romantic roles very well.  I also enjoy his screwball comedy in films like 'Christy' and his films with Claudette Colbert, like No Time For Love and The Egg and I.  

 

I'm very much enjoying Fred MacMurray Wednesdays on TCM.

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I'm watching A Millionaire For Christy with MacMurray and Eleanor Parker.  This film has been very entertaining so far and is definitely the right film to watch after a particularly hellish evening which has left me with my leg elevated and an ice pack on my knee (it's swollen).  MacMurray was such a talented actor and I wholeheartedly agree with the title of this thread.  He was definitely underrated.  He was so versatile and I agree with the previous post stating that he is appealing when he is playing the cad.  I watched The Apartment last night and he's so fantastic as Mr. Sheldrake.  It's a shame that he was caught up in the My Three Sons and live-action Disney film world for the remainder of his career after 'Apartment.'   I also really like him as Errol Flynn's rival and later as a comrade in Dive Bomber.  He starts out as angry and upset with Flynn but later comes around as he learns about the work that Flynn and Ralph Bellamy are doing in terms of overcoming altitude sickness.  MacMurray brings about this attitude shift subtly.  It is very believable.

 

Right now, in 'Christy,' MacMurray plays straight-man to Parker's zaniness.  He really performs the befuddled character very well.  This film is allowing him to perform in a variety of different genres.  While the film is ultimately classified as a "screwball comedy," I'm seeing it as more of a romantic comedy.  I love how MacMurray starts out as confused about Parker's sudden appearance in his life and later, his having to defend himself to his fiancee when he hadn't done anything (yet).  The change in his attitude toward Parker starting with annoyance and later, finding himself completely charmed and enchanted with Parker, it all seems so natural.  In this film and Alice Adams (another film I love), he performs romantic roles very well.  I also enjoy his screwball comedy in films like 'Christy' and his films with Claudette Colbert, like No Time For Love and The Egg and I.  

 

I'm very much enjoying Fred MacMurray Wednesdays on TCM.

I do not like to be cute with the title to my threads, but I thought FRED MACMURRAY NICE GUY AND UNDERRATED ACTOR summed up everything that I knew about him. I mostly knew Fred from DOUBLE INDEMITY AND THE APARTMENT. When I saw a few more of his other genres like THE FAR HORIZONS 1955 during Donna Reed`s SOTM and A MILLIONAIRE FOR CHRISTY 1951 in Eleanor Parker`s SOTM, I wanted to see more. Yesterday I rewatched Christy because the film is so amusing, and Eleanor was a zany partner. Maybe I am the only person here who found the humor in NEVER A DULL MOMENT 1950, but it wasn`t a waste of time for me to watch Irene Dunne and Fred living on a ranch with his two young daughters. PUSHOVER 1954 is a film noir where Fred plays a cop who falls for a gangsters girl and turns bad. I liked seeing the extremes he took trying to protect Kim Novak and his job. On my own I watched a western GUN FOR A COWARD 1957. Fred plays the oldest brother of shy Jeffrey Hunter and youngest tougher brother Dean Stockwell. Josephine Huchtinson the mother coddles Jeffrey consequently he is weak. She wants to take him to move with her to St. Louis, but he refuses to go.Jeff refuses, and the mother blames Fred and dies. Janice Rule is supposed to wed Fred. but he has been stalling to become more stable. The cattle are taken to Fort Worth, and problems arise among all three brothers. A worthwhile western on YOU TUBE.

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I'm watching A Millionaire For Christy with MacMurray and Eleanor Parker.  This film has been very entertaining so far and is definitely the right film to watch after a particularly hellish evening which has left me with my leg elevated and an ice pack on my knee (it's swollen).  MacMurray was such a talented actor and I wholeheartedly agree with the title of this thread.  He was definitely underrated.  He was so versatile and I agree with the previous post stating that he is appealing when he is playing the cad.  I watched The Apartment last night and he's so fantastic as Mr. Sheldrake.  It's a shame that he was caught up in the My Three Sons and live-action Disney film world for the remainder of his career after 'Apartment.'   I also really like him as Errol Flynn's rival and later as a comrade in Dive Bomber.  He starts out as angry and upset with Flynn but later comes around as he learns about the work that Flynn and Ralph Bellamy are doing in terms of overcoming altitude sickness.  MacMurray brings about this attitude shift subtly.  It is very believable.

 

Right now, in 'Christy,' MacMurray plays straight-man to Parker's zaniness.  He really performs the befuddled character very well.  This film is allowing him to perform in a variety of different genres.  While the film is ultimately classified as a "screwball comedy," I'm seeing it as more of a romantic comedy.  I love how MacMurray starts out as confused about Parker's sudden appearance in his life and later, his having to defend himself to his fiancee when he hadn't done anything (yet).  The change in his attitude toward Parker starting with annoyance and later, finding himself completely charmed and enchanted with Parker, it all seems so natural.  In this film and Alice Adams (another film I love), he performs romantic roles very well.  I also enjoy his screwball comedy in films like 'Christy' and his films with Claudette Colbert, like No Time For Love and The Egg and I.  

 

I'm very much enjoying Fred MacMurray Wednesdays on TCM.

After seeing Kate MacMurray on the cruise, she talked about him taking on the role in My Three Sons and how Don Fedderson agreed to film his part in a couple of months because he didn't want to be committed to working nine months of the year. The rest of the scenes were filmed around what was already in the can, meaning before the season started all episodes had to be written. It caused a few continuity problems but it worked out. She stated he thought it would give him more time with the family and to pursue his golfing. He was supposed to be semi retired. But he kept getting offered scripts by Disney and I guess the money was too good to turn down. So it seemed like he wasn't exactly settling but those who wanted to use him in their projects (Fedderson and Disney) were willing to work with him how he wanted them to. He appeared to have lots of clout if he was able to dictate the terms of filming.

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Yeah, I'd heard about this awhile ago & it always changed my whole attitude when watching his 'fatherly' attitude with the boys.....

 

". In short, all episodes were filmed out of sequence. Evidence of this is very apparent in several episodes, where plotlines had MacMurray's character on a business trip (e.g. "Small Adventure") or spending much of his time at the office (e.g. "Soap Box Derby"). This allowed him to seemingly take part in the entire episode with limited or no interaction with the other regulars during filming. This sometimes produced noticeable continuity problems onscreen, especially as the boys grew and changed styles."

 

1962_My_Three_Sons.jpg

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Yeah, I'd heard about this awhile ago & it always changed my whole attitude when watching his 'fatherly' attitude with the boys.....

 

". In short, all episodes were filmed out of sequence. Evidence of this is very apparent in several episodes, where plotlines had MacMurray's character on a business trip (e.g. "Small Adventure") or spending much of his time at the office (e.g. "Soap Box Derby"). This allowed him to seemingly take part in the entire episode with limited or no interaction with the other regulars during filming. This sometimes produced noticeable continuity problems onscreen, especially as the boys grew and changed styles."

 

1962_My_Three_Sons.jpg

I can`t say that I agree with Fred`s schedule on MY THREE SON`S in regards to the rest of the cast. If producer Don Federson did not agree with Fred`s stipulations, Fred would not have signed. Don Grady, who played son Robbie on the show, wrote the forward to Fred`s biography. Don`s own father left home unexpectedly in 1960 when he was 15. When Don began acting on the show, Fred became like a father to him. For the whole length of the show, Fred always tied Don`s tie for him when he wore a suit. Fred had been losing contact with his own son Robert who left home to live in a commune in northern California. Fred became like a father to Don while they were filming the show.

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I'm watching a western Fred did in the mid-50s called AT GUNPOINT. It's on YouTube. It's one of three pictures he made with Dorothy Malone-- the others being PUSHOVER (which came earlier) and QUANTEZ (which came later). 

 

Good print. Good costars...Walter Brennan and Skip Homeier among others. Tommy Rettig plays Fred's son.

 

At_Gunpoint_film_poster.jpg

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I'm watching a western Fred did in the mid-50s called AT GUNPOINT. It's on YouTube. It's one of three pictures he made with Dorothy Malone-- the others being PUSHOVER (which came earlier) and QUANTEZ (which came later). 

 

Good print. Good costars...Walter Brennan and Skip Homeier among others. Tommy Rettig plays Fred's son.

 

At_Gunpoint_film_poster.jpg

I will have to watch AT GUNPOINT next. Tonight I rewatched THE FAR HORIZONS 1955 a fictionalized account of the Lewis and Clark expedition out west. Beautiful scenery, plenty of action, and Fred plays Captain Lewis, Charlton Heston is Captain Clark, and Donna Reed is Sacajawea the Indian guide who helped the crew find the gateway to the Pacific Ocean.

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I will have to watch AT GUNPOINT next. Tonight I rewatched THE FAR HORIZONS 1955 a fictionalized account of the Lewis and Clark expedition out west. Beautiful scenery, plenty of action, and Fred plays Captain Lewis, Charlton Heston is Captain Clark, and Donna Reed is Sacajawea the Indian guide who helped the crew find the gateway to the Pacific Ocean.

As reviewers noted, AT GUNPOINT has some similarities with HIGH NOON. But it's more a story about unlikely heroism and a local citizen (a storeowner played by Fred MacMurray) standing up for law and order. One criticism Fred had about his own western movies is that he felt he did not look natural riding a horse. But in AT GUNPOINT, most of the action is confined to the town not the range and he is never shown riding a horse, which might have been why he chose the script. I gave the film 8 out of 10 stars on the IMDb.

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As reviewers noted, AT GUNPOINT has some similarities with HIGH NOON. But it's more a story about unlikely heroism and a local citizen (a storeowner played by Fred MacMurray) standing up for law and order. One criticism Fred had about his own western movies is that he felt he did not look natural riding a horse. But in AT GUNPOINT, most of the action is confined to the town not the range and he is never shown riding a horse, which might have been why he chose the script. I gave the film 8 out of 10 stars on the IMDb.

I own a book WESTERN FILMS A COMPLETE GUIDE by Brian Garfield, and he rates all of Fred`s performances in westerns highly. I have enjoyed THE MOONLIGHTER, GUN FOR A COWARD, and THE FAR HORIZONS, and AT GUNPOINT. AT GUNPOINT may be a small scale version of HIGH NOON, but I enjoyed the film just as much. Reliable Walter Brennan as the faithful doctor, and a many well known character actors Whit Bissell, John Qualen, Frank Ferguson, Skip Homeier, and Irving Bacon filled out the cast. Fred is stoic, strong, and unafraid in a part originally set for Joel McCrea. Dorothy Malone plays his lovely wife with son Tommy Rettig. She tells Fred that he has always been stubborn but never foolish. I agree with TB`s high rating of this western. My chuck wagon is moving on to QUANTEZ,DAY OF THE BAD MAN, and THE OREGON TRAIL.

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If you're not aware of that unusual schedule that Fred had

on My Three Sons, you likely don't notice anything out of

the way. But once you do know, there are times when it

does look like Fred is not really talking to anybody in

particular. Still a good TV show.

That's how I feel with some of my posts.

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I own a book WESTERN FILMS A COMPLETE GUIDE by Brian Garfield, and he rates all of Fred`s performances in westerns highly. I have enjoyed THE MOONLIGHTER, GUN FOR A COWARD, and THE FAR HORIZONS, and AT GUNPOINT. AT GUNPOINT may be a small scale version of HIGH NOON, but I enjoyed the film just as much. Reliable Walter Brennan as the faithful doctor, and a many well known character actors Whit Bissell, John Qualen, Frank Ferguson, Skip Homeier, and Irving Bacon filled out the cast. Fred is stoic, strong, and unafraid in a part originally set for Joel McCrea. Dorothy Malone plays his lovely wife with son Tommy Rettig. She tells Fred that he has always been stubborn but never foolish. I agree with TB`s high rating of this western. My chuck wagon is moving on to QUANTEZ,DAY OF THE BAD MAN, and THE OREGON TRAIL.

I particularly enjoy watching the western films from this phase of Fred's career-- made during the mid to late 50s. Right now I'm looking at QUANTEZ on YouTube and the cinematography is impressive. Most of the acting is fairly competent, too. And anything with Dorothy Malone gets high marks from me. 

 

Haven't yet seen DAY OF THE BAD MAN or THE OREGON TRAIL but am looking forward to checking them out.

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I particularly enjoy watching the western films from this phase of Fred's career-- made during the mid to late 50s. Right now I'm looking at QUANTEZ on YouTube and the cinematography is impressive. Most of the acting is fairly competent, too. And anything with Dorothy Malone gets high marks from me. 

 

Haven't yet seen DAY OF THE BAD MAN or THE OREGON TRAIL but am looking forward to checking them out.

I have watched half of QUANTEZ. Dorothy Malone was so beautiful, she should have had a bigger screen career after winning the best supporting actress award for WRITTEN ON THE WIND 1956. DAY OF THE BAD MAN 1958 is worth watching for Fred`s solid performance. Fred`s westerns during the mid to late 1950`s were not directed by Anthony Mann or Budd Boetticher.Of the westerns that I have watched, Fred is steady and realistic. Fred is the circuit court judge Jim Scott who has to pass sentence on convicted killer Jake Hayes. Fred`s position sometimes takes him out of town. The town sherrif (John Ericson) is a weakling who has fallen in love with Fred`s fiancée while he is out of town. The convicted killer`s father wants the town to only banish his son from the town, and he wrecks terror on the town`s folk so they will agree with him. Will Fred sentence the killer to hang, and find out about his fiancée who he had bought a new homestead for?The film is available on YOU TUBE.

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I have watched half of QUANTEZ. Dorothy Malone was so beautiful, she should have had a bigger screen career after winning the best supporting actress award for WRITTEN ON THE WIND 1956. DAY OF THE BAD MAN 1958 is worth watching for Fred`s solid performance. Fred`s westerns during the mid to late 1950`s were not directed by Anthony Mann or Budd Boetticher.Of the westerns that I have watched, Fred is steady and realistic. Fred is the circuit court judge Jim Scott who has to pass sentence on convicted killer Jake Hayes. Fred`s position sometimes takes him out of town. The town sherrif (John Ericson) is a weakling who has fallen in love with Fred`s fiancée while he is out of town. The convicted killer`s father wants the town to only banish his son from the town, and he wrecks terror on the town`s folk so they will agree with him. Will Fred sentence the killer to hang, and find out about his fiancée who he had bought a new homestead for?The film is available on YOU TUBE.

Screen%2Bshot%2B2016-01-26%2Bat%2B2.43.2

I re-watched QUANTEZ this afternoon. One thing I need to say is that it moves very slow the first 45 minutes. It's very deliberate in how the characters are presented and how we get to know them. What's interesting is that we see Malone joining the men in the beginning, this group of outlaws on their way to Mexico, but she is very much a peripheral figure initially. We get to know the other characters first. But then gradually, we see how the men behave a certain way around her, and how all of them secretly (and not so secretly) have designs on her. So mid-way through the picture, she is more the central presence, a woman who represents their fantasies and the flesh and blood reality of having a woman ride along on the trail. The scene where they intercept some painter to do her portrait is well done. And also what makes it work is that she has her own demons, her own insecurities to overcome. 

 

But it's the last ten to fifteen minutes that are the best. At this point, the plot begins to pick up speed and we have a very dramatic pay off on the edge of a canyon. We still don't know who she's going to end up with. I won't spoil it, but  she did wind up with the guy I wanted her to be with...so it was ultimately very satisfying. And the ending is kind of shocking; it leaves you with a lot to think about.

 

Highly recommend QUANTEZ for western fans with the patience to sit through the slower scenes at the beginning.

original-577314-048.jpg

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It was mentioned that MacMurray was 6'3". Who was the tallest of all the leading men in classic films?

Both Gary Cooper and James Stewart are listed as 6'3''.

 

John Wayne was 6' 3 and a half inches.

 

Vincent Price was 6' 4''.

 

Christopher Lee was 6' 5'', but you wouldn't really call him a leading man.

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Both Gary Cooper and James Stewart are listed as 6'3''.

 

John Wayne was 6' 3 and a half inches.

 

Vincent Price was 6' 4''.

 

Christopher Lee was 6' 5'', but you wouldn't really call him a leading man.

..so Paul Muni towered over all of them.

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I also watched a beautiful family western SMOKY released by 20th Century Fox in 1946.Fred plays Clint a cowhand riding on the plains who sees a beautiful wild dark gray horse. The stallion is loose and wild, and Fred falls in love with him. Needing a job, he comes to a ranch that handles horses and cattle. Anne Baxter owns the ranch with the help of her grandparents. The ranch foreman has misgivings about Fred because he is very closed mouthed about his past. Anne hire him anyway, and Clint (Fred) does a excellent job. Before and after his chores and on Sundays, Fred looks for Smoky and finds him. He brings him to the ranch and slowly works with him putting a saddle on and riding him. Clint`s persistence pays off, and Smoky becomes a wonderful working horse. He answers only to Clint, and on a trip to bring back loose cattle, Smoky stumbles. Clint falls off, and he is badly injured. Clint cannot pull himself up onto the saddle, so he tells Smoky to be still. He wraps his arm in the stirrup, and Smoky slowly drags Clint back to the ranch. Two other cowhands, one good one bad, had seen what Smoky was doing. Good Burl Ives in his first film role, and bad Bruce Cabot hired only because Clint put in a good word for him. Clint is laid up for awhile ribs.When Clint goes back to work, he fires Bruce because he mistreated Smoky. Soon a man comes to the ranch with a IOU for $250 with Clint`s name. Some of the ranch`s cattle are missing too along with Smoky.Clint knows who the culprit is, and he vows to clear his name and find Smoky. I seldom use Kleenex when I watch a film, but this movie was an exception. SMOKY would be in the TOP TEN of all the movies that Fred made in my opinion. Beautiful Technicolor was a plus too along with the supporting cast.   

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Screen%2Bshot%2B2016-01-26%2Bat%2B2.43.2

I re-watched QUANTEZ this afternoon. One thing I need to say is that it moves very slow the first 45 minutes. It's very deliberate in how the characters are presented and how we get to know them. What's interesting is that we see Malone joining the men in the beginning, this group of outlaws on their way to Mexico, but she is very much a peripheral figure initially. We get to know the other characters first. But then gradually, we see how the men behave a certain way around her, and how all of them secretly (and not so secretly) have designs on her. So mid-way through the picture, she is more the central presence, a woman who represents their fantasies and the flesh and blood reality of having a woman ride along on the trail. The scene where they intercept some painter to do her portrait is well done. And also what makes it work is that she has her own demons, her own insecurities to overcome. 

 

But it's the last ten to fifteen minutes that are the best. At this point, the plot begins to pick up speed and we have a very dramatic pay off on the edge of a canyon. We still don't know who she's going to end up with. I won't spoil it, but  she did wind up with the guy I wanted her to be with...so it was ultimately very satisfying. And the ending is kind of shocking; it leaves you with a lot to think about.

 

Highly recommend QUANTEZ for western fans with the patience to sit through the slower scenes at the beginning.

original-577314-048.jpg

In the first part of the film, John Larch would yell at Dorothy Malone whenever she screamed or yelled. He usually played nasty roles. James Barton is a new name for me, and I know that Sydney Chaplin was Charlie`s son. Looking forward to watching the rest of this film.

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..so Paul Muni towered over all of them.

Thinking of western actors Rock Hudson 6ft.5in. Fess Parker 6ft 5/one half in., and Clint Walker 6ft.6in.

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