Amph Hollywood Death Watch

Discussion in 'Community' started by Zaz, Mar 17, 2005.

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  1. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Today: Brock Peters (1927-2005) of pancreatic cancer.

    Started in 1954 in "Carmen Jones" and also had a role in "Porgy and Bess" (1959). But best remembered as the accused in "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962), which is unfortunately a symbol rather than a part.

    A good actor with too few opportunities, Peters had a great basso-profundo voice (in fact, he was Darth Vader in the radio adaptations of "Star Wars"). He appeared in several other decent movies: "Major Dundee", "The L-Shaped Room", "The Pawnbroker", and two Star Trek Movies, but the Voice was his bread and butter.
  2. PadmeLeiaJaina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2002
    star 6
    Ahhh thank you for reminding me that he was the Voice of Vader in the Radio dramatizations. That's where I know him best.
  3. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Next:

    Robert Wise: 1914-2005

    Started out as an editor (famously edited "Citizen Kane" in 1941)

    Was editing "Curse of the Cat People" in 1944, when the director dropped out; he replaced him. Wise was 30 years old.

    The film was a success, and he directed several other decent movies in the 40's: "The Body Snatcher" (1945); "Blood on the Moon" (1948); and "The Set-Up" (1949).

    In the 50's, along with a lot of trivia, there were some more decent movies: "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951); "Executive Suite" (1954); "Somebody Up There Likes Me" (1956); I Want to Live! (1958); and Run Silent Run Deep (1958).

    His most famous films were two musicals: "West Side Story" (1961), and "The Sound of Music" (1965), but the qualities that people remember them by were not supplied by him (and he cast Richard Beymer as Tony; yar boo sucks to that). His greater fame means that his films had greater budgets, and more opportunity for people to see that he was somewhat dull. Ironically, the two films he made between the two musicals: "The Haunting" (1962) and "Two for the Seesaw" (1963) were probably the best he ever made; of course, they both failed.

    He made a confoundingly dull large action picture, "The Sand Pebbles" (1966), and a confoundingly dull large musical "Star" (1968); both failed, and his career petered out in the 70's, ending with the first "Star Trek" movie, which was...confoundingly dull.

    He seems like a nice man, with no gift for casting, competence without much passion, and not much to say.

  4. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Yeah, I've seen some of his stuff. He didn't really have a great signature style or anything. But he made some good ones.

    I've seen:

    The Day the Earth Stood Still - a surprisingly visual film and one that truly creates a stark world all its own. It's occasionally a bit dull, but worthwhile.

    West Side Story - I love this one . . . loads of great music and a great tragedy to boot. Is Beymer dull? Yeah, *sigh* he sure is, but the supporting players are all fantastic, so it still works

    The Sound of Music - textbook example of how NOT to do a musical. Boring, saccharine, pure camp.

    I want to see:

    The Curse of the Cat People (loved the first one . . . not always a great indication, but I'd like to see it)
    The Body Snatcher
    Executive Suite
    Run Silent, Run Deep
    The Haunting
    The Andromeda Strain
    Star Trek: The Motion Picture

    One interesting thing: it's hard to put him in a genre, isn't it?

  5. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5
    The Sound of Music - textbook example of how NOT to do a musical. Boring, saccharine, pure camp.

    In it's day, it was the highest grossing musical ever made.

    In 1965 it made $ 158,000,000 DOMESTICALLY alone. 1965! Adjusted for inflation that's 910 million dollars in 2005 dollars.

    Offhand, I'd say the guy who directed THAT movie musical knew what he was doing. I'd say that's a textbook example of EXACTLY how to make a musical that satisfies an audience.

    His directing peers seemed to think he knew how to direct a musical. They voted him a Best Director Oscar for both of his hit musicals.

    People LOVE those films. :)

    Audiences love sentimentality. What's at the top of the list today?
    The corniest melodrama EVER. TITANTIC.

    Some things never change.

    Wise made a terrific little sci-fi thriller called THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN
    that I enjoy to this day. And his editing of CITIZEN KANE brought him his first Oscar nomination.

    By the way, Wise is in a very exclusive club. He is one of only five directors in history to ever win TWO directing Oscars. The others are Billy Wilder, Clint Eastwood, David Lean
    and Steven Spielberg.
  6. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    And Hitchcock didn't even get one. So don't take this seriously.

    The point about the two musicals is that they were both taste-tested on the stage. Just because something is immensely popular, it is not necessarily good.

    ETA: Didn't Speilberg only win one Oscar?


  7. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Point taken, but Titanic is not corny. It's a tragedy. The Sound of Music is saccharine, in my opinion, and the plot, which could get quite gritty if it wanted to, chooses to gloss over the Nazi atrocities as though the worst thing they ever did was break up Liesel's burgeoning love affair and put a few singers out of business.

    By bringing up Titanic, you've raised an interesting issue: both films set against the backdrop of a great historical tragedy. One allows that tragedy to unfold in a powerful and tragic way, the other does not.

    Granted, Sound of Music was probably so popular because it was so rose colored, but just because other people are into escapism, doesn't mean I have to be.

  8. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Next: Don Adams (1923-2005)

    Real name: Donald Yarmy

    Most of us have heard his voice at one time or another. The voice of Tennessee Tuxedo (I don't know this one), Underdog and Inspector Gadget in cartoons, his biggest success was as the dumb-as-a-bag-of-hammers secret agent, Maxwell Smart, in the television series "Get Smart" (1965-70) The show was written by Mel Brooks, and you could tell.



  9. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    As some one in the JCC said, let's all step into the cone of silence for a minute . . .

    He was great on Get Smart.
  10. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5

    Sorry to hear of the demise of Agent 86 - Don Adams.
    Even his number was funny if you think about it. ;)

    I'm surprised to learn that GET SMART ran 5 years.
    I didn't remember it being on that long.
    That's a very healthy run, especially considering
    back in those days, they did a lot more episodes
    per season.

    ETA: Didn't Speilberg only win one Oscar?

    Because SAVING PRIVATE RYAN got beat out for Best Picture
    by SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, people have a tendency to forget
    (myself included) that Spielberg did win the Academy Award
    that year for directing SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. So yes, Spielberg has two.
    Interesting both for movies he received an Oscar for were set in WWII.
  11. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Next: Nipsy Russell (1924-2005)

    Started out in television on "Car 54, Where Are You?" (1961). He then went on to numerous variety shows. His movie roles are not very numerous, but the best one was in "The Wiz" as the Tin Man (1978). He was very good, and showed that his talent had been wasted.
  12. JediPriestess Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 4
    woah I was just thinking about him yesterday and wondered if he was still alive.:eek:
  13. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Next: Noriyuki 'Pat' Morita (1932-2005)

    Famous for playing Kesuke Miyagi, the mentor-figure in the 4 "Karate Kid" movies. Other than that, he had a long career in small roles in TV ('Happy Days') and movies.

  14. Obi-Wan2001 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 6, 2001
    star 4
    :(That's very sad news. Rest in peace, Pat.
  15. Latorski Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2002
    star 4
    That's very sad. I, like many people my age, loved his work in The Karate Kid.

    I had no idea the character of Mr. Miyagi had a first name.

    R.I.P.
  16. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Next: Richard Pryor (1940-2005)

    Don't expect to figure out Pryor's appeal from his fictional movies, which are a fairly sorry lot. He started in 1967, but nothing captures his talent except his concert movies:

    Richard Pryor: Live and Smokin' (1985)
    Richard Pryor Here and Now (1983)
    Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip (1982)
    Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979)

    But in fictional movies, what happened in "Blazin' Saddles" is fairly typical: He was replaced in the picture (which he helped write) by Cleavon Little, because he was deemed to be too subversive by the studio. He had some decent supporting roles, but they were bland compared to his stand-up comedy.

    Pryor also was a man with a lot of other distractions: he was married 7 times, had 8 children, suffered from MS, and set himself on fire while freebasing cocaine.

    He was just too far ahead of his time.
  17. Jedi_Queen_Mx Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2003
    star 4
    I'd an aunt who worked as a writer in Hollywood when she was working on a project with the producer of "Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip." The producer was in a dispute with the MPAA Rating Board because they had given the film an X rating. He was in a pissy lather when asked. "How can you give this film an X rating? All its a guy wearing a tuxedo, standing on a stage with a microphone." "But its Richard Pryor," they responded.

    Classic.

    R.I.P. @};- :(
  18. Drac39 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2002
    star 6
    Funny man,I especially liked his collabrations with Gene Wilder
  19. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    He was also involved in writing some TV shows: "Sanford & Son" and "Flip Wilson" for two.

    I wonder if he wrote the famous Flip routine: "Columbus had better discover America, because if he doesn't, there ain't going to be no Ray Charles!" etc. Sounds like him.
  20. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Next: Shelly Winters" (1920-2006)

    Born: East St. Louis, Illinois

    Real Name: Shirley Schrift

    Started in 1943, and if you see the movies she starred in when young, you wonder how she ever got a part. She had a nice figure then and was reasonably pretty, but she had an awful whining voice, and disfigures several decent movies: "A Double Life", "A Place in the Sun" and "The Night of the Hunter" for three. She also is unlikely in a period setting: "Winchester 73".

    She then put on some weight, and started doing character parts: She won Best Supporting Oscars for "The Diary of Anne Frank" and
    "A Patch of Blue". If the awards were for over-acting, then okay.

    Her weight increased, the roles got smaller, but she never gave up. Unfortunately.

    She also wrote a couple of 'tell-all' books which revealed that (according to her) she slept with half of Hollywood. I guess that's an achievement of a kind. :p

  21. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    I rather agree with you. She's more or less unremarkable at best and annoying at worst.

    I've seen:

    A Double Life - fine movie and she's not that bad here really.

    Winchester '73 - I love this movie, think it's one of the best westerns ever made, have seen it at least three times and did not remember she was in it. What's that tell you?

    A Place in the Sun - overrated movie all the way.

    The Night of the Hunter - I rather liked her in this. Her bizarre style and appearance fit the film very well. Surreal.

    The Poseiden Adventure - rarely has there been a hammier performance. I enjoyed the movie, but she was beyond annoying here. Enough with the accents.

    Le Locataire - great movie if you can stand the ultra bizarre. She has a small role and is utterly disgusting in it.

    I want to see:

    Red River
    The Diary of Anne Frank
    Lolita
    The Greatest Story Ever Told
    A Patch of Blue
    Alfie
    Blume in Love
    Next Stop, Greenwich Village
    SOB
  22. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    I don't think she was in "Red River", Rogue....
  23. Honor_And_Liberty Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2005
    star 1
  24. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    I couldn't figure why she would have an uncredited role after she was doing star turns, and then I remembered that the "Red River" release was delayed for some reason. I guess that's the explanation.

    The reason I didn't like her in "The Night of the Hunter" was that she wasn't a likely hillbilly, especially vocally. Peter Graves, who played her husband, was also miscast (too genteel.)
  25. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Yeah, I used IMDB and it said she was uncredited in Red River.

    And I agree she was a bit unlikely in Night of the Hunter, but then so was the fact that anyone would buy Robert Mitchum as a preacher . . . :p I've always thought that movie, more than most, deserved to be watched as if through a filter. I maintain that the entire movie is really the child's perspective: hence, the overtly vicious Mitchum, the ultra-heroic father, etc.

    But that doesn't hold up very well really. :p I'm just trying to cover for myself.
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