Amph Hollywood Death Watch

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

  1. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Jack Wild (1952-2006)

    Best remembered as a child star, Jack Wild had a best supporting actor nomination for "Oliver" in 1968 (he played the Artful Dodger). He did quite a bit of TV--"H. R. Pufnstuf" and the like. When he could no longer pass as a teenager, things got grim. Died of mouth and lung cancer (he was a heavy smoker). Not all child stars end up like this, but such a number do, it's a good argument for using puppets instead. :p
  2. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Maureen Stapleton (1925-2006)

    Real name: Lois Maureen Stapleton

    Oscar: 1981 (Reds) (Supporting Actress)
    Tony: 1951 (The Rose Tattoo) (Supporting Actress)
    Emmy: 1967 (Among the Paths to Eden) (Best Actress)

    Also nominated for a Grammy in 1975 for her spoken version of "To Kill a Mockingbird"

    Self-deprecating, she once said that people looked at her on the stage and said: "Jesus, that broad better be able to act."

    What the obituaries don't say is that she was a long-term and serious alcoholic, to the despair of family and friends.

    Best work on the stage.
  3. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    I've seen her in:

    Passed Away, utterly idiotic comedy

    I want to see:

    Bye Bye Birdie
    Airport
    Interiors
    Reds

    She tended to irritate me when she was on television . . . haven't seen enough of her film work to comment really.

  4. Zombi_2_1979 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 4
    Only seen Reds and Airport.

    The accounts of the final years of the likes Wild and Stapleton give me quite a morbid nostalgia in contrast to say a former star that was able to move on without falling victim to vice or disease. In other words, had a happy retirement.
  5. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    An extraordinary number of actors seem to have these problems. It's available, their work is irregular, they have the money, they have constant anxiety about their careers, etc.

    Happy retirement? James Cagney and Cary Grant, for two.
  6. Zombi_2_1979 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 4
    Tinseltown is definitely "haunted" (emphasis on quotations). But yes it is great to see the likes of Grant and Cagney.
  7. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Next: Richard Fleischer (1916-2006)

    Son of pioneering animator, Max Fleischer, Richard was, to be blunt about it, a hack director. Not to say there are not movies of interest on his resume:

    1954: "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"
    1955: "Violent Saturday"
    1958: "The Vikings"
    1959: "Compulsion"
    1967: "Fantastic Voyage"
    1973: "Solyent Green"
  8. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Looks like I've seen only 20,000 Leagues and Compulsion, both of which are great films.

    Compulsion especially is very unfairly forgotten, I think.
  9. dudalb Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2001
    star 3
    Fleischer also made the original 1951 "Narrow Margin" which has become a classic. The textbook example of what good direction and writing can do on a small budget.
    He also did two underated movies: "The Boston Strangler" and "Ten Rillington Place".Both fine thrillers.
    Fleischer did his share of schlock to be sure : "Dr Doolittle" "Madingo" ,"The Jazz Singer" (1979)(A film which deserves it's reputation as one of the all time bad movies) but remember these were the days before the average salary for directing a major film was a Million bucks or more and Fleischer made a lot of these films to make a living. He also was brought in to save films when the original director got fired because of budget problems ("Tora,Tora, Tora" which Fleischer managed to make into a good film despite the overwhelming problems.
    At his best he was a damn good director.

  10. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    He did seem to have an interest in true crime stories, but he fell into the dire hands of Disney in the 50's and 60's.
  11. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Next: Alida Valli (1921-2006)

    Real name: Alida Maria Laura von Altenburger

    Gorgeous actress, with Austrian father and Italian mother. Billed as "The Next Garbo." David Selznick brought her over to Hollywood, and she wasn't the next Garbo, of course, but she did have talent, and she did star in some great movies, which is more than a lot of more famous actresses can boast.

    She starred in "The Paradine Case" (1947) which is a lesser Hitchcock, but still interesting. "The Third Man", however, is terrific, and she figured in one of the most famous fade-outs in history: she walks right by Joseph Cotten at the end. She soon thereafter returned to Italy and starred in Luchino Visconti's "Senso" (1954); Antonioni's "Il Grido" (1957); Rene Clement's "Barrage Contre le Pacifique" (1958); and Georges Franju's horror film "Les Yeux Sans Visage" (1959); and Bertolucci's "The Spider's Stratagem" (1970) and "1900" (1974).

    Last film was 2002; she worked nearly to the end.





  12. Drac39 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2002
    star 6
    It`s all ways sad to see this thread uped :(

    Very talented actress
  13. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    I don't guess I ever saw her in anything else, though I would like to see 1900.

    But she was almost unbearably beautiful in The Third Man. And a talented actress too.

  14. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Next: June Allyson (1917-2006)

    Born: NY, N. Y.

    Real name: Ella Geisman

    Musical comedy actress in the MGM golden era, but best remembered today for mousey-wifey roles in the 50's: "The Glenn Miller Story", "Woman's World", etc.

    Better to catch her in musicals, where her best feature--her husky, distinctive voice--is featured. Try "Good News" (1947), a very good campus musical. She's also good singing "Thou Swell" in "Words and Music." She started as a dancer on Broadway.

  15. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Next: Red Buttons (1919-2006)

    Born: New York, N. Y.

    Real Name: Aaron Chwatt

    A good candidate for the Inexplicable Career Thread. Certainly the recipient of one of the most Inexplicable Oscars (for "Sayonara"). Anyway, if he showed up in the cast list, it was generally a very bad sign...he mugged, he manipulated the audience, and he could not act.
  16. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Red Buttons, to me, will always speak of the inherent racism of the Academy. Give an Oscar to him over Sessue Hayakawa for Bridge on the River Kwai? Explain that, without it being a racial issue. By any standard of acting, Hayakawa's performance is the better one.

    One of the greatest injustices of the entire Academy history if you ask me.
  17. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Today: Glenn Ford (1916-2006)

    Real name: Gwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford

    Never a Great Big Star, he had a very long, and intermittently interesting career. Started 1937, got lead roles about 1942.

    Recommended:

    (1941) "So Ends Our Night"
    (1946) "Gilda" (in a role designed for Bogart!)
    (1946) "A Stolen Life"
    (1951) "The Secret of Convict Lake"
    (1953) "The Big Heat" dir. Fritz Lang
    (1954) "Human Desire" dir. Fritz Lang (remake of "La Bete Humaine" and not as good as the original)
    (1955) "The Violent Men"
    (1955) "The Blackboard Jungle"
    (1957) "3:10 to Yuma"
    (1958) "Cowboy"
    (1958) "The Sheepman"
    (1978) "Superman" as Pa Kent

    The rest I either haven't seen or didn't like.
  18. General_Dodonna Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2005
    star 2
    An obituary I wrote for my blog:

    The veteran screen actor Glenn Ford, who starred in numerous Hollywood films in the 1940s and 1950s, died today. He was ninety years old.

    Ford's was a natural screen presence, but he was always quick to point out his limited range. He once said of acting: "Acting is just being truthful. I have to play myself. I'm not an actor who can take on another character, like Laurence Olivier. The worst thing I could do would be to play Shakespeare." His gravitas though was absolutely undeniable. Ford gave two magnificent performances in two of my favorite films, Charles Vidor's Gilda and Delmer Daves' 3:10 to Yuma.

    Gilda is regarded by some as hollow and unbelievable, an excuse for Rita Hayworth to look sexy and sing "Blame It On Mame." While Vidor's (and indeed, the camera's) infatuation with Hayworth is evident in a way comparable to G.W. Pabst's cinematic deification of the great Louise Brooks, it in no way is what makes Gilda great. It is Ford's marvellously subtle screen presence that absolutely transforms the film into what I believe is one of the most truthful portrayals of love ever put onscreen.

    Ford's Johnny Farrell, a lowlife gambler cum powerful Buenos Aires nightclub owner, is so masterfully underplayed that he simultaneously attracts us and repulses us, just as he attracts and repulses Gilda. His repressed longing for Gilda and his struggles with the loyalty he feels he owes to benefactor Ballin is evident in almost every scene. With each passing scene, we can visibly see the torment eating away at Johnny's soul until there's almost nothing left. Ford imbues the character with so many conflicting emotions that when his passion finally boils over in the final scene, it is both cooly erotic and breathtakingly true.

    Gilda is not a love story exactly, but a psychological portrait of two very flawed people, neither of whom know a good thing when they see it. When it's finally recognized, it's almost too late. Audiences may find this tacked on, a "Hollywood" ending as it were, I find it one of the few deserved reunions in all of Hollywood cinema. There's a thin line between love and hate, and no onscreen relationship I can think of portrays this better than that between Gilda and Johnny. While Hayworth smoulders onscreen, it is Ford who does all the dirty work. Without him, the film is nothing.

    As in Gilda, Ford would deliver yet another masterful performance some ten years later in Delmer Daves' remarkable western 3:10 to Yuma. In a performance of Machiavellian calculation and cunning, Ford's criminal mastermind Ben Wade becomes the perfect foil to Van Heflin's soft-spoken rancher, Dan Evans. Given a conflicted, psychologically complicated character like Wade, Ford goes to town. Like his performance as Farrell, it is notable mostly for its subtlety. Ford is calm, collected, and calculating. The cooler Wade is, the more violently paranoid Evans becomes. It's a remarkable study in contrast and reversal, and minus its regrettable ending, its on account of the lead performances and Daves' assured direction that this has become something of a neglected Western classic.

    Ford was a wonderful actor, but one woefully underutilized and underappreciated by Hollywood. It's sad that it will likely take his passing for his body of work to be fully recognized and appreciated, but here's hoping that it is. Rest in peace Mr. Ford.
  19. severian28 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2004
    star 5
    He made some great forgotten westerns, also, like Jubal, The Fastest Gun Alive, and the 1960's remake of Cimarron. I liked him best in The Blackboard Jungle.
  20. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    I've seen a few of his movies on TCM in which I thought he was either miscast ("The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse") or disinterested ("Plunder of the Sun.")

    But I haven't actually seen "3:10 to Yuma"; Rogue says it is a classic. "Gilda" is terrific, and so is "The Big Heat."

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

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    It's Zombi, I think, who says 3:10 is a classic. I haven't seen it yet either.

    I've only ever really seen him in Gilda. I've seen a couple of other westerns but so long ago, I don't really remember them. But he's definitely great in Gilda. Rather thankless role, but he does it with style and emotion.
  22. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Didn't you challenge me to see that one in the old "Has Anybody Seen This Movie?" thread? I was sure you had...
  23. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    I think you're thinking of "Last Train from Gun Hill."
  24. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Damn. Sorry about that. You're right, of course. :p
  25. redsabreanakin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2005
    star 5
    There was a great TV western that he was in also. "The Sacketts" with Tom Selleck and Sam Elliot.