Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Alternate Best Supporitng Actor 1961: Eli Wallach in The Misfits

Eli Wallach did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Guido in The Misfits.

Well this is my first time not reviewing Eli Wallach in the role as a outlaw in the old west. This time we meet in the opening of the picture as an average guy who works for a car garage. Wallach even though he's not touting a gun still has just a screen presence that's all his own. There just something about him that's interesting even when he's just undergoing a routine inspection of a car. Guido while doing this happens to catch a glance of the alluring divorcee Roslyn (Marilyn Monroe), who he tells his cowboy friend Gay (Clark Gable) about later. Wallach on paper has a pretty thankless role and almost might seem like in a throwaway role in lesser hands, but Wallach makes the most of it. In these early scenes of just really establishing the story Wallach realizes Guido personality incredibly well by just by playing so authentically this average guy.

Wallach is very good in just adding this extra layer of character to any scene he is in just through his interactions with the other characters. It does not even need to be important stuff even he could just be hanging out with Gay or looking at Roslyn from a distance. Wallach does not allow Guido just to be some side show that can easily be forgotten or ignored. The interesting thing is that Guido technically speaking is suppose to be a rather average hollow man, but Wallach just gets so much out of being this guy. Wallach so naturally really bridges the whole cast together by being this technically standard guy among the strong willed Gay and the rather damaged Roslyn and Perce (Montgomery Clift). Wallach just brings the most of the character and just makes Guido an interesting character to watch even though he technically isn't in conception.

Wallach manages to stick out even though his character is often pushed to the side, but there a few very short moments where Wallach is given his moments to shine. Wallach is excellent in these scenes as he very effectively shows the self-absorbed nature of Guido. Wallach is incredibly good here in the moments where Guido tries to show his "depth" to Roslyn by describing the fact that his wife died. Wallach here is terrific by being genuine in the moment as Guido talks about that troubled past, but only in that instance does Wallach show Guido being truly emotional. When not alone with Roslyn Wallach does not show Guido to become particularly emotional, and as odd as it might seem Wallach makes it completely believable. It is not that Guido is faking the emotions rather Wallach shows that Guido will only really reflect on them if he thinks it can in some way make it so he can connect with Roslyn.

Wallach here shows just as he did a year earlier with The Magnificent Seven that he only needs just enough to create a great character. Both Guido and Calvera very well could have been the most forgettable elements of their respective films, but in Wallach's hands they are among the most memorable. Guido may seem simple and in many ways he is and in fact the film seems set up just to dismiss him as the bad guy among all the guys. Wallach is great here by technically fulfilling the need of Guido being the "bad guy" but by doing in a realistic fashion that never paints him as being an obvious bad guy. In fact Wallach plays him most of the time as being likable enough whenever things don't really matter, but when the worse side comes out to him Wallach still does not undercut Guido as a character. He creates a very honest and full portrait of Guido that far surpasses what it seems was even the intent of the role.

38 comments:

Mark said...

Louis, when/if you rate movies, do you use a 4 star system like Ebert, or the 5 star system like with your acting ratings? And also, what are the worst Lead and Supporting performances you have ever seen that wouldn't get Wiseaus?

Louis Morgan said...

I suppose I would use the 5 star system.

As for the worst of the worst I'll stick to mainstream only.

Leading:

Jake Lloyd - The Phantom Menace

Supporting:

Jake Lloyd - Jingle All The Way

I'm sorry but Lloyd just happened to be every bad tendency of a child actor all rolled up into one.

But that's sorta cheating so I'll go with adults as well.

Leading:

Stephen Lack - Scanners

Supporting:

Wes Bentley - Ghost Rider

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

Apparently Cronenberg wanted Lack to show absolutely no emotions whatsoever.

George Woolf said...

What are your thoughts on Thelma Ritter?

John Smith said...

I have just seen The Master and i loved it. Im glad that Phoenix is ranked higher then Lewis performance in Lincoln.

RatedRStar said...

=D Baby Doll Louis, you reckon Wallach has a chance in that, he was great.

RatedRStar said...

Louis did you ever see the home footage of Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift and Kevin McCarthy messing around =D.

luke higham said...

Louis: What were your thoughts on season 3 of Game of Thrones. As well as thoughts on your two favorite episodes from the season & lastly your MVP.

JackiBoyz said...

@RatedRStar: What were your top ten films of 2013?

Louis Morgan said...

Robert: Well even in that capacity he failed with the ridiculous faces he makes in the scanning scenes.

George: She was doing her usual thing her, but as usual she's very good at it.

RatedRStar: I think he probably has a very good chance.

Luke:

Season 3 is excellent just as the previous seasons. Aside from Daenerys I find all the stories and characters consistently compelling and interesting. The season moved the story forward effectively with some great moments throughout particularly in its ending of the season.

My favorite episodes:

Rains of Castamere - (Even with prior knowledge of the Red Wedding the scene still packs an incredibly punch and its whole execution was absolutely marvelous)

Kissed By Fire - (An excellent balance of the characters and I particularly liked the Hound's test of fire, as well as Jaime's revelation scene to Brienne)

I thought the MVP of season 3 was Charles Dance although I would put Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as a close second.

RatedRStar said...

@JackiBoyz

The Wolf Of Wall Street
American Dreams In China
Filth
Frozen
Unbeatable
Dallas Buyers Club
Captain Phillips
12 Years A Slave
Rush
Her

Michael McCarthy said...

I really liked this performance but I still wish you'd liked Clift more than you did, I found him quite haunting and likable in this and as Daniel said I think he always gives a tremendous effort in his work.

RatedRStar said...

Louis, I think, you are always very fair and trustworthy and 9 times out of 10 completely right in all of your reviews, but, I sometimes feel that you sort of, hold back when reviewing some actors, Monty Clift and a few others, like there is something missing that you want him to give you =D lol.

RatedRStar said...

=D cause I know you gave him 2 wins in the original nominated performances, but, I dont know lol maybe im just being a Monty Clift fanboy lol.

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: I think his early death, is probably a main reason, why he hasn't been reviewed again.
Also the rest of his filmography, apart from his 3 5 star performances in From Here to Eternity, Judgment at Nuremberg and A Place in The Sun, isn't particularly enticing.

RatedRStar said...

I would say that is a good reason Luke, that he had an early death but, I think all of the performances after the crash, like The Young Lions, Wild River and even his final role in The Defector, I always feel like they are all haunting, all of them, every single performance after the crash, has this extremely hard to watch nature, that makes his films that bit extra special, its like Clift never gave up and kept trying refusing to stay down.

RatedRStar said...

For example, in Judgement At Nuremberg, we dont see Rudolf Petersen, we see Montgomery Clift, the real human being, on the screen, not the actor, not the character, the human being in real life on that screen, his passion is always there, and you can see all of the things that hurt him on the inside =D, like struggling to keep his sexuality, struggling to overcome alcohol, struggling to keep his past from haunting him again,

RatedRStar said...

=D Clift was a really emotional man, he was extremely upset that he lost the oscar to William Holden.

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: Well, in your case, just be patient, since there's always the bonus rounds, although it's an utter nuisance having to wait at least another 2-2 1/2 years for them, considering that I'm desperate to know his thoughts on Mikkelson in A Royal Affair & The Hunt, as well as Edward WoodWard and Christopher Lee in The Wicker Man.
I do admit, I would like to see Monty, reviewed at least once for an alternative review.

RatedRStar said...

Its ok =D I am a Clift fanboy at the end of the day lol

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: Which five performances from fully covered years, do you want to see reviewed for the bonus rounds.

RatedRStar said...

=D I honestly dont have any currently lol, more than likely performances from my favorite actors.

Michael McCarthy said...

Has anyone seen Clift in Freud? I'm watching that right now.

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: Have you seen Pan's Labyrinth, if so, what would your rating & thoughts be for Sergi Lopez.

RatedRStar said...

=D ye I did Michael, I thought the film was better than A Dangerous Method which was just boring, I thought Freud was a fine enough film, and Clifts performance in that is pretty much what I said of the other performances after the crash.


I am afraid I have never seen Pans Labyrinth although I probably will in the future.

Anonymous said...

Louis , what are your ratings and thoughts on the cast of Nothing but trouble 1991? The movie is off beat , werid and bad but I honestly don't think the cast was. John Candy I thought was decent , yet I noticed you rated the 3 guys so low.

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

Hey Louis, what do you think about Jack Gleeson on Game of Thrones?

luke higham said...

Louis: What are your thoughts on Sean Bean, Emilia Clarke, Charles Dance, Peter Dinklage & Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in Game of Thrones.

luke higham said...

I've decided to change my prediction.
1. Nakadai
2. Lancaster
3. Wallach
4. Quinn
5. Malden

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

By the way, I just saw Filth. Loved McAvoy. Too bad I don't know what the FUCK I just watched.

Louis Morgan said...

RatedRStar: I don't know I thought I was pretty positive toward Clift I mean I did give him the win, out of the nominees, for A Place in the Sun over Brando which I imagine is basically blasphemous to some.

Anonymous: I just did not find them particularly funny more than anything. I really did not hate any of them or anything close to that. I'm not really much of a fan of Chevy Chase's shtick. I like John Candy but I felt they just put him in drag and called it a day. Dan Aykroyd probably gives his riskiest performance here but I just did not think it really payed off.

Robert: He's really good at being the worst kind of villain, one without style. He struck particular nerve with me as his performance reminded me exactly of a brat I knew back in school. He makes Joffrey completely unbearable and despicable just as he should be.

Luke:

Sean Bean - (He's basically Boromir without the faults here which certainly works. He's quite good though at being determined yet exasperated hero and does a great job of setting Ned Stark as the noble hero for the story to make it so his demise is properly disconcerting)

Emilia Clarke - (I think she is okay in the extremely emotional scenes, but past that I find her performance rather problematic. When ever she needs to show conviction she sounds more whiny, and she distinctly lacks the needed charisma for the part. I just fail to see why Jorah and the others would be so fervently devoted to her.)

Charles Dance - (Tywin has a somewhat considerable build up before he appears and Dance does not disappoint. Dance commands a scene so effortlessly with his cold presence he brings to the part. Dance rules almost every scene he is in, and I just love every scene where Tywin shows Joffrey who really is in charge)

Peter Dinklage - (Dinklage is great in a truly showboating performance, which completely fits Tyrion who purposefully likes to make spectacle of himself. He's funny, charming, always entertaining, yet Dinklage also carries considerable emotional power in his performance too)

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau - (He probably has the most extreme arc out of any character I would say, and well he does a great job of it. I love how both he and Dinklage play their roles in a similar style that alludes so nicely to their brotherhood. He's the perfect smug villain in the first and second seasons yet he manages to naturally transition Jaime into a far more sympathetic and surprisingly affecting figure later on)

Anonymous said...

Sorry to bother you Louis but in addition to the aforementioned GOT cast members, what do you think of Kit Harrington, Natalie Dormer, and Aiden Gillan?

RatedRStar said...

I think 1953 will be a real close call Louis, between James Mason and Montgomery Clift, I am thankful you gave Clift 2 wins its really that I wonder he has to do in order to get into your most respected actors list cause I dont Clift has ever given a performance unworthy.

RatedRStar said...

I meant to say I dont think Clift has ever given a bad performance ever, or even an average one.

Michael Patison said...

Also for GOT, Lena Headey.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Kit Harrington - (I find him far more than adequate in being the young and particularly inexperienced action hero for the show)

Natalie Dormer - (She's rather good in being the alluring figure she should be. She as well properly suggests that most of what she does is put on)

Aidan Gillan - (I really don't know why any man would trust him for a second as he frankly could not seem any more skeevy. I suppose though that is certainly the point of Little Finger though so his performance works in that regard, although I think Conleth Hill is the best at playing the double crosser type in the show. I do have to question why in the fourth season he started playing the part with a slight pirate accent though)

TParker said...

Great analysis! Guido is one of my favourite performances from Eli, he really shone in the role.

stampschick said...

The article was about Eli Wallach's performance as Guido. How did almost all the comments end up being about Montgomery Clift, or some other actors or other movies? Why can't the comments stay on topic?

By the way, I completely agree with your assessment of Wallach's performance in The Misfits. Thanks!