Monday, 17 August 2015

Alternate Best Actor 1976: John Wayne in The Shootist

John Wayne did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying John Bernard "J.B." Books in The Shootist.

The Shootist is an interesting film about the last days of a famed gunfighter, although I don't believe it quite reaches the heights that seem possible from its central idea.

The last film of an actors career can sometimes be unmemorable in that it just is another film in their filmography like The Harder They Fall for Humphrey Bogart, it sometimes can be quite memorable for the wrong reasons like Bela Lugosi in Plan 9 From Outer Space where it is an unfortunate indication of where their career ended up, or it can seem like the right final showcase for their talent that seems like a final reflection on their career. Clark Gable had this with The Misfits, Burt Lancaster had this with Field of Dreams, but perhaps the most perfect example of this has to be John Wayne's last film being the Shootist. Wayne was always known best for his work in westerns, and it's fitting for that last film to be in that genre. This takes a step further than that since the central character is dying from cancer, unfortunately what Wayne would die of a few years after this film. Not only that but in a way the story of J.B. Books seems to be that of many a John Wayne character and in way this is both a sendoff for Wayne, and for all those various western heroes he played throughout his career.

Every time I've covered John Wayne outside of his Oscar nominations they've been for somewhat atypical performances for Wayne. The first being the Quiet Man as the romantic lead where he played a guy whose problems came from his refusal to fight, and the other being for The Searches where he was the lead in a western but as a much harder and colder man than usual. That is not the case with this film as J.B. Books feels like the end to a more typical John Wayne villain. The film has a certain dark edge to it, but it in itself isn't all that dark. Books's life is not that of William Munny from Unforgiven, Ryunosuke from The Sword of Doom, or even Wayne's own Ethan Edwards where the violence of the men was most often a result of their own selfishness or viciousness. It's made known that Books only kills people who break one of his few personal rules, and as well that he even spent time as a law man. This is not unlike the more typical Wayne character, and this is John Wayne style John Wayne performance. Of course in the war films and the westerns the effectiveness and strength of the typical Wayne could vary, sometimes it would work, sometimes less so, luckily The Shootist is the very best John Wayne John Wayne performance I've seen.

Wayne is especially on here to say the least as he just has this grander larger than life quality often what he seems to be striving for in his performances, and this is fitting quite well to the man of J.B. Books who is considered the living legend, the last great gunfighter. Wayne carries himself well with this in man as his whole stature and manner here feels that of such a man. Wayne's presence is in his usual way but stronger than in any other film as this sort of man. There just is something more remarkable here as Wayne brings something extra as though Books is not like those previous characters, but instead seemed to have been everyone meaning he's lived quite a life. There is a gracefulness evident here that seems indicative of his ways as a shootist. Whenever he does deal with someone with the gun Wayne plays these scenes perfectly by not giving any hesitation or fear in Books, instead he portrays Books as being basically a professional in the way he takes down any opponent. What Wayne does not put in though is any sort of sadism in Books as again this is a John Wayne type of character, and the film presents every man he kills as basically making the first move against him, although this is not to say that it's quite the simple within Wayne's performance.

I would not necessarily put John Wayne as one of the most charming actors of all time, that was never exactly part of his appeal, but here Wayne really is incredibly charming. It's an intriguing one though as Wayne again does not feel that different from his earlier similair performances, but it seems as though he learned from all those earlier work as he makes himself charming within the rough and tough sort of character. Wayne just seems to hit his mark every time in this film as his little bit of humor thrown in here or there in some of his banter in dealing with phonies or just other folk works especially well here. All the old Wayne tricks and touches are here, but Wayne makes them the best he's  Wayne has a generous amount of warmth in his performance here and his chemistry with Lauren Bacall as local inn keep named Bond is surprisingly effective. It's not romantic chemistry in this case, but rather just a honest feeling companionship that they develop. Wayne is wonderful in their more tender moments together as he shows quite clearly a love of life within in Books, and that the cancer that's killing him is no way a blessing, even with so many gunning for his life, rather Wayne shows he's a man who has enjoyed his time on earth even though it has not always been easy.

The film is not a depressing requiem as there is something very encouraging about Books right until his last scene in the film. There is that darker edge within there and this mostly comes from Wayne's own work. Although Wayne is quite moving in portraying that enjoyment of life in Books, that is not all there is when Bacall's character does press him a bit more on his life and what exactly it has lead to. In these moments Wayne is striking by revealing a deeper sorrow in the man as though when he is forced to truly reflect on things that all that he's done has not added up to enough. There is a powerful anguish in moments, and although in the end Books goes to face death head on, Wayne suggests a most definite fear of this when Books is at his lowest moments. The best moments of his performance is when he deals with Bond's son Gillom (Ron Howard) who idolizes the man. The younger man is eager to learn all the tricks from Books about gunfighter, and he's eager enough to shoot with him as well as tell him the truth that it's more about will and nerves than accuracy in a gunfight. What's outstanding about Wayne's work though is how he actually undercuts these words with his own delivery of them. He ends up being quite heartbreaking actually when he tells Gillom these things it is not pride that Wayne conveys rather he brings a considerable sadness in them as though Books himself is realizing that what's he's best at and what he's defined his life with is not something worth living for. This is a great performance by Wayne because he does not leave death as a one note. There is of course sadness in there in those moments of regrets, there's those glints of nostalgia, as well as the appreciate of what's still left there. What makes this truly special though is that John Wayne is also able to make it feel like one final hurrah for his whole career as a star, as almost everything that defined that is found here through his portrayal of J.B. Books, and not only that Wayne happens to make it the greatest iteration of that classic John Wayne persona.

154 comments:

ruthiehenshallfan99 said...

Thanks to TCM, I was made aware of a little scene between Wayne and Lauren Bacall most likely near the end of the movie. It's heartbreaking. (No I have not seen the movie)

Anonymous said...

A 5 well earned. What did you think of Bacall, Howard and Stewart?
Now, I know this sounds a little odd, Louis, but who would be your cast and director for a premake of Apocalypse Now in the 30's (World War I)?

Anonymous said...

Will you do best actress years when you finish Best Actor? Totally love your blog!

Matt Mustin said...

Excellent performance.

luke higham said...

Louis: Your Top 5 Female Lead/Supporting Top 5s with other 4+ performances for 1979.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: After the Bonus rounds, I think Louis's more likely to cover Television than write Oscar reviews for women, as Louis's given his thoughts on an lot of them and the predictions themselves would be quite pointless as well.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: And Louis has explained before, that he doesn't really intend to review female performances.

Calvin Law said...

I actually prefer him here to in The Searchers. I thought Stewart, Howard and Bacall were all also pretty great, especially Howard, who I actually prefer overall as an actor to a director.

RatedRStar said...

I am surprised you didn't love the film Louis, I quite liked the film, it has an interesting end of an era about it being it was Waynes last and one of Stewarts last.

Calvin Law said...

I noticed you've upped Gleeson to a 5 for The General and given him the win for 1998 over McKellen.

Here's hoping that McKellen might just win 2015, or 1995; but anyway, glad Gleeson has 2 wins now, and 4 5's.

ruthiehenshallfan99 said...

Louis: What are your thoughts on Vivien Leigh. She is my favorite actress and I adore her!

Calvin Law said...

Also, retroactive castings for 1970s films, anyone?

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1950s Kurosowa)
Randle McMurphy: Toshiro Mifune
Nurse Ratched: Isuzu Yamada
Billy Bibbit: Tatsuya Nakadai
Charlie Chiswick: Minoru Chiaki
Martini: Daisuke Kato
Dale Harding: Takashi Shimura
Chief Bromden: Maysayuki Mori (camera tricks to make him bigger, perhaps)

luke higham said...

Louis: I'm so pleased you upped Gleeson to a 5 for The General. He's my win for 1998. :)

Anonymous said...

Man, two wins for Gleeson.

Calvin Law said...

That Victor Frankenstein trailer was not what I expected...and not in a good way. Looks like a massive waste of McAvoy's talents.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Yeah, I saw the trailer too. Is... it supposed to be a comedy?

luke higham said...

Calvin: Not just a waste of McAvoy's talents, Radcliffe's really miscast in my opinion. :(

Calvin Law said...

Robert: No idea. It certainly did not elicit a single modicum of laughter from me.

Luke: I don't think he's so much miscast as misusing his abilties. Radcliffe can do off-kilter and insane really well, as one can see in Horns. Here however it feels like he's just doing his straight man routine. Which as always is a bit dull.

luke higham said...

Calvin: That as well. Haven't seen Horns, though I probably should.

Calvin Law said...

Also saw The Gift. Very effective thriller, more intriguing than chilling in my opinion but certainly a worthy directorial effort from Edgerton.

Bateman: 4 (very tempted to go higher)
Hall: 4 (equally tempted to go higher)
Edgerton: 4 (same as the other two, really)

Calvin Law said...

In fact I'll give Bateman a 4.5, why not.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Damn straight. Bateman had easily the best use of screen persona this year.

Michael McCarthy said...

Gleeson's a 5? Sweet, that's my third winning request to get a 5 now.

Calvin: I'm thinking Tsutomu Yamazaki for Billy. Also what if Nakadai was McMurphy and Mifune was Bromden? He certainly has the presence to portray such a large man, and I think it would be interesting to see him in a largely silent performance. Masayuki Mori could maybe play the rest of the inmates, he does have that chameleon-like quality to him.

luke higham said...

Calvin: I saw the international trailer and it's actually a bit better than the normal one. I think Radcliffe's gonna be fine (He does somewhat look the part) and McAvoy will be fairly good. I also saw a trailer for Horns and I take back what I said earlier.

Calvin Law said...

McCarthy: That's much better actually, yes Nakadai is probably a bit too naturally imposing to play Billy, and he's excellent at those silent looks which convey multitudes of meaning.

Luke: I agree, slightly better. Still, I think Radcliffe though he looks the part, just seems to be playing it a bit safe. Whereas McAvoy looks like he can go either way.

Calvin Law said...

Sorry I meant Michael, haha, addressing you as McCarthy just a slip of the tongue.

luke higham said...

Everyone: What are your thoughts on the recent cast announcement for Rogue One.

Calvin Law said...

Love it. Seems like the perfect blend of seasoned vets (Mikkelsen, Mendehlson, Whitaker, Tudyk) and promising young up and comers like Ahme, some badassery in Donnie Yen, and of course presumably Jones in the lead who I find an always compelling presence.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: Do you think Mads will be playing a villain, personally I hope he's a Han Solo-esque figure, I could see him in that sort of role. With Tudyk as his wacky badass sidekick :D

ruthiehenshallfan99 said...

Luke: Can't really give a good opinion on anyone in there. All I have seen Mads in was Hannibal (I have only seen one episode) and Clash of the Titans, but all I remember from that was an awful script, bad acting from the leads, and Worthington's distracting accent. I have seen Whitaker in Phenomenon and Platoon and thought they were fair, but he was not a stand out. Have not seen anything from the others, but I hope Jones is more of a Leia than a Padmae. Speaking of which, I dread the day I have to seen the new trilogy. Anyways I hope it's good!

luke higham said...

Calvin: As long as he has a prominent role, I'm happy. Preferably, I would like to see him in a different type of role this time around, especially as a cool scoundrel.

Anonymous said...

Luke: It's a good cast. Let's see if the "great" actor Forest Whitaker can give a good performance.

Robert MacFarlane said...

It looks like Mendelsohn is the mentor instead of the villain in Rogue One, which is a refreshing change of pace for him.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: At this point in his career, good's better than nothing. :)

Anonymous said...

Luke: Who do you think would be a better choice for Mike Tyson than Jamie Foxx?

luke higham said...

Anonymous: That's a tough one. Thinking about who could do the best acting job, rather than a 100% likeness. I'd say either Jordan or Mackie.

Michael McCarthy said...

The Deer Hunter (Late 1940's, David Lean)

Michael: Robert Mitchum
Nick: Kirk Douglas
Steven: Joel McCrea
Linda: Jennifer Jones
Stan: Peter Lorre (or Elisha Cook Jr.)

Michael McCarthy said...

Also I think Stephan Jones could make a really good Tyson.

ruthiehenshallfan99 said...

Michael: I love your idea of the cast! I love every person in your suggested cast! My favorite might be Jennifer Jones!

Anonymous said...

Nominees for Bonus 1954 Lead:
Brando in Desirée
Bogart and Holden in Sabrina
I can't think of more nominees.

luke higham said...

1968 Lead
Malcolm McDowell in If....
Vincent Price in Witchfinder General

Anonymous said...

1957 Lead:
James Cagney in A Man of A Thousand Faces
Spencer Tracy can be reviewed in 1941 (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), 1942 (Women of the Year), 1943 (A Guy Named Joe), 1947 (Sea of Grass), 1948 (State of the Union), 1949 (Adam's Rib), 1952 (Pat and Mike), 1953 (The Actress). We'll see what Louis will think of those performances.

Robert MacFarlane said...

He's TERRIBLE in Jekyll and Hyde.

Anonymous said...

Robert: I'd still like to see Louis review him just for fun. I should have said that.

Calvin Law said...

My most looked forward to alternate year is 1951; I hope that before these reviews end I will be able to request both Trevor Howard for Outcast of the Islands, and Michael Redgrave in The Browning Version. Also Canada Lee

1954:
George Cole and Alistair Sim for The Belles of St Trinians (Supporting, they're hilarious)
James Stewart in The Glenn Miller Story
Michael Redgrave in The Sea Shall Not Have Them

1968:
Trevor Howard in The Charge of the Light Brigade

1957 and 1959: CAGNEY

luke higham said...

Calvin: 1968, 1971, 1973, 2011 and 2012 for me. :)

Anonymous said...

1985 Bonus Lead:
James Woods in the Cat's Kiss

Calvin Law said...

Luke: Who are you recommending for those years? :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Pacino in Sea of Love for 1989 Bonus Lead. Donald Sutherland should be considered for 1993 Bonus Lead.

luke higham said...

Calvin: Excluding the requests.
1971: Max Von Sydow in The Emigrants and Al Pacino in The Panic In Needle Park
1973: Woodward and Sutherland
2011: Woody Harrelson in Rampart
2012: Mikkelsen (The Hunt), Jones, Stamp, Schoenaerts and Courtenay

luke higham said...

Calvin: I'm also looking forward to Mikkelsen's review for Valhalla Rising. :)

Robert MacFarlane said...

I really want a joint review for Tatum and Hill in 21 Jump Street. They were great together.

Anonymous said...

Bonus 1947 Lead: Humphrey Bogart in Dark Passage

Robert MacFarlane said...

Alright, got a casting for you all: 1982 A Most Violent Year.

Abel: Al Pacino (On the nose, but too perfect to pass up)
Anna: Faye Dunaway
Julian: Andy Garcia
Lawrence: Yaphet Kotto
Walsh: Robert Prosky
Peter Forente: Peter Riegert

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Howard's been requested and let me save Stewart for the moment.

Bacall - 4.5(I really like her performance here as I find she brings depth to the role that very well could have been stock otherwise. In portraying the stern qualities of the woman Bacall brings a certain incisiveness about it though as though rather than being cold to Wayne's character she's honestly questioning his past. What's notable though how she almost let's out bursts of warmth within the character naturally revealing the softer side in a moving fashion)

Apocalypse Now (1930's Director James Whale):

I'd actually opt for one of the Boer Wars instead.

Willard: Robert Donat
Kurtz: Boris Karloff
Kilgore: Leslie Howard
Hicks: Ray Milland
Chief: Ralph Richardson
Lance: Wallace Ford
Corman: Ernest Thesiger
Lucas: James Mason
The Photojournalist: Claude Rains

Luke:

1979:

Lead:

Actress:

Sally Field - Norma Rae
Sigourney Weaver - Alien
Bette Midler - The Rose
Isabelle Adjani - Nosferatu the Vampyre
Jane Fonda - The China Syndrome

Supporting Actress:

Veronica Cartwright - Alien
Blythe Danner - The Great Santini
Barbara Barrie - Breaking Away
Amy Wright - Wise Blood
Meryl Streep - Kramer vs Kramer

RatedRStar:

Perhaps I sounded too harsh as I do think it is a good film.

ruthiehenshallfan99:

Her two Oscar winning performances are two of the most deserving wins period. None of her other work I've seen quite lives up to those performances, but it would be quite difficult to keep that sort of consistency.

Anonymous said...

Louis: What about a premake of Apocalypse Now in the 1960's? Also, what do you think would happen to Marilyn Monroe (if she never had died in 1962) and Grace Kelly (Had she never married Rainier)'s careers?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

I imagine Monroe would have continued on a similair course that being mostly glamorous roles in romantic comedies with the occasional serious role thrown in there. The harsh truth is though that her career likely would have petered out in the later sixties, as I'm not sure that she would have redefined herself as a character actress, the way her old roommate Shelley Winters managed to do after she was considered no longer glamorous.

Well Tippi Hedren probably wouldn't have had much of a career. So Kelly probably would have been in The Birds and Marnie. Hard to say where she would have gone past that though. I imagine she might have expanded past her parts of being the leading lady to the much older man to a certain degree at least. After all The Birds and Marnie would have at least kick started that process.

By the way put John Mills as Miller in the 30's version.

Apocalypse Now (1960's Director: Stanley Kubrick, Set in World War II)

Willard: Steve McQueen
Kurtz: Orson Welles
Kilgore: Sterling Hayden
Hicks: Ralph Meeker
Chief: Timothy Carey
Miller: Lou Gossett Jr.
Lance: Bruce Dern
Corman: Martin Balsam
Lucas: Dean Stockwell
The Photojournalist: Gene Wilder

Calvin Law said...

Louis: what compelled you to change over to Gleeson for 1998 Lead? Also, your top 10 final performances of actors.

Anonymous said...

Louis: I think that Monroe wanted to improve her acting abilities. I suppose that you gave two 4,5's for Stewart in Call Northside 777 and Winchester '73, right? What are your top ten worst castings ever?

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

I happened to have re-watched The General, and Gleeson's best moments just hit harder this time around.

Ask again in the results. As that would give away at least part of the ranking.

Calvin Law said...

Ahh I see. Anyway I would not mind a Stewart review at all since even in such a small role he's terrific. I kind of wish he and Wayne made more films together, and not just westerns. Imagine a romantic comedy with Stewart and Wayne (in The Quiet Man mode), and maybe Barbara Stanwyck and Deborah Kerr as the love interests?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Well obviously one would never know, but maybe she would have gone the way of Winters later on after she was out of the direct spotlight.

Off the top of my head:

1. Mickey Rooney - Breakfast At Tiffany's
2. Jake Lloyd - The Phantom Menace
3. Hayden Christensen - Attack of the Clones
4. Stephen Lack - Scanners
5. Sofia Coppola - The Godfather Part III
6. Vince Vaughn - Psycho & The Lost World
7. John Wayne - The Conqueror
8. Kevin Costner - Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
9. Lee Marvin - Paint Your Wagon
10. Keanu Reeves - Bram Stoker's Dracula

Anonymous said...

Calvin: That would be interesting.

Calvin Law said...

Surprised Jamie Foxx as Electro wasn't on your list. The most dreadful villain casting choice in recent memory.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I suppose Sutherland in Pompeii is too funny to be on that list?

Calvin Law said...

Then again that whole film was going to suck anyway, so I guess in a way his casting was pitch perfect.

I'd also like to mention some great instances in which the actor was miscast, but still managed to give a great performance.

John Hurt in The Hit (he and Stamp should've probably switched roles, but still a great performance)
Albert Finney in The Browning Version
Jennifer Lawrence in The Silver Linings Playbook
James Stewart in Rope

Anonymous said...

I wonder what was going on John Wayne's head when he accepted the role of Genghis Khan. I bet he was like: If I play this role, people will finally say that I am a great actor. I will win the Academy Award.
Brando and Burton were considered for the role, they would be better than Wayne.

Calvin Law said...

Anonymous: from IMDB,

According to "The Hollywood Hall of Shame," the screenplay was written with Marlon Brando in mind for the lead. John Wayne was about to make the last film of a three-picture deal for RKO Radio, and Dick Powellhad been assigned to direct. They were going over various scripts in Powell's office when Powell was called away for a few minutes. When he returned, he found Wayne enthusiastically looking over the screenplay for "The Conqueror", which Powell had intended to throw away. Powell tried to talk him out of it, but Wayne insisted that it was the film he wanted to make. As Powell later said, "Who am I to turn down John Wayne?"

ruthiehenshallfan99 said...

Robert: I have seen Cinemasins video for Jupiter Ascending and I was laughing so hard when Redmayne talked. Definitely a performance so bad that it boggles sense and logic, as you said. I CREATE LIFE!..... and I destroy it.

Calvin Law said...

I think they would've been worse actually. Brando would've probably tried on an embarrassingly Mickey Rooney-esque accent and been as dull as Wayne. Burtom carrying an epic, see 'The Robe'. I actually think Louis is being far to lenient on his performance there; it's horrendously OTT and yet not even entertainingly so.

Anonymous said...

Calvin: Oh, yeah, that's right. I forgot about that. Anyway, Peck as Captain Ahab was also a weird choice. Same with Mengele. But, my God, he was so damn entertaining as Mengele.

Calvin Law said...

Peck wasn't a terribly good Ahab but a very good Father Mapple in the 1998 miniseries.

Calvin Law said...

But yes, Mengle was a very entertaining performance by him.

Anonymous said...

Calvin: Well, without a doubt that he was very good in the 1998 miniseries. I think Walter Huston would have been a great Captain Ahab. It's a shame he died in 1950. Peck was too young for the role.

Anonymous said...

Louis: And just one final thing. Tropic Thunder as a silent comedy in the 20's for you? Oh, and as a comedy in the 30's.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, forgot to delete the for you.

Calvin Law said...

Thoughts and ratings on the male cast of Nashville, Louis?

luke higham said...

Louis: Your ratings for Sally Field, Blythe Danner, Barbara Barrie and Amy Wright.

luke higham said...

Louis: Moviefilm changed his request for Howard on the Bogart/Petrified Forest review.

http://actoroscar.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/alternate-best-supporting-actor-1936_13.html

If there are some bonus rounds, then I'm changing my request from supporting actor 1976 Ron Howard in The Shootist to leading actor 1965/1966 (you decide) Jozef Kroner in The Shop on the Main Street.

Calvin Law said...

Also just realised, Jamie Bell looks exactly like a 1970s Ron Howard haha :)

Calvin Law said...

Luke: have you heard anything about the job interview you mentioned a while ago? :)

luke higham said...

Calvin: Didn't get it, mate, but I'm pleased that I got experience from the interview and they're going to contact me in the future for other opportunities. :)

Calvin Law said...

That's awesome :) I'm sure this'll lead onto something even better!

luke higham said...

Calvin: How much sleep do you have per day, since I know you're British and all and am surprised your up all hours in the morning, pretty much every day. :)

RatedRStar said...

Luke: Aww thats a shame, the experience is great though and I am glad that you are optimistic =D as you should be.

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: Thanks. :)

Calvin Law said...

Luke: I'm in Hong Kong now, actually, for my summer holidays.

Haven't seen many HK films this summer though RatedRStar, can't say there's a lot of choice haha

luke higham said...

Calvin: OK. :)

luke higham said...

Calvin: What happened to your English thesis on your blog.

Calvin Law said...

My blog haha I am going to get started on it again, Louis really puts me to shame ahaha. I'm going to move it to a separate blog in the future.

moviefilm said...

I still have one request to do, so I request Howard again.

Robert MacFarlane said...

But he's SUCH a waste of a review.

luke higham said...

Louis: Make it a bonus along with Stewart, I fear for Duvall. :(

Anonymous said...

Luke: Stewart could get a surprise 4,5.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: I'm fine with Stewart getting a review and I'd rather if Howard was reviewed alongside him in one post rather than separately, so that it isn't a complete waste.

What I meant with Duvall, is that since Howard's been requested, Duvall's gonna be less likely to get reviewed, especially with competition from Chief Dan George in The Outlaw Josey Wales for that final slot.

What the lineup should be is:
Shaw
Holbrook
Feldman
Duvall
George (That's if Louis likes his performance a great deal)

Bonus: Stewart & Howard

Anonymous said...

Luke: And who do you think will win the overall?

luke higham said...

Anonymous: Olivier. :)

Anonymous said...

Luke: I found another pretentious critic like Hammond and LaSalle, Armond White.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: Loves Transformers, Norbit and thinks Michael Bay is the greatest film maker of our time. An Attention Seeking B****** if there ever was one.

RatedRStar said...

Oskar Werner should also be considered for his Golden Globe nominated final performance.

luke higham said...

RatedRStar: Can we just have more than 5 for '76. :)

Calvin Law said...

But Carl Weathers though...!! Don't worry Luke haha, I would rather have Duvall than Weathers although I have a soft spot for Rocky. Holbrook definitely needs to be reviewed though; such a unique, intriguing and upon re-watches, increasingly enigmatic performance.

luke higham said...

Calvin: I share your sentiment, I too want a review for Weathers, but I just can't see it happening.

luke higham said...

*An Attention Seeking B****** if ever there was one.

Calvin Law said...

Is 1940 after 1976? Now that I'm really looking forward to.

Calvin Law said...

I will admit I requested Jimmy Stewart for the year not because I didn't think he would be in consideration, but I want the prospect of one of my requests getting a 5, or at least into the top 5 of the year.

Calvin Law said...

RatedRStar: Have you seen Outcast of the Islands yet.

luke higham said...

Calvin: Since I know Louis's pattern in covering each decade, the plan's most likely this:
1928
1962
1940
1995
1939

luke higham said...

Anonymous: White also heckled Steve McQueen at the NYFCC Awards Gala in January 2014.

RatedRStar said...

Calvin Law: I haven't yet, but I will soon enough =D.

Anonymous said...

Luke: There isn't much competition for 1928, it will end fast. Veidt is the likely winner.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: I think everyone's expecting a write up as well, though it'll probably take Louis 3-4 days to write, with having to watch Falconetti and Gish, as well as Veidt and Keaton.

Anonymous said...

Luke: I think that the only good and great female performance pre-1928 is ZaSu Pitts in Greed.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: I could see some of Gaynor's work doing well with Louis, Sunrise being an example.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Oh, yes, I know about Gaynor winning in 1928 but Sunrise came out in 1927. I wonder what Louis would think of Greed (1924). This film is certainly interesting. It was one of the first realistic films of Hollywood. From what I've seen, its original length was of eight hours.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: Louis is certainly gonna spend a lot of time on Pre-1928. Napoleon is 5 1/2 hours long and D.W. Griffith's Birth Of A Nation & Intolerance are about 3 hours each. :)

Anonymous said...

Luke: The Birth of a Nation is going to be a mixed bag for Louis.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: Agreed. :)

Robert MacFarlane said...

Ahhh, Birth of a Nation. Innovative in terms of filmmaking, unfortunate on everything else.

Matt Mustin said...

If you haven't yet read Roger Ebert's Great Movies essay on Birth of a Nation, it's imperative you do so right now.

Anonymous said...

Luke: He might like Napoleon, Greed and Intolerance for sure.
Robert: Unfortunately, Mr. Griffith was born in an Confederate family.

Robert MacFarlane said...

It's almost always required viewing for film majors. Just admire the techniques it created and don't think too hard about the whole KKK thing. Really, just don't.

ruthiehenshallfan99 said...

Louis: Would you consider Crawford and Garbo as leads or supporting roles in Grand Hotel? I can see Garbo as a lead but I am not sure about Crawford.

Anonymous: Great Garbo and Lillian Gish gave some excellent performances pre- 1928 as well.

ruthiehenshallfan99 said...

Louis: Also forgot to ask about whether Jane Greer is a lead or supporting in Out of the Past.

Anonymous said...

ruthiehenshallfan99: Yes, I know that Garbo and Gish gave great peformances.

Anonymous said...

rutiehenshallfan99:...past-1928. By the way, it's Greta Garbo, not Great Garbo.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin: Foxx was bad but would you really want a good actor stuck in that film?

Wynn - 4(A very moving performance as I like how he shows his character to be stuck firmly in reality while dealing with so many living out various fantasies, or caught up with things that just don't matter. Wynn's is great by expressing the sadness that he shows to be particularly difficult in that he is forced to do it in almost a sort of isolation from others)

Gibson - 3.5(Gibson is rather amusing in portraying just the excessive bluster and ego of his character within in the manner of a proper country star. He's enjoyably one note, but is quite effective in portraying the character's honest reaction to the final event of the film)

Garfield - 3.5(Garfield finds the right sort of combination of harshness and heart in his character. He does not hold back on the crueler aspects of the character, but does well to leave a certain tenderness to show that he still loves his wife even though he does not treat her all that well)

Beatty - 3.5(Beatty's quite good at being rather obvious in portraying his character's insensitivity to his wife, as well as his excessive interest in every other woman that he meets)

Carradine - 3.5(Carradine finds the right type of charm in his performance as he realizes the hollowness of his character within the facade of some sort of depth which attracts all the woman around to his presence)

Glenn - 3(He doesn't get to do too much but I feel his reactions throughout add a bit of character to the film)

DoQui - 2.5(He's not terrible but I felt he was a little on the over the top side of things that felt out of place with the rest of the ensemble)

Robert:

Well yes in regards to Sutherland being hilarious, but also in the casting stage it would still be possible for Sutherland to give a good performance given how random his acting quality can be.

Anonymous:

Tropics Thunder (1920's directed by Buster Keaton):

Tugg - Buster Keaton
Lazarus - John Barrymore
Portnoy - Fatty Arbuckle
Alpa Chino - Cab Calloway
Sandusky - Ward Crane
Tran - Jackie Coogan
Four Leaf - Lon Chaney
Peck - Douglas Fairbanks
Cody - Louis Wolheim
Les Grossman - Charlie Chaplin


Tropic Thunder (1930's directed by Ernst Lubitsch)

Tugg - Clark Gable
Lazarus - Charles Laughton
Portnoy - Curly Howard
Alpa Chino - Scatman Crothers
Sandusky - Elisha Cook Jr.
Tran - Jackie Cooper
Four Leaf - Victor McLaglen
Peck - Melvyn Douglas
Cody - Ward Bond
Les Grossman - Errol Flynn

Luke:

Field - 5
Danner - 4
Barrie - 3.5
Wright - 3.5

Ruthiehenshallfan99:

I consider all those performances supporting.

luke higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Field in Norma Rae.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Ratings and thoughts on Clint Eastwood in The Dead Pool, Tracy in The Actress and Depp in Nightmare in Elm Street.
I feel that Chaney would be a more suitable choice for Lazarus, due to his makeup techniques. Chaplin as Les Grossman is like, the best idea ever.

Calvin Law said...

Your thoughts on Carol Reed as a director, Louis? And rankings/thoughts on all of his films you've seen.

Calvin Law said...

Also, forgote to mention, but I saw Paper Towns yesterday. I went in expecting to dislike it (didn't go of my own accord) but ended up quite liking, considerably more so than The Fault in Our Stars. Far from a perfect film, it was quite cheesy and a bit annoyingly self-aware in some parts, but I felt the positive elements and pure energy of the film was enough to make it fairly compelling.

Woolf: 3 (MAJOR improvement over his disastrously obnoxious turn in TFIOS, having said that it's nothing amazing, but he is a likable enough lead and has good straight man chemsitry with the rest of the cast, and makes you sympathise with his admittedly, fairly stock hero)

Delevingne: 3.5 (she's more supporting than lead but I was throughly surprised by how she disappeared into the role of a suburban American teen. Beyond that I thought, despite having to handle many of the usual standard MPG tropes she found an interesting variation on them by mending both Quentin's 'fake' image of her as this quirky girl next door who does some fairly obnoxious things, but then subtly implying an inner sadness and melancholy regarding this facade. Thinking about it I may well up her to a 4 soon, she does show some degree of inexperience, but overall a pretty strong debut performance)

Abrams and Smith: 3 (they were a bit one note, both of them, and quite annoying at the beginning, but as the film progressed they grew on me and ended up adding quite a bit of warmth and character to the film)

Sage: 3 (thankless role but I thought she handled her transition well enough)

Anonymous said...

Louis what are your top 10 films of 1953, and 1993?

Anonymous said...

Also your top 10 John Hurt performances.

luke higham said...

Louis: Have you seen any new films recently.

moviefilm said...

Calvin:
I had seen Paper Towns recently, but I was far less impressed by it. Most of the performances were plain bd for me and I thought it was way worse than TFIOS, which I thought had quite good acting and none of the actors were annoying in that.

Wolff (2.5 - He was really underplaying his character. No charm for a leading role, he is never able to carry a scene (and the entire film) on his shoulders. I guess I preferred him in TFIOS, in which he also wasn't groundbreaking (maybe I'd give him 3 for that)
Delevingne (1.5 - Oh, what a bad performance! I think she was overacting most of the time and there was no real emotion transformed into the film. It was as if she portrayed more characters, so inconsistent her on-the-surface performance was. And her Emma-Stone-alike mannerism was really annoying)
Justice Smith (2 - Boring and underacted, yet at least not annoying)
Austin Abrams (2 - God, was he overacting! Annoying and silly most of the time, especially in his drunk scenes, which he got so wrong. I'd lower down his rating, weren't there for an emotional outburst he has, when they finally get to the place they are headed to. This one is very well handled (that gives me indications, that this young actor has got potential, but with such bad directing he couldn't pull it off)
Halston Sage (2.5 - It really is a thankless role, but Sage manages to make the most out of it)
Cara Buono (2 - Not much screentime, but this a bore (missed Laura Dern's mother role in TFIOS, which he handled beautifully)
Jaz Sinclair (2 - Just as much more, as Smith, maybe even more. She gave nothing her character. Few reaction are nice, but that's all there's to it.)

luke higham said...

Louis: Is Streep a 3.5 or a 4 for Kramer Vs. Kramer and what rating would you give her for Manhattan.

Calvin Law said...

Moviefilm: Looks like our feelings towards John Green adaptations diverge quite a bit, especially on Delevinge :) I didn't despise The Fault in Our Stars but I quite disliked ut, Woodley was decent and Dern was actually pretty amazing but the rest of the cast was either bland or just plain odd.

ruthiehenshallfan99 said...

Anonymous: Whoops. Just realized my typo. Oh well, Greta is great.

Anonymous said...

I've read the book of The Fault in Our Stars and I didn't like it at all, so no surprise about the movie which was pretty bad except for Woodley and Dern. But Paper Towns though... I absolutely loved that book, it was really thoughtful and intelligent and I love how it creates the character of Margo. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'm very interested and I actually think that Delevingne is the perfect choice for Margo - she's so charming and full of life. She actually looks great by the trailer. Woolf seems kind of bland, but still, bland is better than his horrible work in TFIOS.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I haven't seen nor do I have much interest in Paper Towns, but I will say Cara Delevingne's no-bullshit interview with those obnoxious Morning Show people deserves an award unto itself.

Anonymous said...

@Robert: Definitely agree :D really what kind of interviewer would ask those totally stupid questions?

Matt Mustin said...

John Green mentioned that Nat Wolff was always asked "When did you read the book" while Cara Delevigne was always asked "Did you read the book?"

Matt Mustin said...

Louis, what's your ratings and thoughts on the cast of U.S. Marshals?

Anonymous said...

Bonus 1949 Lead:
Robert Ryan in The Set-Up

luke higham said...

Louis: When is the review.

Anonymous said...

Another nominee for bonus reviews.
Robert Williams in the Platinum Blonde (1931)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4_R5cQVU1o

Anonymous said...

Luke: It seems to me like he'll post it tommorow.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: By my time, it should be up by 04:00 GMT at the earliest.

Anonymous said...

Luke: I think more at 5:00 GMT or something.

Anonymous said...

Luke: I expected that Louis would have already finished the review way earlier.

luke higham said...

Anonymous: Who Knows, he could be ill or god forbid, on a lengthy break (Had to wait ten days between Copley and Hardy for '09 Lead).

luke higham said...

Anonymous: Goodnight. :)

Anonymous said...

Goodnight, Luke. :)

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Eastwood - 2(This is one of Eastwood's worst performances. There are glimpses of the good old Dirty Harry but they are few and far between in his phoned in performance)

Tracy - 3(Tracy is okay here in giving some warmth to his role as a loving father, but it's not particularly notable as these sorts of turns go)

Depp - 2(Depp's performance isn't very good as he mostly just kinda stares forward until his rather memorable death scene. Really much of the time it was hard to tell why he was so cool with Kruger being around, since he really did not seem changed by all the deaths around him)

Calvin:

I would have put Reed on my underrated list, but I do feel The Third Man gets so much praise that it is hard to argue for that. Nevertheless he's a fantastic director evidenced from his work from the 40's which suggests a strong understanding of the use of style, as he brings just enough to make his films memorable, while always keeping an eye for character. He did not let his directorial flairs be just that flairs, rather they were in service to the story in his creation of such powerful atmosphere. I always think of that amazing scene in The Third Man of Lime's reveal that's impeccable moment in its use of music, whole composition, while delivering it's impact in terms of the story and characters flawlessly.

I suppose I should note the two films from the 60's have a far less personal mark to them. I don't hate either, in fact there are moments and parts of those films I like a lot, but they are a notable step down from his earlier work.

1. The Third Man
2. Odd Man Out
3. The Fallen Idol
4. Our Man in Havana
5. The Agony and the Ecstasy
6. Oliver!

Anonymous:

1953:

1. Stalag 17
2. The Wages of Fear
3. Ugetsu
4. From Here to Eternity
5. Julia Caesar
6. Naked Spur
7. The Big Heat
8. Roman Holiday
9. Titanic
10. Shane

1993:

1. Schindler's List
2. Gettysburg
3. Jurassic Park
4. Groundhog Day
5. Tombstone
6. The Fugitive
7. Batman Mask of the Phantasm
8. Naked
9. In the Line of Fire
10. A Perfect World

1. 10 Rillington Place
2. A Man For All Seasons
3. The Elephant Man
4. 1984
5. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
6. Alien
7. Scandal
8. The Proposition
9. The Field
10. Midnight Express

Matt:

Jones - 3(Actually a wholly solid reprise of his Fugitive role. Not much extra to be found, but fine work)

Snipes - 3(He does his cool routine fairly well here. It's not a particularly meaty role, but he makes do with what he has)

Downey - 3(As a villain role it feels a bit wasted in that there's nothing there to work with really. Downey brings a bit of cool to the part that would not be there otherwise, but unfortunately he's misused)

The rest of the cast, Jones's team, more or less fade together.

Luke:

Actually Streep would be a four for Manhatten and I'd put her there instead. Also for 78 I forgot to list Maggie Smith and Bette Davis for Death on a Nile who'd I'd give 4.5 and a 4 respectively.