Friday, 21 February 2020

Alternate Best Actor 1934: Harry Baur in Les Miserables and updates

First to note the backlog is ongoing but thought I'd jump ahead to open for another series of recommendations for a year that it is unlikely I'll be doing an official lineup for but first...

Harry Baur did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Jean Valjean and Champmathieu in Les Miserables.

This nearly five hour version, while one of the better adaptations of the story I've seen I cannot say is definitive as it is often heralded as. This as the length in itself, where the film is essentially paced like a miniseries, is a double edged sword. There are elements where it takes its time that do leave a memorable impression, the barricade sequence and the Thernardier robbery attempt in particular, however it also spends a strange amount of time with some more meaningless moments in terms of the overall narrative, and yet still excises major elements of the story. The most unforgivable, that keeps it from being definitive in my mind, is its simplification of Javert. While Charles Vanel does what he can with the role as written here, he is just a general policeman for much of the film, and much of the greatness of the character is sadly lost in this adaptation.

As many times one can argue that Javert is the secondary lead in many versions, that is not the case here, again a mistake I think as I find him the most compelling figure as written, however this seems to be in service in focusing even more so on Jean Valjean's personal journey. Typically Valjean begins as a rough, hardened convict in appearance, then later is "cleaned up" more towards a dashing hero type in terms of the casting of the likes of a Hugh Jackman, Liam Neeson or Frederic March. Well Baur is quite different as his physical presence is that of a peasant convict, accustom to harsh life who we discover as he is leaving his physically straining time in prison. Baur's work delivers a rougher portrait of Valjean, who isn't just bitter, yet the whole state of the man is filled with a sense of bitterness. His eyes don't reflect of a sorrow of injustice, but rather an anger towards all that he has suffered. An anger that is not of a righteous attitude but one hateful towards the world he believes has abandoned him. This as when he initially comes across the kind Bishop in this version, it is with an innate hostility, and a disbelief in his eyes as the Bishop notes his humanitarianism. Baur portraying this as a fundamental quality within his manner, as someone viewing the man as completely foreign and suspicion in these ideals, something that is not to be trusted. Baur establishing this state so purely, makes then the Bishop's action all the more powerful in this version. This as after Valjean robs the Bishop, and is immediately, caught, the Bishop not only ensures that he is let go, he gives him valuable candlesticks to have him change his life.

Baur's reaction in the moment of the Bishop's charity is a particularly powerful one in this version. This as Baur expresses in his eyes both the shame in his action compared to the Bishop's reaction, but more so this sense of the man being shattered by these words. This as his old world view founded by bitterness and distrust is lost, as his expression creates the sense of confusion, but also this moment of revelation that carries with it a real poignancy. We then of course jump to Valjean as the mayor of a town and a factory owner. This where Baur successfully fashions seemingly just a reserved but dignified older businessman. This man who exudes a certain grace of charity even if in this Baur still portraying a more subdued hardship effectively. When it comes to his knowledge that there is a man who has been arrested as Valjean, Baur is excellent in his scene of questioning his decision and what he should do. This as it is not a simple righteous action again, as we again see a hesitation in his manner as man seriously considering taking the selfish way out. As he continues to examine though we again see that connection to the priests words, and there is a terrific moment where Baur manages to convey Valjean's conclusion through a struggle expressed through almost entirely his eyes. This leading him to go to make sure the man does not take the fall for him, and leading the film to one of those sequences that seems an odd place to spend a lot of time in. This being the trial of Valjean's doppelganger Champmathieu, I suppose the easiest explanation is the filmmaker wanted to grant a greater showcase for Baur, which we do get.

This as we get a drawn out scene of Champmathieu on trial, even before Valjean gets there. This seems to be here mainly for Baur to work out his comic chops a bit, as he is amusing in portraying the simple and somewhat daffy manner of the man. This that is completely innocent and completely alien to his work as Valjean. This as an effective comic turn, though I'm not sure we needed so much time devoted to it. Nonetheless we then get the scene of Valjean taking charge of the courtroom to exonerate the man. Again the scene seems oddly drawn out, however Baur uses it well in terms of portraying a self-actualized Valjean. This in that he carries that grace of the good man, but with this sense of understanding of his harder life. This as he portrays it as the man wields it as a strength in a way as he speaks only in truths as he technically condemns himself to save another. This though with a greater conviction than ever before, and Baur carries himself with a strict confidence. As with most versions, after this point Valjean's role becomes more reduced as the observer of the more substantial actions of others. This though with the pivotal moment in his actions that change the course of the lives for others. Baur delivers on this by carrying the man who in a way becomes this force for good. This whether fighting off criminals, protecting his now adopted daughter Cosette, or trying to help her eventual love in Marius. Baur's performance captures the sense of duty within the character as he carries this purity of belief and intensity within that conviction to honoring what the Bishop had done for him. Baur's physical work is notable here in that he brings such striking emotional quality within every scene by virtue of his presence, as nothing merely happens around Valjean, rather you really get the sense of how the man takes it all in. His best moment though comes though in his one major scene of talking to Javert, after he has spared his longtime pursuer, and now Javert is left with whether to do the same for Valjean. The strength of this moment really makes me wish they hadn't largely wasted Javert as Vanel and Baur are great in realizing the dynamic of the character's that is largely missing. This being in the man of justice being so suspicious in the goodness of the criminal, while Baur brings this fundamental honest in his brilliantly blunt delivery of the man explaining his actions are without lies or trickery, just blunt charity. Baur gives a strong rendition of Valjean as his work naturally realizes the true transformation of the criminal to the hero, not making a simple step, but a real journey for the man.
Updated Overall

Next: Continuing with the backlog, but please offer your recommendations for 43 lead/supporting.


Luke Higham said...

Louis: Ratings and thoughts on the rest of the cast.

Ratings and thoughts on the rest of the 3.5+ in Lead and Supporting.

Your Female Lead and Supporting Top tens with ratings and other 4+ honourable mentions.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Re-watch The Life and Death Of Colonel Blimp for a possible Livesey upgrade.

Review anyone from these films.

Day Of Wrath
Le Corbeau
Romance In A Minor Key
Carnival Of Sinners
I Walked With A Zombie
Voyage Without Hope
The 7th Victim
The Leopard Man
Angels Of Sin
The Eternal Return
Edge Of Darkness
The Gang's All Here
Lumière d’Été
Holy Matrimony
I Nostri Sogni
Flor Silvestre
The Hard Way

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Pierre Fresnay in Le Corbeau would probably be the highest rated performance to watch/review.

Luke Higham said...

And do 78 after you've completed the backlog and 43.

RatedRStar said...

Louis: Heres an interesting one for you, I am starting to become quite a fan of Les Miserables, discounting the stage versions, which film/TV versions of these characters is best represented overall, like for example I am pretty sure your favourite version of Javert is Anthony Perkins in the 78 version, what about the others below?

Jean Valjean
Bishop Myriel
Monsieur and Madame Thernardier
Each of the The Friends of the ABC

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: I'm pretty sure Richard Jordan is his favourite Jean Valjean.

Bryan L. said...

Luke: To round out the 2019 trilogy of finales, your rating and overall thoughts on Avengers: Endgame as a film? Since I already asked you for the other two.

RatedRStar said...

If you were doing 1943 this would have been my 5 votings

Hans Albers - Münchhausen
Fred MacMurray - Above Suspicion
Thorkild Roose - Day Of Wrath
Joseph Cotten - Journey In Fear
Monty Woolley - Holy Matrimony

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Could I have a list of ten deleted scenes that you feel should have been kept in their respective films?

Charles H said...

Louis: Your updated top 20 Jeremy Irons acting moments

Louis Morgan said...


Vanel - 4(His performance again is limited due to a simplified Javert. He still offers a striking presence in crafting an innate intensity and confidence within his work. You are granted the man's convictions even if the details of the man are less interesting overall. He's also terrific in the final scenes though in portraying how shaken the man is afterwards, just really in his physical performance which no longer commands the same confidence and instead shows a crack within the manner. Sadly this change is swiftly moved on from, but he's moving in this brief period.)

Florelle - 3.5(She manages to deliver the proper pathos within the slowly cracking state of Fantine. As Fantine goes she's fine overall, though I don't think there is anything overly distinct about her work, what she does do is affecting and effective overall.)

Gael - 2(Older Cosette is never much of a role and this version is no different in that.)

Servais - 3(He thankfully avoids being unlikable, which lesser Mariuses often are. He finds enough of something there, even if it always feels a little limited. Any sort of conflict is at least found there, and gives a decent turn overall.)

Dullin - 3(Properly slimy Thenardier to be sure, mostly on the darker end of things and does it fairly well.)

Moreno - (Properly slimy Madam Thenardier, again also on the darker side of the cruelties of the character though effectively so.)

Demazis - 3.5(A moving Eponine as she, as usual, makes her far more interesting than Cosette. Demazis manages to bring the right combination of sort of dogged hope within the character, finding the right tragedy in mixing ideas of her own goodness along with the sense of frustrations within her state.)

Genevois - 3.5(Honestly the best version of the character I've seen as performed as he manages to deliver this sort of affable charm of the young boy, but with the right sort of sarcastic manner of the boy beyond his years. He also in particularly makes for the most moving, death of Gavroche where he manages to tie in the two elements of the character wonderfully in a tragic moment.)

Sakamoto - 4(Always looking at a silent performance is a bit different however so much of Ozu often is in the reactions where he is quite effective in managing to realize the particular state of his character. He carries the film effectively, and manages to indeed say it all without saying a single line out loud in this film.)

Donat - 4(A nice combination of performances from him. This as you get the gentle charming Donat in the early scenes of the film. Then as he becomes the count you get the more intense and cutting Donat as well. As usual his charisma comes into service of both to give a nice compelling turn as the revenge seeker.)

Rains - 4(You could almost say he's coasting here as an evil man, but hey Rains coasting is so much fun still. This isn't much of a film, mostly Rains gloating as an evil lawyer, but he does it so well, he almost makes the film worth watching.)

Louis Morgan said...

Marshall - 3.5(Excels at quiet dignity, and that is the case here. I'll say this version feels almost hilariously rushed, but what Marshall does do here though is certainly effective even if it seems excessively streamlined. He manages though to hit his early pure infatuation with Garbo as his wife, his distaste at her betrayal, than the honest affection in the end. This is again rushed, but he hits each checkpoint well.)

Fields - 3.5(A fine Fields turn.)

March (death) - 3.5(His fake count accent is a little much as the "prince", however that is part of the point I suppose. He works though in his scenes more overtly as death in bringing an ominous though inquisitive presence. He manages to find the right touches of humanity so to speak.)

Chavalier - 3.5(Standard, good, Chevalier.)

March - 3.5(Wimpole)(March really just is here to be charming, which he delivers in spades here, bringing such a winning warmth.)

Jaffe - 4(A brilliant crazed turn for him, that is definitely a very early example of the deranged leader type that would be a go to, for many a roman emperor in particular. Jaffe's a hoot in the right way, creating just this vicious sort of simpleton that manages to almost steal the whole film.)

Lorre - 3.5(He'd later go further with his creepy turns, notable Joel Cairo, but this is a nice warmup. Lorre steals the film wholesale just in his manner that brings so much character, in what really is just a basic evil villain when you break it down.)

Laughton - 3.5(Laughton was not robbed by Gable as he believed here, though this is a good performance from him. This as he accentuating a more sinister idea in the character's insistence of gas lighting his daughter. This in of course bringing a forcefulness however going further with this air of something far more unnerving than just loneliness in the father.)

Simon - 3.5(Just does everything he can to enliven the proceedings by just bringing so much vibrancy through his presence. His character doesn't have that much depth overall, however Simon just offers so much character essentially in his performance that manages to steal the film.)

Karloff - 3.5(Marvelous sinister bit of work from him, briefly, however he manages to leave a large impression in his blithe delivery of extreme repression.)

Horton - 3.5(Typical enjoyable Horton, however with a bit more intensity than usual, that is well realized.)

Barbier - 3.5(Very amusing turn in that he delivers just a general affable presence over far more demanding lines. I especially love his genuine way of asking of the jokes at his expense are good jokes or not. He's a delight in his work, well bringing this curious and comical authority in his work.

Louis Morgan said...


1. Claudette Colbert - It Happened One Night
2. Myrna Loy - The Thin Man
3. Greta Garbo - The Pained Veil - 4.5
4. Marlene Dietrich - The Scarlet Empress
5. Bette Davis - Of Human Bondage
6. Claudette Colbert - Imitation of Life
7. Claudette Colbert - Cleopatra
8. Carole Lombard - Twentieth Century
9. Edna Best - The Man Who Knew Too Much
10. Dita Parlo - L'Atalante

Supporting Actress:

1. Louise Beavers - Imitation of Life - 4
2. Florence Roberts - Babes in Toyland
3. Orane Demazis - Les Miserables
4. Louise Dresser - The Scarlet Empress
5. Fredi Washington - Imitation of Life
6. Florelle - Les Miserables
7. Choka Lida - A Story of Floating Weeds - 3.5
8. Una Merkel - The Merry Widow
9. Myrna Loy - Manhattan Melodrama
10. Merle Oberon - The Scarlet Pimpernel


Therefore disregarding the concert films...I believe.

Jean Valjean - Richard Jordan
Javert - Anthony Perkins
Fantine - Uma Thurman
Cosette - Amanda Seyfried
Marius - Eddie Redmayne (Michael Ball blows all out of the water though)
Bishop Myriel - Colm Wilkinson
Eponine - Samantha Barks
Monsieur and Madame Thernardier - Ian Holm & Marguerite Moreno (No one comes close to Alun Armstrong for the former, and would like to know how Olivia Colman fared in the latter.)
Grantaire - Wasted in most versions, including the feature musical.
Enjolras - Aaron Tveit
Gavroche - Emile Genevois
Fauchelevent - Cyril Cusack (Way below his pay-grade honestly)
Marius's grandfather - John Gielgud


1. Mickey Rourke - The Thin Red Line
2. The son becomes the father - Superman 2 (Strangely enough Brando's best acted scene as Jor-El as well.)
3. Alonzo talking about the dog - Training Day
4. Luthor Negotiations - Superman 2
5. Death of Saruman - Return of the King (Slight cheat, but it should've been in any cut)
6. Boromir and Faramir - The Two Towers (Same)
7. Die Hard with A Vengeance Quiet Ending
8. "I don't think you're a waste of space" - Harry Potter and the Dealthy Hallows
9. Insect Pit - King Kong (Different kind of slight cheat)
10. Strange and Stray Dog - Doctor Strange

Back to the Future's deleted scenes are all great, but I understand why they were deleted.

ruthiehenshallfan99 said...

Louis: Thoughts and rating for Jeanette MacDonald in the Merry Widow?

Anonymous said...

Louis: When you get around to doing 1959, be sure to watch the Floating Weeds remake, which I recall being a great one. Plus, it has Miyagawa as cinematographer and you can never go wrong with him.

Also, thoughts on the production and costume design of the DeMille Cleopatra movie?

Michael McCarthy said...

I'm living for your choices of Perkins for Javert and Tveit for Enjolras. Then again Aaron Tveit is basically how I realized I'm not straight so I guess I'm biased.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Ratings & thoughts on:
Greta Garbo - The Pained Veil
Marlene Dietrich - The Scarlet Empress
Bette Davis - Of Human Bondage
Claudette Colbert - Imitation of Life
Claudette Colbert - Cleopatra
Carole Lombard - Twentieth Century
Edna Best - The Man Who Knew Too Much
Dita Parlo - L'Atalante
Louise Beavers - Imitation of Life

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Shouldn't Gable be a 3.5 for Manhattan Melodrama.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Mickey Rourke and his scene in The Thin Red Line?

Luke Higham said...

Bryan: I'll respond to your question later on today, a bit busy at the moment.

Calvin Law said...

The Die Hard alternate ending is good in itself but I’d argue doesn’t fit in with the rest of the film. And dss as mb I always forget how entertaining Lex Luthor can be.

Luke Higham said...

If I were to rank the Valjeans, it would be:
1. Richard Jordan
2. Dominic West
3. Harry Baur
4. Hugh Jackman
5. Fredric March
6. Liam Neeson

Having seen the recent BBC series, Lily Collins is hands down the best Fantine.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Kind of surprised that Chaucer's speech from A Knight's Tale isn't there, although I guess that's because it was included in the director's cut.
Your thoughts on the 'I don't think you're a waste of space' scene from Deathly Hallows?

Luke Higham said...

And Karloff should be a 3.5 for The Black Cat.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: could I have your thoughts on the cinematography for The Elephant Man? Writing something on it now and just realise it was snubbed for an Oscar which is bizarre considering it got into just about every other technical category.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: What are your thoughts on the rest of the cast in that BBC version?

GM said...

Thorkild Roose, Day of Wrath
Monty Wooley, Holy Matrimony
Massimo Girotti, Ossessione
Pierre Fresnay, La main du diable
Orson Welles, Jane Eyre

Claude Hulbert, My Learned Friend
Frank Morgan, A Stranger in Town
Robert Donat, The Adventures of Tartu
Pierre Fresnay, Le Corbeau

Pierre Larquey, Le corbeau
Henry Daniell, Jane Eyre
Rex Ingram, Cabin in the Sky
John Carradine, Hitler’s Madman
Walter Brennan, Hangmen Also Die!
Walter Slezak, The Fallen Sparrow

Louis Morgan said...


MacDonald - 3.5(Just missed out on my top ten, as she once again compliments Chevalier well, strangely enough as they have sort of conflicting style with Chevalier treating everything as though it were nothing and MacDonald bringing this certain intensity. She delivers of course in the musical moments, but that comic ability once again is evident here delivering a wonderful charm in her sorta dual roles.)


The production design of any DeMille film is pretty much always a "spared no expense" sort of approach, the question of this though was the expense set in the right direction. Well that is a definitely an affirmative in this film, as the sets are extravagant and gloriously so. I actually love how they are sort of a fantastical art deco that offers a grand and distinct look to the film.

I'll admit between choosing the best costumes it came down to the comic work of Babes, versus the intensity and variety of the work in Cleopatra, which immediately changes one's perspective of Claudette Colbert. Her personal wardrobe is just one stunning set after another, in more ways than one, that emphasizes both a power and seductive nature of the character equally. Every one of her costumes stands out as basically a centerpiece of the film. I'd say the rest of the costumes, while also good more generalized period work, purposefully defer to make Cleopatra stand out all the more, which definitely works.


Garbo - (I mean when is Garbo not just capture one's attention to begin with. She illuminates the screen as to be expected, however this goes even further though in creating the sense of how she would be so entrancing to Marshall's character. She is wonderful though in offering humanity beyond sort of the ethereal pull realizing the character's initial flightiness, though still with a definite charm. This version again rushes through the changes within the character, however Garbo nonetheless still succeeds in finding the shades of change to portraying a more earnest devotion and affection in her scenes with Marshall later on. The two are paired so well that I honestly wish the film was paced more like the 06 version.)

Dietrich - 4(Dietrich is effective here in bringing her own sort of luster to the part, and captures that sort of ethereal beauty initially. This delivering as well though sort of a naivety and initial frustrations at the plight. Although I'll say the jumps for the character are some what poorly developed overall, Dietrich at least hits each step well in portraying the gained confidence towards becoming a leader, even if the in-between moments are sort of glided over by the film itself.)

Colbert - Imitation - 4(The type of role she would become known for I'd say, and doesn't really push her range the more overt ways of Cleopatra or the most clever ways of "Night". Colbert delivers rock solid work as to be expected in portraying this sort of innate confidence of self, while underlying with the very real needs of the character at the same. This achieving the right balance in giving an effective turn.)

Colbert - Cleopatra - 3.5(DeMille is definitely a difficult director for an actor not to get a bit melodramatic, really the Yul Brynner way of just "owning" it is a most notable achievement because of that. Colbert's performance here does occasionally fall into the extreme melodrama moments that DeMille obviously loved if not at least didn't mind. Having said that though Colbert does manage to control it overall, and give a very different side of her presence. This with a sort of not just confidence, which is typical for her, but this mastery of her presence that delivers a greater force fitting to a master manipulator.)

Louis Morgan said...

Best - 3.5(The film itself feels like Hitchcock came up with one great idea, but didn't develop it beyond that. This leaving the actors curiously waiting around for something to happen. Best though does manage to deliver a needed charm to the Hitchcock heroine, and enough of that undercurrent of care to deliver the weight to the drama. Definitely an underused character, but she does well with what she has.)

Parlo - 3.5(I'll say struggles a bit given that her main co-star is mostly bland. Parlo though overall gives a nice turn in portraying sort of the self-reactions that create a mix of interest but also doubt within her space. This crafting much of the conflict in her work which she manages to do so naturally.)

Beavers - (Beavers offers the needed direct earnestness in her role. This just portraying distinctly the loving mother who isn't bitter but just heartbroken over her daughter's specific rejection. Beavers delivers the blunt nature to the tragedy of it by making the motherly warmth, and occasionally naivety of just a loving mother feel so strictly honest at all times. She creates the tragedy by making a genuine figure whose nature goes unquestioned by the viewer, therefore brutal when mistreated in the narrative.)

Did I not give thoughts on Lombard and Davis previously?


We'll admit there isn't a database of deleted scenes to pull from so I was doing my best from my memory, that would actually make my list at #7.

Louis Morgan said...


Offers proper closure to the Dursley, given they were such a major part of the first three films, and finally makes any real connection that they are family despite their wretchedness. It also in particular grants a moment of Dudley sort of recognizing what Harry did for him previously, though I'll say Harry Melling does a lot more than Daniel Radcliffe to sell the moment (who indeed is a far better actor than his work as Harry would lead you to believe).


Regarding Die Hard, I'll say I'd take the tonal shift, as it would be fitting as the final showdown with Hans was relatively low key (the showdown with Karl being more explosive quite literally). Making it fitting to go out with Simon in similar way, also thematically it makes more sense as we continue the idea of "playing a game" with now John turning the tables on Simon for the last game, instead of the helicopter scene that throws all that out of a window. Though I'll say, since they re-shot the ending anyways, they should've just instead made the fight against Targo more climactic, therefore sort of justifying the lower key ending.

Regarding Elephant Man's cinematography, the academy actually has a strange relationship with Freddie Francis, as they only nominated him when they gave him the win, and "Glory/Sons and Lovers" while fine work, are strange as the only representations of the master cinematographer. This as his black and white work in the Elephant Man is nothing short of astonishing. This is in such powerful work in terms of the use of shadows, the light and the greys. The lighting is spectacular, pristine and extremely dynamic, in crafting sort of "then modern" German expressionism. In a way it is similar to what Jarin Blaschke did with The Lighthouse, where it recreates the old style, while also rejuvenating it by expanding upon it. This further supported by his framing and composition of shots, that alone carry an emotional potency within them that is incredible. This even in relatively simple shots, like Treves's reaction to John, but also more complex like John behind the curtain.


It's a brilliant scene as we get a scene of the soldier who has been in the fight for longer, something that Rourke wears so easily within his performance, if only for a minute. We are instantly granted who this guy is from this brief interaction. It's incredible though as we sort of get the two men in contrast with one another, as we have first Caviezel's also fantastic work in the scene of the man finding that sort of spiritual comfort within the situation as he comments on his life in home with such beauty (side note: If one gives Diehl a 5 for A Hidden Life, Caviezel has to be a 5 as well...though just a preview perhaps to a future review). Rourke's amazing though in contrast to that in the sheer anguish he presents as his soldier thinks about the home, as though it as not only an impossibility but as this past he will never be able to recover. If one were to say Rourke's acting in his reaction to "when are you going home" is his best, I would not argue the point.

Louis Morgan said...



1. Permanent Separation - Dead Ringers
2. Final Call - Dead Ringers
3. "You have no idea" - Reversal of Fortune
4. Lacking purpose - Watchmen
5. Meeting Claire together - Dead Ringers
6. Elliot "helps" Beverly - Dead Ringers
7. Way to escape - Watchmen
8. Fighting for non-violence - The Mission
9. "And a vial of Insulin" - Reversal of Fortune
10. Walk of Triumph - Watchmen
11. Hiding the truth - Moonlighting
12. Prepping escape - Watchmen
13. Trade off seduction - Dead Ringers
14. Gabriel's Oboe - The Mission
15. Brother's discussing her - Dead Ringers
16. "I Know" - Reversal of Fortune
17. Discussing conjoined - Dead Ringers
18. His play - Watchmen
19. Confrontation with his wife - Damage
20. Bad jokes - Reversal of Fortune

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Yeah, Rourke himself considered it some of the best work he’s ever done as well. Anyway, your 2010s cast and director for The Thin Red Line?

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Any scenes from Elizabeth I and where would they rank.

Matthew Montada said...

Louis: what 10 films do you think have the best cinematography?

Louis Morgan said...


The Thin Red Line 2010/20's directed by Andrew Dominick:

Welsh: Bradley Cooper
Fife: Kieran Culkin
Witt: Shia LaBeouf
Bell: Jack Lowden
Doll: Michael Angarano
Whyte: Evan Peters
Captain Bosche: Jon Bernthal
Sgt. Keck: Jake Gyllenhaal
Captain Gaff: Adam Driver
Captain Staros: Matthias Schoenaerts
Sgt. Storm: Jason Segel
Gen. Quintard: Josh Brolin
Col. Tall: Brad Pitt (With Dominick, I'd trust it)


Ah yes, always miss something, his final scene would actually be #8 and his explanation of his relationship to Elizabeth would be #13.


1. The Thin Red Line
2. There Will be Blood
3. Days of Heaven
4. The Assassination of Jesse James
5. Lawrence of Arabia
6. Barry Lyndon
7. The Third Man
8. Once Upon a Time in the West
9. Apocalypse Now
10. The Conformist

Anonymous said...

Louis: I recall you making a 40's The Thin Red Line with Wellman directing it. Who would you pick for Rourke's small role for that 40's cast? You didn't include an actor for Clooney's role in that cast, but I'm thinking Gable for that role.

Bryan L. said...

Anonymous: I think Mitchum could be a good fit for Clooneys part in the 40s too, since he played an expanded version of that role in his only Oscar-nominated turn.

Louis: Your 2010a choice for Rourkes part as well?

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your David Lynch ranking (including Twin Peaks, The Return and Fire Walk With Me)

Calvin Law said...

Bryan: David Harbour, Mahershala Ali, or Luke Wilson would be great choices imo. Although just in terms of guarantee in knocking it out in a minute, Jimmi Simpson.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous & Bryan:

50's: Van Heflin
10's: Paddy Considine


1. Twin Peaks: The Return
2. Blue Velvet
3. The Elephant Man
4. Mulholland Drive
5. The Straight Story
6. Twin Peaks
7. Wild At Heart
8. Eraserhead
9. Lost Highway
10. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
11. Dune

Luke Higham said...

Bryan: A very satisfying finale in comparison to the other two, though I personally still prefer Infinity War. The cast all deliver strong work here, especially Renner, Rudd and Johansson who really get a chance to shine. My rating's a 4.5.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: I need a re-watch at some point but Dominic West, Lily Collins, Josh O'Connor and David Bradley stood out the most. I felt Colman was very good but a tad underutilized, Oyelowo was strong in parts but simplified the emotions more than I would've liked.
Akhtar's work as Thenardier I really need to see again to give an opinion on.

I'll say out of this and War & Peace (2016), the latter was the more successful adaptation.

Anonymous said...

Louis: I actually asked your choice for a 40's cast, although Heflin would be good for a 50's cast, unless you accidentally said 50's instead of 40's.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Also your choices for cinematographer for a 40's and 50's Thin Red Line?

Louis Morgan said...


40's then: James Dunn

40's: Paul Vogel
50's: James Wong Howe

Calvin Law said...

Louis: retro director choices for Pawel Pawlikowski, Lee Chang Dong, Bennett Miller and Tom McCarthy?

Bryan L. said...

Damn, Twin Peaks: The Return over Blue Velvet? Hhmmm maybe I should give Season 3 another shot.

Louis: Your thoughts on the direction for The Friends of Eddie Coyle? I kind of love the approach Yates took the more that I think about it. Also, where would he be in your Beat Director ranking for 1973?

Calvin Law said...

My ranking would be:

1. The Elephant Man (5)
2. Twin Peaks: The Return
3. Blue Velvet
4. Wild At Heart
5. Mulholland Drive
6. The Straight Story
7. Twin Peaks (4.5)
8. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
9. Eraserhead
10. Dune (2.5)
11. Lost Highway

Mitchell Murray said...

So I finally saw "A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood" today and I really liked it. For me it completely did what it set out to do, which was simply to be a touching tribute to Mr. Rogers, and the teachings he gave to so many. Aside from that, the film is also just a well directed and written piece, with a good sense of pacing and tone.

Hanks - 5 (Every bit as wonderful as I was led to expect, as Hanks manages to weave his screen persona so well into that of Rogers, in portraying his overwhelming empathy towards others, but also the experience and internalized pain that made him so accessible.)
Rhys - 4.5
Cooper - 3.5/4
Watson - 3/3.5

Mitchell Murray said...

And with that done, my official 2019 supporting actor ranking would be as followed:

1) Pacino (5)
2) Pesci (5)
3) Hanks (5)
4) Hopkins (4.5)
5) Pitt (4.5)

Louis Morgan said...


Yates would be #6 for what is a brilliant display of sort of detached direction. Of course this in itself is all about details, but the overarching choice is to avoid romanticism within the gang life. Take this in any element, from the bank robberies where the murders are chilling in how matter of fact they are but even in the police raids that are blunt. Yates takes a documentary approach essentially, though I like that he doesn't gimmickify this, by just presenting the gangsters as people, in many ways miserable people, though not even without humanity just people. This lens allows us to see more cruelty as his calm approach behind the camera makes the discussion of murder just a thing, but just so is the tragic state of Eddie. Yates work often lingers on a scene, brilliantly so, because it just let's us watch how these really horrible events play out, as just a normal state for men of this life. Exceptional work, that honestly puts Andrew Dominick's take on George V. Higgins to shame.


Pawel Pawlikowski:

Kiss of the Spider Woman
The Spirit of the Beehive

Lee Chang Dong:

Wise Blood
I Live in Fear

Bennett Miller:

The Friends of Eddie Coyle
All the President's Men
The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

Thomas McCarthy:

Norma Rae
The Human Comedy

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