Actors and Actresses

Gunslinging Dentist?

Doc Holliday, gunslinger, deputy marshal, gambler and forever connected, through his friendship with Wyatt Earp, to the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Before I go on…if you are looking for historical accuracy, you won’t find it here. Just a look at Doc Holliday in Tombstone (1993). So, where was I?

Oh yes. So…having watched him in Tombstone played by Val Kilmer, you probably know that he was suffering from tuberculosis. You’ll also know that he was an avid gambler (which I believe was a respectable profession back in the day). Doc Holliday, born John Henry Holliday, continues gambling and drinking despite his illness.

oie_yqU5SVcKigzSWhat never fails to amaze me (and, I really admire him for it), is that, no matter how ill he is, he is there for his friend Wyatt. As for Val Kilmer, to me he is the star in this movie portraying the sickly, and later dying, Doc so convincingly. What a fabulous character both externally and internally. A man, who claims he wasn’t as ill as he looked so he could face Johnny Ringo rather than have Wyatt take the risk. Or, who got out there to ride posse and did what needed doing despite feeling dreadful. “I’m in my prime” he proudly announces when Johnny Ringo questions if he has also retired from the law despite his obvious suffering.

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“I’m in my prime”

What I appreciate is that he doesn’t rely on the excuse that he is sick and therefore has no need to put himself out there…quite the contrary, I think he knows his days are numbered and therefore makes sure he puts himself out there. What does he have to lose, after all? I think his last scene emphasises this in that he asks Wyatt to leave before he dies – the Doc Holliday doesn’t want to be seen as vulnerable.

But, can you imagine him treating your pearly whites? Didn’t think so. Yes, he was also a dentist, having been admitted to the degree at the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery. He even worked in a dental practice before heading to a warmer climate because of his tuberculosis. While Tombstone doesn’t mention this directly, there is reference to the fact that he is an educated man in the wonderful bar-scene “duel” with him and Johnny Ringo (Michael Biehn, also fantastic in this role) showing off their Latin and gun-spinning talents.

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Quite an interesting character this Doc Holliday. Isn’t he? And perfect for this Medicine in the Movies Blogathon as he is both a patient and doctor.

As for Tombstone, if you haven’t watched this one, it’s high time you do. A wonderful movie narrated by Robert Mitchum and starring a host of well known actors including Kurt Russell, Sam Elliot, Bill Paxton, Powers Booth and many, many more.

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My Five (Classic) Stars…

“The Five Stars Blogathon invites bloggers to list their five favorite movie stars and explain why you love them. It’s that simple. (And, they need to be from the silents to the 70s).”

So, here goes….(apologies if some of these actors still made a few movies after the 70s  but I’m taking the liberty of including them, as to me, they were stars during the classic times and thats I how I got to “know” them). In no particular order:

John Wayne

My childhood hero. Need I say more as to why I love him? Well, “love” may be a bit strong, but more, “admire”. He was the first movie star on my radar. While friends at school didn’t know who he was (they were all into Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt), that didn’t stop me thinking that nobody, but nobody, can leap onto a horse quite like John Wayne. The Duke was (and still is) special to me.

Jane Powell

Not so much Jane Powell, but “Milly” (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers). Oh did I dream of her. Her dresses, her mascara, her will to stand up for herself amongst those 7 brothers. In a way, I still dream a little of that greyish-blue dress she wears while singing “Wonderful, Wonderful Day”. *Sigh* She’s one of the reasons I fell in love with the magic of film.

Gregory Peck

Swoon… 😉

There’s something about Gregory Peck that takes up a whole lot of screen space. Probably, it comes down to the role I was introduced to him by: Duel in the Sun. He’s the bad boy (like you have never seen a bad boy) yet in a deranged way, he’s likeable (well, his likeability comes and goes) but boy oh boy is he something. He pulls this role off perfectly. And then there’s him as “Stretch” in Yellow Sky. One of my favourite movies. But, it comes down to the fact that I simply enjoy watching the younger Gregory Peck. Be it The Big Country or Roman Holiday or any one of his other roles.

Yul Brynner

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Yul Brynner is fantastic in his portrayal of such a variety of characters. Most notably, the contradictory roles of Chris (The Magnificent Seven) where he has such high morals to the Gunslinger (Westworld) where he totally creeped me out. And then again the King of Siam. For me, he’ll forever be the cowboy clad in black saving a village, a role that nobody else can pull off like he did. Smooth, sexy and simply swoon-worthy.

Paul Newman

Paul Newman (always the young one in my mind as those are the movies I’ve seen). Another childhood hero. For me, he’s Andrew Craig, Luke, Butch Cassidy, Henry Gondorff and all those classic roles. With his striking blue eyes and his screen presence , he’s always a pleasure to watch.

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Walking north while looking south…

NutsInMay4Yep…roughly* the threat made by Captain (Walter Long) to anyone who ever mentions the word “ghost” again. Couple this with Laurel and Hardy and I’m sure you can only imagine how this will fare for them.

Captain, wanting to sail with the tide, is looking for some men to work on board his notorious ship. As to be expected, no takers at the port’s bar.

Over to our esteemed duo busy fishing during their day off from…wait for it…their fish cleaning job (don’t ask, ok?). Captain offers them a “real” job but sailing’s not for them as the ocean is “infuriated”, no, “infatuated” with sharks. They’re willing to help shanghai some men for a Dollar a piece though. Oh the tactic they use! Brilliant…until they swap places and well, hmmm, wheeeew…they wake up on the same pile of klonked-on-the-head-with-a-frying-pan men as their victims. On the ship…naturally.

Promised that nothing will happen to them while on board, they make sure they don’t leave, port after port. One of the sailors, having sneaked off to get “a little teensy weensy” drink (read “get even more drunk”), returns to the shared bunk room after having fallen into a tub of whitewash.

See where this is going?

Without spoiling the fun, let’s just say that Laurel and Hardy get into a real fine mess (yet again) with their ghost. But then, were you expecting anything else? Now I’ll let you know the Captain‘s line at * so you can let your mind wander: “If anybody ever mentions ghost to me again, I’ll take his head and I’ll twist it around, so that when he’s walking north he’ll be looking south.”.

The Live Ghost (1934) is one of my favourite Laurel and Hardy shorts. Probably because it holds special sentimental value – I fondly remember watching it, together with They Go Boom! and Men ‘O War on Super 8 film when I was young. What a fabulous experience. Although, I do really enjoy watching the pair deal with both the shanghai process and later the on-board situation. I’m grinning right now.

If you haven’t seen it, here you go:

For some more of Laurel and Hardy head on over to MovieMovieBlogBlog’s Nuts in May Blogathon.

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Wild Rovers with William Holden

The second round of the Golden Boy Blogathon has arrived. This year I decided to tackle Wild Rovers. Another one my parents had on Super 8 but I honestly couldn’t remember it (I know I’ve watched it though). So, nothing better than a Blogathon for some motivation. Time to give it another watch.

Often, when re-watching, bits come back but not with this one at all…well, except for the last 20 minutes or so. Amazing how some scenes suddenly stick. Oh, and the one where William Holden chases a herd of wild horses.

William Holden plays Ross Bodine, an aging cowboy who dreams of retiring in Mexico but doesn’t have the money to do so. Frank Post (Ryan O’Neal) is half Ross‘ age with dreams of his own. One night the two get involved in a fight at the local saloon and to pay for damages, boss and ranch owner Walt Buckman (Karl Malden) informs the two that deductions will be made from their salary. It is at this point that they decide to rob the bank in town. The rest of the story is about their ride to Mexico with Walt‘s sons, John and Paul (played by Tom Skerritt and Joe Don Baker respectively) on their trail.

While this isn’t a fast-paced Western, to me, it is more about the journey and decisions made by the two men (and others). William Holden is fantastic as the older, wiser more level-headed Ross. He fits the role perfectly. Being reasonable or firm when he needs to but adding some wonderful lighter moments in other circumstances. He is the perfect balance to Ryan O’Neal‘s arrogant, sometimes thoughtless and wilder Frank. I found myself smiling so often at the way Ross “reels in” Frank when he gets a bit too hot-headed. And William Holden‘s facial expressions are wonderful in this one.

Directed by Blake Edwards, it looks like this western didn’t do too well when it was released. Running at just over 2 hours, this was meant to be a 3 hour epic but never made it and was even cut down to just over 1 hour 40 minutes or so for the theatrical release.

I covered William Holden in The Revengers for last year’s Golden Boy Blogathon. Before you know it, the 3rd one will be upon us. Ok, ok…it’s only April. But can’t wait anyway. Thanks for hosting Virginie.

 

 

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All About…First Impressions of…Eve

I’m going to say this very softly so nobody hears me but….*whisper* I’ve never seen All About Eve….in fact, I’d never even heard of it (yes! that’s totally and utterly unacceptable, I know, I know) until last year’s Bette Davis Blogathon. And…to make things worse, almost a year is over and I still haven’t watched it…but…all that is about to change…I’ll be back a little later…

…ok, me again…not a little later…still now. I just want to get my thoughts down on what awaits me first. From the bits and pieces I’ve read from other bloggers, it must be brilliant. Wow, IMDB gives it 8.3/10, puts it down as number 112 of the 250 top rated movies (as at today), and I see it even won 6 Oscars (and there are a whole lot of other “stats”). I hope my expectations aren’t too high. I hate disappointment. To be honest, and don’t shoot me down just yet, the story line that IMDB gives wouldn’t normally attract me to this one. It almost comes across a bit dull (you’re probably thinking “How could she????” or “oh just you wait”) but, let me to go see what the hype is all about before I dig myself into a deeper hole. See you later…

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…now that I’ve finally watched it, what are my thoughts?

Oh…ok…hmmm…Bette Davis wasn’t Eve as I’d automatically assumed. In fact, the opening scene (at the awards presentation) also had me convinced Bette Davis was Eve…initially, that is. When it turned out I was totally wrong, I knew that this was going to be a good one.

And wow…the superb acting. I was totally blown away by Bette Davis. I think I’m an instant fan. Definitely going to watch some more of her works (any suggestions for my second Bette Davis movie?). In fact, the entire cast was fantastic. But Ms Davis had this special screen presence about her. And that worked so well for her role, you know, the one about stage presence?

With an excellent story, this classic was well worth watching (and about time I did so). I kept thinking how clever some scenes, dialogue lines, angles etc. were. Really fantastic film-making which requires at least another watch, not only to process it again, but for the experience.

So, to In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood I thank you for having introduced me to Bette Davis. I’m so glad I signed up last year with my “She’s Got Bette Davis Eyes” post and that you tempted me to join again this year with my All About Eve bit. I would never have watched this movie if it wasn’t for you (and all the other All About Eve fans out there)

My last year’s post “She’s Got Bette Davis Eyes” can be found here.

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Want to hazard a guess…

…who these “youngsters” are? No cheating, ok?  And don’t ask why I was watching these movies…had a memory lane moment 😀

(Answers at the bottom)

The lady sporting the 80s perm (ok, granted, I think it is natural):

The guy on the left:

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The goofy guy in the middle:backintheday2

 

 

 

Nicole Kidman, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Aaron Paul

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What a Character – Michael Wincott

wac1I’ve read up a bit around Character Actors and quite possibly, I may not strictly be adhering to the definition but I’m going with the idea that a Character Actor is one who is often cast as a type of character and is not the main character (please note the “often”). I hereby present:

Michael Wincott

I know stereotyping people is wrong but unfortunately (or fortunately) I have done this with Michael Wincott. To me, this Juilliard School graduate is a wonderful villain or “shady” character. I’m not saying this in a bad way…I think he is absolutely perfect and takes on these roles like no-one else could. (If you have seen him in other roles contrary to this, please bear with me as I have only really seen him in these types of roles)

Born Michael Anthony Claudio Wincott on the 21st January 1958 in Toronto, Canada, I was first introduced to him as Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

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I’m not sure anyone else would have had the appropriate screen presence as Michael Wincott next to Alan Rickman’s Sheriff of Nottingham. He was the perfect (perfectly evil) complement to the almost comical Sheriff. That raspy voice added to the sinister that couldn’t be “acted” or put on. There was something about him that just drew me in. Possibly it’s sympathy (spoiler coming) when the Sheriff cold heartedly (in the middle of consolation), without so much as flinching, kills him, as Gisborne sheds a tear (having failed the Sheriff). Or, maybe it’s just that he’s a great artist, understated but vital.

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First impressions last…I’m afraid as much as we shouldn’t go with that, we inevitably do. So, for me, that role cemented Michael Wincott as an antagonist in my mind. Can you blame me as the next role, once again a villain, was that of Top Dollar in The Crow? Calculated. Clever. Mean. As is Philo Gant of Strange Days, the next antagonist, a tripping music manager/label owner who goes to extremes to feed his addiction. Doesn’t help that the calm and collected jailer Arman Dorleac who so casually agreed that Dantes was innocent and subsequently whipped him as a first-day-in-jail gift in The Count of Monte Cristo was played by….drum roll please….

Michael Wincott.

In all fairness, he’s not all “bad”. I noticed his name in the Westworld (2016) credits and kept looking out for him in the two episodes he’s meant to be in and totally missed him. I had to Google pictures of him in that series to see who he was…ah, Old Bill…wow…I never.

michaelwincottforsakenI must admit that I never saw his final scene in Forsaken coming…but then, here his role was hired gun doing a job but, actually, never unreasonable. In fact, he mentions that he didn’t agree to the job to work with a bunch of murderers. The “Gentleman” Dave Turner he was after all. Hmmm…to a degree.

I can’t say I’d ever expect him as a lead in a romantic comedy but whatever he takes on, he seems to do so well and is always a pleasure to watch. I have yet to see him in Basquiat which, I think, will throw my expectations of the antagonist roles out the window.

In summary, the roles I’ve seen (many of which are vague in my mind) of this wonderful artist:

Guy of Gisborne: The perfect side-kick to Alan Rickman’s Sheriff of Nottingham.(Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991))

Top Dollar: He gave me the creeps as the perfectly cast villain with his calm and collected but calculated demeanor.(The Crow (1994))

Conway Twill: I haven’t seen this one in years and honestly cannot remember his role properly. I think a re-watch is long overdue.I vaguely remember him being quite a character (with some humour) and not so dark as previous roles (Dead Man (1995))

strangedaysmwincottPhilo Gant: A SQUID addict who goes to extremes to satisfy his cravings. (Strange Days (1995))

Gary Soneji/The Spider: Another one that I haven’t seen in ages and likewise cannot even recall him in this one. I remember him being the bad guy with an agenda (Along Came a Spider (2001))

Armand Dorleac: Do I need to say he is mean? He is the jailer of the horrid Château d’If. He doesn’t have a large role but still is horrid enough to keep the Dantes imprisoned and tortured. His matter-of-fact approach makes him so much worse (The Count of Monte Cristo (2002))

Hayes: A bounty hunter. From what I remember, he’s not mean to the bone or evil but not totally pleasant either. Seraphim Falls (2006))

Gentleman Dave Turner: In this role he totally surprised me. I was expecting the mean guy to appear but he was more just doing the job he was carried out to do. In fact, he never guns down anyone like his men. Also always calm and collected.(Forsaken (2015))

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Old Bill: Here he doesn’t have a very big role (yet?) but is quite weird to watch him as Will Bill now relegated to being a saloon pianist in Dr. Robert Ford’s quarters (Well, for now anyway. I suspect he may have a greater purposes beyond what I’ve seen)(Westworld (TV Series) The Original and Contrapasso (2016))

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