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Well, December marked the usual Hollywood scramble to get pictures and actors in before the New Year to make them eligible for the Academy Awards.

(Beware the releases in January.)

I couldn’t help thinking of some of the screen legends that never won a competitive Oscar (as opposed to an honorary one) like Cary Grant and Barbara Stanwyck.

One can certainly moan about injustices, like Angela Lansbury not winning for "The Manchurian Candidate" or Peter O'Toole for "Becket."

However, they’re all lucky compared to Joseph Cotten, who never had a chance to lose.

Because he was never nominated.

From his autobiography: “Vanity will get you Somewhere.

“Orson Welles lists ‘Citizen Kane’ as his best film, Alfred Hitchcock opts for ‘Shadow of a Doubt’ and Sir Carol Reed chose ‘The Third Man’ and I'm in all of them.”

And he was too modest to say how good he was in all of them.

Cotten was not showy, never overshadowed the movies he was in, but that was his greatness.

Joseph Cheshire Cotten was an American stage and screen actor best known for his collaborations with Orson Welles, which included two of the best films ever made, in the aforementioned “Citizen Kane”  and “The Third Man.”

But it is “Shadow of a Doubt,” that removes any shadow of a doubt that he deserved, at least, a nomination.

Based on the real-life "Merry Widow Murderer," Earle Leonard Nelson, Cotten's chilling villain is worthy of a host of awards.

In his distinctive southern drawl, he made you feel the malevolence beneath the charm:

“You go through your ordinary little day, and at night you sleep your untroubled ordinary little sleep, filled with peaceful stupid dreams. And I brought you nightmares."

He also brought us elegance, class and style.

I could have easily made this piece about Edward G. Robinson, one of America's finest actors, who also, incredibly, never was nominated either.

At least we can give them the red carpet treatment in here.

J. Peterman

 

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72 Members’ Opinions
January 04, 2010 2:38 AM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Julia Masi said...

Every year at this time someone writes about the political aspect of the Oscar nominations.
Its odd that in a country known for freedom of speech the Academy slights those that they label controversial.  There is no politically correct way to say that traces of  McCarthyism   still pollute the air in Tinseltown.

January 04, 2010 3:13 AM
Atticus_1 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Bert said...

Julia  Masi:    Our  precious  freedoms  are  a  lot  more  fragile  than  we  would  like  to  believe.   Things  get  worse  when  the  economy  is  in  a  deep  and  stubborn  recession.  Controversy  is  seen  as  an  economic  and  political  threat  to  the  powers  that  be,  instead  of  a  legitimate  source  whereby  thinking  may  be  creatively  stimulated.   Safety  of  the  known  commodities  {personalities,  subject  matter,  format}  seems  to  trump  risk  {creativity,  controversy}   every  time.   The  more  things  change,  the  more  they  remain  the  same.   More  and  more  I  find  myself  watching  low  budget  independent  films  from  around  the  world.  Challenges  escalate  when  they  are  produced  in  a  foreign  language,  with  either  dubbed  subtitles,  or  no  subtitles  at  all.   And  some  low  budget  films  remain  on  the  bottom  tier  of  box  office  draws  because  every  major  film  producer  rejected  them  for  good  cause.   But  occasionally  there  are  real  gems,   diamonds  in  the  rough.   Someone  much  smarter  than  myself  said  that  the  unexamined  life  is  not  worth  living.   Political  correctness  stands  in  the  way  of  intellectual  development  and  personal  freedoms,  jmo.

January 04, 2010 5:35 AM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Julia Masi said...

I love independent films.  In my neck of the woods so many of my old neigbors are people who work in film, either as actors or on the technical side. So, of course I want to support my friends and I go to see things that fly under the radar.    I have noticed that foreign films try to be subtle in addressing the social problems.  Many of the films that come out of Cuba give me a lot to think about. 
Even though Slumdog Millionaire was mainstream, mega hit I thought it was extremely subtle and I often wonder if people really got it.  

January 04, 2010 6:35 AM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1 bebe said...

Good morning BERT & JULIA- First day back to school after Christmas break. I can't comprehend where it went. Today is an "inservice" all day- which means I take a book, a New Yorker, & some stationary to write letters to get thru this day of absurdity...
 
Robert Duvall was completely cheated out of the oscar for "The Apostle" - a great movie- as was Elizabeth Shue for "Leaving Las Vegas."
 
I love foreign films, I love American films, indie films, scary movies- I LOVE the movies! hope today is wonderful for you both.

January 04, 2010 6:57 AM
Tommy_avatar_with_black_suit 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Thomas Typicalis said...

Citizen Kane remains in the Top 5 all time greats and Mr. Cotton made the film. I still watch NIAGARA with he and Marilyn Monroe on AMC everytime it airs. Great backdrop for suspense. There are stars and then there are actors, sometimes, but not necessarily the same.  North by Northwest is my all time favorite. The travel scenes are epic. Cary Grant was phenomenal. As he said everyone wants to be Cary Grant, even Cary Grant. That kind of audience identification says it all.  I have entered Sundance Film Festival and think the future of film and music will include indie low budget films of great quality. Meanwhile Hollywood has its best year ever financially.  Cheers to the great character actors. Just saw UP IN THE AIR and Sam Elliott had a small but very impressive role.   
  

January 04, 2010 7:23 AM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1 bebe said...

Women of a certain age (WOACA) very fondly remember Sam Elliott in "The Lifeguard." Swoon, sigh...
 
TT- If you have any pull- please tell Robert Redford to stop w/ the plastic surgery before his face melts away. So tragic to see an icon so terrified of aging.
 
I wait for the day when a film revolution arises where the director will only use actors who have not had their faces or bodies altered or injected. That will be true independent film...

January 04, 2010 7:29 AM
Tommy_avatar_with_black_suit 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Thomas Typicalis said...

No pull at all. Not even a little nip and tuck, bebe. But your point is well taken.Long way since Jeremiah Johnson. We should learn to cherish our wrinkles and our white manes.
 Yep, The Lifeguard encouraged me to go out and find a career before it was too late!  Blessings. 

January 04, 2010 7:34 AM
Atticus_1 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Bert said...

This  day  is  certainly  starting  off  on  the  right  foot  {or  in  MY  case, the  left  foot...lol}.   For  some  reason,  perhaps  because  I  work  in  a  very  conservative  city,   I  tend  to  downplay  the  actual  number of  people  who  attend  &  appreciate  independent  films,   foreign  films,  classical  films.   We  have  two movie  theatres  that  specialize  in  independent  &  foreign films,  but  in  each  case  what  once  was  a  single  conventional  movie  theatre  is  partitioned  off  into  either  two  or  four  smaller  areas.   I  try  to  be  optomistic,  and  tell  myself  that  if  more  people  experimented  with  the  genres.   But  then  I  glance  at  the  shows  that  the  traditional  networks  find  to  be  the  most  successful,  and  it  is  rather  depressing.   I  hope  that  the  expansion  of  satellite  &  cable  networks  has  resulted  in  more  than  token  numbers  of  followers  for  more  obscure  films.   Meanwhile,  we  all  have  ourselves,  and  perhaps  we  could  even  put  up  a  small  projection  screen  in  the  club  car,  and  have  entertainment  with our  cocktails.....

January 04, 2010 7:38 AM
Atticus_1 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Bert said...

Will  somebody  add  to my  earlier  request  to Mr.  Peterman  for  spellcheck  that  we  also  acquire  the  capacity  to  edit our  own  posts,  at  least  for  the  first  15  minutes?    There's  a  non-sentence  in  my  earlier  opinion  that  would  be  an easy  fix...

January 04, 2010 8:01 AM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1 bebe said...

BERT- man up- no spell check & no plastic surgery...

January 04, 2010 8:18 AM
3905 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1 cuukoo1 said...

write on bebe!!!

January 04, 2010 8:48 AM
519 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 DreadPirateRoberts said...

Thank you, Mr. Peterman, for highlighting the immortal Mr. Cotten today.  I consider Shadow of a Doubt to be the single greatest performance anyone ever gave in a Hitchcock film.  And you also earn kudos for honoring the late great Edward G. Robinson who received my vote for Best Actor of 1941 for The Sea Wolf and Best Supporting Actor of 1944 for Double Indemnity (the real awards went to Cary Grant for Sergeant York and Barry Fitzgerald for Going My Way respectively).

Although I love awards and award shows and have made it a lifelong project to study and revel in Academy Awards history and Oscar statistics, what we have stumbled upon here is the fundamental silliness of such competitions between actors.  The very notion of a "best performance" in a given year is flawed because there are so many variables including that greatest variable of all, personal taste.  This year alone, my own choice for Best Actress is a battle between Emily Blunt for The Young Victoria and Meryl Streep for Julie and Julia.  Yet the idea of comparing these two performances which are so tremendously different from each other is patently absurd.  The actresses have over three decades of age and experience between them, one is a Brit and one is a Yank, one is a comedy performance while the other is high drama.  Sure, they're both playing the title character in a historic piece and both played women who were eminent and influential in their field but that's where the similarity ends.  Putting these performances in direct competition with each other is just plain ridiculous.  And yet I do it.


Even if we forget about issues like the political aspect of awards (already well observed by others today), there are problems in determining how a "winner" is chosen.   Bebe, Bert, Julia, and Tommy have all pointed out what great movies certain actors appeared in for which they should have won.  Yet my vote often goes to actors who gave great performances in otherwise forgettable films.  Are we crediting the movie or the performance?  Nicolas Cage is my choice for Best Actor of 1998 for Snake Eyes, an otherwise worthless excuse for a mystery thriller and I highly admired Robert De Niro's ability to completely shed his trademark NooYawkishness for the otherwise execrable remake of Cape Fear.  In film critic Danny Peary's Alternate Oscars (a very fun book), he chooses Gary Oldman for Best Actor of 1991, describing him as the "saving grace" of the movie State of Grace.  Yet, nine times out of ten, the vote goes to an actor who was in a great movie because we get wrapped up in our enjoyment of the film itself.


There is also the problem of choosing only one "winner" in a year chock full of great performances.  I sympathize with bebe but ultimately disagree with her statement that Robert Duvall and Elisabeth Shue were "cheated" for the Oscar for their excellent performances in The Apostle and Leaving Las Vegas.  Yes, their performances were indeed excellent but, in those particular years, there were others that were even more excellent.  Shue did Vegas in 1995, the year Susan Sarandon was in Dead Man Walking.  The Academy noticed that Sarandon had five nominations and not a single win to her credit and decided to right this long standing wrong.  What I noticed was that the ever sexy Sarandon made a surprisingly convincing nun and went far and wide out of her traditional comfort zone.  She gets my vote but Shue is a worthy choice.


Sometimes, you get more than one performance from the same actor in a given year.  I remember 1993 when everyone was wondering whether Anthony Hopkins would be nominated for Shadowlands or The Remains of the Day.  It wound up being Remains which, in my opinion, was absolutely the right choice but I know others who would have gone the other way and I can't put up much of an argument there.  On the other hand, when Gwyneth Paltrow won in 1998 for Shakespeare in Love, she had also given a far subtler (read "far better") performance in a charming little independent romance called Sliding Doors.  I would have sooner given it to her for that film.  These years of multiple greatness occasionally determine Oscar victories.  When Kevin Spacey won Best Supporting Actor of 1995 for The Usual Suspects, you can be sure a determining factor was that he had also given spot-on performances in Outbreak, Se7en, and Swimming With the Sharks all in that same year.  In a way, the Oscar was a pat on the back for a slew of remarkable work rather than one great performance.


When predicting the Oscars, it is best to forget about your own preferences (who "deserves to win", etc.) and concentrate on statistics like the Spacey note above.  If you see a major star in a supporting role (Sean Connery in The Untouchables, Michael Caine in The Cider House Rules) put your money on that person.  Also, if you see a lead character inexplicably nominated in the Supporting category (Timothy Hutton in Ordinary People, Tatum O'Neal in Paper Moon) the odds are likewise in their favor.


You will notice that none of this has anything to do with the question of whether a certain actor has actually given the best performance in his/her category.  But, once again, when a year is crowded with so much great work from so many great artists, what does that question really mean?

more on the honor roll
January 04, 2010 9:07 AM
3905 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1 cuukoo1 said...

dpr~ this is why i stay on the porch.  i'm not worthy.

January 04, 2010 9:58 AM
1198 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Doc Nolan said...

As usual I'll play 'John the Baptist' (the voice of one crying in the desert).... Some of my favorite films never won Academy Awards, never could have, never will, and never should have.  I found them -- like jewels shining in the mud -- through hapstance, friends, and so on.  Here's a partial list:  Tokyo Godfathers; Oh, What a Lovely War; The Battle of Algiers, 1984 (featuring Richard Burton's last film role); The City of Lost Children; The Farmer's Wife, and The Trouble With Harry.  OMG, what an incomplete list!  Where's Harold Lloyd?  And dare I include a plethora of Japanese anime, like Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro?  And all of the dozens of GREAT films made in Iran during Khatami's brief 'Thousand Flowers' period?  Oh my.... oh my... so many jewels lost in so many mudbanks..... 

January 04, 2010 10:57 AM
Atticus_1 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Bert said...

Bebe,  Cuukoo1:    The  croud  in  this  nightclub  is  the  toughest  I've  played  in  front  of  in  YEARS...lol

January 04, 2010 11:41 AM
10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Stoney said...

 
DPR:

Gary Cooper

January 04, 2010 11:54 AM
4162 10photoviewsCom-100First-comFirst-photoHr-1 Cyndy said...

I love movies of all kinds, and I love to watch award shows, not only to applaud the winners, but also (I'll admit it) to see all the glamorous clothes!  I imagine there are political reasons why some actors are nominated and some actors are not, because there are politics in almost all aspects of our lives.  On the other hand, I want to believe the Academy tries to be fair.  In any given year, there are a multitude of wonderful performances, and difficult choices must be made.  I wouldn't want to be the one making the decisions!

January 04, 2010 12:06 PM
Photo 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Peter Lake said...

shhhhh .... let's keep it down.   Please turn off your cell phones, and strap yourself in to enjoy your favorite actor in what you believe is their best performance from your favorite movie....... The lights have dimmed, the curtains are being drawn and the movie is starting.  I'll be up in the balcony, first row.

January 04, 2010 12:07 PM
First-com Troll said...

The Academy Awards are very
political both politically and in a business way.  So the list of overlooked talent in all
fields is to be expected. 

            Someone
mentioned that Cary Grant one for Sergeant York.  That was Gary Cooper.

            Joseph
Cotton     It seems to blend in he was
not overly hansom or distinctive.  Think
of all the top stars you can I think you will agree that from Cooper  and Grant  through Brandon, Wayne, to Holden and Newman and on to Willis
and Pitt all had distinct mannerisms even if subtle.  Good actor even great actor dose not mean big
star.

            For me
Cottons voice grated I think he is a fine actor but his voice grates.

January 04, 2010 12:25 PM
Stage_2 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 JALOPKIN said...

I think that one of the most underated Actors, ever ... is  Robin Williams ... We all know he is a Comedic Genius on Par with Jonathan Winters, and perhaps that is why no one really expects him to be able to do a serious dramatic part ....... But if examined closely, in every aspect, his Dramatic Roles have been superb, and certainly Oscar Quality ... GOOD WILL HUNTING, DEAD POETS SOCIETY, AWAKENINGS, GOOD MORNING VIET NAM ... in my mind are his absolute Best serious performances ... I suppose that it is just human nature that we always remember most, and first, the ones who make us Laugh .......

January 04, 2010 12:35 PM
Photo 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Peter Lake said...

OK,....... in a fit of madness as demonstrated by Peter Lake's decision to post by the rules and answer the opinion poles question ‘Favorite underrated actor today?'; I choose Alan Rickman based on his very diverse body of work, great voice, and his performance in the movie Truly, Madly, Deeply........ thus revealing that when you've boiled all the meat and fat off of my bones that I posses a lot of sappiness deep at heart. 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdBl0opvUp0&feature=related


January 04, 2010 1:12 PM
Photo 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Peter Lake said...

IVAN - Good call on Robin Williams.  He can play a pretty good 'bad guy' too as he demonstrated in the movie 'Insomnia'.

January 04, 2010 1:25 PM
004 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1 korthal said...

JALOPKIN:
 
You didn't forget "Patch Adams" did you?
 
Another of Robin Williams great movies.
 
I've really like all the roles I've seen him in.
 
He has depth and breath in his acting skills as you pointed out.

January 04, 2010 1:26 PM
Com-100First-comHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 jmr said...

Robin Williams was also brilliant in "Birdcage," displaying comedy and a little pathos. Today, I might vote for Chris Cooper who was great in "Breach."

January 04, 2010 1:48 PM
Stage_2 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 JALOPKIN said...

KORTHAL:  Patch Adams is indeed a Great Picture Show, but Adams(to me) was just an unruly Goof !!!  Not malicious, not unamiable, but just not really ever serious ... Never grown up ... Not that, never growing up is bad ... rather it is simply difficult for one such as those to ever be taken, Seriously ... regardless of their particular acumen ... Hellsfire, I'll never have a Second Childhood, cuz I'll never get out of the first one !!! THAT may be why Patch Adams didn't occur to me ... A fabulous flick !!! Dynamite Part !!! And without Question superbly well done by Robin Williams ... and of course, all the awe, wonder, amazement and Parental-Pride that Pagliacci got thru Med School gets completely blasted to hell, as he Moons the Chancellor walking off the dais .......

January 04, 2010 1:55 PM
4162 10photoviewsCom-100First-comFirst-photoHr-1 Cyndy said...

Peter Lake, I voted for Alan Rickman also.  I had forgotten "Truly Madly Deeply," and your posting sent me scurrying to Amazon -- unfortunately it is currently not being manufactured, and a used copy is $45 minimum.  Guess I'll hope it comes back to TV, and I'll record it on my DVR. . .

January 04, 2010 1:55 PM
4162 10photoviewsCom-100First-comFirst-photoHr-1 Cyndy said...

Actually, I remembered the movie but forgot the name . . .

January 04, 2010 2:06 PM
Atticus_1 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Bert said...

JMR:  Chris  Cooper's  performance  in  "Breach"  truly  made  the  entire  story  line  realistic,   bordering  on  scary.....which it  is  in  real  life.

January 04, 2010 2:41 PM
519 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 DreadPirateRoberts said...

Stoney and Peter,
 
I don't know what my fingers were thinking as they typed.  You are right, of course, that it was Gary Cooper and not Cary Grant.  That's who I meant and who I was picturing in my head and it's not like the two men are remotely similar.  But somehow, I managed to type the wrong name.  Thanks for the catch.

January 04, 2010 2:47 PM
519 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 DreadPirateRoberts said...

Sorry, on top of everything I attributed the catch to Peter and not to THR who actually presented the noted.  I seem to be getting increasingly clumsy.

January 04, 2010 3:02 PM
790 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-5 MissIve said...

Happy New Year to everyone! So great to pop in and read. As soon as I saw the topic, I thought of DPR, and THERE HE IS!

I personally love watching the Oscars. It is its own dramatic/comedic performance. I guess I don't think of it as an empirical endeavor, capable of finding 'the truth' in what is, I assume, the world's most intentionally subjective arena.

I guess, on the upside of what we may agree were the academy's foibles, it is exactly those that keep us suspicious of awards in general as accurate measures of art.

If there were no Cottons, or Robinsons or Grants, who could young artists look to to confirm their belief that the empty award case doesn't equate an empty career.

P.S. I love the series Life After Film School, in which three film students interview a success in the industry (actors, writers, producers, directors, animators . . .)

And in 19 out of 20 episodes (I actually counted), all the pros said the single most important way to succeed is to become extremely intimate with your OWN voice and passions, and be very loyal to that, no matter what anyone tells you, even if they've got a buttload of Oscars behind them.

I think that's true in all careers.

Look at Peterman, right?

January 04, 2010 3:19 PM
519 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 DreadPirateRoberts said...

Doc,
 
Your list of favorite movies is not as void of awards as you might imagine.  Harold Lloyd received an honorary Oscar for Life Achievement in 1952 and Spirited Away won Best Animated Feature of 2002.  The Battle of Algiers did not win but was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film of 1966 (it lost to A Man and a Woman).  While Oh, What a Lovely War! was not nominated for any Oscars, it was very prominantly recognized in Great Britains BAFTA Awards, winning Art Direction, Costume Design, Cinematography, Sound Track, and Supporting Actor (Laurence Olivier), while being further nominated for Best Picture, Director, Editing, and Supporting Actress (Mary Wimbush).  So, all in all, you're not quite such a John the Baptist after all.
 
Jalopkin,
 
For an actor to be 'underrated' he must be widely and undeservedly disliked or overlooked.  Robin Williams is neither.  He was nominated for Best Actor in 1987, 1987, and 1991 (for Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, and The Fisher King respectively) and won Best Supporting Actor in 1997 for Good Will Hunting.  He has also won the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror Film's Saturn Awards for Aladdin and One-Hour Photo.  He also has a whopping SIX Golden Globes (including the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award), two Emmy Awards, two Cable Ace Awards, two MTV Movie Awards, five People's Choice Awards, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.  Overrated?  By whom?

January 04, 2010 3:19 PM
519 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 DreadPirateRoberts said...

Sorry, I meant "underrated" at the end there.

January 04, 2010 4:01 PM
293 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 rings90 said...

I love Joseph Cotton in the film "Portrait of Jeannie" Not a HUGE sucess at the time of the release, but a classic no the less. The love story in it is so beautiful & he plays the artist who loves & believes so wonderfully that you cannot take your eyes from the screen when he's on. It's heartbreaking....
 
 

January 04, 2010 4:17 PM
1198 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Doc Nolan said...

We need the voice of Olivia... Olivia?

January 04, 2010 4:26 PM
1198 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Doc Nolan said...

DreadPirateRoberts, you have made my day.  :-)  Being J t B is no fun, especially since I'm not into either locusts or into honey.  Sitting around a warm fire with friends -- now THAT is much nicer!  And Mr. Peterman's 'hearth' is home to an especially warming blaze!

January 04, 2010 4:45 PM
Stage_2 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 JALOPKIN said...

DPR:  I bow to your infinite wisdom ... I just feel like Williams is underappredciated, and that may be the stupidity of the Market, and not his Peers .......

January 04, 2010 4:45 PM
Photo 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Peter Lake said...

IVAN - My wise and trusted friend, I stand by you and your opinion/choice of Robin Williams as being less than adequately acknowledged (therefore underrated) for the depth and breadth of his mighty talents. After all, even though he has received numerous accolades, who is to said that they are adequate in their appreciation of said performer.

I may be wrong but never in doubt. Peace out.


January 04, 2010 5:04 PM
10photoviewsCom-100Com-300First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 Paul Murphy said...

Folks I am going to take this opportunity to nominate Meryl Streep as the most under rated highly rated actress going. From Sophi's Choice through to her recent movie of which I took in last night, Its Complicated, are must see movies because of her performance. Much of it is not in what or how she says things its in her body language in how she hears her counterparts in any movie. In Sophi's choice, you can feel her heart tearing at the train depot as one child went with her and the other on his own. In Its Complicated, her facial expressions at bizarre visuals accentuate the visual and make the movie funnier. I would watch it again simply to count the facial expressions. The movie is a situational comedy where her straight delivery of funny lines makes the movie a "laugh out of your chair" movie. So in this I nominate Streep.

The most under rated actor is Robert Redford and again for his ability to act when he doesn't have lines. favorite scene is in Sneakers at the end when his counterpart Ben Kingsley holding a pointed gun says "its not about money, its about information...information is power not money. Redford says not a word, but the look on his face...."how did it come to this and it was all my doing" was superb.
  This is my opinion and hence my nomination.



   

January 04, 2010 5:05 PM
10photoviewsCom-100Com-300First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 Paul Murphy said...

You may look at this last post as a plug for the movie....its in theathers now.  Go see it.

January 04, 2010 5:14 PM
Stage_2 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 JALOPKIN said...

PETER LAKE:  Bless You and Thank You, Peter lake ... You said flawlessly what I trying and failed so miserably to say ...  I never watch Award Shows, so I am not really current on any of that stuff ... I have a Cousin that has been in the Business for a long time, and because of her, and some relatives who thought that THEY were something special by being related to her ... I got bored with it all,  early on ... But I do appreciate an Artist who is good at his Trade ....... Because of Cuz, I have gotten to meet some really Great people, and one of the most talented, but unpretentious, really neat, down to earth people I have ever met, is Eilene Fulton ... So, they are not all airhead Narcissists .......

January 04, 2010 5:18 PM
10photoviewsCom-100Com-300First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 Paul Murphy said...

And finally on the Oscars...it may be political, it may raise eyebrows...but then again look at the Nobel Peace Prize. Obama now shares that prestigious prize with the likes of Woodrow Wilson, Le Duc Tho, Henry Kissinger, and Yasser Arafat. Maybe its the controversy that gives the prize its notoriety

January 04, 2010 5:33 PM
519 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 DreadPirateRoberts said...

Paul,
 
I'm not sure what an "underrated highly rated actress" is.  But I do agree that Streep is excellent in everything including the hilarious It's Complicated.
 
I will say that Streep's emotional connection to her roles is underrated.  Many people talk about how her technique is perfect (physicality, accents, character interpretation, etc.) but doubt the sincerity of her feelings in a given scene.  I disagree utterly.  Also, I find her beauty underrated.  People always talk about how Streep is not a beautiful woman.  All I can say is that lady is welcome to park her shoes under my bed any time.

January 04, 2010 5:36 PM
1-dscn1106-4 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 PARK4 said...

The most under-rated actor I know have been in an astounding number of movies, in a career that's spanned decades.
 
Performances are always remarkable, sometimes leads, sometimes supporting roles, and the acting shines over and above the others' and even the scenery, this actor's capabilities knows no limitations.  Versatile.  Memorable. Award-worthy but always passed over, like Cotten.
 
This actor is the one who, when I see him or her, I nudge my husband or he me, and then "Who is he/she?" "Oh God I know who that is who is it?"  "Give me a second, shhh, don't talk, it's coming, it's..."  "Who?"  "I don't know.  I give up.  I've seen the face a hundred times or more, but I just can't think of the name."
 
I just can't think of the name.
 
That's my nomination for the most under-rated exceptional actor, ever -- those actors who's faces you know, whose performances are many and each a standout.  Time after time, and directors rely on these under-raters to do everything the lead can't, which is a lot.
 
So that's my nomination. 
 
"And the winner is:  him.  her.  that one!  you know his name!  you remember him from that last film they did with Nicholson, yes, that one!  That's who the winner is, that's who'd get the Academy Award, if I were handing them out. 
 
The best performance by an actor whose name nobody can remember but we've loved you in all your hundreds of movies over the last century and we think you're a most amazing talent, but highly under-acknowledged.  Until now.
 
And so: all that remains is determining just what and how to engrave this on Oscar.
 

January 04, 2010 5:41 PM
Photo 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Peter Lake said...

PARK4 - Very well said indeed - I hope I smell an Honor Roll coming your way today!

January 04, 2010 6:45 PM
800 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Michael said...

This is . . . all so far over my head. I don't watch awards shows, rarely go to the movies, don't even rent movies too often.

So, instead, I'm going to find a nice, deep leather club chair in the Reading Car and enjoy equal parts book and gin.

January 04, 2010 6:54 PM
Com-100First-comHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 jmr said...

Sorry Park 4 isn't here to give the TCM update, but one of Edward G. Robinson's best performances is on TCM tonight, in "All My Sons. " It's at 11:30 followed by the unsung Franchot Tone in a terrific adventure flick, not played too often, in " Five Graves to Cairo."

January 04, 2010 7:02 PM
10photoviewsCom-100Com-300First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 Paul Murphy said...

DPR  "underrated highly rated actress" I pulled that out of the mint this morning.  I had to let it set befor I could tender it.  Bat man for a guy is s not sure on the term...you absolutely nailed it with your take on Streep. With regard to her parking her shoes, yeap I am on board.  Whether its an act or for real, it will be "for real" for me.....if only I were so lucky.   In hte mean time check out her latest move...it is Streep at her best.

January 04, 2010 7:08 PM
10photoviewsCom-100Com-300First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 Paul Murphy said...

Michael...always an awesome way to spend an evening...I am working on two reviews on "just read" books, and then working through another Secret Society book... where there is this bizarre notion that the government and culture of the Middle East was imported to Europe through the Masons who eventually free....mason. It seems to inspire the phase, tune about is fair play. Its a vicious feed back loop in hte everlasting Now that we call history...

 

stand away from the amp!!!!!!!!!!!!

.

January 04, 2010 7:10 PM
10photoviewsCom-100Com-300First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 Paul Murphy said...

and to the spell check and Vanna White...I'd like to buy a few letters...but I guys get it right?

January 04, 2010 7:11 PM
10photoviewsCom-100Com-300First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 Paul Murphy said...

can I purchase a U

January 04, 2010 7:15 PM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1 bebe said...

PARK- you are so funny that you're killing me- you put into words what I think everyone feels when they see a gem of an actor they don't quite recognize, but you know that you've loved them in other films.
 
DPR- You are wonderful & for this topic we are so lucky to have your brilliance & insight. I had forgotten that Sarandon beat out Shue for the oscar that year. What you said bothers me because I know that it's true- I hate when someone gets an oscar because they have been nominated multiple times & even though someone else is more deserving they give it to the multiply passed over person- it's SO unfair, but then so is life. I just remember being so mesmerized by Shue's performance (& Nicholas Cage was so great & then later on he gave us piles of crap & just seemed greasy & grotesque) & wondering where she came from- her portrayal was so honest & heartbreaking that it was hard to watch at times. And she was so lovely. I have thoroughly enjoyed your insights today.
 
I think Meryl Streep is beautiful- she was absurdly gorgeous in "Manhattan" w/ her blonde hair swinging over her shoulder.
 
DOC- what does J t B mean? Is it some secret code I have no clue about? Does it mean your jeans busted?

January 04, 2010 7:17 PM
1198 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Doc Nolan said...

ah... err... John the Baptist...

January 04, 2010 7:24 PM
Atticus_1 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Bert said...

Park4:   We  need  better  clues  than  "none  of  the  above."    Perhaps  we  could  invent  a  contest,   first  to  identify  the  actor  or  actress  based  upon  clues  given  out  one  at  a  time  wins,  biggest  prize  for  earliest  recognition.    But  first  I  really  have  to  get  the  image  of  Vanna  White  out  of  my  head,   she's  just  not  the  sharpest  knife  in  the  drawer.....

January 04, 2010 7:24 PM
Atticus_1 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Bert said...

Park4:   We  need  better  clues  than  "none  of  the  above."    Perhaps  we  could  invent  a  contest,   first  to  identify  the  actor  or  actress  based  upon  clues  given  out  one  at  a  time  wins,  biggest  prize  for  earliest  recognition.    But  first  I  really  have  to  get  the  image  of  Vanna  White  out  of  my  head,   she's  just  not  the  sharpest  knife  in  the  drawer.....

January 04, 2010 7:34 PM
1-dscn1106-4 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 PARK4 said...

bert I heard you the first time...just kidding on you.
 
Tell me I didn't read - twice - that you think Vanna White is hot.
 
Vanna White?
 
<lots of laughing here>
 
Oh you are too funny.
 
The letter lady?  Vanna White?!
 
What even made you think of her?  You know she isn't an actress, I know you know that, don't you?
 
oh bert.
you're funny.
 
Those were the days though, weren't they? 
 
WHEEL! OF! FOR-CHUNE!
 
 
 

January 04, 2010 7:41 PM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1 bebe said...

DOC- I am floored- at my own cluelessness- I am obviously not a biblical scholar... or even worthy of a Sunday school class.
 
BERT- She actually seems like quite a sharp knife to me- let's see- she parlayed what she's got into a vast , seemingly never ending fortune train, and she seems like a decent person (I never watch the show, but she is not scandal ridden and seems to be photographed wearing underwear & appropriate clothes.) Go Vanna, say I...

January 04, 2010 8:06 PM
1-dscn1106-4 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 PARK4 said...

Yes!  JMR.  "All My Sons."  Arthur Miller's play put to film -- I've never seen the movie, but I plan on it, if I can keep myself awake.  
 
 
Here's what's on TCM tonight.  The specialty of the house on Monday eve's this month is "The Method and the Movies." The Method is where you look way down to the bottom of your soul (I think) and pull up actual feelings (usually deeply disturbing) that you will use in creating your character. 
 
I'm not saying this well.  With The Mehod you use your life experiences to create your character, and no matter how badly I stumble though this, The Method has brought us some pretty sensational performances in some remarkable movies.  Like these:
 
 
 
8:00 PM ET
Come And Get It (1936)
Years after deserting his true love, a lumber tycoon vies with his son for her daughter's hand.
Cast: Edward Arnold, Joel McCrea, Frances Farmer, Walter Brennan Dir: William Wyler BW-99 mins, TV-G
 
 
9:45 PM ET
Golden Boy (1939)
A crooked promoter lures a young violinist to give up music for boxing.
Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Adolphe Menjou, William Holden, Lee J. Cobb Dir: Rouben Mamoulian BW-99 mins, TV-PG
 
 
11:30 PM ET
All My Sons (1948)
A veteran discovers his father cut costs on wartime military equipment.
Cast: Edward G. Robinson, Burt Lancaster, Mady Christians, Louisa Horton Dir: Irving Reis BW-94 mins, TV-PG
 
 
 
1:15 AM ET
Five Graves to Cairo (1943)
A British corporal goes undercover to infiltrate Field Marshall Rommel's command.
Cast: Franchot Tone, Anne Baxter, Akim Tamiroff, Fortunio Bonanova Dir: Billy Wilder BW-96 mins, TV-PG
 
 
3:00 AM ET
Postman Always Rings Twice, The (1946)
Illicit lovers plot to kill the woman's older husband.
Cast: Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway, Hume Cronyn Dir: Tay Garnett BW-113 mins, TV-PG
 
 
(I wish "Postman" was on earlier.  This is I think the original version and it's great.)

January 04, 2010 8:07 PM
519 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 DreadPirateRoberts said...

Park4,
In honor of your most excellent point about the chasm between 'great actor' and 'great star', I offer the following list of brilliant artists heretofore known as "that guy" and oh her"!
 
John Qualen (from The Grapes of Wrath and Casablanca)
 
Miriam Margolyes (from The Age of Innocence and the Blackadder series)
 
Whit Bissell (from The Caine Mutiny and The Magnificent Seven)
 
Estelle Winwood (from The Producers and Murder By Death)
 
Vincent Schiavelli (from Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Ghost)
 
Maria Ouspenskaya (from The Wolf Man and King's Row)
 
Philip Baker Hall (from Say Anything and The Talented Mr. Ripley)
 
Frances De La Tour (from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and The History Boys)
 
James Rebhorn (from Lorenzo's Oil and Carlito's Way)
 
Holland Taylor (from Romancing the Stone and Keeping the Faith)
 
Ian Wolfe (from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Witness for the Prosecution)

January 04, 2010 8:12 PM
10photoviewsCom-100Com-300First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 Paul Murphy said...

Who cares if Vanna White is hot not hot, or even what show she is on...I hear she has  letters, and today I am experiencing a shortage...so in a market economy of which this still is (somewhat), today her price is up, she is hot.

January 04, 2010 8:29 PM
519 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 DreadPirateRoberts said...

Arthur Miller's All My Sons is my favorite American play ever written.  I read it for the first time at age 18 (half my life ago) and have loved it ever since.  Last year, I finally had the chance to see it performed on a Broadway stage with John Lithgow and Patrick Wilson in the leads.
 
I must confess, however, that I hated the movie.  It telegraphs and makes obvious secrets that are supposed to be great revelations late in the second act.  The normally brilliant Edward G. Robinson is grossly miscast and the always hit-and-miss Burt Lancaster comes across as sanctimonious when he's supposed to be passionate.  Try and find a copy of the 1989 American Playhouse broadcast with James Whitmore and Aidan Quinn.  It is vastly superior.

January 04, 2010 8:48 PM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1 bebe said...

Burt Lancaster in "The Swimmmer"adapted from the John Cheever book. He stunned me in this. His performance was heartbreaking.

January 04, 2010 9:21 PM
519 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 DreadPirateRoberts said...

Lancaster is certainly capable of being brilliant.  Seven Days in May, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Sweet Smell of Success, and especially Judgment at Nuremberg all feature masterful performances from the Burt.
 
But, for every one of those, there's a turkey like The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral or The Twilight's Last Gleaming or The Crimson Pirate out there to remind us of how spotty and inconsistent he was.

January 04, 2010 9:53 PM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1 bebe said...

Whit Bissell is just a great name- conjures up yachting & endless cocktails. I'm sure his real life told a different story.

January 04, 2010 10:49 PM
39steps3 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Olivia said...

Margaret Hamilton becasue she's so witchy...
Brendan Fraser cos he's hot and funny and cute and sweet. Harrison Ford's obvious succcessor.
Jeff Goldblum, Sam Rockwell, Peter Lorre, Veronica Lake, Alan Rickman (great villain!), Ron Perlman, the underrated couple of Bill Macy and Felicity Huffman, Nathan Fillian, Claude Rains, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Weller, Steve Buscemi, Selma Blair, John Hurt, John Turturro, and on and on. I like a lot of people whose names I just don't know-I can't keep up.
I like quirky movies such as True Stories, Buckaroo Banzai, Galaxy Quest, Quest for Fire, Dr Strangelove, Strange Brew, Ladyhawke, Harvey, Mountains of the Moon and all the Marx Brothers and Pink Panther films. And many more. I wish I had time to watch some of them!
 
No accounting for taste...    

January 04, 2010 10:57 PM
39steps3 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Olivia said...

Slim Pickens...

January 04, 2010 11:13 PM
Img_5428-1 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1 Capt Neptune said...

Sponge Bob...

January 05, 2010 12:47 AM
Stage_2 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 JALOPKIN said...

DPR:  I most heartily agree with your List ... Outstanding performers, each and every one of them ... Good List, Good Point .......

January 05, 2010 12:53 AM
Stage_2 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 JALOPKIN said...

Does anybody know who James Hamilton is ???

January 05, 2010 6:08 PM
519 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 DreadPirateRoberts said...

Jalopkin,
 
According to the Internet Movie Database, there are nearly 20 James Hamiltons who have worked in the motion picture industry.  None of the actors carrying the name have particularly notable credits to their resumes however.  The most prolific James Hamilton is a British sound editor who has worked on such movies as Venus and The Queen.  Another James Hamilton wrote the screenplay for Sam Peckinpah's brilliant World War One drama, Cross of Iron.
 
So who's the James Hamilton you have in mind?

January 05, 2010 6:31 PM
10photoviewsFirst-comFirst-photoHr-1 Robert said...

There are so many actors and actresses and there aren't many "good" ones at all. It's almost like the movie industry wants to make a movie in hopes of "hitting it big with this one". A dime a dozen is a nice way that I prefer to say my peace. Hell, I should be in the movies if truth be told. I just need my big break into Hollywood!

January 05, 2010 10:05 PM
Photo 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Peter Lake said...

Rip Torn ........ just 'cos of his name

Prime Web

Most Underrated Actor

Most Underrated Actor rateitall.com Take a look at an interesting article we found.

Mercury Theatre History

Mercury Theatre History mercurytheatre.info Take a look at an interesting article we found.

History of the Academy Awards

History of the Academy Awards oscars.org Take a look at an interesting article we found.

Honor Roll


Thank you, Mr. Peterman, for highlighting the immortal Mr. Cotten today.  I consider Shadow ...

-DreadPirateRoberts

Jan. 04, 2010 8:48 AM

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  • Jennifer Jason Leigh Jennifer Jason Leigh 6%
  • William H. Macy William H. Macy 23%
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  • Laura Linney Laura Linney 4%
  • Alan Rickman Alan Rickman 25%
  • You tell us You tell us 19%

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