I see we have a bit of a Birdman pile-up there. Also, yay Naomi Watts nearly made the top 50!
babydoll wrote: Yeah, I only mentioned Rita Hayworth and Cyd Charisse based on their dancing skills. Rita was fine at acting - Gilda wouldn't have been the same without her - but Cyd wasn't that good of an actress, to be kind. Ginger clearly beat both of them in the acting department. In fact, I don't dispute Ginger's position on this list. I only dispute the "She was considered to be Astaire's finest dancer" quote. And, yeah, Eleanor Powell was incredibly good as well. Sadly forgotten for the most part.
Just saw Gilda
! Quite good though the ending let it down a bit. Yeah, poor thing about Eleanor Powell is that she was one of MGM's big musical stars pre-Arthur Freed and I always got the vibe the studio didn't know what to do with her besides make her dance. I'll have to keep my eye out for Golden Girls
Dexter, I definitely would prioritize All That Jazz
out of the ones you listed. Just saw it a couple months ago and am still kicking myself for waiting so long to see Bob Fosse's masterpiece on self-destruction.
Problem with these mega-posts are that I miss all the conversation. Aw well, on to 80-60.
- My favorite movie star who never made a masterpiece (as far as I've seen). A melodramatic actress with an over the top performance style who didn't even really enjoy the profession. Yet the movies we're made for. Her face alone has enchanted me and countless others since we first saw it. I remember one time when even the valedictorian of my class (not really a film guy) spent a whole class period transfixed by her doll's face.When that face moved either silently or talking in that smooth accent, it was one of the most empathetic in cinema. One of our most unlikely giants. Number of Films I've Seen: 4 Favorite Film: Ninotchka
The Marx Brothers (Groucho, Harpo, Chico)
- A group I have a lot of respect for, but one whose filmography I've had a hard time prioritizing since everyone seems to agree that Duck Soup
is constantly above all of their other films making it hard to get excited after the let-down of Night at the Opera
. Now for thoughts on each brother....
Groucho: One of the great comedians of the past 150 years and a personal goal in matching one-liners
Chico: Inconsistent but solid support for Groucho
Harpo: Overrated pantomimist, okay harpist
Zeppo: Was there for a bit
Gummo: Was there for a shorter bit
Mannie: Died as a baby before the others were born, so bits can't get any shorter
Karl: Such a dirty Communist that no one will even acknowledge that he was related to them or even alive at the same time
Number of Films I've Seen: 3 Favorite Film: Duck Soup
- Yeah, I have complicated feelings about this guy. When I first saw him, I couldn't help but feel like his was a persona that hadn't aged well: a he-man macho guy who with a wise crack and his own two fists would put a woman in her place whether it be hitting her or even worse. This of course was further complicated by reading more of his actual time in Hollywood where he allegedly had a non-consensual one night stand with Loretta Young and was dogged by rumors that he may have had a deadly drunken DUI in 1936. Yet as I watch more of his performances, he really could act as he managed to bring out the vulnerabilities in his macho characters. These complicated feelings are part of why I think Rhett Butler was his greatest role. It was a perfect mirror to the scuzzy man he may very well have been.
Also, he and Groucho Marx inspired Bugs Bunny so it's interesting they ended up next to each other. Number of Films I've Seen: 7 Favorite Film: Gone With The Wind
- Achieved his biggest prominence in 50s Noir, an area I've never fully investigated. In Out of the Past
, he does a good job as his easy-going self but of course, it's his masterfully evil depiction of Preacher Harry Powell in The Night of the Hunter
that earns him screen immortality. Number of Films I've Seen: 2 Favorite Film: The Night of the Hunter
- A quiet acting legend compared to her flashier brother. Running the whole range from impish (Artists and Models
) to heartbreaking (The Apartment
), I've never seen her be less than great in anything she's in even if it's been a while since she's made a great movie. But everyone needs The Apartment
in their life, like, yesterday. Number of Films I've Seen: 6 Favorite Film: The Apartment
- Again I'm going to plead ignorance on this one as I have yet to get to The Last Metro
or a couple of his other movies on my Kanopy watchlist. All I really know him for outside of his acting reputation is his big to-do over becoming a Russian citizen, but I suppose that's not really relevant here.
- Out of the classic MGM musical triumvirate (Astaire, Kelly, and her), she made the most musical films with only one or two in her frequently set-back 30 year career not featuring any singing. True, she may not be the most arresting star in the world but her ability to sell a song and be completely vulnerable on-screen earns her place in the pantheon. Heck, if she only ever did "Over the Rainbow," she'd still be secure as one of the greats. Number of Films I've Seen: 16 Favorite Film: The Wizard of Oz
- While I have no particular love for The Lord of the Rings and the X-Men movies only haphazardly approach their true potential, there's no denying his amazing acting ability. He's authoritative, but knowing, and can break your heart at a moment's notice. Richard Harris didn't think he was talented, but I think we all do now. Number of Films I've Seen: 8 Favorite Film: X-Men: Days of Future Past
- Yeah, this batch had a couple actors who I now realize I haven't seen a lot (or any) of their work. She was in 8 Women
, a dopey but fun French musical pastiche of Douglas Sirk and Clue
, but I can't remember her role all too clearly.
- Oh man, I knew he had been around since the early sixties but it was only in college that I learned he had apparently appeared in half the major films of the seventies: M*A*S*H, The Godfather, The Conversation, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, Network...
. Main reason why I've never attempted to watch The Godfather Part III
is knowing my favorite character, Tom Hagen, isn't in it. Number of Films I've Seen: 13 Favorite Film: The Godfather
- My family was more hyped than most for Enchanted
as a former family member wrote the screenplay. Little did we know we were seeing the big breakthrough of one of the most definitive actresses of the past ten years. Adams is one of the most likable presences onscreen today with a range that few can scoff at. Though after all the dreary sci-fi she's been doing lately, it'd be nice to see her in a bubbly role that suited her as much as Princess Giselle did. Or, y'know, if they ever make a live-action remake of Up
, she can be Ellie. Number of Films I've Seen: 12 Favorite Film: Her
though Amelia Earhart or Princess Giselle might be my favorite performances
Robert Downey Jr.
- If you had told me 10 years ago that Iron Man would all but supplant Spider-Man as Marvel's biggest superhero, I would have said you were crazy. But that's the case based sheerly on the magnetic talent of Robert Downey Jr. The thinking man's Harrison Ford (terrible description), Downey is both a master thespian and a master at being the action hero with the least stunts and most money. I'd wish he'd make more movies because I've never not enjoyed seeing his snarky and committed presence on screen. Number of Films I've Seen: 14 Favorite Film: Iron Man
- While Garbo has always been my favorite of the two European sexually ambiguous stars of the 30s, I may have to finally break down and admit that Dietrich is the better "actor" per se (though talent isn't everything in this field, mind you). If Garbo was a goddess, Dietrich was the gutter, always inhabiting the darker and desperate corners of life where people struggled to get by. With a haunting singing voice and bewitching gaze, Dietrich worked with everyone from Orson Welles to Billy Wilder and David Bowie in a career anyone would be proud of. Number of Films I've Seen: 6 Favorite Film: The Song of Songs
- Oh wow, I uh...I never noticed before, but I've never actually seen a Jake Gyllenhaal movie. I always thought I had, but apparently no. I don't get why, I never made it a mission not to but it just has never happened. I've seen the opening to Nightcrawler
, maybe? But I've seen like 3 of his sister's films. This is weird. Number of Films I've Seen: 0 Favorite Film: That opening monologue on SNL in 2005 where he sang "You're Gonna Love Me"? I got nothing
- Ah, Ginger. I've already gone on her a bit up above, so clearly I think she's hilarious, moving, graceful, and all-around entertaining. Its often been said that Fred gave her class and she gave him sex, but that's a simplification for what Ginger does for Fred and in all her movies. While the majority of starlets in her day were glamour goddesses, Ginger was the rare character actor who broke out and kept her "ordinary girl next door" status. True, she could be glamorous but while Fred always had airs of the upper class, Ginger always had her feet cynically placed on the ground. That's what gave them such great chemistry.
Ironically, the Jennifer Lawrence conversation allowed me to notice the similarity between her current "predicament" and Rogers. Ginger also banked her person on her relatability and her popularity before finally winning an Oscar for a hard-hitting "real issues" movie that no one really talks about anymore. Afterwards, I sensed a bit more of an ego in the quality parts she turned down and her occasional phoning in of a performance. Of course, I won't be too harsh on her as she's still my favorite actress and she's always a delight in whatever film she does. Number of Films I've Seen: 28 Favorite Film: Swing Time
- The opposite of Jake Gyllenhaal in that I haven't seen that much of his films. Don't get me wrong, he's talented enough but he seems to always have made it his mission to pick characters that seem like they sprung out of a screenwriting tutorial book. He was quite funny in Tropic Thunder
though. Number of Films I've Seen: 2 Favorite Film: Haven't seen the beginning of Tropic Thunder
, so if I don't count that, it's The Outsiders
- Maybe it's because I've mainly seen her in the Star Wars Prequels and the Thor films (which she admits to being bored by), but I've never been a big fan.To be fair, Jackie
wasn't all that great either though that wasn't really the actors' fail necessarily. I do still need to see Black Swan
though. Number of Films I've Seen: 8 Favorite Film: Star Wars Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith
- If Amy Adams is one of the most definitive actresses of the past ten years, Scarlett perhaps is. At first, I was thinking that maybe she just has the best agent in Hollywood in that she's able to be in half of the big Hollywood films but holy cow, she won me over with Lucy
. She can do superheroes, she can do action, she can do comedy, she can do indie sci-fi and, with rare exception, she's quite good. That consistency can't be all happenstance, can it? Number of Films I've Seen: 13 Favorite Film: The Spongebob Squarepants Movie
- I've only seen her in Taxi Driver
and The Silence of the Lambs
. She's quite good in both. Perhaps I'll have more to say after Freaky Friday
airs on TCM next month. Number of Films I've Seen: 2 Favorite Film: Taxi Driver
- Losing him and Bowie in the same week was so crushing. Very few people were born to play a villain as Alan Rickman was. Yet when he finally broke through the deeply covered vulnerability, you always felt for him. It's his work that helped make Severus Snape the most interesting character in the Harry Potter universe. Number of Films I've Seen: 13 Favorite Film: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street