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From the Washington Post:

The missing Oscars
A definitive accounting of the 37 living actors deprived of an Academy Award — and the performances that deserved one.

By Travis M. Andrews Sept. 25, 2019
Peter O’Toole never won an Oscar. Nor did Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant or Vincent Price. That, right there, should tell you how flawed the awards have been, despite the best intentions of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. As we barrel toward awards season and its annual slate of serious awards-bait films, we decided to remind you of 37 living actors you probably thought already had statues at home — and the roles they should have won them for.

A lot of the following list is Most Iconic Roles

Harrison Ford for“Blade Runner” (1982)

Eh, a misfire, Ford, coming off Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Last Arc [Lost Ark] was on a historic hot streak, but Ryan Gosling was better in the recent sequel.

Samuel L. Jackson for “Jungle Fever” (1991)

Okay, he was really good in this early role, but he was great 3 years later in “Pulp Fiction.”

Glenn Close for “The Big Chill” (1983)…

Brad Pitt for“Fight Club” (1999) ….

Michelle Williams for “Blue Valentine (2010)

Okay, but how about Gosling?

Michael Keaton for “Beetlejuice” (1988)n.

John Malkovich for “Being John Malkovich” (1999)

Eddie Murphy for“Dreamgirls” (2006)

Mia Farrow for“Rosemary’s Baby” (1968)

Joaquin Phoenix for “I’m Still Here” (2010)
Soooo, maybe it’s a lot to ask for the academy to reward an artistic statement that basically amounted to trolling. Dismayed that so many viewers fell for reality TV, Phoenix grew out a beard, became generally unkempt and announced his retirement from acting to become a rapper. For several months, he didn’t break character . . . ever. He’s a jerk throughout this sort-of-mockumentary, but damn if he isn’t committed. Watching David Letterman desperately try to pull something from him, or Ben Stiller trying to discuss a role for him in “Greenberg” only to learn Phoenix hasn’t read the script, is deeply uncomfortable — the Oscar is for acting, and there’s no denying Phoenix completely inhabits the role.

Steve Buscemi for “Fargo” (1996)

Meg Ryan for “When Harry Met Sally . . .” (1989)

Jim Carrey for “Man on the Moon” (1999)

John Goodman for “The Big Lebowski” (1998)

Tom Cruise for “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” (2018)

This is an interesting example of a late role by a famous actor. Generally, most stars do their most characteristic role early, but Tom Cruise keeps getting better at playing Tom Cruise.

Rosie Perez for“Do the Right Thing” (1989)

Willem Dafoe for “Platoon” (1986)

Emily Watson for“Hilary and Jackie” (1998)

John C. Reilly for “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” (2007)

Jeff Daniels for “The Squid and the Whale” (2005)

Amy Adams for “The Master” (2012)

Debra Winger for“Urban Cowboy” (1980)

Matt Damon for “The Talented Mr. Ripley” (1999)

Liam Neeson for“Schindler’s List” (1993)

Angela Bassett for “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” (1993)

Diane Lane for “Unfaithful” (2002)

Kris Kristofferson for “A Star is Born” (1976)

I never saw this version. The 2018 Bradley Cooper version is very enjoyable. Cooper, a jittery Philadelphia suburbs boy, took his slow-talking southwestern accent from “American Sniper” and turned him into a singer. but I’m unsure how original it is. Kristofferson was this amazing all-around American — Rhodes Scholar, military officer, helicopter pilot, songwriter, and country star — whom Hollywood was sure would be the next big leading man, but he didn’t quite make it. Kristofferson’s life would make an interesting biopic.

John Travolta for“Pulp Fiction” (1994)

Laurence Fishburne for “The Matrix” (1999)

 
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  1. Kris Kristofferson deserves the Oscar for “Convoy”.

  2. Only somewhat OT:

    Nobel prize in literature sets sights on diversity after year of scandal

    Next week, the Swedish Academy will announce not one Nobel literature laureate but two, as the prize seeks to move on from a year of unprecedented scandal. The head of the award’s committee is confident the prize can make a comeback by avoiding the “male-oriented” and “Eurocentric” perspective that has dominated judging in the past.

    “If there are going to be two [laureates], one has to be a woman.” said Fiammetta Rocco, culture correspondent at the Economist and the administrator of the International Booker prize, adding that “they’re likely to be from different continents”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/oct/05/nobel-prize-for-literature-2019-diversity

  3. @PiltdownMan

    Lit Nobel is not too different from Oscars. Both overrated & mostly given to wrong people.

    • Agree: Tusk
    • Replies: @njguy73
  4. But Ryan also created a character so indelible, people remember her sandwich order, know how she feels about air conditioning and can recite her sex dreams from memory.

    People obsess about this sort of silly shit all the time, even in terrible movies. It has almost nothing to do with the actor or their performance. The Rocky Horror Picture has hordes of morons acting it out scene for scene and word for word, and it’s a giant steamin’ load of musical muck.

    • Replies: @pyrrhus
    , @Autochthon
  5. HF’s performance in Blade Runner was pretty good. But it’s the movie that’s important, not HF’s performance in it. And, of course, they spoiled the whole thing with that voiceover at the end. If anyone should get the Oscar, it’s Rutger Hauer for his “Tears in the Rain”, which was improvised.

    • Replies: @Reven Reemberg
  6. Sean says:

    If Farrow gets the nod for Rosemary’s Baby’ it is difficult to deny Madonna for Desperately Seeking Susan.

    Ellen Barkin – Sea Of Love.

    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
  7. Altai says:

    The problem is more than the Oscars are based on awarding just one film every year. You don’t get to resubmit next year. It’s perfectly possible to have been a greater actor but just always have been beaten every year. I’m not saying that is what the Oscars do, but such a system would be predicted to inherently produce those outcomes for some people.

    But what is your alternative? (That people would watch)

    • Replies: @bomag
  8. MEH 0910 says:

    RedLetterMedia – Colin on Harrison Ford’s “rubber face” acting:

    Blade Runner – re:View

  9. Anonymous[190] • Disclaimer says:

    Lots of Marilyn Monroe fans can recite much of her dialogue from Let’s Make Love even though they themselves would be the first to admit it is a really bad movie.

  10. Altai says:
    @PiltdownMan

    The Nobel prizes in science have been adjudicated through the lens of impact and influence (The Nobel prize for economics isn’t actually a Nobel prize at all and the Peace Prize no longer makes any sense) and thus tends to be granted to recipients many decades after the work they are awarded for when that becomes clear. (This is also partly due to the increasing complexity of science meaning fewer singularly important people)

    The Nobel prize for literature often seems to be this but sometimes seems to veer off too much into the sense of ‘influential’ not on literature as a practice or popularity of the work but in terms of literary criticism. This sometimes leads to really silly awards to people who didn’t end up making an enduring impact but who have lived on either in the memories of the committee from a time when they were in university or in literary criticism.

    • Replies: @jpp
  11. @PiltdownMan

    How about a Lit Prize for Michelle Obama’s Autobiography? Also, look for a non-white Economics award winner, too. That’s really the only other category they can fudge on merit. Just for kicks, everyone should start raising hell that there’s never been a black Physics or Chemistry (or Medicine) winner and see what they can come up with. Maybe the muslim kid from Texas who built his own clock bomb and got invited to the White House by Obama can be given a special prize.

    • Agree: Old Prude
  12. Altai says:

    OT: Another prominent progressive black man got #MeToo’d for coming on too strong. (No allegations of assault.)

    https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/04/warren-staffer-inappropriate-behavior-campaign-2020-028583

    “Over the past two weeks, senior campaign leadership received multiple complaints regarding inappropriate behavior by Rich McDaniel,” said Warren spokesperson Kristen Orthman.

    “Over the same time period, the campaign retained outside counsel to conduct an investigation. Based on the results of the investigation, the campaign determined that his reported conduct was inconsistent with its values and that he could not be a part of the campaign moving forward.”

    A person familiar with the investigation said that there were no reports of sexual assault, but could not comment further due to confidentiality.

    McDaniel was one of the first hires announced by the campaign and was paid at the level of other senior staffers. He worked as the primary states regional director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the field and political director for Sen. Doug Jones 2017 upset victory in Alabama.

    Elizabeth Warren was forced to fire her National Organising Director or as he should really be referred, Get Out The Church Lady Primary Vote Organiser. Apparently he had the same role for Hilary’s campaign in 2016. This looks pretty serious because this guy was apparently very valuable. Though with Sanders having a heart attack and Tulsi being disappeared, maybe they think Warren is the only game in town for actual change and populism and they can afford to remove this guy now.

    Looking even further, Kamala Harris is deeply unlikable and 100% tool of the establishment and Biden is Biden. Does Warren basically have this all sown up at this point?

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  13. BB753 says:

    What about all the missing great movies that Hollywood has failed to produce for the last 60 years or so?

  14. Idiotic article like everything else is WaPo. The writer gives various actors credit for things that were in the scripts—and aside from Joaquin Phoenix, none of these actors “created” their character. Also, no one should give a shit about the Oscars, their favorites almost always age poorly, if they were ever watchable in the first place, and the awards show has morphed into a long SJW virtue signal.

  15. Hodag says:

    Jack Lemmon in Glengarry Glen Ross. Or Alec Baldwin.

  16. “A definitive accounting of the 37 living actors deprived of an Academy Award — and the performances that deserved one.”

    Deserved? Definitive? By who’s metric? Isn’t acting subjective to a large extent? In other words its unquantifiable and is largely subject to personal opinion, consensus, and taste. Shoulda coulda, but didn’t. So what? The article reads like a more upscale slightly subtle Onion Magazine parody. Perhaps Grant, Price, and Monroe didn’t win Oscars for the simple fact that none of them were considered exceptionally great/talented actors during their lifetimes.

    What about…

    Arnold Schwarzenegger for The Terminator (1984)

    Sylvester Stallone for Rocky (1976)

    Clint Eastwood for Dirty Harry (1971)

    Harrison Ford for Witness (1985)

    Christopher Guest for This is Spinal Tap (1984)

    Honorable Mention:

    Matthew Broaderick for Ferris Beuhler’s Day off (1986)

    Ralph Macchio for The Karate Kid (1984)

    See? Anyone can come with these lists.

  17. I’m really steamed up about the injustice of some people who received fame and millions of dollars for playing pretend for a few days not receiving famous gold statues on television.

    How about we get back to our older and longer standing indigenous cultural idea that actors and actresses be esteemed like prostitutes and hobos? Consider that the recent “revelations” from hollywood confirm that this is usually what they are. Although… a real hooker understands her role and won’t also demand and end to your gun/speech/citizenship rights.

    Then repurpose the (appropriately named) oscars as an award for best garbageman. Consider that their work saves us from millions of deaths in global pandemics AND that they are in a social position that could benefit from positive recognition.

    • Agree: Steve in Greensboro
    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  18. theMann says:

    Clearly the most overlooked Oscar is for the little dog in the Artist.

    Yaphet Kotto in Live and Let Die. (and a whole lot of other roles)

    Michael Cera for Scott Pilgrim (much as I can’t stand the guy).

  19. El Dato says:

    Why the formatting problems and spelling mistakes? Sent from an iPhone?

  20. Neither Sean Connery nor Roger Moore ever won the Best Actor Oscar for playing James Bond.

    Since the Oscars are voted for by insiders in the movie industry, they may have a quite different perspective on what constitutes fine acting from the average movie fan.

    In any case, the Oscars is largely about promoting a small number of large budget movies made by major studios to the wider public, which is fine.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  21. @PiltdownMan

    Well, fine, but in most years it is hard to find one writer who has made a significant contribution to the overall body of literature, never mind two.

    • Replies: @Pericles
    , @anonymous
  22. Dumbo says:

    This is awfully written and reasoned and I am surprised it is in the Washington Post and not some small blog out there. Well, actually you can find better written articles in blogs than in the big press.

    Oscars are a bit random and do not always reward the best performance of actors or directors, they really are looking for a mix of commercial success and messages or themes they want to portray, be it anti-Catholicism in “Spotlight” (terrible movie) or racism, such as “The Green Book” (haven’t seen it, and don’t want to).

    Also, Oscars are focused in the moment, non in the future, so it is hit and miss. It is difficult for people to actually discern what only appears fantastic at the time but soon loses appeal from what is truly enduring. “Taxi Driver” and other movies that are famous today never got an Oscar, while films that won have been almost immediately forgotten.

    The Oscars are really overvalued. Actually all Hollywood is.

  23. Ano says:

    Chances are, if not awarded Oscars for a future performance, these 37 will have to try not to die suddenly, but hang on grimly and shuffle off this mortal coil slowly so as to grant the Academy time to give out an Honorary Award (or what Marlene Dietrich (who was neither never nominated nor awarded an Honorary Award for lifetime achievement herself) derided as the ‘Deathbed Award’.)

    Sanjit Ray’s HA was indeed literally handed to him on his deathbed- at his hospital bed in which he died some weeks later.

    I’m no Feminist, nor Progressive, but the women of Golden era Hollywood are my kind of women, and the Academy’s history of neglecting to justly honour women whose names are now legendary for their work both in front and behind the camera is deeply shameful.

    https://www.altfg.com/film/honorary-award/

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  24. Logan says:
    @PiltdownMan

    If we are going to be logical about it, Nobels should be judged on a “blind audition” basis, with the judges knowing nothing about the sex, ethnicity, etc. of the nominees, only their listed accomplishments.

    This is not, of course, really possible.

    In fact, “blind auditions,” which worked really well for decades for orchestras and such, are now being destroyed because too many of the “wrong type of people” win when you do it that way.

  25. Pericles says:
    @PiltdownMan

    The head of the award’s committee is confident the prize can make a comeback by avoiding the “male-oriented” and “Eurocentric” perspective that has dominated judging in the past.

    But you see, we’ve already awarded it to women, Africans, African-Americans, Chinese, Japanese, Indians, Arabs, Hispanics, even the occasional Jew … Lol, the above is literature’s equivalent of the Emmitt Till time warp. How about they give it to a transsexual rapper next? Will everyone be satisfied then? (No.)

    Well, I guess they have to somehow pick up the pieces after the women in the Academy drove the car off the proverbial cliff. Embarrassing.

  26. Pericles says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    Note that the long list is something like 200 names. Yet they miss out on some of the obvious candidates, like Borges. (Though that appears to have been deliberate.)

  27. Pentheus says:

    The three best non-Oscar performances I can think of (although they are not all actors still living as per the subject article):

    Dennis Price – Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
    Jessica Walter – Play Misty for Me (1971)
    Gene Wilder –Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

    All three of these performances really make the movies that they are in. Price outdoes even Alec Guiness playing multiple roles in the same picture. Jessica Walter’s psycho stalker chick is beyond description. After seeing her, you will find Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction to be a pale and one-dimensional imitation. Gene Wilder’s Willie Wonka is a chameleonic wonder. Is he a good guy or is he bad? is he just nuts or completely in control from rational aims? (Compare to the utterly creepy Johnny Depp take on the role.)

    ===============

    As for the list in the article: Fanboy-ism + PC-ism have almost completely destroyed film criticism or appreciation by most people today. When “all the critics agree: it’s a great movie,” as I see touted in every movie ad today, that means there is no more real film criticism.

    People put their thumb on the scale nowadays, because they want their fanboy love of their fave movies to be validated by the Academy. Heath Ledger’s winning an Oscar for yet another ridiculous comic book movie was their crowning moment of glory.

    For example:

    Harrison Ford is not a great actor; he is boring and self-important, except in Star Wars and the first Indiana Jones.

    John Goodman is the most leaden actor who has ever attained his level of success. His presence ruins almost everything he is in, excepting Big Lebowski in which he is okay enough but it is the script and not really his performance.

    Samuel L. Jackson: same old “angry scary sarcastic sadistic black guy” shit in a different bag, over and over and over and . . .

    ============
    Best living actor who has not won an Oscar: Alec Baldwin — he is good in drama and comedy, and he lights up everything he is in when he appears onscreen, Glengarry Glen Ross being a prime example.

  28. SFG says:

    They forgot everyone here’s favorite Walter quote:

    “I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.”

    • LOL: Digital Samizdat
  29. Sparkon says:

    Acting is highly overrated since it is not hard for many humans to fake it. The trick is to fake it while being beautiful or handsome. That always seems to bring ’em in. Line forms at the rear.

    Humans are hooked on make-believe; don’t ask me why.

    Understand please that I was an avid movie goer most of my life, in the same way I devoured spy and adventure novels most of my life, but somewhere in my 60s, I began to ask myself why I was filling up my head with other people’s fantasies.

    Didn’t I have better things to do with my limited and precious time on this planet?

  30. Actors rely a lot on directors, editors, cinematographers, etc. So I’m less inclined to care about them than the people we don’t see. Steve, maybe an interesting article for you would be directors who never won an award and which movies they should’ve won it for.

  31. Glaivester says: • Website

    Michael Keaton in Beetlejuice?

    (a) He was barely in the movie, despite being the title character.

    (b) Nothing really special about the performance.

    • Replies: @SFG
    , @Milesglorious
    , @Ian M.
  32. the killer in no country for old men. Probably the greatest performance of all time.

    oh, he did win:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_in_film

  33. Harrison Ford? Gimme a break. He’s not an actor, he’s a movie star and low on charisma. He’s gotten out acted by Mark Hamill, Richard Dreyfus, a little Amish Girl, and a whip.

  34. SFG says:
    @Glaivester

    It was kind-of iconic if you were a certain age. Then again ‘iconic’ is kind of overused–in my opinion it really doesn’t reach too far below Marilyn Monroe, Darth Vader, or Bela Lugosi’s Dracula. For the past 80 years, opera cape + Eastern European accent = ‘vampire’, when they used to be reanimated corpses similar to zombies. Now that’s iconic.

  35. Pentheus says:

    One other great performance that didn’t win an Oscar:

    Tim Curry — The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

    Contra what many here will say, Rocky Horror, unlike most “cult” films, is not a bad movie at all but is pretty well-made movie. The songs, the art direction, the casting, the establishment of a scary mood which should be impossible given all the crazy silliness of the whole thing, etc. And most of all Tim Curry’s performance as Frank N. Furter, which is riveting from beginning to end. There would be no Rocky Horror franchise without Tim Curry.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  36. anonymous[242] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    Mr. Mason, you are right of course, but finding “one writer who has made a significant contribution to the overall body of literature” is clearly no longer the point. The Prize has become a participation trophy.

  37. How about Sean Penn for his portrayal of Jeff Spicoli in FTARH?

  38. I went and saw Once Upon a Time in Hollywood a second time. Brad Pitt definitely deserves an Oscar for his performance in it.

    • Agree: Desiderius
    • Replies: @Desiderius
  39. Anonymous[425] • Disclaimer says:

    This is too easy because Oscars have been so wrong so often.

    We can easily name 1000’s.

    It’s even worse for Best Director and of course Best Picture.

  40. anon[217] • Disclaimer says:

    I’m OK with Steve Buscemi, but William Macy should have gotten the Oscar for Fargo. He is the one who had to carry the Minnesota nice persona through the whole movie while also schlepping that lump of coal for a heart.

  41. a reader says:
    @PiltdownMan

    “If there are going to be two [laureates], one has to be a woman.”

    This will add a sorely needed feminine touch to the Nobel Peace Prize .

  42. Tim says:

    Kevin Dylan in Platoon. He was spectacular as Bonnie, the psycho Infantryman. We knew every line he said when I was in enlisted.

    He nailed it.

  43. Tim says:

    Kevin Dylan in Platoon. He was spectacular as Bonnie, the psycho Infantryman. We knew every line he said when I was in enlisted.

    He nailed it.

  44. the kind of presence most actors require multiple seasons of a sitcom to achieve.

    This line is simultaneously a sick burn and entirely earnest admiration.

    Wonder if the writer is even aware of it.

    • Replies: @Jmaie
    , @guest
  45. @PiltdownMan

    Tarantino the White could be the best moviemaker since Ford.

    We’ll see.

    Once Upon a Time + Richard Jewell = maybe Holloywood is finally starting to regain it’s bearings.

  46. syonredux says:

    Let’s get this out of the way: Yes, the diner scene is unforgettable, a true pop-culture touchstone.

    It’s also a stupid scene. The set-up involves Billy Crystal saying that he can always tell when a woman is faking climax, and Meg Ryan responds by simulating an orgasm that is so OTT that even the hackiest porno director would tell her to tone it down.

    • Agree: Buzz Mohawk
    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    , @guest
    , @J.Ross
  47. My pick for Glenn Close would be her role as psycho Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction. For some reason, the Academy went with Cher in Moonstruck that year.

  48. Steve. Forgive me for straying off-topic, but relatedly to your fine Jackie Robinson piece:

    Two Playoff Teams, Two New Stadiums and One Great Divide

    The SI writer argues, to my mind unconvincingly, that Race led the Braves to up sticks from grimy (but vibrant!) downtown Atlanta and move to affluent and safe (but evil!) Cobb County, where most Braves fans live anyway.

    A secondary thesis of the article is that soccer is a better fit for the Rainbow Coalition inhabiting Atlanta’s urban core. It takes some getting around to, but eventually we’re told that the city’s blacks don’t much care for that sport either, LOL. Still an interesting read, if a bit long…and kind of a turd in the punch bowl for a team just starting a postseason run.

  49. @syonredux

    I agree. I thought that scene was absurd. Only a demented person, like Tommy Wiseau, would do something like that in a restaurant. It takes all sense of reality from the character. I thought “When Harry Met Sally” was a low-grade knock-off of “Annie Hall.”

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  50. Jmaie says:
    @Desiderius

    the kind of presence most actors require multiple seasons of a sitcom to achieve.

    This line is simultaneously a sick burn and entirely earnest admiration.

    Wonder if the writer is even aware of it.

    And seemingly a straight steal of the butler’s line about the Lisa Minnelli character in “Arthur.” I’m wondering whether the writer is aware of *that*. And whether it’s intentional, if yes I have to give high marks for whatever we’d call the the written version of straight-face-comedy.

    Cheers.

  51. pyrrhus says:
    @Oleaginous Outrager

    Steve doesn’t like Blade Runner, while the rest of us love it…Harrison Ford for sure.
    Whereas Blade Runner 2 is nothing special, and neither is Gosling….

  52. guest says:

    This sort of thing is useless without comparing individual performances to what they happened to be up against. Because you can’t just say “this actor is great therefore he must win at least one statue.” Because they could have been unlucky to get nominated the year so-and-so portrayed this-or-that.

    Also, the Oscarless Big Names listed are movie stars, and those people are more remembered for being in good, rewatchable movies than for having great performances. Because great performances in crap movies are easy to forget. Mr. Grant was masterful at landing movies that people still watch Nick Cage mostly isn’t. Not a good batting average with that guy.

    These intertwining qualities–star quality, movie quality, acting ability–are hard to tease apart. Peter O’Toole is spellbinding in Lawrence of Arabia, but that is such a great movie that I can’t tell whether David Lean and Robert Bolt deserve as much credit for his part.

  53. guest says:

    Why is this person comparing Harrison Ford to Ryan Gosling? Ford was outshone by Rutger Hauer in the same movie that year!

  54. guest says:
    @Desiderius

    Also, most actors? I think probably a good portion of classic sitcoms had great characters pop out of the gate. Especially small roles like the Fonze and Steve Urkel which expand because the performances are so strong.

    Was there any more depth to Archie Bunker or Alex P. Keaton 7 seasons in compared to the pilot episode? Maybe some, but where it matters they’re essentially the same.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    , @Reg Cæsar
  55. guest says:
    @syonredux

    The scene as a whole isn’t good. People like the “I’ll have what she’s having” punchline, which is well-timed.

  56. anon[335] • Disclaimer says:

    Slim Pickens in “Strangelove” and “Blazing Saddles”. He was just being himself and created iconic characters worthy of an Oscar.

    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
  57. @Harry Baldwin

    Only a demented person, like Tommy Wiseau

    You’re denigrating a great filmmaker …

  58. John Malkovich for “Being John Malkovich”

    Haven’t seen it, but that must’ve been a real stretch of the old acting muscles. Even Stanley Livingston could do a convincing job of acting in a movie called “Being the Guy Who Played Chip in My Three Sons”.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  59. Peter O’Toole never won an Oscar. Nor did Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant or Vincent Price. That, right there, should tell you how flawed the awards have been

    Maybe, maybe not…

    The N.Y. Yankees once won nine American League pennants in a ten-year span. Their win totals:

    1949– 97
    1950– 98
    1951– 98
    1952– 95
    1953– 99
    1954- 103
    1955– 96
    1956– 97
    1957– 98
    1958– 92

    They won seven of the nine World Series they went to. Clearly, 1954 was their best season of this decade. Did they win the Series that year?

    They didn’t go! Cleveland won 111 in 1954. The Yanks’ best W-L and Pct. led to their worst, indeed only, GB figure.

    It was bad timing. Similarly, these actors’ best performances may have come in years that someone else topped them.

    It all depends on the competition. Go back and look at the fair runners-up of the golden age of cinema to see what I mean:

    https://www.imdb.com/list/ls009487211/?sort=list_order,asc&st_dt=&mode=detail&page=4

    https://www.imdb.com/list/ls009487211/?sort=list_order,asc&st_dt=&mode=detail&page=5

  60. The awards should really be delayed by 10 years. I look through old Oscar winners and most seem obscure. Iconic films and performances are often passed over in their time. It’s only in retrospect that we come to see them for what they are. It’s only gonna get worse as the awards become even more PC than they are with dreck like Black Panther getting acoolades (that film was inferior even as fun superhero schlock compared to other Marvel films).

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  61. J.Ross says:

    Sleuth is one of the best movies of the seventies and, despite award-worthy art direction and excellent camera work, is really just the two primary actors acting the hell out of every shot. I don’t know of there’s anything like it in American movies (and definitely not recent ones) because American actors aren’t expected to act and, when they do, they’re usually doing so in some much bigger context. Of course Sleuth had a kind of cousin-sequel a decade later in Deathtrap.
    A lot of American acting is in the shadow of good action sequences. Jean-Pierre Melville’s last film with Alain Delon, A Cop, has a great bank robbery and great character actors and great style — and then Melville gives us a plastic toy helicopter held over an obvious model train.

  62. @Glaivester

    He was a lot better in Nightshift.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  63. J.Ross says:
    @the one they call Desanex

    I quibble. There’s (spoiler, though in this pseudo-intellectual self-satisfied explained-riddle, spoilers don’t matter) a brief bit where Malkovich is free for about thirty seconds from his soul-parasites, and it’s actually the least compelling and realistic part of the movie. (I enjoyed BJM but would only conditionally recommend it, and reject the idea that it was brilliant. The monkey sequence is funny though.) BJM is a movie that proves that a movie isn’t necessarily better when all the loose ends are tied up, especially if those loose ends exist for showing off how cleverly they can be knotted.

  64. J.Ross says:
    @syonredux

    If you give women an excuse to talk about sex without costing them anything, you will get talked about as a comic genius.
    Funny bit: there is a Russian nationalist propaganda film (about the Georgian-Ossetian war) which rips this scene off. I don’t know if that was done because of isolation or because Russians are okay with ripping off movie scenes.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  65. dvorak says:

    Half these picks are for comedic performances. Those don’t get Oscars, ever, unless it’s a musical-comedy.

  66. @Tiny Duck

    Let me guess– the perpetrators are “New York men”. And the victims– what is the homeless rate among Chinese in NYC? I doubt it’s 1-in-121.

    Unless it’s on paper, by counting the Chinese scam of prosperous adults “disowning” their parents so they can draw benefits.

  67. @guest

    I think probably a good portion of classic sitcoms had great characters pop out of the gate. Especially small roles like the Fonze and Steve Urkel which expand because the performances are so strong.

    Or the writing. The character delineation. This has been going on in literature from Falstaff to Ramona Quimby. A minor character proves more interesting than the protagonists and gets his own spinoff.

    Hell, that explains the Odyssey. And the Æneid.

  68. Daniel H says:
    @Tim

    Kevin Dillon has natural comedy skills. He could make any role funny.

  69. A definitive accounting of the 37 living actors deprived of an Academy Award — and the performances that deserved one.

    37?

    There are 185,000 active and former members of the SAG. How many have Oscar on the mantelpiece? Or even a home with a mantelpiece?

    (Do LA houses even need mantelpieces, other than to display trophies?)

  70. Anonymous[239] • Disclaimer says:

    Why do they still use the term ‘Oscar-worthy’ when the Oscars have been so wrong? ‘Oscar-neglected’ should be the term of praise.

    Eh, a misfire, Ford, coming off Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Last Arc was on a historic hot streak, but Ryan Gosling was better in the recent sequel

    Harrison in BLADE RUNNER offers presence than serves up a performance. He isn’t given much to do except to stand or sit around as hardboiled emblem of existential alienation cool. It’s a fine presence but not much of a performance. Gosling does something more like acting, but his presence as screen character pales next to Ford in original and sequel. He doesn’t have screen magic.

  71. @Sparkon

    “Humans are hooked on make-believe; don’t ask me why.”

    Maybe imagination is the best way to make sense of a reality that can be stunningly beautiful and joyous in one moment, and horrifying and tragic in the next. We all live on the edge of an abyss.

  72. @Pentheus

    Dennis Price – Kind Hearts and Coronets

    Right.

  73. All those movies suck. You stupid children have no taste.

    And, btw, Gosling (these actors always changing their names to more mellifluous ones) looks like Gomer Pyle.

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
  74. Ian Smith says:
    @Pentheus

    Alec Baldwin is an absolute blast in the obscenely underrated Miami Blues!

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  75. All you people’s infantile and unqualified adoring of stupid crummy movies proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that you are just as stupid as I have always said you are.

  76. @Sean

    Rosemary’s Baby (1968) is a masterful black comedy full of top-notch performances. But my favorite in that splendid cast is Ruth Gordon.

  77. ricpic says:

    I’ve never seen John Goodman give a bad performance. Complete professional.

  78. syonredux says:
    @Pentheus

    John Goodman is the most leaden actor who has ever attained his level of success. His presence ruins almost everything he is in, excepting Big Lebowski in which he is okay enough but it is the script and not really his performance.

    Now you’re just being silly.

    Whatever they paid Goodman for his brief appearance in Flight as the drug dealer, it wasn’t enough:

  79. @J.Ross

    If you give women an excuse to talk about sex without costing them anything…

    They talk about it among themselves more than you would imagine, much more then men do.

    We men are (or were) reared to think that we are horny bastards who must win over women to have sex. The truth is, women identify more with sex than we do. It is more a part of their existence than ours. If your girlfriend is happy about some part of you in bed, you can bet she has bragged about it to her girlfriends.

    Women shout to us that they don’t want to be sexual objects, when in fact they think of themselves as that. Once you understand this, you can be a happy man.

    • Agree: Bardon Kaldian
  80. syonredux says:

    Richard Dawson as the game show host in The Running Man was outstanding:

    • Replies: @Kevin O'Keeffe
  81. @Hodag

    Jack Lemmon was good in everything. Check out his performance in Robert Altman’s Short Cuts (1993) wherein he plays just a godawful human being.

  82. JimB says:

    Since outstanding and culturally significant movies obey Poisson statistics, they often occur in clusters, so they can’t all be honored with an Oscar. Conversely, Oscars are awarded even when there aren’t any good movies made in a particular year. Perhaps movies should have to be at least ten years old before they are eligible to be considered for a Oscar. Or better yet, extend the Nobel prize to include Oscar categories. It’s sort of a joke award now anyway, so entertainment categories would give it more relevance. And more blacks and women could win Nobels.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Anonymous
  83. Can anyone explain why Gosling is even considered a good actor?

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  84. J1234 says:
    @Pentheus

    Samuel L. Jackson: same old “angry scary sarcastic sadistic black guy” shit in a different bag, over and over and over and . . .

    Very true. He’s about the same level of actor that John Wayne was, meaning that the role changes to fit the actor rather than the other way around. Wayne won an Oscar, but it was (in my opinion) really more of a lifetime achievement award. (I remember when he won out over Dustin Hoffman in 1969 and it was a minor scandal; Hoffman was supposedly a “really good” actor while Wayne just did the same character over and over again. In the years since then, however, it’s become obvious that Dustin Hoffman fits into that category, too.)

  85. @anon

    Look for Slim Pickens in Sam Peckinpah’s episodic Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973). It’s a short scene with Katy Jurado, but juiced with unspoken emotion. Slim also shows up in Peckinpah’s The Getaway (1972) as an El Paso garbage man and shares the final scene with Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw. Pickens usually played the same kind of role in his numerous TV and film appearances, but his longevity is admirable.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  86. @J1234

    Dustin Hoffman’s reputation has collapsed over the last 30 years. I still like him, so he’s got that going for him.

  87. Margaret Hamilton, and Margaret Dumont.

  88. Anonymous[239] • Disclaimer says:

    Notable performances for one reason or another.

    1. Edward Norton in PRIMAL FEAR and AMERICAN HISTORY X
    2. Richard Gere in MOTHMAN PROPHECIES
    3. Anna Beth Gish in MYSTIC PIZZA
    4. Just about everyone in MIDNIGHT RUN but esp Pantoliano
    5. Joe Mantegna in HOUSE OF GAMES and HOMICIDE
    6. Kiernan Shipka in BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER
    7. Nicol Williamson in EXCALIBUR. Williamson is dead, however.
    8. Will Patton in NO WAY OUT(and MOTHMAN PROPHECIES)
    9. Everyone in RESERVOIR DOGS
    10. Jonah Hill in WOLF OF WALL STREET
    11. Naomi Woods in MULHOLLAND DR
    12. Moises Arias in KINGS OF SUMMER
    13. Josh Hartnett in WICKER PARK
    14. Al Pacino, Sean Penn, and Leguizamo in CARLITO’S WAY
    15. Everyone in DAZED AND CONFUSED, esp Parker Posey(also CLOCKWATCHERS) and Rory Cochrane
    16. Bruce Greenwood in EXOTICA
    17. Diane Keaton in MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY. Her best role by far.
    18. Jeff Bridges in WILD BILL and FISHER KING(which set the template for Lebowski)
    19. Paul Sorvino and James Woods in NIXON. Woods also for SALVADOR.
    20. Sean Astin and Ned Beatty in RUDY
    21. Bill Murray in LOST IN TRANSLATION and RUSHMORE
    22. Matt Damon in THE INFORMANT
    23. Bob Hoskins in FELICIA’S JOURNEY
    24. Pacino, Williams, and Swank in INSOMNIA
    25. Peter Green in CLEAN, SHAVEN
    26. Paul Giamatti in AMERICAN SPLENDOR
    27. Thora Birch and Ileana Douglas in GHOST WORLD
    28. John Cusack in SURE THING and HIGH FIDELITY(also Jack Black)
    29. Tim Robbins in JACOB’S LADDER
    30. Kevin Costner in FANDANGO
    31. Kevin Spacey in BEYOND THE SEA
    32. Bruce Willis and Samuel Jackson in UNBREAKABLE
    33. Al Pacino and Johnny Depp in DONNIE BRASCO
    24. Kirsten Dunst in VIRGIN SUICIDES
    25. Jason Patric and Robert Duvall in GERONIMO
    26. Christopher Walken in LAST MAN STANDING and TRUE ROMANCE(plus Dennis Hopper)
    27. Chazz Palminteri in BRONX TALE
    28. Jim Carrey in ETERNAL SUNSHINE
    29. Albert Finney in MILLER’S CROSSING
    30. Woody Harrelson in PEOPLE VS LARRY FLYNT
    31. Tim Roth in ROB ROY
    32. Lucas Black in SLINGBLADE
    33. Dennis Quaid in WYATT EARP, also Val Kilmer in TOMBSTONE
    34. Chris Eigeman in METROPOLITAN and Kate Beckinsale in LAST DAYS OF DISCO
    35. Natalie Portman in LEON THE PROFESSIONAL
    36. Adam Sandler in BILLY MADISON
    37. Casey Affleck in ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES
    38. Jennifer Lawrence in MOTHER!
    39. Josh Brolin in W and HAIL CAESAR
    40. Raffey Cassidy in TOMORROWLAND
    41. Nick Frost in THE WORLD’S END
    42. Gillian Anderson in HOUSE OF MIRTH
    43. Daniel Bruhl in RUSH
    44. William Hurt in A.I.
    45. Tilda Swinton in MICHAEL CLAYTON
    46. Denis O’Hare in C.O.G.
    47. Everyone in AMERICAN ANIMALS
    48. Jeff Daniels and Ray Liotta in SOMETHING WILD
    49. Treat Williams and Jerry Orbach in PRINCE OF THE CITY
    50. Mel Gibson and Linda Hunt in YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY
    51. Susan Sarandon in ATLANTIC CITY
    52. Paul Le Mat in MELVIN AND HOWARD
    53. Mickey Rourke and Steven Guttenberg in THE DINER
    54. Steve Martin in PLANES TRAINS AUTOMOBILES(RIP John Candy)
    55. Gary Oldman in SID AND NANCY
    56. Nick Nolte in WHO’LL STOP THE RAIN
    57. John Travolta in URBAN COWBOY
    58. Jeffrey Jones in FERRIS BUELLER
    59. Everyone in TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA
    60. Danny Devito in everything

  89. @JimB

    One issue is that the historic influence of movies depends upon what sticks in the heads of upcoming writers and directors. For example, Citizen Kane did well when released, winning one Oscar, and getting some more nominations. But its reputation traces to long arguments among Hollywood guys assigned to propaganda corps during World War II kicking around the perennial guy topic of Best.Film.Ever. Eventually Citizen Kane emerged as their consensus, a view they brought home to Hollywood after the war.

  90. Surprised no one has mentioned Richard Burton, particularly for his roles in “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf”. Nominated for an Oscar 7 times, never won.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    , @Alden
  91. Anonymous[239] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Dustin Hoffman’s reputation has collapsed over the last 30 years. I still like him, so he’s got that going for him.

    His career has been on a downhill trajectory, but I think his reputation for his key roles in 60s to 80s still stands.

    It’s hard to top Ratso.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    , @PiltdownMan
  92. Anonymous[239] • Disclaimer says:
    @SunBakedSuburb

    Pickens was also in BALLAD OF CABLE HOGUE.

  93. Anonymous[239] • Disclaimer says:
    @JimB

    Conversely, Oscars are awarded even when there aren’t any good movies made in a particular year.

    Every year, even the worst, has some very good stuff. But Oscars still manage to overlook them usually.

  94. @Dave from Oz

    If anyone should get the Oscar, it’s Rutger Hauer for his “Tears in the Rain”, which was improvised.

    Wrong. He didn’t improvise it. He wrote it. Also, Rutger had the peculiar idea that Roy had the sensibility of an 8 year old boy. Ridley Scott wasn’t that hot on that idea, but didn’t challenge him on it, and edited around it.

    You can see Roy making peculiar faces, like a child might, as he descends the elevator after killing his creator. In another scene, Roy says “gosh, you really have some nice toys here,” again pushing the “replicant as an 8 year old” idea. His character wasn’t being sardonic, although that’s what the audience assumed, thanks to Ridley’s skillful editing around a bad idea.

    Blade Runner was a massive shitshow of a production, that was saved in post production. Rutger, while brilliant, was always a potential problem, he was an eccentric person, to say the least, that Ridley worked around wonderfully. Especially considering all the other personalities he had to deal with during an extremely complicated production.

    If a director has to undermine your creative choices for the good of the movie, you don’t deserve an Oscar.

  95. @Steve Sailer

    But its reputation traces to long arguments among Hollywood guys assigned to propaganda corps during World War II kicking around the perennial guy topic of Best.Film.Ever. Eventually Citizen Kane emerged as their consensus, a view they brought home to Hollywood after the war.

    I think it’s reputation traces back to Welles, a dabbling communist, sticking it to one of the most egregious capitalists in our history, and taking every cheap shot available at his target.

    The movie was extremely political, and mean spirited.

    Before the movie was written, the term “rosebud” was well known in gossip circles as William Randolph Hearst’s pet reference to Marion Davies clitoris. Basing the entire movie on the repetition of that phrase, is obnoxious. It’s a cheap shot, regardless of what you think about Hearst, and Welles rolled around in that movie, and it’s cheap shot references, like a happy pig in shit.

    Welles later stated that he got stuck in an elevator with Hearst while the movie was still in theaters, and asked Hearst if he’d seen the movie yet. Hearst didn’t respond.

    You have to be a bit of a dick to do that, and you’ll be backed up by mean people who wouldn’t have the balls or ability to do it themselves, telling you what a genius you are. However, most were just communists and assholes.

    Welles lit his sound stage like he lit his theater stage. Nobody had ever done that, and Welles did it because he didn’t know any better. He was not a student of film prior to making Citizen Kane, and wasn’t even the major screenwriter.

    Herman Mankewitz was a mean fucking drunk, hated Hearst, and wrote a mean script which Welles embellished further with theatrical lighting.

    To those who’ve not yet seen it, have an espresso before you begin watching so you don’t miss some of it when you fall asleep. The movie is an interesting artifact.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Anonymous
  96. why does every single blogger in the HBD-sphere have severe autism?

    i mean just listen to steve’s interviews. dude is very very james damore level “spectrumy”.

    • Replies: @Charon
  97. @Steve Sailer

    I knew his cousin, who built houses in New Canaan. When I asked him about Dustin, he said, “He’s more of a Greenwich guy.”

  98. @Anonymous

    31. Kevin Spacey in BEYOND THE SEA

    Spacey has since been exposed as a homosexual.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  99. Kylie says:
    @Pentheus

    Dennis Price was brilliant in Kind Hearts and Coronets. Also very good in a supporting role in Tunes of Glory. He and Guinness worked beautifully together in both films.

  100. Travis spent six years studying journalism for this?

  101. What about getting the wrong Oscar? Tatum O’Neal was clearly the co-star, if not star, of Paper Moon. In no way was she a “supporting actress”.

    But giving Best Actress to a ten-year-old would be like electing an actor, or a real-estate developer, President. It’s just not done. In Hollywood, anyway.

  102. Kylie says:
    @J1234

    John Wayne was excellent as Ethan Edwards in The Searchers.

    • Replies: @Ian M.
    , @J1234
  103. I don’t want to tread too deeply into these waters, the whole subject being a bit too conducive to idle time-wasting. But if everybody is tossing out names of their favorite underappreciated actor, I would nominate Gary Busey. His performance in the somewhat overlooked Kurt Russell vehicle Soldier is a departure from his typical avuncular, energetic outbursts and I actually find it rather touching.

    The greatest bit of physical acting I’m aware of is Al Pacino in the Grand Central Station scene in Carlito’s Way. A masterpiece of editing, it almost looks as if it were done in one take. In reality it took many days just to put that one scene together due to the many intricate timings involved. Apparently at one point during the filming Pacino got so frustrated that he just got on the train and went home.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
  104. syonredux says:
    @Steve Sailer

    For example, Citizen Kane did well when released, winning one Oscar, and getting some more nominations. But its reputation traces to long arguments among Hollywood guys assigned to propaganda corps during World War II kicking around the perennial guy topic of Best.Film.Ever. Eventually Citizen Kane emerged as their consensus, a view they brought home to Hollywood after the war.

    Yasujirō Ozu viewed a copy of KANE while he was stationed in Singapore during WW2; he was really impressed.

  105. @J1234

    Agreed, but- aren’t all movie actors like that? They all play one & the same role, themselves.

  106. jon says:

    If we are going to talk about overlooked roles, I always thought it was a pretty big slap in the face that Paul Giamatti didn’t even get nominated for his role in Sideways. This was the Oscar record for the movie:

    Sideways won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Haden Church) and Best Supporting Actress (Madsen).

    So the writer, the director, the producer, and both of his co-stars all got the nod, but as the main star, he didn’t? Almost seems personal.

  107. J.Ross says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Spacey has been accused of forcing himself on much younger men (but not children) — he denies this, the cases go nowhere, and the accusers keep mysteriously dying.
    Prior to this he was all but out by virtue of being a great and fashionable actor who often played gay men (MITGOGAE), or men of gay interest (LAC), or in gay propaganda (AB).

    • Replies: @Lurker
  108. J.Ross says:
    @Anonymous

    Hoffman has definitely survived better than Pacino and much better than DeNiro. And he’s really charming in that VW spot.

    [How does a Jew get named Dustin? Then again, I can’t see how Paddy or Mandy were named those, and get them confused.]

  109. J.Ross says:
    @ApacheTrout

    I love Burton in everything he’s in, his Taming of the Shrew and Marlowe’s Faust are totally better than dozens of forgotten Oscar winners.

    • Replies: @Alden
  110. BB753 says:
    @Anonymous

    I totally disagree with you so that I don’t know where to start.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  111. @J.Ross

    His performance as the drunken lawyer in Sleepers was an understated tour de force.

  112. Anonymous[239] • Disclaimer says:

    Robert Downey Jr. for“Tropic Thunder”

    I finally saw this, and must say it is a hilarious mockery of Hollywood’s self-congratulatory conceit of seriousness, esp come Oscar season.

    Its sendup of FORREST GUMP especially. After seeing TROPIC THUNDER mocking expose of pop cultural pretensions, can anyone take anything from Hollywood or pop culture in general seriously?

  113. @obwandiyag

    Fantastic performance by Gomer Pyle.

  114. @Anonymous

    The amazing thing about Tropic Thunder is that it was ever made. It is so poltically incorrect and anti Hollywood. And Robert Downey Jr. is pure genius.

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  115. J.Ross says:

    I feel safe throwing out here that my main recurrent nonerotic fantasy involves encountering long-dead historical personages (mainly our founding fathers, whom God resurrect) and introducing them to the modern world, and that I firmly believe that HP Lovecraft would adore Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet.

  116. @J.Ross

    [How does a Jew get named Dustin?

    Even more- why do they give names like

    Milton
    Bernard
    Irving
    Marc
    Hyman
    Harold
    Sidney
    Morris
    Leon
    Louis
    Lewis
    Jules
    Julius
    Oscar
    …….

  117. I would’ve liked to have seen Bryce Dallas Howard get Best Actress for THE VILLAGE.

  118. Anonymous[239] • Disclaimer says:
    @BB753

    LOL. It is impossible you disagree on every choice.

  119. Tlotsi says:

    Vincent Price definitely deserved the Oscar for Dr Goldfoot & the Bikini Machine.

  120. Alden says:
    @ApacheTrout

    Richard Burton was the worst actor of the 20th century. Plus that dwarf body, pockmarked face and alcoholic eyes. Then there was that horrible hideous artificial Royal Academy of Dramatic Art voice.

    He never acted. Even in war movies he just stood there and declaimed a monologue in that gawd awful artificial RADA voice.

    Most of his movies, Cleopatra, Sandpiper, The VIPs were just awful awful awful. Those 3 ended up unintentional comedies. Someone who went to RADA told me that gawd awful voice was greatly prized in 1950s English melodrama and Shakespeare

    Only watched part of one Oscar show in my life. More boring than church.

    Alec Baldwin is great. He had a small part in Aviator. But when he was on, he just commanded the screen

  121. Alden says:
    @J.Ross

    Taming of the Shrew was great due to Zeffirelli’s fine Italian hand in set and costume design and direction. Plus Taylor’s body hidden and face costumes and hairstyle featured. Would have been better with anyone who could recite lines, hit his marks and take direction than Burton Still, he did occasionally move instead of just standing still and declaiming.

    I agree, probably his best.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  122. syonredux says:
    @Anonymous

    Tom Cruise was quite good as the Weinstein-esque producer:

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  123. Charon says:
    @steve loves jewish cock.

    Okay Steve. Time to stop pretending you actually sort these on content.

  124. Some performances transcend even what an Oscar signifies in my view,

    Chiwetel Ejiofor accomplished that rare feat in 2013, an Oscar could not do justice to that performance. Out of the park

    I think the same holds for Jimmy Stewart in “It’s A Wonderful Life”. Fortunately, “Best Years of Our Lives,” came out that same year.

  125. Pentheus says:

    Best non-Oscar performances I can think of — defined as outstanding role performances which “make” the movies they are in, by actors who were not ever nominated for an Oscar for anything (AFAIK, anyway):

    Dennis Price — Kind Hearts and Coronets 1949
    Robert Mitchum — Cape Fear 1962
    Kim Darby — True Grit 1969
    Jessica Walter — Play Misty for Me 1971
    Gene Wilder — Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory 1971
    Tim Curry — The Rocky Horror Picture Show 1975
    Robert Shaw — Jaws 1975
    Jeff Goldblum — The Fly 1986

    As far as the list in the article, I see too much fanboy-ism in it, a plague of our times.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Jim Don Bob
  126. jpp says:
    @Altai

    This take is horseshit. For one, it is directly contradicted by explicit selection of multiple recent awardees on the basis of their popular rather than their literary contributions. Bob Dylan, for instance, holds more clout as a pop culture figure than as a bonafide doer of literature. Likewise, Svetlana Alexievich, quality journalist though she may be, fails to meet the literary bar. As well, even many of the recent ‘pure literature’ recipients fail to merit high artistic acclaim among serious literary critics. For instance, Doris Lessing coheres to my thinking with the banal contemporary British middlebrow of Martin Amis, Ian Mckewan, AS Byatt, Salman Rushdie, etc. And when JM. Le Clezio won the prize, many NY-Review-of-Books caliber periodicals had to scrape the barrel with great exertion to find scholars of credentials (even among Francophiles) who had so much as heard of him. Among those who had, one astutely compared his work to a ‘UNICEF documentary’.

    Of course, a few of the recent recipients constitute first rate and most worthy talents. Here the lyrical poet Tomas Transtromer and the Kafkaesque novelists Herta Mueller / Mo Yan summon to mind.

  127. At the end of the day,the best actor was Mr Ed.

    • Agree: Cortes
  128. @Bardon Kaldian

    A lot of these were classy English or Scottish or American surnames with literary overtones: Sir Philip Sidney was an Elizabethan poet, Washington Irving was the first famous American fiction writer and there was another Irving who was a famous Shakespearean actor in the 19th Century. John Milton of course was the author of Paradise Lost.

  129. Pentheus says:

    One more —

    Ray Liotta in Goodfellas 1990.

    Notwithstanding Pesci, Liotta gets it just right as Henry Hill, not least in his voice over narration. Compare Casino — same Goodfellas team minus Liotta/HH — no contest. DeNiro’s VO sounds like Rupert Pupkin talking, IMO.

    Come to think of it, Lorraine Bracco as Karen Hill could go on the list too. A unique female character in a Mafia movie.

  130. J.Ross says:
    @Alden

    When I was a kid, I couldn’t understand what the big deal was about Elizabeth Taylor, because she was firmly in the “Mariah Carey Throwing Ice Cream Cones” stage of life, but you see her in those two and she’s amazing.

  131. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @J.Ross

    Ah yes, the Volkswagen Type 3 with the pancake cooling system. Actually not a bad car once out of warranty and when the D-Jet efi took a shit, you ripped it out and put a carb setup on.

    K-Jet was a good system, but D-Jet sucked donkey balls. A lot of Type 3s were prematurely junked because refit was “too much bother”, like the ASS (Automatic Stick Shift) cars.

    Now of course you want the D-Jet parts to put in modern injectors and do a modern EFI conversion like MegaSquirt.

  132. J.Ross says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    What Steve said, or the totally respectable custom of recycling an outdated name to keep alive the memory of a relative (hence Wolf Blitzer). But Dustin? Has that ever not suggested a pickup trick with a starry cross on it?

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
  133. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Same reason blacks now name their offspring Shitavious and LaQueefisha. but Jews do have better taste.

    Unlike certain goyim.

    Bill Lear named a daughter “Shanda”

    Marriages and children:

    With his first wife, Ethel Peterson Lear, daughter Mary Louise was born in January 1925.
    He married his second wife, Madeline Murphy, in October 1926. Their son, William Lear Jr., was born on May 24, 1928.[17] Daughter Patti was born in 1930.
    Lear’s third marriage, to Margret Radell, was childless.
    In 1941, Lear married his fourth wife, Moya Marie Olsen. They would have four children together: John Olsen Lear, Shanda, David and Tina.

    Although Lear had a reputation for being difficult,[18] he had a sense of humor, as evidenced by naming his third daughter Shanda Lear (/ʃændə lɪər/), which is homophonic with “chandelier”.

    but in Yiddish that means shame or disgrace.

    I met Shanda Lear a couple of times when I lived in Wichita. I was not surprised and did not comment on the situation, since I had read Lear’s biography before moving out there.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  134. Kevin Bacon was the best actor in ‘Mystic River.’

  135. syonredux says:
    @Tlotsi

    For my money, Vincent Price’s best work was in Witchfinder General:

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    , @Sean
    , @Lurker
  136. Harvey Keitel, “Bad Lieutenant.” /Some/body was sitting up late at night with a flashlight, reading Le Theatre et Son Double (“The Theater and Its Evil Twin”) under the bedroom covers.

  137. J.Ross says:
    @syonredux

    I watched that movie expecting fun trash and was very pleasantly surprised, it’s a fantastic movie which outclasses some with much higher budgets

  138. @Alden

    I never could understand why he was acclaimed as a great actor.He was awful in Cleopatra. He did a good job as the narrator in Zulu.

  139. Anonymous[239] • Disclaimer says:
    @Pentheus

    What’s with all these mentions of Tim Curry? It was just Joker in drag. Trashy performance in a terrible movie.

    As for the un-awarded, there are just too many. I’m glad the Duke was honored, but 1969 had Hoffman and Voight in MIDNIGHT COWBOY and Holden in THE WILD BUNCH.

    Robert Blake was intense in IN COLD BLOOD. Scott Wilson was also terrific. Scott Wilson so resembles Owen Wilson that I thought maybe he was the pa. He wasn’t.

    Paul Newman was great in COOL HAND LUKE. Burt Cort and Ruth Gordon gave eccentric performances in HAROLD AND MAUDE.

    Rosanne Arquette and Vincent Spano in BABY IT’S YOU, Sayles only truly great movie. Too bad not enough people know of this movie.

  140. Anonymous[239] • Disclaimer says:
    @syonredux

    Truly inspired. The odd thing about Tom Cruise is he is freer and looser in movies than in real life in which he always seems to be playing The Role of a Lifetime: Mr. Scientologist.

  141. Anonymous[239] • Disclaimer says:
    @Alden

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Golden_Turkey_Awards#Awards_given

    Richard Burton is judged as the Worst Actor of All Time over nominees John Agar, Tony Curtis and Victor Mature. While conceding he is sometimes brilliant, the authors claim Burton’s “occasional triumphs only serve to highlight the pathetic waste in most of his films; for every Equus in which he appears there are at least a half-dozen Cleopatras or Boom!s.

    He was pretty good in CLEOPATRA. He made an interesting Trotsky.

    He was magnificent as Wagner.

  142. Cortes says:

    Ought there not be a category of “Actors’ Actor”?

    In much the same way many football (US = soccer) nations have awards like the English PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) awards. My understanding is that that is the most coveted award of all.

    In acting, my guess is that the winner of such an award would be the humble jobbing non-headline actor who had a great store of jokes and was content to shrink while allowing the stars to shine.

    “The Other Guys” riffed on such a theme.

  143. @Altai

    Does Warren basically have this all sown up at this point?

    Yes.

  144. syonredux says:

    Tony Curtis was a so-so actor, but his performance in Sweet Smell of Success was perfect:

    • Agree: Cortes
    • Replies: @Cortes
  145. @Steve Sailer

    He was good in the Meyerowitz Stories.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  146. The movie Street of a Thousand Dreams deserved the oscar for best movie in 1972. It had 57 naked women in it! Instead, they gave it to The Godfather. That’s a movie nobody watches or remembers.

  147. trelane says:

    Peter Fonda for Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974)

  148. @Pentheus

    Harrison Ford is not a great actor; he is boring and self-important, except in Star Wars and the first Indiana Jones.

    Disagree, the 2nd and 3rd Indiana Jones films are plenty of fun in their own right. I did dislike his overgrown Boy Scout portrayal of Jack Ryan.

    Best living actor who has not won an Oscar: Alec Baldwin — he is good in drama and comedy, and he lights up everything he is in when he appears onscreen, Glengarry Glen Ross being a prime example.

    His Glengarry Glen Ross monologue is stunning. He was also a great Jack Ryan in the original Hunt for Red October. He was also pretty good in the underrated remake of The Getaway alongside the smoldering Kim Basinger.

  149. @Sparkon

    …somewhere in my 60s, I began to ask myself why I was filling up my head with other people’s fantasies.

    Didn’t I have better things to do with my limited and precious time on this planet?

    I was blessed enough to realize this in my mid-30s…yet here I am on yet another Saturday night.

    At least I’m not posting while near blackout drunk!

  150. @Tim

    He nailed it.

    You spelled Tom Berenger funny:

  151. Not mentioned here is Anthony Hopkins, who did win a Best Actor Oscar when Silence of the Lambs swept the board, but could have had a few more Oscars for some spellbinding performances.

    Director Richard Attenborough praised Hopkins for “this extraordinary ability to make you believe when you hear him that it is the very first time he has ever said that line. It’s an incredible gift”. In fact, Hopkins is known for learning his lines and practicing them scores of times until they sound completely natural.

  152. @Sparkon

    Humans are hooked on make-believe; don’t ask me why.

    I watch mostly documentaries. Many times I have seen scenes in them that made me think, “No scene in any fictional work could ever be that powerful because, frankly, no screenwriter or actor could ever be that good.”

    To give an example:

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
  153. Sean says:
    @syonredux

    For my money he was best in The Long Night (1947). Acting has changed too much even since the seventies for comparisons of older performances with the meretricious Sphynx-De Niro underplaying in which you barely get a blink.

  154. @Pentheus

    Robert Shaw – The Taking of Pelham 123

  155. @Senator Brundlefly

    The awards should really be delayed by 10 years. I look through old Oscar winners and most seem obscure. Iconic films and performances are often passed over in their time.

    Let’s take the 1987 award for Best Actress, which should have gone to Sigourney Weaver going away for Aliens, an all-time classic film that is a cable staple and is regularly re-screened in movie theaters.

    Instead, deaf vibrant Marlee Matlin won for Children of a Lesser God, 120 minutes of hackneyed, melodramatic crap that few have watched and no one has ever rewatched. I guess it could be argued Marlee has better hair than Sigourney.

  156. njguy73 says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Did not win Nobel Lit Prize:

    Mark Twain
    Henrik Ibsen
    Marcel Proust
    Leo Tolstoy
    James Joyce
    Jack London
    Jorge Luis Borges
    G. K. Chesterton
    George Orwell
    Vladimir Nabokov
    Philip Roth
    Ray Bradbury
    Tom Wolfe

    • Replies: @syonredux
    , @PiltdownMan
  157. njguy73 says:

    Reese Witherspoon’s best performance ever was in Election, and her getting Oscar snubbed that year was flat-out criminal.

    Convince me otherwise.

  158. Lurker says:
    @J.Ross

    I thought Steve was being ironic?

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  159. Lurker says:
    @syonredux

    My godfather was in that film!

  160. Lurker says:
    @Alden

    Aww come on, he was great in The Wild Geese!

  161. @The Wild Geese Howard

    Alec Baldwin is an interesting case of a guy who looked like a leading man and has tons of acting talent, but the public never quite liked him as a leading man. He’s extremely famous without ever quite being the leading man in big hit movie. Or maybe he just had bad luck or something.

    Perhaps he had trouble keeping the weight off?

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  162. J1234 says:
    @J.Ross

    He got that role because he’s like 5′-6″ tall…and actually makes a VW look big.

  163. syonredux says:
    @njguy73

    Did not win Nobel Lit Prize:

    Mark Twain
    Henrik Ibsen
    Marcel Proust
    Leo Tolstoy
    James Joyce
    Jack London
    Jorge Luis Borges
    G. K. Chesterton
    George Orwell
    Vladimir Nabokov
    Philip Roth
    Ray Bradbury
    Tom Wolfe

    The Swedish Academy could have made either Mark Twain or Henry James the first American Nobel Lit Laureate, but they decided to give it to Sinclair Lewis. That says something about the Academy’s taste, and it’s not good…

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Reg Cæsar
  164. @njguy73

    If the Nobel Prizes hadn’t been instituted at the dawn of the golden age of physics, the Nobel Prize for Literature would not been able to ride the physics and chemistry prizes’ coattails in terms of reputation. It would have been just a somewhat obscure Scandinavian literary prize.

    • Replies: @njguy73
    , @Steve Sailer
  165. njguy73 says:
    @PiltdownMan

    The lit prize is the only one anyone cares about anymore, since science is no longer a thing that gets a person acclaim and the peace prize is a sick joke. But the lit prize is all about what matters today: who our world celebrates in story.

    When was the last time someone like Einstein or Salk captured our attention? Carl Sagan, maybe? And after Kissinger and Arafat, well, ’nuff said. But the lit prize is about what group gets to have one of their own lauded.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    , @Pericles
  166. @Anonymous

    Dustin Hoffman’s reputation has slipped, but unfairly, I think. He plays various types of Dustin Hoffman in his movies, but so what? Almost all other acclaimed actors do the same thing. There are very few great actors who are true chameleons. Offhand, I can’t think of any.

    Dustin Hoffman’s greatest performance is his first big role, in The Graduate. He plays himself, and nails the part, totally.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  167. @Intelligent Dasein

    In one of his books on screenwriting, William Goldman singles out Al Pacino as someone who behaved very unprofessionally on the set and was difficult to work with.

  168. Ian M. says:
    @Glaivester

    Agree, I finally saw Beetlejuice for the first time last year (didn’t care for it much, except I did like the Banana Boat song scene), and I didn’t really see what was supposed to be so impressive about Keaton’s performance.

  169. @Hodag

    Jack Lemmon has two Oscars for Mister Roberts and Save the Tiger. These came 18 years apart, which is an achievement in and of itself.

  170. @Jonathan Mason

    Sean Connery won for The Untouchables.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  171. @Pentheus

    Alec Baldwin should have won for The Cooler, losing to Tim Robbins in Mystic River.

  172. @Pentheus

    There would be no Rocky Horror franchise without Tim Curry.

    There is no Rocky Horror franchise. It is also worth noting that this overrated film received no nominations.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  173. Ian M. says:
    @Kylie

    He’s also excellent in The Quiet Man, where he plays a bit off-type.

  174. J.Ross says:
    @ScarletNumber

    And it is an edgy little cash-in to the musically superior, far better executed, and more coherent Phantom of the Paradise.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  175. J.Ross says:
    @Lurker

    The other guy wasn’t so I would bear in mind what happened to the other people who made this claim.

  176. @Ray Huffman

    There is no performance by any actor that will not seem tacky once you’ve grown sufficiently distant from it in either time or sentiment. You can notice this happening already to older films. To watch Casablanca or Citizen Kane today is to be greeted with what looks like an ensemble of caricatures. This does nothing to detract from their greatness; it just means that they have begun their retreat over the cultural horizon. There will come a day when even our most riveting performances will look as stylized and programmatical as Chinese opera and kabuki theater.

    Because it is just acting, after all.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  177. Anonymous[316] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reven Reemberg

    It’s a big subject. Kane the empire builder. There was a Canadian TV mini-series, EMPIRE INC, that was pretty fun.

    I think it’s reputation traces back to Welles, a dabbling communist, sticking it to one of the most egregious capitalists in our history, and taking every cheap shot available at his target.

    But Kane is not just a capitalist. He begins as an idealist with leftist leanings, even if it means he might have to sink his fortunes in the newspaper that, when he takes over, is losing a million dollars a year. He runs a campaign as reform candidate. He wants to do things for the People, but he has a huge ego, and as his friend tells him, he acts as though the people belong to him. CK suggests power has its own dynamics, and no matter where you start, left or right, it turns into a cynical conflict of egos.

    Basing the entire movie on the repetition of that phrase, is obnoxious. It’s a cheap shot,

    But ‘rosebud’ is not used in a cheap or mocking way in the film. Rather, it’s an object of sentimentality and personal myth. So, for those clueless of the term’s origin, it doesn’t matter.

    Welles later stated that he got stuck in an elevator with Hearst while the movie was still in theaters, and asked Hearst if he’d seen the movie yet. Hearst didn’t respond. You have to be a bit of a dick to do that…

    Heart was something of a ‘dick’ himself, so kind met kind.

    Welles lit his sound stage like he lit his theater stage. Nobody had ever done that, and Welles did it because he didn’t know any better.

    All that matters is it worked.

    The fact that Welles struggled his entire life to get movies made is a testament to his commitment to art. True, his difficulties were also a testament to his self-indulgence, but he was …

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  178. J.Ross says:
    @Alden

    There are many actors you could say that about and few had Burton’s presense or intensity.

  179. A typographical error: you’ve “last arc” where you should have “lost ark.”

    By all means delete this comment after you’ve read it.

  180. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Steve Sailer

    He has a temper – maybe he made some enemies?

  181. @Oleaginous Outrager

    the actor or their performance

    One may write “the actress or her performance,” “the actor or his performance,” or “the actors or their performances” – don’t use plural possessive pronouns with singular pronouns as their antecedents: it makes you seem like those jackasses who write “xir” or “they/them” in a byline.

  182. @Milesglorious

    He was great as Billy Blaze, but for me the iconic Michael Keaton role is Johnny Dangerously, and anyone who disagrees is a fargin icehole bastich.

    Johnny: “The name’s Dangerously. Johnny Dangerously.”

    Lil : “Did you know your last name is an adverb?”

    Johnny: “Hey, I like that. You got spunk. You got style. You got verve.” [looks at her boobs] “…You got those. I like those on a woman.”

    Priceless.

  183. @Ano

    When Christopher Lee was given one of these just before he passed away, he joked during his acceptance that he was pleased to have gotten it, unlike several others he named, before he died. Always gracious and very clever even unto his death (he never seems to have much entered a mental dotage as most elderly folks who live as long as he did eventually do), I wonder if this quip was a kind of classy way of communicating a certain wry, mild reproach that giving him the award at his age was a bit too little, too late for all the contributions he made to the profession….

  184. @J.Ross

    How does a Jew get named Dustin?

    Well, duh… after another actor. Some westerns star.

    Same with Clive Davis. How does any American get named Clive? After some British actor his mom liked.

  185. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Your list comes with WAY too many White men and no women or Colors. Those guys missed out because of Hollywood-style EEOC. Go ahead, check what actually took home the gold the years those films were out. Awards should be based on who brought home Gross, the only vote that matters until you bring in the political considerations.

  186. @Gaius Gracchus

    The Place Beyond the Pines, Drive; The Nice Guys; The Ides of March; Crazy, Stupid Love; and Lars & the Real Girl…have you even watched the man’s films?

    He becomes his characters. He’s an archetypal actor (vs. a movie star, who plays, entertaining though it may be, essentially himself in every movie). Gosling is a sullen drifter, a bumbling investigator, an icy Lothario – but his sullen drifter loves his son more than anything, his bumbling investigator is actually a lot cannier than one might imagine, and his icy Lothario can fall in love with the right woman – all believably so. So he’s also not a “character actor” who just dishes up this or that stereotype. This attempt at an explanation is small beer, though; I could tell you why Jay Beckenstein is an excellent saxophonist, why Dave Chapelle is a funny comedian, too, but, hey, no one laughs at the explanationof a joke….

    (Good acting is not about chewing the scenery.)

    • Replies: @Gaius Gracchus
    , @Pericles
  187. Anonymous[316] • Disclaimer says:
    @PiltdownMan

    He plays himself, and nails the part, totally.

    In the last 1/3 of the movie, he is like Dustin Hoffman the person.

    But through much of the movie, he plays someone at odds with himself.
    He plays a jock who’s supposed to be irresistible to the ladies. A track star.
    But upon meeting Mrs. Robinson, he’s awkward and confused.

    In real life, Hoffman was no jock but quite the aggressive/confident type.

  188. @PiltdownMan

    It’s real hard to start a new prize for eggheads that gets any publicity. Lots of millionaires have endowed rich prizes, which the winners appreciate, but nobody hears of them. For example, there is a biologist’s prize given out in Sweden but I can’t remember the name of it.

  189. @Anonymousse

    Ah, but markets! In the Garbage Game, there are lots of garbage workers and you can always import more. In the movie game, there are very few actors who can do it well and they can’t do it without studios, directors and of course, funding and in each facet, there are very few who do it well. When you look at the number of movies made over the past 60 years or so vs. the number of winners of awards and payback at the box office, even within a fairly small industry, there are few that make money and all the greats have made bombs.

    This is another area of society that reeks of Sailer’s notice of the tendency of these sorts to “Fake it til they make it”.

  190. @J1234

    Right: they are great movie stars, but not very good actors. People pay to watch them be the single, compelling persona they have cultivated, whatever film may be the current vehicle for that (admittedly entertaining) persona.

    When people use the actor’s, rather than the character’s, name in these contexts, it’s actually perfectly accurate. One should probably not say “when Daniel Day Lewis [instead of “Bill the Butcher”] denounces the immigrants” it’s lazy, but when someone says “when John Wayne [or Samuel L. Jackson, or others of these types] shoots the bad guy” they are spot on, because, whatever the character’s name may be in this particular film, that character is just John Wayne or Samuel L. Jackson’s singular character in some new plot and circumstances….

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  191. @Ghost of Bull Moose

    Hoffman was a huge star from, say, 1967-1988. That’s a long time.

    I have this vague theory that because Hoffman had had a day job working as an orderly at a mental hospital, he had a more realistic sense of what mentally challenged people are like than the old Romantic Edgar Allan Poe conception of them as ma-a-a-a-a-d (which Joaquin Phoenix is reviving). Thus his two most famous roles, The Graduate and Rain Man, are On The Spectrum, which I don’t think was much seen in movies before Dustin Hoffman.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  192. @J.Ross

    I had never heard of this Brian De Palma movie. He, of course, went on to write and direct more famous movies than I want to list here, including directing The Untouchables which I mentioned earlier.

    Richard O’Brien (writer) and Jim Sharman (director) of The Rocky Horror Picture Show were one-trick ponies, although I give O’Brien credit for writing all of those catchy songs.

  193. @Steve Sailer

    I would give Hoffman’s career a little bigger window than that. His last big role was in Wag the Dog, for which he received an Oscar nomination. Even after that he was famous enough to be cast as Ben Stiller’s father in those Focker movies.

    I was curious to see who won Best Actor the year he was in The Graduate, and it was Rod Steiger in In the Heat of the Night.

  194. @syonredux

    The Swedish Academy could have made either Mark Twain or Henry James the first American Nobel Lit Laureate, but they decided to give it to Sinclair Lewis.

    Henry James rewrote his major works ( “the New York editions”), making them much more verbose. James himself had issues with his work. Which Henry James would the committee look at?

    It was said of the James brothers, William was a psychologist who wrote like a novelist, and Henry was a novelist who wrote like a psychologist.

    I had a chance to score two of his novels from a Little Free Library tonight, but passed them up.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @syonredux
  195. @syonredux

    The Swedish Academy could have made either Mark Twain or Henry James the first American Nobel Lit Laureate, but they decided to give it to Sinclair Lewis.

    Henry James rewrote his major works ( “the New York editions”), making them much more verbose. James himself had issues with his work. Which Henry James would the committee look at?

    It was said of the James brothers, William was a psychologist who wrote like a novelist, and Henry was a novelist who wrote like a psychologist.

    I had a chance to score two of his novels from a Little Free Library tonight, but passed them up.

  196. @The Wild Geese Howard

    That entire character of Blake was created and all those lines written by Mamet explicitly and specifically for Baldwin when Mamet adapted the piece for the screen; the character and his parts are not in the original play.

    Baldwin at one point had bowed out over contractual impasses, and the producers begged him to come back.

    The whole episode says heaps about both how good an actor he is and how difficult working with him perhaps is….

  197. @ScarletNumber

    His last big role was in Wag the Dog, for which he received an Oscar nomination.

    That’s a fun role.

    I can remember a review of that movie at the time (1997?) about how surprising it was that Dustin Hoffman was the best actor in the movie.

  198. @Tlotsi

    Vincent Price definitely deserved the Oscar for Dr Goldfoot & the Bikini Machine.

    I’m going with ‘Theatre of Blood.’ If you like Price’s movies, it’s one of his best, and also, the plot (appropo (I have no idea how to spell that word) of the Oscar-snub thread) involes an actor getting revenge on critics that have snubbed him. Oh, and also, Diana Rigg, the cute chick in ‘The Avengers,’ and later the old aristocrat in ‘Game of Thrones,’ was in it.

    • Replies: @syonredux
  199. Anonymous[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Gaius Gracchus

    It is so poltically incorrect

    I turns Hollywood pieties into pies in the face. I wonder if ‘Tropic’ was a pun on ‘Trope’ because the movie exposes and explodes so many tropes that have become part and parcel of the formula from popular to indie cinema. They’ve been done to death in everything from teen flicks to art cinema that it’s difficult to take anything at face value.

    And yet, the movie also works ultimately by succumbing to those very winning formulas.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  200. @Autochthon

    Woody Allen had a different name in each of his movies, but it doesn’t really matter if he is Alvy Singer or Fielding Melish or Isaac Davis.

    In a similar vein, the famous comedy teams of Abbott & Costello, Martin & Lewis, and Hope & Crosby all played differently-named characters in their movies, but they were essentially playing themselves.

    As for John Wayne, when he finally won his Oscar he beat out Richard Burton, Dustin Hoffman, Peter O’Toole, and Jon Voight. Talk about a lineup!

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  201. Anonymous[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @ScarletNumber

    He was good in AMERICAN BUFFALO, MOONLIGHT MILE, and BILLY BATHGATE, but those were small movies. Also good in DICK TRACY but that was a small role.

    He should have been the titular character of BUGSY. Would have been convincing than Beatty.

    LITTLE BIG MAN, STRAW DOGS, PAPILLON, ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MAN, STRAIGHT TIME, KRAMER VS KRAMER, TOOTSI, and DEATH OF A SALESMAN. Quite a streak he had.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  202. @J.Ross

    Well, I was being ironic. I mean, 60 years ago it would have been a career-killer. Nowadays, it is surely a boost for Academy recognition (provided one keeps away from jailbait, of course).

  203. @Anonymous

    Right, Hoffman steals “Dick Tracy” from Warren Beatty.

    Here’s my retrospective on “The Graduate.”

    https://www.takimag.com/article/stranger_in_a_wasp_land_steve_sailer/

    By the way, I thought Dustin Hoffman was pretty terrible in 1982’s Tootsie. Generally speaking, movie stars tend to be very binary, as they say nowadays, and Dustin Hoffman was just about the least persuasive female impersonator ever. This particularly stood out because everybody else in Tootsie was great: Bill Murray, Jessica Lange, Charles Durning, Geena Davis, Terri Garr, Dabney Coleman, and Sidney Pollack as Hoffman’s agent. (At the time, Bill Murray wasn’t yet considered a prestigious actor.)

    But in 1982, everybody had to pretend Hoffman was great in everything even when he wasn’t. Later everybody got their revenge on Hoffman …

    • Replies: @Honesthughgrant
  204. @J.Ross

    Well, I was being ironic. Just noting the 180-degree change over the last 50 or 60 years in Academy attitude to gays (provided they stay away from underage targets, at least).

  205. @Reg Cæsar

    Back in the ’80’s on a church youth group trip I met the new boyfriend of one of our girls. His first name was ‘Dustin’ and his surname was not ‘Hoffman’ but was very close to that. I’d rather not specify exactly what it was, as I am a bit paranoid. I asked the kid what year he was born- 1968, the year after Hoffman made his big splash in “The Graduate”. So, I proceeded into the whole spiel of who DH was and what movies he’d been in and whether or not his mother was a fan, etc. He just looked at me, seemingly bored and bewildered, his only responses shrugs, smirks, and a smattering of “I don’t know’s” and “I couldn’t tell ya’s”. So, I just gave up. Now that I think about it, the kid resembled, in both looks and demeanor, C. Thomas Howell in “E.T’. I’m betting he wasn’t even curious enough to later make inquiries of his mother.

  206. @The Wild Geese Howard

    That entire character of Blake was created and all those lines written by Mamet explicitly and specifically for Baldwin when Mamet adapted the piece for the screen; the character and his parts are not in the original play.

    Baldwin at one point had bowed out over contractual impasses, and the producers begged him to come back.

    The whole episode says heaps about both how good an actor he is and how difficult working with him perhaps is….

  207. @ScarletNumber

    Which actor is the most opposite of John Wayne in playing a different character from film to film the most?

    It’s a tough question. For example, Daniel Day-Lewis is an extreme method actor, who only makes a few movies per decade (he is currently in retirement but hopefully will come out of it to make one or two more roles). But he is at his best playing an obviously superior individual (because he is a superior individual): Daniel Plainview,

    Hugh Laurie’s range between playing Bertie Wooster and Dr. House was terrific, but he didn’t always stand out in the in-between roles.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  208. @Rouetheday

    I used to run into a guy at the driving range who looked exactly like a younger Jack Nicholson, only shorter. Nicholson has 5 acknowledged children. The idea that he might have more unacknowledged children hanging out at driving ranges in the San Fernando Valley doesn’t strike me as all that implausible.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Anonymous
  209. @Anonymous

    “Tropical Thunder” is pretty amazing. I especially liked Ben Stiller’s trailer for his global warming sequel Scorcher VI:

  210. bomag says:
    @Altai

    You don’t get to resubmit next year. It’s perfectly possible to have been a greater actor but just always have been beaten every year.

    Good point.

    But what is your alternative?

    Maybe some sort of heritage award. Each year have category nominations of movies from five plus years ago that time and reflection has now revealed significant artistic contribution.

    There is the lifetime achievement award.

  211. @Reg Cæsar

    When I started reviewing movies in 2000, there were a large number of movies based on Henry James novels, but they seldom made money, so now there aren’t. My recollection is that the later novels require too much working memory for me to keep the antecedents of the pronouns straight.

    I could imagine that the James siblings would qualify as the single most talented American if they were one individual.

  212. MEH 0910 says:
    @Tiny Duck

    More white supremacist evil

  213. Tom Hardy, “Locke”
    Jennifer Jason Leigh, “Georgia”
    Tom Cruise, “Magnolia”
    Pee Wee Herman, “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure”

  214. @Steve Sailer

    Which actor is the most opposite of John Wayne in playing a different character from film to film the most?

    Leo Di Caprio?

  215. @njguy73

    Agreed. Although, knowers of canonical literature are well aware that greatest 20th authors (Ibsen, Strindberg, Conrad, James, Lawrence, Musil, Akhmatova, Proust, Joyce, Kafka, Broch, Rilke, Borges, Yourcenar..) did not get Nobel- although some did (Faulkner, Mann, ..).

    As for exact sciences, most are truly deserved, but the general public does not know who these guys are. For instance, many have heard about electron microscope, but not about Ernst Ruska. My old idea was: in order to make Nobels more worthy, dump literature, peace & economics prizes and add mathematics, technology & agriculture/earth sciences prizes.

    Of course, this is not going to happen …

  216. @Reg Cæsar

    How does any American get named Clive?

    Fans of British imperialism in India?

  217. “Humans are hooked on make-believe; don’t ask me why.”

    Very simple really . . .

    because humans get a dose of reality 24 hours a day.

    There’s a reason why “It’s a Wonderful Life” is an iconic Christmas film played throughout the country every year and “Best Years of Our Lives” gets no such playing time or attention despite it’s realistic relevance and poignancy.

  218. @Steve Sailer

    Hoffman wasn’t supposed to be a great or a persuasive “Female Impersonator” he was supposed to be a FUNNY female impersonator. Which he was. Its a comedy. If you can believe Jessica Lange or Terri Garr falling for a Dustin Hoffmann character without $$, you can believe him as a Woman.

    As for Hoffman the actor. he’s a good actor but a bad movie star and leading man. He’s completely unbelievable as a “man of action” in Marathon Man or as Meryll Steep’s husband in “Kramer vs. Kramer”. Its interesting how the American movie audience accepted all these short, ugly guys as leading men in the late 60s and 70s. Before then, you had to be – if not tall – at least handsome and/or macho. Then in the 70s we get Hoffman, Gould, Gene Hackman, Dreyfus, etc. And on the female side, the most popular star was Streisand. Its like everyone got tired of good looking leading men and women and went for the “odd look”.

    • Replies: @Milesglorious
    , @Anonymous
  219. @Autochthon

    Sorry, I don’t see it. He just sits there in most movies sullen and vacant. I have never been impressed.

  220. Pericles says:
    @njguy73

    When was the last time someone like Einstein or Salk captured our attention? Carl Sagan, maybe?

    Neil. DeGrasse. Tyson.

  221. Pericles says:
    @Autochthon

    (Good acting is not about chewing the scenery.)

    Which reminds me of Alan Rickman’s part in that Costner Robin Hood long ago. No prop, no scenic painting, no part of the stage itself left without bite marks, but he looked like he had a great deal of fun.

  222. syonredux says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Henry James rewrote his major works ( “the New York editions”), making them much more verbose. James himself had issues with his work. Which Henry James would the committee look at?

    I’m not a Jacobite, so I’d go with the originals.

    I had a chance to score two of his novels from a Little Free Library tonight, but passed them up.

    Which ones? I really like Portrait of a Lady, The Bostonians, and Washington Square. I also really like The Aspern Papers, but that’s a novella, a form for which HJ had a particular fondness (“the dear, the blessed nouvelle”).

    I’m afraid that late James (The Ambassadors, The Golden Bowel , The Wings of The Dove) is a bit too much for me….

  223. syonredux says:
    @Steve Sailer

    When I started reviewing movies in 2000, there were a large number of movies based on Henry James novels, but they seldom made money, so now there aren’t. My recollection is that the later novels require too much working memory for me to keep the antecedents of the pronouns straight.

    Best novels for cinematic purposes are ones with good dialogue and strong plots. Highbrow, overtly poetic books, in contrast, are not good raw material for a visual medium. John Huston’s work illustrates the point rather nicely. His adaptation of The Maltese Falcon is a classic, whereas his version of Moby-Dick is a noble failure….Although the scene with Orson Welles as Father Mapple is certainly memorable:

  224. syonredux says:
    @South Texas Guy

    Theatre of Blood is very good. Price clearly had a great time doing all those scenes from Shakespeare:

    • Agree: Cortes
  225. @Steve Sailer

    My recollection is that the later novels require too much working memory for me to keep the antecedents of the pronouns straight.

    James and Melville get extensive coverage in Cecilia Watson’s Semicolon. Imagine a more forgiving Lynne Truss focusing on a single mark. A quick, fun read.

    https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062853059/semicolon/

    I could imagine that the James siblings would qualify as the single most talented American if they were one individual

    As a Whitney descendant, I’m more partial to Josiah and William.

    But remember that JFK quote:

    I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House – with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.

    And Franklin was as smart as his fellow polymath, but in more practical ways.

    But today’s American would be more impressed with Warren and Shirley, or Ann and Abby…

    • Replies: @syonredux
  226. @syonredux

    The Europeans, which was thin, so probably the original. I forget the other, but it wasn’t among his best known, and a “New York edition” as well.

  227. @Steve Sailer

    Nicholson has 5 acknowledged children. The idea that he might have more unacknowledged children…

    …might help explain his pro-life views, rare in Hollywood.

    • Replies: @Ian M.
  228. @syonredux

    I’m afraid that late James (The Ambassadors, The Golden Bowl , The Wings of The Dove) is a bit too much for me….

    I’ve read two of these & …. well, I agree with E.M. Forster who savagely lampooned late James in his “Aspects of the Novel”. These are exercises in moral sensibility, beautifully written, but essentially sterile. Too much life had been squeezed out of them.

    This, of course, does not diminish James’ stature as one of America’s greatest novelists, along with Faulkner & Melville. Others would include Hawthorne, Twain, perhaps Cather etc….

  229. @Honesthughgrant

    He was excellent as Captain Hook.

  230. syonredux says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    But remember that JFK quote:

    I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House – with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.

    And Franklin was as smart as his fellow polymath, but in more practical ways.

    TJ was certainly highly intelligent, but he wasn’t an innovator.In contrast, BF made significant contributions to a number of fields: physics (conservation of charge), technology (the lightning rod, bifocals), demography (“Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind, Peopling of Countries, etc”, which, via Malthus, influenced Darwin), oceanography (he produced the first map of the Gulf Stream), literature (The Autobiography), etc

    If we’re having a vote for smartest American, I’ll go along with Einstein and nominate Josiah Willard Gibbs.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  231. @ScarletNumber

    Connery’s Untouchables win was well-deserved:

    Connery steals every scene that he is in with his portrayal of a Prohibition-era Irish beat cop in Chicago who is unexpectedly given a chance to have one last, grand adventure in his life.

    I also think that Paul Newman’s win for The Color of Money is less of a lifetime achievement award than people think it is. That is a better film than people give it credit for, and a lot of that is due to Newman’s performance.

  232. I would recommend to all movie fans – visit YouTube channel Honest trailer. These are short, 4- 8 minutes long comments on many films; of course, not some “deep” reviews, but enough to make you laugh. And to nourish your cynical side re film tropes.

    For instance:

    The Revenant

    Black Panther

    Wonder Woman

    Get Out

    Forrest Gump

    • Replies: @BB753
  233. @Steve Sailer

    Henry James is in Hell for bad writing, I hope. I stopped reading Henry James’s Turn Of The Screw because it is horrendous crap of the worst sort. Henry Adams is good.

    I could imagine that the James siblings would qualify as the single most talented American if they were one individual.

    I prefer Jesse to Henry or his sibling.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    , @Reg Cæsar
  234. J1234 says:
    @Kylie

    I agree that he was excellent in that role. It was his best acting ever, as he had to incorporate complex and conflicting traits into one character. My favorite John Wayne movie was Red River, though.

  235. Anonymous[362] • Disclaimer says:
    @Honesthughgrant

    Hoffman wasn’t supposed to be a great or a persuasive “Female Impersonator” he was supposed to be a FUNNY female impersonator. Which he was.

    Right, and it was far more convincing than Curtis and Lemmon in SOME LIKE IT HOT or Julie Andrews in VICTOR/VICTORIA.

    Also, what made the impersonation work was the force of personality. Tootsie was pushy and feisty, so much so that no one ever dared to question anything about her. It was certainly not her looks but her strong-woman antics that won over admirers from both daughter and father. In that, it’s a very Jewish tale because many Jews, men and women, won over fans and even lovers by sheer force of personality alone. It must be that in THE GRADUATE that persuades Elaine to go with Benjamin because we don’t sense much else.

    TOOTSIE is really about Tootzpah.

    Robin Williams riffed on this for MRS. DOUBTFIRE. Again, the character was such a ball of energy that no one dared to imagine ‘she’ was anything but what ‘she’ claimed to be.

  236. Pericles says:

    Off topic: Here is the short film I want to see: Tampa Bay Batter thoughtfully walking across a blasted heath. Suddenly, he looks up, and sees, clad in a black cloak, the white-faced ZACK GREINKE.

    “Who are you?”
    “I am the Grim Reaper.”

    They set up for a game. The batter scratches the ground with confidence, yet also some nervousness. CHANGEUP, CURVE, STRIKE, CURVE, STRIKE, STRIKE. Out!

    Final shot: Tampa Bay team dancing off hand in hand in silhouette against the grey sky.

    Title: The Seventh Inning.

    Seriously, I’m an unsophisticated watcher of baseball but it’s been incredible to have Verlander and Cole surpassing each other every week. Verlander is a titan, he has to be the best … No wait, what was I thinking last night! Cole is the man! And now the turn has come for Greinke to step up on the mound for real.

  237. @syonredux

    If we’re having a vote for smartest American, I’ll go along with Einstein and nominate Josiah Willard Gibbs.

    If we’re having a vote for smartest American, I’ll vote for someone who was actually born here.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    , @ScarletNumber
  238. @J.Ross

    What Steve said, or the totally respectable custom of recycling an outdated name to keep alive the memory of a relative (hence Wolf Blitzer). But Dustin? Has that ever not suggested a pickup trick with a starry cross on it?

    According to Wiki, Hoffman’s parents named him after a silent film actor,Dustin Farnum. His dad was in the movie business at the time.

  239. @Pericles

    Is Greinke the best athlete of the top pitchers active? He batted .280 this season with 3 homers. And he’s supposed to be the best at fielding bunts.

  240. I think the biggest injustice was Forrest Whitaker over Will Smith (for “Last King of Scotland” and “Pursuit of Happyness” respectively). If not for his naturally lazy eye which he used to great effect, I’m not sure Whitaker would have gotten the praise he did. And Smith’s performance was enough to move me to tears.

  241. @Anonymous

    After seeing TROPIC THUNDER mocking expose of pop cultural pretensions…

    I recall almost nothing about TROPIC THUNDER…other than the fact I thought it kinda sucked. But everyone else’s opinion is so uniformly favorable, that I really think I may need to give it another shot. I saw it when it first came out, and my taste in movies does seem to have improved since then. Or at least, today I would not watch some of the dreck I used to think was cool.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  242. syonredux says:
    @ScarletNumber

    If we’re having a vote for smartest American, I’ll go along with Einstein and nominate Josiah Willard Gibbs.

    If we’re having a vote for smartest American, I’ll vote for someone who was actually born here.

    Gibbs was born in in New Haven, Connecticut:

    Josiah Willard Gibbs (February 11, 1839 – April 28, 1903) was an American scientist who made significant theoretical contributions to physics, chemistry, and mathematics. His work on the applications of thermodynamics was instrumental in transforming physical chemistry into a rigorous inductive science. Together with James Clerk Maxwell and Ludwig Boltzmann, he created statistical mechanics (a term that he coined), explaining the laws of thermodynamics as consequences of the statistical properties of ensembles of the possible states of a physical system composed of many particles. Gibbs also worked on the application of Maxwell’s equations to problems in physical optics. As a mathematician, he invented modern vector calculus (independently of the British scientist Oliver Heaviside, who carried out similar work during the same period).

    In 1863, Yale awarded Gibbs the first American doctorate in engineering. After a three-year sojourn in Europe, Gibbs spent the rest of his career at Yale, where he was a professor of mathematical physics from 1871 until his death. Working in relative isolation, he became the earliest theoretical scientist in the United States to earn an international reputation and was praised by Albert Einstein as “the greatest mind in American history.”[2] In 1901, Gibbs received what was then considered the highest honour awarded by the international scientific community, the Copley Medal of the Royal Society of London,[2] “for his contributions to mathematical physics.”[3]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josiah_Willard_Gibbs

  243. Ragno says:
    @Alden

    I must agree on Burton, but you’re overlooking his saving grace – that once you’re aware of Burton’s hamhackery, enough to kinda sorta appreciate it even, pretty much everything he’s in turns into an unintentional comedy the moment he shows up on screen. His cameo in THE LONGEST DAY is a perfect example – the camera practically announces his arrival, and his brooding nostril-flaring lets you know he’s got his Great Actor Hush Puppies on. I feel the laughing fit coming on immediately upon his entrance, but it’s when he responds to a concerned Where’s Johnny? with a world-weary “ack-ack” that the dam fully bursts.

  244. syonredux says:
    @Charles Pewitt

    Have you ever read The Varieties of Religious Experience? It’s a masterpiece, the best work ever written on the psychology of religion.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  245. @ScarletNumber

    I never said Gibbs wasn’t born in America.

    • Replies: @syonredux
  246. bjondo says:

    Best acting
    from studio heads
    when reporting no profits.

  247. @syonredux

    Richard Dawson as the game show host in The Running Man was outstanding

    I agree that the casting of Dawson was outstanding. But that’s the only good thing I can say about that film, which is probably the worst cinematic adaptation of a King tale. And that is saying something!

    In fairness, people who’ve never read THE RUNNING MAN, might not think the movie is that bad.

  248. @Charles Pewitt

    I prefer Jesse to Henry or his sibling.

    His band’s Minnesota tour bombed, though.

    • Replies: @syonredux
  249. @Pericles

    Didn’t he play Strat-o-Matic with an opponent in the bullpen?

  250. @Rouetheday

    the kid resembled, in both looks and demeanor, C. Thomas Howell in “E.T’

    Better than CTH in Soul Man.

  251. Anonymous[334] • Disclaimer says:
    @Kevin O'Keeffe

    It’s not a great movie or even a particularly brilliant comedy. But it does something more than make fun of Hollywood tropes. It exposes them from the inside. It makes you utterly cynical about everything about Hollywood. No sacred cows left.

    It’s rather sad actually. In the past, when serious directors made something like PLATOON, it made a difference. It was clearly out of the ordinary, with something to say. And its use of violence deviated from the norms that favored entertainment.

    But Hollywood being Hollywood, it has the blob-like ability to encompass and digest everything, so much so that even what had been the most personal expressions become just another trope.

    What had been harrowing about PLATOON(and even up to SAVING PRIVATE RYAN) are now such cliches in just about every war movie, even rather stupid ones. PLATOON-isms have become PREDATOR-isms.

    PLATOON really made a difference when it came out. If such a movie came out today, even if made with utmost sincerity, people would just note all the familiar tropes. It wouldn’t be seen as a singular work but just another one of those ‘realistic war movies’, now a genre unto itself with the usual formula.

    There was a time when realism was championed in cinema to wake people up from the escapism of movies, especially because graphic violence had essentially been banned until the late 60s. The idea was that people had gotten so used to sanitized movie violence that they were blind to real violence.

    But over time, people got used to the violence, which is why artists had to increase the dosage and alter the style to get the same effect. It worked with PLATOON and then later with SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, which has one of greatest gut-wrenching action scenes. But all such eccentricities and innovations were soon absorbed and what had been exceptional became commonplace. Then, even second-raters used and reused that style of violence(and emotions involved), and it just become more generic tropes.

    And TROPIC THUNDER was honest enough to admit that. People liked to make a distinction between art and hollywood, but the thing about hollywood is it will adopt and absorb everything from everything, engineering it into yet another trope.

    Now, Disney makes ‘indie-looking’ movies. Of course, it’s not really indie, but it comes with all the indie trimmings. And so many ‘art’ films from Hollywood are not really art. It just has the look.

    This is why it’s truly amazing nowadays when someone does something truly original or daring, like BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER or MOTHER!

    • Replies: @syonredux
    , @Reg Cæsar
  252. @Pericles

    Verlander is a titan, he has to be the best …

    Chokelander is an all-time loser who cost the Detroit Tigers World Series in 2006 and 2011.

    Detroit would have been far better off moving Chokelander and keeping Max Scherzer.

  253. @syonredux

    I never said Gibbs wasn’t born in America.

    • Replies: @syonredux
  254. syonredux says:
    @ScarletNumber

    I never said Gibbs wasn’t born in America.

    Then what why did you post this:

    If we’re having a vote for smartest American, I’ll go along with Einstein and nominate Josiah Willard Gibbs.

    If we’re having a vote for smartest American, I’ll vote for someone who was actually born here.

    I was nominating Gibbs, not Einstein.

  255. The incredible Bruno S. was never even nominated.

  256. syonredux says:
    @Anonymous

    . In the past, when serious directors made something like PLATOON, it made a difference.

    Platoon…is barely OK. It’s OTT and , in terms of symbolism, about as subtle as a brick to the nose.

    It’s not a great movie or even a particularly brilliant comedy.

    It’s a brilliant comedy, maybe the best comedy that has come out of Hollywood in the last 15 years.

    . It worked with PLATOON and then later with SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, which has one of greatest gut-wrenching action scenes.

    That’s the problem with Saving Private Ryan. It’s got nowhere to go after the first 25 minutes.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  257. syonredux says:
    @ScarletNumber

    I never said Gibbs wasn’t born in America.

    Then why did you post this:

    If we’re having a vote for smartest American, I’ll go along with Einstein and nominate Josiah Willard Gibbs.

    If we’re having a vote for smartest American, I’ll vote for someone who was actually born here.

    I was nominating Gibbs, not Einstein.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  258. @syonredux

    If we’re having a vote for smartest American, I’ll go along with Einstein and nominate Josiah Willard Gibbs.

    Emphasis added. Stop being obtuse.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    , @syonredux
  259. Ian M. says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    I believe Nicholson’s pro-life views have more to do with the fact that his mother had nearly aborted him.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  260. @ScarletNumber

    If we’re having a vote for smartest American, I’ll go along with Einstein and nominate Josiah Willard Gibbs. Emphasis added. Stop being obtuse.

    Syon meant that he agrees with Einstein that Gibbs is the smartest American. From Gibbs wiki

    Working in relative isolation, he became the earliest theoretical scientist in the United States to earn an international reputation and was praised by Albert Einstein as “the greatest mind in American history.” emphasis added.

    • Agree: PiltdownMan, syonredux
  261. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I would find it more plausible to find the dead ringer son of Jack Nicklaus at a driving range, wouldn’t you?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  262. @Anonymous

    From the L.A. Times:

    Nicholson Accused of Attack With Golf Club
    By CHIP JOHNSON
    MARCH 1, 1994 12 AM
    TIMES STAFF WRITER
    Oscar-winning actor Jack Nicholson was charged Monday with misdemeanor vandalism and assault for allegedly smashing the windshield of a car with a golf club because he believed the driver cut him off in traffic, the Los Angeles city attorney’s office said.

    Robert Scott Blank of Hollywood accused Nicholson of attacking Blank’s Mercedes-Benz on Feb. 8 in North Hollywood, the city attorney’s office said.

    Nicholson stepped out of his car at a red light at the intersection of Moorpark Way and Riverside Drive and repeatedly struck the windshield and roof of Blank’s car with a golf club, according to a statement by the agency.

    https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1994-03-01-me-28564-story.html

    Nicholson said he used his 2 iron because never plays it on the course.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  263. @syonredux

    Around 2000, a bunch of prominent American intellectuals got together an voted for the 100 Best Books of the 20th Century. I think “Varieties of Religious Experience” won that poll.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  264. @Anonymous

    BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER

    Does blackcoat rhyme with maggot, the way blackguard rhymes with haggard, clapboard with scabbard, and waistcoat with messkit?

    If the forecastle is the fo’c’sle, why isn’t the aircastle the axle? I’d wonder about that during dull mid-watches in the Coast Guard.

    https://theweek.com/articles/542820/10-words-weve-forgotten-how-pronounce

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Anonymous
  265. @Steve Sailer

    Nicholson Accused of Attack With Golf Club
    By CHIP JOHNSON

    Enough said…

  266. syonredux says:
    @ScarletNumber

    If we’re having a vote for smartest American, I’ll go along with Einstein and nominate Josiah Willard Gibbs.

    Emphasis added. Stop being obtuse.

    Yeah, I’m going along with Einstein, who called Gibbs “the greatest mind in American history.”And by “going along with, ” I mean that I agree with Einstein on who is the smartest American: Josiah Willard Gibbs.

    Is English your second language?

  267. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    If lesbians are by definition females who are sexually attracted to other females, why are they “lesbians” at all? Shouldn’t they be “lesbiennes”?

    Or maybe “lesbian” should be for butches and “lesbienne” for femmes, to the degree they separate themselves that way.

  268. @Ian M.

    I don’t think this happens anymore, but Nicholson didn’t know that his “sister” was really his mom and his “mom” was really his grandmother until a reporter from time told him in 1974. Both women were dead by this time.

  269. @ScarletNumber

    I thought that was going to be the revelation at the end of Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born:” that his big brother Sam Elliott, who is 30 years older than Cooper, was actually his dad.

  270. Is “Lesbian” a proper term for someone incapable of the Greek way of love?

    https://www.kinkly.com/definition/1157/greek-sex

  271. @syonredux

    Both Josiah Williard Gibbs and Oliver Heaviside deserve much more recognition than they actually get. They’re both titans in the history of physics. Newton, Maxwell (to some extent) and the 20th Century physicists get all the love.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  272. @PiltdownMan

    True, but you could say the same about the big four of classical mechanics (Lagrange, Hamilton, Jacobi, Poisson) or most 19th C physicists (Helmholtz, Kelvin, Mayer, Kirchhoff, Young, Fresnel, …).

  273. @ScarletNumber

    I know this story. And, I’ve always found it disturbing & psycho-pathological. No wonder he turned out, not denying his talents- nuts.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  274. @Steve Sailer

    I think the best non-fiction was “The Education of Henry Adams”.
    I’ve read “Varieties…” & although the book is remarkably fresh, James made not few mistakes- for instance, he wrongly put Whitman is the “healthy mindedness” category (which is not the case, Whitman is much deeper & more troubled); also, James was not too careful about his characterizations.

    Better, although more limited in its scope, work from the pre-WW 1 era is Evelyn Underhill’s “Mysticism”.

  275. Pentheus says:

    One more, suggested by a youngster of my acquaintance —

    Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean

    Think about it — that entire gigantic franchise is all because of Depp’s character, which he created, and which only he could have pulled off.

    You can’t say that about Star Wars series or MCU/DCU, none of which depends upon any one actor.

    (The first Star Wars was an ensemble success, dependent upon all the principal actors of those roles and their interactions, not upon any one of them.)

  276. BB753 says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Myself, I recommend the Scottish reviewer : “The Critical Drinker”

    100% PC free!

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  277. Alden says:

    I believe it was more the short ugly men and women casting directors producers directors and PR people who imposed short ugly actors on the audience. But that’s just my opinion

  278. Alden says:

    It was fairly common at the time. If the baby was due in July or August the teen Mother didn’t even have to go away to “boarding school” for a semester.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  279. Maria Falconetti for “The Passion of Joan of Arc” (1928). Greatest acting performance ever captured on film.

  280. Anonymous[190] • Disclaimer says:
    @Alden

    It was done all the time in middle class Middle America up until the late sixties or early seventies. The staffs of ob-gyn offices had a code word or phrase for it but if I heard it I have forgotten.

  281. @Bardon Kaldian

    I know this story. And, I’ve always found it disturbing & psycho-pathological. No wonder he turned out, not denying his talents- nuts.

    There are other cases of this unwed-teenage-mom-passes-as-sister, some notable. It was a convenient and effective ruse to hide bastardy.

    It wouldn’t have worked with Madeleine Payne Dunham, though. You have to look like both grandparents produced you.

  282. BB753 says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    He’s Scottish but not actually drunk, lol. It’s his signature style. “Naw, goo awee naw!” The guy’s a riot. Surprised he liked the new Joker movie though.

  283. @Intelligent Dasein

    I actually prefer stylized acting: Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible show it at its best. It ‘s function is precisely to neutralise the phenomenon you remark upon.

    Watch them: you’ll see what I mean, and you’ll be riveted by Eisenstein’s genius.

  284. Harrison Ford was 100x better than the awkward, over-emoting Gosling. Ford’s square jawed middle aged tough guy impression of Joe Friday perfectly suited the character and the mood of the film.

  285. Anonymous[121] • Disclaimer says:

    Harrison Ford was 100x better than the awkward, over-emoting Gosling.

    Ford is likable. It’s an effortless quality of his. He has natural charm, and the movie lights up when he finally appears.

    I like Gosling. If Harrison is like walking sunshine, Gosling is like walking cloudiness. He has those sunken orphan eyes.

    As for the over-emoting, I don’t think that was the problem. Besides, he’s not supposed to have emotions, and so, it is a BIG moment when he thinks he is the one. Even an android like him is shaken to the core.

    The real problem with the movie is the Tarkovskyisms and the ludicrous notion that Rachel had a kid, ROTFL.

    Still, it’s great to look at, and I had a great time taking in the fantastic sets and effects.

  286. Anonymous[219] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reven Reemberg

    Yes, Welles was like Chaplin. Both were brilliant creative geniuses. Both were leftists. It’s sometimes difficult to disentangle which they are being praised for.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  287. Anonymous[747] • Disclaimer says:
    @syonredux

    It’s a brilliant comedy, maybe the best comedy that has come out of Hollywood in the last 15 years.

    The jokes are too crude and obvious to be brilliant. But it’s certainly inspired and zany.

    That’s the problem with Saving Private Ryan. It’s got nowhere to go after the first 25 minutes.

    But consider all the Ryanisms since in movies and TV shows. I don’t think it’s possible(or very honest) anymore to use graphic violence in a shocking, moving, gut-wrenching way. It’s been done to death in pale imitations and worse. So, I appreciated TROPIC THUNDER’s mockery of Gorama. It’s gotten to the point where filmmakers should eschew graphic violence. We’ve all seen enough(and we get the point that violence is real bloody), and it no longer has that kick, esp when video games now feature gore as thrills. When DEER HUNTER came out, that was shocking. Now, it’d be more of the same. Maybe PASSION jumped the shark on gore. Even though it was a big hit, does anyone really think highly of that film? Beat-the-crap-out-of-Jesus movie.

    • Replies: @Ian M.
    , @syonredux
  288. Anonymous[747] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    That’s very Bootsian.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  289. Anonymous[219] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Kane barely broke even. Ambersons lost money. That ended his Hollywood directing career for ever. There wasn’t going to be a third chance.

    It’s a terrible lesson and warning to all aspiring directors: It doesn’t matter how talented you are and how brilliant your movies are, if they bomb at the box office, your career is shot.

    (It didn’t help that Welles alienated a lot of people in Hollywood with his arrogance and lack of respect for established practices. But even this would have been forgiven if his movies had been hits.)

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  290. MEH 0910 says:

    The Cornell Daily Sun:

    Sold-Out Spike Lee Conversation Touches on Gentrification, #OscarsSoWhite
    By Amina Kilpatrick
    September 22, 2019

    ******
    This year, Lee also earned his first Oscar, Best Adapted Screenplay, for his film Blackkklansman. His first entry into the Oscars was nearly 30 years ago. He credits the move towards a more diverse Oscars to activist April Reign who started the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, citing the recent changes in making the voting body of The Academy more diverse.

    “The only reason why all this stuff is changing is because of her, #OscarsSoWhite,” Lee said.

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  291. Anonymous[203] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Both were brilliant creative geniuses. Both were leftists. It’s sometimes difficult to disentangle which they are being praised for.

    All said and done, Welles was a New Deal Liberal. He wasn’t that leftist or radical. And personally, he often preferred the company of conservatives whom he found more personable and nice.

    As for Chaplin, I can’t take his politics seriously considering his personal lifestyle. He was a capitalist pig who larped as a ‘radical’. All bogus noise.

    Chaplin and Welles are remembered for their genius. Few artists maintain their reputations by their politics alone. Stanley Kramer was the most brazen Liberal director, but he’s been regarded as an embarrassment. John Sayles made a lot of Liberal movies, but he’s been mostly neglected. But for some reason, his best movie BABY IT’S YOU never got the attention it deserves.

  292. Anonymous[203] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Kane barely broke even. Ambersons lost money. That ended his Hollywood directing career for ever. There wasn’t going to be a third chance.
    It’s a terrible lesson and warning to all aspiring directors: It doesn’t matter how talented you are and how brilliant your movies are, if they bomb at the box office, your career is shot.

    No, he got more chances. He made THE STRANGER which was a moderate hit. He also got to direct LADY FROM SHANGHAI and TOUCH OF EVIL.

    If Welles just wanted to make hit movies, Hollywood would have given him more chances. It was just that he was picky and wanted to work on his own projects.

    Hollywood has been indulgent with lots of directors who lost a lot of money with the hope that they can hit another home run.

    Consider De Palma who made a lot of losers but was given another chance. Oliver Stone had a lot of losers at the box office as well.

    Tarantino had a pretty good track record except for HATEFUL EIGHT. But then he makes ‘house party’ movies where people expect to have fun.

  293. Ian M. says:
    @Anonymous

    Agree, The Passion was somewhat overrated (by conservatives, anyway) and unnecessarily violent (a typical flaw of Mel Gibson movies).

    I also think Saving Private Ryan is overrated.

    Agree that directors should eschew the graphic violence.

  294. Ian M. says:

    Huh, I hadn’t realized Carey Grant never won an Oscar.

    Speaking of actors who should’ve won, Charles Laughton should have won another one, either for Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) or for Witness for the Prosecution (1957).

  295. MEH 0910 says:
    @Tiny Duck

    More white supremacist evil

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  296. syonredux says:
    @Anonymous

    It’s a brilliant comedy, maybe the best comedy that has come out of Hollywood in the last 15 years.

    The jokes are too crude and obvious to be brilliant. But it’s certainly inspired and zany.

    Its the crudeness that makes it brilliant; deft wordplay would have been out of place in Weinstein-land.

    That’s the problem with Saving Private Ryan. It’s got nowhere to go after the first 25 minutes.

    But consider all the Ryanisms since in movies and TV shows.

    Massively influential, absolutely.

    So, I appreciated TROPIC THUNDER’s mockery of Gorama.

    As did I. Frankly, we could all use a gore-hiatus.

    When DEER HUNTER came out, that was shocking.

    And also kinda stupid. Russian roulette isn’t a game of skill. Walken’s luck would not have lasted that long.

    Really, the only parts of Deer Hunter that I still enjoy are the bits lifted from John Ford (dancing. the importance of social rituals, etc)

  297. @Anonymous

    That’s very Bootsian.

    I’m missing the reference. Is it to the UK “chemist”? Nancy Sinatra? Dora’s monkey?

    One Ian Boots played for the “Mississippi Surge” and the “Huntsville Havoc” in the Southern Professional Hockey League. Those names don’t sound very professional to me!

    https://pointstreak.com/prostats/playerpage.html?playerid=6521015&seasonid=9517

  298. @MEH 0910

    Best, or at least snarkiest, comment: “Jamal need a Snickers.”

  299. MEH 0910 says:
    @MEH 0910

    OT:

  300. JimB says:
    @Steve Sailer

    A classic example of good movies and movie performances arriving in clumps, so not everyone gets the Oscar they deserve: Nine year old Mary Badham, who played Scout Finch in To Kill a Mocking Bird, lost to fourteen year old Patty Duke, who played Helen Keller in the Miracle Worker, for Best Supporting Actress. They both deserved to win.

  301. Anonymous[358] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ian Smith

    Alec Baldwin is an absolute blast in the obscenely underrated Miami Blues!

    Proto-Tarantino. Skillfully made but repulsive and redeemed only by Fred Ward’s hounddog performance. Baldwin is ‘good’ in the sense that he comes across as vile and soulless as the character he is playing. I don’t think it was acting. He was just being himself.

    Armitage later made GROSSE POINT BLANK, another skillfully made flick that is utterly ludicrous. And another proto-Tarantino, albeit with some soft touch that is however totally unwarranted.

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