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  • mistermuse 12:03 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bela Lugosi, , Bram Stoker, character actors, Dracula, , , , horror movies, Lon Chaney Jr., Phantom of the Opera, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, , Vlad the Impaler   

    HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE: NOT JUST BAD, BUT HORROR-ABLE ACTORS 

    November 8 is an especially appropriate day to unveil this post. Why? Because it’s the birthday of both VLAD DRACUL and BRAM STOKER, author of DRACULA, the famous horror novel “inspired” by the lore of Vlad Dracul — badder known as Vlad the Impaler (for badder details, click links below — the second of which is not for the squeamish):

    https://www.onthisday.com/people/vlad-the-impaler

    The Terrifying True Story Of Vlad The Impaler β€” History’s Real Dracula

    This sets the stage for the first of our “horror-able” actors: BELA LUGOSI, one of movie history’s most iconic character actors, who played Count Dracula in the classic DRACULA film released in February 1931. Here is the trailer:

    As if unleashing one monster on the public in 1931 wasn’t enough, November brought….

    Frankenstein’s monster was of course played by the equally “horror-able” and iconic character actor, November-born Boris Karloff:

    Next we have The Wolf Man, Lon Chaney Jr. (son of the legendary silent film star who played Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the phantom inΒ The Phantom of the Opera, and other leading roles in early classics)….

    For our closer, the Price is right….Vincent Price, that is. Although most of Price’s horror-able roles came after Hollywood’s Golden Age, he wasn’t entirely invisible during it (or was he?):

    That’s The End for now, but never fear. We, too, shall return….

     
    • obbverse 2:29 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Dracula… no es-cape.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:22 pm on November 9, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Like Dracula, like Trump.
        But at least the former offers escapism from the latter.

        Like

    • calmkate 6:28 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      what a horror-able collection of bad actors and C grade movies … good to watch for a laugh πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 7:44 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I never felt that Lon Cheney wanted to be in movies. He was kind of clumsy as an actor. But, he was also kind of love-able, so he gets a pass from me. I did enjoy his interaction with Lou Costello in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. I think one of his best roles was in Spider Baby…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:41 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        You mean Jr, of course. He. probably wouldn’t have become an actor if his father, Lon Chaney, hadn’t been one — and a famous one, too — in the silent era.

        Like

    • scifihammy 8:16 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I used to love watching these old horror movies on late night TV as a kid, with my brother. Classics! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    • Rivergirl 9:05 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, I used to loooove those when I was young! Now? Pure camp. Delightful.

      Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 1:01 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not a horror film fan but for some reason I really liked these! Maybe because the acting was so over the top that I found them funny πŸ™‚
      I enjoyed your Bad Actors series!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:21 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, mm. I think we appreciate them more as adults because we don’t take them seriously….or should I say, we can take them seriously as “camp” classics.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley 1:21 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Great fun. These had me laughing, again!

      Liked by 1 person

    • America On Coffee 5:20 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I cannot imagine how scary these all were compared to Freddy Krueger and our government today!😱

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:26 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Trump and his administration are certainly scarier than any horror movie. At least we don’t have to watch Freddie Krueger, but you can’t turn on the news on TV or read a newspaper without being confronted by the hideous orange monster.

        Liked by 1 person

        • America On Coffee 12:55 am on November 9, 2019 Permalink

          Pray for Trump, Congress and our Judicial branch.πŸ™

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 1:38 am on November 9, 2019 Permalink

          Sorry to say I can’t think of anything more futile than praying for Trump. I think we both know he is what he is — it’s “baked in” — and he isn’t going to change. Far be it from me, however, to discourage anyone else from wasting their time praying for a man who’s the very personification of a lost cause.

          Like

    • Elizabeth 5:51 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I think those old horror films were a lot less horror filled than more recent ones. Maybe it’s just because blood looks less dreadful in black and white.

      Like

    • mistermuse 8:32 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I think much of the horror in old horror films was suggested or implied compared to how graphic (made more so by Technicolor) horror films are today.

      Like

  • mistermuse 1:54 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , character actors, , , , , ,   

    HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE: MORE “BAD” ACTORS 

    In my previous post dealing with “bad” actors, we looked to the stars before turning to the character actors….but Hollywood’s Golden Age produced so many great bad character actors that only ONE such showing would be an injustice. So, before making my getaway from these characters, I’ll need to do more than one more post.

    Let’s begin this post with a name mentioned in my last post, PETER LORRE. Here he is, along with two accomplices, committing an act so unconstrained, it’s almost unbelievable:

    OK, that wasn’t exactly the typical Lorre performance you expected. But if you’ve seen CASABLANCA and THE MALTESE FALCON (and what classic movie fan hasn’t?), you’ve seen the classic Peter Lorre. So let’s put a wrap on that bird with this:

    Next, we turn to Lorre’s frequent “partner in crime” movies, SYDNEY GREENSTREET:

    We close this segment with a name you may not remember, but who could forget that character:

    TO BE CONTINUED….

     

     

     
    • moorezart 2:23 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on From 1 Blogger 2 Another.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Rivergirl 3:33 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Love it!
      Casablanca is one of my all time favorites. Did you know Ronald Reagan was originally slated to play Rick? I can’t even wrap my mind around that.

      Liked by 5 people

      • mistermuse 4:47 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I vaguely recall that about Ronald Reagan. The only worse casting I can imagine would be Donald Trump to play Abraham Lincoln.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Elizabeth 5:13 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Can’t remember if I have already shared this. Every exam period the movie theater in Cambridge had a Bogart film festival. So I saw all of those films several times over. I loved Greenstreet and Lorre too. Of course I always imagined it was me that Bogie was looking at.

      Liked by 3 people

    • calmkate 5:44 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      With all these men their expressive eyes are the winners!
      Thanks for expanding my knowledge πŸ™‚

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 6:41 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Kate, you might say “The eyes have it with these guys? (as opposed to Trump, who tries to pull the wool over our eyes).

        Liked by 1 person

        • calmkate 6:43 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink

          he can only do that with absolute morons, any one with brains can see the psychopath for what he is …

          Liked by 3 people

    • Carmen 7:38 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Well, that was a great blast from the past!

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:10 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Carmen. On that note of tribute, I’ll share with you a bit of trivia which I’m not sharing with anyone else: the first clip’s “Sweet Siberia” song (and entire score of SILK STOCKINGS) was composed by none other than Cole Porter. I’m only telling you that because I GET A KICK OUT OF YOU.

        Like

        • Carmen 8:59 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink

          I’ll consider that my birthday present. . . And yes, it’s sweet 62! πŸ™‚

          Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 9:21 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Been there, done that. But Happy Birthday anyway, Carmen, despite the envy you make me feel!

      Like

    • davidbruceblog 9:28 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on davidbruceblog #2.

      Liked by 2 people

    • masercot 6:58 am on November 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I loved Lorre in the Mr. Moto movies. I’m interested in “yellow-face” in old movies. There are bad cases of it, such as the Charlie Chan series; however, Lorre and Karloff portrayed Asian detectives in a very straightforward way. Lorre’s Moto was a nice mix of ethics and ruthlessness. He was essentially Raymond Reddington on The Blacklist…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 4:08 pm on November 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I didn’t see much of Mr.Moto when I was young, probably because the Charlie Chan series was on TV frequently and I became a big Chan fan (as I got older, not so much). My favorite in the “sleuth” genre was Sherlock Holmes, played so well by Basil Rathbone. I think some of the Homes films still hold up fairly well today.

        Like

    • smbabbitt 1:18 pm on November 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Cook appeared in some marvelous films, and outlived most of the actors whose roles required them to insult or torment him. And deserves to be especially remembered for the memorable drumming scene in PHANTOM LADY.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:03 pm on November 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Some actors’ character portrayals are so one-of-a-kind that you never forget them. Cook was certainly one such actor. Here’s the scene you mentioned (actual drumming dubbed by jazz drummer Dave Coleman):

        Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:09 am on October 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: character actors, , , Edward Everett Horton, , , , , , Mantan Moreland, , , S. Z. Sakall, Way Out West,   

    HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE: WHAT A CHARACTER (ACTOR)! 

    “Nobody needs a mink coat but the mink.” –S. Z. “Cuddles” Sakall, character actor (Feb. 2, 1883-Feb. 12, 1955)

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    There have been so many great male character actors in Hollywood Golden Age history that, for this post, I’m going to narrow the field toΒ comedic character actors….and even then, I’ll probably leave out some of your favorites. Of course, if you don’t have any old comedy film favorites, you’re probably not an old comedy film fan, so you’re excused (even though that’s no excuse….actually, you should be ashamed of yourself).

    Leaving that aside, let’s move on, starting with the author of the above quote….a quote which probably didn’t go over too well with most of the Hollywood glamour girls he knew — speaking of which, did you know that Sakall was born in, and is strictly from, Hungary (btw, he was also in Casablanca). Here’s more scuttlebutt about Cuddles but…it’s not a lot:

    Next, Laurel & Hardy fans will remember the trademark ‘double-take’ look of this gent, who appeared in many of their films, including here in one of their best, WAY OUT WEST:

    Remember double features (two films for the price of one in movie houses of the 1930s-50s)? Here’s a double feature of two great comedic actors for the price of one in a scene from SHALL WE DANCE, one of three Astaire-Rogers movies in which they appeared together:

    If you’re a fan of Charlie Chan movies, you may recall the pop-eyed comic who played Chan’s chauffeur in over a dozen films, as well as parts in Preston Sturges’ THE PALM BEACH STORY (1942), CABIN IN THE SKY (1943), CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK (1944), and many others. Here he is in a scene from THE SCARLET CLUE (1945):

    In closing, I’ll mention several other great comedic character actors I could’ve/should’ve profiled here, but I have to stop somewhere: William Demarest, Edgar Kennedy, Frank Morgan, Franklin Pangborn, Erik Rhodes, Victor Moore, and many more. Thank you, one and all, for bringing character to comedy.

     
    • masercot 4:38 am on October 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Fine examples! Might I add Tom Kennedy?

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:50 am on October 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Absolutely! I remember the name but couldn’t place the face until I checked — how could I have forgotten? I saw him in many a Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, Laurel & Hardy and Three Stooges movie. My bad!

        Liked by 2 people

        • masercot 8:59 am on October 24, 2019 Permalink

          It was a time when any big Irishman could find work in the movies… My favorite line of his? “I feel a poem coming on”

          Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth 4:28 pm on October 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I never knew the names of any of these actors, though I remember all of their appearances. I loved the banter in the last clip. That comedic timing is priceless.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:00 pm on October 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I believe that that banter came straight out of an old vaudeville skit which Mantan Moreland probably performed many times previously. An oldie but goody!

      Like

    • Silver Screenings 11:37 pm on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      These posts are treats. Thanks for curating these lists and choosing such fab videos to share with us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:20 am on November 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for your comments, SS. I very much enjoyed doing this series of posts, time-consuming though it was to do the work of putting them together.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Silver Screenings 10:29 am on November 17, 2019 Permalink

          Oh yes, I can imagine the hours spent in this series. The end result is fabulous: A tour through classic Hollywood.

          Liked by 1 person

    • America On Coffee 11:18 am on December 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Memorable picks! Love them all!!πŸ’•β€οΈ

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:06 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: character actors, , , , , , , Margaret Hamilton, Marjorie Main, , , Wicked Witch,   

    HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE: THE GRAMMAR GIRLS 

    Speaking of distinctive actresses from Hollywood’s Golden Age, we turn from glamour girls (in my previous post) to a group of gals who made up in individuality what they lacked in allure. There were perhaps no actresses more unique and unforgettable in any category than the so-called character actors. Bring up such names as Margaret Hamilton, Marjorie Main, and Margaret Dumont (apart from their photos) to any classic film buff, and there’d be no problem matching which name belongs with which (or witch) face; same with their immediately recognizable voices. In a manner of speaking, they were vocal gold.

    BTW, I have something in common with That Hamilton Woman. Like my wife, she was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and was once a teacher….but unlike my wife, she was unlike my wife (and vice versa….or is it verse vica).

    Character actresses may not be leading ladies, but there’s one who was always the Main attraction :

    My last post started with a birthday girl; this post ends with one….and what a one: Margaret Dumont (born Oct. 20, 1882), the gloriously inimitable foil of Groucho in nine of the Marx Brothers’ thirteen films, as typified by the following story.

    In a play in which she played Mrs. Rittenhouse (and which was later made into an early Marx Brothers film), the brothers abandoned the script during one performance and began improvising scene after scene….from here, I quote from the book THE MARX BROTHERS AT THE MOVIES:

    After some time she decided to take her chances and enter in the middle of it all. At that moment, Chico and Harpo simply walked off the stage, leaving the great dowager face-to-face with Groucho. So Groucho, with his characteristic speed of mind, gestured to a nearby divan. “Ah, Mrs. Rittenhouse,” he proclaimed. “Won’t you…er…lie down?” It had gotten a laugh on Broadway, so the brothers simply took it with them when they traveled to the Astoria studio [to make movies].

    There’s a scene in my favorite Marx Brothers movie, DUCK SOUP, in which Dumont’s character addresses Groucho’s character, Rufus T. Firefly, President of Fredonia, as “Your Excellency!”…to which he replies, “You’re not so bad yourself.”
    To which I can but add, You Bet Your Life!

     
    • calmkate 3:46 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      great history lesson, thanks!

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 8:12 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Kate. The title of the post is admittedly a bit of a stretch, but I couldn’t resist the play on words with HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE: THE GLAMOUR GIRLS (the previous post).

        Liked by 2 people

    • Carmen 9:10 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I recognized β€˜the witch with the green face’ (one of our daughters always referred to her that way) but the other two were unknowns to me… Well, until I read the post! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 11:13 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Carmen, did you have to remind me how much older I am than you because Marjorie Main and Margaret Dumont were known to me, and unknown to you!!! Nonetheless, I forgive you, so here’s a short clip to give you a better idea of why I dig Dumont (note the “You’re not so bad yourself” remark at the end of the clip which relates to the end of my post):

        Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 9:33 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      A Marx Brothers movie without Dumont is a sad thing indeed…

      I did a piece on Kathleen Freeman, speaking of character actresses. She’s definitely one of my favorites…

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 11:31 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, masercot. I didn’t realize, until I checked, that Kathleen Freeman played (uncredited) the part of diction coach Phoebe Dinsmore in one of my fav musicals, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN. Here’s a clip:

        Liked by 2 people

    • Elizabeth 5:52 pm on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Watching Groucho is one of my favorite childhood memories. I just loved when that duck came down. Great clips.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 6:16 pm on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Elizabeth. I’m glad you made the connection between the last four words of my post and the name of Groucho’s TV show. I watched it often back in the day.

        Liked by 2 people

    • mlrover 7:59 am on October 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      What a wonderful post! I loved all of these ladies and especially the vocal coach clip. Jean Hagen should have gotten an Oscar for the Lamont role.

      Liked by 3 people

    • mistermuse 8:30 am on October 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Absolutely! What a “character!”

      Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 11:53 am on October 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I love the old b&w films. Especially the Marx Bros. Margaret Dumont was priceless!

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 5:55 pm on October 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        The Marx Bros. without Margaret Dumont is like a comedian without a Trump card — except that Dumont is aces and Trump is a jack(ass).

        Liked by 2 people

    • Silver Screenings 11:30 pm on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Wonderful tributes to all these women. I’m so pleased to see these women made the list, especially Marjorie Main. She is one of my all-time faves.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:11 am on November 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Marjorie appeared in over 80 films, including some of my favorites, such as MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, THE HARVEY GIRLS, and FRIENDLY PERSUASION. Truly a wonderful character actress.

        Liked by 1 person

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