Category Archives: Actors

On Elia Kazan’s East of Eden: for Library of America

Recently, I wrote a small piece which could be given a High School English class title: What James Dean and East of Eden meant to me. When I wrote it, I was deep in research for a huge piece which … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Charlie Chaplin

Some years ago, I wrote an essay about Charlie Chaplin and what it means to “be funny,” and what it means when it operates on such a genius level as Chaplin. It’s in the details. Details can’t be taught. For … Continue reading

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“All his passwords were Hitler.”

This is incredibly charming and moving. Bob Saget, John Stamos and Jimmy Kimmel reminisce about Don Rickles.

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Happy Birthday, Bette Davis

“I was thought to be ‘stuck up’. I wasn’t. I was just sure of myself. This is and always has been an unforgivable quality to the unsure.” – Bette Davis From James Baldwin’s The Devil Finds Work, an indispensable work … Continue reading

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“There’s just one in a generation like her.” On Kim Stanley

The legend of Kim Stanley is strongest among actors, especially actors in the Actors Studio world, where her shadow continues to loom. The woman only did 4 films. That’s it. And yet … the myth, the MYTH OF THIS WOMAN. … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Marlon Brando: We Can Still Hear That Roar

“Sending Marlon Brando to acting class was like sending a tiger to jungle school.” – Stella Adler “You can’t always be a failure. Not and survive. Van Gogh! There’s an example of what can happen when a person never receives … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Lon Chaney

Like so many great clowns, Lon Chaney had a huge and tragic soul, at the heart of his persona was an abyss of sadness. He plays a clown, but he gives deeply tragic performances of towering stature. He’s overwhelming to … Continue reading

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Two Scenes Where Actors Climb Over Fences: Compare and Contrast

First, we have Liam Neeson jumping over a fence in Taken 3, with a total of 15 cuts in a moment that lasts seconds. (I hope the link to this Tweet works. I could not track down the Gif anywhere … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Cyd Charisse

Legs for weeks, not days. While there are so many classic and unforgettable dance numbers to choose from, the “Girl Hunt” number from Band Wagon is my favorite. Please read this wonderful tribute to Charisse by my friend, Dan Callahan. … Continue reading

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James Baldwin on Bette Davis

From James Baldwin’s The Devil Finds Work, an indispensable work of not only film criticism but cultural commentary and observation. Here is Baldwin on the impact seeing Bette Davis on the screen for the first time made on him as … Continue reading

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