Friday, October 4, 2013

One Scene Wonder: Orson Welles

Some actors can take a single scene, a solitary moment of screen time, and turn it into the most unforgettable aspect of a movie.  In fact, many actors have used limited screen time to carve out unforgettable turns.  We all remember that Judi Dench won an Oscar for 8-minutes of sass in 'Shakespeare in Love', and quite frankly we all remember her turn in the movie as well.  But she had more than one scene.  Some actors have ONE SCENE, and one scene only, and yet manage to make that one scene the best part of the film.  Last night I finished 1956's 'Moby Dick', and with one scene Orson Welles has shot to the top of my Supporting Actor ballot for 1956, and he's only in ONE SCENE!  Yes, as Father Maple, Welles is a tremendous force of nature, and his natural yet elevated (near godly) delivery of his sermon was so passionate and composed that I almost jumped out of my bed and screamed "HALLELUJAH" when he was through.

In fact, he's so good here I really wish that HE had been cast as Ahab instead of Gregory Peck.

I found this video on Youtube, but sadly the sound is off a tad and so it isn't the best way to experience this moment, so if you can find the film I recommend watching it for this scene alone (which comes in the first fifteen minutes of the movie).  The film, outside of the special effects (and of course Welles) is kind of awful, but you still really need to see this film for this performance alone!

1 comment:

  1. I hate that I couldn't get to this one yet. I'll wait to watch the scene when I see the film. One scene wonders are awesome! This reminds me of Lesley Manville in Secrets & Lies. I think she had 2 or 3 scenes, but she was probably in the film less than 10 minutes. Right now, I nominate her for Best Supporting Actress. I thought she nailed it.