Well, John over at Hitchcock's World must be a machine, because he's been churning out blogathon after blogathon lately, and now he's added an interesting Relay Race to the mix. This one follows the same formula as the one's we've all seen circling the web (and been awaiting our turn to participate in), but this one deals with the actors and actresses who started the whole Hollywood era!
Yup, the only requirement here is that the actors or actresses included had to have had their heyday (or at least their start) during that classical period of 1930-1960, and what a bounty of riches is to be found there!
So far we've had the participation of Hitchcock's World (obviously), Dell on Movies and The Cinematic Spectacle. Josh has been so kind as to lend to baton to me, and I'm totally running with this one, because I instantly knew who I was going to add, and who I was going to remove.
Let's do this!
First, let's rundown the current master list:
First, this is an extremely respectable list already. Even those who have been sacrificed already (Lorre and Peck) were arguably very worthy of this list (I love Lorre's shtick, but find Peck to be a usual bore). Still, this is all about a matter of personal taste, and so it was easy for me to pinpoint two of these inclusions that I wanted to exclude; Henry Fonda and John Wayne. I've never connected to either of those two actors, and I've certainly tried. Cagney, Bergman and Welles are a trifecta of NOBODY BETTER EVER REMOVE THEM, and the rest are all admirable and extremely worthy of this list, but those two just don't strike me the same way that they strike others. Fonda is often vacant and dull, and Wayne had one trick, and I never warmed up to that trick.
But, for the love of handful of performances that rose above, I've decided to keep Fonda and oust Wayne!
But who will take his place?
Yeah, this was such an easy choice for me. I've been exploring this man's filmography over the past few months, and while I already loved a few key performances, he's only gotten richer and richer in my eyes. His range is impeccable. Sure, he had that tough as nails, sinister thing down pat, but he was so much deeper than that. He didn't get his acting start until 1950, but from that point forward he was a force to be reckoned with. His brotherly convictions in On the Waterfront, his searing intensity in The Harder They Fall, the depth of character in The Pawnbroker and Across the Bridge. Even his Oscar win (which is often contested) is such a brilliant turn (and so layered), and well into his old age he was still churning out marvelous performances. Just look at his little seen turn in The Chosen; probably the most intimate performance of his career.
So there you have it! I'm passing to baton over to my buddy Alex over at And So It Begins... He always has such interesting insight on so many cinematic things, and I have a feeling he'll come up with something great here!