Skip to comments.Movie for a Sunday afternoon: "Bright Leaf" (1950)
Posted on 10/06/2013 11:34:05 AM PDT by ReformationFan
Gary Cooper was an awful actor IMHO...yet he is in most of my favorite movies. Go figure.
Leslie Howard was another wooden stick, but everyone loved to WATCH him, especially in Gone With the Wind.
There's many others I can't think of right now who couldn't act their way out of a popcorn bag....but who had or have that certain "aura", face, carriage, way-of-speaking plus a certain presence that commands/compels attention.
Hedy Lamar, Ava Gardner and Robert Taylor mostly were just "in motion" when it came to real acting, but the only thing that the plastic trio really had to do was look gorgeous with not a hair out of place throughout the entire film. Folks just loved to LOOK at them.
Peter Lorre looked like an ugly little garden gnome....but in his case, he could ACT very well....and moviegoers loved to LOOK at him in his many wonderful character roles.
I guess it boils down to either you have "it" or you don't have "it"....and "it" can be in many forms, not necessarily beauty, glamor or acting ability, but just the actor's own particular form of "it"....if you follow me....LOL.
Gary Cooper had "it" in spades.
I agree with you...but I can’t get over his ineptness in the courtroom scene in “The Fountainhead”.
Another pro-tobacco movie is PARRISH, set in Connecticut.
For my money, Coop was great in pix like PETER IBBETSON , THE WESTERNER and MOROCCO, but casting him in the lead in MARCO POLO ranks among the worst ideas ever.
Hedy Lamar was no dummy.
I’ve not seen that one. Funny how with everything that Hollywood advocates and spills out of their movies today, PARRISH and BRIGHT LEAF would be seen as “immoral” because of the pro-tobacco perspectives.
Just curious, which of Coop’s movies are among your favorites?
I would recommend his final film “The Naked Edge” which is an effective little suspenser I posted as an mfasa a few months back and “Along Came Jones”, a comedy-western where he gets to send up his own heroic cowboy image.
“The Naked Edge” is still up on youtube.
and this is the trailer for “Along Came Jones”
However, she had the same almost expressionless expression on her face no matter what role she played...and today she's remembered mostly for her almost-legendary beauty, not her acting.
She died in Florida in 2000 at age 86, alone, penniless, her face disfigured by plastic surgery......and most folks don't even know about her invention.
My favorites of his would be “The Fountainhead”, “Sgt. York” and “High Noon”
My definition of a good actor is one who could effectively play a hero or a villain. By that standard neither Wayne nor Cooper qualify. Although I did like Wayne in “True Grit.” But I share your opinion of Cooper. He showed up on the movie set, recited his lines, and then went home. But people liked him so he became a big star. That’s the movie business.
“Bright Leaf” makes an interesting companion piece to “The Fountainhead” in the contrasts between the Cooper/Patricia Neal relationships in each film. In BL her character can’t stand Coop but FH she’s literally his love slave. Interestingly enough, Patricia Neal initially begged the studio to be cast in Lauren Bacall’s role instead but was turned down. It was the right decision in retrospect. The film wouldn’t have worked if the actress’ roles had been reversed.
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