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 Posted:   Nov 25, 2007 - 10:44 PM   
 By:   Guy Fawkes   (Member)

He always was (Sing, Blacula, Sing!).

 
 Posted:   Nov 30, 2007 - 8:51 PM   
 By:   Dana Wilcox   (Member)

As skilled a professional as any one of them (though sadly no longer with us) was one of my very favorites, Brock Peters. I've not seen a better acting performance than Tom Robinson' trial testimony in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. And that's no criticism of any of the actors already mentioned -- I'll go see just about anything Denzel Washington or Morgan Freeman is involved with, and always appreciated Sidney Poitier's films (especially LILIES OF THE FIELD and A PATCH OF BLUE).

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 1, 2007 - 6:37 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)



We sincerely second your sterling salute to Brock Peters, Dana; we had the unmitigated pleasure of spending a little over an hour interviewing this polished pro (and most humane human being) one Sunny El Lay afternoon.





Not only was he equipped with a quiet quality underlying his intelligence and charm, he was also gratifyingly gracious in his own essence, as well





 
 
 Posted:   Dec 1, 2007 - 7:06 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

What about Scatman Crothers(?). I only know him through THE SHINING and TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, but he surely has a charismatic PRESENCE!

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 1, 2007 - 7:10 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

Absolute-mundo-o, Thorski. Thanks for the rich reminder.



And, should you ever catch the original Roots, he has a lovely understated cameo passing on the cockfighting torch (and hat) to Ben Vereen




 
 Posted:   Dec 1, 2007 - 8:40 AM   
 By:   Dana Wilcox   (Member)

We sincerely second your sterling salute to Brock Peters, Dana; we had the unmitigated pleasure of spending a little over an hour interviewing this polished pro (and most humane human being) one Sunny El Lay afternoon.

Not only was he equipped with a quiet quality underlying his intelligence and charm, he was also gratifying gracious in his own essence, as well


Peters' commentary on the TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD DVD was most fascinating, especially about his visceral dislike of James Anderson, the actor who played Bob Ewell in the film. (Anderson had told Pakula, as I recall, that he knew Ewell's character, and he certainly gave the performance his all.) Either his performance was perfect, or Peters saw something too real in it from Anderson. Just the same, Anderson's other performances I remember (I think he did a share of tv work and some sci fi/horror films) didn't project that same quality of meanness and smoldering hatred that was characteristic of the Ewell part.

(Sorry to digress.)

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 1, 2007 - 2:08 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

Brock Peters was a lovely, gentle, and gracious person---interesting and thoughtful to talk to. I particularly admired his performance in Bryan Forbes' 1962 film, THE L-SHAPED ROOM and told him so. He appeared to be very proud of that one.

Though it airs on TV very rarely these days, THE L-SHAPED ROOM---a very simple little English-made black-and-white film---packs a powerful punch, and is also marked by fine performances by others in the cast, particularly Leslie Caron and Cicely Courtneidge.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 1, 2007 - 2:55 PM   
 By:   Cdouglas   (Member)

I'm glad someone mentioned Ossie Davis. What a truly superb actor, and what a tremendous presence on the screen. One of cinema's most overlooked actors, I hope that someday he is recognized as the great actor that he was. And yes, what a rich voice... when he speaks, you can't help but pay attention. I watched "Get on the Bus" just last week, and was immensely moved by Davis' performance.

Back at ya later

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 1, 2007 - 4:54 PM   
 By:   riotengine   (Member)

He always was (Sing, Blacula, Sing!).

While watching that episode, my wife and I were trying to figure out if he was doing his own singing. I read he was trained as an opera singer, so it appears he was.

Greg Espinoza

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 1, 2007 - 4:56 PM   
 By:   riotengine   (Member)

I'm glad someone mentioned Ossie Davis. What a truly superb actor, and what a tremendous presence on the screen. One of cinema's most overlooked actors, I hope that someday he is recognized as the great actor that he was. And yes, what a rich voice... when he speaks, you can't help but pay attention. I watched "Get on the Bus" just last week, and was immensely moved by Davis' performance.

Back at ya later


One of his last performances was his darned amusing thesping as JFK in Bubba Ho-Tep.

Greg Espinoza

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 2, 2007 - 9:23 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

One of the most unexpectedly delightful surprises Sidney unleashed on an unaware (and resistant Hollywood - the First Artists honcho then in charge was thoroughly perplexed when he watched the film and couldn't "get it" at all!) - was the marvelous



If you haven't tracked it down, get thee hither in a hurry (but do so in tandem with Ossie's earlier COTTON COMES TO HARLEM for a truly delightful double-bill of entertaining evening fare).



It also showcases Harry Belafonte's devastatingly funny caricature of Brando's Godfather that you haveta see to believe.



Yeah, guys, you heard us rite: Harry does Da Don ... wink

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 3, 2007 - 8:33 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

Actually, the above was the first of an (unofficial) trilogy with



the second (has its charms - among them a dynamic cameo by Ossie, a sunny score from Curtis Mayfield along with The Staple Singers)

and the third,



which we still haven't seen even at this early (for Immortals) date.

Those picking of irrelevant nits aside, however, highly recommended if you've got the urge to merge ... wink

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 3, 2007 - 11:41 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)


Though it airs on TV very rarely these days, THE L-SHAPED ROOM---a very simple little English-made black-and-white film---packs a powerful punch.


I do remember the film, though I thought its musical choices rather odd. Surely this is the only example of kitchen sink realism to be accompanied by a Rachmaninoff piano concerto! In his later films, Forbes sponsored some good low-key work from John Barry.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 3, 2007 - 11:52 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Denzel is terrific. But I wonder if he hasn't fallen into a kind of reverse of the Sidney Poitier trap. Didn't he once say that he took care not to be seen kissing Julia Roberts in THE PELICAN BRIEF? The implication was that it would be politically incorrect for a black male star to be seen romancing a white woman. The problem was not old-fashioned white racism but rather the negative effect upon black women's self-esteem. His motives may be commendable, but this is still a significant limitation on his potential range.

There's no implication or ambiguity in this, John. Denzel has stated that his most loyal audience is black women, and he knows that a black-white on-screen romance is something they simply don't want to see him in.


I had thought his reasons were ethical rather than careerist. (I mean no negative connotations by that word.) In either case, my point seems to be valid. For whatever reason, Mr. Washington seems to have accepted certain limitations on the range of roles he will accept. And that's a pity. Will he never consider Othello? Come to think of it, didn't he play Brutus (or was it Antony?) in a stage Julius Caesar a couple of years back?

 
 Posted:   Dec 3, 2007 - 11:55 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Somehow, some way, Paul Robeson must be mentioned...despite any political affiliations he may have had which muted his influence, his presence had some kind of influence, didn't it?

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 3, 2007 - 1:18 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

'Tis interesting, Rosz (and we have our own not dissimilar but still contradictory feelings on the issue you raise, which we’ll address anon), as it turns out, when Washington visited, um, The Great White Way a few years ago in



as Brutus, he did (actually, how the hell was he gonna get around it?!) play opposite Jessica Hecht as his wife Portia, so all the throngs of female admirers weren’t condescended to since Shakespeare couldn’t very well be rewritten to suit contemporary preferences (which may not be quite the same thing as “taste”).









You also intuitively anticipated us once again, Zel, as we’d intended to get around to Mister Robeson long before you did.



One of the most tantalizing “What If That’ll Never Be” episodes in cinema history is if Sergei Eisenstein’s desire (and invitation)



to work with Robeson could’ve materialized

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 4, 2007 - 2:34 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

Ya Want ARTICULATE Voices (allied with anchored artistry) Department?:

Lest We Forget (anyone remember those books in school back in the Bronze Age?) Roscoe Lee Browne.



Perhaps best known as the trail-hand cook in



His film, television and theatre credits went wayyyyyy back to the 1950s. (Below, with Anthony Zerbe in their two-man poetry show, “Broken Words”.



If you ever wanna hear language sound like the music it is,



Browne was a master class – and accomplished actor – all his own

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 27, 2008 - 7:39 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

Sometimes the Stars Align Sensationally Department.

If you're in Noo Yawk anytime soon on (um) The Great White Way, a trinity of most accomplished actors can be seen:

Feast your orbs on this one:





plus

Morgan Freeman, Frances McDormand and Peter Gallagher in Clifford Odets' "The Country Girl" directed by no less than Mike Nichols



and

Laurence Fishburne's



one-man show as Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall



(which Mr. Jones originated two years ago at the Connecticut's Westport Theatre).



DURN! If these aren't filmed in some way for posterity, they sure as shootin' oughta be ...

 
 
 Posted:   May 20, 2008 - 12:22 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)



Definitely Not the The Cat You Grew Up With Department:















We kinda figure Tennessee (or "Bird" as Vidal affectionately nicknamed him) might be tickled - uh, whatever - by this colorful turn of events, no? ... wink

 
 Posted:   May 20, 2008 - 1:11 PM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

I really like Morgan Freeman, though in recent years it seems that he narrates every film he's in! smile

I'm glad someone mentioned Scatman Crothers. He was always a favorite of mine growing up, and his performance in The Shining is really exceptional.

Another worthy of mention in my book is Austin Stoker. Fans of John Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13 know just how marvelous and cool Stoker was in the lead role.

 
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