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 Posted:   May 3, 2010 - 2:50 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

A GIANT of a Man …und Consummate Career Department:



“I think you have to be schizoid three different ways to be an actor. You`ve got to be three different people. You have to be a human being. Then you have to be the character you`re playing. And on top of that you`ve got to be the guy sitting out there in Row 10, watching yourself and judging yourself.

That's why most of us are crazy to start with, or go nuts once we get into it. I mean, don't you think it's a pretty spooky way to earn a living? …








“You Owe Me MONEY!!!!!!”



With Ruby Dee and Earle Hyman in “East Side, West Side” (1962).



He recites Wilde’s ‘Ballad of Reading Gaol’ on “The Virginian” (1962)

















“Acting changes the inner spirit. It`s fulfilling, but psychologically very costly. You can`t steal enough money in a lifetime to make up for the damage. I`m ashamed for the bitterness it created in me, but it exists. Even when you`re successful it`s hard to rise above it. It's like a growth ...

















On Johnny Carson in 1974.



Saluting James Cagney on the latter’s AFI Salute (also 1974)

[ when asked for suggestions on how to judge acting] “I have three tests. First, which dominates, the character or the actor? With very few exceptions it should be the character. Second, on film - as opposed to stage - we're pretty much playing basic emotions: love, anger, fear, pity. So the trick is whether you can come up with any fresh choices to present these common emotions. Third - and this is the quality that separates the great ones from the good ones - I look for a "joy of performing" quality. Who had that quality? As much as anyone, Jimmy Cagney ...















He’s also one of the few American actors (Robert Duvall’s the other) who worked with two of the influential titans of 20th century acting, Olivier in the teevee adaptation of Graham Greene’s “The Power and the Glory”



and





“Film is not an actor's medium. You shoot scenes in order of convenience, not the way they come in the script, and that's detrimental to a fully developed performance. There's the terrible tedium and boredom involved in waiting around for the camera to be set up, and then you have to turn on and off when they do the scene over again. When you see the rushes is the first time you begin to judge your performance. If you get 50% of what you hoped for, you're lucky …











Unfortunately, we missed catching Mr. Scott quite often in his preferred arena of expression, the theatre – and what we wouldn’t have given to have seen him opposite Anne Bancroft



in



tho they did have a reunion of sorts in “The Hindenberg”



”Directors are supposed to help the audience. Good directors don`t direct actors."

Other stellar Scott performances include Mike Nichols’ star-studded 1973 Broadway cast of “Uncle Vanya”,



“Death of a Salesman” (1975)



and “Inherit the Wind” (1996)



We only managed to see him on stage once, during the late 70s El Lay tour in Century City of



(and his trademark fearlessness wasn’t minimized even in a romantic farce).

Perhaps the most famous vignette concerning him comes from Maureen Stapleton, who co-starred in



She confessed to director Mike Nichols “I don’t know what to do - I'm scared of him."

To which Mr. Nichols



sagely smiled and said “My dear, everyone is scared of George C. Scott.”



That’s what happens when you have such a ferocious, fearsomely Himalayan talent.





”The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it.”

 
 Posted:   May 3, 2010 - 2:57 PM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

"YOU OWE ME MONEY!!" was the first thing that came to my mind. smile George was one of the greats, and I have many, many favorite performances from him. I want to mention one that wasn't included above...



...which is his role as the detestably evil John Rainbird in Firestarter (1984). Say what you will about the film (I know many that hate it), but Scott was a powerful force in the movie, and his delicate balance between raging psychotic and manipulative "daddy figure" was chilling (not to mention that creepy watery eye and ponytail!).




He's marvelously over-the-top in Bill Blatty's The Exorcist III (1990), which contains loads of Scott quotables, particularly in his final showdown with the demon in which he delivers a pained speech about all the horrors in the world.


Of his many powerhouse moments, I think the scene for me that still blows me out of the water is his nervous breakdown in The Hospital when he talks about "healing nothing". Stunningly real. Also, a line I have used way too many times in my own office: "My God, the incompetence is RADIANT!"




Finally, a personal favorite is the haunted house classic The Changeling (1980). Aside from the film being a top-notch spookfest, Scott's portrayal's of an anguished pianist dealing with the loss of his wife and child in an auto accident is one of his most touching and compelling performances.

 
 
 Posted:   May 3, 2010 - 3:05 PM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)

I know he did a lot, but for me, the role I most identify him with:



Ebenezer Scrooge - A Christmas Carol (1984)

My favorite Scrooge. I remember watching it when it premiered in '84, and my family and I have watched it nearly every Christmas since. A really good movie. (With a lovely score, too, that I wish was available.)

 
 Posted:   May 3, 2010 - 3:12 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)



Oh, to be able to do this in "real" life...

 
 Posted:   May 3, 2010 - 3:12 PM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)



Oh, to be able to do this in "real" life...


HAHAHA! It is NOT in the FILE!

He has so many great scenes in EX III. Love the monologue he does about a carp swimming around in his bathtub for days.

 
 Posted:   May 3, 2010 - 3:58 PM   
 By:   Dana Wilcox   (Member)

Astounding, Neo m'boy! Great Scott indeed! I'll never forget his vulnerable, melancholy performance in ISLANDS IN THE STREAM, or its complete opposite, the whacko Gen. Buck Turgidson of DR. STRANGELOVE. A savage gift had this man, and few could touch him for intelligence or talent.

 
 
 Posted:   May 3, 2010 - 5:19 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

It probably puts me squarely in the minority (with the exception of perhaps some of you folks here), but my fave of his is "Exorcist III"... for all the reasons above and a ton more.

He was/is a rollercoaster of a talent. His intensity can go from 0 to 60 in a blink.

Good call, Neo.

 
 Posted:   May 3, 2010 - 5:47 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)



"What do you mean, if I love you? I raped you in a suicidal rage. How did we get to love and children all of a sudden?"

 
 
 Posted:   May 3, 2010 - 6:24 PM   
 By:   Foodman   (Member)

I once heard that when Scott was asked what was your favorite acting role, he replied "The Flim Flam Man".

 
 Posted:   May 4, 2010 - 1:03 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

It probably puts me squarely in the minority (with the exception of perhaps some of you folks here), but my fave of his is "Exorcist III"... for all the reasons above and a ton more.


Agreed, although his take on "Twelve Angry Men" and "Patton" is definitely a second close and third to me.

Regarding Exorcist III, there were heavy reshoots concerning the Brad Dourif role; originally Jason Miller wasn't in the script, so all the scenes with the Gemini in his cell had to be redone. This had to do with bad lighting and a bad cell set as well, but Blatty said the performance Dourif gave in the initial takes was memorizing. What ended up on screen were new takes where Dourif was switched with Miller and vice versa to add more depth to the character of the Gemini. The main reason Miller was brought in of course that they needed an actor from the original movie.

This also meant that George C. Scott had to redo his scenes with both Dourif and Miller and the difference in his appearance is especially noticeable during the final moments of the movie. The speech and exorcism scene Scott delivered during the finale (the one Allardyce referred to) was not in the script and Blatty was forced by the studio to write this new ending, because they claimed you couldn't do an Exorcist sequel without an exorcism. This is also why Nicol Williamson was brought in at the last minute; his scenes feel out of place during the movie and are filmed together with the new material. Blatty always wanted to work with Williamson and tried to get him with "The Ninth Configuration" first. The added exorcism scene with Williamson resulted in a special fx spectacle that overshadows the rest of the movie. There is footage of a morphing demon head that can be seen in an early trailer, but went unused.

I also feel the studio demanded a quicker pace in the editing department as many of the scenes feel rushed and you can actually see cutaways and setups to a continuation of the scene but it jumps to the next.

In a press conference, George C. Scott was asked about Morgan Creek's tampering with the movie and went on to say that "the folks would only be satisfied if Madonna came out and sang a song at the end!".

Regarding the original cut, it has been released in script form in a book by Blatty pairing it with his script for The Exorcist. In 2007 both UK film critic Mark Kermode, who got to watch the original workprint during the shooting of the movie, and creator/director Blatty went to search for the missing material. Blatty's wife reported on a fan site that "My husband tells me that it is Morgan Creek's claim that they have lost all the footage, including an alternate opening scene in which Kinderman views the body of Karras in the morgue, right after his fall down the steps.". I can confirm this footage as I have stills of it. Mark Kermode has stated that the search for the missing footage is "ongoing"

History went on to repeat itself when Paul Schrader's version of Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist was rejected by Morgan Creek and they hired Renny Harlin to butcher it.

 
 
 Posted:   May 4, 2010 - 1:15 AM   
 By:   Suicide is imminent   (Member)

Argh.

My Groin.

 
 Posted:   May 4, 2010 - 1:19 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

Argh.

My Groin.


Classic Simpsons moment big grin

 
 Posted:   May 4, 2010 - 6:39 AM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

The history of Exorcist III is indeed a complicated one. Thanks for sharing that with folks, Scoresalot. For anybody who likes the movie, I recommend reading Blatty's original novel called Legion. The concept of the book is much broader in terms of dealing with good vs. evil, a bit of which gets addressed in Scott's big monologue toward the end. The book was fascinating, it had no exorcism, and it just quietly ended with no fanfare, which was perfect for the story. It's too bad Blatty had to compromise his original intent and vision, but I love the movie nevertheless. Aside from Scott's brilliance, the razor-sharp witty dialogue and monstrous music of Barry DeVorzon, there are also some incredibly chilling moments, such as that quick shot of a statue in the corner of a building that appears to be holding a bloody knife and has the face of The Joker. Never quite understood that shot, but it's unnerving. And the biggest shock in the flick was thanks to tight editing and a shriek of Devorzon music. You know what moment I'm talking about. smile

 
 
 Posted:   May 4, 2010 - 7:24 AM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

You know what moment I'm talking about. smile

Indeed. Just thinking of that scene always makes me smile. Just brilliant, the direction and camera work.

Additionally, the sound work throughout just knocks me out. I LOVE the shot looking at the slightly open door and you can faintly hear an accented male voice whisper "Exorcism takes time...". Chilling!

The studio tampering is lamentable, but as is so often the case, maybe a strict adherance to the book would have resulted in a less watchable movie. Who can say? As I understand it, Blatty didn't even want to call the movie "Exorcist III" anyway (I seem to recall that he previously bestowed that honor upon "The Ninth Configuration"). Either way, I would sure love to see his original "untampered-with" version some day.

Such a great little flick.

 
 Posted:   May 4, 2010 - 7:34 AM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)


The studio tampering is lamentable, but as is so often the case, maybe a strict adherance to the book would have resulted in a less watchable movie. Who can say? As I understand it, Blatty didn't even want to call the movie "Exorcist III" anyway (I seem to recall that he previously bestowed that honor upon "The Ninth Configuration"). Either way, I would sure love to see his original "untampered-with" version some day.

Such a great little flick.


Right. Blatty wanted to use the book name to prevent an expectation of exorcism, but you know how that went. Strict adherence to the book wouldn't have worked because the book was significantly philosophical in its exploration of the idea that evil can exist without God. There were long scenes of characters discussing it, and the ending was vastly different from the film. I remember there was a part that described how possessions can end as easily and abruptly as they started, sometimes just gone in the blink of an eye. That was how the book ended, which was satisfying for the reader because there was so much content to think about prior to the ending. But for a movie, "the demon quietly leaves and goes about his business" just wouldn't have worked. But the studio's exorcism answer wasn't the way to go either. Yet amazingly, through all that, Blatty still ended up with a great movie that is regarded by fans of the horror genre. Tubular, man.

 
 
 Posted:   May 4, 2010 - 8:11 AM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

Bearing in mind that I know this is a George C. Scott thread (please forgive me, Neo), I want to also say that I will sit through anything, good or bad, for a chance to watch Brad Dourif chew up the scenery. He leaps into just about everything with an almost Shatneresque elan.

 
 Posted:   May 4, 2010 - 8:52 AM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

Bearing in mind that I know this is a George C. Scott thread (please forgive me, Neo), I want to also say that I will sit through anything, good or bad, for a chance to watch Brad Dourif chew up the scenery. He leaps into just about everything with an almost Shatneresque elan.

Brad's most amusing line in EX III: "Was I raving?"

 
 Posted:   May 4, 2010 - 9:50 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

I always enjoy Brad Dourif in any movie and I was glad to see him join the cast in the LOTR trilogy. He is often typecast to play the 'out there' parts, and perhaps it's also to do with the way he looks. I liked his serial killer character in Star Trek Voyager as well.

On-topic Regarding Changeling, as that one is mentioned as well, at first I found the movie to have too slow a pace and Scott a hard sell for the part, but after revisiting it I've grown more found of it and especially the score which as far as the genre goes is top notch.

 
 
 Posted:   May 4, 2010 - 10:14 AM   
 By:   VietnamVet   (Member)

Neotrinty - Just a warm thank-you, sir - Your show of appreciation for this
Giant of an thespian was well thought out - I think the majority of us "oldsters"
who grew up with Mr. Scott's work will always remember him and his craft!!!

Personally there will never be another General George Patton for me!!

 
 
 Posted:   May 4, 2010 - 10:40 AM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

nice to see this appreciation of George C. Scott, whose work has always meant a lot to me.

Recently i added RAGE (1972) to my collection of Scott DVD's, from the Warner Archives series.

Now if only OKLAHOMA CRUDE, THE LAST RUN and THE SAVAGE IS LOOSE could be rescued from obscurity.

Richard

 
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