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Musical Project: Best Supporting Actor 1972: Eddie Albert – The Heartbreak Kid

Musical Project: Best Supporting Actor 1972: Eddie Albert - The Heartbreak Kid

Before I’ve seen The Heartbreak Kid I didn’t like it very much. The topic seemed to be nothing for me, but it surprised me. It’s not anything mind-blowing, but I enjoyed it enough, so that I wasn’t bored while watching it. Anyway, I think it should stay at the theatre, because I don’t see a point in filming it, but it was fine enough.
This review is going to be a bit short (when you read this, you know if it is, or not), because there’s nothing to say about Eddie Albert’s performance in The Heartbreak Kid. He plays the leading character’s (probable) future father-in-law that completely hates him. And that’s all he’s supposed to do. Hate the leading character.
There is not a single bad performance in The Heartbreak Kid. But Albert’s is the weakest. It’s not his guilt, it’s just that he really has the least acting opportunities. He succeeded in portraying the hate and in the scene after dinner, (which is his only normal scene and) which is his best scene and which offered him a bit more to do, he wonderfully used the more.
The chances of winning an Oscar: He was at the bottom. There was Joel Grey, then The Godfather gentlemen and far behind them Albert…
By the way, this is my hundredth post… 🙂

Next Year: Musical Project: Best Supporting Actor 1972

The Nominees:
Al Pacino – The Godfather
Eddie Albert – The Heartbreak Kid
James Caan – The Godfather
Joel Grey – Cabaret
Robert Duvall – The Godfather
What do you think about this lineup? Who will I pick? What will be me ranking? What is your ranking? Write in comments…

Musical Project: Best Leading Actor 1964

5. Rex Harrison – My Fair Lady
Harrison is not bad playing professor Henry Higgins. He succeeded well in portraying him as a cold-minded and bullheaded person. Though he doesn’t sing throughout songs, he handles them very well. I just missed something more from him. Something that would make it just a bit remarkable. The charm, the jazz that Hugh Jackman mirrored into Jean Valjean, for instance…

4. Richard Burton – Becket
A very similar to Harrison. Richard Burton did everything the role of Becket asked him to do. But he let Peter O’Toole overshadow him. He had some very fine moments, indeed, but he didn’t do anything to make his performance a bit remarkable. But the most memorable performance of Becket is O’Toole’s, which is a bit ironic, when Becket is the leading character…

3. Anthony Quinn – Zorba the Greek
I had a hard time choosing the one winner this year and then even harder time ranking the two left performances, but this is the way I did it. Quinn is really great as Zorba. His characterization of this simple, but very wise man is almost perfect. I have just one blame. When he was on the screen with Lila Kedrova, she overshadowed him a bit. It’s not so much his fault, because Kedrova’s performance is outstanding, but yet it’s still true…

2. Peter O’Toole – Becket
In O’Toole’s hands king Henry II. is one of the most memorable kings ever. He overshadowed everything in the film, I even believe he overshadowed the film itself. He had a very juicy role to play and he used it perfectly. He was overacting sometimes, but he never crossed the line of the tolerableness. You can be sure that this performance you’ll remember very very long time…
1. Peter Sellers – Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
From the top three wonderful performances I’ve finally decided to go with Peter Sellers. I have two reasons for that. The first reason is that he really was the biggest surprise for me. I didn’t expect to like him, at all. Somehow I thought this film and this performance will be nothing for me. And yet I enjoyed both of them. The second reason is that among the nominees he really had the most difficult thing to do. Play the three different characters and really play they them differently and even play them greatly. And he succeeded flawlessly…

 

Louis, your prediction was right, so you can choose the year you’d like me to do right after I finish the musical project. I don’t know, if I’ll be able to, but if all of the films will be available to me, then I’ll do it (you can choose any category)…

Musical Project: Best Leading Actor 1964: Rex Harrison – My Fair Lady

I have seen much better musicals in my life, than My Fair Lady is. I can imagine it worked wonderfully in the theatre, but it’s too long for a movie. But it’s very fine, I enjoyed it enough and the performances in it are all very good, so I have nothing to complain about.
Rex Harrison plays professor Higgins who’s decided to make a duchess from a poor young florist. I can’t help myself, but I found Harrison’s portrayal to be very dull. Sometimes I had a hard time concentrating on his performance, because the other actors very disturbing my attention with their more interesting performances. I always felt like he didn’t do anything more, than what he should.
Henry Higgins was supposed to be a self-conscious, cold-minded, bullheaded and selfish man a yet the man we still sympathize with. Harrison succeeded in this quite well. But that’s all he did. There’s nothing more to this performance. His portrayal misses the charm, or the jazz that makes a performance unforgettable.
To the musical part: Except from one scene he doesn’t dance. This scene he handle greatly. I can’t even say he sings, because it’s not truly singing he does. He declaims the songs instead. The strange thing is that I didn’t care about it, at all. It worked perfectly for the film and that’s all I need to know.
What should I say to sum it up? Rex Harrison did exactly what the film wanted him to do. He succeeded in creating a good characterization, he handles his songs well enough, but I missed something more than that. Sometimes his performance came as a bit lackluster.
His best scene is from the second act that he is much better in, than in the first. It would be one of his songs ‘You did it’, or ‘A Hymn to Him’. Right now I’m going with the first one…

Musical Project: Best Leading Actor 1964: Peter O’Toole and Richard Burton – Becket

I’ve decided to do the review of these two gentlemen at the same because: 1) it saves time and 2) it impossible to judge one’s performance, without mentioning the other’s.
Becket is a very fine, but in some moment a bit boring film about a friendship and a fight between the king Henry III. (O’Toole) and his chancellor Samuel Becket (Burton).
Even though Burton should be leading character of the film (and he is, because he is the center of the film’s attention), the real star of it is king Henry. The reason of this fact is called Peter O’Toole. His portrayal of king Henry is something magnificent. He plays every moment with a great passion and though he’s overacting sometimes, it absolutely doesn’t matter and it fits his character perfectly.
On the other hand we have Richard Burton. The film doesn’t allow him to show off his talent. He does everything the film wants him to, but he is getting lost next to O’Toole’s performance. I mean, Henry gives O’Toole a great acting opportunity and he uses it excellently, but Burton has got a very subtle and disinteresting character.
Burton, though, has got some great scenes (especially at the end), but because the character paralyzes him, he cannot do anything that would be somehow remarkable. Therefore it’s very hard for me to judge this performance. Because Burton did a very good job playing this character, it’s just that the script didn’t allow him to do something more with it.
The picture I’ve chosen for this review actually symbolizes how the performances work in the film. O’Toole is acting and Burton just stands in the corner, because he has to.
From O’Toole’s performance I have to choose two best scenes. The first one is when the messenger comes and the second one is when Henry has kind of a heart attack. Burton’s best is probably the court scene.
The chances of winning an Oscar: If Harrison didn’t win, I think Peter O’Toole would get his beloved award. Burton was probably right behind him…

Musical Project: Best Leading Actor 1964: Peter Sellers – Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Dr. Strangelove is a very enjoyable satire with one of the worsts titles ever. It’s very funny sometimes, even though the topic of it is very serious. In some moments it’s extremely crazy and the proof of it is the fact that Peter Sellers played three characters in it.
First of all I have to say Sellers did a wonderful job by separating these characters, so that they are all different from each other. Each character is very unique and maybe if I didn’t know it before watching the film, I wouldn’t even notice that these three characters are played by the same actor (which is also thanks to the great makeup).
The first character is Captain Mandrake. At the beginning of the film I didn’t like this portrayal of Seller’s. He chose a very subtle way of performing, which made it a bit forgettable. But from the scene in Ripper’s office he started to go on with a great passion. The best scene of this performance would probably be the scene, in which the shooting starts.
The second character is the President Muffley. This is probably the most subtle, yet still very powerful performance. In the first scene Sellers just rarely uses the mimicry and it works perfectly well. I would really have a hard time choosing the best scene of it, because it is equally good in all of the moments, but his fight with George C. Scott’s character is really memorable, so I perhaps have to go with that.
The third performance is finally Dr. Strangelove. This character (though it’s in the title) appears after fifty minutes of the film. He can be seen before, actually, but he just sits in the corner and has nothing to do. Though it definitely is the shortest performance (it only appears in about three scenes), I consider it the best. Sellers is perfect using the accent, mimicry, moves, gestures. He is really theatrical, but all of the performances here are. It’s even needed for them to be. Dr. Strangelove is funny and extremely enjoyable and I completely understand that it was this character that got into the title.
At the end I must complain about ignoring a magnificent performance of George C. Scott by the Academy. He was really flawless…
The chances of winning an Oscar: I don’t think they were big. This is not a type of roles Oscars are given to. They were very probably lower than Quinn’s…

Musical Project: Best Leading Actor 1964: Anthony Quinn – Zorba the Greek

Zorba the Greek is a very good, yet too long film, about two gentlemen spending some time in Crete. The younger, Basil, is very well played by Alan Bates and the older, Zorba, is greatly portrayed by Anthony Quinn.
I didn’t know what should I expect from Quinn’s performance. On the first hand I’ve heard thousands of glories about his performance, on the other hand from the clips I’ve seen from Zorba the Greek I didn’t find him to be something special. But this is a proof of the fact that if you haven’t seen the whole film, you can’t judge the performance from it.
Zorba is a very likable character. He is a nice old man, that is also very simple. He isn’t studied, although he is extremely wise. Some of the lines he says are so true and powerful, that I’ll think of them a long long time after watching the film. Quinn had to handle these sentences the way they wouldn’t seem too fatally, so they would be overacted and embarrassing. And he completely succeeded. He delivers them very non-violently and softly, just as a real person would.
As I said, Quinn is really great in this role. It’s always very enjoyable to watch an actor that knows what he is doing and wonderfully portrays his character. He is the reason of the fact that many people forget how good Alan Bates was in this film. He really gave a very decent performance, but he gets overshadowed by Anthony Quinn. But everybody in this film is overshadowed by him. Except from one person.
Quinn gave a great performance, there’s no doubt about it. But yet I still found his performance to be a bit of inconstancy. Though he did everything as he should, I always found it to be so. When I kept thinking about it, I finally understood it. The reason is Lila Kedrova. She was so flawless and overwhelming in her performance, that she overshadows even Quinn. Though their scenes together are wonderfully played by both of the actors, Kedrova is such a scene stealer, that I almost forgot Quinn is there.
If I am to choose the best scene of Anthony Quinn’s performance I don’t have to think about it too much. The best would certainly be the one he talks about the war he lived in. That’s really his most powerful moment.
The chances of winning an Oscar: If the winner wasn’t Harrison, I think it would be O’Toole. Quinn had two Oscars at the time and this fact pushed him in the corner, in my opinion…