August 2019


At the point where I write this, I list 18725 films in my spreadsheet.  Of those, a bit more than half are what I consider to be good (***), very good (***.5) or great (****).  As could probably be expected, the vast majority of acting points that I give out are from those films.  Of the remaining 8000+ films that are mediocre (**.5) or bad (** or below), only 269 of them earn points from me in any acting category.  Of those, only 98 films have a performance that earns a 4, or a performance I consider worthy or an Oscar nomination.

For an actor (no matter the gender) to have more than one performance that good in a film that bad is rare.  For someone to do it more than twice is almost unheard of.  Then there is Meryl Streep. (more…)


A Century of Film


Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer


The Studio

In 1924, Loew’s was one of the most prominent studios in Hollywood.  It had a massive studio chain and with Metro Pictures, a production company that was providing a good share of films to fill them.  But Metro’s films had been slipping and Lee Shubert, whose theater chains were big on stage but less so in Hollywood, happened to be a board member of both Loew’s and Goldwyn Pictures, the studio formed by Samuel Goldwyn but which he had departed in 1922.  Goldwyn wasn’t in great shape and its mascot (Leo the Lion) was better known than most of its stars (the biggest being Will Rogers); a long explanation of Leo’s history as the mascot can be found here.  A merger became imminent but they needed someone better than anyone available at Metro or Goldwyn to run the studio.

Enter Louis B. Mayer who had a strong hand in management and had been making films for his own independent production company.  Loew’s would be the parent company, absorbing both Goldwyn and Mayer’s independent company and the combined new studio, with a large roster of talent and a steady hand at the helm would be christened Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer but would soon be known primarily as MGM. (more…)

“And now all that is over, and that’s the hardest part.  Today everything is very different.  No more action.  I have to wait around like everyone else.  I’m an average nobody.  I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.”  (p 284)

My Top 10

  1. GoodFellas
  2. The Grifters
  3. Dances with Wolves
  4. Presumed Innocent
  5. The Hunt for Red October
  6. Reversal of Fortune
  7. White Hunter Black Heart
  8. Misery
  9. Mr. & Mrs. Bridge
  10. Awakenings

note:  Once you get past the top two, it’s not nearly as strong as 1989 but it would hard to be that good.  There is, however, a large number of films on my list outside of the Top 10 (barely making the list but making it nonetheless) which are all listed down at the bottom.

(more…)


A Century of Film


The 100 Greatest Actors


Introduction

Much as I did with Actress, this is the list that was obviously coming, the list of the 100 Greatest Film Actors of All-Time. (more…)