“I don’t think “comedy” or “serious”. I always brought seriousness to comedy and comedic things to serious roles.” … Cloris Leachman At the beginning of this year (January 27, 2021) we lost an extraordinary actress. Cloris Leachman was an American actress and comedienne who spent seven decades making indelible impressions with every role, no matter how small. Depending upon your age/generation, you may have been … Continue reading Cloris Leachman: What a Character!
It all began with Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and an interstitial series of dedications the network has aired honoring character actors. You have no doubt seen them, video tributes to Edna May Oliver, Beulah Bondi, William Demarest, Butterfly McQueen, and many other supporting players whose work stands the test of time. With these tributes WHAT A CHARACTER! was born and, unable to resist those actors, Paula, Aurora and I decided to … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS! The 10th anniversary of WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon is here!
A shy little man, with a twinkle in his eye that left a big impression on screen. If there was a classic Hollywood version of a leprechaun, Barry Fitzgerald was it. As campy and stereotypical as that depiction sounds, Fitzgerald was indeed funny, but there’s no doubt this was a supremely skilled dramatic actor. Small in stature perhaps, but his performances in minor roles left … Continue reading Barry Fitzgerald
The anticipation is over! Today we bring you the first day of the 9th annual What A Character Blogathon, hosted by yours truly (@IrishJayhawk66) and my fellow co-hosts, the classic film loving ladies: Paula of Paula’s Cinema Club @Paula_Guthat and Aurora of Once Upon A Screen @CitizenScreen. As announced, this annual event celebrates the supporting actors. Quirky and silly roles abound. Oft from the service industry, like a frustrated … Continue reading Welcome to the 9th Annual WHAT A CHARACTER BLOGATHON!
Borrowing a catch-phrase from our favorite home of the classics, Turner Classic Movies, Kellee of Outspoken & Freckled / @IrishJayHawk66), Paula of Paula’s Cinema Club / @Paula_Guthat) and Aurora, of Once Upon a Screen / @CitizenScreen) dedicate a blogathon to character actors for the ninth consecutive year. To the faces, the laughs, the drama presented by these wonderful actors whose names all too often go unrecognized we dedicate WHAT A CHARACTER! 2020. The hosts extend … Continue reading Announcement: 9th annual WHAT A CHARACTER! BLOGATHON
WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION: Billy Wilder Film Study Billy Wilder was known for his reverence for the structure of a screenplay, and subsequently, it influenced his films. In particular, he preferred that all screenplays and films be constructed in a three chapter format like a good play. Agatha Christie’s WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION was an international success on stage, and being tossed around as a … Continue reading WITNESS for the PROSECUTION (1957)
Brit funny man Ricky Gervais is known for his brutal humor, as the controversial host of the Golden Globes, as the creator/writer/star of the original (2001 British version) “The Office,” and for his outspoken stances on atheism and animal rights. On his comedy styling, he never holds back and everyone is equally vulnerable to his verbal barbs. For a man who has very firm … Continue reading Celebrating Life, Death, and Ricky Gervais in GHOST TOWN (2008)
IN A LONELY PLACE (1950) This is one of many postwar films where Hollywood takes an introspective, and in the case of the film noirs like this, a darker view of itself. Not unlike private dicks such as Sam Spade, here it’s a Hollywood screenwriter who is showcased as the loner, cynical figure. Going deeper, darker, and more complex than Joe Gillis in Billy Wilder’s … Continue reading Nicholas Ray’s In A Lonely Place
SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959): Film Study *(the following is based on a prior article on this film but with substantial research and content added for the purpose of a Billy Wilder Film Study course taught by Kellee Pratt in the Fall of 2019.) “I think that Billy as at the height of his powers. I think it’s the best thing he’s ever done, comedy … Continue reading Billy Wilder Film Study: SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)
Film Study: ACE IN THE HOLE (1951) (The following are my notes from my Billy Wilder Film Study class, from the Fall of 2019. It goes deep into details and background. I don’t recommend reading any further if you haven’t already screened this film prior- expect spoilers. Enjoy!) Welcome to the dark, morally corrupt media circus. Billy Wilder’s film noir under a blazing … Continue reading ACE IN THE HOLE (1951)