September 2, 2006

THE LAST PROFESSIONAL:

Glenn Ford: the anti-movie-star (Bob Thomas, 9/02/06, The Associated Press)

He never won an Academy Award — was never nominated. He never earned the big bucks that stars of his stature enjoyed. Yet for 52 years Glenn Ford remained an in-demand actor whose name above the title could attract movie-ticket buyers.

Ford might be called the anti-star. He didn't hang out with the gang in Hollywood watering holes. He never quarreled with directors or studio bosses. His name was never sullied by scandal. He did his acting job and went on to the next one. [...]

"I've always been of the opinion that motion pictures talk too much," he remarked in 1975. "When I see films that go on and on with dialogue, I feel like telling the actors, 'Be quiet! Let the audience do some of the work.' ...

"Some actors count their lines as soon as they receive a script. I'm the opposite. I try to see how many lines I can whittle down. ... You can say just as much in four as you can in 14." [...]

In the era after WWII, stars like Kirk Douglas and John Wayne formed their own production companies. Ford tried it once, with Frank Capra's "Pocketful of Miracles."

That was Ford's last venture as producer. He reasoned, "Hell, no actor is going to tell Frank Capra how to make a picture. He had forgotten more about movie making than most directors know."

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 2, 2006 9:57 AM
Comments

I had no idea he was still with us. What a great career.

Here's his IMDB profile: http://imdb.com/name/nm0001229/

Among the "trivia" I noted that he served both in WWII -- behind enemy lines in France -- and Vietnam when called up as a reserve officer. I hope to learn more details from other obits.

Posted by: JAB at September 2, 2006 11:22 AM

Born in Quebec City, Quebec - when English-speaking Canucks could still be found there.

Posted by: obc at September 2, 2006 1:40 PM

That's odd, because I remember Frank Capra in his autobiography complaining about Glenn Ford being a bit of an interfering Hollywood prima donna, and that "Pocketful of Miracles" was his last film at least in part because of the trouble he had with Ford.

Posted by: PapayaSF at September 2, 2006 2:36 PM

How unusual, I purchased "Advance to the Rear" Tuesday evening.

Haven't seen it in a couple of decades.

Posted by: Sandy P at September 3, 2006 2:43 AM
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