Monday, November 30, 2009

Nominees For Best Actor Of 1930-31

The essay naming the best actor of 1930-31 will either go up tomorrow evening, Friday or star date 1312.4, depending on the breaks. In the meantime, here are the contenders in case you've forgotten.

James Cagney (The Public Enemy)


Charles Chaplin (City Lights)


Edward G. Robinson (Little Caesar)

Oh, and be sure to vote on this week's Monkey Movie poll to answer that age-old question, Which of these Katie nominees for best actor of 1930-31 would make the biggest splash if he were in his prime today?

11 comments:

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Re the Monkey Movie Poll, this may be the second time in my life that the candidate i vote for wins! I feel whatchacallit, enfranchised!

mister muleboy said...

Hmmm -- I am again proven to be an idiot -- I can see no meaningful competition for this Katie. For this accolade. For the ensuing encomium.


I'll pick it wrong fer shuuuuuur

thingy said...

I'm sorry, but there really is no competition here. Cagney was one of the best and would do just fine in this day and age. He already proved that.
Did you not say that Chaplin was adverse to change?
E.G. was just too weird looking and sort of two dimensional.

(Should I run? LOL)

Video Pimp said...

Cagney? Are you kidding?

Mythical Monkey said...

Well, in terms who would make the biggest splash today, there's no doubt in my mind it would be Cagney. I think he'd be Scorsese's go-to guy and would be a big star all over again.

Robinson, I think, would fill roughly the same role Morgan Freeman or Gene Hackman does, the ubiquitous supporting character actor.

Chaplin? To me, he never found his niche in the sound era. But, of course, if he were, say, 25 today, he wouldn't be trying to hang on to the past. But I'd say the role that makes him famous now -- the Tramp -- is the hardest to translate into the modern era. He'd have to find a completely different role. Maybe he would. He wanted to shed the Tramp many times but the marketplace wouldn't let him. Maybe in 2009 he'd be free to play a scoundrel, which I think is what he always wanted to play. Maybe he would have been the star of movies like Shattered Glass or Match Point or something. Or maybe he would have played Rowan Atkinson roles or Ricky Gervais roles or Steve Carell roles. Maybe he'd be the new Woody Allen. Whatever he would be, he wouldn't be The Tramp.

Cagney, though, he could play Tom Powers or Rocky Sullivan or Cody Jarrett today pretty much as is and be a star.

Which is not to say Cagney is a lock to win best actor of 1930-31. There are a lot of Cagney roles to choose from -- Angels With Dirty Faces, The Roaring Twenties, Yankee Doodle Dandy and White Heat, for example. Don't necessarily want to jump at the first good role that comes along.

Lupner said...

Excuse me, but -- " . . . Gene Hackman . . . the ubiquitous supporting character actor."

Supporting? Sob! With all due respect, dear Mister Myth Monk -- to you, Mister Freeman and Mister Robinson -- I must say NOOOOOOOOOOOO -- nonononononono -- I do not see Gene as an Edward G. supporting type. I must disagree, with strong disagreement! He certainly CAN fill such a role, but will almost certainly steal every scene out from under whomever he supports. 'Presence' with capital P! IMHO he's more on the Cagney level than the Edward G. Just sayin'.

That said, I vote for Jimmy.

Lupner digs Gene said...

Now that I've stepped down a bit from my Gene H. soap box, I do acknowledge that he certainly has shown up much more as a supporting actor after a certain period of his career. But I just think his talent is so exceptional that I WISH he was more frequently the lead . . . and think his range far exceeds that of Edward G., as excellent as E.G. was. This is perhaps more to the point than my previous outburst . . .

Mythical Monkey said...

I do not see Gene as an Edward G. supporting type.

You know, Gene Hackman's career has had an arc similar to Edward G. Robinson. Was a leading man/star, won an Oscar for The French Connection, then shifted into strong supporting roles twenty years later, winning another Oscar for supporting actor in Unforgiven. And Robinson was a big star in the 1930s then around 1944 with Double Indemnity then in 1948 with Key Largo became a supporting actor for the rest of his career.

Although I will grant you, what I meant was if Edward G. were in his prime now, he would be playing roles similar to what Hackman or Freeman are playing now, as opposed to what they played in their youth. I think.

In any event, all of these actors -- Chaplin, Cagney, Robinson, Hackman, Freeman -- will win Katie Awards provided I live long enough.

Mythical Monkey said...

And Hackman did and does have great range. It sounded a bit like I was knocking Hackman, but I certainly didn't mean to. I think he's on a short list of the best actors of the entire post-war era.

Lupner said...

Thank you, Mister Myth Monk -- I absolutely get your reasoning here. I fear my fondness for GH made me a wee bit blind-sided. In fact, I did not even realize his Oscar in 'Unforgiven' was for a supporting role, though I saw the film . . .

Mythical Monkey said...

My dear dear lupner, no need to apologize. We here at the Monkey encourage wild, unreasoning fondness for our movie heroes.