Back in January, I posted a list of my favorite performances by an actress in the 1960s, and a couple of weeks ago, Mary Field challenged me to come up with a similar list of actors. Ms. Field has posted her own list of the top ten greatest acting performances here. Nothing so ambitious for me — I can barely narrow down the top ten performances of any given year — but here is a short chronological list of my personal faves from between 1960 and 1969.
"Mrs. MacDougall, I think it is only fair to warn you that you are now alone with a notorious sexpot."
"You know what the first thing is I'm going to do? I'm going to lead the workers down there in revolt!
"Put your pants on, Spartacus!"
"You don't realize how completely he dominated me ever since I was a little boy. Just once I spoke back to him. He cut a switch from a tree and gave me such a whipping, in front of this girl. It was a shattering experience."
"Pete, all kids get whippings."
"But I was twenty five! The girl was my fiancée!"
"Oh, my dear little librarian. You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays."
"Are all American officers so ill-mannered?"
"Yeah, about 99 percent."
"Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks."
"Oh, yeah. The lads frequently sit around the telly and watch her for a giggle. One time, we actually sat down and wrote these letters saying how gear she was and all that rubbish."
"She's a trendsetter. It's her profession."
"She's a drag. A well known drag. We turn the sound down on her and say rude things."
"I thought you were dead."
"Oh, no, Mr. West! I'm afraid I shall never die. Death is too ordinary. The humiliation would kill me."
"How about cats? If you're afraid of cats, you have ailurophasia."
"Well, sort of, but I'm not sure."
"What do you do this kind of crummy work for, anyway?"
"What, are you trying to be funny? I do it because I believe in the United Nations and Southeast Asia, and — you think it's funny if your life depends on what goes through the Panama Canal? What about the English pound? I'll tell you something — as long as there's a Siberia, you'll find Lew Harper on the job."
"Are you putting me on?"
"Jeez, I don't think so. "
"I owe you an apology, colonel. I always thought that you were a cold, unimaginative, tight-lipped officer. But you're really quite emotional, aren't you?"
"Oh my God!"
"You mean 'oops,' don't you? Just say 'oops' and get out! "
"I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a... fraid."