Monday, November 02, 2015

Good Morning, World

The actor Burt Lancester was born on this day 102 years ago - any fans? I admittedly haven't seen a ton but I will say that the more I see of him the more of a fan I become - movies like The Swimmer (which is seen here) and Visconti's The Leopard spun the idea I had of him previously (kind of the simple outline of a big burly American man) on its head. What do you all consider his best work? Besides those broad shoulders, natch.


Pierce said...

I don't remember him being naked in The Swimmer, but he wore a nice pair of swim trunks through the whole thing. Based on a story by John Cheever. He is spellbinding in Elmer Gantry, but I also love his performances as Starbuck in The Rainmaker and as the businessman in Local Hero. He was a fine, fine actor. RIP, Mr. Lancaster! You deserve it!

Gianni said...

If you haven't already seen them, 'Elmer Gantry' for absolute sure and 'Sweet Smell of Success'. From late in his career, 'Atlantic City' (with Susan Sarandon) is a must and his small role in 'Field of Dreams' (with Kevin Costner) is a delight.

joel65913 said...

Burt had a very intense screen presence which usually worked to his advantage and was always trying to stretch himself as an actor, sometimes overreaching.

He's wonderful in From Here to Eternity, Criss Cross (which contains Yvonne de Carlo's absolutely best performance as well), Judgement at Nuremberg, Sweet Smell of Success, The Birdman of Alcatraz, his Oscar winner Elmer Gantry and really most of his other films but in two celebrated actress vehicles Come Back, Little Sheba and The Rose Tattoo he's at sea more from miscasting than bad work. Oh and he gives the most beautiful performance in Field of Dreams.

He was an acrobat before hitting it big in the flickers and used those skills in several colorful, lighter but still enjoyable pictures such as Trapeze (where he and prime era Tony Curtis spend most of the movie in skin tight leotards), The Crimson Pirate and The Flame and the Arrow. Of course there are those lovely "art studies" photographs he posed for while kicking around in circuses.