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Who is the Best Actor of all time?


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Best?.. don't know ... Favorites: James Stewart, good movies, lot of variety, REAL war hero, bomber pilot in WWII in dangerous Ruhr Valley and later General in reserves, married once, great character [ unlike J.Wayne spent NO time in military despite WWII going on, three marriages (none American born) , stayed drunk a lot, would have a bad image problem in today's world of intense media ] ...... Today actors... Tom Hanks.

Edited by SCREAMING EAGLE-66
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For some good Tim Olyphant, there's an obscure tear-jerker with him, Jen Garner, and Kevin Smith. Can't remember the title, something about "Fishing" maybe? He was a bit of a turnaround sleaze in that, but even sleazier in Meet Bill. Awesome Aaron Eckhart movie with tons of stars...sort of his indie "American Beauty". Obviously a knockoff but still a great flick.

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Watching some older stuff this weekend, have to throw in Danny Kaye and Dick van Dyke as well. Well-versed entertainers and actors that transcend generational preferences and time are few and far between.

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Gezzz, all time? Depends on the generation, the genre, etc.

Overall, my wife and I would nominate Henry Fonda. He's played heros, every day guys,comedy,and really bad guys equally well. Spencer Tracey is another candidate. Jimmy Stewart was basically Jimmy Stewart. He did reasonably well as a semi-hero-every-day-guy, and he did well in comedy (Harvey was his best performance), but he never did a bad guy. John Wayne........ his best stuff was "Red River and "The Searchers", but that doesn't make him one of the best.

One of the most versatile actors of all time was Jimmy Cagney. He played good guys, bad guys, comedy, and he could dance with the best of them....and he was fluent in Yiddish.

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The scenes is older films were rather long and actors had to memorizes long passages... now each scene is broken up into a few seconds... explains a big difference in quality. Even conversions jump back and forth now and they did not so much then. Hard to compare across the ages...Editing is a bit deal today..

Edited by SCREAMING EAGLE-66
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Gezzz, all time? Depends on the generation, the genre, etc.

Overall, my wife and I would nominate Henry Fonda. He's played heros, every day guys,comedy,and really bad guys equally well. Spencer Tracey is another candidate. Jimmy Stewart was basically Jimmy Stewart. He did reasonably well as a semi-hero-every-day-guy, and he did well in comedy (Harvey was his best performance), but he never did a bad guy. John Wayne........ his best stuff was "Red River and "The Searchers", but that doesn't make him one of the best.

One of the most versatile actors of all time was Jimmy Cagney. He played good guys, bad guys, comedy, and he could dance with the best of them....and he was fluent in Yiddish.

Jimmy Stewart had very underrated range? He is much different in something like Vertigo (he's a true anti-hero there) than he was in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (the more stereotypical Stewart good guy role). He had a persona where people always assumed he'd be good, but he's fairly amoral in quite a few films.

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The scenes is older films were rather long and actors had to memorizes long passages... now each scene is broken up into a few seconds... explains a big difference in quality. Even conversions jump back and forth now and they did not so much then. Hard to compare across the ages...Editing is a bit deal today..

You know they shoot the scenes in long takes from many different angles right? It's not that they don't ever play the whole scene out in long takes on set....it's just usually edited to get reaction shots and the like.

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Jimmy Stewart had very underrated range? He is much different in something like Vertigo (he's a true anti-hero there) than he was in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (the more stereotypical Stewart good guy role). He had a persona where people always assumed he'd be good, but he's fairly amoral in quite a few films.

Harvey...for the win.

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Harvey...for the win.

I actually think his best perfomance is in It's a Wonderful Life. Yeah, he generally thought of as the nice everyman there, but goes in some dark areas (his explosions at his family, etc)...and that non verbalized anger he has throughout the film. A lot of great eye acting going on, you can feel his frustration so often.

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Gold

Some of the dialogue is a bit dated (mainly the stuff between the Dr. and the Nurse), but you're right, it's gold. One of my favorite quotes-lines....

Elwood Dowd (Jimmy Stewart): Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.

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Hoffman is usually pretty awesome, but yeah, anything with Ed Harris or Kevin Spacey, I'm going to watch it. Didn't like Shrink, though (Spacey). It just seemed kind of redundant.

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I also really like Philip Seymour Hoffman. Nobody plays a pretentious, condescending a-hole like that dude. He's fantastic. In fact, unless I missed it I'm really surprised nobody's brought his name up yet.

-- Franchise

Definitely one of my favorite current actors.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am convinced Gary Oldman can play anything. In fact, I am trying to think of two roles he has done that were all that similar. I am sure there were, but the guy is just amazing. His character in True Romance was great.

Gandolfini was in True Romance as well.

Edited by UNTflyer
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