'TAKE YOU TO THE MOVIES'
My blog buddyette BIRGIT recently posted a series naming her Top 10 Favorite Male And Female Movie And TV Characters:
I promised her I'd get around to doing the same... eventually.
Well, below is my list of favorite Male characters. My list of favorite Female characters (which will be slightly shorter, because women are usually shorter than men) will come later.
As I told Birgit, who doesn't care for Meryl Streep: "Hokey-Smoke! Lots to think about, and it's real tough when Movies AND TV shows are combined. Not to worry about Meryl Streep though. She won't be gettin' nuttin' from me - I find her on the boring side."
My list is NOT in any particular order at all. It was just randomly thrown up here, like it's some kind of an Ed Wood production.
BILL FOSTER (Michael Douglas)
'Falling Down' - 1993
A mild-mannered defense worker loses his job and loses his patience with the way society has fallen and how the city has become overrun by criminals and other assholes. On a sweltering day in a traffic jam, he loses his cool, abandons his car and starts walking through the city. The city won't forget that walk anytime soon. Before he goes out on that long pier (which isn't really in Venice Beach, by the way), he will be "rolling back prices to 1965", and he will "give you something to fix". Ha!
Did you ever wonder where my self-created nickname D-FensDogG came from? Well, now you know.
ROOSTER COGBURN (John Wayne)
'True Grit' - 1969
It's "The Duke" as a hard-riding, hard-drinking marshal with "grit". The freeze-frame ending is as American as apple pie and mother. 100 points if you know the name of Rooster Cogburn's cat. (Only 50 points for me, as I could only remember his rank.)
GEORGE BERGER (Treat Williams)
'Hair' - 1979
Very rarely does an actor just light up the screen with "presence"... Treat Williams in 'HAIR' is amongst them.
When I first saw this movie in the theatre, I labeled Williams a can’t-miss soon-to-be-superstar. Though his work in 'Prince Of The City' was highly acclaimed, somehow Williams whiffed. I thought Kenneth Branagh’s performance in 'Dead Again' was going to propel him to megastar status, too. (Remind me of these misjudgments the next time I tell you that I’m never wrong.) It’s the ultra-cool confidence and dynamic presence Williams exudes that carries this movie and keeps it moving. He is the follicle of 'HAIR'. (I’m sorry! I really can’t help myself.)
Although Forman ultimately comes down on the side of the Hippie Movement, he takes jabs at, and also embraces, different aspects of the two social armies engaged in a cultural war that took place at home concurrent with an American “police action” on another continent. And Berger, despite his narcissism and hedonism (the real foundation of the counterculture) which often antagonizes the “authorities” and widens the Generation Gap, is also the peacemaker who can empathize with others and effect a reconciliation. He’s a complex, interesting character and worthy of deep analysis.
R. P. McMURPHY (Jack Nicholson)
'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' - 1975
Although I could write an entire thesis on the R.P. McMurphy character, I thought about choosing 'Cuckoo's Nest's' nutjob Charlie Cheswick, just because he makes me laugh so much.
This is one of my Top 5 favorite movies ever made, and perhaps the one I quote from most frequently.
My move to Reno, Nevada, had me a bit nervous while driving a 20' U-Haul trailer towing my truck behind it. When I stopped for gas in Kingman, I let my Brother, Nappy, know that I was OK. It was the most humorous text I've ever sent, but if you don't know the 'Cuckoo's Nest' movie really well, you probably won't catch the reference in it. (Brother Nappy caught it.)
@ Kingman, Airheadzona. Don't forget Winona. [I'm] OK so far but [I'm] still humming POPEYE THE SAILOR MAN. Ha!-Ha! ~STMcC
MONTE WALSH (Lee Marvin)
'Monte Walsh' - 1970
'MONTE WALSH' is haunting and lyrical; a slow, dark, and melancholy poem on celluloid. It's Henry David Thoreau in a Stetson and down on his luck.
This is a very special movie that addresses the loneliness of those who feel distanced from their surroundings; caught up in forces that strip them of relevance in their times. This is NOT an action-packed, rip-roaring, shoot-em-up, and it will disappoint anyone who comes looking for exaggerated Hollywood gun duels. 'MONTE WALSH' is a character study that takes a hard, and realistic look at Western men and women who cling to each other for support during the halcyon "hour" of soft, golden light and elongated shadows.
I am Henry David Thoreau in a Stetson and down on my luck. Monte Walsh is me.
ARCHIE BUNKER (Carroll O'Connor)
'All In The Family' - 1971-1979
"Archie Bunker For President!"
The greatest character in television history, played flawlessly by a real-life political liberal. Now THAT'S "acting"!
"Meatheads" to the left of him, "Dingbats" to the right - there he was, stuck in the middle with them.
Archie: "What about John Wayne?! ... Before you say anything, let me warn you. When you're talkin' about the Duke, you ain't just talkin' about an actor. You're talkin' about the spirit that made America great. ... The Duke's special was all about America, and I mean the real America." ...
Meathead: "It was all about John Wayne."
Archie: "Well, John Wayne is what's good with America!"
FLOYD LAWSON (Howard McNear)
'The Andy Griffith Show' - 1960-1968
'ODE TO A BARBER'
Somewhere in the heart of Dixie, yonder in the South
There's a small place called Mount Airy
But as living mythology embraced in my mind
It goes by the name Mayberry
Her favorite citizens enter into my house
Slipping in by way of TV
And in just thirty short minutes they lighten my life
And they teach my heart how to see
There's the round Mayor Pike and the round drunken Otis
Sheriff Taylor and Barney Fife
Who at five feet seven, a hundred, thirty-eight pounds
Is built like a thin-bladed knife
Of course there's Goober, Gomer and the sweet Thelma Lou
and the ever-cooking Aunt Bee
There's Helen and Howard and don't forget Opie and
With the first whistled notes, there's me!
Only a few doors down Main Street from Andy's courthouse
You'll come to a famous "clip joint"
This small shop is the business of barber Floyd Lawson
And this brings me now to the point
Floyd is a fair barber and a right nervous fellow
In his shop the men come to sit
They get hair cuts, play checkers, and tell their Fish Tales
Or just "loaf" as Opie calls it
In this tape's Episode One, Floyd's dream is realized
A shop with "two chairs - no waiting"
But unbeknownst to him the new man is a bookie
When Barney goes undercover as an old lady
He breaks up the gambling ring
And Floyd Lawson with his dream handcuffed and arrested
Goes back to one-chair barbering
In Episode Two, while writing to a rich widow
Floyd is really stretching the truth
Claiming to be a man of business enterprises
and also a little more youth
But being a "prince of a fellow", Andy steps in
And he helps Floyd to save the day
But only to find that with his very next letter
Floyd has once again gone astray
In searching old files Deputy Fife discovers
The case of a punch in the nose
And reopening old wounds between Floyd and Foley
Soon the town is coming to blows
The Sheriff is able to repair the strained friendship
And a Mayberry riot avoid
And in the final scene we see One-bullet Barney
Fork over a nickel to Floyd
Here's my favorite sit-com and it always has been
Ain't an episode I don't know
I'd say two of the three episodes presented here
Represent the best of the show
I would place 'The Deceiver' and a 'Punch In The Nose'
Right firmly in my own Top Ten
I own Hair-Raising Adventures on videotape
And watch it again and again!
This collection is worth every Star that I gave it
It's better than gold or a dog
I'd rather have it than seventeen supermodels
or a lifetime supply of grog
Don't you call me a liar and dispute what I say
Or although I'm just Stephen T.
I'll pick up a rock and heave it right through your window
Just as though I were Ernest T.
NICK CHARLES (William Powell)
'The Thin Man' series - 1934-1947
Nick and Nora Charles (with their dog Asta) were private detectives. Nick always got his
Nick may have loved his liquor as much as he loved his wife, but don't make the mistake of thinking he was ever too intoxicated to deduce the identity of the criminal. No one could out-drink or out-think Nick Charles! Like Columbo - who should have made my list (and George Bailey should have, too) - there was a razor-sharp mind behind that unimpressive exterior.
Learn more about Nick, Nora and their dog, Asta, by clicking HERE.
TERRY "The Toad" FIELDS (Charles Martin Smith)
'American Graffiti' - 1973
When I was a kid, of course I liked Milner the best, because he was cool, tough, and had "the fastest wheels in the valley". But when I got older and tough-guy personas didn't impress me as much, I switched my loyalty to Terry the Toad, because that character really makes me laugh.
I got to meet Charles Martin Smith in 1980 on the set of the Disney movie 'Herbie Goes Bananas'. He was really nice and patiently answered all my questions about the movie... 'More American Graffiti'.
DAVID ADDISON (Bruce Willis)
'Moonlighting' - 1985-1989
This show turned Bruce Willis into a major star. He played wise-cracking private detective David Addison. One of the all-time greatest and most entertaining TV characters. I wanna be a "David Addison" too, when I
'East Of Eden' - 1955
Young, intense, emotionally tortured and feeling unloved, Cal Trask was played by the most naturally gifted and imaginative actor of all time, James Dean. When I was a teenager, I expressed a desire to act, and that's when my Ma told me about James Dean. The first time I saw him on the silver screen in 'East Of Eden' my desire to become a professional actor shifted into overdrive. This is the first performance that ever blew me away. It's still #1 on my list.
In MY opinion, the following is NOT the "best scene" in the movie, but it's definitely a damned good one! (And most of you gals'll go wild)...
PIKE BISHOP (William Holden)
'The Wild Bunch' - 1969
"If they move, kill 'em!"
He liked whores and robbing railroads, but not in that order. He left his partner-in-crime when the Law moved in. Saying that he shared "very few sentiments with" his "government", he stole guns from the U.S. Army and gave them to Mexican bandits led by Germans preparing for World War I.
So, why is he on this list? See the greatest Western movie ever made and find out!
When money, women, and tequila couldn't ease Pike Bishop's conscience, he armed himself to the teeth and went back to save his half-dead "Angel". ("Pike Bishop" was my first online pseudonym. I 'spose THAT says sumpin'.)
DOC HOLLIDAY (Val Kilmer)
'Tombstone' - 1993
In my opinion, only 2 other young actors have ever exploded on the silver screen with as much stunning charisma as Val Kilmer did in 'Tombstone'. That would be James Dean first (Cal Trask), and Treat Williams (George Berger). Not surprisingly, all 3 of these young performers made my list.
Everybody's seen 'Tombstone', so I don't need to say much about this one. Y'all know the lines by heart: "I'll be your huckleberry", "Nonsense. I've not yet begun to defile myself", "But then again... you may be the anti-Christ", "Maybe poker's just not your game, Ike. I know... let's have a spelling contest", "You're no daisy! You're no daisy at all!" The dialogue was memorable, the delivery was perfect. I still use those lines frequently.
Surprised to find so many cowboys on this list?
You shouldn't be, because...
'MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN COWBOYS'
~ Stephen T. McCarthy
And now, a special message to YOU from my friend Kevin (and me)...
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 25 FAVORITE MOVIES EVER MADE?
I was hoping that YOU would participate in a fun survey a friend and I have done a couple of times in the past (1994 and 2004) with people all over the USA. The survey is NOT going to be published or distributed to the general public, but if you want a final copy we can send you one when it is finished in late 2015 or early 2016.
It is really fun to participate in, read the final results and see what films were popular in the final tally. I would also encourage you to get as many friends and family to join in as possible. The more, the merrier!!
Top 25 lists should be in TWO PARTS: The Top Ten, and The Next Fifteen. You don't need to order them as #1, #2, #3, etc. You can alphabetize them if you want (that's helpful), or you can just list them in any random order, so long as we can tell the Top Ten from The Next Fifteen (because 'Top 10' movies will receive 3 points, while 'The Next Fifteen' movies - in your Top 25 list - will receive 2 points).
And, according to our old rules, a person can list singly a movie from a series, or they can take the ENTIRE SERIES and list it in one spot. But they CAN'T pick and choose installments and then try to lump them all into one slot. Examples:
But THIS is NOT acceptable: