by MARVIN KUJAWSKI ~ Posted May 24th, 2017
I met my friend Marvin many years ago at his job at the Fountain Pen Hospital where a giant photo of Dietrich holding a fancy Mont Blanc brought us together musing over classic films. After much begging, pleading, teeth~gnashing, bribing…Marvin, on his own volition, wrote up this post on his five favorite movie stars. So here it is. It’s a job well~done. Enjoy!
…And thank you Marvin.
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Where do I begin?
1 ) GARY COOPER
6’3”. As handsome as they come and then some. Confident, heroic but vulnerable because he cares. His nuance is both subtle and palpable. I love what he does with his hands, his eyes and his body; small and significant movements that communicate much. He is equally at home with comedy as with drama and action although his athleticism is limited and rather stiff. That captivating, charming smile, the twinkle in his eye and a voice like none other, velvety smooth and penetrating. You cannot help but listen and hear every word and he as well hears and listens to every word; the mark of a great actor he remains my favorite.
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2 ) CLAIRE TREVOR
Beautiful, sultry and seductive with incredible screen presence and intensity (“Murder My Sweet”). She steals every scene (…and the movie) that she’s in regardless of who’s on screen with her. Just watch and listen to her in the one scene with Bogart in “Dead End.” Priceless! When she’s absorbed in her own thoughts you can see and feel her thinking and you’re totally absorbed and involved with her as in “Born To Kill.” Her voice, absorbing and permeating draws me into the movie with her and when she smiles, I melt. She can play it all; wife, mother, girl friend, companion and femme fatale. She can even sing, badly bearing her soul and breaking your heart as she does in “Key Largo.” In my book she’s the best!
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3 ) ERROL FLYNN
Swashbuckler and action actor supreme, he’s exciting and powerful and also excels in light comedy. Exceptionally charming and dashing and absolutely beautiful, no other actor looked better in costume. All his movements are natural and he possesses unsurpassed poise on film. He is both super hero and human in every role; unbeatable yet vulnerable, and believable at the same time. His laugh and smile are infectious and he steals your heart away. I write of him here as if he were still alive and in a sense he is still with us. In one word, he is and remains magnificent.
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4 ) JOAN CRAWFORD
She enjoyed a long career being a major star and actress in both silent and talking films. Exceptionally versatile excelling in comedy both light and musical, and in drama as well. Remarkably beautiful and sexy (those eyes and that smile) she won and continues to win the hearts and minds of generations of movie goers. She played powerful women who were determined, possessing great resolve and humanity. One of the greats!
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5 ) ROBERT RYAN
The actor’s actor. He couldn’t sing or dance but he could be lighthearted and funny, tough as nails and powerfully intense and always human as seen in both “Crossfire” and “On Dangerous Ground.” He was a man’s man with a gentle hand and heart as well. He was a college Boxing champion. Just watch him mix it up in “The Set-Up.” He was long and lean and filled the screen at 6’4” with a presence as powerful as any as seen in “The Tall Men”, “The Racket”, “Men In War” and “Hour Of The Gun.” He was not concerned with being the star, and preferred roles and films that held meaning and sent a powerful and worthwhile message. I never fail to appreciate and enjoy his performances time and time again.
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