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Old September 16 2012, 05:45 PM   #31
JarodRussell
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Re: The Top 40 Male Film Lead Actors of all Time

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
What's a little confusing is that the original post seems to conflate several different things: movie star, leading man, screen icon, great actor, and action hero. And while there may be a select few individuals who are all of the above, those are overlapping categories, not one thing.
It's complex and complicated, isn't it? In contrast to a Top 40 Female Film Lead Actresses of All Time ranking, because there we have only one category: Bra cup size.
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Old September 16 2012, 07:49 PM   #32
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Re: The Top 40 Male Film Lead Actors of all Time

foxhot wrote: View Post
STJ wrote:

''Douglas Fairbanks
Lon Chaney
Rudolph Valentino
Alec Guiness
William Powell
Edward G. Robinson
Gregory Peck
Burt Lancaster
Charles Laughton
Kenneth Branagh


I don't think anyone's thought of these candidates!''

You are right and wrong.....in my case, anyway. Between one and nine of them DID make it. But who......who?
Sorry to have overlooked it.
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Old September 16 2012, 08:58 PM   #33
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Re: The Top 40 Male Film Lead Actors of all Time

I'm getting a bit sick and tired of folks who are dismissive of Jack Black's acting talent. The current buzz in the industry is that he's a shoo-in for a "Best Actor" Oscar nomination for his performance in "Bernie", in which he shows some pretty incredible range.

In the past he's won the Chicago Film Critics Award for best supporting actor for his roll in "High Fidelity" and both the Golden Globe and the New York Film Critic's Circle Awards for best actor for his performance in "School of Rock".

You may dislike most of the characters he plays, but that's probably because he plays a lot of characters that you dislike, and plays them so incredibly well that you can't distinguish the difference between him and the roles he plays.
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Old September 16 2012, 09:06 PM   #34
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Re: The Top 40 Male Film Lead Actors of all Time

I like Jack. If you don't enjoy School of Rock or his performance in High Fidelity, you might want to check if your sense of humour has been clinically removed.
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Old September 16 2012, 11:13 PM   #35
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Re: The Top 40 Male Film Lead Actors of all Time

It'd be unfair to be dismissive of Jack Black's acting talent if we could truly see the talent.....as a leading man. Starting out, as supporting character actor, he didn't usually live long enough to get bad early (see THE JACKAL and MARS ATTACKS for examples). As a lead, I find him steadily unappealing, obnoxious and/or snooze-inducing. (see BE KIND REWIND, KING KONG 2005, or TROPIC THUNDER for key examples). While it can be true bad directors can exacerbate or encorage bad performances from normally-good actors, the three good directors from the films I just mentioned---especially Ben Stiller----managed to get good performances from everyone in those films EXCEPT Jack Black. Raise your hands if anyone feels he came close to matching Stiller, Downey Jr.,Cruise or any other of the TROPIC actors. Not having seen either HIGH FIDELITY, BERNIE or SCHOOL OF ROCK, which got generally good reviews, I'll take your word Black's decent in them, but it may be three more cases of good direction bettering his acting. Thumbs up the three if they achieved this miracle.

Stj: you didn't overlook it, since I've barely revealed it yet.

JarodRussell: well, that's just harsh and totally unwarranted. Okay, PARTIALLY unwarranted. I don't want to think about Bette Davis's.....never mind. Raquel Welch....better.

BennyRussel: thanks for your 40, but do have one all-time winner out of that group? Or a top five or ten?

More incoming finalists below in bold:

40. Arnold Schwarzenegger
39. Spencer Tracy
38. Steve McQueen
37. Gary Cooper
36. Daniel Craig
35. Errol Flynn

Some on this list have less longevity than others, but they make up for it in badassery.
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Old September 17 2012, 12:38 AM   #36
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Re: The Top 40 Male Film Lead Actors of all Time

lurok wrote: View Post
McQueen was cool but really pretty limited as an actor.
Really? And then you go on to include in your list of 40 best:

Eastwood
Mitchum
Stewart (underrated)
Grant (effortless)

All the aforementioned actors are as "limited" as any actors who have come down the pike. However, being "limited" can be quite meaningless in the face of unrelenting charisma, charm, badassery (McQeen, Mitchum, and Eastwood in particular), and star power. In nearly every role these guys played, you always knew it was them but hardly anyone cared because of what they all brought to their roles.

Although the o/p listed character actor as one of the criteria, that is the one acting trait I would have eliminated in choosing the top 40 actors. Most of the actors listed in this thread aren't character actors.

Most of the best character actors in Hollywood history -- actors who can cover themselves in a character to the point you don't even see the real actor or actors who specialize in a particular type of character -- usually aren't all that well known by their names. Guys like Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando, James Dean, character actors who become movie stars, are rare indeed.
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Old September 17 2012, 02:06 AM   #37
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Re: The Top 40 Male Film Lead Actors of all Time

foxhot wrote: View Post
...

BennyRussel: thanks for your 40, but do have one all-time winner out of that group? Or a top five or ten?
....
Not really but here are my standouts:

Al Pacino
Bill Murray
Eddie Murphy
Glenn Ford
Humphrey Bogart
Jackie Chan
Sidney Poitier
Steve McQueen
Sylvester Stallone

Also, a few biggies that missed my list:
Tom Cruise (not as big a fan as I used to be)
Samuel L. Jackson (one too many dogs on his list)
Gene Hackman (just ran out of room on my list)
Robert Duvall (like him better as a supporting actor)
Morgan Freeman (like him better as a supporting actor)
Steve Martin (not enough standout movies)
James Dean (lack of longevity)
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Old September 17 2012, 02:20 AM   #38
foxhot
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Re: The Top 40 Male Film Lead Actors of all Time

Longevity was to James Dean what quality is to Jack Black.

''Guys like Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando, James Dean, character actors who become movie stars, are rare indeed.''-----gblews

Those who do both in alternation----the chameleon stars----need representation on the list, though not all of the notable ones will necessary reach the 40. When done, several popular males will be noticeably absent.

Daniel Craig is obviously the up-and-comer of the bottom six names. He's come far from TOMB RAIDER, at any rate.
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Old September 17 2012, 02:22 AM   #39
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Re: The Top 40 Male Film Lead Actors of all Time

lurok wrote: View Post
McQueen was cool but really pretty limited as an actor.
I will admit he could "coast" on a rather mannered set of acting chops, but when he was feeling it he was terrific. The scene of him breaking down in The Sand Pebbles is a pretty unforgettable, and his back is to the camera!

My top ten in rough order except for number one:

Henry Fonda
Richard Widmark
Spencer Tracy
James Garner
Robert Duvall
Charles Laughton
John Wayne
Anthony Hopkins
Paul Newman
#1: William Holden

Justin
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Old September 17 2012, 03:53 AM   #40
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Re: The Top 40 Male Film Lead Actors of all Time

''Guys like Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando, James Dean, character actors who become movie stars, are rare indeed.''-----gblews

I don't get why Johnny Depp is called a character actor, or why anyone would think he was acting at all. He's just being himself.
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Old September 17 2012, 04:21 AM   #41
1001001
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Re: The Top 40 Male Film Lead Actors of all Time

Harrison Ford

He was Jack Ryan, Indiana Jones, and Han Solo, for Jim's sake!

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Old September 17 2012, 10:27 AM   #42
foxhot
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Re: The Top 40 Male Film Lead Actors of all Time

''The scene of him breaking down in The Sand Pebbles is a pretty unforgettable, and his back is to the camera!''---JTB

And that role did get him his Oscar nomination. But the cynic in me says we'd be seeing his face if he had true breaking-down range. Ah, well. I tend to get suspicious when things are unseen or ''heard.'' It's the Ally Sheedy MADE TO ORDER principle: when you're not convincingly crying, the audience can tell by the sound. I blame bad direction in that case.
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Old September 17 2012, 10:44 AM   #43
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Re: The Top 40 Male Film Lead Actors of all Time

^ But as Clint Eastwood said in "Inside Actors Studio" about why he turned away from the camera in "The Bridges of Madison County", which everyone said would've been Oscar bait. Paraphrasing him, any actor can cry their eyes out and sob on camera. You just tell them to think of their family dog that died when they were six and they turn into a tear fountain. The skill is in knowing when not to cry, or when to hide it to shift the focus to someone else to add power to the scene.

The thing about sobbing is that it doesn't convey anything about the scene. It's so emotionally overwhelming that the only context it has is the context we can infer from knowledge of the situation that caused it. In that regard it's like uncontrollable vomiting. Give any actor a good whiff of the right odor and they'll bend over and vomit uncontrollably. You could replace them with anyone off the street and the vomiting would be the same. The acts feel emotionally powerful but the information content is scant except for saying "What just happened felt really emotionally powerful, and I'm puking now."

ETA: I guess I'm saying that a sobbing scene is a very poor way to judge an actor, because we can all do those with equal power and sincerity. Kind of like pooping a monster turd.
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Old September 17 2012, 10:56 AM   #44
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Re: The Top 40 Male Film Lead Actors of all Time

Captaindemotion wrote: View Post
I like Jack. If you don't enjoy School of Rock or his performance in High Fidelity, you might want to check if your sense of humour has been clinically removed.
When he's good he's very very good, and those are the two best examples. But when he's bad...

I thought he was terrible in King Kong (but then most people in King Kong were) amongst other things.

Not sure whether this counts or not (but if we can discuss Black why not) but I'd say Ralph Finnes. By all accounts a bit of a dick, but a fucking fantastic actor, and in this world where actors effectively play themsevles irrespective of the film, he stands out, for me at least.

Just try watching a double bill of the Constant Gardner and In Bruges. From timd, noble beaten down civil servant to foul mouthed vicious gangster.
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Old September 17 2012, 01:08 PM   #45
JarodRussell
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Re: The Top 40 Male Film Lead Actors of all Time

I always wondered about the Oscar Tommy Lee Jones got for The Fugitive. I mean, yeah, it was great, and I loved him in it, but an Academy Award for it? Just never occured to me.
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