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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Sunday, December 16

Great Acting

How could I have forgotten comedies and romantic comedies? It’s a Mad Mad Mad World has to be at the top of the comedies, and Pretty Woman at the top of the romantic comedies, followed by Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally. There, that’s done.

Now, what about actors and actresses? In the past, there were so many men and women who had pure star power, but they weren’t necessarily good actors. Look at this list of male stars—Paul Newman, Cary Grant, Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Jimmy Stewart, Gary Cooper, Humphrey Bogart, William Holden, John Wayne, Clark Gable. Of this list of super stars, only Paul Newman stands out as a great actor. The best of American and British actors has to be Marlon Brando and Laurence Olivier with Orson Wells a close second to Brando. Modern screen stars are Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, and Tom Cruise, but no one would say any of them is a great actor. So, after Brando and Olivier, the rest of the good ones, past and present, are Spencer Tracy, Henry Fonda, Gregory Peck, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Sidney Poitier, George C. Scott, and Leonardo DiCaprio.

The women stars of the past are Ingrid Bergman, Lana Turner, Greta Garbo, Liz Taylor, Grace Kelly, Vivien Leigh, Marilyn Monroe, Catherine Hepburn, Betty Davis, and Joanne Woodward, with the last three the best actresses, Joanne Woodward the best of the best. Of the modern stars, the best are, in descending order, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet, Nicole Kidman, Frances McDormand, and Charlize Theron. I’m sure I must have overlooked some great ones, but I can’t think of any. For example, Holly Hunter is a sleeper that most of us don’t think of because she’s been out of the spotlight for so long, but has she been very good in everything she’s been in.

I love movies and the people who star in them. What would I do in my old age if I didn’t have darkened theaters to go to, a place to watch beautiful men and women create other people and other places on the big screen?

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