Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sterling!

It's Sterling Hayden Day at Turner Classic Movies, where tribute is being justifiably paid to one of my all-time favorite actors. Hayden was a tough guy who had about eighteen other things going on beneath the barbed-wire. Unlike most toughies, he had a natural way with dialogue, a gift for gab, while still able to convey a tangle of roiling emotions, hints of weakness and uncertainty. This made him ideal for gangster pictures and/or film noir -- from the doomed antiheroes in The Killing and The Asphalt Jungle to, in his sunset years, unforgettable supporting roles in The Godfather and The Long Goodbye. Right now TCM is airing one of his most iconic performances --from Dr. Strangelove, of which I need say nothing -- but the rest of the menu throughout the day has some eclectic and surprising choices. I woke this morning to catch the second half of Terror in a Texas Town, Joseph L. Lewis's rivetingly oddball noir-western that climaxes in a unconventional showdown between the bad guy drawing a gun and Hayden chucking a harpoon. Would love to hear what Ed thinks of this one....
 

2 comments:

FilmDr said...

Sterling Hayden is the coolest. I like him best in The Killing.

Edward Copeland said...

You got to love Sterling Hayden. I remember the surprise when he showed up at the end of 9 to 5 as the CEO of the corporation.