Old versus New

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Old versus New

Postby HollywoodBabylon on Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:20 pm

So just how good do some of the great actors of our time stand up against those of a different era? Of course, taking into consideration censorship constrictions on storylines, language, subject matter, nudity etc , as well the 'progession' of society/cinema itself, do the screen actors of yesteryear fare better than our contemporaries in the acting stakes?
Tracy v De Niro, Garbo v Streep, Hepburn v Jane Fonda, Pacino v Henry Fonda, Charles Laughton v Jack Nicholson, Cagney v Hopkins, Bette Davis v Jodie Foster, Brando v Hoffman, Stanwyk v Dench, Spacey v Newman, Cary Grant v Depp, Dean v De Caprio, Clift v Day Lewis, Bergman v Blanchett, Monroe v Stone (ok, no contest there) etc . Would yesteryear's best have been better in the roles taken by our generation's finest? And vice-versa?
Hoffman/ Blanchett in 'Casablanca'? Maybe.
Bette Davis in 'Chinatown'? hmmm. Could see it.
De Caprio in 'East of Eden'. No.
Cary Grant in 'The King of Comedy'. Yes.
Cagney in 'The Shining'? Intriguing.
Tracy as Travis Bickle???
Charlize Theron as Camille?
Laughton in 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest'. Certainly.
Stone in 'Some Like It Hot'. No.
Monroe in 'Basic Instinct'. Yes.
Penn/Depp/Foster in 'The Philadelphia Story'. Most definitely.
Garbo in 'Sophie's Choice'. Sure.
De Niro in 'Bad Day At Black Rock'. I can see that.
Dean in ' Raging Bull'. Inspired?
Streep in 'Gaslight'. OK.

The possibilities seem pretty intriguing. As to who would've been better in what role/film, that's a hard one to call, I suppose (in most cases anyway).
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Postby The Vicar on Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:09 am

Deniro as Quasimodo? Chaney was a genius. Is Deniro?
Harrison Ford as Mr Smith in Mister Smith Goes to Washington? Why not?
Flip it around - Jimmy Stewart as Indiana Jones?
Or Bogart?
Or Cagney?
Spencer Tracy & Sidney Poitier in Lethal Weapon?

( Monroe in Basic Instinct? Oh hell yes!!!!)
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Postby The Vicar on Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:09 pm

Monroe would have killed in the role of Maddy in Body Heat.
In more ways than one, obviously.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Fri Mar 17, 2006 2:56 pm

I dig this topic, but it's a doozy.

Lemme you "His Girl Friday" as an example...who, nowadays, looks as impeccably suave and debonair as Cary Grant in his prime, and would still be able to deliver the rapid one-liners and uber-fast-paced dialogue with perfect timing to boot? I can't think of ANYONE, ditto for finding a replacement for Rosalind Russell (tho' Jennifer Jason Leigh proved in the "Hudsucker Proxy" she could deliver the screwball dialogue, she ain't as purty).

On a bit of sidenote, the NY Times had an article a 'lil while back 'bout how 'Hoewood/America hasn't seen a "glamorous" female look akin to our starlets of the 30's and 40's, it's Asia that one can look to for that particular trait. Compare our modern starlets of the past (on looks alone) and that LOOK, the LOOK of sophistication and style, is something we don't have today...but then take a gander at Gong Li, Zhang Zi-Zi; they DO have IT. Qweird, I know, but a p.o.v. I found rather valid.

Good topic 'HoewoodBabylon, meant to respond when you put it up but had to ponder it for a bit.
Personally, I'm an atheist in the voting booth and a theist in the movie theatre. I separate the morality of religion with the spirituality and solace of it. There is something boring about atheism.
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Postby Retardo_Montalban on Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:05 pm

You forgot Jimmy Stewart/Tom Hanks. How would It's a wonderful life fare, with the most beloved man in hollywood taking the reigns. I think Hanks could do it. Jimmy Stewart also killed in the adventure type films and had spot on comedic timing. Some people say Jim Carrey is closest to him, but I think it's Hanks hands down.
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