Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dawn's favorite Movie actors and their films of the "60's".

Clint Eastwood:
1964 A Fistful of Dollars
1965 For a Few Dollars More
1966 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
1967 Le streghe
1968 Hang 'Em High
Coogan's Bluff
Where Eagles Dare

In 1963 Eastwood's co-star on Rawhide, Eric Fleming, rejected an offer to star in an Italian-made western, A Fistful of Dollars. Knowing that he could play a cowboy Harrison suggested Eastwood, who saw the film as a wonderful opportunity.

Eastwood later spoke about the transition from a television western to A Fistful of Dollars: "In Rawhide I did get awfully tired of playing the conventional white hat. The hero who kisses old ladies and dogs and was kind to everybody. I decided it was time to be an anti-hero." Eastwood, created the Man with No Name character, who smoked cigars.

The film was the beginning of spaghetti westerns and Eastwood became a major star in Italy and he also performed in, For a Few Dollars More (1965). Two months later Eastwood began work on the third Dollars film, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, in which he again played the, Man with No Name.

The Dollars trilogy was not shown in the United States until 1967 when A Fistful of Dollars opened in January, For a Few Dollars More in May, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in December. All the films were successful and turned Eastwood into a major film star. Stardom brought more "tough guy" roles for Eastwood. Next, he signed up to perform in the western, Hang 'Em High (1968). Across between Rawhide and Leone's westerns. Using money earned from the Dollars trilogy Leonard helped establish Eastwood's production company, Malpaso Productions, named after the Malpaso Creek on Eastwood's property in Monterey County, California.

While Eastwood was working on his next film, Coogan's Bluff, Jennings Lang arranged for Eastwood to meet Don Siegel, a Universal contract director who later became one of Eastwood's close friends, that would last for more than ten years. Coogan's Bluff also became the first of many collaborations with Argentine composer Lalo Schifrin, who would later score the jazzy themes to Eastwood's films. Eastwood created the prototype for his role as a cop of the Dirty Harry films.

Next he went on to perform in, Where Eagles Dare(1968), about a World War II squad parachuting into the mountains.

Eastwood then performed in his only musical of his career, Paint Your Wagon (1969). Eastwood and fellow non-singer Lee Marvin play gold miners who share the same wife. It was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

Rock Hudson:
Seconds (1966)
Lover Come Back (1961)
Ice Station Zebra (1968)
Send Me No Flowers (1964)

In the 60s Hudson, performed in many romantic comedies such as: Pillow Talk, the first of several co-starring with Doris Day. This was followed by Lover Come Back, Come September, Send Me No Flowers, Man's Favorite Sport?, The Spiral Road, and Strange Bedfellows. Along with Cary Grant was regarded as one of the best-dressed male stars in Hollywood. He also performed in the science-fiction thriller, Seconds (1966). The film flopped but it later gained cult status, and Hudson's performance is often regarded as one of his best. He also tried his hand in the action genre with Tobruk (1967), the lead in 1968's spy thriller Ice Station Zebra, a role which he said was his personal favorite, and the western, The Undefeated (1969).

Kirk Douglas:
Spartacus (1960)
Seven Days in May (1964)
War Wagon, The (1967)
Lonely Are the Brave (1962)

Douglas, was a major box office star in the 60s, performing in many westerns such as, In Lonely Are the Brave (1962), his own favorite of his performances, Douglas plays a cowboy trying to live by his own code, much as he did in real life.

Douglas played many military men like in the films: Town Without Pity (1961), The Hook (1963), Seven Days in May (1964), Heroes of Telemark (1965), In Harm's Way (1965), Cast a Giant Shadow (1966), Is Paris Burning (1966). Douglas played the lead with an all-star cast in, Spartacus (1960). He was also the executive producer. Douglas also performed in comedies, such as in the film, For Love or Money (1963).

Douglas made a couple of films in the 60s with Burt Lancaster: The List of Adrian Messenger(1963)and Seven Days in May (1964).

Douglas stated that the keys to acting success are determination and application, "You must know how to function and how to maintain yourself, and you must have a love of what you do. But an actor also needs great good luck. I have had that luck."Douglas had great vitality, "It takes a lot out of you to work in this business. Many people fall by the wayside because they don’t have the energy to sustain their talent.".

Cary Grant:
Charade (1963)
Father Goose (1964)
Walk Don't Run (1966)
That Touch of Mink (1962)

In the mid-1950s, Grant formed his own production company, Granart Productions, and produced a number of movies in the 60s such as: That Touch of Mink and Father Goose (1964).

In 1963, he also performed opposite Audrey Hepburn in the film, Charade (1963). His last feature film was Walk, Don't Run.

Grant was the first actor to "go independent" by not renewing his studio contract.  Because of this he decided which movies he was going to perform in, he also had the choice of the directors and his co-stars and at times even negotiated a share of the gross, something uncommon at the time.

Fred MacMurray :
Apartment, The (1960)
Absent Minded Professor, The (1961)
Son of Flubber (1963)
Follow Me, Boys! (1966)

In the 1960s, he starred in My Three Sons, which ran for 12 seasons, making it one of America's longest-running TV show. MacMurray, stared in 1961 as Professor Ned Brainerd in Disney's, The Absent-Minded Professor and in its sequel, Son of Flubber, in 1964.

MacMurray, had a provision in his "Sons" contract that all his scenes be shot first. This freed him to pursue his film work and golf . It's also interesting to note that two character names on "My Three Sons" were named after his real life children, Rob (as in Rob Douglas) and Katherine (Kate); he often referred to his TV son Robbie as 'Rob' and later TV daughter-in-law Katie Douglas as 'Kate.'

He was a staunch supporter of the Republican Party. He joined Bob Hope and James Stewart to campaign for Richard Nixon in 1968.

He was one of the wealthiest actors of the 60s and MacMurray usually brought a brown bag lunch to work. Friends and business associates referred to him as "the thrifty multimillionaire."

Jack Lemmon :
Apartment, The (1960)
Odd Couple, The (1968)
Great Race, The (1965)
Days of Wine and Roses (1962)

Lemmon, was a favorite actor of director Billy Wilder, who felt Lemmon had a natural tendency toward overacting. In the Wilder biography Nobody's Perfect quotes the director as saying, "Lemmon, I would describe him as a ham, a fine ham, and with ham you have to trim a little fat". The biography also quotes Jack Lemmon as saying, "I am particularly susceptible to the parts I play... If my character was having a nervous breakdown, I started to have one".

He also had a longtime working relationship with director Blake Edwards, starring in in the 60s films: Days of Wine and Roses (1962), The Great Race (1965) and That's Life! (1986).

Days of Wine and Roses (1962) was one of his favorite roles. He portrayed Joe Clay, a young, fun-loving alcoholic businessman. In that film, Lemmon delivered the line, "My name is Joe Clay ... I'm an alcoholic." Three and a half decades later, he admitted on the television program, Inside the Actors Studio, that he was not acting when he delivered that line, that he really was a recovering alcoholic at the end of his life.

Lemmon's production company JML produced Cool Hand Luke in 1967. Paul Newman was grateful to Lemmon for his support and offered him the role later made famous by Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid but Lemmon turned it down. He did not like riding horses and he also felt he'd already played too many aspects of the Sundance Kid's character before.

Lemmon often performed in films with Walter Matthau. Among their pairings was 1968's The Odd Couple, as Felix Ungar (Lemmon) and Oscar Madison (Matthau).

William Holden:
Wild Bunch, The (1969)
Paris - When It Sizzles (1964)
Casino Royale (1967)
Devil's Brigade, The (1968)

Holden was forced by studio contracts to perform in films such as, Paris When It Sizzles (1964), also co-starring Audrey Hepburn. By the mid-1960s, his career was beginning to fade.

Robert Redford:
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
This Property Is Condemned (1966)
Barefoot in the Park (1967)
Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969)

Redford, made his screen debut in the film, War Hunt (1962). Later he was cast in larger roles in movies such as, In Inside Daisy Clover (1965) with Natalie Wood, they also performed together in the film, This Property Is Condemned (1966). The same year saw his first teaming with Jane Fonda in, The Chase. Fonda and Redford were paired again in the film, Barefoot in the Park (1967) also the film, The Electric Horseman (1979).

Redford was cast in the film, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), scripted by William Goldman, in which he was paired for the first time with Paul Newman. The film cemented his screen image as an intelligent, reliable, good guy.

Redford did have a few box office flops, Downhill Racer (1969) and Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969).

Anthony Quinn:
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Guns of Navarone, The (1961)
Barabbas (1962)
Alexis Zorbas (1964)

By the 60s Quinn, was beginning to show his age and began his transformation into a major character actor. He played a Greek resistance fighter in the film, The Guns of Navarone (1961), a ex-boxer in the film, Requiem for a Heavyweight, and Auda abu Tayi in the film, Lawrence of Arabia (both 1962). He also played the title role in Barabbas. The success of the film, Zorba the Greek (1964) which won him another Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Other films include: The 25th Hour (1967), The Magus (1968), Guns for San Sebastian with Charles Bronson and The Shoes of the Fisherman, where he played a Ukrainian pope. In 1969, he starred in the film, The Secret of Santa Vittoria .

Henry Fonda:
Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)
Longest Day, The (1962)
Battle of the Bulge (1965)
Boston Strangler, The (1968)

In the 60s Fonda, was still performing in the western television series The Deputy (1959–1961), in which he starred as Marshal Simon Fry. The 1960s also saw Fonda perform in many war and western epics, including 1962's The Longest Day and How the West Was Won, 1965's In Harm's Way and Battle of the Bulge. In the Cold War suspense film Fail-Safe (1964), Fonda played the President of the United States who tries to prevent a nuclear holocaust through tense negotiations with the Soviets after American bombers are mistakenly ordered to attack the USSR. He also performed in the light-hearted film, Spencer's Mountain (1963), which was the inspiration for the TV series, The Waltons.

Fonda , performed against type as the villain 'Frank' in, 1968's Once Upon a Time in the West.

Fonda's was good friends with Jimmy Stewart and they teamed up to work on the film, Firecreek(1968), where Fonda once again played the bad guy.


  1. WOW! Dawn what a cool post. I can't argue with any of those choices. Please tell me you also plan to do one for your favorite actresses. I hope so.

  2. Dawn...this is one of your best. I like your choices...and you inspired me to think about each actor. Here's some of what came to mind:
    "Seconds" and Rock Hudson in it are very is it Kirk Douglas was never awarded an Oscar?...Fred MacMurray was wonderful in dark roles - wish he'd done more...Jack Lemmon - adored him in "The Apartment"!...Wm. Holden - there's a blog in what is going through my mind about his long career (from "Golden Boy" to "Network")...Redford - what a heartthrob he was in the day (sigh)...Anthony Quinn has become underrated - he was a great film actor...and Henry Fonda - he worked in film in 6 (!) decades - I'm thinking of his great range - from his wonderful comedic work in "The Lady Eve" (1941) to his almost shocking turn as the heartless villain of "Once Upon a Time in the West" - he was really one of the great film actors of his generation.
    Thanks for a wonderful, thought-provoking post, Dawn.

  3. Monty, I already posted my favorite actresses post last week.. I must have snuck it past you :D.

    Lady Eve, Thank you for your thoughts.. You can see how one article can spur ideas for other articles. This summer I have really become interested in movies of the 60s.


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