Charlton Heston Forums

The only forum on the internet dedicated to Charlton Heston
It is currently Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:05 pm

All times are UTC



Welcome
Welcome to Charlton Heston Forums - The only forum on the internet dedicated to the legendary actor Charlton Heston!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content, and access many other special features. In addition, registered members also see less advertisements. Registration is fast, simple, and absolutely free, so please, join our community today!


Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Eli Wallach
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:29 pm 
Offline
Prince Judah
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:18 am
Posts: 1360
___ Eli Wallach: 1915 - 2014
Image

Eli Wallach, one of the preeminent character actor/stars of all time, passed away a couple of days ago. I remember, about a year ago, I noticed that he was 97 years old and still chugging along as one of the last surviving stars of The Magnificent Seven (Robert Vaughn was the other one). I wondered if Wallach would make it to 100. He didn't quite make it but he gave it a good shot.

Wallach also was not that young when he finally started in films: he was already 40 when he acted in Baby Doll (56), his debut. This is because Wallach preferred the stage; he was trained in the Method many years before - before WW2 - but confined all his earliest efforts to stagework and a little bit of TV (from 1951). He only took movie roles finally to pay all the bills; in his view, acting in films was just a pragmatic choice, while acting on stage was his joy. But, he still ended up in about 90 films by the end (of course, being around for so many years helped).

Wallach also ended up in The Misfits (61), the final film for both Clark Gable & Marilyn Monroe, but, to my mind, he is remembered by most fans for two key roles - both as bandits - as Calvera in The Magnificent Seven (1960) and as Tuco in The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (66). Wallach almost stole the film from all the heroes in The Magnificent Seven, even though they were all great stars. Watch him in that key confrontation scene when they all meet and Yul Brynner tells Calvera to "ride on." Wallach's anger is one of the best uses of The Method that I have ever seen ("You hear what he said..? To ME..!"), surely rivaling anything Brando had done. And, it's that rare thing - a very entertaining performance even as he loses himself in the role of a villain.

His crowning achievement, however, was as Tuco in The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. This was a long, epic western in which Wallach (the "Ugly") was paired with Clint Eastwood (the "Good"). Eastwood was the typical strong, silent type and Wallach the exact opposite - loud, brash and usually talking too much, but Wallach ended up dominating most of the picture. You couldn't take your eyes off him and were wondering what his next move would be.
BELOW: Wallach as Tuco gets the drop on Eastwood... again.
Image

Wallach played a similar outlaw in How the West Was Won (62) but it was a much smaller role. He played other villains - he had small roles in the minor epics Lord Jim (65) and Genghis Khan. In later years, he continued to play sneaky characters, always trying to get the better of the heroes but never quite succeeding, as in The Domino Principle and The Deep (1977). As usual, he made the films more interesting. He was still sneaky, as an elder member of the Mafia in the 3rd Godfather film (1990). He was 75 by this point, an age at which most actors would be retiring or seriously considering it, but he went on for another 20 years, officially retiring in 2010. His final film role was in the Wall Street sequel. R.I.P.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
 
 Post subject: Re: Eli Wallach
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:38 pm 
Offline
Cheating Bastard

Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:18 pm
Posts: 46
A magnificent actor.
He was also indirectly responsible for Frank Sinatra's great comeback in From Here To Eternity. Sinatra was desperate to play the Maggio role but not under serious consideration even after persuading Columbia to give him a screen test-apparently the test was a success but Sinatra was regarded as a 'has been' singer with no serious acting credentials. Wallach then withdrew from the film-either due to a dispute over his contract or because the Eternity shoot had a delayed start and he was signed up for a Broadway play- and, with no time for further tests/auditions, Columbia went with Sinatra.

The ( almost certainly false) rumours of Mafia involvement in the Eternity casting understandably infuriated Sinatra, especially after Mario Puzo used them as a basis for the Johnny Fontane character in The Godfather so it's rather ironic that, decades later, Sinatra was the first choice to play Don Altobello in The Godfather Part 3. Sinatra was impressed with the script and initially keen to play the part but then apparently grew impatient with the lengthy pre-production schedule and withdrew from the film...and was replaced by...Eli Wallach!


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Eli Wallach
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:39 pm 
Offline
Damned Dirty Admin
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:18 pm
Posts: 2636
Location: Sweden
A real scene stealer if there ever was one, I've enjoyed every performance I've seen from him, the best being, of course, as Tuco from The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. Too bad he didn't reach 100, but like you said Chrysagon, he was close.

R.I.P.

_________________
Image
You know, McKay, you're a bigger fool than I thought you were. And to tell you the truth, that just didn't seem possible.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Eli Wallach
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:50 pm 
Offline
Cheating Bastard

Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:18 pm
Posts: 46
One performance that for some reason I remember well was his role as the almost blind, irascible hit man in Tough Guys with Burt Lancaster & Kirk Douglas. All 3 of those great actors made many better films but I've always enjoyed Tough Guys.
Burt & Kirk had tremendous star power and prescence throughout their careers but,as Detective Thorn mentioned, Wallach was a great scene stealer.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Eli Wallach
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:46 pm 
Offline
Damned Dirty Admin
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:18 pm
Posts: 2636
Location: Sweden
Tough Guys is a childhood favorite of mine! It was one of my mother's favorite movies so we watched it a lot growing up.

_________________
Image
You know, McKay, you're a bigger fool than I thought you were. And to tell you the truth, that just didn't seem possible.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron

suspicion-preferred