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 Post subject: James Garner
PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:12 pm 
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Prince Judah
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James Garner passed away yesterday at age 86; here's a nice summary at CinemaRetro: http://www.cinemaretro.com/index.php?/a ... GE-86.html
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Though Garner is best known for a couple of famous TV roles - Maverick in the late fifties and The Rockford Files in the seventies - he had a very strong film career in the sixties playing light comedy and as a heroic lead. He was one of those stars that managed to transfer his TV success to the big screen. I just saw him very recently in an early supporting role in Sayonara (57), the Marlon Brando film, and, as with the best stars, he was already assured and comfortable at this early stage as a soldier stationed in the Orient. His first film lead was in Darby's Rangers (58), a combo of drama and wry humor that Garner would become well known for.

Garner was excellent as soldiers - one of his best and more famous roles was as the scrounger in The Great Escape (63), in which he starred with Steve McQueen. Garner was almost as cool as McQueen, but he usually presented this easygoing, charming, sly and sneaky persona, that of a con artist, as in The Americanization of Emily (64), still as a soldier. This persona also worked well in Doris Day romantic comedies, but, at his peak in the mid-sixties, Garner was also in serious dramatic roles - memorable as a soldier again in the unusual thriller 36 Hours (65), the westerns Duel at Diablo (66) and Hour of the Gun (67, as Wyatt Earp), and the big racing drama Grand Prix (66).

By the late sixties, Garner shifted to almost only comedic roles - such as in western parodies Support Your Local Sheriff (69) and Support Your Local Gunfighter (71), and contemporary roles that seemed to prepare him for his private eye role in The Rockford Files: Marlowe (69), Skin Game (71) and They Only Kill Their Masters (72). He even did Disney comedies like The Castaway Cowboy (74). This was when he switched back to TV.

He had a brief resurgence in the early eighties, in Blake Edwards' Victor/Victoria (82), and got an Oscar nomination for Murphy's Romance (85). He was also in some famously amusing Polaroid commercials during this period. He played Wyatt Earp again - a much older version - in the serio-comical Sunset (88). Though it looked like (as with most stars) he was confined to supporting roles by this late stage of his career, he was still in fairly big parts, in big films as late as in Space Cowboys (2000), helping out Clint Eastwood.

One of his last roles was back as a regular on TV - I remember how they plugged him into the series 8 Simple Rules (2003-2005) as an elderly grandfather after series lead John Ritter passed away suddenly. Garner was also one of those stars - like Heston - with that rare long Hollywood marriage; he is survived by his wife of 56 years. R.I.P.


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 Post subject: Re: James Garner
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:15 pm 
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Marabunta

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R.I.P

On April 21, 2006, a 10-foot-tall (3.0 m) bronze statue of Garner as Bret Maverick was unveiled in Garner's hometown of Norman, Oklahoma,[39] with Garner present at the ceremony.

you can see the statue in this article

http://therapsheet.blogspot.it/2011/10/ ... arner.html


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 Post subject: Re: James Garner
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:15 pm 
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Damned Dirty Admin
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I had a feeling you'd start a thread on James Garner after his passing (R.I.P.), good job!

I've always liked Garner, he could charm the pants off anyone! My favorite movie of his is The Great Escape. I think he was hilarious as the grandpa in 8 Simple Rules, it's too bad they only got one more season out of the show after Ritter's passing, I think it was still very funny.

Unfortunately I've never seen The Rockford Files or Maverick (only the movie), I'm sure I'd enjoy them both.

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 Post subject: Re: James Garner
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:31 pm 
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Prince Judah
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Detective Thorn wrote:
Unfortunately I've never seen The Rockford Files or Maverick (only the movie), I'm sure I'd enjoy them both.

That's right - Garner was also in the movie update of Maverick in 1994, which starred Mel Gibson. Whereas such big movie remakes of old TV series usually bring back the TV stars of such shows in cameos, Garner actually had a big co-starring role in the movie version. I've seen it once, back when it came out, so I don't remember it too well.

I'm also not that familiar with the two TV series that Garner is so well known for. I'm not old enough to have watched the Maverick TV series when it first aired and I only watched a few episodes of The Rockford Files when it aired in the seventies. But, these are about the only two roles that anyone talks about or writes about anytime they bring up Garner. He really put his stamp on these characters and they have become ingrained in the public consciousness.

Oh, also, thanks to member golden age for that link to the Garner write-up and photos - very good stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: James Garner
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 11:13 pm 
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Prince Judah
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I just came across this good blog tribute to Garner at MOVIE FANFARE, which was posted when he died: http://www.moviefanfare.com/james-garne ... mes+Garner

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The blog brings up a few important notes about his career, such as how his character was often beaten up in The Rockford Files and how the role was physically taxing. I also remember Garner in a strange semi-comedy film Tank (84) which was only made watchable by his presence (in the plot, he's again an army man who takes a tank to rescue his son from a corrupt lawman). Garner was also in a few well-regarded TV movies late in his career (the nineties), such as Barbarians at the Gate, and several Rockford Files TV movie update follow-ups.


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