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Re: Framed (1947)

Posted: August 28th, 2009, 1:53 pm
by moira finnie
Well, Judith, I know we all have different reactions to various actors, but perhaps others see things in Glenn Ford's performances that you don't respond to positively. I used to dismiss his work regularly too, but then started to notice the physical traits he imbues his best characters with, doing bits of business such as I described in Framed that seem to indicate some inner turmoil, as well as a hesitancy, a flash of anger, and a hardness that belies his appearance initially.

As I mentioned in my original post in this thread, I don't think that Glenn Ford gave consistently good performances but, he did some excellent, nearly seamless ones in several films. He also worked in too many movies--and would have been better off being more selective, particularly after 1960 and he never really mastered a light touch in comedy. He did not have a broad range, and sometimes he tried to play characters who were more sophisticated than he was capable of playing effectively, but when a role suited him, he could often be incredibly naturalistic and quite memorable.

In a time when flashy techniques and endless discussions about "the work" were in fashion, his acting style could often go unnoticed when it was subject to the material, rather than to a star turn. He always claimed that he was never acting; he was just playing himself. His place, particularly in film noir, is the regular guy you see getting on the train everyday or nod to in the hall at work, though you rarely know his name. Suitably masculine, affable, presentable and decent looking, beneath his somewhat bland exterior could be a streak of hard cynicism and banked idealism that might easily lead to his self-destruction before THE END scrolls by. Often his characters would be startled by those moments in a film when he becomes aware of what he is truly capable of feeling and doing. You see it in his better Westerns, such as the very interesting psychological Western The Man From Colorado (1948-Henry Levin), Jubal (1956-Delmer Daves), and even in a comedic Western such as the laconic The Rounders (1965-Burt Kennedy). His everyman quality grounded noirs such as The Undercover Man (1949-Joseph Lewis), The Big Heat (1954-Fritz Lang), Convicted (1950-Henry Levin), and Framed, making the moral and physical dangers he finds himself in quite engrossing. Sometimes he plays characters in these Noirs and Westerns whose development has a strong streak of masochism in them. He seems to deliberately, for some stated but often hollow sounding principle, or because he just can't help himself; put himself through hell to try to right things in his own peculiar way. He is not necessarily likable or admirable in the process, (especially in Gilda, in which he was a real stinker, even if he was caught up--once again--in the erotic thrall of a femme fatale). The fact that he plays these characters without winking at the audience and saying, as many movie stars might, "Oh, well, that's not really me" seems to me to make him a good actor.

But heck, to each his own, right? Sorry to go on so long...

Re: Framed (1947)

Posted: August 28th, 2009, 2:32 pm
by jdb1
Nope -- it's not necessarily his acting technique that leaves me cold, it's his physical presence. I don't see him as "suitably masculine." I see him as a big, bland, unappealing wuss. He really grates on my nerves -- there's just something flabby about him on the screen. I don't like his insipid looks, which I find completely inappropriate for tough guy roles, I don't like his rather whingeing way of talking, I don't like his stiff body language; all those things a fan might find to be plusses, I find to be change-the-channel-in-digust making.

I'm not playing Dump on Glenn Ford, here; I'm trying to figure out just what it is that makes me dislike this particular actor so much, when others rave about his acting, especially in noirs. There are plenty of other wussy, soft-spoken, rather passive-seeming actors who don't give me the heebie-jeebies. Why should it be Glenn Ford? Guess I'll never know.

I just can't stand the guy, is all. And I've missed a lot of probably good movies because he's in them.

Re: Framed (1947)

Posted: August 28th, 2009, 2:34 pm
by MissGoddess
Fabulous descriptive analysis of Glenn Ford, Moira. I admit I've never read anything about Ford as an actor, so what you have to say sounds definitive enough for me! He's not a tippy top favorite, but I will watch a movie on the strength of his presence in the cast.

I also have a soft spot for his rather touchingly vulnerable character in the beautiful And So Ends Our Night. I can understand Margaret Sullavan's character falling for him.

Re: Framed (1947)

Posted: August 28th, 2009, 3:23 pm
by jdb1
MissGoddess wrote:

I also have a soft spot for his rather touchingly vulnerable character in the beautiful And So Ends Our Night. I can understand Margaret Sullavan's character falling for him.



Eeeeeewwwww!

[OK, OK, I promise I'll try not to gag at every mention of Feeble Ford. But really --- Eeewwwww!]

Re: Framed (1947)

Posted: August 28th, 2009, 3:34 pm
by moira finnie
jdb1 wrote:I'm not playing Dump on Glenn Ford, here; I'm trying to figure out just what it is that makes me dislike this particular actor so much, when others rave about his acting, especially in noirs. There are plenty of other wussy, soft-spoken, rather passive-seeming actors who don't give me the heebie-jeebies. Why should it be Glenn Ford? Guess I'll never know.


Oh, I wouldn't worry about it. There are certain actors, especially some alleged hunks (which Glenn Ford never was, in my book) who annoy me too. I just accept it and let it go.

MissGoddess wrote:Fabulous descriptive analysis of Glenn Ford, Moira. I admit I've never read anything about Ford as an actor, so what you have to say sounds definitive enough for me! He's not a tippy top favorite, but I will watch a movie on the strength of his presence in the cast.

I also have a soft spot for his rather touchingly vulnerable character in the beautiful And So Ends Our Night. I can understand Margaret Sullavan's character falling for him.


There's actually next to squatola written about Glenn Ford by critics, other than the usual biographical stuff and analyses of films, but most of that stuff is just what I've observed in the guy after noting some of his better performances. Some directors saw him as a blank slate they could write on, others cast him because they felt he brought some authenticity to his roles. It seems odd.

I have loved So Ends Our Night for a long time, but then I am a big Margaret Sullavan fan (and also enjoy almost all of director John Cromwell's work). Glenn Ford looks so incredibly young in that movie. Somewhere on the TCM message boards there is a semi-long thread I started years ago about that movie.

I won't annoy Judith by recounting how much I like this film, but having just unearthed that thread, here's a link to the original post on TCM if you are interested.

Re: Framed (1947)

Posted: August 28th, 2009, 4:08 pm
by jdb1
Well, so as not to sound like a complete loony, I will conceded that there is one Ford performance I don't hate, and that's his Frisbee in Teahouse of the August Moon. It may be because that wimpish character best fits my impression of Ford; but I think it suits him to a T, and he does it very nicely.

I think John Forsythe played the role on Broadway -- I find Forsythe a much more forceful character, and I think Ford suits the nerdy but well-intentioned aspects of Frisbee a lot better.

Re: Framed (1947)

Posted: August 28th, 2009, 6:06 pm
by MissGoddess
moirafinnie wrote:I have loved So Ends Our Night for a long time, but then I am a big Margaret Sullavan fan (and also enjoy almost all of director John Cromwell's work). Glenn Ford looks so incredibly young in that movie. Somewhere on the TCM message boards there is a semi-long thread I started years ago about that movie.

I won't annoy Judith by recounting how much I like this film, but having just unearthed that thread, here's a link to the original post on TCM if you are interested.



He does look like an absolute pup. I had never seen him that young until this movie.

Thanks for the link, ah...those were the days. Too bad with the stupid new rule we can't revive that
discussion. I can't wait to watch the movie again. I have so many things right now I want to watch
that I honestly don't know where to start!!

Re: Framed (1947)

Posted: September 6th, 2009, 7:32 pm
by CineMaven
OMG!! I'm Johnny-Come-Lately again. I shall now put the Silver Screen Oasis on my favorites list BEFORE the TCM Message Board.

The write-ups on "FRAMED" were a marvelous read. Cinematography...character. Wow. The writing from all. WoW!

Re: Framed (1947)

Posted: September 27th, 2009, 11:23 am
by JackFavell
I am Johnny come even more lately -

I have to agree with jdb in that I have never understood Glenn Ford's appeal. I really couldn't stand him. But after watching 3:10 to Yuma this year, in which I really LIKED him, I find that I can stand him a little better now. Perhaps there is a place in the movies for a block of wood..... :D

Framed had me cracking up - if that guy was a mining engineer, then I am Ava Gardner!

I have to go back and read a bit more in this thread before I comment more, but I enjoyed the film a lot. Janis Carter added a rather wholesome noir presence, if there can be such a thing. I really enjoyed her performance.