The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to be happy - it's all that matters.
- Audrey Hepburn

George Raft

Discussion of the actors, directors and film-makers who 'made it all happen'

Moderators: Sue Sue Applegate, movieman1957, moira finnie, Lzcutter

Western Guy
Posts: 1702
Joined: March 26th, 2012, 1:19 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Canada

Re: George Raft

Postby Western Guy » July 3rd, 2013, 8:41 am

Absolutely not, Chris. No offense taken at all. We did have a tendency to veer off topic (as often happened with lively conversation) and I hope you do find some interesting information about George Raft here - one of the most underrated of the big Hollywood stars.

User avatar
movieman1957
Administrator
Posts: 5487
Joined: April 15th, 2007, 3:50 pm
Location: MD

Re: George Raft

Postby movieman1957 » July 3rd, 2013, 9:58 am

I have found out some interesting info and I'm only through the first 6 or 7 pages,
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

Western Guy
Posts: 1702
Joined: March 26th, 2012, 1:19 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Canada

Re: George Raft

Postby Western Guy » July 3rd, 2013, 1:25 pm

Wonderful! That's good to know. I've learned a lot as well going through this Board.

User avatar
charliechaplinfan
Posts: 9087
Joined: January 15th, 2008, 9:49 am

Re: George Raft

Postby charliechaplinfan » July 4th, 2013, 2:43 pm

It gave me a kick to look at his films again and discovered that he was very deserving of his success (aren't they all, I should learn after all this time). He made some real gems.

My condition (CFS also called ME)isn't curable, as in they don't know how to cure it but people do get better, not all but some. I had it in my 20s but got over it but I lived with my parents at the time and could just rest which is the only recommended treatment but I have 2 small kids, a husband who thinks laundry and dishes do themselves (I shouldn't be hard he's a great provider) no total rest here but I do pace myself. I'm nearly 3 years into it now and it morphs and changes but I'm no nearer than I was to getting better. People have it far worse, it's just plain irritating.

Laser eye surgery, I've thought about it but I don't think I'm brave enough and I don't mind glasses.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

Western Guy
Posts: 1702
Joined: March 26th, 2012, 1:19 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Canada

Re: George Raft

Postby Western Guy » July 4th, 2013, 3:39 pm

Alison, I'm very sorry to hear about your health concern. But it sounds as if you're not allowing it to get you down and that's the best attitude. :D

As far as doctors saying it's incurable: Almost twenty years ago I developed a severe inner ear problem that would thrust me into horrible periods of vertigo and would leave me always feeling lightheaded and slightly off-balance during the "better" periods. Had all sorts of doctors diagnose me and they basically all said that there was no guarantee but they might be able to treat the symptoms but that there was no cure and I'd have to learn to live with it.

Went on for about five years and I finally decided I did NOT want to learn to live with it. It was affecting too much of my everyday life. Anyhoo, either through willpower determination (nice to think) or . . . whatever, eventually it cleared up.

Some years later doctors said the same thing when I developed severe eczema. Today I can say I'm almost 99% cured of that condition.

So think positive and never give up!

RedRiver
Posts: 4209
Joined: July 28th, 2011, 9:42 am

Re: George Raft

Postby RedRiver » July 5th, 2013, 12:01 pm

a husband who thinks laundry and dishes do themselves

Some men think work should only be done "at work." They do their jobs responsibly and well. Then they go home and turn to stone! I know this because I am one of those idiots!

Western Guy
Posts: 1702
Joined: March 26th, 2012, 1:19 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Canada

Re: George Raft

Postby Western Guy » July 5th, 2013, 12:19 pm

Red River, some husbands do not turn to "me" :roll:

Okay, that was bad; deserve to be banned from the Board for that one.

Seriously, I can't imagine not helping out around the house. Some tasks annoy me but generally I enjoy doing some housework. Gives me a feeling of accomplishment.

User avatar
movieman1957
Administrator
Posts: 5487
Joined: April 15th, 2007, 3:50 pm
Location: MD

Re: George Raft

Postby movieman1957 » July 5th, 2013, 4:58 pm

Well, I've been through the whole long discussion and I feel like a kid sitting on the steps listening to the adults when he should have been in bed.

The conversation has been so interesting and it has a great flow. There were times while reading I thought I'd respond only to realize it was a year ago and things have gone on to many other things.

Learned a great deal and had some things I knew confirmed. (Mostly about Cagney.) I think it is great that Stone and Alison have let their part of the conversation flow so freely. We may have had some great guests up in the other thread but most of this one ought to be right up there.

Stone, you've been very generous with sharing your knowledge without a hint of promotion. It's like a friend sharing what he knows and happy to do it. It's been a fun read and I hope, if I remotely have anything interesting to share, it will be a nice addition.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

Western Guy
Posts: 1702
Joined: March 26th, 2012, 1:19 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Canada

Re: George Raft

Postby Western Guy » July 5th, 2013, 5:21 pm

Chris, you're more than kind and your generous comments are mucho appreciated. Occasionally we've veered off track on this thread but I do feel a good deal of knowledge concerning George Raft has been recorded here. Since 1972 when I was in Chicago for the summer and had my first opportunity to "discover" Raft through a showing of EACH DAWN I DIE, the man has fascinated me -- and continues to do so to this day. I'd always been fascinated with the underworld (even in grade school when I turned in a report on Al Capone, much to my teacher's astonishment or perhaps dismay). Maybe it was Raft's gangster connection - both onscreen and in real life. I really don't know, but even though I never had the pleasure of meeting George (much to my eternal regret, given that I have met or talked with co-stars and people who did know him - just seemed to have missed out on that), I've always felt a kinship with the man. Yet I also get very angry and have spoken bluntly and loudly about it that there was probably no other Hollywood actor who turned down so many choice opportunities. As Cagney once said: "George probably could have been the biggest star in Hollywood". Yet today, sadly, he is virtually forgotten. Heck, I couldn't even persuade the old A&E "Biography" to do a program on Raft, yet his life was a helluva lot more interesting than the other movie tough guys they did do shows on: Bogie, Cagney, Garfield and Robinson.

So unfair, IMO.

User avatar
charliechaplinfan
Posts: 9087
Joined: January 15th, 2008, 9:49 am

Re: George Raft

Postby charliechaplinfan » October 16th, 2013, 1:22 pm

Hello, I'm back again on George's thread. Ill health took me away for too long but I've read your words about your own illnesses and I'm trying to go down that path. Actually, I'm doing my best to come to terms with my ill health, I don't think I have done before, even though I've had this illness for 3 years I kind of expected it to go away but it didn't, then I had more complications, the wrong meds and I had quite a big problem to deal with. If I had a jewel for the amount Chris has had to scoop me up off the bathroom floor I'd be Elizabeth Taylor. But I'm back on track, not watching movies like I used too but have been watching TV series, The Killing, Mad Men, Homeland etc. Easy stuff to digest and take my mind off myself.

I did see Dead End though, good film, I just wish it had been George in Bogie's role, it didn't seem to fit Bogie that well, even though Bogie is good in it, it's just that knowing George, his background, his ease at working with kids and his rapport with them and his own background, it's a role he was born to play. If only we'd have been around to advise him :wink:
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

User avatar
moira finnie
Administrator
Posts: 8176
Joined: April 9th, 2007, 6:34 pm
Location: Earth
Contact:

A Bullet for Joey (1955) Raft & Robinson...Again

Postby moira finnie » October 26th, 2014, 11:35 am

I just saw A Bullet for Joey (1955-Lewis Allen) with George Raft & Edward G. Robinson for the first time fairly recently. The movie re-teamed the feuding pair of actors years after their contretemps during the making of Manpower (1941) [please see earlier posts in this thread for more about this conflict]. The later movie is a pretty fair noir set in Montreal and infused with the Communists-Under-Every-Bush mentality of 1950s films. The story casts Eddie as a Red-hunting investigator & Raft as an American mobster organizing a kidnapping for some shady Commies. Some of the best parts of the film are the roles played by a convincingly weary Audrey Totter as an old moll trying to go straight, Peter van Eyck as an effete Commie mastermind and George Dolenz as a nuclear scientist who is the target of Raft & van Eyck's plan.

The pair of Raft & Robinson had an adversarial relationship infused with a certain mutual respect for their professionalism on-screen.
Off-screen, both guys needed the work and according to Everett Aaker's "George Raft: The Films," writer A.I. Bezzirides (They Drive By Night, Thieves Highway) was hired by Robinson to polish just HIS dialogue, not that of anyone else--which he did for $5k--throwing the film's tone out of whack.

When Raft found out about this arrangement, he gave Bezzirides more money to fix his lines too. It's not a great movie, but apparently, even though Robinson later refused to appear in "Some Like It Hot" with Raft, on the set of "A Bullet for Joey," the then-mellower pair got along alright--though several times in their in-character exchanges, George Raft murmurs a sarcastic reply to Robinson's exhortations to the old gangster to go straight with the double-edged comment, "I love you too."

If interested, A Bullet for Joey can be seen here:
phpBB [video]
Avatar: Frank McHugh (1898-1981)

The Skeins
TCM Movie Morlocks

Western Guy
Posts: 1702
Joined: March 26th, 2012, 1:19 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Canada

Re: George Raft

Postby Western Guy » October 26th, 2014, 11:42 am

Moira, I don't know if I mentioned this before but two reasons were given for Robinson not appearing with Raft in "Some Like It Hot." Tony Curtis maintained that it was because Robinson still held a grudge toward George (even though they worked well together in "A Bullet for Joey") stemming of course from their famous "Manpower" feud. But Eddie's granddaughter Francesca told me that the real reason was because Frank Capra had offered Eddie the role of Frank Sinatra's brother in "A Hole in the Head" - a much larger part than the Little Bonaparte "cameo" and a much larger payday.

I tend to accept Francesca's version. If Robinson did not want to be paired again with George, I doubt he would have taken on "A Bullet for Joey."

Anyhoo, in later years, when Eddie was in the hospital, he mentions the first bunch of flowers he received was from Raft, signed: "Your pal."

Of course, it's a well-known fact that George mellowed in his later years - this noted by his old adversary Jack Warner in Warner's autobiography.

User avatar
moira finnie
Administrator
Posts: 8176
Joined: April 9th, 2007, 6:34 pm
Location: Earth
Contact:

Re: George Raft

Postby moira finnie » October 26th, 2014, 11:48 am

Francesca Robinson's version of events sounds credible to me. Even though I am not wild about Sinatra's performance in A Hole in the Head, seeing Eddie and the sublime Thelma Ritter as a longtime couple is a treat.

Having read two of Tony Curtis' memoirs, I don't think he ever let the facts get in the way of a good story. I'm glad that George Raft sent those flowers to Eddie--it's dumb to let old grudges fester--and really not worth it at the end of the day.
Avatar: Frank McHugh (1898-1981)

The Skeins
TCM Movie Morlocks

Western Guy
Posts: 1702
Joined: March 26th, 2012, 1:19 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Canada

Re: George Raft

Postby Western Guy » October 26th, 2014, 11:55 am

I think George mended a lot of fences later in life. Jon Tuska called Raft one of the "nicest and best-liked men in Hollywood."

User avatar
Joe Macclesfield
Posts: 170
Joined: July 15th, 2014, 3:06 pm
Location: Cheshire, England

Re: George Raft

Postby Joe Macclesfield » November 16th, 2014, 1:34 pm

A Bullet for Joey is one of my favourite Raft pictures. His opening scene is a belter. Raft listens to Steven Geray's pitch about imagining being a step away from his native soil (over the Canadian border), Raft, a note of longing in his voice replies: "Just for one minute." It's so simple, it's almost subliminal. Only Raft could underplay like that, and make it so effective.
"...Then as a bee, which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet floures with lustre fresh and gay,
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all,
But pleasd with none doth rise and sore away..."


Return to “The People of Film”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest