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Charles Laughton

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

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RedRiver
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Re: Charles Laughton

Postby RedRiver » August 24th, 2014, 2:45 pm

REMBRANDT surprised me. It's not exactly a thrill a minute, but it's an historical drama that takes itself seriously. Laughton is terrific in it.

Western Guy
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Re: Charles Laughton

Postby Western Guy » August 24th, 2014, 3:28 pm

A little known film that I enjoyed is THIS LAND IS MINE. Laughton is more subdued than usual and gives an effective and affecting performance as the meek schoolteacher who displays a hidden bravery when he opposes the Nazis who invade his village.

Of course no one can ever forget his wonderful Captain Bligh. It takes an actor of tremendous depth to make an audience understand a character's tyranny. And that is exactly what Laughton does in his performance. I always feel a tad of sympathy for Bligh as the story progresses.

Just a brilliant actor. As with Edward G. Robinson, perhaps an unlikely "star" given his physical shortcomings, but blessed beyond measure with talent!

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Rita Hayworth
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Re: Charles Laughton

Postby Rita Hayworth » August 27th, 2014, 10:19 am

My Favorite Charles Laughton's Films
Top Ten Films of all Time



It Started with Eve ... 1941 Film
Arch of Triumph ... 1948 Film
Mutiny on the Bounty ... 1935 Film
Rembrandt ... 1936 Film
Salome ... 1953 Film
The Hunchback of Notre Dame ... 1939 Film
Tales of Manhattan ... 1942 Film
I, Claudius ... 1937 Film
The Man from the Eiffel Tower ... 1949 Film
Captain KIdd ... 1945 Film


Salome with Rita Hayworth

Image

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Western Guy
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Re: Charles Laughton

Postby Western Guy » August 27th, 2014, 11:04 am

And let us not forget his brief, virtually silent role as the meek office clerk who suddenly discovers he is a millionaire in IF I HAD A MILLION. A comic gem.

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knitwit45
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Re: Charles Laughton

Postby knitwit45 » August 30th, 2014, 9:56 am

Never liked him much, until I saw Hobson's Choice.. What a revelation! That, and Witness for the Prosecution are now two of my favorite movies.
"Life is not the way it's supposed to be.. It's the way it is..
The way we cope with it, is what makes the difference." ~ Virginia Satir
""Most people pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it." ~ Soren Kierkegaard

RedRiver
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Re: Charles Laughton

Postby RedRiver » August 30th, 2014, 4:11 pm

He's amazing in both those classics!

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Professional Tourist
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Re: Charles Laughton

Postby Professional Tourist » September 20th, 2015, 5:50 am

Lucky Vassall wrote:And a bigger shame is that we never got to see his "I, Claudius." Hope everyone has seen "The Epic that Never Was," a BBC production, narrated by Dirk Bogarde, presenting all of the scenes that were filmed before Merle Oberon’s accident was used as the excuse to close down the production. Many of those involved are also interviewed those many years later. If you haven’t see the documentary, you owe it to yourself to do so. It is available on YouTube in 5 parts, identified as “Claudius (1937).”

I found it interesting that, in the documentary, Bogarde rightly praises Laughton’s performance in what might be called the “Coronation Scene” (tongue in cheek) and compares it in glowing terms to Lawrence Olivier’s Saint Chrispen’s Day speech in “Henry V” and Judy Garland’s dressing room scene in “A Star is Born.” An interesting coupling, to say the least, but I have to agree with him.

I found The Epic that Never Was on YouTube, in one piece and good quality:

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It is said the main issues with production stemmed from Mr. Laughton -- that he didn't receive the type of feedback and support he needed from director Josef von Sternberg, and that he had great difficulty in laying the foundation upon which to build his characterization, to the point of weeping in despair.

Laughton did eventually succeed at finding the key to his Claudius, in the 6 1/2 minute abdication speech of King Edward VIII. But by then producer Alex Korda had lost confidence in the viability of the project, and as Lucky mentioned previously, he used Merle Oberon's car accident as a qualifying event to move on and let Lloyd's of London pay him off.

A recording of the abdication speech is available here: British Pathé.

I've read some other theories as to why Korda shut down the production, including that it was done out of respect for the new King George VI who had a speech impediment -- since Claudius with his stutter (and limp) is presented as a laughingstock. [Interesting that Laughton should have found his inspiration not in King George but in his predecessor.]

Whatever the true reason(s) I agree with Lucky that it's a shame artistically that the film was not completed. The surviving footage is worth watching as part of this documentary.

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Professional Tourist
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Re: Charles Laughton

Postby Professional Tourist » October 25th, 2015, 10:38 am

You've heard Charles Laughton read his well-received excerpt from the Book of Daniel in the audio recording of his one-man show from the 1950s, wishing you could have seen him perform it live on stage.

As it turns out, on Valentine's Day 1960, Laughton's appearance on the Ed Sullivan show included this reading.

I get the feeling that by this point in time, Laughton had grown weary of reciting these verses; but about half-way through, it seems to pull him back in. :wink: 8)

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