What’s Burt Lancaster’s Best Pre-1963 Film Performance?

 

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  • FalmouthBill

    It is very hard to think of a Burt Lancaster movie where he wasn’t great. My favorite of his movies is 1964′s Seven Days in May, and a close second would be J.J. Hunsecker from the Sweet Smell of Success. However, in this case the role of Elmer Gantry was made for him, I honestly can’t think of another actor who could have done it better than he !

    • wade

      great actor in many good films I also like Seven Days in may and Sweet Smell of Success but as you say his role in Elmer Gantry was absolutely made for him.. I also liked his performance in The Rainmaker with Katherine Hepburn

      • FalmouthBill

        Wade, another much less publicized movie of his is “Executive Action”, if you have never seen it you should, powerful, fiction, … maybe, watch the recap at the end very thought provoking. On the lighter side I watch “Local Hero” annually, his part is small, but excellent ! Have a good day, Bill

        • wade

          Thanks will try to see it but have seen and liked Local Hero. Also liked The Killers also with Ava Gardner who I like. I like the way he would do a lighter film like The Crimson Pirate and then do something heavier like Separate Tables

          • FalmouthBill

            Separate Tables, I didn’t think of that and I have a copy, probably because I mostly remember David Nivens’ great characterization, what – ho ! I have many British films, enjoy them thoroughly.

          • wade

            I have a huge collection of mostly 30′s and 40′s movies ,love the old Preston Sturges comedies like the The Lady Eve. Also like the British ones as well, have a few of those

        • wade

          By the way do you know when Burt made The Leopard if he was dubbed in Italian or if he spoke Italian himself. It didn’t sound like him so I assume it was dubbed and I just wondered why he would do a movie in which his voice is dubbed

        • Bruce Reber

          “Executive Action” – that was the movie that offered some interesting speculation about the JFK asassination plot.

          • FalmouthBill

            Bruce, as I mentioned to Wade make sure you see the end of the film to see all the people who were on the green that day who died within 10 yrs of the event, many of them quite young !

  • Wayne P.

    HIs role in “Criss Cross” was pretty darn good and am thinking it was his first major part!

    • Mark Malak

      I agree with Criss Cross.An outstanding picture that for some reason doesn’t seem to come up very often,though it should.But his first major role was 2 years earlier in The Killers.

  • Gord Jackson

    I had to go with J.J. Hunsecker in SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS but my favourite film is definetly JIM THORPE ALL AMERICAN.

  • Bruce Reber

    I voted for Ernst Janning in “Judgement At Nuremberg”. Although it’s a supporting role as part of a fantastic cast, Lancaster gives a powerful performance was one of the four German judges on trial for war crimes. His statement before the tribunal about his involvement in National Socialism and its tragic consequences (in defiance of his lawyer, Maximillian Schell in an Oscar-winning performance) is compelling from start to finish. The final scene in his prison cell with Spencer Tracy is also excellent.

  • mike

    He was superb in Judgement at Nuremberg. He was also very good in Run Silent Run Deep and From Here to Eternity.

  • Cara

    He was great in Elmer Gantry. The role fit him like a glove. But his performance In Sweet Smell of Success was unexpected, which made the quiet evil he exuded all the more powerful. I went with Gantry, but J. J. Hunsecker is a monster for the ages. However much he is lauded, I think Burt Lancaster remains underrated. Almost every character he portrays is nuanced and memorable. I really wished I could have voted for The Crimson Pirate. Its much funnier than Pirates of the Caribbean, 1, 2, 3, infinity.