Last night, as I sat staring wide-eyed, open-mouthed at Marlon Brando’s solid, sculptured arms and chest in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, I tried (key word “tried”) thinking of the other cinematic performances that have captivated me in such a way. Performances where the actor has utterly and completely embodied their character. Where you’re watching the film and you think there is no actor, only this character. This character is real.
Here are my top 5 favorite performances by a male (in no particular order):
1.) Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE-
I don’t give a lot of actors credit, but this guy….fuck!…he is so good. There is no eloquent way to put it. He WAS Stanley. The way he moved, the way he talked, the way he delivered- all looked so effortless.
Below is the famous “Stella!” scene. So sexy!
2.) Gene Wilder as Victor Frankenstein in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN-
One my all-time favorites. This film was chocked full of terrific performances (Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr) but Gene Wilder was larger-than-life as the sometimes suave, sometimes maniacal Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Oh, that hair! Swoon!
Below is the scene where Victor meets Igor for the first time.
3.) Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW-
Is it sick that I had a crush on him as a teenager? Seriously, does that mean something? Like that I dig trannies?
Below is the best scene of the movie of course! Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s introduction!
4.) Peter Sellers as Chance/Chauncey Gardner in BEING THERE-
Peter Sellers was terrific in every performance he did. This movie appeared to be the beginning of a more mature, serious direction in his career. Then he died. Best part of the movie is when the “dim-witted” Chauncey realizes that his friend is dying and for the first time we see a trickle of emotion in his blank eyes. The subtly is breathe-taking.
Below is the trailer to BEING THERE.
5.) Paul Reubens as Pee-Wee Herman in PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE–
Paul Reubens is Pee-Wee and Pee-Wee is Paul Reubens. In this movie, we see how much the creator loves his creation.
Below is the “Tequila” scene.