Wednesday, August 30, 2006
R.I.P Glenn Ford (1916-2006)
Glenn Ford, one of the last of the Old Hollywood professionals, died today at age 90. He was a journeyman actor of the finest kind, working in an impressive array of genres: Everything from gritty Westerns (Budd Boetticher's The Man from the Alamo, Delmer Daves' 3:10 to Yuma) to hardboiled film noir (Charles Vidor's Gilda, Fritz Lang's The Big Heat), from family-friendly comedies (Frank Capra's Pocketful of Miracles, Vincente Minnelli's The Courtship of Eddie's Father ) to edge-of-your-seat thrillers (Alex Segal's Ransom! -- yep, the original version of the flick remade by Ron Howard with Mel Gibson -- and Blake Edwards' Experiment in Terror). Not incidentally, he also was Clark Kent's adoptive father in Richard Donner's Superman: The Movie (1978). My favorite of his many first-rate performances: His chronically boozy, increasingly desperate small-town doctor who fears he has contracted rabies in a remote desert community, and who's repeatedly detoured by distractions (like the va-va-voom Stella Stevens) while on the road to seeking aid, in Gilberto Gazcon's Rage (1966). If you're familiar with Ford's work, you'll know what a reliable but under-rated craftsman he was. If you're not familiar with his work, well, you should be.