Friday, 24 April 2015

Alternate Best Actor 1990: Leslie Cheung in Days of Being Wild

Leslie Cheung did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Yuddy in Days of Being Wild.

Days of Being Wild is an interesting enough film about the several people who's lives are effected by one man finding out he was adopted. The ending might be a bit random, it's Tony Leung for some reason, but that can happen when the intended sequel does not materialize.

Leslie Cheung plays the sort of lead to the film. I say sort of lead because the film somewhat randomly jumps between characters although the consistent factor is that Yuddy is behind something that's happening to them often inadvertently. Cheung's performance is very one note which may seem strange considering the nature of role. Yuddy is basically a playboy who spends his time mooching of his non-mother, and charming women then proceeding to break their hearts. It might seem as though one would have to switch a bit to be believable. The strength of Cheung performance though is that Cheung does it all in a single manner really. The overriding quality that Cheung exudes is the self-indulgence in Yuddy. He's about as selfish as one can imagine and Cheung presents in a particularly interesting way. It's almost in a look of his which is that of the beautiful romantic, well you know the beautiful romantic of a romantic novel. This one look is basically enough for the character because of how much Cheung manages to bring out of it.

In the scenes where he charms the women Cheung does not necessarily change from that note by any means though but he manages to have this certain false allure about it in these scenes where he speaks to the women. Cheung manages in these moments to be that his expression is that of the deep thoughts, and there is in fact a certain charm about him when he speaks the words to woo the women. It's an interesting trick to be sure which Cheung pulls off flawlessly. It becomes particularly fascinating when we gets the scenes where he's basically done with the women or when he's talking to his non-mother. In these scenes it becomes abundantly obvious just how much of a lie those other scenes are as Cheung cleverly reveals the "deep thoughts" to be vapid nothings. Cheung shows simply that there's nothing really to Yuddy as a man. He's a big nothing who just happens to be good at suggesting that he's something else. Cheung handles this so well though because he's so convincing at making this other side to Yuddy while in not way hiding his true nature.

The only time it seems we might get a bit more from Yuddy is near the end of the film when something happens to him that obviously must break his reserve. Of course it does not reveal as much as one might think, in fact Cheung does well to once again not really give any more depth to Yuddy. It's an effective final scene though because what Cheung does is show that even in a more stressful situation he once again can't help but be terribly indulgent. He once again shows him thinking those deep thoughts with the only difference in this case being that he has at least something to think about for once. Cheung gives a very good performance here because he renders his one note so wonderfully and it's intriguing how much he gets out of it. My only reservations come in terms of the way the film uses him. His appearances a bit random and sometimes really quite brief. We get parts of interactions but the film almost seems to purposefully diminish his impact by skipping what one would assume would be important scenes. Nevertheless I can't fault Cheung himself as his realization of Yuddy is rather remarkable.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Alternate Best Actor 1990: Ray Liotta in Goodfellas

Ray Liotta did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Henry Hill in Goodfellas.

Goodfellas was very well received while being nominated for and winning many awards. Very few were given to Ray Liotta's lead performance, some leading performance recognition went to Robert De Niro instead who would never have ever been considered lead if the role was played by a lesser known actor. This is not all too surprising even though role of Henry Hill is quite a challenge, it is not the challenge that an actor is often given credit for. Henry Hill acts as our guide through the world of the mob in New Jersey as we follow him from his earliest days as a teenager working small time jobs, to becoming fully embedded into higher dealings of the mob life. Perhaps one of the most noted aspects of Liotta's performance is actually his narration. Narration often seems something that's taken more for granted than it should be. Liotta's delivery is pitch perfect here as it has such an earthy life to it. It is not merely a list of observances that Liotta gives rather he gives each moment a vivid detail of how Henry feels about each event he describes. Liotta's narration contributes to the film's atmosphere incredibly well, and further helps to establish the world the film is set in.

Now even though his narration is always present, except for few scenes where Henry's wife Karen takes over, Liotta's performance is not always front and center even though he's definitely lead. The film gives great detail to the whole world he's in with even some minor oddball crooks getting a bit of time to themselves. Liotta though is a constant as he best personifies kinda a criminal with a lack of a different element to him. He's not the boss like Paulie (Paul Sorvino), a criminal mastermind like Jimmy (Robert De Niro), nor is a psychopath like Tommy (Joe Pesci). Henry very simply is a man in it for the life of the wiseguy. Liotta is terrific in realizing simply the allure of the life through his performance. As he gets to be the toughest guy not in the mob, is allowed to have essentially an endless supply of cash as well as getting to basically act as though he is above everyone else who's not in the life, Liotta brings the enthusiasm of these moments in his performance. In his face you find the joy of living the life, with all the thrills coming from it. Of course Goodfellas is not a glorification of the mob by any means, and it does not shy away from the darker elements of what comes with that life in the least.

This is where one of the challenges come in with his performance in that Henry is not a good guy by any means. In addition Liotta does not compromise in this respect as he portrays rather bluntly just how uncouth and uncaring Henry can be at times towards the people in his life particularly his wife. Liotta's performance works though in the way he shows how a man of the lifestyle would be actually. There's that certain natural cruelty that Liotta brings that feels particularly genuine when Henry basically brushes off some of his more harmful behavior that just comes with his life. Henry's not necessarily pure evil though so to speak as he obviously is not like Tommy or even Jimmy in terms of his personal nature. As with Martin Scorsese's pseudo re-make of Goodfellas, The Wolf of Wall Street, Liotta, like Leonardo DiCaprio would in the later film, helps to present the straight forward depiction of a man who loves being a criminal. A funny thing is that Liotta brings much, well heart I suppose, to his portrayal of the "low class" criminal than DiCaprio would bring as a "high class" criminal. That's not a dig at that later performance, but it's rather just interesting to note that little bit of depth of the mobsters opposed to the pure vapid nature of the Wall Street crooks.

This is a notable difference as it becomes one of the most remarkable elements in Ray Liotta's performance. One thing that's a constant in the world of the mob, that's not in the world of the broker, is death. With this one thing comes Liotta's performance as he does give a measure of humanity to Henry. Liotta is excellent in being the reactionary man with any sense of the value of life in the scene where either Jimmy and especially Tommy get into a violent rage. Liotta plays this scenes especially well in that in one part he often acts as kinda the good cop so to speak as he tries to act as the calm person to talk to when ruffing someone up. Not every case of it is business though particularly with Tommy will become violent from the slightest perceived insult. Liotta is terrific in these scenes by showing that even to someone like Henry, who's in no way opposed to twisting or breaking a few arms, is actually a bit repulsed by the extreme violence and reflects the fear associated with being around Tommy's intensity. Liotta effectively brings a gravity in these scenes as well as establishes that Henry isn't fully comfortable with every aspect of the mob life.

Liotta performance works well within the scenes that may highlight De Niro's or Pesci's performances, as he always knows how to work around them in forming the certain group dynamic they have. In addition though when the film's last act almost squarely focuses upon Henry, Liotta does not falter in the spotlight. Throughout the film Liotta is particularly good in portraying the slow decay in Henry as the tension of the life grows which is only compounded when he becomes a cocaine addict. Liotta is outstanding in portraying the mental paranoia as he there is a pervasiveness nervousness in him, and in addition to that Liotta shows in such detail just how physically spent Henry is. Every twitch and shaken mannerism of Liotta's feels absolutely genuine and realizes so well the toll the drugs have on him. The final act then is basically putting the nails into the coffin of Henry's well being. In this way Liotta is just about flawless as he loses that joyful enthusiasm of the past and presents just what happens to the criminal when the vices of his life finally close in on him. He presents very naturally Henry coming to grips with his situation well seeing what his life has been worth, and I really love his silent reaction of understanding the moment he knows that it is either become a witness or die. Then to top it all off though Liotta's very brief, though very important, last scene as Liotta shows a defeated Henry not because he turned in his friends, rather because he can only go back and remember when he lived the dream.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Alternate Best Actor 1990: James Caan in Misery

James Caan did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Paul Sheldon in Misery.

Misery is an effective thriller about a famous author who is saved by his number one fan after getting into a car accident during a blizzard.

Most of the praise given to Misery stems from Kathy Bates's Oscar winning performance as nurse/deranged fan Annie Wilkes. Now there is a reason for that as Bates's Oscar win is one of the most deserving period, but this unfortunately leaves the leading man of the film routinely forgotten in discussions regarding the film. It's funny to note is that Caan actually does something that usually is noted, which is playing against type. The problem is though it happens to be in the way that's never given any credit. Caan is best known for playing a man's man who are usually commanding characters. That's not the case here as Paul Sheldon is a fairly unassuming writer, and in addition to that he spends the majority of the film bed ridden. We are introduced to Sheldon as he plans to finish his new book that is not part of his extremely popular Misery series of books. Sheldon's main point early on is that he wants to write something more meaningful for him and away from the books he's become tired of writing. Having Caan in the role instantly strips away the hint of pretension in this motivation as he makes Sheldon just a likable down to earth guy in the film's brief introduction.

Sheldon's car accident leaves him in the company of Annie Wilkes as the film becomes a two character piece, outside of the welcome cutaways to the investigation thanks to the fact that Richard Farnsworth plays the local sheriff. Caan has two particularly major challenges to deal with the first being that he is physically very restricted by the character's predicament, and also has to deal with the flamboyancy innate to Annie Wilkes, which is played to utter perfection by Bates. Well firstly although Caan is either in a bed or in a wheel chair for most of the film there's nothing underwhelming about his physical depiction of Paul. In fact Caan perhaps gives one of the very best portrayals of a straight forward physical anguish. Caan does not leave it to simply all the slings and made up bruises to sell Sheldon's injuries from the accident. Caan expresses every inch of that pain in his portrayal as he shows it to be almost overwhelming in the earliest scenes of the film. This particularly important as Caan properly depicts the very slow and gradual recovery of Paul over the weeks. There never is a misstep in Caan's performance he keeps the condition that Paul is in a constant.

The role of Paul Sheldon was repeatedly turned down before it was finally accepted, and it is easy to see why as Sheldon is most often a reactionary role with the big emotional moments given to Annie. Those actors perhaps correctly predicted that the actress playing Annie was likely to be the one to receive the plaudits. Caan though apparently took on the role due to the nature of the part which was very much opposed to his usual characters who often did not hesitate to speak their minds. Caan's performance is brilliant in that he creates much of the terror through the way Paul interacts with Annie. Caan's good in the earliest scenes with her as he shows Paul to be appropriately thankful towards her for saving his life, but he also does well in the role as he kinda puts on the gracious author to the fan routine. It is not that he's being overly cruel to her or anything but Caan's great at showing kinda the autopilot manner as he accepts her rabid praise as she declares her love for everything related to Misery. Caan does well though to bring honesty to thanking her as well as in the moments where Paul wonders how his daughter is coping with his disappearance.

Of course not everything stays peachy and that's when Caan really starts to facilitate Bates's performance with his own. Caan always stays at his core a realistic depiction of a man in the situation that Paul finds him in which is essential to play against the crazy horror that is Annie Wilkes. Caan is terrific in the first instance where Annie shows her dark side as she gives her thoughts on his new book, which she does not care for largely it seems due to the swearing in the book. Caan at first keeps that same gracious artist routine until she becomes more intense with her complaints and Caan's reaction is absolute perfection as he realizes the unease in Paul as he starts to see the side of her that's not so cheery. In this way Caan becomes one of the very best straight men ever. There is a very strong vein of dark humor in the film and Caan brings a great deal of this out with his performance. When Bates goes on a mad tirade about something that would seem incidental to anyone who's not her, Caan brings out both horror and the humor through his nervous reactions of complete disbelief that only grow stronger the more obvious it becomes just how bent Annie is.

Caan does not waste really an inch of himself through his down to earth performance that so well amplifies Bates's. One scene in particular I think expresses this best which is the infamous hobbling scene, where Annie gruesomely ensures that Paul stays disabled. The spine tingling nature of the scene would not be found if it weren't for Caan. His squirming in an overpowering fear as he sees what she's doing, along with his meekly asking her to please stop builds up the moments to an almost excruciating point. Then as he writhes in pain of the moment of the act, Caan brings it all home as he delivers in showing just how horrible the act is. Caan is so on point here it is incredible in the way he jumps around the part with such ease. Whether its portraying the points of the torture or the way Paul tries to handle Annie. Caan's performance is pivotal once again in the scenes where he convinces Annie to do something as he believably puts on a false charm when he tries to play into Annie's fan girl tendencies. Caan though is flawless in the way he jumps to genuine fear, if the plan goes wrong, or to such earned exasperation when she turns around or simply he's just had too much of her insanity. Also even though some of the most emotional scenes are given to Bates, that's not to say Caan has none. In fact Caan is very moving in the scene where Annie forces him to burn his new book as he expresses just how much losing the new work means to him as he is made to destroy it. Caan absolutely convincing in this meeker role, he does not allow himself to be overshadowed by Bates instead he fulfills the need of grounding her work. He realizes every step of Paul's terrifying predicament with his fantastic work. I have to say I love this performance which deserves to be praised right along with Bates's.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Alternate Best Actor 1990: Michael Rooker in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Michael Rooker did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying the titular character of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.

Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer bluntly depicts the life of a murderer.

The reliable character actor Michael Rooker had a bit of a strange break as an actor in that he apparently received many of his more notable roles from the late eighties due to this film's festival runs while the film itself struggled through several years of limbo before finally getting a theatrical release. He was usually given the roles of pretty rotten men which is not surprising given his performance that caused his pseudo breakout. The film takes the approach of focusing very specifically on the behavior the killer. It does not gives us his whole life, nor does it even gives us any police investigation to stop him. We are simply given Henry as he well behaves in the way that he does. There's a very specific lack of theatricality about the depiction of the killer which in turn plays into Michael Rooker's performance as Henry. This is one of the performances where the character really is granted. There is never a question of the performance of Rooker. Rooker simply is Henry here without ever there being the slightest hint of acting in his realization of the man which is essentially in giving us the most unfortunate fly on the wall view we are given of Henry and his life.

Rooker strikes up a particularly unpleasant manner with his performance in that he does not present Henry as someone who hides his psychopathy exactly, well otherwise than strictly not killing someone. At the same time Rooker in on way wears on his sleeve to the point that someone would go running the opposite direction once they see his face. Rooker instead portrays him as an introverted loner, which works particularly well in creating how Henry goes about his life. There's nothing clearly wrong with him yet there's nothing clearly right with him either. Of course this is only through a cursory glance and this might change a bit when someone is unfortunate enough to get to know him for a more than just a few seconds. Rooker carries that withdrawn intensity incredibly well in his performance as the violent tendencies becomes a constant with the character. Rooker realizes something especially off-putting through this approach as he shows that Henry does not need to be set of to kill. The ability or potential for him to kill is just a constant in Rooker's portrayal of him. When Henry is going to kill it's merely something that he does which is no way needs to be that of a special occasion.

Many of the scenes of the film have a brutal effectiveness when we merely see Henry go somewhere, and then later see the death later on in gruesome detail. Again there is something so disturbing though about Rooker's method in portrayal as he shows the behavior to be just his natural course of action. There's nothing that needs to go wrong, it is just something he will do. The film eventually does depict some of the murders when Henry's friend Otis (Tom Towles) gets in on the murders as well. Rooker is frightening in these scenes through his uncompromising depiction of Henry's brutality towards his victims. What seems almost most cruel about it is how quick and really meaningless the way Rooker portrays Henry commits them. There's not a second thought about it, it's just what he's going to do and that's a cruel fact about the man. Where Towles shows that Otis is obviously getting a kick out of the murders this is less the case for Rooker's performance. There might be the momentary glimpse of it when Henry comes with something new to do to a victim, but it is almost as if he's been doing it so long it in a way is basically his job which he performs so regularly that it is a routine.

The film never has any moments that depict the past of Henry but he does tells a story about his childhood to Otis's sister Becky (Tracy Arnold). Henry details his childhood where he suffered constant abuse by his prostitute mother. Rooker is outstanding in the scene as he reveals the pain in Henry's past in such a brilliant fashion. What is so remarkable about it is that he does not breakdown exactly in a way that would not make sense for Henry. Rooker is fascinating in the way he shows this in a man who really is without humanity. Rooker is very powerful and moving in his own way as he conveys a hollowness about Henry as speaks the past. There is a real emotion there somewhere as Rooker presents it almost as Henry is looking to where the warmth of his life should have come from with his mother. Rooker though portrays past the deepest hate in Henry instead though as he remembers his mother as he suggests in part the creation of the man as he is. The suffering of his past is made palatable through Rooker's portrayal of it though he always keeps something missing that keeps Henry from ever finding any real humanity within himself.

Much like Richard Attenborough's portrayal of John Reginald Christie in 10 Rillington Place, Rooker rightly keeps Henry's nature as a constant. At most we are given the moments where Henry puts Otis in his place when Otis makes incestuous moves towards his sister. Again though Rooker is terrific by presenting it as almost instinctual reaction towards his own abuse by a family member. It does not indicate a change rather it is as natural of a behavior as his killing. What is so unnerving about his Rooker's performance is the way he makes this such a constant in the man, and that the violence is merely a guaranteed reaction from him. By the end of the film he has not changed and the simple truth he never will change. Henry is not arrested by the end of the film, but he likely just will eventually be after committing more murders in the same way he was going at the beginning of the film. The strength of his performance seems almost like a relatively simple one which is to just genuine be the working class murderer that Henry is. It's an absolutely chilling performance by making the behavior of the man feel so honest.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Alternate Best Actor 1990

And the Nominees Were Not:

Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands

Michael Rooker in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Ray Liotta in Goodfellas

Leslie Cheung in Days of Being Wild

James Caan in Misery

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1941: Results

5. Joseph Cotten in Citizen Kane - Aside from his scenes as an old man Cotten gives a considerably more assured performance than most of co-stars, and effectively creates a sympathetic character arc to follow along Kane's own. 

Best Scene: After Kane loses the election.
4. Herbert Marshall in The Little Foxes - Marshall gives a very moving portrayal of the physical and mental decay of a decent man among fiends.

Best Scene: Horace rejects Regina's request.
3. Edward Arnold in The Devil and Daniel Webster - Arnold realizes the assumed greatness of his character through his strong presence and genuine passion.

Best Scene: Daniel Webster addresses the jury.
2. Laird Cregar in I Wake Up Screaming - Cregar gives a brilliantly grim portrayal of his shadowy detective, but also manages to be rather heartbreaking when explaining the underlying motivations of the character.

Best Scene: Ed Cornell reveals his connection to the deceased.
1. Peter Lorre in The Maltese Falcon - Peter Lorre is superb managing to be both quite humorous and very sinister in his enigmatic portrayal of Joel Cairo. This an amazing year for supporting actor, especially for the 40's, and I really hate to leave Arnold out of the top five.

Best Scene: Cairo's arrival.
Overall Rank:
  1. Walter Huston in The Devil and Daniel Webster
  2. Van Heflin in Johnny Eager
  3. Peter Lorre in The Maltese Falcon
  4. Laird Cregar in I Wake Up Screaming
  5. Sydney Greenstreet in The Maltese Falcon
  6. Edward Arnold in The Devil and Daniel Webster
  7. Herbert Marshall in The Little Foxes
  8. Joseph Cotten in Citizen Kane
  9. Claude Rains in The Wolf Man
  10. Claude Rains in Here Comes Mr. Jordan
  11. Donald Crisp in How Green Was My Valley
  12. Barry Fitzgerald in The Sea Wolf
  13. William Demarest in The Lady Eve
  14. Elisha Cook, Jr. in The Maltese Falcon
  15. Leslie Howard in 49th Parallel
  16. John Qualen in The Devil and Daniel Webster
  17. Anton Walbrook in 49th Parallel
  18. Walter Brennan in Meet John Doe
  19. Dana Andrews in Ball of Fire
  20. Gene Lockhart in The Sea Wolf
  21. Niall MacGinnis in 49th Parallel 
  22. Richard Haydn in Ball of Fire
  23. Henry Travers in Ball of Fire
  24. S.Z. Sakall in Ball of Fire
  25. Leonard Kinskey in Ball of Fire
  26. Tully Marshall in Ball of Fire
  27. Aubrey Mather in Ball of Fire
  28. Oskar Homolka in Ball of Fire
  29. Edmund Gwenn in The Devil and Miss Jones
  30. H.B. Warner in The Devil and Daniel Webster
  31. Raymond Massey in 49th Parallel
  32. Charles Coburn in The Lady Eve
  33. S.Z. Sakall in The Devil and Miss Jones
  34. Alan Hale in The Strawberry Blonde
  35. Elisha Cook, Jr. in I Wake Up Screaming
  36. Finlay Currie in 49th Parallel
  37. William Demarest in Sullivan's Travels
  38. Edward Everett Horton in Here Comes Mr. Jordan
  39. Robert Cummings in The Devil and Miss Jones
  40. Edward Arnold in Meet John Doe
  41. Jack Carson in Love Crazy
  42. Donald MacBride in High Sierra
  43. Eugene Pallette in The Lady Eve
  44. Ward Bond in The Maltese Falcon
  45. Jack Carson in The Strawberry Blonde
  46. Porter Hall in Sullivan's Travels
  47. Jerome Cowan in The Maltese Falcon
  48. Edward Arnold in Johnny Eager
  49. James Gleason in Meet John Doe
  50. Henry Travers in High Sierra
  51. Walter Brennan in Sergeant York
  52. Laurence Olivier in 49th Parallel
  53. Rhys Williams in How Green Was My Valley
  54. Richard Carlson in The Little Foxes
  55. Dan Duryea in Ball of Fire
  56. Barry Fitzgerald in How Green Was My Valley
  57. Henry Hull in High Sierra
  58. Frances Sullivan in "Pimpernel Smith"
  59. Nigel Bruce in Suspicion
  60. Dan Duryea in The Little Foxes
  61. Bela Lugosi in The Wolf Man
  62. Ray Collins in Citizen Kane
  63. Vladimir Sokoloff in Love Crazy
  64. Barton MacLane in The Maltese Falcon
  65. James Barton in The Shepherd of the Hills 
  66. Gene Lockhart in The Devil and Daniel Webster
  67. Ralph Bellamy in The Wolf Man 
  68. Paul Stewart in Citizen Kane
  69. Cornel Wilde in High Sierra
  70. Charles Dingle in The Little Foxes
  71. Arthur Kennedy in High Sierra 
  72. Ward Bond in The Shepherd of the Hills
  73. Leo G. Carroll in Suspicion 
  74. Walter Pidgeon in How Green Was My Valley
  75. William Alland in Citizen Kane
  76. Ward Bond in Sergeant York
  77. Carl Benton Reed in The Little Foxes
  78. Alan Mowbray in That Hamilton Woman
  79. Sam Levene in Shadow of the Thin Man
  80. Walter Abel in Hold Back the Dawn
  81. George Tobias in Sergeant York 
  82. Allyn Joslyn in I Wake Up Screaming
  83. Cy Kendall in Johnny Eager 
  84. George Coulouris in Citizen Kane
  85. Alan Mowbray in I Wake Up Screaming
  86. Everett Sloane in Citizen Kane
  87. James Gleason in Here Comes Mr. Jordan
  88. Arthur Shields in How Green Was My Valley
  89. Paul Stewart in Johnny Eager
Next Year: 1990 Lead

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1941: Herbert Marshall in The Little Foxes

Herbert Marshall did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Horace Giddens in The Little Foxes.

The Little Foxes is an effective drama about the corrupt inner workings of a greedy family.

Herbert Marshall plays Horace Giddens the man unlucky enough to be married to the cold Regina (Bette Davis), which unfortunately makes him family with the despicable Hubbards. The one thing all the Hubbards hold in common, including Horace's wife, is they seem to prefer money above all else. Horace does not make his first appearance until some time until the film, although he spoken about mainly in the context that he has a terrible heart condition that will likely lead to his death. Herbert Marshall portrays Horace as a man of quiet dignity as he very gently interacts with everyone including his daughter Alexandra (Teresa Wright) or anyone else who has the slightest hint of human decency. Marshall very quickly makes Horace the most likable character the most likable character in the film by only giving off a very honest demeanor while clearly establishing that Horace in no way shares the avaricious nature of his family by law. Marshall exudes an understated compassion as he makes the love of his daughter a simple fact, as it's clearly what he cares about most in life.

Marshall is quite effective as he portrays Horace as no fool in regards to his interactions with his wife and the rest of the greedy Hubbards. Marshall presents it well as essentially that Horace has simply had enough of their behavior. As he interacts with them, and discovers each new plot in which to make themselves even richer than they already are Marshall does not express surprise. He rather bluntly shows the disdain in a boredom of sorts. Marshall makes it quite clear that it is all simply business as usual for them, and that Horace is unable to do much more than almost roll his eyes at the antics of his relatives. Marshall though does distinguish this from Horace's physical state which also leaves him in a certain state. Marshall portrays well clearly the other sort of exhaustion from his heart condition, as he very carefully takes a calm approach in his manner as he shows Horace is clearly trying to avoid any undue stress.

Although Horace is able to avoid his in-laws he cannot completely ignore his wife which is where the problems lie for the character. Marshall is terrific in the scenes with Davis as he continually keeps Horace trying to keep his distance from her, to ignore her pointless bickering. Marshall is rather moving because he does not show this to be a coldness in Horace, but simply Horace's understanding of the coldness in Regina. There are moments where Marshall brings a great deal of poignancy as Horace seems to try to reach out in some way to his wife, to show his past love for her, but he only ever receives a cold response. Horace continuously suffers the ill-will of his wife, and Marshall is especially good in realizing the slow decay of Horace's physical state. In every fight Marshall conveys the increase in the pressure and stress while so sadly showing that Horace obviously wants no part of the pointless drama his wife has created. This is a very good performance by Herbert Marshall as he makes Horace an appropriately tragic figure, bringing such an understated likability to the part while fully realizing the evil inflicted upon him by his shallow wife.