Friday, November 10, 2006

Jack Palance, R. I. P.

Oscar-Winning Actor Jack Palance Dies - New York Times: "Jack Palance, a coal miner’s son who spent most of a long Hollywood career playing memorable heavies in movies like “Shane” and “Sudden Fear,” only to win an Academy Award at 70 for a self-parodying comic performance in “City Slickers,” died yesterday at his home in Montecito, Calif."

When I was a kid and saw Shane for the first time, I was impressed by a lot of things: the Tetons, Alan Ladd, and Jean Arthur come to mind. But most of all I was impressed by Jack Palance. It's probably the first movie I ever saw him in, and he exuded malevolence. The scene where he goads the homesteader into the gunfight was a shocker to me, and the final shoot-out with Alan Ladd stuck with me for many years. I'm glad Palance finally won his Oscar for City Slickers.


Nick Stump said...

What a loss. His original TV version of "Requiem for a Heavyweight" was remarkable. What a great heavy he was. The only good thing that can come from his death is TCM will probably show a bunch of his movies in tribute.

I'm glad he finally got his Oscar too. He gave so many trophy worthy performances.

Elizabeth Foxwell said...

Does anyone remember David Frye's great impersonation of Jack Palance:
"I stuffed an old lady into a mailbox...without any postage! Mwa-ha-ha!"

Todd Mason said...

It was a hell of an afternoon for men called Jack.

His take on DRACULA, which I think I read decades ago, that the key to the Count was that he not only was a literal bloodsucker but a creature who robbed others of their psychic energy just by being in their presence, was interesting...and certainly fit in with the kind of character he played so well.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

In addition to his fine movie work, Palance was a poet. I remember a number of his appearances on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson during which he read some of his verse. On one memorable appearance he had a pipe in his mouth and kept lighting matches but never getting around to lighting the pipe. He may have been a bit tipsy at the time. He also made a veiled threat to treat another guest that night, Charles Nelson Reilly, to a good ass whooping. His work in Shane is aprt of why that movie belongs on anyone's top ten westerns list.

Nick Stump said...

I'd forgotten about Dracula. Great version--all Jack. I'll have to locate a copy somewhere.