Call me crazy (or call me one who spends too much time watching classic movies), but some of the most talented actors and actresses aren’t found in the new releases in contemporary day; they’re the ones who defined glamour in the 1940s and 1950s. They were dynamic and multi-faceted; a man’s man and women who were the epitome of glamour. The Paul Newmans and Joanne Woodwards and Susan Haywards – they’re indicative of all that’s wonderful and magical in that place we call “Hollywood”. So who would a director choose to play the role of those stars should their biographies ever be put to film? I have some ideas. These are based more on their physical similarities, but there are quite a few modern actors who’d do their predecessors justice should they ever have the opportunity. Here are a few – and I’ll add to the list over time.
First up, Montgomery Clift. Despite his evil thoughts in A Place in the Sun, which he starred alongside Elizabeth Taylor, you can’t help but want to rescue him. He’s convincing and plays the lead role with confidence and talent. There’s only one actor who’d be able to dominate with such a confident presence and that’s James Marsden. Their looks are so similar, it’s eerie. He most
certainly would give the Montgomery Clift story the justice it so richly deserves. By the way, check out the clip from A Place in the Sun below. It’s the scene where George Eastman and Angela Vickers (played by Clift and Montgomery, respectively) meet for the first time. Come on – all these years later, it’s still clear as a bell they were destined to fall in love in real life.
One of the best actresses of all time, in my opinion, is Susan Hayward. She and Margaret Colin share the same dynamics and nuances in their roles. Both come across as confident and self-assured on the screen. Colin would absolutely convince any Hayward fan – both in her mannerisms and looks. Imagine Colin in any of her roles, including her Oscar winning film, I Want to Live! (1958) No doubt she’d rock it – and then some! We want to see her playing Hayward first, though.
Last up in this post in Judy Holliday. Bless her heart! My favorite role of hers was in Adam’s Rib, released in 1949. It must have been quite intimidating – and exciting – to work with Hepburn and
Tracy. Holliday owned this role – and likely made cheating husbands everywhere think twice about their actions. She, along with Lucille Ball, made it easier for female comediennes to follow. So who’s the one that could fill this tall order? None other than Hillary Swank! This class act always fills the screen and that’s just what’s needed for any film that tells the Judy Holliday story.
Send me your thoughts and who you think would play a convincing Bette Davis or Spencer Tracy. Email me at email@example.com, tweet me or leave a comment – I love hearing from you!