Great Performances

GREAT PERFORMANCES: Charlie Chaplin in THE GREAT DICTATOR (1940)

By Nick Maylor Charles Chaplin was a Master of Physical comedy. Countless hours of footage of him in character as “The Tramp” serve as testimony to the notion that he was perhaps the greatest slapstick performer in history. Chaplin was also a writer, director, producer and composer for much of his famous works. In his first…

GREAT PERFORMANCES — SEAN PENN IN DEAD MAN WALKING (1995)

By John H. Foote When he comes into view there is unmistakable swagger in his walk, an arrogance, a huge chip on his shoulders, hair perfectly teased into a pompadour, his eyes blaze with seething anger. It is as though he challenges anyone he encounters, as though he has something to prove. Yet once seated,…

Faye Dunaway’s Best Performances

By Alan Hurst It has not been a good couple of years for Faye Dunaway. In 2017 she got caught in the maelstrom of confusion during the presentation of the Best Picture award at that year’s Oscars, ultimately awarding the Oscar to Moonlight – the true winner – after having already announced La La Land…

GREAT PERFORMANCES — Gloria Swanson in SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950)

By John H. Foote It was a bold act by director Billy Wilder to cast former silent screen star Gloria Swanson as deluded, former silent screen star Norma Desmond in his superb film Sunset Boulevard (1950). It was much bolder of Swanson to accept the role, delivering a performance for the ages as the utterly…

GREAT PERFORMANCES — Bruce Dern in COMING HOME (1978)

By John H. Foote “My men were chopping off heads…because that’s what they were into” explains Bob Hyde to his visiting wife Sally, while on liberty in Hong Kong. She knows at once he is changed, off somehow, but she has no idea how deep the wounds on his soul really are. Captain Bob Hyde…

GREAT PERFORMANCES — Edward Norton in AMERICAN HISTORY X (1998)

By John H. Foote Derek (Edward Norton) is an imposing figure as he stands in the middle of his street, wearing only boots and jockey shorts. Muscles ripple, a swastika covers his heart, various tattoos cover him, his head is shaved. He puts down his gun, gingerly as the police arrive, placing his arms above…