Character actor Michael Shannon has been nominated for his second Oscar for his role in the 2016 thriller Nocturnal Animals. "No Small Parts" takes a look at some of the other characters he's played in the past.
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Robert Walker Jr.,
Hans Muller is a Jewish refugee from Germany. Relocating to Israel after World War II, he can not overcome the psychological effects of the war. After attacking a policeman, Hans becomes a fugitive, traveling through Israel with a teenage boy. Written by
Jeanne Armintrout <email@example.com>
The film is based on author Michael Blankfort's novel with the same title. Initially, producer Stanley Kramer wanted author Michael Blankfort to direct the film but Blankfort was refused a passport for travel to Israel by the United States State Department because Blankfort had been a Communist many years earlier.Kramer reassigned the film to director Edward Dmytryk who served almost a year in prison in 1948 after being convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to divulge his political affiliations.After his release from prison, Dmytryk moved to England but returned to the U.S. and gave testimony before the House Committee on Un-American Activities and, as a result, was removed from the film industry "blacklist". See more »
Kirk Douglas plays a Holocaust survivor who is still suffering mental illness after ten years in a concentration camp where he also learned that his wife and children were killed by being put in an oven. After the war Douglas goes to Israel to try and start his life over but his mental condition nearly leads to him killing a cop but he heads off and finds new friends in a closed off community but his past is still looking for him. Edward Dymtryk directed this film, which has its heart in the right place but there are a few major flaws that really kills the film. Needless to say, Douglas gives a very strong and heartbreaking performance and I've heard this is one of his favorites. There's a scene towards the start of the film where he sees a woman with two children and thinks that they are his even though he knows they're really dead. The breakdown Douglas shows in this scene is among the best of his career. There are countless dramatic moments like this one and here lies one of the problems. Douglas gives a strong enough of a performance where the director should have let the acting do the talking but instead of doing that he pumps up the music score. Every time something dramatic happens he pumps up the music score and this here killed most of the drama for me. The film also wants to make the viewer cry every few minutes and this doesn't work either.
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