|Index||3 reviews in total|
With a huge roster of contemporary stars (including returns by Whoopi Goldberg, Julia Roberts and Dustin Hoffman) "100 Years... 100 Stars" provides an even closer look into Hollywood than it's predecessor, "100 Years... 100 Movies". It has practically every major star from the Golden Age of Hollywood on its list but there is bound to be some disagreement about some of them (i.e. Fred Astaire in 5th place? NO!!! Gary Cooper should have been in 5th place instead of being in 11th. Fred Astaire didn't have THAT much dramatic power to belong in the top five (which is where only the truly great dramatic and completely gifted comedians should be-Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn were the only two comedic actors (although both were MASTERS in dramatic roles too) who were in the top five. But other than that, I don't find that much to argue about except for the omission of Rosalind Russell from the ladies' list. She was an excellent actress with perfect presence for her time! I really recommend this to any film buff (it is available on DVD/VHS at amazon.com. It's truly worth it!
Not as good as AFI's 100 Years, 100 Movies, but this documentary still has some interesting features. However, I disagree with many of the choices made. I don't believe that Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Vivien Leigh, Claudette Colbert, Grace Kelly, and Ginger Rogers should have made the list. These are all great actors, but to me there are far superior actors such as Paul Robeson, Deborah Kerr, Gloria Swanson, Gloria Grahame, Sydney Greenstreet, Myrna Loy, William Powell, Jean Arthur, Mary Astor, the three Barrymore siblings (John, Lionel, Ethel), Walter Huston, Richard Burton, Montgomery Clift, Bing Crosby, Rosalind Russell, Olivia de Havilland, W.C. Fields, Bob Hope, Boris Karloff, Charles Laughton, Harold Llyod, Peter Lorre, Joel McCrea, Fredric March, Vincent Price, Anthony Quinn, Claude Rains, Thelma Ritter, Mickey Rooney, Jane Russell, Peter Sellers, Norma Shearer, Frank Sinatra, Lana Turner and Natalie Wood. The bottom line, is that AFI should have picked the top 50 actors and top 50 actresses instead of 25. This way, many more legendary actors would have been included.
It's a great documentary overall. Highly recommended.
I have a couple of problems with the list though. I know I am going to get a lot of complaints for this one, but Audrey Hepburn is a little bit too lofty. I love her a lot, don't get me wrong. She may be an influential person outside of the theatre, however, her acting abilities are no where close to those directly above and below her. Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Ingrid Bergman, Greta Garbo had so much more depth. Aside from "Wait Until Dark", Audrey Hepburn movies showed nothing substantially different from what she is in real person. Gary Cooper, doing the same thing, got ranked 11th because he is on screen what he is in real life. Audrey Hepburn then, in all objectivity, be at the same rank.
Along the same logic, I disagree with the disparity in the placement of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe. They essentially did the same thing: through their death, their 15-minutes of fame transformed into a perpetual legacy. While I respect that, I think it's strange that Dean got a 18th rank while Monroe got a 6th rank.
Lastly, this is strictly out of my own opinion, but I think with Audrey Hepburn out of the top 5, the remaining 4 should switch places. The two Swedish ladies ought to be #1 and #2 while Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davis are placed as 3 and 4. My reasoning is that we pay money to see movie actors act. The two verbs in the latter part of that sentence are "see" and "act". All four of them had tremendous depths and breadth, so there isn't much of a difference in terms of acting ability. The other verb, however, makes a difference. We pay money to see aesthetics on screen. While Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davis turns the script into magic, they're not as aesthetically pleasing as the two Swedes. (The documentary itself even goes on for a while to say how Bette Davis isn't the prettiest of all actresses.) We pay to see beauty, second only to acting ability. And I believe that should be the reason why Ingrid and Greta should be the top two actresses of all time. (Not to mention their INTERESTING private lives that was also a factor in deciding the rankings. I mean, how many actors can claim bragging rights to a Senator denouncing them for adultery on the Congressional floor? Or forcing studio executives to fire Lord Laurence Olivier just to get their ex-lover a role in a film?)
Along the same logic mentioned above, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart should be 1 and 2 while Bogart should be 3.
Overall, it is a great documentary, go buy it and watch it.
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