Top/Flops, Keaton & Lloyd
Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:58am

Well, Maggs, I'm not expert enough in other actors/filmmakers' careers to counter your "seems to be a common theme" point --- I guess it depends upon what you mean by "top" and by "flop". If you're talkin' about actors who were no longer popular in the States heading to Europe and finding moderate success, then yes.

But I don't think there are many (if any) U.S. actors who went to Europe and became Stars on the level that Van Cleef achieved. Certainly some had a Smash Hit film or two, but LVC was in the Top Five Movie Stars in the European market for several years. The only other actors who matched that are all European, iirc, vs from the U.S.

As for Keaton & THE GENERAL --- I absolutely agree: it was nothing short of a disaster (perhaps with the pivotal train wreck scene therein as a metaphor) for Keaton's life and career.

And yet, today, Buster Keaton is considered a Genius and THE GENERAL is a Masterpiece.

If you're keen on the "Silent" era (NOTHING about it was "silent", thus my use of quotes), I suggest you check out Harold Lloyd ---- most folx know about Chaplin & Keaton, but Lloyd truly deserves the title "The Third Genius". (Also, if I recall my numbers correctly, Lloyd out-grossed both Chaplin & Keaton, combined -- at least over several years, if not en toto.)

Thanks for the new topic, Maggs! ;)

  • top (Europe) or flop (US)Maggie, Thu Nov 16 6:55am
    ... seems to be a common theme shared by more than one movie or movie star. Not LVC-related but set in the same era and with a similar backdrop: I just found out that Buster Keaton suffered shipwreck ... more
    • Found another one, same genre...Maggie, Fri Jan 5 6:49am
      Does anybody of you know or remember Lex Barker? He had a really big career over here with the ladies swooning over him and Pierre Brice, but when he tried to return to Hollywood he did not quite... more
      • I remember LexBob 0, Sat Jan 6 7:58am
        Walter Barnes was another who enjoyed bigger roles in Europe for years than he got in his native America including 3rd billing in The Big Gundown behind Lee and Tomas Millian. Clint Eastwood liked... more
    • Top/Flops, Keaton & Lloyd — DCG, Thu Nov 23 9:58am
      • Nice topic, MaggaDoc, Fri Nov 24 12:02pm
        I agree with DCG about adding Lloyd to the genius category. Another two names that spring to mind are Harry Langdon and Snub Pollard. They were both very popular in their heyday, especially Langdon,... more
        • Insightful as usual, Doc, and also...DCG, Sat Nov 25 10:41am
          ...as per usual, I agree with you virtually 100%. ;) Langdon & Pollard!! Very true, both these guys always fall onto the B-list when people think of "Silent" Movie Stars (esp. Snub Pollard) --- if... more
        • Nice observations!Maggie, Sat Nov 25 3:55am
          Oh yes, Harry Langdon... And of course there also were Fatty Arbuckle and the extremely hilarious James Finlayson, even though I only ever saw him as a supporting actor. And the gang of little louts... more
          • Correct Maggs.Doc, Sat Nov 25 9:56pm
            The women of silent comedy (1920s) and early talkies (1930s) were extremely talented but overshadowed by the men. Mainly their roles were more dramatic in nature, with such fine actors as Lillian... more
            • Nice overview, Doc...DCG, Sun Nov 26 9:24pm
              ...it's been a few years since I was "into" the Dawn of Film era, so all those you named didn't come trippingly to the tongue for me, as they did for you. ;) Marie Dressler is one I'd add to your... more
          • Giving "Silent" players a voiceDCG, Sat Nov 25 5:03pm
            Almost mentioned Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle in my earlier post, Maggs, so thanks for mentioning him in yours. He was, of course, instrumental in launching Keaton's career, but also worked with Chaplin... more
            • Oh, I just remembered ..Doc, Sat Nov 25 10:38pm
              Not sure if you and Maggs knew that Stan Laurel was actually Charlie Chaplin's understudy. Also worth mentioning, Laurel and Hardy appeared together in a silent short before they eventually teamed... more
              • Nice bits of info!Maggie, Mon Nov 27 3:23am
                I heard that Laurel and Hardy had met on the set of a movie, but I did not know about the Chaplin connection. Hardly surprising, is it? It stull must have been a small world. Yes, the Fatty Arbuckle... more
                • Your last sentence.Doc, Mon Nov 27 6:59am
                  I cannot lie ... I got chills when I read it. Genuine goosebumps.
          • Oh, yes!Maggie, Sat Nov 25 4:30am
            ... of course there is Mary Pickford....
      • ... and so do careers. Buster Keaton was a big star in the US in a way Lee never was before his career broke down and he never was the kind of star Lee was in Europe. Agreed. But there is a common... more
        • Van Cleef vs Keaton (et al)DCG, Sat Nov 25 9:25am
          OK, I see where you were going, Maggs, with the LVC/BK analogy... I guess I was going more literal, in my comments above. ;) Didn't really discover Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd (esp. Lloyd) until adulthood.... more
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