Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Henry Fonda


Henry Fonda was a remarkably versatile actor IMHO although apparently not the best father on the planet.

My favorite performance would be either in THE LADY EVE, where he is very funny, or in ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, where he scared the bejesus out of me.

Neither of these are typical performances though.

What's your favorite Henry Fonda performance?

21 comments:

George said...

I always admired Fonda's performance in THE RED PONY.

Paul D. Brazill said...

Pretty much everything, I think. The two that you mentioned and The Wrong Man come to mind.

His autobiography was called 'Fonda My Life' but Sophia Loren's wasn't called 'Sophia So Good.'

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have never seen THE RED PONY.
He was great in THE WRONG MAN but I always have trouble watching movies where people are unjustly accused of something.

Dana King said...

My first thoughts of Fonda are always of the respected man under pressure. TWELVE ANGRY MEN, FAIL SAFE, THE LONGEST DAY, though MR. ROBERTS is another favorite.

It's interesting you should mention ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, as that will arriving from NetFlix today.

sandra seamans said...

He was great in every movie he did, but The Ox-Bow Incident is a favorite.

Anonymous said...

THE GRAPES OF WRATH
THE LADY EVE
MY DARLING CLEMENTINE
ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST

Jeff M.

Charles Gramlich said...

Once upon a time in the west. What an awesome villain he made.

Anonymous said...

Jackie likes MISTER ROBERTS and HOW THE WEST WAS WON.

Jeff M.

Cullen Gallagher said...

So many great roles come to mind. MADIGAN might be my all-time favorite, though I also loved him in a forgotten movie called FIRECREEK where he plays a bad guy (like in ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST). John Ford's THE FUGITIVE I saw for the first time recently, and I really liked him as the priest in that movie.

All the other movies mentioned are also terrific.

I haven't seen ON GOLDEN POND in, oh jeez, 15 years at least. I'd be curious to revisit it.

le0pard13 said...

FAIL SAFE and ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST.

Richard R. said...

I'd go with TWELVE ANGRY MEN and also ON GOLDEN POND.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Grapes of Wrath was pretty good too.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Definitely HOW THE WEST WAS WON and ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST. Let's not forget YOURS, MINE AND OURS and THE BOSTON STRANGLER, two films I saw so many years ago.

Ron Scheer said...

Versatile, certainly. To those mentioned already, I'd add MY DARLING CLEMENTINE. His Wyatt Earp is historically all wrong, but I love the character he and John Ford created - a generous, patient, thoughtful man, who earned respect as a lawman without wearing a gun.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I bet because that's the kind of character he felt most comfortable playing.

Mike Dennis said...

ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, without question.

I read somewhere that Fonda saw the script to this movie and, old pro that he was, knew he had to play the villain. Sergio Leone wanted him, but Fonda was still under contract with a studio. After much arm-twisting and legal maneuvering, he got out of the contract just so he could play this cold-hearted villain.

Also, the day he reported to work, he was wearing brown contact lenses, figuring they would make him look more evil. Leone noticed them right away and made him take them off, saying he wanted to see the ice in his blue eyes. Leone had long felt there was something cold and distant about Fonda that no other movie had ever exploited. But he certainly did in ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST.

pattinase (abbott) said...

And those eyes were essential!

Erik Donald France said...

Oh, those are great!

Just saw bits of him as a young'un on Grapes of Wrath, over and over a few nights ago. Kind of surreal in the background.

Todd Mason said...

I'll agree with Sandra, THE OX-BOW INCIDENT. His outrage isn't quite as cold as his venom in the Leone film, but close.

Good narration for PAT PAULSEN FOR PRESIDENT, too.

Cap'n Bob said...

There are so many good ones, and of course I'm too late to add anything original to what's been mentioned. The first thing that popped into my head, though, was Tom Joad. Next was Wyatt Earp. He was also good in OUATITW, but the movie wasn't really so much.

James Reasoner said...

I can't add anything new, but my favorites would be ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (one of my all-time favorite movies), MISTER ROBERTS (one I really need to watch again soon), and THE GRAPES OF WRATH (where Fonda is a vital part of an excellent ensemble).