Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Good actors miscast



So many, many examples but this one is near the top of my list. George Clooney is not Batman and never will be. Why did anyone think he was? Understanding who is Batman is part of the game.

It is hard to separate miscasts in bad movies like this one though. Or Tom Hanks in BONFIRE or Kevin Costner in ROBIN HOOD.

Who else?

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

All good choices (I mean, bad choices).

#1 has to be Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher
Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum
Lucille Ball as Mame


Jeff M.

Anonymous said...

Whoopi Goldberg as Bernie Rhodenbarr
Dean Martin as Matt Helm
Kathleen Turner as V. I. Warshawski


Jeff M.

Chad Eagleton said...

My list probably doesn't fit under your "good actors" part, but Hollywood makes tons of terrible casting choices:

John Wayne -- Genghis Khan
Keanu Reeves -- Buddha
Keanu Reeves -- John Constantine
Ryan Reynolds -- Hal Jordan
Colin Farrel -- Alexander the Great
Kate Bosworth -- Lois Lane
Johnny Depp -- Tonto
Denise Richards -- the Bond film where she's supposed to be a nuclear scientist
Sofia Coppola -- Godfather III
Hayden Christensen -- Star Wars Prequels
Liev Schreiber -- Sabertooth
Leonard DiCaprio -- Gangs of New York

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think Johnny Depp has been making a lot of bad choices and I wonder if his heart is still in it. These are great choices. I guess it is easier than it seems. What about Edward G. Robinson in--what epic was it? Or Tony Curtis?
Nicholas Cage seems miscast in practically anything. But LEAVING LAS VEGAS redeems him a bit.

Anonymous said...

Some excellent choices there, Chad - the Duke as Genghis Khan is a classic, though not in the way he hoped. 100% agree on the awful Christensen too, but don't let Bill Crider hear you slam his favorite Bond girl!

Jeff M.

Anonymous said...

Edward G. Robinson as Dathan in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS - another classic, Patti. "Where's your Moses now? Where's your Saviour now?"

Perfect.


Jeff M.

Anonymous said...

Here's a quote about a movie Jackie watched but I didn't:

In a truly remarkable case of bad casting within bad casting, Sidney Lumet's "A Stranger Among Us" features blonde, baby-voiced Melanie Griffith as a hardened New York City homicide detective who goes undercover as a member of the Hasidic community to solve a murder.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think that is a classic for sure.

George said...

I found Denise Richards utterly convincing as a nuclear scientist in THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH. Robin Williams as Eisenhower, Liev Schreiber as LBJ, and John Cusack as Nixon all miscast in THE BUTLER.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Mostly good choices but I didn't mind DiCaprio in Gangs of NY.
Can't remember the titles but both Bogart and Cagney in westerns.Harvey Keitel in Last Temptation of Christ. Dean Martin in a western(he looks to 1950's to me)and has Matt Helm.
Sean Penn in This Must Be the Place.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Supposed to be as Matt Helm.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I can't imagine finding Robin Williams convincing in anything since Mork and Mindy and maybe GOOD MORNING< VIETNAM. The other two might have worked but unknown actors would have been so much better.
It is the skilled actor that can play in westerns and in contemporary films well. A good blog question.

Mike Doran said...

Roger Corman's St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967) was the Olympiad of miscasting.
Starting with Jason Robards as Al Capone.
Actually it would be easier to point out Ralph Meeker as Bugs Moran - the only actor in the whole movie who wasn't miscast.
The fun part is listening to Paul Frees's narration, where he gives biographical bits about the various characters; before long you realize that almost every actor in the picture is between 10-15 years older than the character he's playing.
In 1929, Al Capone was only 30; Jason Robards was in his late 40s when he played the part.
That's one example; finding the others can be made into a fun party game.

eviljwinter said...

Tom Cruise as Lestat. And Brad Pitt as Louis wasn't looking too good, either.

Anonymous said...

Robert Redford as Dennis Fitch-Hatton, an English aviator, in Out of Africa. He didn't even bother accent-wise. Also, Renee Zellweger in Cold Mountain. The character she played (at least in the book) is supposed to be mixed-race. And speaking of race, what about Jeanne Crain in Pinky or Luise Rainer as a Chinese woman in The Good Earth.

Deb

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker and Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Tobey was cast perfectly as Nick in Gatsby though. But not a superhero, no.

Peter Rozovsky said...

Martin Lawrence as the Dortmunder character in What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

The movie's casting answers the title's question.
===========================
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I also thought Tobey was perfectly cast in WONDER BOYS. (That was one of the two books I read where I thought they picked the perfect actor to play the role as I read it. The other was Julie Harris in THE HAUNTING.) In the book the professor and the editor were classmates and should be the same age, as I recall, but Robert Downey, Jr. is 21 years younger than Michael Douglas.


Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes. He is perfect in a boyish part.

Peter Rozovsky said...

Oh, so now you want to get positive, do you? Don Cheadle as Mouse in Devil in a Blue Dress was a perfect piece of casting.

I suspect in many of these cases that the problem is less that actors are miscast in a given role, but rather that they lack the talent to adapt to that role. They can't act, in other words.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Discovering him in that movie was movie gold, wasn't it? It was like the character walked right off the page.

Peter Rozovsky said...

If you're talking to me, I had the same reaction that another of your commenters mentioned: He was precisely as I had pictured the character from reading the book: the menace, the nervous humor, the wired energy.

Todd Mason said...

Kathleen Turner as V. I. Warshawski

--the problem there was not in our star, but in their script.

Luise Rainer as a Chinese woman in The Good Earth.

--broke Anna May Wong's heart.

Johnny Depp -- Tonto

--Depp in anything in the last fifteen years, at least, but I've never much liked him.

Brad Pitt can be typecast well as a lunkhead; as an insane scientist in TWELVE MONKEYS, he made Bruce Willis look remarkably nuanced in comparison.

Kent Morgan said...

Black actor Eriq Lasalle from E.R. playing John Sandford's Lucas Davenport in the TV movie Mind Prey and Alec Baldwin playing James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux. Ar least Mark Harmon as Lucas and Tommy Lee Jones as Dave were better choices in the second movies. I just watched John Wayne playing a chicken farmer from Maine who became a pro hockey player in New York City in the movie Idol of the Crowd. Duke was miscast for sure.

Olivia V. Ambrogio said...

Not sure if anyone mentioned Jack Lemmon as Marcellus in Branagh's adaptation of HAMLET. There's a good actor who couldn't do Shakespeare--at all.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Wow. I missed that one, Olivia. Some actors just only feel right in certain roles. Especially hyper-masculine men and very feminine women perhaps. The more androgynous of us can slip into more spots.
Never cast anyone but a Chinese woman as a Chinese woman. Does Hollywood get it yet?
Missed that Wayne one somehow. And am glad.

Erik Donald France said...

I was appalled by seeing Nick Nolte as the lead character in Jefferson in Paris -- but don't know what I'd think now. Richard Burton flat as Alex the Great.

The Klansman -- terrible! The whole mis-cast. But I liked it anyway for camp. I'm sure there are others not delved into already. Winona Ryder in general -- that voice. Kenneth Branagh in Woody Allen's Celebrity -- over-imitation of the Woody persona.

Anonymous said...

I agree Don Cheadle was perfect as Mouse. Denzel was OK, Cheadle was perfect.

Jeff M.

John said...

I really enjoyed reading Chad's choices. I started thinking of all those white actors playing Asians, Native Americans and other non-whites in mostly embarrasing depictions.

Sam Jaffe - Gunga Din
Burt Lancaster - Apache
Charles Boyer and John Gielgud - Lost Horizon (musical remake)
Marlon Brando - Teahouse of the August Moon
Katharine Hepburn - Dragon Seed

But the worst of all time, topping even Wayne as the Mongolian conqueror, has to be....

Mickey Rooney - Breakfast at Tiffany's

pattinase (abbott) said...

Without a doubt!

Anders E said...

Robert Redford as Dortmunder in THE HOT ROCK. It's strange how there has never been a good Dortmunder adaption (or has there?). The best screen Dortmunder ever was not even Dortmunder - Alec Guinness in LADYKILLERS.

Anders E said...

As for pitch perfect casting:

Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry in JEEVES & WOOSTER.

Lee Marvin in POINT BLANK.

Peter Rozovsky said...

Anders, Christopher Lambert was another odd Dortmunder character. Redford was a weird choice, much to Westlake's own amusement, but he was a good enough actor to try to play the character something ike Westlake's version.

For me, the weirdest thing the moviemakers did was to end the story after three attempts to steal the rock, rather than the book's six. The movie seemed to end in the middle.

Peter Rozovsky said...

Has any star ever looked as uncomfortable as Humphrey Bogart in Sabrina?

Anders E said...

Garbo in QUEEN CHRISTINA is also rather absurd, but then again the entire movie is about as historically accurate as ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER.

Btw, this is what the old gal really looked like.

http://livrustkammaren.se/sites/livrustkammaren.se/files/styles/article_top/public/1051426_520_292.jpg

Peter Rozovsky said...

Yeah, I was shocked--shocked!--that a movie would portray people as more beautiful than they are in real life.

Todd Mason said...

Has any star ever looked as uncomfortable as Humphrey Bogart in Sabrina?

Juliette Binoche in the remake comes close. "This is so much fun" in a dead-soul line reading was even used in the tv ad. Remarkable.

Good casting for Keanu Reeves:
RIVER'S EDGE, THE GIFT, SPEED, POINT BLANK, BILL & TED films and (over catcalls) JOHNNY MNEMONIC (he was perfectly cast as a courier via brain download...the script and production left something to be desired).

There's the film that basically lifts the Dortmunder situation, and has a character named Westlake portrayed by Donald Sutherland, who is pretty damned good as a Dort, in the 1984 CRACKERS. I mentioned this film, which I had just seen, to Lawrence Block and Abby Westlake...Block wondered if it was actionable. (I find it hard to believe that DW wasn't aware of it at the time.)

Todd Mason said...

Sorry, middle-aged moment. That was Julia Ormond trying to pretend she could care in the remake of SABRINA.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Todd-Crackers was a remake of Big deal On Madonna Street a 1958 Italian film. And adheres pretty much to the original plot. Also Keanu starred in Point Break not Point Blank

Todd Mason said...

That's what happens when I comment on the fly...multitasking, and not enough sleep. POINT BREAK indeed.

Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks for the info on Crackers/ Big Deal on Madonna Street is one of my favorite movies and also one of Westake's. That might account for the Westlake character's name.

Todd Mason said...

Haven't seen MADONNA STREET yet; I look forward to it. And I see by checking that they call the Sutherland character "Weslake"...nonetheless, it's very Dortmundery.

Bill Crider said...

Denise Richards' performance as a nuclear scientist was cruelly ignored by the so-called Academy, proving once again that the Oscars (TM) are simply a popularity contest and don't reward real merit.

maggie books said...

Until Tom Cruise was cast as Jack Reacher, I'd have said Kim Darby in the Strawberry Statement (shows my age as this was from the early 70's)

maggie books said...

Agree with the comments of good casting: Fry & Laurie as Jeeves and Bertie Wooster.

Also agree with Don Cheadle as Mouse in Devil in a Blue Dress. I spoke to Walter Mosley before the film was released, and IIRC, I was aware of Don Cheadle from the TV show, Picket Fences. I wasn't sure about the casting, but after seeing the film, knew they got it right. Wish they'd filmed more of the books.

I'd heard Sara Paretsky speak positively about Kathleen Turner as VI Warshawski, as she really put her heart and soul into the role.

Todd Mason said...

Leslie Caron as the Afro-Cherokee Mardou Fox in THE SUBTERRANEANS.



Todd Mason said...

FWIW, my review of V.I. WARSHAWSKI on IMDB:

Definitely disappointing, but not awful
6/10
Author: foxbrick-1 from United States
23 May 2005

It is remarkable to me how much affection and revulsion this watchable, incomplete misfire of a film can inspire, here among the Comments and elsewhere; I haven't seen more than a few minutes of it for several years, but did see it in a theater in its original run. Kathleen Turner as VIW is too much a flirt to conform to Sara Paretsky's portrait of her detective, but otherwise gives a decent performance that, better than the script, gets across Warshawski's toughness, wit and unwillingness to suffer fools any more than she has to. The film, as someone else noted, would've done well to be a more faithful adaptation of one of the early novels, rather than pulling bits from several and then letting the plot go completely slack by the last third. But there are nice touches, here and there; Wayne Knight was born to play the petty thug and childhood schoolmate of Warshawski. But the hastiness and corner-cutting of the production is unfortunately evident. One wonders if a second film, with a better script and crew, might've been quite good.

Cap'n Bob said...

Lucille Ball as Auntie Mame.

Margot Kinberg said...

Tom Cruise is not Jack Reacher. I know I'm late to the party here and it's been said, but still!

Anonymous said...

I said that, Cap'n.

How about 33 old year Stockard Channing (and nearly 30 year old Olivia Newton-John) as a high school student in GREASE?

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think the entire cast of Glee is in their thirties.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I guess that miscasting ranks high on our list.

Anonymous said...

Cory Monteith was 31 and most of the others are late 20's.


Jeff M.

Anders E said...

Allowing Pierce Brosnan to sing in MAMMA MIA was probably not a good idea.

Kelly Robinson said...

Matt Damon as Tom Ripley. Well, Gwyneth Paltrow as dumpy Marge, for that matter, as long as I'm talking about that movie.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Glen Campbell and Kim Darby in the original version of True Grit.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Good one!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Good one!

Cap'n Bob said...

I missed it, Jeff, but it bears repeating.

Unknown said...

Warner Bros. has just announced that actor Ben Affleck will play Batman in an upcoming film that will bring Superman and Batman together. What do you think of Ben Affleck as Batman?

pattinase (abbott) said...

I can't imagine how he will be good in that part. I think he has limited acting ability and needs to play a character imbedded in reality. Like Clooney. But I could be wrong if the script is very strong.

Jerry House said...

I'm late in commenting here, but Mickey Rooney as the tough ex-marine in PLATINUM HIGH SCHOOL if we are to include B -- or, perhaps, even C -- movies.

Todd Mason said...

Somehow, Jerry, you reminded me of 33yo Mel Torme as a juvenile delinquent street/hotrod gang's top dog, in GIRL'S TOWN, which wipes the floor with many if not most of these so far...

And, of course, Patti, your original question suggests that Joel Schumacher et al. gave a rat's ass what even the 1960s tv parody Batman was about, so much as saw an opportunity for a bootless camp fest.

I think that Clooney could've done a a decent Batman, had he a script that allowed such, but it would be a stretch beyond his only slightly self-loathing losers in THREE KINGS, OUT OF SIGHT or UP IN THE AIR. Affleck is more limited, I agree, but might be able to pull it off with a script that actually digs in...and Keaton is a better Batman choice than either.

maggie said...

Re: Batman. I read somewhere a suggestion that Ryan Gosling play Batman. I thought it was a good one. I must like Ben Affleck more than most people, because I didn't think it was that bad of a decision.

I just caught Travels with my Aunt on TCM, and thought Maggie Smith was good, and the makeup to her skin was very effective in aging her realistically, though it was jarring.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have never seen that movie.
I think Affleck is an okay actor in playing regular guys. Batman needs mystique and I don't see it in him.