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Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Charles Laughton
CHARLES LAUGHTON (1899-1962) Brilliant, genius, eccentric. All of these terms could apply to one of the best actors of the 20th Century. Charles Laughton directed stage productions, but only directed two films. The last picture he directed was the outstanding Night Of The Hunter. He was also active in radio and later television.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
Haven't you seen The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1939)? Yet another classic from the movies' greatest year. Laughton's performance as Quasimodo is the definitive one, despite Lon Chaney's earlier film.

Watch this and then see these other four films.

Witness For The Prosecution (1957) Here Laughton works with his wife Elsa Lanchester and they are such a delight to watch. The story may have its faults, but this is a must-see for quality acting.
Island Of Lost Souls (1933) Laughton pulls out all stops and liberal doses of ham in this powerful horror film of H. G. Welles book The Island Of Dr. Moreau. He claims he based the appearance of Moreau on his dentist. Laughton is powerful as Moreau and puts Brando's later "performance" to shame.
Abbott & Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952) Laughton considered Lou Costello the best physical comic in the business and relished the opportunity to work with him. Laughton is obviously enjoying himself very much. It could be considered his revenge on Captain Bligh.
Mutiny On The Bounty (1935) In actuality, William Bligh was not the monster portrayed here, but who could quibble with one of the best villains ever created in film? Even after 70 years when anyone does a Bligh impression it is usually Mr. Laughton's delivery of "Mr. Christian, come here!" In fact Laughton later said, "It's got so that every time I walk into a restaurant I get not only soup but an impersonation of Captain Bligh."

*Contributed by: "Eric Jamborsky" Date: Wed, Jul 23 2006 / 15:53:12 PST

Academy Awards®
© A.M.P.A.S.®
1932-1933 Best Actor in a Leading Role: THE PRIVATE LIFE OF HENRY VIII
1935 Nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role: MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY
1957 Nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role: WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION