.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Michael RennieMICHAEL RENNIE (1909-1971) was a British actor who gained international popularity in the 1950s. After several films in his native England, he crossed the Atlantic and began working for 20th Century Fox. He was the uncredited narrator for Titanic (1953) and then, on the television series "Time Tunnel", he portrayed Captain Smith of the doomed ship. I really discovered him as Harry Lime in the television series "The Third Man" (1959-1965). Throughout his career he easily moved between film, television and the stage, appearing in many television dramas and guesting in many series. Among his television dramas was an excellent production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1955) on "Climax". He also appeared on such excellent series as "Route 66", "Wagon Train", "Perry Mason" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents". He died of emphysema while visiting his mother.

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)Haven't you seen The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)? After 55 years this remains one of the best Science Fiction movies ever made. Rennie is Klaatu, a visitor from space who brings a warning to Earth. Supporting members include Patricia Neal, Sam Jaffe, young Billy Gray and Gort (Lock Martin) a seven-foot-tall robot. This remains one of my favorite films of all time.

Watch this and then see these other four films.

Third Man On The Mountain (1959) Rennie is Captain John Winter who seeks to scale the Citadel (the Matterhorn by another name). This is an excellent film with a cast including James MacArthur, Janet Munroe and Herbert Lom.
The Robe (1953) and Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954) Rennie portrays the apostle Peter in these two films which can be treated as a single story. He easily stands out among stars such as Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature and Jay Robinson as the mad emperor Caligula. He has a quiet dignity throughout the films.
The Black Rose (1950) Rennie portrays King Edward of England in this film based on the novel by Thomas B. Costain. Tyrone Power stars and others in the cast include Jack Hawkins, Orson Welles, Cecile Aubry and Herbert Lom.
The Lost World (1960) Rennie portrays Lord John Roxton in Irwin Allen's filming of Arthur Conan Doyle's story of dinosaurs deep in the Amazon forests.

*Contributed by: "Eric Jamborsky" Date: Sat, Feb 17 2007 / 14:17:17 PST