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Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Saturday, December 28, 2013


PETER O'TOOLE, born Peter Seamus O'Toole (1932-2013) in Connemara, County Galway, Ireland. Originally planning to become a reporter he discovered theater and soon moved into films, appearing is small roles in films such as Disney's production of Kidnapped. After Lawrence of Arabia he became in international star. He even managed to survive a few horrible films such as the totally miscast Man of La Mancha. Following a bout with stomach cancer in the 1970s O'Toole turned his life around, giving up alcohol and taking better care of himself. Peter O'Toole has given many memorable performances over the years.

Lord Jim (1965)Haven't you seen Lord Jim (1965)? O'Toole portrays Jim, a young ship's officer with dreams of heroism and glory. When the ship threatens to sink in a storm Jim follows the other officers into a lifeboat, abandoning hundreds of pilgrims to their fate. The ship does not sink and Jim admits his cowardice. He agrees to take a post as trader in the country of Patusan in an effort to redeem himself. Filmed in Cambodia by Richard Brooks, Lord Jim has a stellar cast including Daliah Lavi, James Mason, Paul Lukas, Curt Jurgens, Jack Hawkins and Eli Wallach. O'Toole's performance is riviting.

Watch this and then see these other four films.

The Lion In Winter (1968) O'Toole returns to the role of English King Henry II, four years after appearing in Beckett. This Henry is a quarter century older but not necessarily wiser. His eldest son and heir has died and now he must choose a successor to the throne. Long estranged from his wife, Wueen Elinor, he releases her from captivity to attend Winter court at Chinon, along with their three remaining sons, his mistress Alais and her brother, Philip, the young king of France. The dialog is sharp and full of with. The performances are outstanding. Katharine Hepburn was awarded an Oscar for her performance as Elinor. Others in the cast include Anthony Hopkins, John Castle, Nigel Terry, Timothy Dalton, Jane Merrow and Nigel Stock. The Oscar-winning score was by John Barry.
Lawrence Of Arabia (1962) O'Toole leaped into international stardom as T. E. Lawrence, the enigmatic British soldier and scholar. He helps unite Arab tribes in the fight against the Ottoman Empire and to gain their own government following World War One. O'Toole's performance is outstanding, and supporting players include Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins and Omar Sharif.
My Favorite Year (1982) O'Toole plays Alan Swann, a swashbuckling star (based on Errol Flynn) set to appear on the "King Kaiser Show" (think Sid Ceasar). Young writer Mark Linn-Baker Mel Brooks and Woody Allen rolled into one) is assigned to keep Swann sober before the broadcast. Swann is horrified to discover the program is to be broadcast live. "I'm not an actor; I'm a movie star!" This is a delightful film.
The Stunt Man (1980) This is a hard film to describe. Just watch it and revel in O'Toole's performance as ruthless director Eli Cross.

*Contributed by: "Eric Jamborsky" Date: Sat, Feb 17 2007 / 15:52:56 PST

Academy Awards®
© A.M.P.A.S.®
1962 Nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role: LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
1964 Nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role: BECKET
1968 Nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role: THE LION IN WINTER
1969 Nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role: GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS
1972 Nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role: THE RULING CLASS
1980 Nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role: THE STUNT MAN
1982 Nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role: MY FAVORITE YEAR