Upbeat Cynicism

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Top Five Burt Lancaster Films

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I’m trying to beat Dirty Harry to the punch, as one of his commenters requested this list. I loves me my Burt Lancaster, so I’m shooting out my own list first:

  1. The Sweet Smell of Success, 1957. Lancaster’s J.J. Hunsecker, an intentional analogue of Walter Winchell, is one of the most vile characters ever put on film. This one is inarguable. (It’s also the best film noir ever made.)
  2. The Train, 1964. Lancaster as a heroic Frenchman ((It is not a contradiction in terms! This time, at least… )) trying to save priceless works of art from the retreating Nazis. Great movie.
  3. Vera Cruz, 1954. Lancaster and Gary Cooper square off, and they’re directed by Don Siegel Robert “The Dirty Dozen” Aldrich. Great stuff!
  4. Elmer Gantry, 1960. The movie itself is uneven, but Lancaster’s performance is superb.
  5. The Professionals, 1966. OK, fine, it was hard to pick just one movie for the final slot. This one will do, though.

Written by [IMH]

26 June 2008 at 6:14 am

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  1. You’ve got a good list. I have to admit I haven’t seen Elmer Gantry yet, so I would replace it with The Midnight Man at #4 and that would be my list.


    26 June 2008 at 9:21 am

  2. Whereas I have not seen The Midnight Man, so we’re even. 🙂

    Ian Michael Hamet

    26 June 2008 at 10:16 am

  3. While I wholeheartedly agree with your choice of the great Vera Cruz, I think it was directed by Robert Aldrich (The Dirty Dozen, Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte, Baby Jane, etc.)


    28 June 2008 at 11:35 am

  4. D’oh! You’re right. I had the right guy, but put the wrong name to him. Don Siegel indeed. Duly corrected.

    Ian Michael Hamet

    28 June 2008 at 11:51 am

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