Friday, July 4, 2014

Relay: The Ten Biggest Stars of Classical Hollywood

John from Hitchcock’s World is at it again. Slowly asserting himself as a king of blog relays, John’s latest race asks bloggers to rank the 10 biggest stars of classical Hollywood. The rule: the star must have been prominent in large Hollywood productions from 1930-1960. The format: kick a star out, put another one in. Andrew from A Fistful of Films was kind enough to hand things over to me, so here goes.

Who Stays
Ingrid Bergman

Humphrey Bogart

James Cagney

Henry Fonda

Cary Grant

Katherine Hepburn

Marilyn Monroe

Rod Steiger

James Stewart

Who I’m Removing
Orson Welles
Just hear me out. Nine of the stars on this list are performers. Actors. Stars. Welles, while of course notable for his acting performances, is, in my eyes, best remembered as a legendary filmmaker. I agree that the man was a star, but as the sole filmmaker on a list of classic movie stars, he felt oddly out of place to me. And so he goes. Not an easy choice (these relays never are), but hopefully you understand my logic.

Who I’m Adding
Audrey Hepburn
The number of men on lists like these always outweighs the number of women. So when the baton of a blog relay is handed to me, I instinctually start thinking of an actress who justly deserves a spot. There are many to choose from, but I can think of none more worthy than Audrey Hepburn. Elegant, charming, graceful and ever so cinematic, Audrey Hepburn defines cinema of her era.

Who Gets the Baton Next
I’ll hand it over to Brittani from Rambling Film, who, incidentally, is currently celebrating her blog’s 5th anniversary. Congrats Brittani!

Contributors Thus Far

Wendell from Dell on Movies 


24 comments:

  1. Oh wow, that is a good choice. I did consider Audrey for my initial list but I was under the impression a lot of her big work was more in the 60's. Then again she did do a few big movies in the 50's (Roman Holiday quickly springs to mind).

    That is a fair point about Welles, he certainly gets more recognition for his directorial work than his acting (even if he acted in many of the films he directed).

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    1. Cool man, glad you dig the swap. Definitely not easy to cut one out, but thankfully I had no trouble thinking of putting Audrey in. Love her.

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  2. A. Hepburn is a great addition, but Orson Welles? Ouch! So much for sacred cows. Bold choice, my friend.

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    1. Ha, thanks man. I've always considered Welles a famous director, not a famous movie star. He stuck out right away for me.

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  3. Audrey Hepburn is a brilliant choice! Everything she does is so great, she has never given a bad performance in my opinion. That, and the fact she was a most humble, beautiful and perfect actress and person. Also, am I the only one who actually thinks she is great in My Fair Lady?

    This is also a very cool relay, now I'm waiting for someone to add Bette Davis!

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    1. Thanks! I definitely considered Bette Davis, because I really do adore her work. But Audrey just seemed like the best choice. Sadly, her work in My Fair Lady has never really done it for me, but oh well, she's still great!

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  4. Thank goodness you did not remove the king of rom-coms, Cary Grant.

    I understand your removal of Welles for Hepburn perfectly. As much as I love Welles, I can't say that I ever really viewed him as a "star" in the same way the other actors on this list are. Filmmaker and artist sure, but star - not so much.

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    1. Nice man, happy you understood my logic!

      I rewatched His Girl Friday recently, and that may be my favorite Grant performance. Tough call, but I love him in that film.

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  5. I agree with your pick as I often think of Orson Welles as a filmmaker than an actor. Audrey Hepburn is the right choice as she is the reason why I love My Fair Lady.

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    1. Nice man, glad you dig the swap. Hepburn is such a doll.

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  6. YES! I was going down this list thinking who I might have added and first name that sprung to my mind was Audrey Hepburn! When I think of Classic stars, she is one of the first names that would appear to me. She certainly 'defined' an era. Great addition, my friend!

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    1. Thanks buddy! Yeah, I'm the same way, when I think of classic cinema, I think of Audrey. She's a staple.

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  7. Before I outright cry (I told you to leave him alone!!!!!) I will say that Audrey Hepburn was my #2 choice to add, but I had to go with Steiger, so I'm all for her being on the list and am SOOOOO happy you added her.

    But...I still want to cry.

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    1. Haha, well your tears aren't lost on me, my friend. It definitely wasn't an easy swap, but I suppose it never is!

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  8. Hi Alex! I'm still sad that someone removed Gregory Peck, but ah well. I do LOVE Audrey Hepburn so yay! She is a classic icon, not just for her acting but also for her style. I haven't seen any Orson Welles film (yep I know, not even Citizen Kane!) so can't say I'm sad to see him go.

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    1. Hey Ruth, thanks so much for the comment! Really glad to hear you approve of the swap. Hepburn is the best, isn't she?

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  9. So glad you put in Audrey Hepburn. I considered her, but I couldn't put her in over Stewart. I thought the same thing about Welles, though I felt he deserved to stay in ahead of Gregory Peck.

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    1. Yeah man, tough calls all around. I didn't issue with your swap at all. Definitely a challenging exercise.

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  10. Thanks for passing this to me! I know exactly who I'm going to add. :)

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    1. No problem! So curious to see who you pick and swap out.

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  11. I think that's fair reasoning for dismissing Welles. Great call on adding Audrey Hepburn -- can't think of a better actress to help balance out the men-women ratio.

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    1. Thanks buddy, glad you appreciate the swap.

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  12. Truly a fair list, i know some of them. I would like to suggest you to make a similar list of bollywood stars ...

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    1. I really need to explore more Bollywood films. My lack of knowledge about Bollywood cinema is embarrassing. But I do appreciate you stopping by and commenting.

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