Monday, July 9, 2012

In Memoriam: Ernest Borgnine 1917-2012

Actor. From Here to Eternity. Johnny Guitar. Bad Day at Black Rock. Marty. The Catered Affair. McHale's Navy. The Dirty Dozen. The Wild Bunch. Willard. The Poseidon Adventure. All Quiet on the Western Front (1979 TV movie). Escape from New York. SpongeBob SquarePants.

"She [Borgnine's mother] said, `You always like getting in front of people and making a fool of yourself, why don't you give it [acting] a try?' I was sitting at the kitchen table and I saw this light. No kidding. It sounds crazy. And 10 years later, I had Grace Kelly handing me an Academy Award."


From Here to Eternity (1953) With Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra, and Burt Lancaster. In case you're wondering about that Superman reference, that's not in the original movie. Whoever originally posted this on YouTube is pointing out that George Reeves, who played the Man of Steel in the 1950s,  is in the background.


Marty (1955) It was for this role that Grace Kelly handed Borgnine an Academy Award.

And now, from the sublime to the ridiculous:


Spongebob SquarePants. Borgnine is Mermaid Man, and his old  McHale's Navy sidekick Tim Conway is Barnacle Boy. 






7 comments:

  1. You look back at any Edward G Robinson movie and you could of cast Borgnine in the same role. he had that same sort of magnetism on screen though neither was what you would typecast as a leading man. In the clip from "From Here to Eternity", the tension produced just by Fatso showing up then building through the seen as Lancaster stepped in. Wow! good stuff. Thanks again Kirk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like Borgnine, Robinson was a tough guy actor who, when given the chance, could play more gentle roles. If you haven't already, Mike, check out Robinson in OUR GRAPES HAVE TENDER VINES.

      Lancaster produced MARTY. One of these days, maybe soon, I'm going to show the trailer to that movie. It says a lot about what Hollywood feels it needs to do to sell a film.

      Delete
  2. academy award notwithstanding, i always thought that borgnine was an underappreciated actor. he had a range of ability that most lack. not everyone can do marty, and spongebob.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought about showing clips from JOHNNY GUITAR, BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK, and THE WILD BUNCH, all fine movies, but Borgnine plays a violent thug in each and every one of them, and one violent thug clip (FROM HERE TO ETERNITY) was enough. I don't know, rraine. If Borgnine hadn't done MARTY, he might just be seen today as a one-note actor.

      Delete
  3. Such range. Among his many wives: Ethel Merman. Would have liked to view the sparks flying from that one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Borgnine and Merman were married for only a month, Kass. I once saw an interview with Borgnine where he said they both agreed to get a divorce on their honeymoon!

      Delete
  4. I have been watching a lot of Robinson' Noir films at
    http://archive.org/details/moviesandfilms so i will have to look for your recommendation. I'd also like to see that trailer.

    ReplyDelete