Posts Tagged ‘Henry Fonda’


I sat through Dino di Laurentis’ marathon War and Peace at the weekend which left me with more than a feeling of dissatisfaction.  Not about the film per se (which to be honest wasn’t great) but with level of “acting” of one of the stars. It got me wondering how on earth some big star movie actors ever made it in the business when from on screen evidence their level of acting ability mirrors that of an inanimate two dimensional cardboard promotional prop of the actor.  I’m not talking about just one bad performance here as everyone is entitled to have a bad day (Charlize Theron for instance in Reindeer Games). This is about those actors who continually under-achieve despite their block buster status.  And I’m also not talking about the Steven Seagal school of actors. No, this is about those big stars who have managed to earn the adulation of the film industry.

The example that brought me to write this moan is of course Henry Fonda.  The man of 2 expressions. Dead pan and a grimace and nothing in between. No emotion that left you really not giving a monkeys fart about the character’s fate and not helped by the total inability to put on any sort of accent outside his native American.  This performance was even worse than his execrable effort in Battle of the Bulge.  He was so bad in that film that I wanted the Germans to win!  Telly Savalas and Charles Bronson looked positively RSC compared to Fonda.

Other actors who fall into this category are

John Wayne – The Green Berets marking the utter pits of this mans ability. The way he repeatedly spouts out the line “Move out” is enough to bring on a fit of nervous tick twitching.

Kevin Costner – No surprise here. Laughable in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and even better/worse in Waterworld

Ben Affleck – About as animated a turd especially in Pearl Harbor

Saving the best till last we have – Nicolas Cage – Just too many inept performances to mention. In fact its easier to list from the 70 or so movies the performances he actually is good in which is just…………one. Kick-Ass and that’s only because he’s mimicking Adam West whose own stiff style he just about manages to pull off.

No doubt there are hundreds of others e.g. Matthew Mcconaughey but for the moment this Hall of Shame is more than enough. And in case anyone is wondering why I didn’t include James Corden who is a talentless steaming pile of ordure he just isn’t famous enough to qualify.

And I’m clearly not alone from the above link, although to class Vinnie Jones as an actor has to be an oxymoron