Wednesday, June 25, 2008
In 1997, folks, "Entertainment Weekly" came out with their list (perhaps it's been updated since) of the top 100 movie stars of all time. And, yes, they did in fact rank them, 1-100........................................Of course/needless to say, whenever you endeavor to make such a list, you know you're going to be second-guessed by basically everybody - not just on the order in which you've ranked them but also in terms of the people you've left off completely. In the case of this list, one could point to such omissions as Orson Welles, Claudette Colbert, Ray Milland, Lana Turner, and Lauren Bacall.......................................As for my reaction to this list, let's just say that there was this one placement, in particular, that really perturbed me. It had to do with the fact that these "experts" placed Gregory Peck at number 58. Yeah, that's right, 58. They actually came up with 57 people that they thought were more deserving than Gregory Peck. Oh, and if you think that I might be over-reaching here, here's a sample of some of those 57; Arnold Schwarzenegger (53), Mel Gibson (48), Robin Williams (50). I mean, they even had Jean Harlow (49) ahead of him, for Christ!!......................................Damn it, I don't know about you, folks, but any career that takes you from "Spellbound" (1946) and "Gentleman's Agreement" (1947) to "Old Gringo" (where he hypnotically portrayed writer, Ambrose Bierce) in 1989, has to be seen as one of the best in Hollywood history. And the range of his roles, too, I'm saying; from the conscience-bound lawyer in "To Kill a Mockingbird" to the darker , more sinister men of "Duel in the Sun" and "Twelve O'clock High". From the epitome of what constitutes a leading-man in "Roman Holiday" to that respected gentry-man turned rancher in "The Big Country". Of course, for me, it was his turn as a man on marked-time in "The Gunfighter" that really brought it home. This, I'm saying, in that during this 1950 film, Gregory Peck puts forth HIS "Eastwood" even before Eastwood does. Talk about a "good guy" going "south", huh? Gregory Peck, ladies and gentlemen, one of the best there ever will be.