Monday, November 21, 2011

Listy things -- Ralph Meeker

Today is Ralph Meeker's birthday! Here's my favorites of his films:

1. Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
2. The Dirty Dozen (1967)
3. The Naked Spur (1953)
4. Jeopardy (1953)
5. Paths of Glory (1957)
6. Four in a Jeep (1951)
7. Desert Sands (1955)
8. Birds of Prey (1973)
9. The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown (1957)
10. Battle Shock (1956)

I know, I'm one of the few people who even knows who he is, but my love for him has not diminished in the slightest. There're very few actors I'll sit through movies like Food of the Gods for, but he's one of them. I love his easy, smiling charm. Paths of Glory is such a powerful, gut-wrenching movie, and I absolutely love his doomed Corporal Paris. Desert Sands is a rather ridiculous story, but he looks so good in it that I ignore the story. I really want to see Run of the Arrow, but haven't yet had an opportunity. I like all the clips I've seen from it, although I will be looking away and covering my ears for the gruesome ending, which I've had spoiled, but that's okay in this case.

But more than the films, I really wish I could see two of his Broadway stage performances: Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar Named Desire" and Hal Carter in "Picnic," with Janice Rule. I think that he would have been fabulous in both.

(next up, John Wayne)


  1. I have no idea who this guy is, but since I just recorded Jeopardy and The Naked Spur this morning, I'll soon be finding out (when I finally get around to watching what's in the DVR).

    I think it's great to like and be loyal to those lesser-known guys. That's how I am with Robert Ryan. While nearly everyone (even those not into classic films)know the names Gable, Bogart, Grant, and Tracy, no one outside of classic movies knows Robert Ryan. (Even some within the classic movie circle don't know him).

    Those lesser-known guys are every bit as deserving as the well-known ones. Plus, I'm one that loves to walk to the beat of my own drum, so I rather like being the oddball when it comes to my actor choices. You are being that way too!!

    Speaking of Robert Ryan...he did stage work as well. Just as you wish you could see Ralph Meeker, I wish I could see Ryan. And, oh, how cool, Meeker got the same role as William Holden in Picnic!! That dance scene is one of my all-time favorite scenes...I would love Kim Novak's part in that movie.

  2. Yeah, I've got a few actors who always get the "who?" reaction from other people. I'm surprised Robert Ryan falls in there, but then he's always been a part of my movie-going life, from The Dirty Dozen onward, so I forget other people might not know him!

    Robert Ryan is amazing in The Naked Spur. I know it's a Western, not your fave genre, but it's less cowboys and more psychological suspense. I think you'll like it! It is a first-rate movie, with a very small, tight cast.

  3. Love Ralph in KISS ME DEADLY. And so good in NAKED SPUR and JEOPARDY