Thursday, 4 September 2008

Supporting Actors

As soon as I saw this photo on Roadshow's blog I felt a delicious twinge of nostalgia.
I did most of my old film watching as a teen and in my twenties before life got busy and serious. Nowadays, I have only an hour before bed to cram in part of a flick - any more and I would be crippled by paroxysms of guilt, (thank you, Protestant Work Ethic and endless over-parenting programmes) so I'd completely forgotten about Oscar Levant. I loved any film he starred in.

One of his best lines: "I'm going to memorize your name and throw my head away."

His female equivalent, and on a par, is Eve Arden.

So here are three cheers for supporting actors - their magic was not that they could carry a film, but they would always, always enrich one. I love their caustic asides, their dour cynicism. Think how much Ruth Hussey added to the Philadelphia Story - her fabulous line when Katherine Hepburn gushes girlishly, "Aren't men wonderful!" Without missing a beat Hussey sighs to no one in particular: "The little dears." Perfection.

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