REEL 13

Discussion – America’s Greatest Movie Actors

Posted: December 21, 2014
Marlon Brando in 'A Streetcar Named Desire' (1952)

Marlon Brando in 'A Streetcar Named Desire' (1952)

ANGEL ON MY SHOULDER features the work of Paul Muni, whom Neal Gabler considers one of Hollywood’s greatest – and most under-appreciated – actors.

Who was this country’s greatest movie actor? Gabler names Paul Muni, Spencer Tracy, Jimmy Stewart, Jimmy Cagney, Paul Newman, and Al Pacino among them – but thinks Marlon Brando stands alone.

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  • Sabio Pilloelo

    It’s so difficult to say that one particular actor/actress is the greatess of all time. I agree the Brando was a great actor, during the hight of his acting career. But so was Bogart, Dean, Caney and a few others. did you ever see Bogart in “The Treasure of Sierra Madre”? Brando took the Oscar from him in The Waterfront. and what about the ladies: Crawford, Standwyck, Davis, Trevor, Lupino, and quite a few others that were out there during Brando’s time. I do agree that some actors stand by themselves in their own league, and Brando is one of them.

  • rayban

    Marlon Brando does not stand alone – sorry, Mr. Gabler – but you are very susceptible to “hype”. Why not pick talented actors (like Burt Lancaster) who fulfilled all of their early promise?

  • Nikki

    Why are all the names being offered dramatic actors? My vote would be for Jack Lemmon, (“Mr. Roberts,” “Missing,” “Who’ll Save the Tiger?” “The Days of Wine and Roses,” “Some Like it Hot”). Comedic actors always get the short shift, even when they are also great dramatic actors. When comedy is so very hard to play, Lemmon made acting look easy – you could picture yourself knowing his characters, he made them so real. And he was a very good piano player to boot.

  • TomCat

    Jimmy Cagney, Henry Fonda, John Wayne, Robert Donat, Robert DiNero, Marlon Brando,Al Pacino, Errol Flynn, Clark Gable…Come on we’ve had the pleasure of seeing many GREATS. Let’s enjoy them. Don’t forget, they all have need tTHE storyline.

  • Jack Behr

    The classic movies came on and we watched them each Saturday. I doubt many people are tuning in now to see what Gabler has to say or for that matter logging on to see what Farr has to blog. They are indeed very susceptible to hype as a previous person posted here. Sadly, classic movies on Thirteen are becoming very old, even for an old guy like me. I much rather watch online streaming because at least I do not have to hear the same old anecdotes from Gabler. Too bad that Thirteen cannot come up with anything to salvage this once wonderful feature.

  • NiceGuyEddie

    How about De Niro in his prime (70s/80s). His performances in “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” are pretty hard to beat.

  • Iris V. Metzger

    What ? Am NOT that old, I select Charles Laughton.
    ‘Nuff said.