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the ROD STEIGER Appreciation Thread

Old 08-03-11, 12:30 PM
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the ROD STEIGER Appreciation Thread

I think this man's acting ability was amazing. Sure, he was accused many times of overacting, but in Mr. Steiger's case, I don't believe that hindered his career. His portrayals are down-right endearing to me, and my heart leaps when he's screaming his head off.

I haven't seen a lot of his films, but given a chance, I would. Some films aren't available on DVD yet - Back From Eternity is an example of that. I saw that film just once, a few years back on TCM, and if he hadn't been in it, I doubt I would have loved the film as much as I do.

His scenery-chewing role in In The Heat of the Night elevated that picture from very good to excellent. Sidney Pointer is very good in the film, but if Rod Steiger wasn't in it, I don't think I'd bother ever seeing that film again.

I didn't particularily care for The Illustrated Man, a science-fiction piece from the late 1960's, but I have to admit that even there Steiger was riveting.

He was great as Al Capone - right? Riiight!

Who else loves this man's work?
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Old 08-03-11, 12:49 PM
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Re: the ROD STEIGER Appreciation Thread

Steiger was awesome. You should see him in the western, JUBAL (1956), which he manages to steal from Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine and Charles Bronson! Just think what Steiger could have done in THE DIRTY DOZEN! But if he'd been in that, he wouldn't have done IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT--the same year--and might never have gotten an Oscar. Steiger did work for DOZEN's director, Robert Aldrich in THE BIG KNIFE (1955), though. He played a tyrannical Harry Cohn-like studio boss trying to pressure a star, played by Jack Palance. (Palance hated Steiger, so those scenes have extra added tension.)

I remember BACK FROM ETERNITY quite well also. I saw that as a kid and didn't know who any of those great actors were. I re-saw it as an adult and, yes, Steiger makes that film work.

Agreed about his work in IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT. It made the film. He had so many great lines: "Because I ain't no ex-pert!" and, even better, "I got the motive which is money and the body which is dead!" And, of course, "Y'all come back now, y'heah?" But it's not just the dialogue, it's Steiger's facial expressions. Just look at the way he responds when the plantation owner gets slapped in the face by Poitier. You can SEE what a difference Poitier's presence in the case has made, and the changes in the way they do business down there that will result.

Steiger always complained about working with Brando on the famous taxi ride scene in ON THE WATERFRONT (1954). When they did the closeups of Brando, Steiger played opposite him even though he wasn't visible on camera. When it came time for Steiger to do his closeups, Brando disappeared, forcing them to use a stand-in to play opposite.

Last edited by Ash Ketchum; 08-03-11 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 08-03-11, 12:59 PM
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Re: the ROD STEIGER Appreciation Thread

I think he became even more interesting when he shaved his head.
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Old 08-03-11, 05:07 PM
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Re: the ROD STEIGER Appreciation Thread

Love me some Rod Steiger!

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