Sunday, March 9, 2014

1000 Words: Hollywood Goes Fishing

Paul Muni (1895-1967) is mostly forgotten today, which is a great shame, because the Austrian-born actor was one of the finest of his generation. His work in I Am A Fugitive from a Chain Gang is one of the finest performances of the the golden age of Hollywood. Known for playing biographical roles, he won an Oscar for Best Actor for playing the lead role in the The Story of Louis Pasteur (he also won a Tony Award for Inherit the Wind). He is pictured below holding a fishing rod in his final big screen performance in 1959's The Last Angry Man, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award -- his sixth and final nomination. He lost out to Charlton Heston in Ben-Hur. He then retired and spent the remainder of his years living happily with his wife in California.

I have seen over half of Muni's 23 films, and I can say without reservation that I have never seen a bad performance from the man. He was an exceptional actor.

-- Dr. Todd

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