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Why Do You Think The Acting of Charles Laughton Has Always Been So Fascinating?

+2 votes
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Apr 10 in Celebrities by Virginia (6,447 points)

Just last night I came upon this movie from 1945, THE SUSPECT, and it is utterly wonderful, an exquisite film noir, he plays the sympathetic villain. Even as a child, I recall being entranced with RUGGLES OF RED GAP! Then, who could forget him with his wife Elsa Lanchester in WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION...

What makes Charles Laughton so unforgettable? Is it simply his remarkable talent, or the intriguing movie plots he played in, or something else too?


2 Answers

Rooster Apr 10

I think it was his talent and when he acted in a movie? You believed he was really the character he played!


Virginia Rooster Apr 10

Rooster, even watching that 2:38 minute clip I got caught up in the intensity of Laughton's talent...superb!

TheOtherTink Apr 11

I'm sorry I don't have time to watch The Suspect right now, Virginia, but it's on my list.  :)

Tink! I wanted to tell  you on the other question, but got sidetracked somehow...I think your idea of the ring, where ultra-left and ultra-right actually meet each other when they get extreme...that is very useful, prolly very true, too!

Yes, thank you, Virginia.  I think when they become that extreme, it's all about absolute, totalitarian power for the unelected (or sham-elected) party in power, enforced by gulags or other forms of concentration camps.

Something else I was contemplating, from our same conversation? When I watched the video of Hoover as humanitarian for starving Russia in the 1920's after WWI...there were liberals in the US who thought Hoover should leave the starving millions in Russia to their fate, because Stalin was conducting this wonderful experiment in socialization which needed to play out and see where it led...

Perhaps there were other factors at the time justifying such a view, such as maybe the liberals really did not realize how much people were actually suffering and dying, but from the perspective of history now, that liberal perspective was horrific.

If I may make an overly broad generalization, Virginia, the liberal mind all too often latches onto an idea or a personage, be it Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Che, etc. and becomes enamored of it, to the exclusion of brutal realities. There are still Trotskyites today, who claim that if only Trotsky had prevailed, they would have gotten communism right.  Squaring the circle, if only they had had the right geometer :D

And I watched The Suspect.  Excellent!  :) <3

SPOILER (DON'T READ IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO WATCH THE MOVIE): I think the original novelist on which the movie is based may have gotten the idea of the police inspector toying with the murderer to the point where the murderer turns himself in in the end from Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment.

O'Tink, I actually exclaimed out loud when I read your final comment...the Dostoyevsky...yes! Wonderful insight.

Also, here is another consideration for the "personage" stuff...and that is if I try to imagine a situation in which communism/socialism/capitalism might have been successful, might have fulfilled their egalitarian potential...I wonder if maybe the democratic dream really requires humankind to evolve more? To live closer to the best within us? (I hope that is NOT true, and that somehow we could just go to a good place NOW! ;)...but I am not optimistic.)

In 2008 Great Recession, I read lots of news magazines and learned about financial institutions who came through beautifully, stable and thriving. But what they did was use proven sensible lending practices. They qualified their home-buyers carefully, held the loans in-house, and gave classes on managing money in difficult times. Their CEO might make as much as $100,000 annual salary...

So, what I am thinking, likewise with whatever economic system maybe success depends on maturity (i.e., freedom from greed, etc.)? Anyway that is for example why I asked the question recently about whether humankind is still evolving...because ultimately, maybe we really need to keep evolving? :unsure:  <3

TheOtherTink TheOtherTink 5 days ago

Yes, Virginia, humankind does still need to evolve, but in the meantime, our tendency toward greed and lust for power must be kept under control by separation of powers, be it in government or commerce. In particular, totalitarian governments and business monopolies must be avoided if their attendant cruelties are to be eliminated.

Virginia TheOtherTink 5 days ago

Well O'Tink, you run for President ima vote for you!  8-)  So far, looking back through history I don't find much reason for optimism...although, there are countries that seem to be doing better than the USA. Yes they do have lots of national wealth, but the USA and others had that too...

TheOtherTink TheOtherTink 4 days ago

Yes, well, evolution proceeds slowly, Virginia, and not always in the right direction. :(

Virginia TheOtherTink 4 days ago

So true, Sister Tink...been thinking about Camus...

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