Sunday, February 8, 2009

Rest in Peace James Whitmore

I know I'm a few days late on this, but when I saw this video on Urantian Sojourn I couldn't help but want to post it. From a great flick it is.


  1. Great movie, one of the few that I'll watch just about every time it is on, in spite of the words that comes out of Tim Robbins when he's not on the screen.

    Incredible cast of characters, thought Whitmore was fantastic in it but Freeman stole the show.

    Good clip Mike,

  2. I saw Shawshank Redemption when it came out and then saw it again a year or so ago on French Television....That was very hard for me as the language is so important.
    I have to get a copy....
    Whitmore was a great actor...the few starring roles he got let him show his stuff...
    I am having a vague memory of a classic Twilight Zone Episode, now I have to look it up.

  3. By the way, speaking of Robbins, the movie Dead Man Walking is a compelling argument against the death penalty. Robbins did a great job bringing it to the screen.

  4. Bob, What does it refer to?

    "words that comes out of Tim Robbins when he's not on the screen."

  5. mike- when I read the 'not on the screen' comment the other day I, too, was wondering what it meant.

    Perhaps we both will be enlightened soon.

  6. Mike, Mud,

    Tim Robbins is one of the handful of actors who seem to believe that because they act, their words should be given more weight. That is my opinion formed on the basis of reading what he's said.

    I can't remember the exact quotes, but Robbins repeatedly denigrated President Bush (41) and targeted not Bush's policies but Bush himself. A trait that far to many liberals share in my opinion.

    Alex Baldwin and Susan Sarandon are two more just like Robbins. In fact, I wish both of those were honorable people. Then they would have kept their word to move out of the US after Bush won the election.

  7. Actually, I tend to agree with you in many cases, Bob. Often the Hollywood celeb who pontificates politically rubs me the wrong way even when I agree with what's being said. That's not always the case, but sometimes it is, I must admit.

  8. Mike,

    Here is a great example. As a Marine, I thought you would especially appreciate it.

    Late in Wonderland, he wordlessly (and desperately) waits for someone to offer him cocaine in a manner that seems excruciatingly authentic. I ask if he ever went through a drug phase for real. He says no. He says he's never freebased cocaine in his life but that he understands the mind-set of addiction. The conversation evolves into a meditation on the emotional toll that acting takes on the artist. I ask him about the "toll" that he felt while making the 1993 western Tombstone. He starts talking about things that happened to Doc Holliday. I say, "No, no, you must have misunderstood me. I want to know about the toll it took on you." He says, "I know, I'm talking about those feelings." And this is the conversation that follows:

    Me: You mean you think you literally had the same experience as Doc Holliday?

    Kilmer: Oh, sure. It's not like I believed that I shot somebody, but I absolutely know what it feels like to pull the trigger and take someone's life.

    You understand how it feels to shoot someone as much as a person who has actually committed a murder?

    I understand it more. It's an actor's job. A guy who's lived through the horror of Vietnam has not spent his life preparing his mind for it. He's some punk. Most guys were borderline criminal or poor, and that's why they got sent to Vietnam. It was all the poor, wretched kids who got beat up by their dads, guys who didn't get on the football team, couldn't finagle a scholarship. They didn't have the emotional equipment to handle that experience. But this is what an actor trains to do. I can more effectively represent that kid in Vietnam than a guy who was there.

    I don't question that you can more effectively represent it, but that's not the same thing. If you were talking to someone who's in prison for murder and the guy said, "Man, it really fucks you up to kill another person," do you think you could reasonably say, "I completely know what you're talking about"?

    Oh yeah. I'd know what he's talking about.

    Let's say someone made a movie about you--Val Kilmer--and they cast Jude Law in the lead role. By your logic, wouldn't this mean that Jude Law--if he succeeded in the role--would therefore understand what it means to be Val Kilmer more than you do?

    No, because I'm an actor. The people in those other circumstances don't have the self-knowledge.

    Sometimes you just have to ask WTF?

  9. What an idiot Val Kilmer sounds like in that interview. But no one could top Tom Cruise.