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September 17, 2009


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Haven Hamilton is a turd, but let's not forget his bravery and honest inspiration at the end. I'm not saying he's a good guy, but that ending does muddy the waters a bit.

Anyway, RIP Henry Gibson. A truly unique and surprising talent.


I should quickly add that I understand there's quite a lot of irony intended in the inspirational qualities of NASHVILLE's ending. All I'm saying is that Hamilton's behavior is not that of a totally wretched human being.


Kael had an interesting observation about Gibson's character -- that his conduct at the end demonstrates that his earlier song "Keep A-Goin'" turns out to be not a facile ditty, but his genuine worldview.


Haven Hamilton rates as one of my favorite film characters of all time. The way he nails the rags-to-rhinestones life of a Country-Western star is spot-on. His seemingly easy-going, home-spun, open-arms demeanor masking an 'I-made-somethin-of myself' arrogance. I have older Southern relatives just like the guy.

I, too, believed that Gibson was criminally underused. He was always memorable in anything he was in.

Dan Callahan

I'll raise a glass to Gibson's brutally accurate barstool queen in "Magnolia."

Michael Adams

Note that the Times obit doesn't even mention Long Goodbye.


Don't forget his voice work in the original film version of "Charlotte's Web" a childhood favorite of mine.

And I second your Joe Dante comment, Mr. Kenny. "The 'burbs" is such an underrated little comedy.

Michael Dempsey

"Write the check, Roger!"

The unabashed fierceness with which Henry Gibson's quack doctor in "The Long Goodbye" snaps out this line and then smacks Sterling Hayden's character across the face, even though the latter is twice his size, is another prime Gibson moment.


Gibson was a great presence, and a terrific actor. It took amazing acting chops to sell the audience on the idea that he could physically and emotionally dominate Sterling Hayden, a quintessential man's man on-screen. Of course, Hayden was great as well.

And I am happy to be the first to mention his turn as the leader of the "Fucken Illinois Nazis" in "The Blues Brothers". He was the only antagonist in the film to bring real menace to his character, and he was the funniest because of that.



And how wonderful was he as the quirky judge on "Boston Legal?" I first met him on the set of a Dante film. When we were introduced, I told him I'd been a fan of his since "The Joey Bishop Show." Joe piped up, "Betcha don't hear THAT too often!" Henry proceeded to regale me with tales of working on that late, lamented sitcom, and insisted I stay for lunch. What a lovely man.


Gibson also stole several scenes - with barely a single spoken word, unless I'm mistaken, in WEDDING CRASHERS.

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