« Manny Farber's best films of 1951, #5: "The Prowler," directed by Joseph Losey | Main | "The Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans" »

November 16, 2009


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

James Keepnews

Hear, hear, Glenn -- I'd hoped to read more recognition(s) of Woodward's under-utilized qualities as an actor. He was superb-among-equals in Breaker Morant and I gather he experienced no small equalizing in stature amongst his peers after he went telly on them. Too bad. Like Bill Paterson and other non-showboaters, that "plainness" you describe was an unalloyed commitment to character, un-actorly as such but artful enough to make the work appear seamless.

Appreciated, but also missed.


"Has this film ever turned up on one of those "Best Conservative..." lists, I wonder."

It'd make mine. WICKER MAN and BREAKER MORANT are two of my favorite films. RIP.

Fuzzy Bastarrd

Excellent take on the political bait-and-switch of The Wicker Man. The effect must have been even more potent in the 70s, when the squares vs heads conflict was much more heated, and a whole lot of films were coming down solidly on the heads' side. It's interesting, too, how the movie keeps pushing us to dislike this stiff cop---ferchrissakes, naked Britt Ekland is writhing on his wall and he's gonna lie there?!?! And Woodward's performance is a big part of that---unlike just about any lead actor one can imagine, he never turns on the charm, never tries to win us, or anyone, over. It reminds me, oddly enough, of Al Pacino in Donnie Brasco---it takes an extremely confident, capable actor to play such a loser.


Yes, I think his work is very easy to overlook. While he appears to simply remain impassive in the great opening sequence of "Breaker Morant," his diction and rhythm are extraordinary, with the subtlest inflections of humour.

The Siren

Am I the only one who's gonna admit loving The Equalizer back in the day?


I used to watch THE EQUALIZER, though I can't remember much about it now. My only problem with the show has nothing to do with quality, but rather that it's the only thing most people remember Woodward for.

The Siren

Hey I saw Breaker Morant before The Equalizer. But Woodward really was primarily a TV actor, as his resume attests. I haven't seen Callan but I'm told that's his best-known credit in Britain apart from The Wicker Man.


I'm not saying YOU only know him from that show, Siren. And maybe he was mainly a TV guy, I don't know, but he made at least two top-shelf films, and I always wished he'd had the opportunity to make more.


He's also fine in Beresford's underrated, and possibly forgotten, MISTER JOHNSON.

Remember when he had to take a medical hiatus from THE EQUALIZER and Bob Mitchum filled in? Or did I dream that?


I remember MISTER JOHNSON. Only vaguely, but I think I liked it very much.

And no, you didn't dream Mitchum's run on THE EQUALIZER. I'd completely forgotten about that until you mentioned it, but yeah, that thing happened.

The Siren

Yikes JBryant, I did forget about Mister Johnson. He was excellent in it.

David N

I grew up watching and loving the Equalizer, and in my early teens watched The Wicker Man mainly because Woodward was in it, and I liked him from that show. I knew it had a cult reputation but was totally unprepared for how much of a punch to the gut the ending was. Woodward was a big part of that, obviously.
Breaker Morant is great too, with another devastating ending, as is, in a totally different way, the Callan Movie (did Callan ever make it to the States?). Recently Woodward was pretty good in the BBC/HBO mini Five Days.
And a bad movie I loved as a kid and still have affection for - the SAS nonsense of Who Dares Wins...

Orlando Hotels

According to me, His work is very easy to check. I saw his "The Equalizer" last week in Orlando. He was looking great.In fact he has done great work in it. I can't forget him.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Tip Jar

Tip Jar
Blog powered by Typepad