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June 24, 2011


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MIKEY AND NICKY is fantastic. Falk is a legend.


'Wings of Desire' benefitted immeasureably from his role. R.I.P.


Was Falk even capable of giving a bad performance? So much great work, even when the films themselves were lacking. I was going to say I'm surprised by how genuinely sad this makes me feel, but on second thought, it's no surprise at all.


A great talent, who will be missed.

Besides his ultra fine work with John Cassavetes, the man has me on the fucking floor, each and every time I watch, 'The In-Laws'.

Another little performance gem, which now takes on a whole new meaning, is in Wim Wenders magnificent, 'Wings of Desire'.

God bless you, Peter Falk.

And thanks for the magic.

warren oates

All the major news orgs are sticking with Columbo, which is cool, because I'm a fan too -- and I've put the "just one more question" tactic to use in my own life. But for me, it's WINGS OF DESIRE and the Cassavetes films I'll remember him for. Particularly the scene in A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE when he takes the kids to the beach.


Sorry, closest to my heart is the man in Murder By Death/The Cheap Detective.


Always loved Falk in anything. I'll make special mention of CASTLE KEEP- a film I find more fascinating and enjoyable every time I see it.

Glenn, as someone who has read a comic or two, it may interest/depress you to know that Gene Colan also just passed.


Yeah, Colan and Falk going so close together was a big hit, given my comics- and Columbo-loving formative years. Haven't followed comics since my ambitions shifted from comic artist to screenwriting in my late teens, but I never get tired of COLUMBO. Netflix streams all the classic episodes, and they've got A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE and THE BRINK'S JOB too.


THE IN-LAWS was a staple in our house (it being, I kid you not, one of the few movies made after 1960 or so that my late father actually liked) when I was growing up, and was of course the movie I watched when I found out Falk had passed away. It has some of the nuttiest lines of any comedy ("they have tsetse flies down here the size of eagles"), Falk gets a lot of them, and his deadpan style of delivery makes them all the funnier. R.I.P.


Correction: Netflix streams only selected COLUMBO episodes, not the entire run of the series. Right now, they have 32 episodes.


The funny thing is, if a Columbo comicbook had ever existed, then Gene Colan -- whose skill at illustrating chiaroscuro and crumpled drapery never suited superheroics -- would have been the natural choice to draw it!

Paul Duane

The way he delivers the (improvised? knowing Elaine May, probably not) line, "I came as soon as I got your towel", during the opening scenes of Mikey and Nicky, never fails to make me grin. A great, warm, human screen presence. The reason I love that film so much is probably because it digs into his warmth and rumpled humanity and exposes some of the darkness beneath it. The final scene, played mostly on his agonised face, is one of the most upsetting moments in American cinema.

Lord Henry


RIP, Peter.

Hollis Lime

Falk's performance in "A Woman Under The Influence" is still my choice for best male lead performance in movie history. That moment at the end, when Rowlands asks him with such vulnerable sincerity "Do you love me?" and Falk's one second look of terror right before he says something to the extent of "Hey, help me out with taking this stuff down" is the greatest piece of acting I've ever seen. How do you do that? How do you direct it? R.I.P. indeed.

David Ehrenstein



Looking over Falk's career, I'm struck by how many first rate performances there were in 1974. Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson and Gene Hackman giving perhaps their best performances, Falk in A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE, Dustin Hoffman giving a perfectly respectable performance in LENNY: Albert Finney's Hercule Poirot in MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS doesn't get the same respect but I think it's remarkable. And had the Academy not decided that SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE was ineligible, Erland Josephson would had to have been nominated as well.


I'll mention a movie called "Anzio." From 1968, it stars Robert Mitchum as a war correspondent who is trying to figure out why men fight. (That sounds pretentious, but Mitchum's underplaying helps a lot, as does his dour conclusion: "Because they like it.") Falk has a supporting role as an American who doesn't allow his bad health to keep him away from the excitement of battle. The unabashed enthusiasm Falk manages to have his character express for combat has kept this movie in my memory since I saw it a few decades ago on the some TV station's Late Show.


So, who's playing him in the eventual bio-pic? Mark Ruffalo?


JC: Kevin Pollak is the only one who could pull it off, because he can hold one of his eyes still while the other moves.

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