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September 11, 2011


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I also think he was very good as the CIA bigwig in THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR. R.I.P.


What a great shot from Underworld U.S.A. I'll also never forget his work in the Twilight Zone episode "The Dummy", for me one of the most disturbing of the show's run.


As is the case with many "Oscar bait" roles involving a mental challenge, Robertson's CHARLY doesn't get much respect anymore. General consensus seems to be that Peter O'Toole or Alan Arkin should've won, and the film is dismissed as dated, with all the self-conscious zooms and split screens that scream "the Sixties." And I certainly won't make any great claims for it either, except to say it's a very affecting story (adapted from Daniel Keyes' "Flowers for Algenon") and Robertson does an excellent job.

Odd that he never quite became a star -- too many edgy roles? Too much TV?

I'd love to see his auteur effort, J.W. COOP, but Encore Western always shows it pan-and-scan.

David Ehrenstein

He was excellent as Hef in "Star 80"


A class act.

Yes, he was a very talented actor, as the screen shots from above reflect a small sampling of his fine work.

But he was also, a man of great moral conviction who handled himself with dignity throughout the whole David Begelman affair.

The fact that *he* was the guy who was ripped off and then blackballed by the movers and shakers in Hollywood because he had the guts to do the right thing...says a lot about the character of the man.

Yeah, he was one of the good guys.

Rest In Peace, Cliff Robertson.

God bless you.


I'm not THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER, or THE LION IN THE WINTER or THE FIXER stand up very well either in retrospective critical opinion, though to be fair I haven't seen any of them. I don't know what cinephiles would choose as best actor of 1968 had they been given the choice. Perhaps Max von Sydow in SHAME, or Boris Karloff in TARGETS or Steve McQueen in BULLITT. Personally my choice would be Douglas Rain in 2001, even though he's really a supporting role and of course just a voice.

David Ehrenstein

"Just a voice"? Hardly. HAL is the film's most important character.


My guess is the cinephiles' alternate Oscar would go to the criminally non-nominated Tony Curtis for THE BOSTON STRANGLER.


I remember Robertson as romantic lead in DePalma's OBSESSION seemed bizarre at the time, but strangely affecting all the same.
As far as Best Actor of 1968? Please, hands down George C. Scott in PETULIA. And is 1968 an incredible year in world cinema? Mainstream cinema alone you got full fledged masterpieces from Bergman, Godard, Kubrick, Lester, Polanski, Bellocchio, Makavejev, Bunuel, Cassavetes,Yates...and dozens of other entertaining interesting films.


With the final abandonment of the Production Code, 1968 would've been a landmark year for cinema even without a single movie being made.

Ryan H.

"My guess is the cinephiles' alternate Oscar would go to the criminally non-nominated Tony Curtis for THE BOSTON STRANGLER."

Criminally non-nominated? I thought Curtis gave a fairly boring performance in a fairly awful film.


RIP Cliff! - Another of the greats gone...


Robertson deserved his 1968 Best Actor Oscar--I think he actually did give the best performance of the nominated actors that year.

It's been nearly 40 (!) years since I saw Robertson's made-for-TV historical drama, "The Man Without a Country"--but I still remember the movie and his performance vividly. From reading his obituaries, it appears that he did some of his best work on TV.


While THE GREAT NORTHFIELD, MINNESOTA RAID isn't exactly a great movie, it does have wonderful things in it. I give producer/star Robertson great credit for really supporting writer-director Phil Kaufman's many original and creative ideas, even though some don't quite come off. [It's possibly the most unusual of the many major studio films dealing with Jesse James.] I can't imagine the battles fought with the powers-that-be at Universal over this one. I've always admired how Robertson seemed entirely willing to let Robert Duvall's crazed, delirious portrayal of Jesse James overshadow his own quirky but subdued Cole Younger; Duvall stole the picture, of course, but in a way that made the whole thing hard to forget.

I liked Robertson's work. His TV work was very strong, of course. I once heard John Frankenheimer pay great tribute to his Playhouse 90 DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES performance. Few other actors could have pulled off the strange, emotionally-damaged characters he played in Aldrich's AUTUMN LEAVES and Fuller's UNDERWORLD, U.S.A. in quite the way he did. I know CHARLY hasn't aged well, but I believe Robertson's performance is solid and still feels real.


He was great in "Obsession" and "3 Days of the Condor," and in two classic Twilight Zone episodes: "The Dummy" and "A Hundred Yards Over the Rim." And he was amusing as Hugh Hefner in "Star 80."


"Criminally non-nominated? I thought Curtis gave a fairly boring performance in a fairly awful film."

Okay. But I'll stick with "criminally non-nominated."

Unkle Rusty

As far as Best Actor of 1968? Please, hands down George C. Scott in PETULIA.

Ding, ding, ding. Correct answer. Scott's best performance in movies, as it shows what a subtle actor he could be.


Yer all wrong. Correct answer is Zero Mostel: "LOOK AT ME!! I'M WEARING A CARDBOARD BELT!!!"

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