Thursday, July 24, 2014

Remembering James Garner, Part 3

Okay, here we go. The Five Quintessential James Garner movies. (This was tough.)

In no particular order:

Grand Prix (1966)
In order to film a great movie about race car driving, director John Frankenheimer and his team had to develop new ways of mounting cameras, obtaining steady shots, and following action at very high speeds. This is an exciting film, and Garner - an avid automobile enthusiast - did his own driving.

Murphy's Romance (1986)
I covered this one in the previous post, so I won't say much more about it here other than that it is one of my favorite romances on the big screen.

The Americanization of Emily (1964)
William Holden was supposedly going to play the cynical but affable hero of Paddy Chayefsky's brilliant screenplay but had to back out. I am a big William Holden fan, but I can't imagine anyone bringing Charlie Madison to the screen better than James Garner. This was Garner's favorite of all of of his films and his favorite movie-making experience.

Support Your Local Sheriff (1969)
I also talked about this one in an earlier post, and I think it a perfect example of James Garner at his best. It is a reflection of his earlier (and later) TV roles as Bret Maverick: Maverick turned the idea of the cowboy hero on its ear. Support Your Local Sheriff then tweaked that ear a bit.

The Notebook (2004)
Yes, this is a pretty sappy movie, but it's also a much-beloved one. I think that what really makes the framing love story work - what grounds it in reality - is the truth that Garner brings to his performance.

Move Over, Darling (1963)
The Great Escape (1963)
Duel at Diablo (1966)
Marlowe (1969)
Victor/Victoria (1982)

Jimmy Carter (not that one) interviews James Garner about acting and actors.

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