Thank goodness for that. I’m not saying he would’ve been bad in that role; I think he would’ve been very good. It’s just that Christopher Lee OWNED that role. Lee’s Scaramanga is one of my favorite Bond villains. Him and Maud Adams’ tragic Miss Anders were two of the very bright spots in an otherwise dreary and sleazy Bond movie (for me, at least).
Hear! Hear! I’m floored by Lee’s Scaramanga. It’s likely my favorite Christopher Lee part. He’s so suave and yet so base and Chris seizes that and runs with it. Jack would’ve been fine and maybe more than fine whereas Christopher infuses an erudite quality with the crass underbelly of the character and really suggests a murky reflection of Bond I’m not sure Jack could have done. Instead the Palance Scaramanga might near Curt Jurgens in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). Best guess.
As a kid I loved City Slickers and Cops & Robbersons.
I relate to what Flying Squid is saying whereas I enjoy the genre more. Shane (1953) is an unusual film. George Stevens around then pivoted to increasingly dramatic fare resulting from his wartime service in WWII. Stevens etched a name mainly in comedies preceding the war counting films like Swing Time (1936), Gunga Din (1939), Woman of the Year (1942), and The More the Merrier (1943). Afterwards he went more and more serious straddling pretentiousness by the late 50s. I Remember Mama (1948), A Place in the Sun (1951), Shane, Giant (1956), The Diary of Anne Frank (1959), The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965). The about-face is staggering and Shane is pinned right in the middle of it.
Hence I have mixed feelings on Shane. As it’s a strange mix due to this. I’d peg it a Western Drama that’s almost greater drama than western. It’s very set bound owing to when it was shot and the color film stock used accentuates this. Stevens’ sensitivity to feeling and the interiors give it a Chamber Drama effect and thinking of it as a western isn’t what first pops in my mind. Yes. Alan Ladd and Jack Palance are gunfigters. Yes there is a land baron hiring thugs to scare folks off their land. Albeit away from those strands and the day-to-day depicted of living in the west, Shane’s soul is closer to It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) or I Remember Mama not a western. The family is its subject especially the little boy and how he sees the world. It is an early 50s To Kill A Mockingbird (1962) complete with death and childhood awakening. It is and it isn’t a western in other words but that’s not to say I dislike it.
Jack Palance is suitably unsettling as the gunhand, Alan Ladd ideal as the title character who is much the enigma, Van Heflin strong as the head of the family, and Jean Arthur moving as the mother in her last screen role. Brandon deWilde is today remembered as the little boy crying out to the horizon. “Shane!!!” “Shane!!!” This is a classic Hollywood film and a masterpiece of drama set in the West. Though not necessarily a western which is why I said what I said. It is a fondly remembered film and the same for Rio Bravo (1959). I agree with that perception. Still I notice certain things.
And that big fight scene! Definitely NOT a good-natured brawl, as Joel and the Bots would put it. I’d put this fight scene up there with the brawl between Sean Connery and Robert Shaw in the train compartment in From Russia with Love.
City Slickers is a childhood favorite of mine.
Video number 18. Nobody told me he was in this video.
That movie does so many things wrong, but because of Lee it’s one of my favorite Bond movies. I rate him as Bond’s greatest villain, because it’s not Bond vs. an army with a gloating figurehead, it’s charming thug against charming thug.
I tend to agree. It serves up an entire spy pathology between the two men and highly engaging. Palance wouldn’t be the same.
I have great appreciation for Palance’s turn as Dracula, both because he transcends how cheap that version is (Seriously–it feels like five people and two rooms) and he kinda plays Dracula as Racist Grandad, and Archie Bunker Dracula is a very on-brand choice for a 70s TV movie.
The Man with the Golden Gun in terms of substance may have been one of the weakest Bond films, but Lee singlehandedly elevated it that piece with some of the best villainous work of his career. Absolutely one of the best Bond baddies.
Could Palance have similarly elevated the work? I dunno. I like the idea of Scaramanga representing what Bond would have been without a soul, and I’m not sure that Palance could have captured that just as well as Lee had.
I’m watching The Shape of Things to Come right now! It’s PALANCE-RIFF-IC!
It’s more Palance-acceptable…