RIP Peter O'Toole

Dead at 81 :(

Shit. One of my favorite actors of all time.

RIP - He was in some great ones.

“Dying is easy … comedy is hard.”

My god. I loved him so. First thing I ever saw him in was My Favorite Year, and I’ve loved everything I’ve seen him in since. RIP sir.

RIP to a great talent and one of the best names ever.

Vale. An extraordinary character. 81 is pretty good going for as hard as he lived. Weirdly, I was just thinking earlier today that I need to watch Lawrence of Arabia again.

Yeah, me too. Mostly because I was packing for a trip and wanted to bring it with me, and now I’m sad I didn’t.

The Stunt Man, The Ruling Class, Becket and The Lion in Winter are absolute classics. RIP Mr. O’Toole.

I was coming here to mention this movie as well. I know he starred in some of the all-time classics and was a member of the acting elite; this was the movie that meant the most to me. RIP.

Godspeed! I only recently saw Lawrence of Arabia last year, it was fantastic.

I didn’t like the Lion in Winter because it was just too transparently a vehicle for acting, but it’s hard to find fault with Peter O’Toole. I do think his sort of acting actors fell out of favor in the 70s and 80s in favor of more physical scripts and cinematography, and he like so many of his generation never seemed to find his feet in the new Hollywood.

Weird film, this. When I first saw it, I hated it, not so much because it was a vehicle for acting, but because it was written as self-important Shakespearean pastiche while it delivered little more than a medieval soap opera. (In case you don’t remember: it originally flopped on Broadway, and even the playwright attributed its longevity to the film adaptation.) Then I saw it a few more times and loved it. Then I saw a stage production of same and guess what? I hated it. What saved the film was the actors and the direction, in spite of the screenplay. And the music was probably one of John Barry’s best scores.

(Raises glass)

Fair winds, Peter.

There was always something strange about a Peter O’Toole performance, that manic rictus he had that served as a grimace or a smile, but I think he did well in the eighties with The Stunt Man and My Favorite Year. Eight academy awards nominations and nary a win. But I’ll drink one to his memory!

Ruling Class, Lawrence of Arabia and My Favorite Year need to go on rotation this week in my apartment. :(

I wrote a small appreciation on my blog.

Thank you for focusing on Becket. Wonderful movie that doesn’t get much recognition today.

Yeah, I’ve always loved that film.

I keep hearing amazing things about Becket. I totally need to see it.

The sad thing is that Lawrence seemed like the last big budget period movie that was so popular in the Technicolor era of the 50s and 60s. Everything else seemed like a step back, even Cleopatra seemed cheesy. By the time of Beckett period films were on the way out, with smaller and smaller budgets, only gaining a bit of a resurgence in hero war films that paid the bills like Where Eagles Dare or Kelly’s Heroes. But by that time the social and politics revolutions had made these history films irrelevant in a time of great upheaval and unease.