Skip to comments.Good Actors in Horribly Miscast Roles
Posted on 12/01/2012 6:09:35 AM PST by PJ-Comix
Even good actors sometimes get horribly miscast in the wrong roles. The case most often cited is this first one in which John Wayne played an odd role for him...a Mongol warrior.
John Wayne: Miscast as Genghis Khan in "The Conqueror," the Duke had to utter lines like: "My blood says, take this Tartar woman."
Susan Hayward: Co-starring as the tartar woman love interest in "The Conqueror." Yeah, an Irish chick from Brooklyn as a Tartar woman on the Asian steppes. The closest thing about Hayward to a tartar is that she had a tart tongue.
Chuck Connors: Tall, blond, blue-eyed, Connors somehow was chosen to portray an Apache Indian barely five feet tall. Does not compute!
George Peppard: I really enjoyed watching "The Blue Max." My favorite aerial movie about WWI. However, one person just did not fit the role...George Peppard as Lt. Bruno Stachel. Peppard was simply too American to convincingly portray a German. Oh, and you don't have to be a German to portray a German since two English actors in the same movie were very convincing as German officers: James Mason and Jeremy Kemp.
Laurence Olivier: Yes, even actors at the top of the acting profession can be horribly miscast as Olivier was as General Douglas McArthur in "Inchon." Thankfully very few people have seen Olivier in his completely miscast role.
Leslie Howard: I recently saw "Gone With The Wind" again for the umpteenth time and noticed that Leslie Howard was quite long in the tooth to be playing the youthful Ashley Wilkes. And did Southern gentlemen talk with British accents?
Jimmy Stewart: Stewart was almost twice the age of the 25 year old Lindbergh when he flew solo across the Atlantic. Sorry, but mere hair dye does not make one convincingly youthful in "The Spirit of St. Louis." Actually, George Peppard would have been good in the role of Lindbergh...if he mastered Lindbergh's slightly sing-song upper Midwest accent.
Richard Burton: As Leon Trotsky in "The Assassination of Trotsky."
Charlton Heston: His miscasting in "A Touch of Evil" was so horrible that it was even referenced in "Ed Wood" when Wood ran into Orson Welles at a bar and after telling Welles about being forced to miscast roles, Welles replied: "Tell me about it. I'm supposed to do a thriller for Universal. They want Charlton Heston as a Mexican."
Gregory Peck as Dr. Mengale in “The Boys from Brazil.” A laugh fest anyway, with some ridiculous dialogue. “You fool! I AM a doctor!”
I think Stewart got the role of Lindbergh in part because he was a flier, and because he would have been PERFECT for the part when he was 25.
I liked Gregory Peck in "Boys from Brazil." I don't see that as a miscasting, whatever one thinks of the movie otherwise.
Just look at any cheesy SYFY channel original movie and they’ll have a bunch of unknown actors with 1 or 2 good SYFY channel series stars reading really crappy scripts.
Funny you should mention “Inchon” in your writing. I was stationed in Korea when that was filming there and many of us soldiers were hired to play Marines as extras for the film. So, in effect, I was a stand-in for my late father who participated in the actual landing.
Lemme think.......uhhhhh.... Horrible miscasting,
I think I remember.....Tony Danza as George Washington
in “Who’s the Boss?” the story of the American Revolution.
Oh, I forgot....they had to be good actors.....
I nominate Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher
I'm certain this was some liberal attempt at tweaking the noses of conservatives by having a liberal screwball play a conservative icon. And it blew up on them twice.
First, I guess Streep couldn't help herself and gave a bang-up performance.
Second, what the twisted liberal mind thought people would find appalling - Lady Thatcher's unbending and uncompromising will to do what was needed - resulted in every conservative like myself cheering with joy.
Damm do we need politicians like that today!!!
Micheal Keaton as Batman...
I pulled it off but I still think of him as Mr. Mom...
Worst. Evar!...Laurence Olivier in black face as the Mahdi, in “Khartoum” with Chuck Heston. Olivier couldn’t decide wether he was doing Othello or Amos and Andy. Can’t watch his scenes without cracking up!
Best actor in a miscast has to be the current empty suit in the white house. Really belongs on Broadway as Santa Claus
LOL....I had completely forgotten about that one and you are SO right. Heston was great as Gordon, but Olivier as the Mahdi was laughable.
Arnold Schwartzenegger cast as anyone...
Gatsby was supposed to be this mysterious, enigmatic character who brooded at his window, pining for Daisy while sponsoring lavish parties for his guests who rarely if ever see or meet him. Redford comes across as too flighty, whimsical and extroverted for the role.
On the flip side, Daisy Buchanan was to be this flighty, reckless coquettish, high society party girl, and Farrow was too much the introvert to pull it off convincingly.
Curiously, Sam Waterston as Nick Carraway, in the very same movie, is for my money, one of the most perfect casting choices ever made by a Hollywood studio.
Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher in the upcoming release of Rock of Ages
‘The Iron Petticoat’ was on TMC a couple of nights ago
Katharine Hepburn plays pilot Captain Vinka Kovelenko, a character that defects from Russia.
Sat and watched most of it because of Bob Hope(love Bob Hope movies) but this one was bad. Her accent was terrible (from the Connecticut region of the Soviet Union) - the whole story was slapped together.
Obama as pissadent.
Cuban Gooding has been miscast in scores of movies. Reminds me of that David Chapelle episode where he had Wayne Brady play a bad guy. The problem was Brady did such a convincing job I could never look at him as the same nice guy that appeared on The Drew Carey Show after that. I think he committed career suicide that night...lol
Janet Leigh as a Russian fighter pilot in “Jet Pilot.”
Eddie Murphy as a cop, did’nt work for me. He was good as a con though.(see 48hrs.)
Jack Palance as Fidel Castro...oh, and Omar Sharif as Che Guevarra in the same movie wasn’t so great either.
I would have said Yul Brynner as Jason Compson in the Hollywood version of Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, where
Brynner didn’t even try to capture a Southern accent, and wore a reddish wig-—but Brynner is so good the whole thing actually worked.
My husband is a huge fan of Lee Child’s novels and was horrified when he read that Cruise would play Reacher. How desperate are they to try and make Cruise look macho?
Yes, Redford’s fantastically photogenic blonde hair got him through the Gatsby role, and more than a few others.
Karl Malden as Herb Brooks in “Miracle on Ice”.
Not. Even. Close.
Mel Gibson in The Man without a Face. Gibson’s whole shtick was his looks back then and it made no sense to me.
Kevin Costner, Robin Hood.
Ben Johnson as Melvin Purvis in the 70’s version of Dillinger.
Sam Waterson as an Indian in 1979 Eagle’s Wings
No matter what you think of Tom Cruise, the guy does get a lot of movie roles, and I think there are times where can act, but he was miscast in “Valkyrie.”
Humphrey Bogart in Sabrina
Grace Kelly in High Noon
Fred MacMurray in Double Indemnity
Spencer Tracy in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” Actually, he wasn’t miscast. It was justy a bad script. The only way to save that would have been to have Jackie Gleason play the lead and make it unintentionally funny.
BTW, I think Heston was great in a “Touch of Evil”. I have known Mexicans and South Americans who have a similar build and demeanor. Who should have played the part, Duncan Renaldo?
That Wayne Brady sketch was brilliant; I was rolling when I first saw it years ago.
Cuba Gooding has been miscast, certainly, which is a shame, as he’s a good actor. But the one film where the casting was perfect was “The Last King of Scotland”, with Forrest Whitaker as Idi Amin, IMHO. Richly deserved Oscar for Best Actor.
Totally agree with a bad-casting call regarding “The Conqueror” and Olivier in “Khartoum”. One casting call that surprised me was Heath Ledger as the Joker in “The Dark Knight”. My first thought was, “C’mon....the dude from Brokeback Mountain” and “A Knight’s Tale”? You’ve gotta be kidding.” But he took the ‘Clown Prince of Crime’ and totally owned the character, making it one of the best comic-book villain interpretations I’ve ever seen. Too bad he passed so young.
“White people love Wayne Brady because he makes Bryant Gumbel look like Malcom X”. One of the funniest quotes ever.
Tony Curtis as a Bronx Viking in “The Vikings.”
There was one pretty decent reason why Cruise was cast as Von Stauffenberg...
Aside from that, I understand the Cruise really wanted the role, and he apparently still has enough horsepower in Hollywood to get most of what he wants.
I seriously doubt that. First,Streep is a liberal fruit bat - but she is a very good actress. Fonda never was and still isn't.
Second, the producers of “The Iron Lady” thought we would all be appalled at her “unbending”, her “unwillingness to seek consensus”, her “refusal to reach across the aisle” and all the other buzz phrases for conservatives giving in to liberal BS.
Of course the conservatives that watched the movie were instead cheering and yelling, “yes, stand your ground, don't give into these idiots” and wishing we had even one Republican front runner with the same size “attachments.”
Well, you already got the big one I was gonna lead with (Palance as Castro in “Che!”), but here’s a few others I think were miscast:
Sean Penn as Willie Stark in the remake of All The King’s Men. So bad it’s funny. I actually like Penn as an actor (if not as a person), but he just could not have been more wrong for the part of Stark.
Mary Astor in The Maltese Falcon. She’s the one part of the movie that just doesn’t work for me. I could see Bogey being torn up and played for a sucker by Lana Turner, or Lauren Bacall. But Mary Astor? She just didn’t bring the beauty or the screen presence to play a femme fatale. A good actress, but wrong for the part (IMHO).
Jack Nicholson. Yeah, The Shining is a scary masterpiece, and Nicholson plays an amazing psycho. The thing is, Jack seemed unbalanced from minute one in the film. The idea is that the weird going ons in the hotel drive him nutty. I don’t buy that he was ever really sane in the flick.
Jason Robards as Al Capone in The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Good movie, and Robards played the part pretty well. The problem for me is, he didn’t. look a thing like Capone. Capone was heavy set and swarthy. Robards was rail thin and built like a stork. It would be like having John Kerry play Jake Gusik.
A few that could have happened, but mercifully didn’t:
-Molly Ringwald was considered for Laura Dern’s role in Blue Velvet.
-Alex Karras was considered for the part of Carlo, Connie’s weasly husband in The Godfather.
-Joan Crawford, Mae West, Lucille Ball, and Marlene Dietrich were all seriously considered for the part of Scarlet O’Hara in Gone with the Wind.
Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher is unimagineable. Let’s see, for those who have not read the “Reacher” novels; Jack Reacher is an ex-MP - 6’ 5”, 250lbs and beats the crap out of everyone that doesn’t toe the line.
Cruise will have to wear 12” heels and gain 100lbs to begin remotely looking like Reacher.
How in the you-know-what did Cruise ever get this role?
Hell, the entire cast of ‘Bonfires of the Vanities’.
Tom Wolfe had written a great novel on the Kabuki theater of a hit and run blossoming into major lawsuits. That was ruined by Political Correctness for the big screen.
In ‘Saturn 3’ Douglas was way too old. And Keitel with a British accent???!
As Margaret Thatcher in ‘The Iron Lady’. Why is an American in a role tailor made for Helen Mirren?!!!
Ding, Ding, Ding, we have the winner!!!
This was at the height of his..uh..career..yeah, he was such a big star at the time he had his own butt double for Robin's nude scene. I guess they thought it might bring in the women for the movie. Costner didn't even attempt a British accent, which was a shame because that would probably have been the most entertaining part of the movie.
Rex Harrison as Caesar?
David Bowie as Pilate??? Wait...you said good actor...
Edward G. Robinson in the 10 Commandments...
Middleaged Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson in Pride and Prejudice (1940), playing characters half their age. Every character in that film was also off, but that may have been writing/direction, not actual miscasting.
Pride and Prejudice (2005), also miscast in that the leads were too attractive. Lizzie is not supposed to be the most stunningly beautiful woman in the room and Darcy should appear to have an arrogance that requires £10,000 a year to compensate. That said, Knightly hit the role, MacFadyen not so much.
But the real miscast was Mr Bennett, who has taken to his library and sarcasm in refuge from reckless marriage to incompatible spouse. His one concern is to guard Lizzie from making the same mistake he did as a foolish youth, 20 odd years ago. And they cast 70 year old Donald Sutherland!
Costner’s lack of even attempting a British accent for that movie always mystified me until recently. I read that, when the film was being made, there was another Robin Hood movie in production-—I think with Patrick Bergin and Uma Thurman. Both movies were in a race to be finished, because the first one done would be shown as a theatrical release, while the loser would be shown on TV. They filmed Costner as is to save time, planning to dub in the British accent later, but in the rush decided to skip the dubbing. Costner’s movie finished first and got the theatrical release.
Sean Connery in "Zardoz". WTH?
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