9 dic. 2010

Compactness

I like the compact intensity of many short actors. Bogart was short; Paul Newman was about my height, I think, five-eight. Same for Charles Bronson. Robinson and Cagney were very extremely short, and it didn't do any harm to their careers. Peter Lorre's shortness was downright menacing. Hoffman is five-five; Pacino probably not much more than that. Kirk Douglas was five-nine, like Di Niro and possibly Brando and Sinatra and Tom Cruise (don't like him much, but thought I'd throw him in.) I don't know how tall Mifune was, but unreliable sources say five-eight and a half. He tends to physically dominate Japanese movies where he is taller and strong-looking than the other actors. Emilio Estevez and his brother Charlie Sheen look shorter than their dad, Martin.

Actors' reported heights might be inflated, too. I bet Bogie was really only five-five.

Sure, the other model is John Wayne or Clint Eastwood or James Arness, actors who used their larger size to advantage, or Jimmy Stewart's tall skinny awkwardness that seemed to go well with his hesitant, stammering affect. James Garner is one of my favorites in the larger category. What is interesting, though, is how the smaller men project strength, since they cannot do it simply by being the biggest guy in the room.