Monday, December 26, 2005

High Cotten

The holidays have been kind to me: I got a Nano, a helluva electric toothbrush and great TV timing, having just caught a couple of my favorite movies featuring the big screen's most underrated leading man, Joseph Cotten.

From the psychotic uncle in "Shadow of a Doubt" to the overmatched writer in "The Third Man," Cotten displays plenty of range, with a good measure of sophistication. No wonder that he was a frequent muse of both Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock.

When you compare the likes of Cotten and William Holden to today's leading men (a collection of pretty boys and head cases, mostly), it's no wonder why one of America's great institutions is crumbling, at least in the mainstream. Carrying a film ain't easy, even though Cotten made it look that way.

Again, I'm having trouble with this whole evolution thing: from Joe Cotten, to Ben Affleck? I think that would be de-evolution.

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