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Peter Falk


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wings11.jpg

Farewell, Compañero!

Peter Falk, who has been suffering from Alzheimer's, passed away at 83.

I loved him in The In-Laws and, of course, The Princess Bride, but I suspect I'll always love his Wings of Desire role best.

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I'm sorry for linking to that MSNBC obituary. It was awful. I've replaced it with a link to the New York Times obit.

Falk is so good in this movie, he's hard to watch. Cassavetes filmed characters' souls, I tell you.

SO GOOD. Yeah, I'm kind of sad to see Tweets popping up identifying him as The Princess Bride grandfather, primarily. That was a sweet little turn, but man. The guy was so persuasive in so many different kinds of movies. It was painful to see him reduced to a sidekick in Faraway, So Close.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I'm sorry for linking to that MSNBC obituary. It was awful. I've replaced it with a link to the New York Times obit.

Falk is so good in this movie, he's hard to watch. Cassavetes filmed characters' souls, I tell you.

SO GOOD. Yeah, I'm kind of sad to see Tweets popping up identifying him as The Princess Bride grandfather, primarily. That was a sweet little turn, but man. The guy was so persuasive in so many different kinds of movies. It was painful to see him reduced to a sidekick in Faraway, So Close.

I don't think it's sad at all. I know that role was not very demanding, and it didn't show his range, but he imbued that character with so much heart and affection that I think everyone who watches The Princess Bride wishes they had a grandfather like him. He might have reached higher acting highs, but there is no shame in being remembered as The Grandfather in The Princess Bride. Most actors will never play a character that beloved.

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I confess...no matter how many film roles...he will alays be Columbo to be...he made absent minded feel clever.

I thought he made clever feel absent minded. But maybe I'm just confused on that point.

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wings11.jpg

Farewell, Compañero!

Peter Falk, who has been suffering from Alzheimer's, passed away at 83.

I loved him in The In-Laws and, of course, The Princess Bride, but I suspect I'll always love his Wings of Desire role best.

When I met him I asked him about that scene in the picture above Jeffrey -- it's my favorite scene in that film (which is in my top ten). He said that he improved the bit about the good coffee and cigarette. Genius.

Edited by Scott Derrickson

In eternity this world will be Troy, I believe, and all that has passed here will be the epic of the universe, the ballad they sing in the streets. -- Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson

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When I met him I asked him about that scene in the picture above Jeffrey -- it's my favorite scene in that film (which is in my top ten). He said that he improved the bit about the good coffee and cigarette. Genius.

Do you mean he improvised? I think Wenders mentioned on a commentary track that Falk improvised most of his lines in the movie.

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When I met him I asked him about that scene in the picture above Jeffrey -- it's my favorite scene in that film (which is in my top ten). He said that he improved the bit about the good coffee and cigarette. Genius.

Do you mean he improvised? I think Wenders mentioned on a commentary track that Falk improvised most of his lines in the movie.

Yes, yes - but wait, is there actually no past tense of improv? Weird. Actors and directors say "improv-ed" all the time, so when I typed it, it didn't even register that I had just written the word "improved." I suppose "improv" is technically not a verb, even though in filmmaking it's used that way all the time.

And I'm just a generally crappy speller -- there's that, too.

In eternity this world will be Troy, I believe, and all that has passed here will be the epic of the universe, the ballad they sing in the streets. -- Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson

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I'd actually forgotten he was in The Princess Bride.

I grew up knowing him as Columbo, of course. I still haven't seen his Cassavetes films, but I've at least heard of them. It wasn't until today, though, that I discovered Falk was actually nominated for a couple of Oscars IN THE EARLY '60s, before any of those other productions! (In '61, he lost to Peter Ustinov of Spartacus, and in '62, he lost to George Chakiris of West Side Story.)

Incidentally, one of the obituaries I came across today said that the Lee J. Cobb character in The Exorcist was based on Columbo ... but I believe the makers of that film have said the opposite, i.e. that Columbo was based on the detective character in The Exorcist. Falk was not the first person to play Columbo -- that would be Bert Freed, in a 1960 episode of The Chevy Mystery Show -- but Falk did play the character in a 1968 TV-movie before returning to the character on a more regular basis in 1971. The book version of The Exorcist was written in 1971, and the film came out in 1973, and the book was written by a screenwriter, so... perhaps there was a change to the character between Falk's 1968 and 1971 performances? Perhaps the producer of that series heard one of William Peter Blatty's pitches before the book was published, or even finished? Or perhaps the makers of The Exorcist are just misremembering this.

Darren H wrote:

: I'd spell it improv'd.

Yeah, so would I.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Darren H wrote:

: I'd spell it improv'd.

Yeah, so would I.

I need to know why. Is there some grammar rule at play here that I never learned?

And Peter, I'm astonished you've never seen A Woman Under the Influence. I think that's Cassavetes best film, and Falk's other best role.

Edited by Scott Derrickson

In eternity this world will be Troy, I believe, and all that has passed here will be the epic of the universe, the ballad they sing in the streets. -- Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson

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Scott Derrickson wrote:

: I need to know why. Is there some grammar rule at play here that I never learned?

Nah, more of an eye-ear co-ordination thing, I think. When I look at "improved" I hear "im-proovd", but when I look at "improv'd" I hear "im-pravd". We are so used to the silent E changing the pronunciation of the letter that comes before it, that it's best to just avoid the E altogether here.

: And Peter, I'm astonished you've never seen A Woman Under the Influence.

I know, I know, Cassavetes is one of the big gaping holes in my movie education / experience / knowledge / history / whatever you'd call it. Just as so many obituaries have referenced Peter Falk primarily by his TV work, so too I know Gena Rowlands primarily for her Woody Allen movie.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I don't think it's sad at all. I know that role was not very demanding, and it didn't show his range, but he imbued that character with so much heart and affection that I think everyone who watches The Princess Bride wishes they had a grandfather like him. He might have reached higher acting highs, but there is no shame in being remembered as The Grandfather in The Princess Bride. Most actors will never play a character that beloved.

I think that's true. One girl I know said that she had never had a grandfather in her life, and that he was what she imagined grandfathers should be like. I've seen a lot of well-deserved tributes to him (and written a couple myself), but that one was especially sweet.

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