Thursday, October 7, 2010

TC: Ray Milland: An Unnoticeable Star


.

File:Ray Milland in A Life of Her Own trailer.JPG




Just another pretty face
but behind that blank
and vapid mask
a supercilious nonchalance
with just a faint
undercurrent of malice

A safecracker hiding his
whiskey bottles in the chandelier

Something disturbing
yet horribly true about
his mixture of extreme
irritation and disbelief
with almost gentlemanly disgust

Something about reality
Ray Milland couldn't stand




File:Ray Milland in A Life of Her Own trailer 2.JPG














Ray Milland, from the film A Life of Her Own (1950): screenshots by Thirdship, 2008

3 comments:

Curtis Roberts said...

I believe you've nailed it.

"Something about reality
Ray Milland couldn't stand"

"Star quality", which Ray Milland certainly had, requires a certain "brand" consistency and your observation even holds true, I think, in Milland's old television sitcom.

I'd say this was a nice reminder, but Ray Milland isn't ever too far from my thoughts. I love Ray Milland's performances.

TC said...

Curtis,

Milland's onscreen persona always seemed fascinating, ambiguous, complex. The attractiveness, the aplomb, the charm, underpinned, or perhaps the word should be undermined, by an aloofness, a distance, a hint (at least) of something dangerous. The dark pressing up through the fragile boundaries of the bright. They just don't make that kind of great lead actor any more.

curtisroberts said...

No, they don't. I'm reminded of that all the time, even (probably the wrong word) when I'm just looking at stills. "An Unnoticeable Star" is a superb, unexpected title.