(ok a digression).
A lot of actors can pull out a good performance, but the class and depth and simple ease of the master actor is rare. Vincent Price was one such performer.
Mr Price is one of my all time favourite actors and a man who had the guts to turn his back on a gravy train career (for him) to pursue a life time ambition – cookery.
The career does speak for itself – from Poe to Shakespeare Price pulls it off again and again and always with that effortless class which embodies all his performances.
The performances in the Poe stories are hard to get past: “The Raven“, “Pit and the Pendulum“, “House of Usher“, “Masque of the Red Death“. Usher and Masque should be considered studies on performing these difficult roles.
If I was to return to one movie again and again though it would be “House on Haunted Hill“. The level, direct and controlled performance of Price is an excellent contrast to the developments that reveal the “masks” of the other characters as they move through the “Haunted Party” plot.
With the endless voice work, cameos and one offs the list of memorable performances goes on and on (Columbo, Muppets, Batman etc.)
Still other film work has yet more highlights. The Dr Phibes films are gorgeous pieces of cinema. The beautiful performances in these leave me utterly speechless. Ok, pun intended.
This is a man with a CV from “House of Wax” to “Edward Scissorhands“, from “Theatre of Blood” to “Nefertiti“, from “The Fly” to “Bloodbath at the House of Death“. I just love this man.
Happy 100th birthday, Mr Price. We miss you.
Oh and the Shakespeare reference? Well, if you watch “Theatre of Blood” you’ll get just such an excellent idea of how Vincent Price would have been in any of The Bard‘s plays.
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