joi, 7 iulie 2022

RIP James Caan

Sad news just after the 50th anniversary of The Godfather and the mini-series of the making of the film, The Offer (on Paramount+), last time when I caught a glimpse of James Caan. as Sony Corleone (the character). It wa salso his only Oscar nomination !!! (supporting role, together with Pacino and Duvall). James Caan died on July 6th, age 82. 

He came to attention as a sidekick to The Duke in El Dorado (1966, Howard Hawks), as Mississippi.  Francis Coppola cast him on The Rain People (1969), which got him to Sonny in The Godfather. He worked again with Coppola in the uderrated Gardens of Stone (1987).

He was a superstar of the 70's, one of the greats, a heavyweight. Though his best part for me is in 1981 with Michael Mann/s directorial debut on the big screen, Thief, magnificent film, neon noir, an inspiration on Nicolas W.Refn's Drive, with  a beautiful score by Tangerine Dream. 

Another brilliant part came in 1990 in Rob Reiner's Misery, based on the Stephen King novel. 

He was at the best in Rollerball (Norman Jewison) and The Killer Elite (Sam Peckinpah) both in 1975.

And before that in The Gambler (1974, Karel Reisz, written by James Toback from his autobiographic experienes), a risky role he took after the stardom rift from Godfather. He followed that with Slither, Cinderella Liberty, Freebie and the Bean. 

Other parts I liked him in: Alien Nation, Dogville, Bottle Rocket, City of Ghosts, The Yards, The Way of The Gun. He was a great (old) Philip Marlowe in the HBO film Poodle Springs (Bob Rafelson, 1998). 

Obit and career retrospective in Hollywood Reporter here.

My acting technique is to look up at God just before the camera rolls and say, 'Give me a break.'

                                                                      James Caan (1940-2022)