Sunday, September 11, 2011

A fistul of hi-res Cliff Robertson photos, In Memoriam

From my film-still collection, below are a few scans (click for super hi-res version) of the recently deceased Cliff Robertson (more of a character actor than a tough-guy lead during the all-important 1970s). Although I had already seen him in ESCAPE FROM L.A., I first became keenly aware of Robertson when I found a copy of 1976's SHOOT several years later. SHOOT was a riff on DELIVERANCE's "theme mixing" of sex, power and wilderness survival, and Robertson played one hell of an unlikable Alpha Male -- a guy who had to rule not only the hunting grounds, but also the business world (a furniture company, iirc) and the female population (including some of his buddies' wives). The version of the story in the novel had even more disturbing scenes, and Robertson's portrayal of the character fit perfectly into them. But as realistically reprehensible as Robertson's SHOOT character was, I grew to find the actor's screen presence likable over the years (when I caught up with 1975's THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR, 1976's OBSESSION, etc) so that when someone finally twisted my arm to watch SPIDER-MAN, I was pleased to see him in the cast. As soon as his character kicked, though, I was done with the movie. Seriously.

The stills below include three from PT-109 (1963), for which JFK personally selected Robertson to portray him, supposedly because Robertson didn't try to affect a Bostonian accent (he was cast despite being way older than Kennedy was during the WWII events in question). The last two are from SHOOT.