The Yakuza

(1975)

Genres: Action, Crime, Drama

Classics from the Vault: Great Performances that Oscar Ignored (1980)

Transcript for Classics from the Vault: Great Performances that Oscar Ignored (1980)

Christy Lemire:

HELLO AND WELCOME TO A SPECIAL EDITION OF EBERT PRESENTS AT THE MOVIES. I'M CHRISTY LEMIRE OF THE ASSOCIATED PRESS.

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky:
AND I'M IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY OF MUBI.COM. SOME OF THE GREATEST PERFORMANCES HAVE BEEN IGNORED BY OSCAR. SISKEL AND EBERT TOOK A LOOK AT THE TOPIC AND WE TAKE A LOOK BACK THIS WEEK.
 
Christy Lemire:
HERE'S A LOOK IN THE VAULT OF THE ORIGINAL "SNEAK PREVIEW." 
 
>> WHAT DO YOU THINK? SAM 
>> NO.
>> WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU?
>> YOU MADE ME A PROMISE. DID YOU PROMISE ME SOMETHING? HMM? DID YOU SAY EITHER WE DO THIS OR WE KILL OURSELVES.
DID YOU SAY THAT?
>> I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT.
>> WERE YOU KEEPING YOUR PROMISES.
>> YEAH, BUT I'M NOT 
>> IS IT STILL A GO?
>> YES.
 
Gene Siskel:
WHO DID YOU RECOGNIZE IN THAT SCENE, PROBABLY AL PACINO NOMINATED FOR AN OSCAR IN 1985 FOR HIS STRIKING PERFORMANCE IN "DOG DAY AFTERNOON," AND JOHN CAZALE WHO GAVE A STRONG PERFORMANCE. 
 
CAZALE WAS NOT NOMINATED FOR AN OSCAR. HIS SUPERB PERFORMANCE WAS ONE OF MANY GREAT PERFORMANCES THAT OSCAR HAS IGNORED. AND GREAT PERFORMANCES THAT OSCAR HAS IGNORED IS THE TOPIC WE WILL BE DISCUSSING.
 
THIS IS ROGER EBERT FILM CRITIC OF THE "CHICAGO SUNTIMES."
 
Roger Ebert:
AND THIS IS GENE SISKEL, WITH THE "CHICAGO TRIBUNE." NOT ALL OSCAR WINNERS GAVE GREAT PERFORMANCES. WE ARE NOT CLAIMING THE PERFORMANCES WE ARE GOING TO PRAISE ON THIS PROGRAM SHOULD HAVE WON OSCARS BUT WE ARE SAYING THAT THEY WERE GREAT PERFORMANCES AND THEY WERE OVERLOOKED AND IN MANY CASES THE ENTIRE CAREERS OF THESE PERFORMERS IS UNDER VALUED.
 
WE WILL SHOW YOU SHELLEY DUVALL IN "THREE WOMEN," AND GENEVIEVE BUJOLD, AND MARTIN SHEEN IN "BADLANDS" AND MALCOLM McDOWELL IN "A CLOCK WORK ORANGE" AND ROBERT MITCHUM IN YAKUZA.
 
Gene Siskel:
AND JOHN CAZALE, HE'S PROBABLY BEST KNOWN AS FREDO IN GODFATHER PARTS ONE AND TWO. IN "DOG DAY AFTERNOON." HE PLAYS AL PACINO'S ROBBERY, WHO PULLS OFF A BANK ROBBERY TO PAY FOR A SEX CHANGE OPERATION, FOR PACINO'S FLAMBOYANT LOVER. CAZALE ENGAGES IN A CONVERSATION WITH ONE OF THE HOSTAGES INSIDE THE BANK. HERE WE SEE THE CAZALE TRADEMARK, A NERVOUS, SLIGHTLY DEMENTED BUT SOMEHOW INNOCENT CHARACTER WHO IS FIXATED ON PETTY DETAILS AS A STRATEGY FOR COPING WITH THE WORLD.
 
>> DO YOU WANT A SMOKE?
>> NO.
>> WELL, WHY DO YOU WANT TO START NOW?
>> I'M SCARED TO DEATH NOW. WHAT, YOU DON'T SMOKE?
>> NO.
>> HOW COME?
>> I DON'T WANT CANCER.
>> OH, MY GOD. GIVE ME THE CIGARETTE.
>> GO AHEAD, DO WHAT YOU WANT. I JUST THINK YOU OUGHT TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY, THAT'S ALL.
>> MY BODY?
WHAT FOR?
>> THE BODY IS THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD.
>> YOU'RE SERIOUS! SO YOU ROB A BANK, BUT YOU KEEP YOUR BODY PURE? IS THAT IT?
>> ARE YOU GOING TO SMOKE THE CIGARETTE OR WHAT?
 
Gene Siskel:
CAZALE ALWAYS STRIKES US AS VERY REAL. HE'S AN UNSELFISH PERFORMER. HE WAS IGNORED IN 1975 BUT DEVOTED MOVIE FANS WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HIM AS ONE OF THE '70s FINEST ACTORS.
 
Roger Ebert:
HE'S VERY GOOD IN THAT SCENE. IT'S TRICKY HOW GOOD HE IS. A LOT OF ACTORS IN THAT SITUATION PROBABLY WOULD HAVE DONE THIS, THEY WOULD HAVE SHOWN COOLNESS ON THE SURFACE WITH A LOT OF ANGER AND TENSION, SEETHING UNDERNEATH. HE DOESN'T DO THAT.
HE HAS THE COOLNESS ON THE SURFACE AND SOMEHOW YOU SENSE THAT UNDERNEATH HE'S PASSIVE. THIS' AN EMPTINESS THERE. IT'S THAT HE'S NOT ALL THERE, HE'S SCARIER. IF I WAS THAT HOSTAGE, I WOULD FEEL BETTER ABOUT A GUY WHO HAD A GUN ON ME IF THE GUY WAS AS NERVOUS AS I WAS.
THAT ISN'T. THAT'S AN INTERESTING ACTOR CHOICE THERE.
 
Gene Siskel:
I AGREE. THIS IS A GUY WHO MADE A LOT OF THEM DURING THE DECADE AND THEY WERE ALL IGNORED BY OSCAR. GODFATHER 1, GODFATHER 2, PLAYING FREDO, THE WEAKLING, AND "THE DEER HUNTER." AND WE NOTICE HIM, NO MATTER HOW WEAK HIS CHARACTER IS, WE NOTICE HIM.
THE OSCAR IGNORED JOHN CAZALE.
 
Roger Ebert:
HERE'S AN ACTRESS THAT OSCAR IGNORED.
SHELLEY DUVALL WAS A STUDENT WHEN SHE WAS DISCOVERED IN 1969 AND GAVE HER A ROLE IN "BRUSTER McLEOD."
 
HER OFF BEAT GOOD LOOKS TOOK SOME GETTING USED TO. SHE WAS STARRING IN McCABE AND MRS. MILLER, THIEVES LIKE US AND NASHVILLE, BUT SHE GOT HER BEST ROLE IN ALTMAN'S DIFFICULT, "THREE WOMEN." HE PLAYS INSECURE, AND OCCUPYING A LIFESTYLE THAT USES THE HINTS FOR DECORATING, DINING, DRESSING AND GETTING DATES FROM THE PAGES OF COSMOPOLITAN AND HOME AND GARDENS. NOW SHE'S HEADING HOME FOR DINNER WITH HER ROOMMATE, SISSY SPACEK.
 
>> HELLO.
>> HI.
>> HI.
>> I'M GIVING ANOTHER ONE OF MY SPECIAL DINNER PARTIES TONIGHT.
>> OH, YEAH?
>> THE GUYS ARE COMING OVER. WE ARE HAVING PIGS IN A BLANKET AND CHOCOLATE PUDDING TARTS. SEE YOU LATER.
>> YEAH.
>> PINKY? PINKY, WOULD YOU GET THE DOOR FOR ME, MY HANDS ARE FULL. PINKY?
>> OH, HI! HI.I JUST GOT THROUGH. IT LOOKS GREAT. WHAT DID YOU GET?
>> ALL KINDS OF GOOD STUFF. DID YOU GET ME ANY GUM?
>> YEP. IT'S PROBABLY ON BOTTOM NOW.
>> YOU GOT WIENERS FOR PIGS IN A BLANKET.
>> OH, GREAT!
>> PRINGLES.
 
Roger Ebert:
JUST WHEN EVERYTHING FROM THE PRINGLES TO THE WHIPPED CREAM IS ALL SET, SHE STUNNED DUVALL WITH NEWS THAT HER GUESTS AREN'T COMING.
 
>> HOW DO YOU LIKE IT? IT'S A MR. LEMONT FROM DALLAS, ISN'T IT CUTE?
>> THEY CAN'T COME, ELLIE.
>> WHO?
>> DEIRDRE AND THE GUYS.
>> WHAT DO YOU MEAN THEY CAN'T COME?
>> I SAW THEM WHEN I TOOK THE TRASH DOWN. THEY SAID THAT THEY HAD TO GO ON TO DODGE CITY AND THEY WOULD SEE YOU SOME OTHER TIME.
>> WELL, WHAT ABOUT DINNER? YOU PROBABLY SCARED THEM AWAY.
 
Roger Ebert:
THAT'S REALLY NICE OF THE WAY SHE DESCENDS THROUGH THE VARIOUS LEVELS OF BEING CRUSHED. SHELLEY DUVALL'S PERFORMANCE IN "THREE WOMEN" LOOKS LIKE A STRIKE OF LIFE. SHE WAS TRYING FOR TWO DIFFERENT EFFECTS. WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE AMUSED BY HER PERFECT SUBURBAN HOSTESS BUT ON THE OTHER LEVEL, THERE'S A POIGNANCY. WE KNOW THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME.
SHELLEY DUVALL WON THE BEST ACTRESS FOR "THREE WOMEN."
 
Gene Siskel:
I NOTICE SOMETHING SHE SOMETHING IN COMMON WITH JOHN CAZALE. THEY ARE BOTH QUIET. WE RUSH UP TO THE SCREEN AS THEY GIVE US TIME TO GET THERE AND GET INSIDE THEIR MIND.
WHEN THEY ARE ALWAYS YELLING AT US, WE STAY IN OUR OWN EARS. THIS WAY, WE REALLY GET TO THEM.
 
Roger Ebert:
YOU KNOW, BUT IT'S VERY HARD TO DESCRIBE A PERFORMANCE LIKE THAT IN PRINT OR TELEVISION. I FEEL A LOT OF FRUSTRATION. I HAVE THE LANGUAGE TO TALK ABOUT DIRECTION, AND PHOTOGRAPHY, AND WHEN IT COMES TO ACTING, I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DESCRIBE EXACTLY WHAT IT IS THAT I'M LOOKING AT AND ADMIRING.
 
Gene Siskel:
CRITICS DO A LOUSY JOB OF TALKING ABOUT ACTING. I ASKED GEORGE C. SCOTT HOW HE JUDGES ACTING. HE GAVE ME A THREEPART TEST. THE THREE PARTS, NUN, WITH WHO DOMINATES, THE ACTOR OR THE CHARACTER THEY ARE PLAYING? BASICALLY IT SHOULD BE THE CHARACTER THAT THEY ARE PLAYING. WE DON'T WANT TO KNOW WHO IS DOING IT. WE WANT TO SEE THE CHARACTER.
 
NUMBER TWO, THEY ARE ONLY A BASIC FEW OWE MOTIONS, ANGER, FEAR, LOVE, HATE, THAT KIND OF STUFF. WHAT CHOICES DOES THE ACTOR MAKE TO SHOW THOSE EMOTIONS.
 
AND NUMBER THREE, A VERY TOUGH THING, A JOY OF PERFORMING QUALITY. WHILE THE ACTOR IS STAYING IN CHARACTER, WHILE THEY ARE COMING ONE SOPHISTICATED CHOICES TO SHOW COMMON EMOTIONS, WHILE THEY ARE DOING ALL THAT, DO THEY LET THE AUDIENCE KNOW IN SOME SILENT WAY THAT THEY ARE ENJOYING AND HAVE JOY PERFORMING IN FRONT OF THEM. BURT REYNOLDS IS DOING THAT VERY WELL.
 
Roger Ebert:
I THINK YOU ASKED THE RIGHT ACTOR, IN GEORGE C. SCOTT. A LOT OF GOOD ACTORS WOULD BE INARTICULATE OF WHAT THEY ARE DOING. SO SCOTT'S THREE LAWS, RIGHT FOR THE REST OF THE SHOW.
 
Gene Siskel:
OKAY. WHEN WE TALK ABOUT IMPORTANT ACTRESSES, THE NAMES COME UP, BARBRA STREISAND AND LATELY MERYL STREEP. AN ACTRESS WHO OSCAR, GENEVIEVE BUJOLD. SHE WAS NOMINATED IN 1969, BUT IN THE NEXT TEN YEARS, NOT A SINGLE NOMINATION. I THINK SHE DESERVES A NOMINATION FOR THE OFF BEAT 1977 LOVE STORY "ANOTHER MAN, ANOTHER CHANCE."
SHE PLAYS THE WIDOW OF A FRENCH PHOTOGRAPHER WHO SET UP SHOP IN THE OLD AMERICAN WEST.  AFTER HE'S KILLED, SHE MEETS JAMES CAAN.
 
>> I NEVER SEEN A HAT LIKE THAT. IT'S REALLY NICE. DID YOU GET IT HERE?
>> IT'S FRENCH. A MEN'S HAT.
>> OH, A MEN'S HAT. MAY I? I LIKE THIS VERY MUCH. VERY FRENCH.
>> IT'S CALLED A CASKET.
>> CASKET?
>> CASKET.
>> I'M SORRY.
 
Gene Siskel:
SHE'S JUST GREAT THERE REARRANGING HER HAIR. ON ONE LEVEL THAT HAT REPRESENTS HER LATE HUSBAND BUT IT ALSO REPRESENTS HER EMOTIONS. WHEN SHE'S STRAIGHTENING HERSELF OUT SHE'S TRYING TO STRAIGHTEN OUT HER EMOTIONS. SHE'S TRYING TO BE TRUE TO THE MEMORY OF THE LATE HUSBAND, THE HAT BUT SHE'S TURNED ON MY JAMES CAAN AND SO THERE'S THE PUSH/PULL.
VERY INTERESTING LITTLE PERFORMANCE THERE. I ALWAYS LIKED GENEVIEVE BUJOLD. I EVEN LIKED HER IN A SMALL SCENE SHE HAD IN "EARTHQUAKE." SHE'S ALWAYS BEGUILING.  A VERY ATTRACTIVE ACTRESS WHO OSCAR HAS IGNORED.
 
Roger Ebert:
YOU ARE TEMPTED TO SAY SHE DOESN'T HAVE A LOT TO DO, BUT SHE HAS A LOT TO DO.
WHEN SHE'S ADJUSTING HER HAT, SHE'S BEING PRIM GETTING THE HAIR OUT OF THE WAY BUT SHE'S ALSO FLIRTING WITH HIM AND HAVING SO MUCH FUN DOING THAT. GEORGE C. SCOTT'S NUMBER THREE, THE JOY OF ACTING. SHE'S PLAYING TO THE BACK AND FORTH AND HAVING A LOT OF FUN WITH IT. I LOVE ENJOYED IT. GOOD ACTING.
 
ANOTHER ACTOR THAT'S GOOD AT SUGGESTING GREAT DEPTH AND TROUBLE AND TENSION, IS MARTIN SHEEN, THE STAR OF" APOCALYPSE NOW ." HE PLAYS A CHARACTER PLAYED BY CHARLES DARTWEATHER WHO WENT ON A KILLING SPREE, AND IN THIS SCENE FROM "BADLANDS" HE'S ABOUT TO GET OUT OF TOWN BY HIS TEENAGED GIRLFRIEND, PLAYED BY SISSY SPACEK. HER FATHER TRIES TO STOP THEM.
 
>> I HAVE IT ALL PLANS AND I'M TAKING HER WITH.
>> OKAY, BOY. I WILL CHASE YOU OFF MY PROPERTY WITH A GUN.
>> I'M NOT LEAVING.
>> YEAH? WHY NOT?
>> BECAUSE I CAN'T RIDE.
>> HEY! HEY, WAIT A MINUTE!
>> WHAT I SHOT YOU? HOW WOULD THAT BE? HMM?
[ GUNSHOT ]
>> DO YOU WANT TO HEAR WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE?
>> WHERE ARE YOU GOING?
[ GUNSHOT ]
 
Roger Ebert:
A FEW MINUTES LATER, SHEEN MAKES A RECORDING OF HIS CONFESSION.
 
>> WE DECIDED TO KILL OURSELVES, THE SAME WAY I DID HER DAD. A BIG DECISION, HMM? THE REASONS ARE OBVIOUS. I DON'T HAVE TIME TO GO INTO THEM RIGHT NOW. BUT ONE THING, THOUGH, HE WAS PROVOKING ME WHEN I POPPED HIM. THAT'S WHAT IT WAS LIKE. POP. WE'RE SORRY. I MEAN, NOBODY IS COMING OUT OF THIS THING HAPPY, ESPECIALLY NOT US. I CAN'T DENY IT. THAT'S MORE THAN I CAN SAY FOR SOME. THAT'S THE END OF THE MESSAGE. I RUN OUT OF THINGS TO SAY. THANK YOU.
 
Roger Ebert:
IT'S FRIGHTENING TO THINK THAT THE CHARACTERS ACTING LIKE THAT JUST A FEW MOMENTS AFTER COMMITTING MURDER. THAT KIND OF COOL AND ALMOST RIGID SELFCONTROL IS SCARIER THAN IF SHEEN HAD PLAYED A MAD DOG KILLER TYPES. HE SUGGESTS GREAT DEPTH, AND ANGER BOILING BENEATH THE REGULAR GUY SURFACE. HE WAS VERY GOOD IN PLAYING THAT SAME TYPE OF CHARACTER IN "APOCALYPSE NOW" BUT I THINK HE NEVER GAVE A GREATER PERFORMANCE THAN IN "BADLANDS."
 
Gene Siskel:
HE'S A FINE FACTOR. YOU TALK ABOUT GEORGE C. SCOTT AND WHICH DOMINATES, THE CHARACTER OR THE ACTOR. IN SHEEN, IT'S THE CHARACTER. I DON'T HAVE A CLUE AS TO WHO THIS GUY REALLY IS, THE GUY NAMED MARTIN SHEEN. I JUST KNOW HIS CHARACTERS. HE'S TERRIFIC.
 
Roger Ebert:
THAT'S ALSO THE CASE IN "APOCALYPSE NOW." HE KEEPS THAT UNRUFFLED SURFACE THAT'S VERY NECESSARY FOR THAT CHARACTER AND IT'S A FUNNY THING, HAVING SEEN HIM IN "APOCALYPSE NOW,"" THE BADLANDS "IF I WERE TO INTERVIEW MARTIN SHEEN, I WOULDN'T KNOW WHO TO EXPECT. I WOULDN'T KNOW WHAT KIND OF GUY TO THINK THAT HE REALLY WAS.
 
Gene Siskel:
GOOD POINT. THE NEXT PERFORMANCE THAT OSCAR OVERLOOKED ASTOUNDED ME, MALCOLM McDOWELL, "A CLOCKWORK ORANGE." McDOWELL ENJOYS KICKING THE STUFFING OUT OF OLD MEN AND ROUGHING UP WOMEN. WHAT'S REMARKABLE ABOUT McDOWELL IN "A CLOCKWORK ORANGE" IS HIS RANGE OF EMOTION FROM A DOMINEERING GANG LEADER TO A WHIMPERING PERSON OF BRAIN WASH.
FIRST WE SEE HIM BEATING HIS BUDDIES INTO SUBMISSION.
 
Gene Siskel:
FROM POWER DEMONSTRATED TO POWER IMPLIED, THAT'S WHAT'S COMING UP HERE NOW.
AFTER SLASHING HIS BUDDIES, GANG LEADER McDOWELL NOW TAKES QUIET CONTROL OF HIS HENCHMEN.
WATCH McDOWELL'S FACE, IT BECOMES A MENACING DEATH MASK.
 
>> NOW WE'RE BACK TO WHERE WE WERE. YES?
JUST LIKE BEFORE AND ALL FORGOTTEN, RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT?
>> RIGHT.
 
Gene Siskel:
OFF SOME PAINFUL BRAIN CONDITIONING, McDOWELL'S PERSONALITY IS PERFORMED.
HE RETURNS HOME FROM PRISON, ONLY TO FIND THAT HIS PARENTS HAVE TAKEN IN ANOTHER SON TO REPLACE HEM. McDOWELL WOULD NORMALLY GET ANGRY, BUT HE'S BEEN PROGRAMMED TO GET SICK WHENEVER HE FEELS A VIOLENT URGE COMING ON.
 
>> HOW DO YOU DO, JOE? FIND THE ROOM COMFORTABLE, DO YOU? NO COMPLAINTS?
I HAVE HEARD ABOUT YOU. I KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE DONE. BREAKING THE HEARTS OF YOUR POOR GRIEVING PARENTS. SO YOU ARE BACK, EH? YOU ARE BACK TO MAKE LIFE OF MISERY FOR YOUR LOVELY PARENTS ONCE MORE, IS THAT IT? WELL, OVER MY DEAD CORPSE YOU WILL, BECAUSE YOU SEE, THEY HAVE LET ME BE MORE LIKE A SON TO THEM THAN LIKE A LODGER.
 
>> JOE! DON'T GO FIGHTING HIM, BOY.
 
Gene Siskel:
A TERRIFIC PERFORMANCE BUT I THINK I KNOW WHY IT WAS IGNORED BY OSCAR.
IN ANY FILM BY STANLEY KUBRICK, IT'S THE FILM AND KUBRICK'S DIRECTION OF IT, NOT THE ACTOR. SO HE'S OVERSHADOWED AND OSCAR IGNORED AN IMPRESSIVE PIECE OF ACTING.
 
Roger Ebert:
WE SAY STANLEY KUBRICK'S 2001, THINK WHO STARRED IN IT.
 
Gene Siskel:
GARRY LOCKWOOD.   
 
Roger Ebert:
BUT YOU THINK TV AS A KUBRICK FILM. THE ONLY OTHER DIRECTOR IS ALFRED HITCHCOCK WHO WAS SO MUCH IN CONTROL OF THE WHOLE PRODUCTION. EVEN THOUGH HE USES SOME OF HOLLYWOOD'S TOP STARS, THEY DON'T WIN IT FOR HITCHCOCK'S FILM. THEY THINK OH, IT WAS HITCHCOCK'S FILM, OR NOT CARY GRANT OR INGRID BERGMAN.
 
Gene Siskel:
HE'S ALMOST DROWNED IN ONE SEQUENCE. IT'S A REMARKABLE PHYSICAL PIECE OF ACTING.
HE'S IN VIRTUALLY EVER SCENE.
 
Roger Ebert:
ONE OF THE MOST CONSISTENTLY UNDERRATED ACTORS IS ROBERT MITCHUM. HE GETS CREDIT HERE. HE'S NEVER WON AN OSCAR AND I BELIEVE HE'S NEVER HAD THE RECOGNITION THAT HE DESERVES. NOW, LOOK AT MITCHUM, FOR EXAMPLE, IN THIS SCENE FROM THE YAKUZA, A 1975 FILM, HE VISITS THE WOMAN WHO HE FELL IN LOVE WITH 20 YEARS AGO. NOTICE THE QUIETNESS THAT HE BRINGS TO THE ROLE.
 
>> WHY DO I ALWAYS HAVE THE FEELING THAT YOU ARE HIDING SOMETHING FROM ME?
>> YOU ALWAYS FEEL THAT WAY?
>> YES, I ALWAYS THINK YOU HAVE.
>> I  I HADN'T TOLD YOU EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE. I HAVEN'T REVEALED THE SECRET OF THAT, HAVE?  HAVE I?
>> NO.
>> I'M GETTING TOO OLD FOR THIS.
>> OF COURSE. I ONLY 
>> ALWAYS WHAT, LOVE ME? THEN MARRY ME. WELL, NOW THAT WE'VE GOT THAT OVER WITH FOR THE NEXT 20 YEARS...
>> NO, JUST A COUPLE OF DAYS. I WILL SEE YOU BEFORE I LEAVE.
>> I WOULD LIKE TO SEE YOU AGAIN.
>> YEAH. GOOD NIGHT.
>> GOOD NIGHT.
>> Roger Ebert: TO ME THAT'S THE QUINTESSENTIAL ROBERT MITCHUM'S MOMENT. HE GOES ON TO TAKE ON THE JAPANESE MAFIA AND TRY TO GET HIS OLD LOVE AGAIN. I NOTICED SOMETHING ABOUT MITCHUM, NO MATTER WHO ELSE IS IN THE SCENE, NO MATTER WHAT'S HAPPENING, IF MITCHUM IS ON THE SCREEN, WE JUST CAN'T HELP BUT WATCH HIM. HE HOLDS THE SCREEN AS VERY FEW ACTORS EVER HAVE.
 
Gene Siskel:
I AGREE. I THINK I KNOW WHY HE HOLDS THE SCREEN. I THINK HE HOLDS IT WITH HIS CHEST AND FACE.
SAME TYPE OF CHEST THAT JOHN WAYNE HAS. WE ARE ATTRACTED TO THAT FIGURE AND ALSO THE FACE.
EVERYTHING IS ON THAT FACE. EVERY DAY HE'S LIVED, IT SEEMS, IS ON THAT FACE. REMARKABLE ACTOR.
 
Roger Ebert:
YOU MIGHT THINK THAT THE FACE IN YAKUZA SEEMS SO LINED AND EXPERIENCED BECAUSE HE WAS IN HIS 50s, BUT I SAW A MOVIE "OUT OF THE PAST" THAT HE DID WITH KIRK DOUGLAS AND THE EXPERIENCE IS ALREADY THERE IN HIS FACE. I GUESS HE MUST HAVE LEARNED IT ALL IN THE CHAIN GANG THAT HE SAID HE SPENT HIS TEEN YEARS ON.
 
Gene Siskel:
WHAT CAN WE SAY ABOUT ALL SIX PERFORMANCES. I THINK BY AND LARGE, THEY ARE QUIET PERFORMANCES WITH THE ACTORS BEING QUIET, DRAWING US INTO THEIR MINDS UP ON THE SCREEN. THAT'S ONE THING, I THINK THEY ALL HAVE IN COMMON.
 
Roger Ebert:
HOW DO YOU THINK THEY FIT IN WITH GEORGE C. SCOTT'S THREE LAWS THAT YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT?
 
Gene Siskel:
I THINK IN THE ONE CASE, WE REMEMBER THE CHARACTERS. THEY ARE ALL VERY SPECIAL CHARACTERS.
 
Roger Ebert:
AND ALSO I THINK YOU GET TO FEEL A LOT OF JOY OF ACTING IN SOME OF THESE PERFORMANCES. PEOPLE WOULD REALLY SEEM TO BE 
 
Gene Siskel:
THAT'S MITCHUM MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE. HE KNOWS WHO HE IS. HE KNOWS HOW COOL HE IS.
 
Roger Ebert:
THERE'S SOMETHING ELSE WE SHOULD POINT OUT. MOST OF THEM DIDN'T MAKE MUCH MONEY. AND THE ACADEMY AWARDS USUALLY GO TO BOX OFFICE SUCCESSES. IF YOU DON'T HAVE A HIT IN YOUR HAND 
 
Gene Siskel:
THE BEST EXAMPLE OF THAT IS GENE HACKMAN IN" THE CONVERSATION ." IF I WOULD PICK ONE PERFORMANCE, "THE CONVERSATION" IGNORED.
 
Roger Ebert:
AND JAMES CAAN IN "THE GAMBLER."
 
Gene Siskel:
AND RICHARD DREYFUSS, HE WON FOR "THE GOODBYE GIRL" BUT HE WAS NOT NOMINATED FOR "THE APPRENTICESHIP FOR DUDDY KRAVITZ."
 
Roger Ebert:
IT'S THE GREAT PERFORMANCES OF THE 1970s THAT OSCAR OVERLOOKED.
WE COULD CONTINUE ON AND ON.
 
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky:
THIS IS A PARLOR GAME THAT WE COULD PLAY FOR HOURS.
 
Christy Lemire:
RIGHT.
 
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky:
SOME BIG ONES FOR ME ARE HARVEY KEITEL IN BAD LIEUTENANT AND I THINK ROBERT DUVALL. AND THE LAST GREAT PERFORMANCE FOR BOTH OF THEM. SOME OF THEIR BEST WORK THAT WAS OVERLOOKED.
 
Christy Lemire:
IT'S MIND BOGGLING WHEN YOU CONSIDER SOME OF THE BIGGEST INTERNATIONAL SUPERSTARS NOMINATED MULTIPLE TIMES AND HAVE NEVER WON, TOM CRUISE HAS THREE, WILL SMITH, JOHNNY DEPP, AND THEN SOMEONE LIKE LAURA LINNEY WHO IS HUGELY VERSE FILE AND JOANNE MOORE AND MARTIN SHEEN, PLAYING OPPOSITE HELEN MIRREN IN "THE QUEEN."
 
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky:
WHAT IS A RECENT ONE THAT I THINK SHOULD HAVE BEEN DOMINATED IS JOAQUIN PHOENIX IN "TWO LOVERS" WHICH I THINK IS ONE OF THE GREATEST MODERN PERFORMANCES. AND PETER FAULK AND BEN GAZARRA. I THINK FOR HUSBANDS, AT LEAST ONE OF THOSE THINGS SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED. JOIN US NEXT WEEK FOR ANOTHER SPECIAL LOOK BACK AT "SNEAK PREVIEWS."

DON'T FORGET, YOU CAN FOLLOW THE DISCUSSION ON FACEBOOK AND ON TWITTER. UNTIL THEN, THE BALCONY IS CLOSED.