Sunday, June 09, 2013

And Also Starring....

The name Carradine is known to anyone who has even a passing knowledge of modern film. Brothers David and Keith turn up time and again in the films of the 70’s and 80’s. A lot of people don’t know the work of the head of the acting Carradine clan, however. That would be John Carradine, character actor supreme. Carradines’ lanky body and big baritone voice made him a natural for playing heavies and puffed-up blowsy types, and that was his bread and butter for his whole career.

John Carradine is first and foremost associated with the films of John Ford, and his work includes the very finest in supporting acting. He’s best known as reverend Casy in The Grapes of Wrath and as the aristocratic Hatfield in Stagecoach. Those two roles alone would qualify one as an all-time great, but check out more of his Ford resume: Drums Along the Mohawk, The Prisoner of Shark Island, Cheyenne Autumn, and my favorite, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Besides Ford, he also did stuff like The Ten Commandments for Cecil B DeMille, Johnny Guitar for Nicholas Ray, and Man Hunt for Fritz Lang. He’s played everything from a Nazi to Abraham Lincoln. It’s really an interesting filmography to look at – you can see all the great stuff I’ve already listed, and you can also see Sex Kittens go to ollege and Billy the Kid vs. Dracula (as Dracula, natch). His television credits are as big as his film credits, and includes series like Gunsmoke, Have Gun, Will Travel, 77 Sunset Strip, Bat Masterson, and Wanted: Dead or Alive.

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