Saturday, November 11, 2006

So long Jack!

Jack Palance died yesterday at the age of 87. He was one of my favorite actors of all time, and I was glad to see him win an Oscar for "City Slickers" back in 1992.

But what I remember Mr. Palance most from was such films as "The Professionals", "Portrait of a Hitman", "The One Man Jury", "Revenge of the Gunfighter"" & "Vamos a matar Companeros" both directed by the Italian filmmaker Sergio Corbucci. It was only later in the 80's where I saw Jack Palance on the big screen in such films as "Alone in the Dark" and "Without Warning". Most of the movies he had done were considered B-films, but man when Palance was on screen you could feel your skin crawl. His bad guys were memorable, and no one played the tortured protagonist better then Palance. In the late 60's & earlier 70's Palance played in numerous films directed by such filmmakers as: Sergio Corbucci, Freddie Francis, Richard Brooks, Antonio Isasi-Isasmendi, Jesus Franco, Enzo G. Castellari, & Gianfranco Baldanello. These were the days of the spaghetti western, and a lot of films were co-productions with studios in Europe.

I saw a lot of these films in old theaters on 42nd street, and on late night television. So I guess when you mention Palance I can't help but think about these films. Some were so-so, but all entertained, and as a young child growing up in Brooklyn they had a BIG influence on me.

So long Mr. Palance, and God speed. You were loved, and you brought joy to countless hearts in the roles you played. We loved hating you, and we're going to miss you a lot.

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