Dear Mick: I read your piece about futureand feel you neglected the horror and monster movie genres. I could easily see Trump playing a role similar to Leatherface in the “Texas Chain Saw Massacre” films. He could fit in as the leader of a zombie horde, and he could easily fill the role of a Bond villain. The possibilities are endless.
Bill Wagman, Davis
Dear Bill: No, the possibilities are finite.
Taking those one by one: Sure, Trump has the body type to play Leatherface, but can he hold a chain saw over his head and do that hip gyration that Leatherface does? Don’t think so.
Zombie horde leader? Zombies growl a little, but they don’t say anything. That role requires restraint.
As for Bond villains, permit me to remind you that those guys usually have exquisite taste, and they’re invariably polite. Think about it: They don’t like, but they always call him “Mr. Bond.” They don’t call “Jim” or “Jimbo.” They don’t make up nicknames. Yes, they’re bad guys, but they have some class.
Hi Mick: I would love to watch all of Cary Grant’s movies, starting with his first, Paramount’s “This Is the Night” from 1932, but they’re not available or I can’t find them. Is there any way to watch them? How do the biographers watch them?
Whitney Flynn, Walnut Creek
Hi Whitney: Usually, there’s a way to see anything. You just have to work at it. If it’s not on video anywhere, there are always archives. I paid $50 to see a movie at the UCLA archive when I was writing my first book, 20 years ago.
Also if you put the word out, somebody knows somebody who knows somebody who videotaped something you need to see.
However, with Cary Grant, you’re in luck. “Cary Grant: The Vault Collection” has 18 of his earliest movies on DVD.
It’s a great set, even if a lot of what makes it great isn’t necessarily Grant. For example, see “Born to Be Bad” (1934) for Loretta Young at her most captivating, or the anti-war drama, “The Eagle and the Hawk” (1933) to seein one of the great performances of the 1930s.
This set also contains Mae West’s two best movies (“She Done Him Wrong” and “I’m No Angel”) and the wonderfully bizarre “The Devil and the Deep” (1932), with Charles Laughton as an insane ship’s captain, who is convinced that his first officer (Grant) is having an affair with his wife (Tallulah Bankhead). So he fires the first officer, and the Navy replaces him with … Gary Cooper. As if that would help.
Along the way, from movie to movie, you’ll get to track Grant’s slow emergence as an actor and persona. For example, in “Born to Be Bad,” he’s already doing that thing he does, when he’s talking to a woman and gets excited. He puts his hands on her arms and makes himself shorter, so he can speak to her without her having to look up.
Dear Mick LaSalle: Thanks for suggesting “Bug.” I rented it, and while it is not for everyone, I was “blown away” by. She was amazing.
Richard Macias, Chico
Dear Richard Macias: Powerhouse actresses are rare and wonderful, but you can’t be a powerhouse if no one is writing powerhouse roles. Just in recent years,and have been getting the kind of red-meat roles upon which and built careers. But in the 1990s, when Ashley Judd started out, such roles were almost nonexistent, so opportunities for Judd to let it rip have been rare.
ButWhenever a script gives her even half a chance, she’s always great.
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