Classic Film : Favorite classic scene stealers

Favorite classic scene stealers

There are so many, but one of my all-time favorites is Mary Wickes, especially in The Man Who Came to Dinner - but then again I think she did it in just about everything.

Another: S.Z Sakall, especially in In the Good Old Summertime and - well, also in just about everything, even in Casablanca.

It takes a lot to steal scenes from the people they co-starred with.


The time of the singing of the birds has come.

Re: Favorite classic scene stealers

Claude Rains. Master scene thief, he could steal the show just by walking into the frame.

Claude Rains

Hi amy. Good to see you here. And I agree completely about Claude Rains! A master scene stealer he was - from Bogart, Bergman, Davis, you name it. He was a joy to watch.

Re: Favorite classic scene stealers

Thanks, tel. I'm liking this place very much–it feels like home (with the bad relatives all exiled, lol). Rains was always a big favorite of mine, probably my first 'older man actor crush' as a swoony adolescent. I loved reading that he was also somewhat of an inveterate practical joker on-set–a funny thought given that many of his roles were so serious and dignified, but it sure explains why his Captain Renault had such a roguish twinkle (well that, and all those pretty girl refugees).

Re: Favorite classic scene stealers

How's about Thelma Ritter, Amy.

When given a chance, Frank Faylen.

Also when given a chance Frank Faylen's It's a Wonderful Life buddy Ward Bond.

More on television than in film but always good: Jeanette Nolan.

Going back a bit further: Alison Skipworth.

For if nothing else, his cotton wool curly hair and imposing manner: Lionel Belmore.

Re: Favorite classic scene stealers

The sometimes enjoyable but mostly annoying Hugh Herbert.

A couple of early ones: Louize Fazenda and Inez Courtney, both scene-stealers in their own inimitable ways.

Hugh Hubert

Agree with you about this one, mike. But sorry to say I don't really remember the other two, though I trust your judgement.

I wanted to add one more: Marjorie Main in all the non-Kettle films. Saw her recently in Dead End, and, oh man, I couldn't take my eyes off of her in every scene she was in.

Re: Favorite classic scene stealers

I remember watching Louise and Inez in an early 1930's comedy that starred Loretta Young and Louise in particular was quite the scene stealer! Both aren't quite household names but they certainly livened up any movie they appeared in.

Yup, Marjorie Main is another great example! Here are some others:

Gloria Grahame
Mantan Moreland
Thelma Ritter
Peter Lorre
Una O'Connor

Re: Favorite classic scene stealers

Oh, Thelma Ritter is one of the greats of all the greats! And maybe Lorre, too. I like all your others, but those two are my favorites.

Re: Favorite classic scene stealers

Glad to see that Mary Wickes, Mantan Moreland, and Una O'Connor have not been forgotten!

Edward Everett Horton's unique characterization graced innumerable films through the 30s and 40s. These included Arsenic and Old Lace, Here Comes Mr.Jordan, and several Astaire-Rogers vehicles.

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Re: Favorite classic scene stealers

My favorite EEH role has got to be in the 1932 classic 'Trouble in Paradise'.

What a great film and what a fitting role for him!

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Good One

Good one, Edward Everett Horton.

In addition to E.E. in Arsenic And Old Lace are a virtual army of scene stealers, from Jack Carson to Jimmy Gleason, Peter Lorre to (yes) Raymond Massey, with Josephine Hull and I forget the name of the actress who played the other Brewster sister, and of course "cousin Teddy", as portrayed by the otherwise obscure John Alexander.

Jack Carson

Agree with you on all of these choices, tele, but I have to say I have a particular fondness for Jack Carson. Maybe it's all those silly movies he made with Doris Day. I especially enjoyed him in Roughly Speaking (1945), directed by Michael Curtiz. He really held his own with Roz Russell in that one. Regrettably, he was far less successful in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, but I think a better director would have been able to help him. He was capable of more.

Re: Favorite classic scene stealers

Just caught back-to-back showings of King of the Zombies and Revenge of the Zombies a few nights ago. Along with Mantan, the lovely Marguerite Whitten made for way the best performances in both films, easily outshining their wooden co-stars.

Sorry about those multiple posts. Lousy server in the workplace.

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Edward Everett Horton

A great choice! He did so many wonderful roles through the years, it's hard to name only one. He was a unique actor, for sure. Btw, his home in Sherman Oaks, Ca. later became an Episcopal Church. I believe he donated it to them.

More:

More: Oscar Homolka, Margaret Rutherford, Terry-Thomas, James Robertson Justice, Arthur Shields, Andy Devine, Fritz Feld, Roscoe Ates, James Gregory, Jack Weston

Some more great ones, telegonus.

Andy Devine - oh, brother, for a guy who wasn't much of an actor you sure couldn't take our eyes off of him. Same with all of them, actually.

Sorry I haven't been over here very much. I've tended to forget about this site recently. I'll try to do better.

EDIT TO ADD: There's something wrong with posting here; it says there's a problem, so I keep trying, then I find out that I've posted several times. So the posts are posting, but not letting me know. It makes a bit of a mess on the thread. And I see that others seem to be having the same problem. Oh, modern technology!!

Re: Favorite classic scene stealers

dank

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Re: Favorite classic scene stealers

Andy Devine was a guy kids loved. Are you old enough to remember the TV series Wild Bill Hickock, Spiderwort? Guy Madison may have been the star as the eponymous Bill but the children loved Devine's "Jingles" character more ("wait for me, Wild Bill!").

I think that Andy D. had some acting chops. John Gielgud, not, but when given a chance to play a serious part, as the fed in Pete Kelly's Blues, he could surprise you as a tough guy. Yes, "Our Andy".

Andy Devine

Lord, yes, Wild Bill Hickock was a childhood favorite. I'd completely forgotten about it. And Devine's "Jingles" was great!

I don't remember Pete Kelly's Blues very well (except for Peggy Lee singing "I Can Sing a Rainbow"). I don't even remember Devine being in it. But I'll take your word for it. When it comes to so many actors, it all depends upon the script and the director.

Re: Favorite classic scene stealers

Yes, that's probably how Andy's best remembered, though his stagecoach driver in John Ford's Stagecoach puts him in a good part in a classic film. Mostly he was best known as a cowboy sidekick kind of actor (yes, that type did exist back in the day), though he appeared in a surprisingly wide variety of films, including the 1936 Romeo And Juliet!

Some more great ones, telegonus.

Andy Devine - oh, brother, for a guy who wasn't much of an actor you sure couldn't take our eyes off of him. Same with all of them, actually.

Sorry I haven't been over here very much. I've tended to forget about this site recently. I'll try to do better.

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