All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Wednesday, 8 June 2005

Heaven Holds A Place



I was very sorry to hear of Anne Bancroft's passing and at a relatively early age too. As you will note from my profile, two of my favourite movies are The Graduate and The Producers respectively. I imagine that 1967-'68 must have been been a pretty wonderful year for Mr and Mrs Mel Brooks,considering the success of both of their movies.

It's scary to think that when Anne Bancroft played Mrs Robinson, she was younger than I am now! I wouldn't say I'm exactly old, but it does seem a little bizarre - movies aside, she was only six years older than Dustin Hoffman and eleven years older than Katherine Ross, who played her daughter!

No matter. Anne Bancroft was more than Mrs Robinson and it's a shame that she effectively tied a golden chain around her neck by taking on the role. Ironically, she had already won an Oscar for the Miracle Worker, five years previously. However, it was the infamous mother-in-law who seduced poor Benjamin who is transfixed in our minds all these years later. I guess it must be a lesson for any actor/actress when taking on a role - think very carefully about the part you play in a movie, as people might never accept you in another role.

It's true that certain actors will always carry the baggage of being identified as playing a single role in a movie, for the rest of the their lives.

When I mention Anthony Hopkins, whom do you think of? Or Ralph Fiennes who played the Nazi in Schindler's List? Or Vivian Leigh? These roles overshadow the rest of their careers (although I suppose you could argue that Vivian Leigh is also equally memorable as Blanche Dubois).

Anne Bancroft fortunately or unfortunately, will always be remembered for that one part, which is a crying shame, because although she was superb in the role, she was also a very fine actress who really deserves more than being thought of, as the woman who seduced her daughter's boyfriend (in a movie, not in real life!!!)

Simon and Garfunkel wrote "Heaven holds a place for those who pray".
I pray that in time, Anne Bancroft will get her due respect as one helluva fine actress.

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