For Your Consideration



Cineaste Stephen Murphy writes:

Just like to share my latest video essay with you: Arnold Schwarzenegger: The Greatest Film Actor of All Time? Taking a look at how limited we are in our thinking when it comes to great cinema acting….

Arnie one?

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25 thoughts on “For Your Consideration

  1. rotide

    Watched that, well put together theory but nah, he’s a poo actor.

    Having said that, you can’t take anything away from the man. He’s absolutely succeeded at anything he’s ever decided to do. Bodybuilding, hollywood, politics. I’m not sure i like the guy, but I respect the hell out of his ability to get it done.

    1. Brian Shaler

      Without bodybuilding, no acting,without acting,no politics.He hasn’t actually excelled in anything other than the bodybuilding.He married a Kennedy for God’s sake,but if we are including marriage as an opportunity to make wealth and succeed.

      1. rotide


        He hasn’t excelled in anything? Love him or hate him, he’s one of the biggest stars hollywood has produced, thats not because of bodybuilding. Governer of one of the most important states in the US is not anything to be sniffed at either.

        Face it, He’s good at being succesful.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            In fairness, he was a self made millionaire at 22 thanks to some genius business moves. That was before he ever stepped on a movie set as well.

        1. The People's Hero

          As you say, he’s one of Hollywood’s biggest, nay, greatest stars. A great actor, he is not.

          It’s akin to saying Adam Sandler is one of the greatest actors too, if we apply the same logic.

          He’s immensely successful and a prolific movie maker – neither of which makes him a great actor or his movies great to boot.

          But good luck to them all. They find their niche and take advantage of it….

        2. Fergus the magic postman

          He definitely excelled at being a better actor than Keanu Reeves, even without having the benefit of knowing there was going to be a Keanu Reeves.

  2. Anomanomanom

    Most definitely. Just look at the rubbish Pacino and De Niro have churned out in the last 10 years yet they are considered great. Arnie is brilliant in Maggie. And an action legend.

    1. Anomanomanom

      You clearly haven’t seen Maggie. I can’t state enough how good it is. In the Top 10 best films of this year.

        1. Anomanomanom

          As hollow as ever, but in a really good way. It’s a good film. Everyone in it does a great job.

  3. Gaz

    It’s a good examination of elitism in film, but could also apply universally to TV, Art and Music. I think a lot of people say the like a film or actor because they think it’s “cool” to like them or the critics have given them rave reviews. it’s not usually based on their own opinions.

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      Exactly. For instance, I really enjoyed Paul Blart: Mall Cop.
      I go reverse embarrassment and instead boast about it. It’s the only way.

  4. Franno

    I appreciate the video made by Stephen although I have to disagree with his central tenant. There is a trend in art which tries to use certain arguments to “elevate” mass and popular works to the level of the avant garde works. Certainly in relation to cinema I’ve always found it a bit odd- There are times when I want to watch a Truffaut or a Herzog, there are times when I want to watch Lethal Weapon or Predator. Some films are veritable pieces of art, other films are pure entertainment and the only thing they share is that they are both shot on the same medium. Comparing the two is akin to debating which is better, chocolate or roller blading (I’m not partial to either but that’s immaterial). The merits of what make both enjoyable are completely different and I’m not sure that seeking a comparison is all that productive. Arnie has primarily shot films whose goal is to entertain (and sell a shedload of cinema tickets), while many of the other actors elect for Oscar fodder which in my view are designed “to impress”. Arnie has got some acting chops as well and some of the more heralded actors have also been in some terrible turkeys but is there a danger here that Stephen is looking for something that Arnie has never really been all that interested in?

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      Tenet. Heh. He doesn’t have one tenant he insists stays in the middle of his house.

  5. Spaghetti Hoop

    But he can’t act. He’s more famous for strutting around the gym, his Austrian accent and marrying a Kennedy.

  6. Digs

    Cinema has a relatively short story/history, theatre has a long and rich theory. Stanislavski informed Adler, but Adler and Meisner were of different persuasions. Kazan was a teacher 2nd , and was a director 1st. He informed his approach of working with actors by means of method but not exclusively. Regardless, none of these people stumbled on the various techniques or approaches. They meticulously studied and researched the history of drama and performance. They drew inspiration from Greek writing right up to and including the Yiddish and Vaudeville styles. The appeal of method approaches to acting has endured because there is an honesty and realism about it. It is not simply because it is an established and embedded trend. Your hypothesis is therefore flawed and Arnold Schwarzenegger is ham incarnate. He is a lousy actor in every conceivable sense. The delineation between acting and entertaining is clear and Arnie may be described as a great entertainer, but he will never be described as a great actor. It is simply and intellectually a falicy. Good effort though.

  7. Junkface

    Total Recall is one of the best Sci-Fi films of the 90’s (1990). So damn ridiculous, entertaining and funny, but still looks great, except for the odd dodgy VFX.

    Arnie, Arnie, Arnie!!

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