Saturday, May 16, 2009

The MMOB Daily Quote - Henry Fonda

Henry Jaynes Fonda (May 16, 1905 – August 12, 1982)

As a well-known American movie star, and the father of
Peter and Jane, I hardly need to list off the man's many lifetime accomplishments. His movies include some amazing performances, especially The Grapes of Wrath, The Ox-Bow Incident, Mister Roberts and 12 Angry Men. But it is his work in Sergio Leone's western classic Once Upon a Time in the West that I like best. No other film takes that cultivated Mr. Fonda charm and charisma and turns it so unerringly on its head with his portrayal as a nineteenth-century sociopath. The close-ups of his baby blues in that movie still haunt my nightmares.

Before we get to the quotes, here a couple of video clips of Mr. Fonda.

This first is Henry talking about how he hooked up with Sergio Leone for his role in
Once Upon a Time in the West:

And here is the climactic "western stand-off" from the film where the murderous gunfighter gets his due reward.

And now, a few quick quotes from Mr. Fonda to get us started on this fine Saturday morning:

" If there is something in my eyes, a kind of honesty in the face, then I guess you could say that`s the man I`d like to be, the man I want to be."

“I've been close to Bette Davis for thirty-eight years - and I have the cigarette burns to prove it.”

“Good God, look at the Orioles. I always knew Baltimore was a sneaky town.”

"I'd just as soon not get into a discussion about Jane and her politics. I'd just as soon stick to what we're here for, the picture."

[on John Ford]
"He was so egomaniacal. He would never rehearse, didn`t want to talk about a part. If an actor started to ask questions he`d either take those pages and tear them out of the script or insult him in an awful way. He loved getting his shot on the first take, which for him meant it was fresh. He would print the first take -- even if it wasn`t any good."

"I can`t articulate about the Method because I never studied it. I don`t mean to suggest that I have any feelings one way or the other about it. I don`t know what the Method is and I don`t care what the Method is. Everybody`s got a method. Everybody can`t articulate about their method, and I can`t, if I have a method - and Jane sometimes says that I use the Method, that is, the capital letter Method, without being aware of it. Maybe I do, it doesn`t matter."

Cheers! - Jason

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