Monday, March 22, 2010

Fan-Boy Icon #6

Roddy McDowall is a movie legend. He's done most everything, including a two episode run of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century entitled "Planet of the Slave Girls." He is famous and not-so famous for a bunch of other films; he played Cornelius in two Planet of the Apes films, as well as Caesar in two others and Galen in the television series. He was Alan 'Mollymauk' Musgrave in Lord Love a Duck. He was The Bookworm on the old Batman series. The Breadmaster in The Tick! He was the voice of Samwise in the Rankin/Bass animated The Return of the King... The man's career goes on and on, starting in 1938.

Now, for me it is all about Fright Night (Tim Holland, 1985). Here he plays Peter Vincent, a horror actor on the downward side of his career. His character is a bit of a nod to Peter Cushing, in the flavour of his roles, and his name is a nod again to Cushing, as well as Vincent Price, whose career had gone a similar way.

The aforementioned Lord Love a Duck (George Axelrod, 1966) is a dark, fun film. It takes a bit of a stab at the teenage movies of the day, with McDowall's 'Mollymauk' as a manipulator who sets out to destroy people's lives. He is not so much evil as he is, say, obliviously sociopathic. It is very interesting, and shows up on the old movies channels once in a while (AMC or TCM, I forget which one. I even found a Facebook Fan Page for the film.

So, be on the lookout for McDowall's films. He has a great screen pressence, and ranks up there with Peter Lorre on the recognition scale, IMHO. No matter what your tastes are, he's probably been in something you'll like.


Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Love Roddy. 'Lord Love a Duck' is one of my all time favorite films.

Wings1295 said...

I do enjoy seeing him in films, as well. He is in 73's The Legend of Hell House, a quirky film.

And he is also in one of my guilty pleasures - Overboard with Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell. Love that film, and he classes the place up in the few scenes he has.

California Keys said...

I'm going to go look for him in Overboard....

Darius Whiteplume said...

@Dr. MvM - I watched Duck once by accident. It has a very Addams Family vibe, with out all the Goth feel. :-)

@Wings - I have not seen Hell House. I'll have to check it out.

@ABAO - I only seem to remember Goldie Hawn's butt from that, other than that it was pretty funny. I completely forgot that McDowall was in it.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

He was briliantly cast in 'Fright Night' and didn't he get nominated for some award. That movie was the culmination of every crappy movie and bad character he ever played but he always gave us his all. One of the geek favs.

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