Saturday, June 25, 2011

Peter Falk (1927–2011)


Peter Falk, in A Woman Under the Influence (dir. John Cassavetes, 1974), a great film of marriage and madness. Elaine and I watched it last night. Falk and Gena Rowlands give amazing performances. In my ideal republic, they and Cassavetes would have won Academy Awards for this film.

Peter Falk dies at 83 (Los Angeles Times)

comments: 9

normann said...

When the "Columbo" series first ran, it was my parents who watched it. Back when I was in high school, I did not care for police drama. But when the series is rerun in Norway (and it is, and often), Frode and I always watch the old episodes. The gimmick is that we see who dunnit in the very first scene, the suspense being the cat-and-mouse game between the rumpled detective in his oxidized Peugeot and the perp, invariably played by a Hollywood or TV has-been. For instance, we saw Anne Baxter in a "Columbo" episode. I had no idea she had lived that long. So educational!

Peter Falk, requiescat in pace...or as we say here, fred lyse over hans minne (may peace shine upon his memory)-

Michael Leddy said...

It’s funny you should mention the Anne Baxter episode: I’ve shown a clip from that one when I’ve taught Bleak House, to demonstrate the Inspector Bucket connection.

Those weekly series with guest stars made for a lot of work for older actors. I was recently surprised to see Teresa Wright in a Murder, She Wrote rerun.

Barnaby Capel-Dunn said...

It's pure nostalgia, I know, but I long for those far-off days of LA in the 'seventies.
The best Columbo? I would have to think about that, but the ones with Jack Cassidy were always good. For sheer ingenuity the episode with Ruth Gordon would take a lot of beating. The one with Gene Barry as the cocksure psychiatrist was brilliant, too.

Michael Leddy said...

My library has the first season. Here’s the list of guest stars: Robert Culp, Ray Milland, Eddie Albert, Suzanne Pleshette, Don Ameche, Leslie Neilsen, Roddy McDowall. I have to get to the library!

Elaine said...

No one has mentioned my personal favorite: The In-Laws, in which he co-starred with Alan Arkin. The remake was a travesty, but the original film never fails to convulse me.

Michael Leddy said...

I haven’t seen that film in years — I’m adding it to my list.

William V. Madison said...

I first saw Woman under the Influence a few years ago, as part of a Cassavetes retrospective (something the French do rather often, God bless 'em). Rowlands' performance hit me first: without being showy or self-conscious, she makes every tiny gesture somehow relevant, odd, and fascinating. But then you realize that Falk is holding his own opposite her; moreover, he gives her the foundation from which to launch her own performance.

I'm so sorry that his health, and now his passing, prevented me from talking with him about his work with Madeline Kahn in The Cheap Detective. On top of his other gifts, the man did a peerless Bogart imitation.

Michael Leddy said...

Elaine and I had the same sort of reaction: at first, it seems that it’s all Rowlands, and then Falk turns out to be just as compelling (and, in his own way, crazy too).

I just added The Cheap Detective to my list.

Anonymous said...

I think Peter put his all in to the movies he starred in
i just seen this film and he portrayed a loving devoted husband to his on screen wife & dad to his on screen kids.. Peter really gets into character and plays any role to a T"!!

esp where it comes to Lt Columbo!
in Columbo...then there Mikey and Nicky..Husbands and a of course
A woman under the Influence.

Peter is missed so much by those who hold Peter within their hearts
by fans around the globe
Peter will be greatly missed by decades to come and has left a legacy to other young actors to look up to when it comes to acting
getting into character and coming across in films etc..

Peter left us with so many films to see over and over again on dvds
his acting refflected his awards
Emmys globals awards
his fans around the globe...
messages left by fans...

love and light
Earth Angel