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Leave personal feelings at home!!!

An opportunity to discuss other TV comedy shows of interest to Steptoe fans.

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Leave personal feelings at home!!!

Postby SergeantBung » Mon Sep 15, 2008 7:59 pm

The title of this thread is the only way I could accurately get my point across :?

I will warn you that this post is a lttle random but it does discuss another sitcom so I thought it best to post here. :D

I'm a big fan of the American sitcom Bewitched (the first 5 seasons anyway) which ran for 8 years like Steptoe. Recently I've been watching some episodes from seasons 6-8 on youtube and have been really shocked. The standard of acting by the star of the show, Elizabeth Montgomery, is diabolical in these later seasons. Her boredom and frustration with the role of Samantha Stephens just oozes through her performance, she puts in no effort whatsoever. Some phrases that have been used to describe her acting are "simply phoning it in" and "just going through the motions". I no longer watch these later seasons as I feel that Montgomery is insulting her audience with this lack of effort.

Anyway, my main point is that after watching all 8 series, 2 films and 2 xmas specials of Steptoe NOT ONCE have I ever honestly believed that Harry's or Wilf's standard of acting declined as the years went on. I would never use a phrase like "going through the motions" to describe either man's performance. I have no doubt that later on they may have become frustrated with their Steptoe roles but NEVER did that translate on to the screen because unlike Montgomery they were professionals who kept personal feelings seperate from their work right up until the end.

Sorry, rant over :oops: :oops: :oops:

I'm not expecting replies, I just needed to offload :oops: :oops:
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Postby Archie » Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:56 pm

I believe Elizabeth Montgomery died of cancer.

Perhaps her illness was the reason for her laclusture acting ?.
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Postby SergeantBung » Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:18 pm

Yeah she did but this was 20 years before she died. She wouldn't have had cancer then. The only 'illness' she was suffering from at this point was a chronic case of 'I don't give a toss'.

She was actually involved in a crime drama called "Edna Buchananan" up until a month before she died and she got rave reviews for that even though she was practically at death's door.
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Postby bob » Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:39 am

I love the idea of a "Can't give a toss" illness. I would be off to the doctor's immediately asking him to sign me off work for a month !!!
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Postby SergeantBung » Wed Sep 17, 2008 8:05 am

:D :D :D
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Postby thatsthatthen » Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:58 pm

Hi Sergeant

Your take on Bewitched is really interesting.

I went through a phase a year or so ago when I started watching Bewitched, from season 1 onwards. For a few seasons I was watching them every night.
Then I stopped. But I didn't stop and ask myself why, I just lost interest and moved on to something else (Twilight Zone I think it was).
You've got me wondering if it was her disassociation from and apathy with the role that led me to lose interest?

But this didn't happen with Steptoe for me. I agree with you about the acting (Wilf and Harry being ever professional), although I felt sometimes the writers may have been going through the motions - or indeed flogging a dead horse perhaps (as suggested in the Curse).
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Postby SergeantBung » Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:33 pm

That could be the reason you stopped watching, thatsthatthen. I know it was a major turn-off for me and very insulting.

I agree with you about the writing. There are definitely some scripts that I consider to be weak but again this only helps to emphasise Harry and Wilf's acting skills because even with below-standard scripts they still acted to the best of their ability.

This is what you call professionalism :)
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Postby PhilGlass » Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:10 pm

Don't forget, if someone does bad acting on screen it is the fault of the Director - he/she decides if the take is used. An actor will only 'go through the motions' if the director allows them to.

I agree with steptoe totally - even if it's true that these men despised each other, there is such a chemistry on-screen, even at the end. Even listen to the Australia 77 show and there is good chemistry between them - this is professionalism - they wouldn't even try to do anything lacklustre as both men were truly great, but they also had a wonderful production team. Duncan Wood and John Howard Davies were great directors in their own right. But both men performed brilliantly on everything they did. Anyone who has seen Wilf in the 'Alice In Wodnerland' from 66 will vouch for that!! Great actors!
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