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December 03, 2006

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Was it Vera Cruz where Elam dances with Ernest Borgnine? Probably the ugliest dance couple in film history. Near-great movie, starred Burt Lancaster, think I'm getting the title right.

BLDawley

this was an excellent tribute to one of my favorite memories growing up. I love that lazy eye. his sequence with the buzzing fly in Once Upon A Time In The West is brilliant. thank you for sharing.

Dale Hazelton

I always loved the secondary players in westerns like Elam, Andy Divine, Ken Curtis (Festus), Hank Worden (Old Mose in "The Searchers"). Incredibly ubiquitous, yet most people just see them and think "where do I know that actor from?"

Richard

"The Last Rebel (1971) teamed Jack Elam with football superstar, Joe Namath. Three movies were made in the early seventies in an attempt to launch the wooden star of the San Francisco 49ers to Hollywood stardom."

Um. I hate to be nitpicky, but didn't Namath play for the New York Jets? (Other than his final season, when he played for the Rams)

Dale Hazelton

...."wooden star of the San Francisco 49ers" could have applied to O.J. Simpson.....

Listener Kliph

Sorry, I spend more time paying attention to the CFL than the NFL. Thanks for the correction to the blatant error. I think that's hardly being nitpicky.

Miles Dravus

This post was tonic to the soul. Thanks for recognizing Elam's unique talent.

Elam's career is a tapestry of uneasy cinematic moments. When ever you saw his name in the credits, you could safely expect a hyper-nervous time of it. Elam was not so much of an actor as he was a nerve twister.

Dale Hazelton

Kliph, can one still watch curling on CHCH TV? I miss Tiny Talent Time and Party Game.

Michael Powers

Damn, you hit it exactly right when you said Elam would've made a hell of a Frankenstein's monster. That face, so similar to the early Karloff's, was just made for it and the "lazy eye" (that eye was REALLY lazy since it didn't work at all) would've made the monster that much creepier.
By the way, I really dislike the monster's appearance in the new B'way version of "Young Frankenstein"--he looks even worse than Peter Boyle in the movie: they definitely should've done a monster with hair, the way he was depicted in the early posters around town.
By the way, Elam does an interesting turn as the inexplicably named "Fatso Nagel" in 1957's "Baby Face Nelson," which features a rabid Mickey Rooney (what an actor!) as Nelson as well as a bravura performance by scary ex-convict/screenwriter Leo Gordon as Dillinger. Now, I'd love to read a Kliph column about Leo Gordon and his offscreen antics, as well as (while I'm suggesting) lunatic leading man Lawrence Tierney. Wonder if those two ever worked together...

Thomas & Elva Stevens

What an ACTOR, what a MAN. I'll always remember him till the day we meet again GOD willing.

bdown

The clip from Creature from Black Lake is gone!!! I'd love to see a clip of that or a trailer. Can you hook me up?

Jimbo

I am sure Jack Elam appeared in the Twilight Zone story "The Arrival" briefly. He is given no credit either in the show credits or in filographies. Does anyone agree?

Jimbo

Emma

He was cantankerous in a great way, in a funny way,He smoked, drank, all that stuff. He lived one of the best lives I've ever seen.A character actor and favorite Western villain who menaced good-guy cowboys with his crazy grin
-------------------
Emma

http://www.marijuanaaddictiontreatment.com

Emma

He was cantankerous in a great way, in a funny way,He smoked, drank, all that stuff. He lived one of the best lives I've ever seen.A character actor and favorite Western villain who menaced good-guy cowboys with his crazy grin
-------------------
Emma

http://www.marijuanaaddictiontreatment.com

Berad

What Western did Jack have trouble with his "earsight"? We laughed and laughed at his comedy. He is surely missed.

John L. Young

Mr. Elam was my all time best charactor actor In westerns ever,he was the best of the best he will be missed greatly!

Steve McCredie

Jack did play the Frankenstein Monster .... in the short run of the series STRUCK BY LIGHTNING [1979] which ran just 3 episodes. In fact I think the picture at top is from that series. He got the best lines: "Dracula's a jerk. He'll be a jerk til the day he dies. Which is never".

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