Thursday, March 26, 2009

WARREN OATES: A WILD LIFE

New bio out on one of my all-time favorite character actors....Warren Oates...by Susan Compo. Warren is probably best known as being one of Sam Peckinpah's regulars.  Their last collaberation was 1974's BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA.  The movie was so dark that both James Coburn and Peter Falk turned down the lead.  (Panned in its day "Alfredo Garcia" is now viewed by many as a master piece.)  Oates' and Peckinpah's mutual sympathy was often interrupted by outbursts of alcohol-fueled acrimony and bouts of disloyalty....such as when Oates was instrumental in helping Peckinpah get the job of directing THE BALLAD OF CABLE HOGUE, Sam repaid him by giving the lead role to Jason Robards.  When Oates died in 1982 of a massive heart attack at the age of 53, such was the rift between him and Peckinpah that Sam was "resoundingly not invited to the service, but nothing could keep him away."  A must read for movie fans of all ages but especially fans of  both Oates and Peckinpah.  Another great one gone way too soon.

3 comments:

Tom B. said...

53! Seemed older then. He was just a mere kid. One of the great character actors of all time. I'll definitely look for this bio.

raymie said...

Old warren is young warren to us now.He worked hard and often and was on the same suicide path with the mentor he probably loved and hated both.Nobody remembers him as Rooster Cogburn today.He never worked with wayne and yet wayne was still alive when that one premiered.Wonder what wayne thought about that? Wonder what wayne will think lookin down from the big corral about the cohen boys wanting to refilm True Grit?They'll probably go with tommy lee jones and film in arkansas.Might as well get miley cirus to play mattie.This is like remaking The Wild Bunch or Once Upon A Time In The West.Never ever touch and remake a film from 1969.It is as taboo as incest!

Chris Casey said...

Yep. I am gonna have to find this one..and the Robert Vaughn bio...and give it (or them) a read!