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Author Topic: PLAY MISTY FOR ME: Acting: 3. Don Siegel  (Read 3278 times)
mgk
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« on: March 02, 2003, 09:56:46 PM »

Eastwood cast Don Siegel, who had directed him in Coogan's Bluff, Two Mules for Sister Sara, and The Beguiled, as Murphy the bartender. Siegel had never acted before and said later of the experience: "I don't like being an actor because I am not one. Clint tried to make me feel at ease, but you must remember that the crew he was using was my crew, which made me feel even more uncomfortable... It was the first sequence he had ever directed in his life and it was the very first time I'd ever acted in a speaking role in a picture. I was extremely nervous, and the only reason it apparently came off was because Clint was very kind to me and directed me very intelligently, so that I calmed down and gave him what he wanted." (K. Freund, Lumiere, September 1973, p 14; reprinted in Fuensanta Plaza's Clint Eastwood/Malpaso, p 32)

How do you think the scenes with Murphy came out, considering it was the first time Siegel had acted, and the first time Eastwood had directed? Is Siegel convincing in the role?
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Doug
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2003, 12:35:14 AM »

He's great in the film!  It's not like the role required some great actor, just a great personality.  Siegal does it very well.  And there's clear chemistry and fun going on between him and Clint.  Works great.  You don't see him acting at all, and he either underestimated himself or Clint directed those scenes in just the right way.
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Matt
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2003, 05:07:22 PM »

I'm bringing this post of Philo's over from another thread...


Don of course has to be mentioned , if he was as worried about acting it certainly was overcome , nice , relaxed , friendly , funny . He certainly was happy enough to appear in Charley Varrick , playing his favourite game ping pong .

Philo .

I agree with Doug and Philo... I enjoyed Siegel's performance very much.  He really looked the part too.  But aside from that, it's great for us less casual viewers of the film just to be able to see Don and Clint interact outside of a documentary.  These scenes are very special because of who they are, and it gives us the opportunity to view onscreen their obvious good feelings toward each other.  It was a nice honor that Clint paid to one of the men who did the most for his career, and I think it was also proof of how much Don cared about Clint that he wanted to be a part of the first film Eastwood would direct, even though he was so uncomfortable at first with his role.
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badguy
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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2003, 11:58:59 AM »

It's hilarious Don wanted to have his lines written out on little bits of paper and placed around the bar, so he could read them - in the middle of the scene!  ;D

He played Murphy quite well and that scene in the bar with Don, Clint and Jessica Walter is just great.
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Gant
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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2003, 11:39:10 AM »

Contrary to reports of Don's nervousnes I reckon he's a natural as Murphy the bar tender.. I like these scenes, theres lovely humor about them. I guess part of that is knowing Clint and Don's relationship beforehand.
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Christopher
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2003, 04:45:24 PM »

The first time I saw Misty, I don't think I knew that it was Don Siegel playing the bartender. He came off very natural.
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Agent
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2003, 12:41:44 PM »

Yeah, Eastwood did a good job of assisting Siegel. He seems real relaxed. He (Siegel) did a much better job in Misty than he did in Charley Varrick, in which he also makes a cameo appearance (and directed). In that one he seems painfully shy, and appears to want to get out of camera range. It's nice that we can see Siegel on film, especially in Misty - a lasting memento of a man who left us with a lot of gems.
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2003, 12:50:30 PM »

I had never seen Don Siegel’s face and didn’t know he was playing Murphy. If he was nervous and uncomfortable to be in front of the camera it really doesn’t show.

Don Siegel’s performance is very convincing and it seems as if he was a natural born actor and, also, a bartender.  ;)

Although we only have a few scenes with Murphy on the screen, I enjoyed to see the way Murphy's and Dave's friendship was shown: as two old and loyal friends.
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mgk
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« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2003, 08:34:10 PM »

 Thanks, everyone! This thread is now locked.  Please post any additional thoughts you have on this topic in the General Discussion forum.
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