Tag Archives: I Died a Thousand Times

Jack Palance Centennial

18 Feb

Today, February 18, 2019, would have been Jack Palance’s 100th birthday. He died in 2006 at the age of 87. He acted in films for the entire second half of the 20th century and his TV roles continued into the 21st century. The son of a Ukrainian coal miner, he had unusually taut facial features, a result of reconstructive surgery after his face was burned in a plane crash during a test flight in WWII, giving his face a dramatic look that made him a natural for villain roles, most notably the gunslinger Jack Wilson in SHANE, or various historical ethnic roles such as Attila the Hun (SIGN OF THE PAGAN), the Mongol chieftain Ogatai, son of Genghis Khan (THE MONGOLS), the Apache rebel Toriano (ARROWHEAD), Mexican revolutionary Raza (THE PROFESSIONALS), the biblical character Simon the Magician (THE SILVER CHALICE) and even Fidel Castro (CHE!).

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The Art of the Film Still, Pt. 3: I DIED A THOUSAND TIMES (1955)

25 Mar

I DIED A THOUSAND TIMES is a 1955 remake, in color and Cinemascope, of the 1941 crime classic HIGH SIERRA. It’s about a career heist artist who gets paroled from prison in the Midwest through the machinations of an ailing crime boss in order to engineer the robbery of jewels from the safe deposit boxes of a Palm Springs-type resort. Jack Palance plays the criminal, Roy Earle, a part originated by Humphrey Bogart. Palance’s character is quieter, less talkative than Bogart and less ruminative. He’s more tightly wound and quicker to anger and reduces other tough guys in the film, including Lee Marvin, to a quivering jumble of nerves.

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