Monday, November 21, 2016

Ralph Meeker, 1920-1988

Today marks the birth anniversary of actor Ralph Meeker, who was born on this day in 1920. Meeker was a character actor who did a lot more TV work than I realized, with his movie career being not as successful as I would have thought. Probably his biggest role would be as Mike Hammer in Kiss Me Deadly.

I've also recommended Meeker as the hitchhiker who turns out not to be good in Jeopardy, one of the fun MGM B movies from the early 50s when the studio was putting out interesting stuff like this presumably to help fund those bigger-budget Freed Unit musicals.

There's also Paths of Glory, in which Meeker plays one of three French soldiers who are tried for dereliction of duty in World War I when they fail to carry out a doomed order. The movie is mostly about the trial; Kirk Douglas defends them and Adolphe Menjou is one of the generals wanting them prosecuted. This one is generally considered a masterpiece, although I probably don't have quite as high a regard for it as a lot of other people.

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