Thursday, May 21, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks #34: Great Final Films of Actors/Actresses

Hey! Welcome to Thursday Movie Picks where you get to share your movie picks for each topic presented every Thursday!  Based on the theme presented each week, you can pick up to 3 to 5 movies and explain why you picked those movies! This meme is being hosted by Wandering through the Shelves!

This week's theme is: Great Final Films of Actors/Actresses!

It's sad that so many talented actors and actresses pass away and it's even worse when you look back at some of the last films that they had acted in before they passed away.  So, here are some films that ended up being that actor's final film.  

1. The Thief and the Cobbler - Vincent Price

A lonely princess and a shy cobbler fall in love while trying to retrieve two magical orbs that were stolen, all while outwitting a powerful sorcerer as adventure and comedic pop culture references abound.

I've actually seen a couple of films that featured Vincent Price and I really enjoyed most of his performances, especially his voicing of Ratigan in "The Great Mouse Detective!"  But, "The Thief and the Cobbler" would end up being his final film as he passed away in 1993.  He provided the voice for the movie's villain Zig-Zag and he did a fantastic job with it!  You can actually check out my review of the movie on this site!

2. All Dogs Go to Heaven - Judith Barsi

A canine angel, Charlie, sneaks back to earth from heaven but ends up befriending an orphan girl who can speak to animals.  In the process, Charlie learns that friendship is the most heavenly gift of all.

I've always enjoyed watching "All Dogs go to Heaven" for tackling the issue of death in such a blunt yet tearjerking way.  But what always haunted me about this film was how the orphan girl Anne Marie's voice actress Judith Barsi was murdered in real life and this ended up being her final film.  It just breaks my heart that such an innocent child's life was taken away from her at such a young age.

A traveling theater company gives its audience much more than they were expecting.

It would be way easier to say that Heath Ledger's final film was "The Dark Knight" since his role as the Joker really cemented his status in Hollywood.  But, his actual final film was "Doctor Parnassus," which he was filming until he passed away midway through the film's production.  He played one of the characters named Tony and after he passed away, the role was played by several different actors.  I actually watched this film and it was okay.  Not one of Terry Gilliam's best films, but it was pretty imaginative.




  1. Intriguing choices.

    I've only seen bits of all three of these but I do love Vincent Price. Ledger's end was terrible but brought on by his own foolishness but Judith Barsi's story is one of the saddest ones there is.

    It was a bit of a challenge finding great final films. Most stars swan songs are usually disappointing but once I found my first found a way to interconnect them all and all four are quality films.

    To Be or Not To Be (1942)-In German occupied Warsaw during World War II a Polish theatrical troupe headed by husband and wife stars Joseph & Maria Tura (Jack Benny & Carole Lombard) set out to prevent a German spy from revealing key members of the Polish underground to the Nazis by means both desperate and humorous.

    Ernst Lubitsch directed masterpiece was Lombard’s final film. America entered the war just before the film’s premiere and Carole was the first star to go on a bond tour (to her native Indiana) and perished in a plane crash, along with her mother, on the return journey. A line her character spoke “What can happen in a plane?” was excised before the film debuted.

    The Misfits (1961)-In Reno for a divorce Roslyn Taber (Marilyn Monroe) meets aging cowboy Gay Langland (Clark Gable), WWII aviator Guido Racanelli (Eli Wallach) and broken down rodeo rider Perce Howland (Montgomery Clift). Lonely and feeling lost Roslyn accepts Guido's invitation to stay at his desert home with the trio and the four wrestle with life’s questions.

    Directed by John Huston and written for Marilyn by her then husband Arthur Miller this somber film was the final one for both Gable and Monroe. Gable, who performed some of his own stunt work died 12 days after the film wrapped. Marilyn started the trouble plagued “Something’s Gotta Give” but died before its completion and the picture scrapped.

    The Iceman Cometh (1973)-In 1912 New York’s Last Chance Saloon a group of chronic alcoholics are momentarily shaken from their hopeless ennui by the arrival of Hickey (Lee Marvin) one of their number now sober urging them to abandon their pipe dreams and face reality. It does not go well. Powerful with a powerhouse cast (beside Marvin-Jeff Bridges, Robert Ryan, Fredric March, Moses Gunn, Bradford Dillman among others) full book adaptation of the Eugene O'Neill play couldn't be better presented (it’s directed by John Frankenheimer) but it's so long (four hours!) and full of doom and gloom it’s a hard one to embrace.

    This was the last film for both Robert Ryan (who died before the film’s premiere) and Fredric March who retired on the film’s completion and passed away shortly afterwards.

    Advise & Consent (1962)-Secretary of State nominee Robert Leffingwell (Henry Fonda) is being investigated by a Senate committee headed by Senator Brig Anderson (Don Murray) before his appointment. When serious allegations are leveled against Leffingwell engineered by Senior Senator Seab Cooley (Charles Laughton) pressure is applied to Anderson in the form of exposure of a long hidden secret to influence the outcome. Otto Preminger directed, star-studded (Gene Tierney, Walter Pidgeon, Lew Ayres, Franchot Tone, Burgess Meredith, Betty White etc.) political drama is still timely.

    This was Charles Laughton final feature (passing away within six months of completion), by happenstance he co-starred with each of the other stars excepting Ryan in one of their films (Lombard-They Knew What They Wanted, Gable-Mutiny on the Bounty, Fredric March-Les Miserables and Monroe-O Henry’s Full House).

    1. Hmmmm...I haven't heard of any of these films, but they all sound interesting, especially the Iceman Cometh!

  2. I've seen all three of your picks!

    Judith Barsi's murder has made me look at All Dogs Go To Heaven and The Land Before Time differently every since. It's so unfair.

    1. I agree. I still can't believe that such a young girl was murdered.