July 28, 2005

"The most awesome B-list cast ever."

Such is the claim -- and it's got to be untrue -- that Entertainment Weekly makes for the case of the new "Poseidon Adventure" film:
Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, Josh Lucas (don't flame me; he's not A-list yet), Emmy Rossum, Andre Braugher (as the captain), Jacinda Barrett, Mia Maestro, Kevin Dillon (Entourage), Freddy Rodriguez (Six Feet Under), and now, EW reports in next week's issue: Fergie! The Black Eyed Peas chanteuse is not only one of the passengers on the doomed ocean liner, but she's also contributing to the soundtrack three tunes she co-composed with John Legend and fellow Pea will.i.am.
Come on, commenters, name some movies with more awesome B-list casts. I mean, just to start off with the obvious, there's the original "Poseidon Adventure" cast:
Gene Hackman
Ernest Borgnine
Red Buttons
Carol Lynley (of "Harlow" and "Bunny Lake is Missing")
Roddy McDowall ("Beware the beast man, for he is the Devil's pawn.")
Stella Stevens (Appassionata Von Climax!)
Shelley Winters
Jack Albertson (Grandpa Joe!)
Pamela Sue Martin
Even more stunning is the cast of "Beyond the Poseidon Adventure":
Michael Caine
Sally Field
Telly Savalas
Peter Boyle
Jack Warden
Shirley Knight
Shirley Jones
Karl Malden
Slim Pickens
Veronica Hamel (Admit it: you were in love with Joyce Davenport!)
Angela Cartwright
Mark Harmon
(How many Oscars does that group have, by the way?)


Contributors said...

This is off the top of my head -- no cheating with IMDB. Academy Awards:

Hackman 2: French Connection/Unforgiven
Field 2: Norma Rae/Places in the Sun
Borgnine 1: Marty
Winters 1: Patch of Blue? Place in the Sun?
Caine 2: Hannah and Her Sisters and Cider House Rules
Shirley Jones 1: Elmer Gantry
Malden 1: Streetcar Named Desire

I think Buttons was nominated for "Sayonara" but I can't remember if he won and Boyle should've won for "Young Frankenstein."

As far as greater B-list? "Maltese Falcon." Bogart wasn't yet a star -- he was still B-list then playing Cagney's nemesis or the adult in Dead End Kids' movies. It was even John Houston's first film. But there was also Sidney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor, Elisha Cook Jr., Ward Bond, and even Walter Houston in a bit part.

And Joyce Davenport had the most beautiful back in television. Not butt. Back. I can see it now. Yowza.

Ann Althouse said...

Dirty Harry: Also without checking, I'm certain Shelley Winters won an Oscar for "The Diary of Anne Frank," because I saw that Oscar displayed at the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam (and considered it a strange thing to have there).

Contributors said...

And Kevin Dillon alone will be worth sitting through yet another completely unnecessary remake.

I still remember seeing the original at the theatre when I was 5. I never got Gene Hackman's death out of my head.

The Mojician said...

How about "The Longest Day" or "How The West Was Won?"

Contributors said...

Ann: You're right. It's Anne Frank. And I think she only won that one.

I'd love you to blog someday about your visit to the Frank house when the mood moves you.

Ann Althouse said...

Just checked a few things: Buttons actually won an Oscar for "Sayonara."

Shelly Winters won for "Anne Frank" and "Patch of Blue." And she was nominated for "Poseidon Adventure" (and won a Golden Globe). She was also nominated for "Place in the Sun." (BTW, the Sally Field movie is "Places in the Heart.")

You're right about Malden. He also was nominated for "Waterfront."

Contributors said...

How about "The Longest Day" or "How The West Was Won?"

Great casts but mostly A-listers: The Duke was in both, Jimmy Stewart, Mitchum, Red Buttons (again), etc...

Ron said...

Great Escape

Kelly's Heroes

hmmm...speaking of war pics, Saving Private Ryan?

It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Do Rat Pack pictures count? If so, then you know the usual suspects.

Take a little comedy like Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion:

Sorvino (Oscar)
Kudrow (Emmy)
Camryn Manheim (Emmy, Golden Globe)
Alan Cumming (Tony)


bill said...

These are all fine choices, but I think the top of the B-List heap has to be It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Ann Althouse said...

Mojican: Great choices. "How the West Was Won" has:

Carroll Baker
Lee J. Cobb
Henry Fonda
Carolyn Jones (not being ookie at all)
Karl Malden
Gregory Peck
George Peppard
Robert Preston
Debbie Reynolds
James Stewart
Eli Wallach
John Wayne
Richard Widmark
Brigid Bazlen
Walter Brennan
Andy Devine
Raymond Massey (as Abraham Lincoln)
Agnes Moorehead
Thelma Ritter
Russ Tamblyn

Ann Althouse said...

Whoops, should have edited out Brigid Bazlen, whoever she is.

Harry: I have a set of drawings from the Anne Frank house, with notes. I'll scan them sometime and put them up.

bill said...

Present company excluded, I'd like to add that this "Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" quote reminds me of internet discussions...

Benjy Benjamin: Now look! We've figured it seventeen different ways, and each time we figured it, it was no good, because no matter how we figured it, somebody don't like the way we figured it! So now, there's only one way to figure it. And that is, every man, including the old bag, for himself!
Ding Bell: So good luck and may the best man win!
Benjy Benjamin: Except you lady, may you just drop dead!
Lennie Pike: All right, we all agree on that. Now look, let's be sensible about this. There's money in this for all of us. Right? There's enough for you, and there's enough for you, and for you, and there's enough for...
[They all race to their cars]

MJB Wolf said...

Joyce Davenport? No. I liked Beth Davenport (Gretchen Corbett), Jim Rockford's lawyer...

Contributors said...

Greatest musical cast: "Till The Clouds Roll By?

June Allyson
Lucille Bremer
Judy Garland
Kathryn Grayson
Van Heflin
Lena Horne
Van Johnson
Tony Martin
Dinah Shore
Frank Sinatra
Robert Walker
Gower Champion

Or: "Ziegfeld Follies?"

Fred Astaire
Lucille Ball
Lucille Bremer
Fanny Brice
Judy Garland
Kathryn Grayson
Lena Horne
Gene Kelly
Red Skelton
Esther Williams
William Powell
Edward Arnold
Cyd Charisse
Hume Cronyn
William Frawley
Virginia O'Brien
Keenan Wynn
Van Johnson
Peter Lawford

I irrationally award it to "Till the Clouds Roll By" because Sinatra's in that one.

Anonymous said...

In the cast is better than film category, how about 'Murder By Death'?

Alec Guinness
Peter Sellars
Maggie Smith
Peter Falk
David Niven
James Coco
Eileen Brennan
Truman Capote
Elsa Lanchester
Estelle Winwood
James Cromwell
Nancy Walker (remember Ida Morgenstern?)

Written by Neil Simon

See also: Casino Royale

Peder said...

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World jumped right to mind. The newer version 'Rat Race' also had quite the B-List cast.

Beth said...

Shelley Winters was actually asked to audition (!!) for the role in Poseidon Adventure. The story I heard is that she walked in with a little carpet bag, opened it up and removed her Anne Frank Oscar, slammed it on the table and said, "Here's my audition. There's some people who think I can act!"

Ann Althouse said...

MJB Wolf: Why are all the women lawyers named Davenport? There are so many other choices: Sofa, Couch, Loveseat, Settee, Divan, Chesterfield.

Dwight said...

I'm beginning to think almost any "Star Wars" movie, especially the last 3, could be considered. About the only A-listers would be Harrison Ford and Alec Guiness. Ewan McGregor is borderline and (I think) get there.

If nothing else, the latest episode is probably the largest grossing movie by a B-list cast.

Ann Althouse said...

Elizabeth: The Oscar I saw was all beaten up, so maybe Shirley was always banging it around to make a point.

Tom said...

Don't forget "The Towering Inferno" and "Earthquake," the other two films in Irwin Allen's great 1970s disaster trilogy (along with the first Poseidon). And there were a bunch of World War II movies that fit this category, too--"Midway," "Battle of the Bulge" and "Tora Tora Tora" spring to mind. And the various "Airport" movies just dripped with B-listers. George Kennedy's middle name might as well have been B-list.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert R. said...

Robert Altman films anyone? In particular, Nashville and Short Cuts, although I'm sure you could throw in M.A.S.H. and Gosford Park as well.

Ron said...

Ann: Naming a woman lawyer character Loveseat is only possible in a Bond film!

and Divan is a flammingly gay guy, not a woman, who's worked in John Waters films....oh, wait, that's Divine...m'bad.

I wanna see a film where John Waters plays Steve Buscemi and Steve Buscemi plays John Waters...and John Goodman plays Divine!

Contributors said...

And Veronica Hamel was in a couple episodes of "Rockford." That's two Davenports in an awfully small trailer.

Earl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
amba said...

Michael Caine is not B-list!! He's beyond list -- a working stiff of indestructible modesty. A (working) class act. You're not on a list unless you care.

Earl said...

What Did You Do In The War, Daddy?

James Coburn
Dick Shawn
Aldo Ray
Harry Morgan
Carroll O'Connor
Vito Scotti
Jay Novello

Finn Alexander Kristiansen said...

I don't think this was mentioned yet, but how about The Magnificent Seven?

It includes:

Yul Brynner,Eli Wallach,Steve McQueen,Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughan and James Coburn

Or what about Glengarry Glen Ross with:

Jack Lemmon,Al Pacino,Ed Harris,Alan Arkin,Kevin Spacey,Alec Baldwin, Jonathan Pryce
(Aside from Pacino, most of these could not carry a film).

Also, the film Magnolia has quite a few modern day B-listers, but talented ones.

I think some of the films mentioned kind of straddle the line between having a lot of B-listers, and having a lot of name actors period (like The Longest Day)

Unknown said...

My favorite disaster B-flick of current years is instant classic

Fred Ward riding a nuke dropped into the San Andreas Fault? The dialogue is hilarious, the acting wooden, the plot completely preposterous. Doesn't get much better than this, people.

deuce said...

as for as more recent films, somebody mentioned it earlier, altman's 'short cuts'

andie mcdowell
bruce davison
jack lemmon
julianne moore
matthew modine
anne archer
fred ward
jennifer jason leigh
chris penn
lili taylor
robert downey jr.
madeline stowe
tim robbins
lily tomlin
tom waits
frances mcdormand
peter gallagher
lyle lovett
huey lewis
alex trebeck

it may be splitting hairs, but i suppose some of these would be lower than "b list," great movie though