Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dom DeLuise (1933-2009)

It's often a peculiar experience when you see an actor who is very much typecast as a young man simply trying to give a dramatic performance, long before the typing set in. You may have the impression that you are seeing the familiar personality not quite fully formed. At the same time, you get a distant hint of what the actor was or may have been capable of if his career didn't take him a particular way. I was quite familiar with Dom DeLuise the jolly fat man and sidekick of Burt Reynolds by the time I first saw his brief performance in Sidney Lumet's Fail-Safe (1964), his second feature film role. His presence, like that of Larry Hagman and Walter Matthau in non-clowning roles, actually enhanced the unsettling effect of this supremely grim picture. So take a look at this clip and, perhaps, appreciate DeLuise a little more. He appears a little after the 2:00 point and is the main figure on the screen for about a minute. Stick around and you can watch Fritz Weaver go mad again.

No comments: