Wait... YOU are Dirk Bogarde?!
I don't know about you, but there is a certain type of actor that I don't like. For you it might be any actor who played in 1940's swashbucklers, or 1960's spy movies. For me, it's any actor who played in a B-movie crime film from the 1950's. Edmund O'Brien personified this whole genre of acting to me. They are typically heavy-set, sweaty men with slicked-back hair and oversize shoulder pads. (Before Edmund O'Brien fans jump down my throat, I'd like to point out that I think his performance in The Barefoot Contessa was exceptional -- he is fantastic as a character actor, but a romantic leading man he was not.)
So two weeks ago when I saw that Dirk Bogarde was going to be the star of the day during TCM's Summer Under the Stars, I realized I'd have to find an alternative channel to watch... Dirk Bogarde was just another 1950's American B-movie crime film star. Big shoulderpads and lousy acting was not what I was in the mood for.
Whoa! Hold the phone!! THIS is Dirk Bogarde?!?!?!
What the heck was I thinking?!
Dirk Bogarde is NOT the Edmund O'Brien type. In fact, he's the complete opposite. Dashing, handsome and oh-so-British. Unfortunately, I avoided TCM almost all day before I finally consented to watch "So Long at the Fair" around 6pm. Imagine my surprise when Dirk Bogarde finally showed up onscreen! Oh, what I had missed all day!!
As you can probably already tell by my devotion to John Mills, Trevor Howard and Alastair Sim, I have quite a soft spot in my heart for British actors. Now please add Dirk Bogarde to this list, and move him to the top, pronto!
Since I missed out on Dirk Bogarde day, I've added his movies to my Netflix queue (a pitiful amount are on DVD in America, by the way) and signed up for TCM reminders for the few films of his they are showing in the next four months.
I can't really go into a depth about how great of an actor Dirk Bogarde is, because as of yet I've only seen him in one film. But what I CAN say is that any time you have a preconceived notion about an actor or actress, give them a shot before you rule out their films for good. It may just turn out that the sweaty, greasy lug is actually quite the debonair bloke!