Saturday, January 31, 2009

I Heart Ernest Borgnine

If reading his biography wasn't enough (read my review of it here), watching the great Ernest Borgnine on TCM's Private Screenings made me half-fall in love with the man. Borgnine is a cheerful, optomistic, hardworking actor who pursued his craft for pure love of it. He has just such a great attitude about the life he's led. His enthusiasm just rubbed off on me.

I promise Ernest Borgnine that I will watch more of his films, for sure. He has garnered so much of my respect that I at least owe him that. And I want to thank Ernest Borgnine for making Marty (1955), which is very high on my list of all-time favorites. I really identified with the Marty character and he played the role so well, I often find myself confusing Ernie with Marty. While I don't make such a huge fuss about the Oscars, I am really glad that he won Best Actor Oscar for this movie. Marty was a little film that almost didn't get made and Borgnine was a man who almost didn't go into show business (if it wasn't for his mother). And Borgnine is one of the few character actors to get the Best Actor Oscar!

So do any Ernest Borgnine enthusiasts have any recommendations for this budding fan? I would love to beef up my Netflix queue with some goodies. I've only seen Marty and From Here to Eternity (1953) thus far and already have Poseidon Adventure (1972) and The Catered Affair (1956) on my list. And if you saw the Private Screenings episode on TCM, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I don't want to set the world on fire, I just want to keep my nuts warm. - Ernie



  1. I watched the Private Screenings and felt exactly the same as you.. what a sweet guy! I'd recommend Bad Day at Black Rock (available for instant play on Netflix) and Ice Station Zebra.

  2. Hi Raquelle:

    I'd second "Bad Day at Black Rock," & I also like Borgnine in Peckinpah's "The Wild Bunch"-- I realize Peckinpah isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I think it's a great film, & Borgnine's very good in it.

  3. I saw PS too and am totally in love with him now. He was just so true and real and kind. I've seen From Here to Eternity, Marty, The Dirty Dozen and The Catered Affair. I recommend all most highly. The Catered Affair is a terribly good film. Bette Davis, Debbie Reynolds and Barry Fitzgerald round out the cast beautifully. Watch it asap - you'll love it!

  4. I would second the recommendation for "The Wild Bunch."

  5. "Emperor of the North" with Lee Marvin is another good Robert Aldrich film. Ernie has described his performance in this as his favorite SOB role.

  6. I contribute with two odd Ernie titles worth watching.

    The 1997 philosophical sci-fi Gattaca where Ernest has a itty bitty part. It's a very beautiful vintage looking film with a fantastic score by Michael Nyman.
    No violence, no lasers...

    The Vikings (1958) Scandinavian history made in Hollywood is always very intriguing. You get more than a handful of Kirk, Tony and Ernie in hunky viking attire. Exotic! Yay! It's not a bad film I promise!

  7. I knew you guys would recommend some great films. Except Jonas... just kidding!

    Great to see that Frank has come out of hiding!

  8. For some variety, try Borgnine as an Amish father in Violent Saturday from the year of Marty, and as an unjustly persecuted military man in Three Brave Men from 1957. I saw some of the Private Screening, and we should all look so good going on 92!

  9. I don't have anything to recommend personally but if you do get anything good it would be great to know :)

  10. Hi Raquelle:

    Just a quick note to say stop by Robert Frost's Banjo any time after about the next five or ten minutes to pick up your Superior Scribbler award.


  11. You might also like him in the 1958 film The Vikings, where he plays the legendary Ragnar Lodbrok. Other actors include Tony Curtis, Kirk Douglas, and Janet Leigh.


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