Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dennis Hopper - 1936 - 2010


I suppose I could write a remembrance of Dennis Hopper on these pages but I don't think I could do a better job than this gent named Arbogast, who recently penned some fine words on the actor, writer, director that deserve re-reading.

I will say this though, in a weak and tepid attempt to put into words how powerful and underrated an actor Dennis Hopper was: For all its grandeur and spectacle and power and rage and visual beauty, Apocalypse Now doesn't truly come alive for me until Dennis Hopper enters the frame, and at a point when most people think the film falls apart. Rest in peace, Dennis.

6 comments:

Hokahey said...

I first saw Dennis Hopper at the movies in John Wayners such as The Sons of Katie Elder and True Grit. Meanwhile, he went radical in Easy Rider and Apocalypse Now. He certainly kept busy and appeared in a wide range of roles. Yes, he's brilliant as the hippie journalist. "You don't talk to the man. You listen to him." His monologue in True Romance about Italian heritage is one of the best in film history.

Greg said...

I love the rest of Apocalypse Now as well, of course, it's just that he is a definitely boost to the events when he shows up. I think Easy Rider may have been the first thing I saw him in and then earlier work from the fifties. I still love Easy Rider too. He makes Fonda's self-righteousness bearable.

bill r. said...

He had a most unusual career. I'm still debating whether or not to write anything, though. Arbogast sort of made it seem pointless.

Greg said...

Yeah, just link to Arbo. Everyone reads the major media outlet obits and Roger Ebert and the like and none of 'em as good as what Arbo wrote.

J.D. said...

I love the scene Hopper has with Mickey Rourke and Matt Dillon in a bar in Coppola's RUMBLE FISH. Just when you think his character is nothing but a burnt out barfly, Hopper delivers this fascinating little monologue about Rourke's character that is incredible to watch. It was only a small role for Hopper but he made the most of it.

Greg said...

Hopper excelled at brief monologues. He was fine in dialogue scenes with other actors too but his strength lay in what you and Hokahey are talking about, the monologue. That's what I find so riveting in Apocalypse Now. There's all this brooding and narration and repressed anger for two hours and then Hopper shows up and rants for a couple of minutes uninterrupted about Kurtz and his cereal box aphorisms. It's great.