Thursday, February 21, 2008

R.I.P. Roy Scheider

In all the commotion of the last week (editing, rewriting manuscripts, etc.) I overlooked the sad news that Roy Scheider had passed away. Aside from Steve McQueen he was one of the first screen actors I ever recognized and was a favorite for many years (having seen Jaws three times during its theatrical run at the age of 4 when I lived in Puerto Rico). I got to thinking that there wasn't a sour movie in his filmography; never any film of his that I didn't enjoy or any character he played who I didn't like (he even portrayed Dr. Benway in David Cronenberg's version of Naked Lunch!!).
  What's your favorite Roy Scheider film? Not only is Jaws one of my all time favorite films, but I very much enjoyed him in The French Connection and its quasi sequel (with a better car chase) The Seven Ups; Marathon Man, Jaws 2 (hell, why not? I loved Jaws 2!), Sorcerer, The Jazz Singer, Blue Thunder, episodes of Laws & Order and so forth...
  I guess he was sort of the John Wayne for my age bracket.  Tough guy but with a heart. Martin Brody is one of the most lovable fathers ever portrayed in a movie. The scene in Jaws when Sean Brody mirrors all of his father's motion still gets a laugh from me, and I've seen the movie at least 30-50 times.
  Although Jaws is a favorite and very high on my list, my favorite Roy Scheider movie is... The Seven Ups.

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