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Mickey Rooney - Legend or Overrated? (1 Viewer)

Steve...O

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Few actors spark the kind of debate to their contributions to film as Mickey Rooney does. Some consider him a true legend while others call him an overrated hack.

I'm curious what the membership thinks. Personally I find his ego a bit hard to take at times and it has only gotten worse with age. He is his own biggest fan and will gladly tell you of his relationships with every notable actress of a certain era. Still, it's hard to deny how popular and influential his Andy Hardy and Judy Garland films were in their day. Many of these seem horribly dated which has limited their appeal to modern audiences and has kept his films from being remembered as fondly as those of Cary Grant for example.

Since the Hardy films his genuine hits have been sporadic. He has turned in some really good performances (the TV movie "Bill" was wonderful) but he's also appeared in many films that were already obscure when they were originally released.

What say you?
 

Eric Peterson

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My opinion is somewhere in the middle. He may not have been a "GREAT" actor, but he was a "GREAT" talent. I still loved the Rooney-Garland musicals and watching "Boys Town" on TV is one of my finest childhood memories that actually wasn't ruined by revisiting the film in my adulthood.

I did get the opportunity to meet the Mickster about 4 years ago when he was touring with his wife. It was an interesting show that I would have recommended to anyone, but at the autograph table afterward, he was nothing shy of a full-on prick. This took place in a small town with no more than 200 people in attendance and I would estimate less than 50 stood in line for autographs, yet he still seemed highly irritated by everyone that was there "BUYING" his CD and getting an autograph. This experience definitely altered my opinion of the man.
 

DavidPla

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I guess his performance in Night at the Museum wasn't that far off from what he's actually like then?
 

Henry Gale

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He was in Skidoo (1968) so that makes him a legend. :)
Also appeared in one of my other faves, Babe: Pig in the City (1998) and did not speak.
Life must be particularly frustating when you started making films at 5, got some of the best squeeze in La La Land, and then slowly turned into an 87 year old toad.
 

Steve...O

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Unfortunately not the first time I've heard him described that way. His manners are probably the result of being the aforementioned great talent but also just 5 feet tall and not especially good looking (and getting balder and heavier as he passed middle age) which probably made getting good roles harder to come by as he passed the Hardy years. Other short actors (Robinson, Rains and Cagney for example) were much more successful but they also had the acting skills that Rooney lacked.

I'm also curious about the TZ commentary.
 

Joe Karlosi

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I recall even within the TZ commentary the interviewer mentioned something about Rooney's height and being cast as a jockey (or similar words), and Rooney said something to the effect of "that's enough of that"....
 

Eric Peterson

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Wow! That give me more of a reason to upgrade to the new TZ boxset. I passed previously since I had already triple-dipped on several discs by the time that I got all of the original boxsets. How much can one spend on The Twilight Zone?

I wonder if he got paid for such a commentary? I would hope not!

He is definitely a man who has lived a fairly charmed life, and has probably never had to do a day of physical labor, so he has no way of relating to other people. Such is the downside of being a celebrity.
 

Bob_S.

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My question is if he didn't remember a thing about it and didn't care, why on earth did he agree to do it?

I agree with "a great talent". After all, he was one of the top hollywood actors for several years during the late 30's early 40's. It's a shame he happens to have a crotchity attitude but I did like his private screenings interview. I guess I admire him most because he was so close to Judy (I'm a big Judy fan). If I ever got to meet him, all of my questions would be about Judy. All in all, you can't deny he was one of the greats during the golden age of hollywood.
 

Eric Peterson

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That's pretty much my question. It almost sounds like there was some other reason for his attitude. Perhaps he didn't get paid what he thought he was going to get paid, or there were scheduling problems, or a crummy hotel or something else that made him so pissed off, and he then just lied about "Not remembering", etc...
 

Ruz-El

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best part of the commentary was him going "No one cares about this, all they want is sex!"

XD

I thought he was a no talent hack, till I saw him in those Garland musicals. Now I see him as a tallented but annoying jerk.
 

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