23 thoughts on “MCM: Peter O’Toole

  1. Loved him in Becket and Lion in Winter. He remarkably held his own against both Burton and the incomparable Kate Hepburn.

      1. I agree with your assessment of the brilliance of the whole cast. It’s my touchstone on how I see Queen Eleanor.

  2. My god, he was a beautiful man. It’s not a costume flick, but the scene in How to Steal A Million where he and Audrey Hepburn are trapped in a tiny closet Sigh. I was lucky enough to see him on stage in Pygmalion in New York. The Lion in Winter with Katherine Hepburn is still one of my favorite movies. I can quote every line.

    1. I will never forget our first look at O’Toole in ‘How to Steal a Million’, standing there, staring at Audrey Hepburn with those blue, blue eyes…

  3. He’s one of my classic favorites, and when I think of Henry II, he looks like Peter O’Toole in my mind. And while Lawrence of Arabia is very problematic, I had the opportunity to see the restored version in the newly restored Fox Theatre (a truly opulent movie palace of the old school) in Detroit many years ago. I will never forget it.

  4. I’m with the other commenters — “How to Steal a Million” is my favorite of his movies.

    Though I always start laughing hysterically whenever I hate-watch The Tudors, and he pops up with his droll humor, sarcastic inferences, and above all, that terrific line — “What of this Anne Boleyn, the king’s whore? Why doesn’t someone just get RID of her?”

  5. I have so many questions about the Neil Patrick Harris thing, but my favorite things I’ve seen him in were Troy and Casanova. He completely salvaged the former, outclassing everyone (but especially Brad Pitt) with that one scene where he asks for Hector’s body back. And the scene in Casanova where he gets Rose Byrne all worked up just by talking is gold.

    1. That Casanova scene absolutely does it for me too – it’s such a perfect seduction and a reminder that real charisma never grows old.

  6. Ah, Peter O’Toole! Grew up with Becket and Man of La Mancha.. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I adored the film version of the play, and then I read the play itself and did my final costume design project renderings on it—and came to the realization as I was working on it that it really belonged as a play, rather than a film, where one’s own imagination as the audience would have to participate to realize the world Cervantes was creating in that prison. And yet still, I love it. :-)

    Also, Lawrence.. I’m sure if I rewatched it (haven’t seen it in probably 12 years..) now I’d notice things that were problematic, but I can accept that and also recognize that it’s cinematically stunning.

    Sadly I don’t know that I’ve ever seen Lion in Winter all the way through! But the bits I have seen he’s great. He is one of a very few actors who got Oscar leading actor/actress nominations for playing the same person in two different films.. My parents’ extensive classic movie connection came in handy when that was a Jeopardy question quite a while ago, although I missed Bing Crosby because I don’t think they’d ever owned Going My Way (I knew Paul Newman; since then Cate Blanchett has joined this rare group with Elizabeth I).

  7. Lawrence of Arabia. The scene with Lawrence walking atop the train cars is etched in my brain. My god, he was beautiful! Second is Becket. MY favorite non-FF movie would be The Ruling Class.

    1. Yes to “The Ruling Class”! It’s full of wonderful comic performances (until the end, which sours, because this is about–well, class). Note that O’Toole’s character thinks he’s god, and I agree.

  8. Actually I’m really busy today, but you went and did it, didn’t you? I mean, there’s Lawrence, a big-budget lavish blockbuster that actually has a brain, such a great film, even more now it’s been redigitised. Really love My Favourite Year (even though it’s not a historical) and OMG the double act with Hepburn in The Lion In Winter – it just doesn’t get better than that.
    And there’s even a few up there that I haven’t seen, so thank you for that!

      1. My Favourite Year is one of those movies to look for when everything in your life is going wrong, because you simply have to laugh!

  9. I love, love, LOVE My Favorite Year. The scene in which Alan Swann dances with “the fair Anne” (played by Gloria Stuart, aka “Old Rose in Titanic) is wonderful. Despite the fact that Swann is about to cut out a Hot Young Thing, when he’s dancing with older woman Anne, he’s DANCING WITH HER. His eyes never leave hers, and for that span of dancing moments, he is hers, all hers. That’s why women adore Alan Swan — and is probably why they adored Errol Flynn.

  10. Another historical film I have always liked is “Kim” where O’Toole has such an unlikely part as a Tibetan lama and plays it in an un-typical way. But whoever was in charge of lighting must have had eyes closed while editing… the plastic bald-maker sometimes seems to have a life of its own. Dang, cannot seem to paste a picture to this…

  11. Oh, dear what choices!! I loved Bright Young Things, until the end which totally departed from the book. Like many people have said, he completely outclassed everyone in Troy. He was at his most beautiful in Lawrence of Arabia, but alas Omar Sharif was even more beautiful!

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