Seven years ago Bruce Dern shared an interesting observation about the difference between his generation of actors (i.e., Clint Eastwood, Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Harrison Ford, Lee Marvin, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro) and the classic big-studio stars of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s (Clark Gable, James Stewart, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne, James Cagney, Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster, Alan Ladd, Errol Flynn, Kirk Douglas).
“The difference between my generation of actors and their generation is that they were bigger than life,” Dern said. “My generation got a chance to work with the legends, but we are not bigger than life. Not today. Too many people want to know what you do after work. You can’t be a mystery anymore.”
I came upon this photo early this morning. I’m guessing it was taken sometime in the mid ’70s (maybe ’77 or ’78, judging by Beatty’s elephant collar). My first thought was that in their day, these guys were just as “bigger than life” as the big-studio guys. They certainly seem to have a certain something or other, an extra-dimensional glow or current that out-pulsates Timothee Chalamet, Ansel Elgort, LaKeith Stanfield, Liam Hemsworth, Nicholas Hoult, John David Washington, RBatz, John Boyega, et. al. No?