Full respect and admiration for the late Clu Gulager, who passed two days ago at age 93.
There’s a moment in Peter Bogdanovich‘s The Last Picture Show (’71) when Ellen Burstyn‘s “Lois Farrow” gives the finger to Gulager’s “Abilene”, her ex-lover (or sometime lover, I forget which) and Gulager responds with a slight grin. That, I submit, was his greatest moment as an actor; there’s no question that Abilene was his most respectable role.
Gulager’s performance in that landmark film is best appreciated via Bogdanovich’s 127-minute director’s cut, which is the only version you can stream or buy.
Gulager was also semi-memorable in Don Siegel‘s The Killers (’64) and in James Goldstone‘s Winning (’69). I’m sorry to have never seen Gulager’s A Day with the Boys, which vied for a Best Short Film prize at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival.