ROMA (attualità) - Aveva 82 anni ed una lunghissima carriera alle spalle. Sul set anche di Dogville. Ma con Coppola e Reiner seppe lasciare un segno indelebile
ilmamilio.it - contenuto esclusivo
Aveva 82 anni ed alle spalle una lunghissima carriera da attore, avviata sessant'anni prima.
Ma pur negli oltre 100 film tra tv e cinema, due restano le interpretazioni che ne hanno caratterizzato la vita professionale: quella di Santino "Sonny" Corleone nel monumentale "Il Padrino", esattamente 50 anni fa e quella, in questo caso da attore protagonista, di Paul Sheldon nella terrificante narrazione di "Misery non deve morire".
James Caan on the
set of the 1975 film Rollerball.
James Edmund Caan was an athletic kid from the Bronx, the son of
German-Jewish immigrants who grew up to play tough movie guys: sailors,
football players, gangsters and was one of the most recognizable screen actors
of his era.
Best known for his explosive turn as Sonny Corleone in The Godfather and as a dying professional football player in the made-for-TV-movie Brian's Song (which earned him Oscar and Emmy nominations, respectively), Caan lent an eminently watchable machismo to dozens of films and shows.
he was a famous author held captive by Kathy Bates. In Gardens of Stone, he was
a heartsick Vietnam vet reluctantly guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
In Elf, he played against type as a failing children's book publisher who is
also the main character's dad.
After starting in theater and television, Caan burst into Hollywood
like a comet, appearing in films by some of the most renowned auteurs of the
era, including Howard Hawks (El Dorado), Robert Altman (Countdown) and Francis
Ford Coppola (The Rain People). His burst of early success led to a period of
difficulty, both personal and professional. Caan married and divorced several
times, got into on-set arguments and publicly struggled with substance abuse
He turned down numerous films that would prove to be pivotal for
other actors, including Kramer vs. Kramer, Apocalypse Now, M*A*S*H and One Flew
Over the Cuckoo's Nest, choosing projects instead that became flops.
"There are pictures I made that I still haven't seen," he
told The New York Times in 1991. "I was depressed when I was making them. In the middle of some of these pictures, I kept thinking, 'What am I doing
here?' It's like you're in
a hallway and you can't get out."
Misery helped turn things around. The former athlete spent much of
the 1990 movie tied to a bed. Caan also anchored the movie emotionally. His
actorly range was immense; he performed in song-and-dance films such as Funny
Lady and For The Boys but also in dark, serious films such as Dogville by
Danish auteur Lars von Trier.
Caan worked steadily up until the end of his life, playing
grandparents, colonels and inevitably, himself, in animated appearances on
Family Guy and The Simpsons.