Actor Tony Roberts has had a long, successful career in films and TV. Along with a lot of good stuff, he appears in one of my favorite 70s films, 1974′s The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three. (I love a lot of 70s films, by the way.) He was recently quoted in an article on the TCM Festival, “Classic stars explain why Hollywood sucks these days” and did a nice job describing how the Hollywood studio system made for good films.
Tony Roberts: “In the old studio system [actors and actresses] signed up for seven years or five years, and they made a lot of movies each year. They could still make bad movies, yet they still got parts, because they had a contract and they learned on the job… Nowadays, if you are lucky enough to get one or two pictures under your belt, that could be the end of you – and you never grew, you never got that comfortable being a character in front of the camera… When you think of the old actors and the movies they made each year, they finally had a chance to be great when they got a great script. You can’t remember 80 pictures, but you remember five or four because they were good scripts and knew what to do with them.. That’s what is missing today.”
Photo: Shooting Red Canyon (1949) in Lone Pine.