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Wednesday, 24 May, 2000, 12:50 GMT 13:50 UK
Has Hollywood lost its glamour?
The age of movie glamour is dead according veteran Hollywood actor Gregory Peck.
"Do I think there's a glamorous male actor today? No way." He stated at the Cannes Film Festival.
Has Hollywood lost its glamour? Or is it just sour grapes on the part of Gregory Peck for not earning $30m per movie?
Has Tinsel town really lost its sparkle? Tell us what you think?
We forget all the truly awful films made in the 30s, 40s, and 50s, just as we forget all the dreadful records that were huge hits at the time. It's human nature to remember only the best films, songs, and so on. The truth is that Hollywood has always made many idiotic films as well as some gems and that the bottom line has always been profit margins.
"Cinema is for the lazy" - perceived glamour = how lazy!
Colin Chandler, England
Gregory Peck nailed it. 'Glamour' is gone from the American
movie industry. But the one plus for today's Hollywood...women and men
of colour are now part of mainstream Hollywood.
Hollywood has DEFINITELY lost its glamour, class and taste! It's been eroding for about 30 years or a little more than that. Part of the loss can be attributed to the loss of great musicals and epic drama movies, to costly to produce it seems. Most of the public today want utter stimulation in entertainment - they have short attention spans. There is so much to be learned through the movies of the past...
It's pretty true that Hollywood is losing its so called "Glamour", but at the same time its going through a real life, which didn't have before. Obviously we do have star still, think about Brad Pitt, Val Kilmar, Danny Glover, and all others. They are great actors and artists. America is the symbol of reality to the world, and so the film industry too. It was, is and will be forever. Some stupid unrealistic fancy films don't build "Glamour".
This sounds like it's coming from a grumpy old man, reminiscing about
the good old days when he had to walk four miles to school, barefoot
in the snow and uphill both ways. I'm sure that when I get old, I'll grumpily reminisce about the "good old days" when actors like Leonardo
DiCaprio, Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith dominated the film scene.
Perhaps it is gone, and who's to say that's a bad thing? Hollywood today is a thriving industry where technology and innovation are becoming the focal point. Diversity and culture can also be seen, with Hollywood directors and actors coming in all colours with all kinds of contributions.
Years ago, there was barely anyone who wasn't white. If this is the price of "glamour" then I think it's a fair price to pay.
With a few exceptions, modern films are dreary, self-important rubbish. The basic concept of telling a story has been replaced by attempts to shock. The mindless violence and vacuous special effects don't help either.
Peter Sharples, UK
Hollywood's domination of the film industry needs to come to an end. It is like a monopoly where stars do not have serious competition. There are glamorous artists who will never make it in Hollywood because they don't fit in with the perception of the Western or American ideal.
I believe movies have just become long commercials. Whether they are selling a product or lifestyle, their message is the same. BUY BUY BUY. America and perhaps the world as a whole has been 'dumbed down'. Maybe, Hollywood is no longer glamorous because we aren't.
Stephen B, US
Hollywood lost its glamour a long time ago. It will take a new generation of people in control of Hollywood to get it back.
Not only is glamour gone but so is wit. Fashion was smarter in the 40s and 50s and so was the dialogue. American movie classics on cable just serve to remind us how far down the tubes this culture has gone.
Misrak G. Yohannes, USA
Today's directors are responsible for removing the glamour from the actors. The movies now centre on the themes they choose (particularly gore and violence), and the special effects they can conjure with their computers.
Glamour is something which is thrust upon an individual, and not what a person goes in search of. The film stars of today try too hard to portray themselves as glamorous and this takes away from their ability to be glamorous.
In the old days, actors had contracts with the studios who controlled their image by controlling which roles they played. Whereas today, actors go out of their way to take roles that are as diametrically opposed as possible. Thus, actors have no permanent image anymore. They are constantly creating and destroying their image, leaving us feeling empty.
Glamour, now, as always, is merely a component in the tool-kit that the marketing machine uses to convince people to buy products they don't need. This is as true of films as it is of face cream. That Mr Peck believes that there was ever any substance behind the illusion of glamour is merely an indication of how skilfully the machine has always worked - even those behind the facade didn't realise it was just a facade.
Hollywood cannot lose its glamour fast enough for my taste. "Glamour" is an illusion whose brilliance is inversely proportional to the dullness of the
It seems that people cannot help but romanticise the past and Hollywood is no different. The people and the watering holes may have changed but the glamour has not. Hollywood is still (for better or worse) the world's focal point of fame and glamour.
What today's generation needs to recognise is that the era of going to the cinema as a social event (theatres lavishly decorated, people actually dressing up to go to see a film) has given way to the mega-plex of theatres where one can absorb the newest film in tooth-rattling stereo.
You only need to see the movies up for the Oscars this year to see the direction that Hollywood is taking. The ironically titled "American Beauty", "Cider House Rules", "Boys Don't Cry." All these movies are superficial pieces which go out of their way not to be glamorous, for no particularly good purpose. Being unglamorous, for whatever reason, is cool right now. As tastes change and as soon as Hollywood sees a buck in it, we'll be seeing glamorous stars again faster than you can say "Madonna".
The "glamour" of old was more a mechanism of good marketing than star mystique. The current batch of "stars" aren't as savvy at marketing themselves as those of the past and the media is far more predatory now than it was in the "golden" era of Hollywood.
Glamour was, is, and will always remain a highly subjective term to define and debate: it is on transition. A plain looking actor or actress portrays two implicit points: a reflection of our society's rising emphasis on realism (we value pragmatism, efficiency, and simplicity more than ever) and the movie industry's rising responsiveness towards its audience.
It's completely gone. The actors today are morons and subject matter in movies is killing or sex. Nothing is portrayed any more like the chemistry between people. Who wants to think when watching a movie?
Hollywood would be a lot more interesting if they gave up on this obsession with glamour and focused instead on new talent. Imagine looking at someone else besides the Brad Pitts and Julia Roberts of the world? Might make Hollywood movies enjoyable again.
EA Gardiner, Canada
Too many romantic comedies, "action" movies and special effects. It's how blonde She is, how His six-pack irradiates, and how much it can make in terms of dollars.
The glamour has gone in line with salary increases and the de-mystification of the lives of the stars. Perhaps in a similar way to our Royal Family - the mystery and distance was their power. Hollywood actress then gossip columnist, Hedda Hopper, gave just enough information regarding the off set antics of the Stars without providing you with full frontal exposures. A little different from your average (particularly British) tabloid journalist of today.
Geoff Soppet, England
The days that Gregory Peck speaks of were long ago, almost in a different world. Our parents were wonder eyed at the glamour of really ordinary individuals that the studio public relations apparatus could build up.
They also manufactured much the so-called "glamour" that Mr. Peck misses. And there was nothing glamorous about making a drug addict out of a young Judy Garland to keep her weight down. Nowadays stars can do drugs all by themselves!
Peter C. Kohler, USA
I think most of the glamour and old-fashioned showmanship has disappeared from Hollywood because most films now tend to place style over content, and rely on cosy pastiche instead of brash originality.
Yes. Real glamour is long gone. To understand this, you only need to check out some of the ridiculous attention-getting outfits these people wear to the Oscars. In Mr. Peck's time, stars like Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn shone because they were elegant and understated - in their dress and manner. Now, with some exceptions of course, the Oscars look more like a parade of Halloween costumes.
Mark Hull, UK
Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, and Tom Hanks were Hollywood's
last big stars. No young actor or actress has been able to
step up and fill the void.
Steve Baker, UK
It is obvious that glamour still exits in Hollywood. Just look at the huge festivals and awards ceremonies that take place (Oscars, Baftas, Cannes film festival, etc). The question should be: "how do we stop the harmful effect of Hollywood glamour?" A result of Hollywood glamour is that thousands, if not millions, of people around the globe consider themselves to be inadequate when compared with Hollywood icons.
I tend to agree with Gregory Peck. The films from Hollywood seem to be full of non-descript men running about with guns. The places the films are set in look miserable as well; usually dark places with no blue skies, cloud or greenery. Furthermore, what has happened to the beautiful, fulsome ladies? All we seem to get now are skinny women who would make a fine job of advertising for Oxfam.
I think it's just sour grapes on the part of Gregory Peck since we still idolise movie stars. I also think actors today are more talented and need to work harder to prove themselves!
Hollywood has definitely lost its glamour. Money rules. How else can we explain not only the glut of movies that are released every year, but the ones which only advance the studio's name, pad the actors' wallets and force yet another "Police Academy" or "Rocky" movie down our throats.
Hollywood is the latest victim of the truth. Money, power and corporations have replaced talent and ambition.
I agree with Mr. Peck wholeheartedly. Gone are the days when cinema stars radiated the screen with real acting abilities and grace.
Hollywood has become so much bigger and come a long way from the days of Errol Flynn, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, and the like. Sure there are still glamorous actors and actresses, except there are so many more of them now that no one person in particular can possibly hope to stand far out from such a big crowd. Although I'd still say people like Gere, Roberts, Willis all make a pretty good go of it. The tinsel still sparkles as brightly: there's just a lot more of it.
"Glamour," is just fashionable packaging - in short, sales. It all depends on what the public will swallow. And that changes with new generations.
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