Seeing Elliott Gould up close this past year at the TCM festival in Hollywood turned out to be a very fun experience. I liked what he had to say about his film career and how things came about. He was on stage for an hour answering questions posed to him by Alec Baldwin at the Roosevelt Hotel. Generous with his answers and never a bad word to say about the many faces he crossed paths with over the years, the conversation mainly circled around his early years and his output in the 1970’s.
Picking up on that thought, I felt it was time to both rediscover some of Elliott’s films of the era as well as check into two that I had never seen before. Gould is one of those actors I kind of took for granted as a light leading man like his California Split co-star, George Segal. Elliott’s box office days seemed to be drying up just as I was beginning to really study film history in the 1980’s forward. Not necessarily a fair observation but based on the films that interested me as a teenager I think it’s understandable having missed out on his box office hits of the earlier decade.
So after seeing and liking Gould at the festival then sitting in watching him introduce The Long Goodbye as well, I was reminded of his on screen presence and how laid back he could be on camera while somehow winking at us to let us know it’s all a game. When I first started Mike’s Take, Gould wasn’t exactly an actor I figured to be featuring yet even after seeing thousands of films, I continue to discover for myself facets of film and the stars that populate them continually capturing my interest. Gould’s interview opened my eyes to a career I had kind of ignored. A definite mistake as there are plenty of film roles featuring Elliott to enjoy from his early days right up to the present. as he continues to work steadily in film and television.
So for the next five days, it’s a private festival of Gould titles including his above take on Trapper John right through to one of my favorite conspiracy theory flicks surrounding Gould with a top notch cast. Please check back and see what I’ve taken the time to (re)discover in the next few days and maybe even watch an Elliott movie or two yourself. Feel free to share your picks and observations.