Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Peter O'Toole in Masada

Masada is a fun show for me to watch. Not that I particularly like the subject matter, but just because the number of my favorite actors who have roles - albeit small ones - in the show.

Anthony Valentine is there, as is Clive Francis, and, of course, Peter O'Toole.

I just bought the DVD - the complete version of it, not the truncated version that was available on VHS - and I'm watching it now. First time I've seen it in several years. And as I was watching the beginning, and Peter O'Toole's opening lines as Silva, I thought to myself... this is Steve Ihnat as Garth of Izar.

I've been reading a few articles on Steve that started appearing in 1969, in the newspapers, in which he said he was tired of always playing villains, and I wonder if he accepted the Garth role not only because of the money - because who would turn down the money, especially if you've got a wife and two kids to care for! - but because it allowed him to portray such a wide range of emotions, more so than he'd ever been able to do before. And I wonder if he patterned his performance on that of Peter O'Toole. (Not as O'Toole as Silva, since Masada was filmed ten years after Ihnat died, but just O'Toole as O'Toole.)

I also have to wonder about his health in his last couple of years. In The Mod Squad, in 1970, he looks like his old self. He looks like he's in his late 30s, yes, but he looks fine. One year later, in Alias Smith and Jones, he's practically unrecognizable. His face looks rather bloated. One wonders if he'd developed some kind of medical condition that necessitated him taking medication that caused weight gain, and damaged his heart, which caused his heart attack.

Anyway, Masada continues...

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