Farewell, Max

Max Von Sydow - The Exorcist - The scriptblog.com

A post to bid goodbye to a guy who has shown us what acting can do. Extensively.

Max Von Sydow is one of the actors whose work has made a bigger impression on me. Not only his very renowned Bergman phase but his Hollywood phase too.

He was able to paint a patina of humanity on all his characters. His Father Merrin in The Exorcist (1973), aged severely through make-up (he was only 44 when he made the film, but in it, he plays an old man), remains masterful. Even in lesser films like John Huston’s Victory (1981), his work would exude talent and charm.

Amongst his oddities, he was by far the best in Flash Gordon (1980): His Ming was really something. He became a clever assassin in Sidney Pollack’s Three Days of the Condor (1975). He ended up being part of the Star Wars universe too, through The Force Awakens (2015). He was even Emmy-nominated for Game of Thrones (2016). In a career that spans over more than 70 years, Von Sidow was a man for all seasons indeed.

What can I say but a big THANKS?

More about acting in On Screen Acting According to Edward Dmytryk (and Jean Porter), Michael Caine On Acting For The Screen, and Joseph Cotten, a great autobiography.

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