Movies teach us things. Whether we are aware of it or not, we learned how to interact with the world around us partially by watching and imitating movies. But what about the people who make movies? According to author David Thomson, the Hollywood power set has learned life lessons from the movies as well. In the July 1997 issue of Movieline magazine, he offers ten examples.
“Boy, I don’t care what you do.”
As “Juror #1” in “12 Angry Men,” Martin Balsam embodies the well-meaning, but easily discouraged middle class. Surrounded by stock brokers, architects, ad men, and loudmouths, the assistant high school football coach appears to wonder why he was given the job of foreman. In a room full of men, with no air conditioning, on the hottest day of the summer, he is the sweatiest of them. He is also inexplicably clad in a polo shirt and tie.
Martin Balsam (sometimes known as “The Bronx Barrymore”) was one of those actors who the layman might only recognize from whatever film they happened to have seen of his recently, and then they probably wouldn‘t know his name. He was, however, one of the premier supporting actors of his generation. His links to important figures in 20th century drama, and his impressive list of credits are a testament to this.