Baz Luhrmann is tackling the biopic this year, with the release of Elvis in June, but the biopic has long been one of Hollywood’s most popular and enduring genres, giving viewers a glimpse into the minds and lives of various historical figures. While musical biopics have enjoyed some success in recent years, it’s also true that there are a number of stars from the Old Hollywood period whose life stories would make good material for a biopic. Thankfully, Reddit users have helpfully suggested a number of these movie giants, whose lives and loves would surely entertain today’s moviegoers.
ten Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando is unquestionably a larger-than-life figure, someone whose powerful stage presence was matched only by his often tumultuous personal life. Snorfy77 agrees with the belief that Brandon would make a good subject for a biopic, in part because of his youthful antics. As they recount, “He went to the same high school as me and was famous for getting kicked out while riding his motorcycle down the hallway inside.”
Any biopic focused on his life would certainly have plenty of material to work with, given how long and successful he was in the industry.
9 Orson Welles
Orson Welles remains one of the best and most insightful directors in Hollywood history. Even today, many of his films continue to captivate audiences. However, he has also repeatedly shown himself to be a formidable presence as an actor, playing many memorable characters. The current stars would not fail to be able to do him justice. ForRedditFun, for example, argues that “Leonardo DiCaprio as Orson Welles would be so perfect it’s not even funny.” Given how well-respected DiCaprio is as an actor, he could definitely do the role justice.
8 Hedy Lamarr
At the height of her career, Hedy Lamarr was considered one of Hollywood’s most glamorous stars. She would go on to appear in a number of high-profile roles, perhaps most notably as biblical seductress Delilah in Samson and Delilah. As viskoviskovisko rightly notes: “she invented radio technology that blocked enemy torpedoes, which she donated to the US government.” Any biopic of her would therefore have plenty of material to work with, highlighting both her Hollywood career and her successful inventions.
7 Clark Gable
Clark Gable was arguably one of the most famous stars of classic Hollywood and he embodied a certain masculine ideal. Svevobandini shrewdly calls him a “playboy superstar”. There is no doubt that, like many stars of his time, he had a very dramatic personal life, with many relationships. However, there is no doubt that he is best known for his appearances in a number of very important films, including, of course, carried away by the windarguably one of the best epic films to emerge from Hollywood.
6 Paul Newman
When he first appeared on film, Paul Newman represented a new form of masculinity that was both rugged and uniquely beautiful. He would not only go on to have a very successful career in Hollywood, but also race cars and become active in the civil rights movement. Kevlarbuns points out that: “He also managed to make a career in Hollywood and a lifelong marriage work.”
His decades-long marriage to Joanne Woodward would certainly make for a touching and beautiful romantic biopic.
5 Christopher Lee
Although he became famous later in his life for playing the character of Saruman in The Lord of the Rings, Christopher Lee had one of the most diverse careers of any star of his day, as well as one of the most interesting lives. Anasui1 provides detailed insight into many fascinating aspects of his life and career, including the fact that he “met Tolkien in person”. The only challenge might be finding someone who could capture her unique gravity and power as a performer.
4 Humphrey Bogart
Some Hollywood stars have become so iconic that it’s hard to imagine the industry without them. Humphrey Bogart, who has appeared in many famous classic Hollywood films, is one of them. Furthermore, he was also famous for his marriage to Lauren Bacall who would also go on to have a hugely successful career in her own right. Insane677 observes that it would be wise to “ask Scorsese to run it”.
Given his amply documented love of all things Hollywood, Scorsese seems like an ideal choice for the director.
3 Barbara Stanwyck
Barbara Stanwyck is another of the great female stars of Old Hollywood. In part, her success is all the more extraordinary given her humble origins as an orphan who was placed in several foster homes in her youth. However, her unwavering determination and drive to work ensured her a successful career in film and television. So, it’s no surprise that the astrowhiz points out, “In fact, a lot of those early stars had interesting, difficult, and probably character-building lives.” In short, perfect material for an exciting biopic.
2 Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood has made many great films, both in front of and behind the camera. He also straddled different periods of Hollywood history and, to add even more complexity, starred in both movies and TV series. Dark_Vengeance says it best when they say he’s “a Hollywood icon and legend.” Anyone who wanted to do a biopic about his life would have plenty of material to work with, including his personal life and the making of the many films he appeared in.
1 Paul Lynde
Paul Lynde, like many actors of his generation, had a varied career, appearing in both films and television shows. He would achieve his greatest fame, however, by participating in the hit game show Hollywood Squares. Swissch33z says, “He was a really interesting person with a great sense of humor.” They go on to suggest that Steve Carell, arguably one of the great comedic actors of his own generation, would be one of the best people who could bring out Lynde’s unique personality.
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