Monday, November 16, 2009

Margaret Phillips v Rod Steiger

Here is a clip from a TV play, The Evil Within (1953), part of the Tales of Tomorrow series which was regularly broadcast in America. It's basically a reworking of the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde story. This particular show has acquired cult significance because of the iconic presence of James Dean, who played a lab assistant. I'm more interested, however, in the slightly less iconic presence of Margaret Phillips from Cwmgwrach. I've mentioned her before on this blog as a much overlooked Welsh actress.

In this excerpt she goes toe to toe with screen hubby Rod Steiger. Their scenes together make for a great contrast in acting styles. Phillips, who enjoyed a long career in the theatre, gives a fairly stagey performance - all precise enunciation and large gestures. Steiger, on the other hand, was a keen student of the Method and consequently his delivery is imbued with a characteristic brooding intensity. That's real sweat on his brow dontcha know.

You'll find the whole show on YouTube. Have a gander.