Jack Palance is gone... Harry's farewell
Hey folks, Harry here... I was just in the process of programming the vintage section of OctoButt-Numb-A-Thon when I see... JACK PALANCE died. OUCH!
Dad was telling me earlier this morning how he'd been watching HALLS OF MONTEZUMA, and how great Palance was as Pigeon Lane... just 45 minutes before I saw this news. For me, Palance will always be Jack Wilson - that bastard arrogant sonofabitch from SHANE... scary as all hell and homicidal. I don't think that's how Jack would like to be remembered, but I can't help it. I shut my eyes and that's how I see him.
Wish I could say I saw him as Gil Walker from FLIGHT TO TANGIER, but I can't. I see Jack Palance as Toriano from ARROWHEAD - a noble warrior fighting to not move from the reservation... and mostly - I see Palance as Raza.... Jesus Raza from THE PROFESSIONALS - where he played the greatest Mexican this side of Wallace Beery.
Most of my generation thinks of Palance from CITY SLICKERS or Tim Burton's BATMAN... but I was raised watching a lot of his fifties work in films like I DIED A THOUSAND TIMES, THE SILVER CHALICE or THE BIG KNIFE. 3 very different films for him.
A friend of my father's was once dosed on psychedelic mushrooms while watching Palance's DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE and thought he was going insane. Having watched that film straight, I'd agree... it is an insane, but powerfully memorable performance.
I think many of us will remember his one armed push-ups on the stage of the Academy Awards when he won for CITY SLICKERS. Me - I'll remember him acting up a storm opposite Burt Lancaster in THE PROFESSIONALS... there in that canyon. Two old friends - set on killing each other - remembering when it didn't have to be that way.
Palance was a man that it looked like he was carved of clay by the gods of old. His type isn't around these days - he will be missed.