Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior Stephen King Says Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "Like A Big, Beautiful Cadillac With No Engine Inside It" Stephen King Says Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "Like A Big, Beautiful Cadillac With No Engine Inside It" Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video Ridley Scott Confirms Noomi Rapace Won't Be Returning For 'Alien: Covenant' Ridley Scott Confirms Noomi Rapace Won't Be Returning For 'Alien: Covenant' SAG Award Winners: ‘Spotlight’ Wins Best Ensemble, Leonardo DiCaprio, Idris Elba & Brie Larson Also Score Big SAG Award Winners: ‘Spotlight’ Wins Best Ensemble, Leonardo DiCaprio, Idris Elba & Brie Larson Also Score Big Review: ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Starring Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton & Ewan McGregor Review: ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Starring Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton & Ewan McGregor Mel Gibson Gave Nate Parker Advice On Making 'The Birth Of A Nation' Mel Gibson Gave Nate Parker Advice On Making 'The Birth Of A Nation' The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Comedies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Comedies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & More Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & More

R.I.P. Farley Granger (1925-2011)

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 29, 2011 at 1:35AM

Barely a week since Elizabeth Taylor has passed, Hollywood has lost another legend from the classic-era of filmmaking. Farley Granger has died at the age of 85.
1


Barely a week since Elizabeth Taylor has passed, Hollywood has lost another legend from the classic-era of filmmaking. Farley Granger has died at the age of 85.

The actor's major leap into stardom curiously came thanks to a great role in a film that, at the time, didn't see much of the light of day. Cast in Nicholas Ray's directorial debut "They Live By Night" -- the powder keg noir that in many ways served as a blueprint for "Bonnie & Clyde" -- filming began in the summer of 1947. Once the film was in the can, the studio had no idea what to make of the edgy project and dropped it from their priority list for release. The situation was further muddied by Howard Hughes moving in to buy the studio wholesale and eventually, the film was dumped two years later in one movie theater in the U.K. However, in Hollywood, buzz around the film was strong, with private screenings taking place among the homes of the movers and shakers. One person who caught the film and liked what he saw was none other than Alfred Hitchcock.

The master of suspense cast Granger in a single setting thriller "Rope" and from there his star would continue to rise. He would go on to make a number of films including Anthony Mann's gritty "Side Street" before teaming with Hitchcock again, this time for the excellent "Strangers On A Train." But Granger was soon tiring of of the one-note roles Samuel Goldwyn -- who he was under contract to -- was hiring him for, so we was pleased when he was loaned out to star in Luchino Visconti's sumptuous "Senso."

The movie would mark the high point of Granger's career. Upon returning to America from Italy where "Senso" filmed, he moved between the stage, the cinema and the small screen but without striking the same fire as his earlier works. Part of the reason is that he refused to play the Hollywood game and lived openly gay (as much as one could in those days), refusing to adopt a beard to conceal his orientation. Instead, since the 1960s, Granger lived with Robert Calhoun, a soap opera producer who was also his longtime partner. So it's perhaps fitting that one of his final screen roles was as an interviewee in the excellent and eye-opening 1995 documentary "The Celluloid Closet" about homosexuality in Hollywood. If you haven't seen it, track it down now.

In 2007, Granger published his memoir, fittingly titled "Include Me Out" celebrating his renegade spirit. We'll always have the films, and though brief, Granger's resumé, that includes Hitchock, Ray, Mann and Visconti, is a cinephile's dream. He will be missed. [THR/Guardian]




This article is related to: Classic Actors, Farley Granger


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates