Skyfall – Javier Bardem

Skyfall not a film of the fifties of course but James Bond is very much a creation of that decade  when he first appeared in print so I can include this film and characters on this Blog I feel.

Javier Bardem – well what does one say about probably the best Bond villain ever.  

I have written before in an earlier post that I thought that Javier Bardem’s part was played  by him almost in the same style as  Robert Newton’s famous portrayal years ago of Long John Silver in Treasure Island.   Javier dominates the screen and is ‘larger than life’ in the scenes he has and in a way it is a calculated – slightly over the top performance with the tiniest hint of pantomime – that enables him to become  a real scene stealer.  I reckon the Director gave him carte blanche to ‘let rip’ when he was on screen – and this he did to great effect. This strategy though means that once started it would be very difficult to ‘rein him in’ . It didn’t much matter in either of the performances I mention because the actors just knew what they were doing.   Byron Haskin did the same with Robert Newton in a now classic film role by which all future actors in the part would be compared  – this might happen again with Javier in this film – and the villain in future Bond films just might have to up his game after this.   A low key performance would now be difficult to take because this is, indeed, a hard act to follow !!

    

Robert Newton and Walt Disney discuss the film at Denham Film Studios – They both looked very young in those days – and we saw in this film (Treasure Island) Robert Newton pull off a marvellous portrayal – to become THE yardstick from which all future pirate performances would be judged.
Has anyone out there been struck by the similarity of these two performances or is it just me ?

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