Thursday, December 2, 2010


The new movie TRON: Legacy is about to be released, so I thought we should look at the original, TRON (1982).  Both are from Walt Disney Pictures, of course.

Jeff Bridges (b. 1949) and Bruce Boxleitner (b. 1950) reprise their roles from 28 years ago.  They were in their thirties when they made the first one, and they are still playing computer games!  I wonder if the younger stars discussed the fact that many weren't even born when the original was released.

Back to 1982.  Barnard Hughes (1915 - 2006) appears in TRON and 94 other titles on IMDb.  He also had quite a long stage career.  He started in film in the 1954 movie, Playgirl with Shelley Winters (1920 - 2006).  In 1961 he was in The Young Doctors, with Dick Clark (b. 1929).

Other highlights in Hughes' career include Midnight Cowboy (1969); his own TV series called "Doc" in the mid 1970s; Oh, God! in 1977; Da in 1988, based on the play in which he also starred; Doc Hollywood (1991); and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993).

David Warner (b. 1941) also had a bit part.  He made 195 movies and TV shows in the past 48 years.  Look for him in:
Tom Jones - 1963
The Omen - 1976
The Thirty Nine Steps (remake 1978)
Time Bandits - 1981
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier - 1989
Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country - 1991

And he appears in large parts in the two top money making films of all time, Titanic (1997) and Avatar (2004).   Quite a career, and a very important supporting actor.  He has such a forceful personality, at least on screen. 

There are other Bit Actors in TRON who are just as important, especially when creating a stark, unearthly place to present a story.  My guess is that the stunt actors also had some extra screen time.  People like Tony Brubaker, who has 148 stunt credits and 48 acting credits.  Being a stunt actor is not an easy job.

Charlie Picerni is another stunt man with 319 stunt credits and 61 acting credits.  These guys were in movies like Die Hard (1988) and True Lies (1994).  Now that's action...and hard work.

Now for the bad news.  TRON is available at Amazon, but the DVD is $84.  The funny thing is the VHS tape is listed at $129!  You really should see the original before seeing the remake.  Then you get the full picture.  Maybe other sites, like Movies Unlimited or have better deals, or you can get it from Netflix.

BTW, make sure you check out the Movie Fanfare blog.  They just posted another of my previous blog posts.  I am very happy they enjoy my stuff!  This one is on Robby the Robot.


  1. I follow your blogs pretty I admire supporting actors so much...they are often unsung, but as important as the great stars, directors, technicians, composers...etc. in making a film truly work.
    I've always enjoyed Barnard Hughes - first noticed him in THE HOSPITAL (1971) with George C. Scott and Diana Rigg, written by the great Paddy Chayefsky (to my mind, NETWORK was his masterwork).
    And David Warner, hard to pick a favorite from his long, rich career, though I did relish his appearances on HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show."
    Am looking forward to the TRON sequel, remember seeing the original back in the day - when it seemed so futuristic...then the future arrived!

  2. Hughes was talented. He played a lot of doctors.

    But please don't try to pick a favorite Bit Actor. There are too many, and a lot of them are really good at the type of character they usually play, so they bring the right stuff to the movies they are in.

    Hughes plays doctors, Tom D'Andrea played the guy next door, Andy Clyde was a sidekick, etc.

    That's why my blog is keeping my attention!

  3. I couldn't possibly pick a favorite supporting actor - it's impossible! But I'm about to post a blog on Meet Me in St. Louis and have to admit that one of my very favorites has a gem of a secondary role...Harry Davenport. Now I'm not saying he's my favorite but he's in that group I try never to miss - Frank Morgan, Felix Bressart, Frank McHugh, Edgar Buchanan, Eve Arden, Florence Bates, Joyce Compton...I'll stop now (the list is much longer).

  4. I never even though of compiling a list! Maybe an spreadsheet would work. I just enjoy whatever I am watching.

  5. I don't actually have a list...but there are some very dear to my heart...and I tend to pick up new favorites from time to time while watching...


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