You may recall that Niamhy (HAPPY 14TH BIRTHDAY IRISH LEPRECHAUN!) and I are hosting a Bradford Dillman blogathon this weekend. It's gonna be awesome. Niamhy is already creating fake biographies for The Dill Man (official nickname of the festival courtesy of Matthew) and other such crazy randomness that Mr. Dillman oddly inspires in his fans! ;-D
I have some essays to write tonight, BUT TOMORROW. It's gonna be a party. Non-stop.
To kick-off this festival of evil genius I wanted to post some links to Bradford stuff you can watch online. FOR FREE. (I try to go through life only paying for things like locally made tofu and my beloved cherry honey Ricola).
There is actually quite a nice sample of Bradford Dillman television appearances available online. And although it doesn't even BEGIN to cover his EXTREMELY extensive career, the sample of performances available shows a striking range of roles.
Bradford Dillman simply doesn't play the same character more than once. EVER.
I really have to start this out with an evil Bradford role. Those were always his most brilliant. I love the description of Bradford in his IMDb bio, stating that he "possessed charming and confident good looks that were slightly tainted by his bent smile, darting glance and edgy countenance that often provoked suspicion." (All this essay writing lately has gotten to me. I almost just put parenthetical documentation after that quote. ;-D)
It's that evil smile.
First up we have a really well-done episode of Alfred Hitchcock Hour: "Isabel":
Bradford starts out basically unevil, but that doesn't last long. AND FOR A SHORT TIME HE DONS A COMPLETELY FRIGHTENING MUSTACHE. You should watch it. I showed it to Kate, Sarah, and Casey in December. Best. Movie. Chat. Ever. (Well, *I* think so. Mostly Kate said nothing and Casey tried to create order out of Sarah and I's fan-girl outbursts. We're cool.)
Also, check out this episode of Alfred Hitchcock Hour. It doesn't have an evil Bradford (he's actually quite the upstanding citizen), but it does have a truly evil small child. (THIS IS CLASSIC.)
Here is a completely different Mr. Dillman. He plays a disillusioned, drunk ex-preacher who becomes inspired by The Kid (I could not MAKE UP PLOTS LIKE THIS):
Bradford Dillman in Mary Tyler Moore Show. See, he does comedy just as brilliant as crushing drama. He's perfect.
Night Gallery + The Dillman = Serious Coolness....and the most frightening hairstyle I have ever seen.
I mean, REALLY?!
Now, generally-- ALWAYS-- I am not a fan of Big Valley (except for The Stanwyck who is ALWAYS brilliant), but this is BRILLIANT. Bradford Dillman as this random, wandering, Shakespeare quoting loner-- WHO may be responsible for the death of dozens of men. BRILLIANT.
Bradford's very first film role:
Technically speaking, I wouldn't recommend A Certain Smile. Rossano Brazzi is insufferably jerky (temporarily stealing his nephew's fiance?! REALLY ROSSANO?!) and Christine Carere (who I ADORE) comes off very annoying. And it has Joan Fontaine (she comes out as the most sympathetic of the three, which is craziness). But, of course it also has Bradford Dillman being completely cool. And apparently doing his own stunts by driving around on a motorcycle with Christine (in his autobiography he recounts almost killing both of them on that thing....).
There's even more Bradford online! Check here to see a list with links! I can't stand The Incredible Hulk, but with Bradford as a Most Dangerous Game type-hunter... I HAD TO SEE IT. Also: if you're in the mood for Bradford Dillman as a Russian (or SOMETHING like that) crown prince visiting San Fransisco who learns how to dance or something like that....definitely check out Ironside. (No, really, do it. I COULDN'T MAKE SOMETHING LIKE THAT UP.)
Hmm, I think this should be enough to get you started on your very own Bradford Dillman obsession; even though it doesn't include his awesome performances in Compulsion, and Circle of Deception, and The Wild Wild West (creeper mustache + gold-tipped cane that he uses to bash people's heads in. Yes.).
Coming later this weekend: an in-depth discussion about his brilliantly evil smile (I am not even joking.), perhaps a video tribute, AND a semi-review of a Bradford film that's gonna be a first-time viewing for me: Francis of Assisi. THAT'S RIGHT. Bradford Dillman playing a saint (I COULDN'T MAKE THIS UP!)
Get to work obsessing over Bradford Dillman, my dear followers!
Also: if you've got something you want to post about The Dill Man send it my way (or send me a link to the post on your blog)!