A Starr is Reborn: Ringo Starr, Thespian

Posted by Charles Reece, September 6, 2009 08:30pm | Post a Comment
Not content with merely playing himself in Hard Day's Night (1964) and Help! (1965), Ringo Starr began to develop his acting chops over the next decade and a half, culminating in his masterpiece, Caveman. As a drummer, he was used to being in the background supporting others, and his acting style was such that he always made everyone else seem a little better. He was a chameleon, the rock and roll Peter Sellers. So here's a look back at some of his finest moments during those cinematic years.

Candy (1968)

As the Mexican gardener Emmanuel, Ringo goes toe-to-toe with Richard Burton in Terry Southern and Buck Henry's free love revision of Voltaire's Candide (based on Mason Hoffenberg's novel)

Magic Christian (1969)

Ringo's second Southern collaboration, an adaptation of the latter's novel of the same name. In this scene, Ringo can be seen with Sellers and a young John Cleese.

200 Motels (1971)

Ringo as Frank Zappa's Napoleonic homuculus, Larry the Dwarf.

Born to Boogie (1972)

His heart of darkness: Ringo in a Coppolan struggle.

That'll Be The Day (1973)

Ringo uses The Method: just look at those sideburns and the way he walks with his hands in his pockets.

Son of Dracula (1974)

Harry Nilsson as the Count with a Little Mermaid complex and Ringo as Merlin in a rock and roll horror musical that predates The Rocky Horror Picture Show by a year.

Lisztomania (1975)

Maybe John Lennon was bigger than Jesus, but Ringo was happy being the Pope.

Caveman (1981)

Ringo as the missing link between folk music and the avant-garde! This reminds me of that old R&B song that begins with something like "first there was the rock, then someone invented the wheel, and things began to roll." Of course the first musician was a drummer. It took the avant-garde to return percussion to its proper place in Western music, against a millennia-old aristocratic dogma.

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Beatles (103), Beatles 2009 (15), Ringo Starr (14), Trailer Criticism (8)