Richard Kind Takes On The Rod Steiger Role

Categories: Theater

Richard Kind is the familiar and likeable actor known for Mad About You, Spin City, and many theater roles.

At the screening of the documentary One-Night Stand: Creating A Broadway Musical In A Day last week, Richard told the crowd he's coming to Broadway in April in the revival of Clifford Odets' inside-Hollywood drama The Big Knife.

Afterwards, I told Richard I like the 1955 movie version, with Jack Palance and Shelley Winters.

"Really?" he said, scrunching his face.

"In a sort of overblown way," I stammered.

He didn't seem to quite agree.

He reminded me that as the tyrannical movie mogul, Rod Steiger screams and vents his way through the whole movie in a rather ridiculous manner. What's more, he noted, Steiger wears a hearing aid in the film, for no ostensible reason.

"But I realized," added Kind, "that it was probably an actor's choice because otherwise, you'd wonder, 'Why is he screaming so much?' This way it's because he's obviously hard of hearing!"

"He should have worn that in all his movies," I cracked, and Kind kindly laughed.

By the way, Kind is playing the Steiger role.

Without accessories.

Rod is big and loud and loud in The Big Knife

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"The Big Knife" was a low-budget, over-the-top movie, but if I'm in the mood, I like movies that dare to be deranged.

And what a cast! Palance, Steiger, Winters, Ida Lupino, Jean Hagen, Everett Sloane and Ilka Chase, carrying on like crazy. And it isn't just acted that way, Odets wrote it that way.

As "Aunt Pauline Kael" put it:

"Everything in it is  is garish and overdone. It's paced too fast and pitched too high. Immorality is attacked with almost obscene relish. The knife turns into a buzzsaw ..."

In some circles  that's a rave, baby!


I like that movie too! Looking forward to the revival.