March 27, 2002
1:01 PM   Subscribe

I was watching Charlie Rose this afternoon and to my delight, he was interviewing my old favorite James Garner. Since I was young, I've considered Mr. garner to be the walking epitome of cool. He's been Bret Maverick(twice!), Jim Rockford even God . I always conside Burt Reynolds to be an pale imitation of Garner. Don't tell me I'm the only Garnerite in MeFi land.
posted by jonmc (28 comments total)
Must be a slow news day......
posted by SweetJesus at 1:06 PM on March 27, 2002

Nope, I'm also a Garnerite (or would that be phile?). He was amusing in the otherwise terrible "Space Cowboys"as well.
posted by GriffX at 1:09 PM on March 27, 2002

posted by dogmatic at 1:14 PM on March 27, 2002

The first thing my father taught me how to do during my maiden driving lesson was how to do a James Garner handbrake turn in reverse gear, albeit in a Subaru Brat instead of a Pontiac Firebird.
posted by machaus at 1:24 PM on March 27, 2002

dogmatic, maybe you should take a nap, you sound sleepy.

James Garner rocks my socks. His performance in Maverick (the movie) is so fun to watch because of his grace and comfort in the role.
posted by o2b at 1:29 PM on March 27, 2002

For some reason, maybe just the concept and his gritty sincere acting, there's a soft spot in my heart for the generally ridiculous but somehow vaguely compelling movie Tank.
posted by bingo at 1:44 PM on March 27, 2002

The Rockford Files was always the perfect foil to SoCal culture. Having grown up there, I loved watching this show poke fun at this environment.
posted by Danf at 1:55 PM on March 27, 2002

I saw the Charlie Rose interview, too. It's sad how ancient the man looks when you remember how he was in The Great Escape. But I guess none of us are getting any younger, eh?
posted by crunchland at 2:17 PM on March 27, 2002

If you like James Garner, you'll love him in Barbarians at the Gate, the 1993 HBO movie about the RJR/Nabisco buyout. "What I really like about a woman is her mind...does she mind if I do this? Does she mind if I do that?" It's an interesting and funny movie with a great cast, and James Ganer's fantastic in it.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:20 PM on March 27, 2002

Garner was pretty slick in his day..ever see this one?
Boys Night Out
posted by tetsuo at 3:17 PM on March 27, 2002

Hey, don't dis Burt Reynolds! He's his own man. Or something.
{looks embarassed about strange and persistant Burt Reynolds "interest"}
posted by kittyloop at 3:21 PM on March 27, 2002

For some reason, Garner has always appealed to me. When I was a kid, the local independent station did a "James Garner" week every year.

I may be the only person on this planet with Support Your Local Sherrif and Support Your Local Gunfigher on DVD.
posted by obfusciatrist at 4:17 PM on March 27, 2002

Like Machaus, in my hometown, teenage boys bragged about doing a better "Rockford turn" than the others: Speed up in reverse, then yank the handbrake, whip the car around 180 degrees, and throw it in gear and stomp on the accelerator, continuing in the same direction without stopping.

Yet another reason why boys should be kept in labor camps from age 15 to 24.
posted by planetkyoto at 4:17 PM on March 27, 2002

hey, kitty, I like Burt, too. I just like Jimmy Garner better.
Hell, Smokey and the Bandit was one of the conerstones of my childhood.


Let's do something cheap and superficial/Let's do something that we'll both regret...
posted by jonmc at 6:06 PM on March 27, 2002

and don't forget grand prix, the genesis of those great car techniques in 'the rockford files' ...
posted by crazyhorse at 7:11 PM on March 27, 2002

I like how they draw God like Santa Clause, how comforting psychologically.
posted by banished at 7:36 PM on March 27, 2002

I like how they draw God like Santa Clause, how psychologically comforting.
posted by banished at 7:36 PM on March 27, 2002

The funny thing about "The Rockford Files" (which when it was new I frequently misread as "The Rockford Flies") was how often things went badly for our hero. He'd do these great car stunts, but he'd wind up with one tire wobbling like it was about to fall off. That never happened on "Starsky and Hutch." Also, he frequently got beat up, which didn't happen much to the guy on "Vega$."

If James Garner is in a movie, you can be pretty sure it won't be all bad.

PS, GriffX, "Space Cowboys" was a lot of fun, except for the maudlin love story involving Tommy Lee Jones.
posted by diddlegnome at 7:56 PM on March 27, 2002

"You think Rockford Files is cool/But there are some things that you would change if it were up to you..."---Ben Folds("The Battle of Who Could Care Less").

Seemed appropriate
posted by jonmc at 8:03 PM on March 27, 2002

Longtime Garner admirer myself...everybody probably knows this, but he was Jim Bumgarner until he took up acting. Rockford, which I watched during its entire run (and sample on TV Land occasionally) was basically the same character he played in a movie from about 1968 called "Marlowe," with Bruce Lee in a minor role. Oldie but goody.
posted by StOne at 9:14 PM on March 27, 2002

I can't believe no one's mentioned "The Great Escape." Garner managed to exude cool even in the presence of Steve McQueen, even while wearing a white turtleneck. Now that's impressive.
posted by Ty Webb at 9:19 PM on March 27, 2002

If a chick can weigh in with a decidedly feminine perspective, Garner was the original rebel in Maverick, rocked in Rockford, compelled in Tank, smoked in Barbarians and was completely out of this world in Space Cowboys, but personally, I give him much credit for two stand-out romantic roles: King Marchand and Murphy Jones. Proof of a well-rounded actor: ability to kick ass and melt hearts with equal believability.
posted by Dreama at 10:23 PM on March 27, 2002

His Jim Rockford character is an exception to what I call The Danza Rule, which is that actors who play characters with the same names as themselves are too stupid to respond to a different name. (Kind of like Homer Simpson on the Cape Fear-parody episide of The Simpsons.) I've already had to amend the rule thanks to Oliver Platt playing a character named Oliver on The West Wing; it's possible he's arrogant, but I don't think he's stupid. But James Garner is cool and smart, so maybe I should just toss the rule out all together.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:26 PM on March 27, 2002

when I lived in Canada as a kid, mom was always watching Maverick. I used to love it.
posted by Frasermoo at 1:06 AM on March 28, 2002

kirkaracha: What about all the Jacks played by Jack Nicholson (e.g. in Batman, The Shining, and Prizzi's Honor).
posted by bingo at 2:28 AM on March 28, 2002

can't believe no one's mentioned "The Great Escape."

posted by crunchland at 4:18 AM on March 28, 2002

What about all the Jacks played by Jack Nicholson

I'm pretty sure he gets his own rules.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:04 AM on March 28, 2002

Dreama forces me to admit I liked Murphy's Romance myself--not my usual sort of film fare, but it worked for me, if only because of Garner.

My favorite line from that film was when Garner says to Sally Fields' ex, "You can just say we had a pissing contest, and you won." Adopting this attitude helps me stay out of flamefests.
posted by StOne at 9:26 AM on March 28, 2002

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