Fun What if the some of the greats didn't die young?

Discussion in 'Classic Films' started by High Plains Drifter, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. High Plains Drifter

    High Plains Drifter Very Active Member

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    I have a few dumb questions that came to mind today while I was driving.


    What would have happened if James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Buddy Holly, and many others did not die young?
    Would they still be relevant?
    Would they still be living?
    What about their star power?
    Would they still be going strong like Brando did?
     
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  2. Nick91

    Nick91 New Member

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    I think that Marilyn Monroe's career would've declined by the time she reached her 40s. Her success was largely based on her sex appeal, and Hollywood can be quite cruel towards aging actresses. And I don't really see her having enough acting ability to keep up with the competition in the 1970s. The directors of this era (called New Hollywood) were creating films that were far away from the glamorous roles that one associates with MM. However, I could see her doing television work from time to time before retiring from acting altogether in the early 90s.

    Having said that, I don't think that her legacy would've been seriously negatively impacted had she survived to this day. Basically, her career peak cemented her as a Hollywood icon long before her death.

    With James Dean, the question is whether he would have been able to avoid being typecast as a juvenile idol for the second half of the 1950s. If Hollywood is cruel towards aging actresses, it can be even crueler towards child/teen stars wanting to grow up. Often, it's the fault of the audiences, who sense a disconnect between what they expect to see and what the actors themselves want to convey/portray.

    Since James Dean seemed like a modern actor who could be willing to adapt to new cinematic trends, like more realism, and because male actors have a greater chance at a longer duration as movie stars, I could see him doing quite well in the 60s and 70s. Yet, because his legacy is so closely connected to his death at a young age, he would definitely lose the icon status even if successful.

    As for Buddy Holly, the circumstances are a bit different from Monroe & Dean. Since rock music was a novelty genre at the time, there wasn't an abundance of rivaling artists on the market. With him being a pioneer with a large fanbase, all it would take would be for him to just keep doing what he was doing. I have always felt that fans of music artists are more loyal on a long-term basis than fans of film actors. Don't know if it's true or not; however, I can definitely see Buddy's career going on for decades. Well, unless drugs got to him, being a rock star and all. Maybe he would've died in 1981 instead and we'd ask ourselves "what if Buddy Holly hadn't died in 1981 of that drug overdose?"
     
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    #2 Nick91, Mar 8, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
  3. chainsaw_metal1

    chainsaw_metal1 Very Active Member

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    I remember discussing Holly with some friends, and how we figured he would have had a career pretty similar to Johnny Cash. He would have had low level fame, only to have a resurgence in the 90s with a producer like Rick Rubin.

    I couldn't have seen Monroe having as much success later on. As Nick said, some TV spots, but not much else. Dean might have gone on to do more, though. I could have seen him having the career of early Brando, before Brando decided to rape his co-stars.
     
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  4. High Plains Drifter

    High Plains Drifter Very Active Member

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    I would have loved to seen what Chris Farley, John Belushi, or even Sam Kenson would have been like now. Same with Hendrix or even Morrison would be singing if they were still around today.
     
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  5. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Contributor

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    I think that, musically, John Lennon would have fizzled out.

    I think that his musical output would have got weaker and weaker.

    And I think that Yoko would then have finally divorced him and stung him for a fortune.

    Years later, he would have had to swallow his pride and have a reunion with the Beatles, but even that would have been a bit of a damp squib for all of them, not living up to their past glories.

    Hopefully he would have returned to writing whimsical books of humour - or even progressed to some form of novel writing - and achieved a level of acclaim that way - and also hopefully found stability and happiness in his personal life.
     
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  6. Hux

    Hux Very Active Member

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    If James Dean had lived, he'd probably be dead by now.
     
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  7. Gary L

    Gary L New Member

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    I've thought for awhile that James Dean would have evolved into a good director. I imagine him a colleague of Nicholas Ray and Dennis Hopper, and their associates. I also think he would have made some interesting movies, both in front of and behind the camera.
     
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