He died at 91
Dang! First I’ve heard of this.
He had a long and varied career, with incredible highs and lows.
He may have hated his role as Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Mucous (his version of the title), but he still went on to play the Emperor of the Galaxy in Starcrash: The Adventures of Stella Starr
So long general Chang :’(, enjoy Sto’Vo’Kor.
I have not watched Star Trek VI in a while, might have to this weekend.
Great Idea!, I think we will too.
“To do a lousy part like von Trapp, you have to use every trick you know to fill the empty carcass of the role. That damn movie follows me around like an albatross.” - Plummer
My family moved to L.A. when I was a kid, and my parents enjoyed spotting Hollywood celebs. Once, walking down a shady street in Beverly Hills, we saw Mr. Plummer coming towards us on the sidewalk. My parents were all set to say hello to him, but as we approached, his resolute eyes-forward “ignore” mode utterly daunted them, and they kept their hello to themselves. It was masterful.
pretty sure Sound of Music was first movie I saw in a theater at age 5. Theater was brand new too.
I remember Plummer best for his portrayal of Cyrano de Bergerac in the 1973 musical Cyrano. He won a Tony for that.
If you look closely on the big screen, you can see that the Nazi flag was scored just a tiny bit at the top to help him tear it.
My favorites roles of his were Sound of Music, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. A very talented actor - he improved practically any movie just by being in it. May he rest in peace.
Agree about Star Trek VI but also recommend you see the 2002 version of Nicholas Nickleby, in which he plays the villain, Ralph Nickleby. More recently, he was in Knives Out.
Gotta throw in a recommendation for his wonderfully over-the-top performance in the Tom Hanks/Dan Aykroyd Dragnet
An edit of some of Plummer’s best scenery-chewing moments from The Undiscovered Country:
As with Wrath of Khan (the original, not the execrable J.J. Abrams ‘remake’), the villain makes the film specifically by being so over the top. Without General Chang’s arrogance and pretension (“You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon,”) combined with the understated menace Plummer brings to the role, it wouldn’t have been half as good.
Meaning no disrespect to Mr. Plummer, I have always found him generally second-rate as a thespian. Yet his pretense of being a distinguished actor is what made him so perfect for Starcrash (1978), lending second-rate “credibility” to a very cheesy (but fun) Italian-made Star Wars knock-off (he also had the best line: “Imperial battle ship: halt the flow of time!”)
Mr. Plummer was okay in Triple Cross (1966), but his character was a prick. He was seriously miscast as Atahuallpa in The Royal Hunt for the Sun (1969), good as Kipling – though without much to do - in The Man Who Would be King (1975), better than average as a psychotic thief in a Santa suit in The Silent Partner (1978) and, I must admit, excellent as General Chang.
Well, that’s a shame. Pretty soon after Diana Rigg, too, which means two of the half-dozen or so most famous actors I’ve ever seen on stage are gone.
I feel somewhat shameful for immediately coming up with this whenever I think of him, as opposed to any of the much better work he did just about any other time in his career.
It was a cheesy, low-budget knock-off, and he was obviously phoning it in for a quick paycheck. And he still gave a better performance than the rest of the cast combined.
Christopher Plummer was paid $10,000 per day.
Christopher Plummer admitted that he did the film so he could visit Italy for free. In an interview, he said “Give me Rome any day. I’ll do porno in Rome, as long as I can get to Rome. Getting to Rome was the greatest thing that happened in that for me.”
Most of Christopher Plummer’s scenes as the Emperor of the Galaxy were shot in a single day.
As a capitalist, I heartily approve.
“Somebody said, ‘Have you ever seen Jaws 4?’ I said, ‘No. But I’ve seen the house it bought for my mum. It’s fantastic!’”
– Sir Michael Caine on Jaws: The Revenge
Do not mistake a bad film for bad acting. Plenty of actors, especially of that generation, were willing to take inferior roles for a superior paycheck, especially if it allowed them to continue doing poorly paid stage acting. Alec Guinness famously derided the “awful, banal lines” of his character in Star Wars, but taking points on the film was by far the best financial decision of his acting career.
He was awesome in Silent Partner and The Return of the Pink Panther. RIP.
That great Shakespearean actor, William Shatner, pays tribute to his friend Christopher Plummer