RadioBDC Logo
Pumpin Blood | NONONO Listen Live
 
 
< Back to front page Text size +

Postscript to G.D. Spradlin, 1920-2011

Posted by Mark Feeney  July 26, 2011 09:00 PM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

ola3.jpgIn the previous post, I argued that G.D. Spradlin -- well, just a moment. I neglected to point out the sheer coolness of the man's name. Those four syllables are like a bit of Gerard Manley Hopkins' sprung rhythm  turning up in a credits sequence.

Anyway, I argued that Spradlin had a small but very secure place in movie history, thanks largely to his supporting roles in "The Godfather: Part II" and "Apocalypse Now." All right, fine, you might say. But doesn't the fact that those are both great, great movies (yes, the repetition is justified) contribute more to Spradlin's status than anything about his performance, per se? Well, sure, it never hurts to be in a masterpiece. It's like real estate: location, location, location. But that will take an actor only so far.

Consider, for example, the gentleman pictured above, also in the second "Godfather" picture. He's playing a character named Johnny Ola, an associate of Hyman Roth's, and a not-insignificant figure in the movie. The actor in the role gave a fine performance, right down to having one of the more memorable deaths in a film (and film series) full of them. See below. Yet being in "The Godfather: Part II" hasn't earned him a place in movie history -- any more than did his (admittedly much less prominent) presence, as one of the Watergate burglars, in another fine, if lesser film, "All the President's Men."

Happily, the actor (whose identity is revealed after the jump) now has a place in television history.

index.jpg


That's right,Dominic Chianese -- better known as Uncle Junior, on "The Sopranos" -- played Johnny Ola. He's the missing link between the series and the "Godfather" pictures.Now if only Chianese had been in "Goodfellas," he'd have hit the trifecta.

dominic-chianese1.jpg

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

 

About Movie Nation

Movie news, reviews, and more.

Contributors

Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

Mark Feeney is an arts writer for The Boston Globe.

Janice Page is movies editor for The Boston Globe.

Tom Russo is a regular correspondent for the Movies section and writes a weekly column on DVD releases.

Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.

Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.

Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer for Boston.com.

Video: Movie reviews

Take 2 Movie Reviews
Take 2 reviews and podcast
Look for new reviews by Ty Burr and Wesley Morris at the end of each week in multiple formats.
  • AUDIO PODCAST:
  • VIDEO PODCAST:
archives

Browse this blog

by category