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David Poland

By David Poland

Down The Corridor With Roy

For me, All That Jazz is one of the seminal movies of life.
And for Roy Scheider, it was, as much as Jaws and Marathon Man, his quintessential role. Scheider was a minimalist in front of the camera… so much so that it sometimes seemed like he wasn’t working at all.
Schlesinger and Friedkin and others seemed to know this, using him as close-to-the-vest characters, often with some secret waiting to emerge. He was the perfect center to Spielberg

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14 Responses to “Down The Corridor With Roy”

  1. THX5334 says:

    Great piece on Scheider Dave.
    He was one of my favorite actors ever, and I am genuinely saddened today at his passing.

  2. mutinyco says:

    “But he had that great decade and in it, stamped himself on the history of cinema

  3. David Poland says:

    Fosse only made the 5 films… but his 40 year long career was legendary from the early days. Measuring just the 15 years as a director would be rather diminishing, Mutiny.
    And 2 of those 5 films are masterpieces, 2 are excellent, and one is just okay, held back mostly by being too derivative of the stage legend he had created.
    The loss of Fosse at 60 is massive.

  4. Josh Massey says:

    I have watched this clip 10 times since last night. It seems so fitting today.

  5. teambanzai says:

    I’ve never been able to figure out exactly why I love All That Jazz but I think what you stated comes as close as I’ll ever get. Scheider was a big part of it of course, that and only Fosey would have the balls at that point to film his own autobiography. What ever the reason I can’t not watch it when it’s on.
    Scheider definately never suffered from Michael Caine’s need to never say no to a film which is why he’s memorable in pretty much every film he did. He as always believeable and brought that “every man” quality to his work. He will be missed.

  6. mutinyco says:

    I’m not trying to diminish Fosse’s career overall. Just trying to highlight his directing career, which I think is often overlooked in relation to his stage work.
    I’d say he made 3 masterpieces in the ’70s. All 3 were Oscar nominated, and he beat Coppola for best director in ’72. I just never really hear him mentioned along with Altman, Scorsese, Spielberg, etc. as one of the great ’70s directors. Which he was.

  7. Noah says:

    Fosse is great. Lenny is a terrific movie, often forgotten. And Star 80 deserves credit for becoming such a cultural touchstone, entering the lexicon and telling a story that was remarkably prescient.
    Roy Scheider was quite an underrated actor, providing wonderful support in French Connection and Marathon in addition to the most difficult role in Jaws. He couldn’t rely on any overt character tics and he was a symbol of strength and resolve. And I admire much of his work in later years in everything from 2010 to the smarmy head of the insurance company in the Rainmaker. Great tribute, DP.

  8. hendhogan says:

    my co-worked here in the office just last week asked “what ever happened to roy scheider?”
    so, i blame her.

  9. Hopscotch says:

    In William Goldman’s novel “Adventures in the Screen Trade” (I assume most people reading this blog are familiar with it) there’s a passage about Marathon Man, which Goldman wrote, that goes into detail about Hoffman’s antics on the set. Goldman comments that Roy Schedier was a very patient, professional gentleman through the whole process.
    I also would point out Scheider’s brief appearance in Coppola’s The Rainmaker as a rare good showing in his later years. Not a great movie, but I always liked it. And I thought Scheider did a good job as the emotionally disconnected CEO.

  10. IOIOIOI says:

    Here’s to the man who starred in one of the grandest action films of all-time. Jaws? Nah. BLUE THUNDER! May Roy be doing 360s in a helicopter with Fosse in the great beyond. Huzzah.

  11. Geoff says:

    I’m sure a lot of folks on this blog will work hard to find the hidden gem that they thought Scheider was best in. Jaws and All That Jazz are obvious choices, but you cannot fault them. The guy was very natural, just a comfort to watch.
    My personal pick, beyond the obvious ones, would be The Russia House. What a charming, underrated movie. I know it a put a lot of people to sleep and I think what really hurt it was coming in the same year as Red October with Sean Connery starring – there were just probalby unfair expectations placed on the movie.
    But Scheider was just a kick to watch as the ultra-cynical CIA officer trying to get the goods on Connery’s character. Watching him in those scenes with Connery, James Fox, John Mahoney, etc. – it was really an All Star game of character actors and he just held his own.
    Sure, Blue Thunder and 2010 were pure paycheck movies, but he really delivered strong performances in both of those movies, too.
    Roy will be missed – as much an icon of the ’70’s and ’80’s as even Stallone or Eastwood.

  12. Geoff says:

    Now that I think of it, 2010 really does get a bum rap. It did not have the majesty of its predecessor and the ending was beyond cheesy. And it’s obvious that Hyams is not the director that Kubrick was. (Gotta give Hyams credit for taking it on, though, jeez, how thankless to follow in Kubrick’s footsteps. Reminds me of the rumors of when Stallone was planning on directing Godfather III back in the ’80s.) But…..
    It had a stellar cast – Scheider, Helen Mirren, John Lithgow, Bob Balaband – and they all did a nice job, together. His scenes with Lithgow and Balaban were really strong.
    I am really finding myself in the mood to watch one of his movies, now.

  13. jeffmcm says:

    I’ll agree with that – compared to 2001, 2010 is a piffle, but that’s a pretty unfortunate level to try to live up to. By the standards of other 80s sci-fi it’s pretty damn good, and inspiring too.
    That spacewalk scene with Lithgow hyperventilating is better than anything in Sunshine, I’d say.

  14. Much like Dave, I had a connection to Scheider through All That Jazz. I liked him in stuff like Klute, Jaws and The Russia House, but Jazz is my favourite film of all time so it’s sad to see him go. He shoulda won the Oscar along with the film, but instead they gave it Dustin Hoffman and his daytime tv movie Kramer Vs ZZZzzz.
    Josh Massey, I thought of the exact same sequence when I heard about his death too. I guess he’s comparing notes with Fosse to the sound of “There’s No Business Like Show Business” now.

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