He Did It!

         I was pleased to see Denholm Elliott (Krogstad) in the 1973 film version of Henrik Ibsen's 1879 A Doll's House, directed by Patrick Garland. When I first saw his name, I immediately assumed he would play Dr. Rank, who was instead depicted by Ralph Richardson. I was shocked to find that he was actually going to be Krogstad. My first reaction was that he could not possibly do it. It just would not work.

         I have only seen Elliott in three other movies. He was in the first and the last of Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones movies, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). He played Marcus Brody, a very mild mannered friend and co-worker of Jones. He was a timid sort of fellow that seemed incapable of real anger. He just takes what life throws at him. The other movie was the 1983 movie Trading Places, directed by John Landis. He plays Coleman the butler, and once again he is a timid sort of guy. He is still taking whatever is thrown at him only fighting back with the encouragement of his two employers.

         Now I had to believe that Elliott could play Krogstad, a completely different kind of person. Krogstad was a very angry and desperate man. He was the kind of man that did not care who he hurt in his desperation. I waited for, and I watched in amazement at how he was able to make it clear to Nora Helmer (Claire Bloom) that she must help him or face the consequences. His anger and desperation were very real to me. He came on strong and made it clear that Nora must do what he said. He was clearly someone to be reckoned with.

         I would be very interested to see what other parts this man has played. I am doubly saddened at his loss to the acting world. He really had more ability than I ever imagined. I will definitely be checking into other movies he was in and hope to have a chance to see him again.

Deborah Black

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