After hearing the news of Richard Attenborough's death yesterday I decided to watch two of his films. I actually only own two films he appears in, namely the first two Jurassic Park films. They are both films that I have seen many times, but when I sat down to watch "Jurassic Park" this evening I paid special attention to his performance. There are small details that I never noticed before, details that probably hardly anyone has noticed, but they make a strong effect on the performance. For instance, when he talks about his flea circus on the streets of London his bottom lip is quivering. How does he do it? I can't make my lip quiver like that. It perfectly expresses the emotion that his character, John Hammond, is feeling at that point in the film.
Richard Attenborough was a magnificent actor. It's even more amazing if you remember what point this was in his career. He appeared in almost 60 films from 1942 to 1979. Then he took a break from acting for 14 years to concentrate on working as a director. "Jurassic Park" was the first film he made when he returned to acting at the age of 69, and he wasn't at all rusty. He still had the old magic. He wasn't the main character; in fact, he's in sixth place as far as the minutes of screen time go, but his performance makes the film. He was a giant of cinema who will never be forgotten. Rest in peace.
August 29, 1923 – August 24, 2014