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格利高里·派克:不朽的美国绅士

2006-07-09 13:46

  The American as Noble Man 高尚的美国人

  When he died Gregory Peck took movie idealism with him

  格利高里·派克逝世了,也带走了电影的理想主义

  译者点评:一个人,过着多个人的生活;分享多个人的身份;在演艺生涯中扮演了不知多少个角色;而谢世后,留下的却只有一个逝去的时代。多事者问:何谓不朽?答曰:灵魂。多事者再问:何谓灵魂?再答曰:对理念的真知,因为理念是永恒的。那么,一如先哲所说的不变的永恒,对于曾经代表了一个时代的派克,他的理念显然是用来换取自由的力量和同情。而正因为他去了,他所代表的力量和同情才成了人们传诵的人之魂。

  The movie studio wanted Rock Hudson to play Atticus Finch. Fate decreed otherwise. Gregory Peck got the role of the smalltown Southern lawyer in the 1962 film version of To Kill a Mockingbird. The hero of Harper Lee's Pulitzer prizewinning novel had been a man much like her father and when the author met the actor on the first day of shooting she noted “Gregory you've got a little potbelly just like my daddy.” The star replied “Harper that's great acting.”

  Actually it was great inhabiting. “You never really understand a person……” Atticus says “until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” Tolerance ripening into empathy that was Peck's gift in playing an elevated species of American the man of strength and compassion. Today that species is more than endangered it has nearly vanished. But it flourished for most of the actor's halfcentury onscreen when Americans prided themselves on their fellow feeling for the downtrodden and their ability to uplift the races. Peck was liberal when liberal was cool.

  From his early days as the most gorgeous man in pictures in Spellbound and Duel in the Sun  to his long prime with a Mount Rushmore visage and the voice of Yahweh on a good day Peck was the sonorous pitchman for movie humanism. He showed how a strong man could also be a gentle man. He counseled ethnic tolerance of Jews in Gentleman's Agreement and blacks in Mockingbird. As a crusading attorney who is also a gentle single dad to his two young kids Peck made rectitude appear robust. That sanctity had staying power this month the American Film Institute chose Atticus Finch as the top hero in U.S. movie history.

  Peck wasn't just an icon. He was an actor a smart one. He picked hit properties in a wide variety of genres romantic comedy Roman Holiday  action The Guns of Nararone  horror The Omen 。 He was bold in taking roles—Ahab General MacArthur—that twisted his nobleman image. He assayed his share of misanthropes including Nazi monster Josef Mengele  and western hombres as craggy as a butte. But Peck will be best remembered as the movies' exemplary father figure who often and surprisingly revealed the pacifism at the heart of heroism.

  Good example Cape Fear with Peck as the head of a family menaced by alltime cunning sicko Robert Mitchum. At the climax Peck trains a gun on the villain. Shoot'im Greg But no. This time the good guy is not going to kill the bad guy the rotter will be tried convicted and imprisoned. A less confident actor might have let this verdict sound like weakness but Peck sells the notion that life in jail is as unpleasant as a bullet in the gut.

  Winners and losers are all too clearly defined in today's movies. Peck's best films always found thoughtful shades of gray. Atticus has taken on the case of a black man accused of raping a white woman—a perilous assignment in an Alabama town in the 1930s. He argues his case brilliantly demolishes the opposition convinces each member of the movie audience…… and loses. But Atticus has shown courage in the fight. As he leaves the courtroom in defeat a black preacher attending the trial whispers a command to Atticus' 6yearold daughter. “Miss Jean Louise stand up” he tells the girl. “Your father's passin'.”

  Later in the film Peck embodies a kind of pacifist resistance. The white woman's racist father sees Peck with some blacks and spits in his face. Peck with ferocious dignity takes out a handkerchief wipes off the insult and walks away—the victor by not fighting back. Good man to lead tough act to follow.

  It's dangerous to confuse an actor with his movie roles. But by all accounts the reel and the real Gregory Peck were close kin. He was a model of probity a loyal friend to colleagues in distress a father confessor to the Hollywood community. He chaired the National Society of This the American Academy of That. He was laden with official honors Lyndon Johnson gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom Richard Nixon put him on his Enemies List. Peck received perhaps his sweetest laurel last week when the reclusive Lee on hearing of his death said “Gregory Peck was a beautiful man. Atticus Finch gave him the opportunity to play himself.”

  But who will play the Gregory Peck hero now that noble is for wimps and the best place to find integrity is in Webster's﹖ The masculine delicacy that Peck represented is gone from films no star has filled his mold. Movie actors don't have the voice or posture or temperament for it. Maybe America can't believe in it.

  To cherish Peck is to admit nostalgia for an era when popular and political culture could champion humanist ideals without smirking. If our time were not so facetious so often corrupt that time—and this man—would not seem so precious.

  America stand up. Gregory Peck has passed on. -


格利高里·派克:不朽的美国绅士

  制片厂打算让罗克·赫德森饰演阿提库斯·芬奇。可冥冥中却偏偏另有安排。格利高里·派克获得了那个角色,在1962年的影片《杀死一只知更鸟》中扮演南方小镇的律师。这是哈珀·李获普利策奖的小说中的主人公,非常像她的父亲;影片开拍的第一天,作者与演员相遇时,她说道:“格利高里,你恰好和我父亲一样有点大腹便便。”那明星回答说,“哈珀,那才是真正的表演。”

  实际上,那是真正的进入角色。阿提库斯说,“在你爬进一个人的皮肤下,在他体内行走之前,你永远不会真正理解一个人……”宽容逐渐成熟而移情于角色之中:派克的才能是扮演一种高素质的美国人——有力量和同情心的人。今天,那个“物种”已不仅仅濒危了;它几乎灭迹了。但在这个演员半个世纪的影艺生涯中的大部分时间里,这个物种都很兴旺。当时的美国人为他们对受压迫者的同情和为自己提高人性素质的能力而自豪。派克是个开明的人,而当时开明是美德。

  派克从早期影片(《爱德华医生》又译《迷魂咒》和《阳光下的决斗》又译《太阳浴血记》)中的帅哥,到漫长的全盛期中他那仿佛在晴空下的拉什莫尔石像的面孔和耶和华般的声音,都表现出他是宣扬电影人文主义的嘹亮歌手。他表明一个健壮的人也可以是一个温柔的人。他提倡种族宽容:在《君子协定》中宽容犹太人,在《杀死一只知更鸟》中宽容黑人。作为进行圣战的律师和两个年幼孩子的单身好父亲,派克使正义坚不可摧。神圣的正义是长存的:本月,美国电影学院选出阿提库斯·芬奇为美国电影史上的头号主人公。

  派克不仅仅是一个偶像。他是一个演员,一个聪明的演员。他在范围广泛的样式中选择了最受欢迎的那些:浪漫喜剧(《罗马假日》),动作片(《六壮士》又译《纳瓦隆大炮》),恐怖片(《凶兆》又译《预兆》)。他大胆扮演了扭曲了他的高尚形象的角色——亚哈、麦克阿瑟将军。他尝试过厌恶人类者 (包括纳粹恶魔约瑟夫·门格勒)和像孤峰一样粗野的西部汉子等角色。但人们最清楚地记得的派克还是影片中典型的长者形象。他们常常出人意料地揭示了作为英雄主义核心的和平主义。

  《恐怖角》又译《海角惊魂》就是很好的一个例子。剧中,派克是一家之长,全家人受到老谋深算、道德败坏的罗伯特·米彻姆的威胁。在影片的高潮,派克把枪口对准了这个恶棍。开枪打死他,格雷格!但他没有开枪。这一次好人不打算杀死坏人;坏人要被审判、定罪和监禁。缺乏自信心的演员也许会让这个决定听起来懦弱无力,但派克宣扬的是这样一个观点,即身陷囹圄与遭枪子儿一样是令人不愉快的事。

  今天的影片中胜败泾渭分明。在派克的最佳影片中总能看到发人深省的灰色影子。阿提库斯接手了一桩黑人男子被控强奸白人女子的案子——这在20世纪30年代的亚拉巴马小镇乃是一项要命的差事。他辩护精彩,驳倒了对方,令影片的每一个观众心服口服……可他败诉了。但阿提库斯在战斗中表现出了勇气。当他败诉而离开法庭时,参加审判会的一个黑人牧师悄声对阿提库斯的6岁女儿说:“琼·路易丝小姐,起立。你父亲正从这里走过。”

  后来,派克在影片中象征一种和平的抵制。受害的白人妇女的父亲是种族主义者,看到派克与几个黑人在一起,就朝他脸上吐唾沫。派克以愤怒的尊严拿出一块手帕,擦掉了唾沫,走开了——不用反击就打赢了战斗的胜利者。君子之道为先;粗俗之举居后。

  把演员与其影片中的角色混为一谈是危险的。但人们说银幕上的格利高里·派克和现实中的格利高里·派克十分相近。他是正直的表率,患难中的真交,好莱坞社区的告解神甫。他不是这个全国什么什么协会的会长,就是那个美国什么什么学院的主席。他被官方荣誉压得喘不过气来:林登·约翰逊授予他总统自由奖章;理查德·尼克松把他列在了敌对者名单上。上周,隐居的李听到他的死讯时说,“格利高里·派克是个帅男子。阿提库斯·芬奇给了他扮演自己的机会。”这也许是派克获得的最甜蜜的桂冠。

  但是,既然高尚已经用在了懦弱之人的身上,寻找操守的最佳地方只有在韦氏词典里,那么,谁又将扮演格利高里·派克式的主人公呢?派克代表的男性典雅已经从电影中消失了;任何明星都无法胜任他的那种类型。电影演员不具备他那种声音、仪态和气质。也许美国不可能相信这种类型。

  珍惜派克就等于承认怀恋一个时代,那时,大众文化和政治文化能够真诚地倡导人文主义理想。如果我们的时代不是如此荒唐,如此经常地堕落的话,那个时代——以及这个人——就不会显得那么宝贵了。

  美国,肃然起立吧!格利高里·派克已经逝世。

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