R.I.P. Cliff Robertson 1923-2011

Cliff Robertson is perhaps best remembered by the youngsters for his definitive portrayal of Uncle Ben in the recent Spider-Man trilogy (a momentary digression – does anyone else feel that it is pointless to reboot this franchise?). Unfortunately instant Netflix does not have these movies available nor that of my favorite role of his, the titular Charly (based on Flowers for Algernon).

Instant Netflix does have a good smattering of his films from his 60s and 70s heyday:

The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid (1972) with Robertson in the lead as Cole Younger opposite Robert Duvall as Jesse James.

The World War II star-studded sensurround spectacle Midway (1976) with Robertson as Commander Carl Jessop.

The Honeypot (1967) – “As an elaborate practical joke, eccentric millionaire Cecil Fox (Rex Harrison) pretends to be gravely ill and beckons his three former mistresses to his deathbed, but his delightfully devious scheme goes horribly awry when one of the lovely ladies is murdered. This twisty crime comedy co-stars Susan Hayward as a Texas hypochondriac, Edie Adams as a fading starlet and Capucine as a distinguished princess.”

Masquerade (1965) – “On a covert mission to kidnap the young heir (Christopher Witty) to an oil-rich nation’s throne, cunning Col. Drexel (Jack Hawkins) secretly double crosses his British superiors, frames his good friend, Frazer (Cliff Robertson), and attempts to personally pocket a hefty ransom for the princes return. Based on a novel by Victor Canning, this witty spy parody also stars Marisa Mell as a tempting seductress.”

633 Squadron (1964) – “In this classic war actioner based on a true story, Cliff Robertson plays Roy Grant, a combat-weary pilot whose R.A.F. squadron is ordered to destroy a Nazi rocket fuel plant tucked deep inside a Norwegian fjord. The bomb run is a logistical nightmare because the planes must run a gauntlet of anti-aircraft batteries before reaching their target. The scenario and characters were drawn from a novel by Frederick E. Smith.”

My Six Loves (1963) – “Burned out from her tough schedule, Broadway luminary Janice Courtney (Debbie Reynolds) goes to her Connecticut country home for a few weeks of rest. But when she arrives, the diva discovers six abandoned kids have been living on her property. Local pastor Jim Larkin (Cliff Robertson) helps her deal with her unexpected guests, and soon Janice begins forming a bond with both the children and the compassionate pastor.”

Instant Netflix also has two fairly awful later movies. They are perhaps best left off of Robertsons resume (or you can look at them as terrible with Robertson being the saving grace).

Assignment Berlin (1998) – “After narrowly escaping a near-death experience in the States, police officer Tracy Garret (Sammi Davis) accepts an invitation from her father (Cliff Robertson) to visit him in Berlin, where she is dragged unwillingly into another potentially deadly drama. It seems that her father had a few well-kept secrets … and now someone wants to bring them to light. Oscar nominee Paul Winfield (Sounder) co-stars.”

Mach 2 (2001) – “Presidential candidate Stuart Davis is given a computer disc just before his flight takes off and later finds the disc reveals evidence of his opponent Pike’s corrupt ways. Pike learns Davis has the disc and is determined to cause his plane to crash.”