Ernest Borgnine passed away Sunday at the age of 95. While that is a great age to live to, I thought I would take a moment to mourn his passing. While best known for his eponymous role on McHale’s Navy (or, for you young whippersnappers, the voice of Mermaid Man on Spongebob Squarepants), Borgnine has a vast filmography.
My favorite roles of his were Dutch in The Wild Bunch (1969), Ragnar in The Vikings (1958), Marty in Marty (1955) and the Sergeant in From Here to Eternity (1953). Sadly none of these are currently available on instant Netflix. There are a lot of Borgnine films available instantly but definitely not his best.
Run for Cover (1955) – Not rated
“Imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, Matt Dow (James Cagney) wins a pardon, but it’s not long before trouble finds him again. A local sheriff mistakes Dow and his young friend, Davey Bishop (John Derek), for outlaws, and shoots Bishop. Things begin to look up when Dow is appointed the new sheriff and strikes up a romance with Bishop’s caretaker (Viveca Lindfors). But Bishop’s troubled past threatens to drive the two men apart.”
Season of Passion (1959) – Not rated
“Ray Lawler’s hit play inspired this poignant drama about the need to accept middle age despite the longing for youthful passion. The ensemble cast includes Ernest Borgnine and John Mills as Roo and Barney, who get a dose of reality during a holiday. Roo and his longtime girlfriend, Olive (Anne Baxter), cope with changes in their relationship while Barney tries to adjust to new paramour Pearl (Angela Lansbury) after his girl marries another man.”
Bunny O’Hare (1971) – Not rated
“Bette Davis handles the title role in this highly offbeat crime comedy about two aging hippies who elect to rob a bank to restore Bunny O’Hare’s financial affairs after she’s been unjustly evicted and rendered homeless. When that heist ends up paying off, rather than take off for the border, Bunny opts for a life of crime with her new partner, Bill Green, played by fellow Oscar-winner Ernest Borgnine.”