Lawrence Tierney. A late goodbye to a forgotten legend. - FLIXIST

I'm Lyle, I'm a 18 yr old college student from Birmingham, hoping to study Journalism in the near future. I LOVE movies from all genres and generations, I also love to write and I have a passion for boxing.

From Bogart and Cagney to Pacino and DeNiro. A lot of great gangster tough-guys have come and gone over the years.

However none were as realistically convincing, and menacingly similar in life; to the cut-throats, mobsters and rough necks he immortalised on screen, as Lawrence Tierney.

Cagney and Pacino, like many others, were 9-5 tough guys on set, but Tierney (maybe in a hyper-dedicated form of method acting?) stayed in character 24/7. Whether it was breaking the jaw of a mouthy college student in a bar or dialling 9-1-1 and upon their arrival then attacking the police officers. He was a Hollywood Hellraiser; a breed similar to Mitchum, McQueen and Marvin. A distant cousin of his across-the-pound counterparts; Burton, Harris, O'Toole and Reed.

Tierney himself said "I must have thrown half a dozen careers away." Maybe more so - with the life he lead - a life literally torn apart by booze and self-destructive relationships.

But if you dig through the controversy... The alley fights, the bar brawls and the run-ins with lawmen and directors alike (once attempting to punch Quentin Tarantino on set of Reservoir Dogs), what you find is a very handsome, talented and convincing actor, who all but defined film noir, better than anyone before or since; and is much more deserving than the title of 'the most feared actor in Hollywood history.'

Lawrence Tierney...
A man made for stardom, who couldn't quite handle it when he got there.


For great Tierney films, check out:

(1947) The Devil Thumbs A Ride

(1951) The Hoodlum

(1945) Dillinger (who portrays bank robber John Dillinger far more convincingly than J.Depp)

(1948) Bodyguard

Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*]   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.

Back to Top

Advertising on Flixist is available: Please contact them to learn more