brucekluger.com

    The Los Angeles Times, April 26, 2002

    Commentary
    Robert Blake: A Good Guy/Bad Guy Awaits
    the Role of a Lifetime

    By Bruce Kluger and David Slavin


    As docket watchers wait breathlessly for the Robert Blake murder trial to begin,
    handicappers Bruce Kluger and David Slavin, who write satire for National Public
    Radio and Salon.com, began looking to the veteran actor's resume for clues to his
    innocence...or guilt.


MOVIE/TV SHOW
ROLE
GOOD GUY
OR BAD GUY?
Our Gang comedies
(1933-44)
Street urchin, Mickey—
whiny, but cute.  
Good
Red Ryder series
(1944-47)
Little Beaver, Indian
sidekick of hero cowboy
Good
The Treasure of the
Sierra Madre
(1948)
Mexican boy who sells
Bogart a lottery ticket
Depends on how you
feel about the lottery.
In this case, good.
Rumble on the Docks
(1956)
Street gang member
Bad
Revolt in the Big
House
(1958)
Convict
He’s an inmate—but a
nice inmate. Flip a coin.
Pork Chop Hill (1959)
Private Velie
He fights for his
country—how bad can
he be?
The Purple Gang
(1960)
Sociopathic teen
hoodlum
Almost as bad as the
movie.
PT 109 (1963)
Kennedy boat-mate,
Charles “Bucky” Harris
Hey, the guy hung out
with JFK. Good.
In Cold Blood (1967)
Merciless killer Perry
Smith
Bad. Really bad. Like,
it doesn’t get much
badder than this.
Tell Them Willie Boy Is
Here
(1969)
Native American on the
lam for killing girlfriend's
father
Good. (It was self-
defense. Honest.)
Electra Glide in Blue
(1973)
Arizona motorcycle cop
Good. Think CHiPs.
Baretta (TV Series;
1975-78)
Detective Tony Baretta
Good. Cuddly, even.
Just ask the bird.
Blood Feud (TV movie;
1983)
Jimmy Hoffa
Hoffa? You make the
call.
Hell Town (TV Series;
1985)
Ex-con-turned-‘hood
priest
Good. (Then again,
there is that priest
element….)
Judgment Day: The
John List Story
(TV
movie; 1993)
Church-going
suburbanite who snaps
and kills his family
Um, that would be
bad.        
Money Train (1995)
Corrupt NYC transit
chief (Isn’t that
redundant?)
Bad.
Lost Highway (1997)
Mysterious social misfit
Bad, in that creepy,
David Lynch sort of
way.