Today we are concluding our two-part look at the life and career of legendary stage and screen icon Christopher Plummer by focusing on some of the finest films, television and stage performances of his career thus far, as we anticipate the nationwide release of his newest stage and screen venture, the cinematic presentation of his recent turn as Prospero at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Des McAnuff's THE TEMPEST, presented at Fathom-equipped movie theaters on June 14 and followed by a Q&A with Plummer himself. From his stage debut in the late-1940s in Canada through to his spectacular screen career begun with Sidney Lumet's STAGE STRUCK in 1958, in this career-spanning clip collection we will be sampling many of the most memorable and most notable projects from a rich resume ranging from almost every major male role in the canon of Shakespeare - AS YOU LIKE IT to THE WINTER'S TALE - to the work of Lillian Hellman, Bertolt Brecht, Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, George Bernard Shaw and Peter Shafferto musicals - like Rodgers & Hammerstein's THE SOUND OF MUSIC on film to the Tony Award-winning Anthony Burgess musical adaptation of CYRANO onstage - to TV's THE THORN BIRDS and ON GOLDEN POND, all the way to last year's double-header of cinematic brilliance, giving bravura performances in both David Fincher's THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO and Mike Mills' BEGINNERS, the latter being the part for which Plummer finally received a long overdue Best Actor Academy Award. Of course, besides his well-earned Oscar, Plummer has amassed many other top honors over the course of his sixty-year-career - two Tony Awards (for CYRANO, a musical, and, BARRYMORE, a two-person mostly monologue); a Golden Globe; two Emmy Awards; a SAG Award; a Genie; the list goes on and on - and we will take a look at those moments, too. Christopher Plummer's remarkably reputable and altogether riveting career continues on with no end in sight, as well, with his upcoming appearance in Muhammad Ali'S GREATEST FIGHT and many more to look forward to in the next months, years, and, at this rate, decades - even if his performance as Prospero in this presentation of THE TEMPEST ultimately is his final stage role in Shakespeare, as he professes it is. Time will tell.
The first entry in this series, FLASH SPECIAL: A Christopher Plummer Celebration, is available here.
More information on Fathom's in-cinema presentation of THE TEMPEST is available here.
Bloom & Grow, Forever
Beginning the collection with Christopher Plummer's most recent triumph, in a special cinema event ideally representing his genre-crossing and media-merging career, here is the trailer for this Thursday's Fathom presentation of Des McAnuff's highly-praised Stratford Shakespeare Festival production of William Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST, starring Plummer as Prospero.
Next, view Plummer's candid contribution to a fascinating consideration of the theories and influence of recently deceased Stratford Shakespeare Festival artistic director Michael Langham, also featuring Des McAnuff, Len Cariou and others. As Plummer fondly recounts, "He taught me discipline, as well as technique."
In one of the most important roles of his career onstage or onscreen, discover Christopher Plummer's 1964 turn as the title character in HAMLET from this recently recovered BBC film adaptation of the royal Shakespearean tragedy, which co-stars no less than Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland and Robert Shaw.
Plummer explains his methods for approaching HAMLET in this customarily compelling chat.
Next, here we have a series of compelling and revealing images of Plummer preparing for and performing in HENRY V in 1956 set to a recording of the Prologue (taped in 1990).
Experience a stolen moment of Christopher Plummer and Glenda Jackson in the absorbing 1988 Broadway revival of MACBETH below.
All the way from 1956 to 2011, here is a clip of Plummer's Act 5, Scene 1 in THE TEMPEST from the filmed Stratford Festival's production, where he befittingly moves into the lush role of Prospero at long, long last.
Christopher Plummer offers evidence of why Shakespeare works particularly well on film in this intriguing part of an absolutely excellent discussion.
Plummer shares his observations on another of his acting/teaching influences, Tyrone Guthrie, in this interview excerpt.
Plummer expresses his opinions on classical acting versus method acting, while also sharing an amusing anecdote about his onstage co-star Jason Robards, in another interview portion.
Plummer espouses on his experiences playing another of Shakespeare's most memorable roles, King Lear, in this clip.
Plummer recounts the challenges posed by Shakespeare's gripping, if problematic, political tragedy, CORIOLANUS.
With one more insight to treasure from the same chat, here is Plummer's probing theory of stillness versus bravura.
Shaw, Cyrano & Other Stages
Plummer storms the stage as Caesar in this trailer for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival production of George Bernard Shaw's poignant and characteristically witty CAESAR & CLEOPATRA, co-starring recent BOOK OF MORMON Tony Award winner Nikki M. James.
Traveling through the many stages of his incomparable resume, view Plummer in a myriad of his most celebrated stage roles - CYRANO to BARRYMORE and beyond; Shakespeare to Hellman to Brecht to Shaw to Ibsen and back again - in this mesmerizing video montage.
Playing the role of a lifetime in BARRYMORE - that of stage and screen luminary John Barrymore - here is Plummer remarking on his part in the tremendous stage (and, now, screen) performance piece.
The Sound Of Music
Take part in the endlessly enchanting magic of Rodgers & Hammerstein's THE SOUND OF MUSIC as rendered in Roger Wise's masterful Oscar-winning 1965 film version, first, by viewing the trailer for the film by clicking here.
See Plummer's most beloved moment from the film, performing the classic ballad "Edelweiss".
Small Screen, Silver Screen & More
THE THORN BIRDS was a major television miniseries event with few equals - then or now - and the 1977 adaptation of the hit novel earned Christopher Plummer an ever-growing new audience of admirers for his tortured performance in a pivotal dramatic role as part of the sweeping melodrama that is still discussed by fans to this day. Watch the entire miniseries, beginning with Part 1, below.
Plummer discusses his work in Michael Mann's THE INSIDER in this 60 MINUTES interview with Mike Wallace. This clip is of special note because Plummer played Wallace himself in the film - and reaped many awards for his efforts; the National Society Of Film Critics (and the Boston and Los Angeles divisions of it) included.
Kicking off the best clips culled from the current century, here is Christopher Plummer on THE ROSIE O'DONNELL show in 2000 showing his dashing way with words and his oh-so suave charm.
In 2001, Christopher Plummer re-teamed with his SOUND OF MUSIC co-star Julie Andrews for a live TV production of ON GOLDEN POND. Dame Julie and Plummer discuss the intention behind and impetus for their reunion in this CBS EARLY SHOW interview.
As a special bonus, check out the entire 2001 CBS ON GOLDEN POND telecast, beginning below.
Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews reminisce about THE SOUND OF MUSIC in this entertaining subsequent interview, also from THE Rosie O'Donnell SHOW.
Discussing the finer points of his career, here is a 2009 interview with Plummer in promotion of his measured and illustrative autobiography, IN SPITE OF MYSELF.
Following that, enjoy this career-spanning conversation with Plummer that covers many of his most noted and notable movie and stage roles (so far).
Plummer reveals some of his least favorite working experiences - such as Terrence Malick's THE NEW WORLD - in this recent roundtable discussion, alongside George Clooney and Viola Davis.
While trophies look great on the shelf, Plummer received a highly prestigious honor in 2002 when he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Ryerson University. His apropos acceptance address is below.
Witness Plummer's win for Best Supporting Actor at the 2012 Golden Globes - and the eloquence of his ensuing speech.
See his emotional reception of the Screen Actors' Guild Award for BEGINNERS below.
After that, revel in arguably Plummer's greatest professional victory to date, winning his Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for BEGINNERS in the category, introduced by 2011 Best Supporting Actress winner, Melissa Leo.
Now, see Plummer's Thank You Cam reaction immediately following his win.
While the Golden Globe, the SAG Award and the Academy Award were high honors, the Stratford Festival Icon Award surely holds a special place in Plummer's heart as a result of his history with the revolutionary theatre company, as shown in this CTV segment about the ritzy event.
While BEGINNERS led to his big Oscar win fifty years in the making, Plummer also gave a gravitas-imbued performance in David Fincher's stylish and striking adaptation of the first novel in the bestselling book franchise beginning with THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO late last year, as well. The sensory splendorous trailer is below.
Plummer offers some remarks about THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO in this short red carpet interview held at the film's premiere in New York City in late 2011.
Plummer goes back to the very start and discusses his role in PRIDE & PREJUDICE onstage at Montreal High School and his beginnings in the theatre - MEDEA with Judith Anderson is quite a way to kick off a stupendous career, no doubt - in this conversation that then moves to his screen roles, film in general and his overall affection for musicals.
As a hilarious bonus, here is Christopher Plummer exploring his feminine side in a delightful clip from 1973 and the TV game show WHAT'S MY LINE?
Whatever Christopher Plummer decides to take on next - since he seemingly shows no signs of slowing down, not even now at nearly 83 - we can be sure it will stand proudly alongside the diverse and dizzyingly impressive performances he has crafted in his awe-inspiringly accomplished career so far. Indeed, to paraphrase from "Edelweiss", Christopher Plummer has bloomed, grown and blossomed from his humble roots in Canada into one of the very best internationally renowned actors of his generation - or ever.