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The campiest performance in film history

What gets your vote?

I'll go with Susan Hayward in Valley of the Dolls

by Anonymousreply 9001/26/2013

I go with Elizabeth Taylor in "Boom!"

by Anonymousreply 101/24/2013

Carmen Miranda in "The Gang's All Here."

by Anonymousreply 201/24/2013

Diana Scarwid in "Mommie Dearest"

Though I always find it oddly moving (especially when she first appears reciting from "Antigone").

by Anonymousreply 301/24/2013

Dorothy Malone in [italic]Written on the Wind[/italic] with its daddy-killing dance

by Anonymousreply 401/24/2013

C'mon people--you mean you've already forgotten Faye Dunaway in "Mommy Dearest?"

by Anonymousreply 501/24/2013

Right broad, wrong role, OP.

Susan Hayward - I'LL CRY TOMORROW

by Anonymousreply 601/24/2013

Or this bitch:

by Anonymousreply 701/24/2013

Steven Stucker as Johnny in "Airplane!" Loved his performance (even though it wasn't much of a stretch from his real personality). Hysterical.

by Anonymousreply 801/24/2013

And then there's this:

by Anonymousreply 901/24/2013

Angelina Jolie in "Alexander" -- it's not that her performance seems to be in a different movie, it seems to be in a different galaxy altogether.

by Anonymousreply 1001/24/2013

Amazing how many people have no idea what "camp" means.

by Anonymousreply 1101/24/2013

Divine in Pink Flamingos

Patty Duke in Dolls

by Anonymousreply 1201/24/2013

"So bad it's good," Susan Sontag at R11.

Glad you enlightened us so with your comment. Zzz

by Anonymousreply 1301/24/2013

Mickey Rooney, "Breakfast at Tiffany's"

by Anonymousreply 1401/24/2013

Yeah, what was the point of him doing that fake Japanese thing?

by Anonymousreply 1501/24/2013

R11 is right. Camp is over the top when trying to be serious. Much of Dynasty is camp, at least after Joan Collins joined the show. Late in the run of Falcon Crest, they tried for manufactured camp, but it was better when they played it straight, no pun there. Unintentionally funny, as opposed to intentional silliness.

Hayward was too much aware she was playing a role that could produce laughter, and toned it down.

Poor Duke, on the other hand, had no clue (at the time) how hilarious she was. That's camp.

by Anonymousreply 1601/24/2013

That is actually a good movie R7. Much better then the original which I can't watch.

by Anonymousreply 1701/24/2013

Aww, I love Susan Hayward. Yeah, she hammed it up now and then, but when she was on the screen, she was all you saw.

by Anonymousreply 1801/24/2013

R18. I agree--Susie was THE. BEST!

by Anonymousreply 1901/24/2013

Lift and turn of the head, ramrod back and a firm "But Scarlett, I'm not going to forget her.!

Fast forward to 2:35.

Now, that's camp.

by Anonymousreply 2001/24/2013

"Camp is over the top when trying to be serious."

Thanks, R16. That's exactly why Susan Hayward in VALLEY OF THE DOLLS is a terrible example; I'm sure she was not trying to be "serious." On the other hand, Faye Dunaway in MOMMIE DEAREST is an absolutely perfect example of true camp.

R13, fuck off.

by Anonymousreply 2101/24/2013

Matthew Lillard in Scream 1 - but his performance was the best part of the movie.

by Anonymousreply 2201/24/2013

You are a bore, R21. Truly.

From Merriam-Webster, the go-to MARY on this topic:

"Definition of CAMP 1: exaggerated effeminate mannerisms exhibited especially by homosexuals 2a : something so outrageously artificial, affected, inappropriate, or out-of-date as to be considered amusing b : a style or mode of personal or creative expression that is absurdly exaggerated and often fuses elements of high and popular culture"

by Anonymousreply 2301/24/2013

Ann Romney as Gloria Upson in Auntie Mame

by Anonymousreply 2401/24/2013

EVERYONE in "Flash Gordon," including Queen.

by Anonymousreply 2501/24/2013

[quote]2a : something so outrageously artificial, affected, inappropriate, or out-of-date as to be considered amusing b : a style or mode of personal or creative expression that is absurdly exaggerated and often fuses elements of high and popular culture.

Exactly why Dynasty is a wonderful example of camp.

by Anonymousreply 2601/24/2013

I still gotta go with Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest as somebody said upthread.

by Anonymousreply 2701/24/2013


by Anonymousreply 2801/24/2013

John: It's camp! [Homer stares nonplussed] The tragically ludicrous? The ludicrously tragic?

Homer: Oh, yeah. Like when a clown dies.

by Anonymousreply 2901/24/2013

If the performance is something a Warhol superstar might have aspired to, then it's camp.

by Anonymousreply 3001/24/2013

On Hollywood backlots, it's known as a European accent, R10.

by Anonymousreply 3101/24/2013

Never mentioned on DL, but have any of you seen Hush, with Paltrow and Jessica Lange?

Lange played it like Bette Davis in Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte. Full high Southern Gothic mode.

Gwenyth actually played it as a warm, sweet person, certainly a great feat of acting.

Johnathon Schaech was never more beautiful.

The movie was not so much bad, as bizarre and campy. Paltrow and Lange seemed to be in different films. Almost as if Gwen and Lange's scenes were shot separately, then edited together.

by Anonymousreply 3201/24/2013

Anne Baxter as Nefretiri in "The Ten Commandments."

by Anonymousreply 3301/24/2013

WTF is up with definition #1 in r23? It's hard to believe that's in a real dictionary.

by Anonymousreply 3401/24/2013

Phoebes Cates

Which one of you bitches is my mother in a bad French accent...

by Anonymousreply 3501/24/2013

The thread was doing fine until r11 had to play the snippy cunt and ruined it.

by Anonymousreply 3601/24/2013

I thought "campy" essentially meant cunty, but I guess not. I had never heard the word until I saw it here last year.

by Anonymousreply 3701/24/2013

Agnes Moorehead as Velma in Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte. Best unintentional (or was it?) comedy performance in a horror movie ever.

by Anonymousreply 3801/24/2013

Yeah, R34, I know! But, that is the OFFICIAL definition from Merriam-Webster, the REAL, OFFICIAL dictionary.


by Anonymousreply 3901/24/2013

r39, there's nothing in that linked definition about it being "childish" or "bigoted."

by Anonymousreply 4001/24/2013

Susan Hayward in "Back Street". And for good measure, John Gavin too. You'd think they were playing Shakespeare.

by Anonymousreply 4101/24/2013

How about Johnny Depp in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?

by Anonymousreply 4201/24/2013

Any Christopher Guest movie with him being the campy one, but especially "Waiting for Guffman". I would almost like to include the original "The Producers" with Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel--Roger DeBris and Carmen Ghia are about as campy as you can get. Never could figure out why Mel Brooks thought it was necessary to remake it when the original will always be the best.

by Anonymousreply 4301/24/2013

Hans Conried singing "Dress Me" in "The 5,000 Fingers of Dr T" (1953).

by Anonymousreply 4401/24/2013

Sissy Frenchfry.

by Anonymousreply 4501/24/2013

Why don't they make a gay, perhaps musical, version of "A Christmas Carol" with Robert Conrad, Tom Selleck and Max Gail as the Christmas spirits?

by Anonymousreply 4601/24/2013


by Anonymousreply 4701/24/2013

Lana Turner in Imitation of Life.

by Anonymousreply 4801/24/2013

Almost everyone in "Flower Drum Song."

by Anonymousreply 4901/24/2013

helen slater and dunaway - supergirl

Cheryl Ladd in "when she was bad"

Lorenzo Lamas in Body Rock

Kristy McNichol in The Pirate Movie

Mariah Carey in Glitter

Lana Turner and Hugh O'Brian in Love Has Many Faces

Piper Laurie in Carrie

Nancy Kelly and Patty McCormack in The Bad Seed

by Anonymousreply 5001/24/2013

Joan Crawford in "Torch Song".

Joan Crawford in "Johnny Guitar".

Joan Crawford in "Strait Jacket".

Joan Crawford in, well, any work she did after 1950.

by Anonymousreply 5101/25/2013

Quoting three paragraphs from the dictionary isn't going to encapsulate everything camp means. It's a bit more nuanced than what the gayling Gaga fans call camp.

by Anonymousreply 5201/25/2013

R33 wins.

by Anonymousreply 5301/25/2013

[quote]Camp is over the top when trying to be serious.

Your definition would be more accurate if you eliminate everything after the word "top."

Camp does NOT try to be serious. Quite the opposite, it plays for laughs by executing something to an extreme (for instance, most comedic drag - hence Webster's incorrect generalization at #1); however, it can be presented in a very serious way (see Madeline Khan's career).

The reason why "Showgirls" and "Mommie Dearest" are now considered camp is because they became it, as audiences gave it that value because of the poor quality of their exaggerated execution. But they never set out too be camp. "Dynasty" did.

by Anonymousreply 5401/25/2013

"Joan Crawford in "Johnny Guitar""

Probably wins in "The Butchest Camp Performance" category...

With Mercedes McCambridge the runner-up...

by Anonymousreply 5501/25/2013

Mercedes McCambridge in Suddenly Last Summer. What an over the- top-, hoot!

by Anonymousreply 5601/25/2013

Neely O'Hara in VOTD

by Anonymousreply 5701/25/2013

Still the one to beat.

by Anonymousreply 5801/25/2013

One performance comes to mind.Gregory Peck from the Boys From Brazil. He was so seriously into that role that he overcamped it to the nth degree. He wasn't the only one in that film. Mason,Olivier and others really took it to another level of camp. However no one could reach the comedically campy depths that Peck could in that role. His confrontation of a fellow that wasn't where he was supposed to be makes Dynasty look like Shakespeare!

by Anonymousreply 5901/25/2013

[quote]Camp does NOT try to be serious. Quite the opposite, it plays for laughs by executing something to an extreme (for instance, most comedic drag - hence Webster's incorrect generalization at #1); however, it can be presented in a very serious way (see Madeline Khan's career).

NO! Jesus christ, what is wrong with you people? Have none of you read a book in your lives?

by Anonymousreply 6001/25/2013


What is true camp: Patty Duke in "Valley of the Dolls"... unaware of the performance she was giving...or Carol Channing in "Modern Millie"... very much aware of what she was up to and consciously "camping it up"?

by Anonymousreply 6101/25/2013

R34, the part you're referring to is a filter DataLounge applies to a certain word (the English version of "efeminado"), because the Webmaster here doesn't like us throwing that word at each other. It's not actually in the dictionary definition.

by Anonymousreply 6201/25/2013

Camp does not "play it for laughs." Camp occurs when when something that is meant to be serious/dramatic/professional comes off as ridiculous and funny. The intent was to be dramatic and instead you're howling with laughter.

For example,Charles Busch's plays are NOT camp, but in fact a parody/homage to camp. His latest- Judith of Bethulia- hilarious as it was, was not camp. It made fun of all the biblical epics that are indeed camp. Lana Turner in The Prodigal is a great example. It was supposed to be serious and is anything but.

by Anonymousreply 6301/25/2013

R63 nails it. R54 is wrong, though the confusion is understandable, since so many people use the word "camp" INCORRECTLY to refer to performances/shows that are INTENTIONALLY over the top and are NOT trying to be serious.

Of course, sometimes it's a fine line. For example, DYNASTY may have been trying to serious in its early years but became much more intentionally over the top as the series progressed.

P.S. Camp Cunt is certainly living up to his/her/its name in this thread ;-)

by Anonymousreply 6401/25/2013

They are all camping it up in Thoroughly Modern Millie: Julie, Mary, Bea Lillie, Carol Channing, Gavin and James Fox as they all send up the material being a camp talke on the 1920s. Its a campfest.

by Anonymousreply 6501/25/2013

Richard Griffiths as Montagu Withnail takes the prize.

by Anonymousreply 6601/25/2013

Those who say Faye Dunaway in MOMMIE DEAREST are correct: a perfect example of camp. Serious intention, but hilariously over-the-top

by Anonymousreply 6701/25/2013

R66 - Richard E. Grant, in his autobiog, recalls that Griffiths literally didn't understand why the crew were laughing at his (wonderful) performance...

by Anonymousreply 6801/25/2013

Or how about Susan Hayward in Where Love Has Gone?

Or ANYONE in Where Love Has Gone?

by Anonymousreply 6901/25/2013

Can't believe no one has mentioned Divine playing Francine Fishpaw in the John Waters' classic Polyester. The ultimate camp film.

by Anonymousreply 7001/25/2013

Okay, I think I found the winner here.

Three words: I. Am. Tondelayo.

by Anonymousreply 7101/25/2013

The godawful Isabelle Adjani in the over the top early 1980s horror movie Possession.

And yes I know people love her to pieces. (Translation: I thought that recent DL thread praising her to the heavens was as unintentionally funny as her acting.)

Anyway, Adjani in Possession has to be seen to be believed.

by Anonymousreply 7201/25/2013

Tony Curtis playing the slave Antoninus in Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus (1960)

by Anonymousreply 7301/25/2013

r48 I see your Imitation of Life and raise you Ms Lana Turner in Madame X.

Here's Lana's last interview for fans

by Anonymousreply 7401/25/2013

I think Silence of The Lambs has two contenders:

Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal is quite the camp serial killer and Jame Gumb "It puts the lotion in the basket" is played high camp.

by Anonymousreply 7501/25/2013

R64,it depends. The Batman TV show was done in a totally camp way. They did realize that. Camp can be part of a cinematic release as well. Look at Ken Russell's movies... part satiric/part bizarre and part camp.

The Boys From Brazil was an example where things went wrong.Peck, Olivier and James Mason all take it much too seriously AND it descends into pure camp. It's an unintentional comedy to the point where it makes the performances in Baby Jane by Bette Davis and Joan Crawford look organic and real!

About Dynasty, they were going in a more camp direction when Joan Collins arrived on the scene.There was something fabulously bitchy and queeny about Alexis that made Brenda Dickson seem positively restrained in comparison.

by Anonymousreply 7601/26/2013

R61 From what I've heard Patty Duke thought she was giving an Oscar winning performance. She did a Night gallery episode in which she hammed it up BUT it only verged on camp and didn't cross over into camp. She seemed to be channeling her VOTD's performance BUT the director and producer knew better.

by Anonymousreply 7701/26/2013

"Tony Curtis playing the slave Antoninus in Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus (1960)"

How about Tony Curtis in The Black Shield of Falworth? "Yonda lies da castle of my foddah"

by Anonymousreply 7801/26/2013

The Black Swan. Pure camp from start to finish.

by Anonymousreply 7901/26/2013

I thought the same thing after I watched it. I thought this would be the gaylings' "Mommie Dearest" or "Valley of the Dolls" in a few years.

by Anonymousreply 8001/26/2013

Susan Hayward is a camp dream - The run from SMASH UP: STORY OF A WOMAN to I WANT TO LIVE! is pretty damned hard to beat.

You actually feel sorry for sending that much drama to the gas chamber...

by Anonymousreply 8101/26/2013

A glam, brassy broad on the way to the gas chamber... the eyebrows alone should have spared her from execution...

by Anonymousreply 8201/26/2013

[R78] Spot on perfect!

by Anonymousreply 8301/26/2013

The notion that camp always is the result of inadvertence is wrong-headed, of course. But discretion IS a necessity of any attempt to tongue-in-cheek it.

I suggest Laurence Olivier's performances in everything he did on film after "Wuthering Heights."

And on the fully intentional side, Nigel Hawthorne in "Mapp and Lucia."

by Anonymousreply 8401/26/2013

[quote]Camp occurs when when something that is meant to be serious/dramatic/professional comes off as ridiculous and funny.


The audiences that perceive its outrageousness make it camp.

People that say that camp is the result of unintended humor are confusing "camp" with "camp value." They're the ones who need to read some more.

Read the definitions. R84 makes a good point too.

by Anonymousreply 8501/26/2013

To illustrate better:

Mommie Dearest, released in 2399 theaters nationwide, 1980. NOT CAMP

Mommie Dearest, midnight showing in a summer theater in Provincetown, 1990. CAMP.

by Anonymousreply 8601/26/2013

Tony Curtis in Spartacus - ALWAYS CAMP. From day one, it was directed and performed with a twinkle in the eye (Tony himself discussed it in "Celluloid Closet")

by Anonymousreply 8701/26/2013

R79 I think it was beyond camp it was just plain awful. There was nothing funny about it! In essence, unlike camp it was so bad it was bad as opposed to it being so bad it was good.

R80 I don't think so. The critics loved that filmed and the usually terrible Natalie Portman won awards for it. It wasn't trashed as some campy piece of trash by the critics.The baby gays probably won't embrace it because of those reasons.

by Anonymousreply 8801/26/2013

james callis - bridget jones' diary

by Anonymousreply 8901/26/2013

What about ME bitches?!!!

by Anonymousreply 9001/26/2013
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