Home Forums Movies “Hamming”

“Hamming”

CREATE A NEW TOPIC
CREATE A NEW POLL
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 42 total)
Created
5 years ago
Last Reply
5 years ago
41
replies
1148
views
24
users
CAROL-CHANNING
4
Miss Frost
3
Icky
3
  • BrokenFan
    Member
    Joined:
    Nov 16th, 2011
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #81256

    This stems out of mostly genuine interest. In other words, I’m being serious. Well, a little sarcasm here and there…

    “Hamming” is one of the most used words around here for all sorts of reasons. Can you define what exactly constitutes a “hammy” performance? What the heck is that first of all, and what are the standards of measurement? Any example? (Besides Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”, which I personally liked but is often used as the primary example). What crosses the line, so to speak? 

    Share your thoughts.  

    Reply
    allabout oscars
    Member
    Joined:
    Sep 20th, 2011
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #81258

    Mostly for me..hamming is when an actor tries to
    be noticed in every frame..even when they are NOT
    speaking or are just in the background..being over
    the top delivering lines is bad enough but when LEO
    for instance has such mannered expressions and even
    steps closer in certain frames to be noticed…she is the
    quintessential definition of a HAM…she is a great
    example of over acting and chewing the scenery, as they say..

    Some other notable performances with “HAMMING” qualities..

    Anything Danny Devito does..lol
    Jack Nicholson in THE SHINING
    Al Pacino in SCENT OF A WOMAN… you can see the wheels turning
    William Hickey in  PRIZZI’S HONOR
    Ed Harris in  A BEAUTIFUL MIND
    Burt Reynolds in  BOOGIE NIGHTS
    Robin Williams in DEAD POET’S SOCIETY
    All 3 actresses in  THE BAD SEED..
          Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack and Eileen Heckart
          all thought they were on the stage and needed to be
    noticed and heard…its aperfect example of actors being
    hammy and a director who doesnt know anything about acting..

    ReplyCopy URL
    Logan
    Participant
    Joined:
    Oct 11th, 2011
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #81259

    I pretty much agree with aao’s definition. There’s also the idea that the actor throws the film off balance with their performance (sometimes temporarily and other instances for unfortunate durations of time). There’s more of a discussion to be had on this (but it’s a little early in the morning for me right now).

    ReplyCopy URL
    Marcus Snowden (The Artist Formerly Known as msnowden1)
    Participant
    Joined:
    Nov 18th, 2012
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #81260

    I LOVED Pacino’s performance in Scent of a Woman. But, as far as hammy performances go, it is, for sure, Anthony Franciosa in A Hatful of Rain. The guy overacts in every scene he has.

    ReplyCopy URL
    Bill Buchanan
    Participant
    Joined:
    Sep 1st, 2011
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #81261

    I think it’s a fine line between intense and hamming. You just have to know it when you see it.

    Example: This year, “Anna Karenina” was full of hammy performances (except for Jude Law, who had the sense of a great actor to dile it down a little bit, easily making him best-in-show). Now, you could argue that the performances were o-t-t in that film because the film is set in a theatre. You have to decide for yourself. I thought AK was pretty boring and had a couple of pretty weird plotholes, plus it’s got some really cheesy dialog (but that’s another thing: cheesy dialog sometimes works, depending on the movie), and I didn’t feel the despair Anna was going through at all. But it depends…

    ReplyCopy URL
    Bill Buchanan
    Participant
    Joined:
    Sep 1st, 2011
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #81262

    sorry for the double post:

    then you have Joaquin Pheonix in The Master. Is he overacting? Or is he just intense because his character is intense? It’s the latter, IMHO. he’s playing a drunken sailor troublemaker on a journey to become a better man (SPOILER: a journey which proves unsuccessful). It’s a perfectly calibered performance which makes the movie what it is (it helps that the script is so damn good, as well).

    ReplyCopy URL
    CAROL-CHANNING
    Member
    Joined:
    Sep 30th, 2011
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #81263

    On this board, it sometimes seems like people accuse actors of being “hammy” if they speak above a whisper, make facial expressions, or don’t use a monotone voice.

    I don’t really mind if an actor is a little hammy.  It all depends on the style of the movie.  If it’s a drama that is meant to be totally natural (ZD30, Argo, etc.), then hamminess isn’t needed.  If it’s a crazy, in your face comedy, by all means, ham it up.  

    allabout Oscars above me mentioned the performances in The Bad Seed as an example of hamminess and said that the actors acted like they were on stage.  While this is true, I think it totally works for the movie because of how it was directed.  It was directed like you were watching a play.  It was very stage-y, had little editing, the camera didn’t move much, etc.  Plus, all of the actors were acting at equal levels.  So as big as they would get, they fit into the world of the movie.  — That was just my chance to defend Eileen Heckart, whose performance in The Bad Seed is my favorite performance to NOT win an Oscar.     

    ReplyCopy URL
    GhostOrchid
    Participant
    Joined:
    Sep 27th, 2011
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #81264

    I too don’t mind when actresses/actors are more “hammy”/overacting than doing nothing special.
    But I agree, it depends on the situation in the film.
    Elizabeth Taylor  was somehow “hammy” for me in “Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, but in a good way. She was mainly playing a crazy drunken bitch, so it fitted perfectly. Of course there were some very sad moments, too. It’s one one of my favorite Oscar wins.

    ReplyCopy URL
    Scottferguson
    Participant
    Joined:
    Sep 26th, 2011
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #81265

    Hammy for me means over the top, overly emotive, taking me out of the realm of suspension of disbelief and back into being all too aware that “acting” is going on.

    Recent award nominated performances I consider hammy include  Melissa Leo and Christian Bale (The Fighter), Daniel Day-Lewis (Gangs of NY), Meryl Streep (Doubt) and Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables). Just my opinion, just how they work for me, zero judgment towards those who react differently. For me, I laughed at the wrong moments at all of these performances at their most overwrought moments, which was not the intended reaction.

    ReplyCopy URL
    Anonymous
    Joined:
    Jan 1st, 1970
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #81266

    You wanna see hammy go put on Lincoln and watch Sally Field.

    To whoever said Burt Reynolds was hammy in Boogie Night, are you kidding me? He was completely restrained. If anything, I’d say Julianne Moore or Heather Graham were hammy. Alfred Molina was hammy in a good way.

    Every charatcer Tarantino writes is campy and hammy, but it works. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Calvin Candie is so ridiculous, but it absoultely works. Same goes for Christoph Waltz. They’re both great actors they make the hammy character work.    

    ReplyCopy URL
    allabout oscars
    Member
    Joined:
    Sep 20th, 2011
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #81267

    Burt reynolds being restrained is HAMMY..  Its more polite
    to say that, then call him an awful awful actor…

    ReplyCopy URL
    babypook
    Participant
    Joined:
    Nov 4th, 2010
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #81268

    Hammy? Imo it depends on the person throwing that descriptive around. For some, “hammy” I have found means, raising their voice above a normal tone; acting “insane” even when their character is missing a few screws; walking “too fast” across a room, emoting in ANY way, moving their lips “too fast”, and any performance from Geoffrey Rush; because somebody here “said so”, and if they sing too emotionally; if they pick a scab too vigorously even if the script calls for it;
    Because you know, ‘subtle’ acting, even when it is pickled in formaldehyde, means you are a superior ‘judge’ of acting.

    Lol.

    Gawd I HATE this descriptive. In all of my film viewing, imo, I’ve noticed two over-acting ham perfs. Ronny Cox, in Deliverance, and Seth Rogan, in Pineapple Express.
    There may have been others but, I cant think of them right now.

    ReplyCopy URL
    Scottferguson
    Participant
    Joined:
    Sep 26th, 2011
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #81269

    Unlike “some” others, I respect that different people have different opinons, and don’t take opinions as different from mine as a reason to ridicule or attack them. In doing that, I am like the overwhelming number of other posters here who know how to disagree without being disagreeable. That’s fortunate, since otherwise this site would be unbearable.

    I respect the opnions of others, and appreciate it that most people respect mine. 

    ReplyCopy URL
    Tye-Grr
    Member
    Joined:
    Nov 5th, 2010
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #81270

    Hammy? Imo it depends on the person throwing that descriptive around. For some, “hammy” I have found means, raising their voice above a normal tone; acting “insane” even when their character is missing a few screws; walking “too fast” across a room, emoting in ANY way, moving their lips “too fast”, and any performance from Geoffrey Rush; because somebody here “said so”, and if they sing too emotionally; if they pick a scab too vigorously even if the script calls for it;
    Because you know, ‘subtle’ acting, even when it is pickled in formaldehyde, means you are a superior ‘judge’ of acting.

    Lol.

    Gawd I HATE this descriptive. In all of my film viewing, imo, I’ve noticed two over-acting ham perfs. Ronny Cox, in Deliverance, and Seth Rogan, in Pineapple Express.
    There may have been others but, I cant think of them right now.

    Really? I’d definitely say that about his DREADFUL performance in ‘The Green Hornet’, but not ‘Pineapple Express’. I thought he was just fine as a paranoid stoner on the run from a drug lord.

    ReplyCopy URL
    Riley
    Participant
    Joined:
    Oct 11th, 2010
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #81271

    Every charatcer Tarantino writes is campy and hammy, but it works. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Calvin Candie is so ridiculous, but it absoultely works. Same goes for Christoph Waltz. They’re both great actors they make the hammy character work.

    Hamming it up can certainly be extremely effective if the film calls for it, like Jean Dujardin in The Artist last year.

    ReplyCopy URL
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 42 total)
Reply To: “Hamming”

You can use BBCodes to format your content.
Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.

Similar Topics
Philip - Dec 16, 2017
Movies
Chris B... - Dec 15, 2017
Movies