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Old 02-17-2014, 07:38 PM   #1
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Default Ricky's wooden acting

He was such an outgoing & comedic child when he first started on the show along with his trademark saying "boy".... but somehow when he became a teen idol he held himself back. Kind of "wooden" and while his face was handsome it looked emotionless.
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:08 AM   #2
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According to the recollection of some, Rick to some degree lost interest in doing the show during the 1960s. In one of the biographies published on Rick, Mary Jane Croft is quoted as saying something to that effect, and on the Shout Factory DVD set with commentaries by Sam and David, even David said something like that. Rick also apparently did not really want to do the movie Love and Kisses, but he did it because Ozzie and Kris wanted him too. He looks pretty wooden in that, too, although you cannot blame him given the sophomoric level of the material. The best part in the movie is the fight scene, where Rick is about to get into a fight with some guys in a bar, and the camera suddenly cuts to David and Skip Young (who otherwise aren't in the movie) sitting at the bar, and Skip says, "Doesn't he look kind of familiar to you," and David replies, "I've never seen him before in my life." That cameo was Skip's idea.
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt77b
According to the recollection of some, Rick to some degree lost interest in doing the show during the 1960s. In one of the biographies published on Rick, Mary Jane Croft is quoted as saying something to that effect, and on the Shout Factory DVD set with commentaries by Sam and David, even David said something like that. Rick also apparently did not really want to do the movie Love and Kisses, but he did it because Ozzie and Kris wanted him too. He looks pretty wooden in that, too, although you cannot blame him given the sophomoric level of the material. The best part in the movie is the fight scene, where Rick is about to get into a fight with some guys in a bar, and the camera suddenly cuts to David and Skip Young (who otherwise aren't in the movie) sitting at the bar, and Skip says, "Doesn't he look kind of familiar to you," and David replies, "I've never seen him before in my life." That cameo was Skip's idea.
Thank U for this bit of trivia, Matt! I've been watching these episodes on my essential & shout sets and it's like night & day with Rick's personality. David Nelson, to me seems to be the better actor and it looked like he wanted to be on the show unlike Mr. "Phone It In" Ricky.
I'll have to check out the movie Love and Kisses never seen it before.
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:45 PM   #4
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Funny but I didn't think Rick was leaden at all, when given good material. I thought he was fantastic in Rio Bravo, for example. Not that O & H had bad writing mind you, but it did seem a little formulaic. But that Harriet - what a wry wit and superb timing; I thought she was the best actor of them all.
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:54 AM   #5
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Funny but I didn't think Rick was leaden at all, when given good material. I thought he was fantastic in Rio Bravo, for example. Not that O & H had bad writing mind you, but it did seem a little formulaic. But that Harriet - what a wry wit and superb timing; I though she was the best actor of them all.
I agree with you that Rick was good in Rio Bravo. In fact, John Wayne wanted Rick to make another movie with him in 1960, but Rick couldn't because he was already signed up to make The Wackiest Ship in the Army with Jack Lemmon. I think that Rick's greatest performance as an actor was in the 1979 episode of Saturday Night Live that he hosted. He was, in his droll and understated way, hilarious in that--in much the same way that Harriet was, as you say, often great with her wry wit and superb timing.

That episode of SNL was also great in that Rick opened the show by performing "Hello Mary Lou," "Travelin' Man," and "Fools Rush In," and closed the show by performing his great slow, mellow version of the Bobby Darin song, "Dream Lover"--which should've been a big hit for him, but Epic Records dropped the ball by not getting it out soon enough.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:30 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by matt77b
I agree with you that Rick was good in Rio Bravo. In fact, John Wayne wanted Rick to make another movie with him in 1960, but Rick couldn't because he was already signed up to make The Wackiest Ship in the Army with Jack Lemmon. I think that Rick's greatest performance as an actor was in the 1979 episode of Saturday Night Live that he hosted. He was, in his droll and understated way, hilarious in that--in much the same way that Harriet was, as you say, often great with her wry wit and superb timing.

That episode of SNL was also great in that Rick opened the show by performing "Hello Mary Lou," "Travelin' Man," and "Fools Rush In," and closed the show by performing his great slow, mellow version of the Bobby Darin song, "Dream Lover"--which should've been a big hit for him, but Epic Records dropped the ball by not getting it out soon enough.
Rick was great in that SNL ep. I specifically bought that season of the show because of his guest appearance. Too bad Rick didn't make another movie with John Wayne - or another well-written Western for that matter. Rick was boyishly rugged so westerns were a great venue for him. But it really comes down to the material; when something is poorly written even a good actor can't overcome that. I thought Wackiest Ship was badly written, which was a shame, cause a military theme could have worked well. I wished I had (or could see) Love and Kisses. Even though it sounds like it was sappy and kind of patched together, I think I would have liked it. I always really enjoyed any O&H ep where Rick & Kris were together, so I'm sure I would've gotten a kick out of L&K. At the time they seemed happy (because I know later on their marriage unraveled.). She was a good actress and a real pistol too. Too bad the drugs ruined all of that. Glad she got sober, because from what I understand, she was a real hellion and human wrecking ball when she was active.

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Old 02-23-2014, 01:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OH Nuts!
Funny but I didn't think Rick was leaden at all, when given good material. I thought he was fantastic in Rio Bravo, for example. Not that O & H had bad writing mind you, but it did seem a little formulaic. But that Harriet - what a wry wit and superb timing; I thought she was the best actor of them all.
Harriet yes The sassy no-nonsense mother. Loved her on the show.

I haven't seen Rick in any other roles. May have to youtube some scenes. I did manage to watch some interviews of him in later years and he looked thinner and I swear he had a nose job because it looked thinned out as well. He reminded me of another Rick....Rick Springfield!

Nelson acting-wise on the show from best to least I would go

1. Harriet
2. Ozzie
3. David
4. Ricky (teen idol onward....young "I don't mess 'round, boy" Ricky would've rated much higher)
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt77b
I agree with you that Rick was good in Rio Bravo. In fact, John Wayne wanted Rick to make another movie with him in 1960, but Rick couldn't because he was already signed up to make The Wackiest Ship in the Army with Jack Lemmon. I think that Rick's greatest performance as an actor was in the 1979 episode of Saturday Night Live that he hosted. He was, in his droll and understated way, hilarious in that--in much the same way that Harriet was, as you say, often great with her wry wit and superb timing.

That episode of SNL was also great in that Rick opened the show by performing "Hello Mary Lou," "Travelin' Man," and "Fools Rush In," and closed the show by performing his great slow, mellow version of the Bobby Darin song, "Dream Lover"--which should've been a big hit for him, but Epic Records dropped the ball by not getting it out soon enough.
That explained the pic of him in uniform while googling

I wished his SNL episode was on youtube it would be great to see him in that type of format acting-wise.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:21 AM   #9
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I really enjoyed A Hand For Sonny Blue and thought Rick was very good in that.
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:24 AM   #10
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Ricky did a decent acting job in the Runaways episode of O&H a bit stiff but tolerable. David wasn't in this episode (not unless he was cut for syndication) so Ricky was the sole son carrying the show.
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Old 03-22-2014, 07:24 PM   #11
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The SNL ep is on Hulu, as is Ozzie and Harriet's Night Gallery appearance.
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:50 PM   #12
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IMO, I wouldn't say Rick's acting from adolescence onward was wooden but, more low key and dry than it had been when he'd been a somewhat hyper preteen. However; considering during that earlier time,straight man David barely held his own against his unquestionably 'irrepressible' kid bro and even that was due to having the height and weight advantage over Ricky. If Rick had REMAINED a hyper, mouthy character during the teen years into young adulthood with him shooting up past David's height and with most girl viewers considering Rick to be a supernova compared to David's comet in the looks department, it would have totally overwhelmed David and been somewhat annoying to the viewers to have someone JUST as hyper and mouthy as a teen and young adult as he had been as a preteen.
Ironically, though, Rick channeled virtually all of his passion into his musical performances instead of his acting performances. Also, not only could viewers who first saw him as a preteen could have not predicted that but one wonders if preteen Ricky [ the character as well as offscreen] could have imagined finding that outlet and would the preteen Ricky have scoffed at the teen Rick's musical performances? Oh, well, it wouldn't surprise me if Jerry Mathers and other onetime 'cute kid' performers of that era may have wished to have become teen heart throbs like Rick instead of having awkward adolescences for the viewing public to see.
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
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The SNL ep is on Hulu, as is Ozzie and Harriet's Night Gallery appearance.
I'll have to check those out
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Old 08-23-2014, 07:54 AM   #14
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I saw Ricky in Rio Bravo a few years back and his acting's pretty good
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Old 03-30-2018, 05:23 PM   #15
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I always thought that as Rick got older, he kind of reeled himself in. Maybe he was embarrassed by the show's wholesome image, and wanted to look cool and didn't want to act like a fool (aka Wally). Even his musical performances are robotic. He just has this dead, blank stare in his eyes as he's singing, showing hardly any emotion.
Maybe that's why they brought in Skip Yong as Wally to liven things up. They needed a comedic touch, but I find him annoying and over the top sometimes. His forced laugh comes off as insincere and grating to my ears.
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