I have waited several years to finally come on the Audie website and post on the message board. My life is at a point now where I can indulge in this kind of activity so I am looking through some topics that are not too old and when I saw this one I had to comment on it. I have this show on a DVD. I had read that Thelma Ritter had been terrified of Audie (I believe it was Joseph Campanella that brought that out in an interview) and once I saw this show and looked at his eyes I could totally understand what she was talking about. I do not know where Audie channeled his character from but it was more than effective. That was one of the scariest performances I ever saw on TV and it was a live production to boot!! How could anyone watch The Man and say Audie had no acting talent?? He was brilliant in the revelation of the madness of the character. Then when the show was over and he came out and thanked the audience and was so pleasant and soft spoken it is like getting hit in the face with a pie there is such a shocking difference at how quickly he could turn it off. I just think his performance in that show was one of the acting highlights of his career and showed that he could have made the transition and been successful on television if he had only decided to go that route instead of continuing in film where his genre was dying out and left him really no where to go. Whispering Smith was so good and ahead of its time that if he had just gone back and not let what happened with that show color his perception of TV altogether I think he could have become a really good character actor on all kinds of shows.
Welcome to the board Sharon. I must say I fully agree with your analysis of Audie's performance in "The Man". He went from soft spoken to mad man and back again flawlessly and it was so real. He was truly a gifted actor in my opinion. I wish he could have been given an opportunity to do more of this type of acting in the movies. He would have had a great career for a long time.