One False Move’s Director Thought One Of His Actors Was So Good At Playing A Villain, It Actually Hurt His Career

When I spoke with Franklin for the film’s Criterion Collection release, he lauded Beach’s work, but remembered people being taken aback by his portrayal. “He understood that character very well,” said Franklin. “I actually think, in some ways, for a minute it hurt him, because whenever I would discuss this movie with people who had seen it — with critics, interviewers, journalists — they would always say, ‘Who was that Black guy with the glasses?'”

Beach’s predicament was not unprecedented. As Franklin noted:

“[T]hat happened to a friend of mine, Andy Robinson, who played the Scorpio Killer in [‘Dirty Harry’]. I think it also happened to Steve Railsback earlier on when he played Charles Manson [in ‘Helter Skelter’]. Sometimes, the performance is so effective, it’s hard for people to see you any other way for a minute. I think that happened with Michael, because Michael frightened people. He really did. I saw the movie a couple times when I went to theaters just to see how people were responding, and they would applaud when he was killed because they were scared.”

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