Archive for Dick Miller


Posted in FILM with tags , on January 31, 2019 by dcairns

When I was changing from a kid who liked movies, kinda like any kid but a little weirder, into an actual I-supposed-you’d-have-to-say cinephile, I noticed a guy who seemed to turn up a lot. Not at the movies, IN the movies. Here he is in AFTER HOURS, which was the first Scorsese film that came out properly during this formative period. (I was aware of THE KING OF COMEDY but I don’t think it even made it to Edinburgh screens as part of its actual release).

It was a while before I learned his name, and when I did I kept forgetting it, because it was so ordinary. Dick Miller. It suited his blue-collar, tough-but-decent, warmly paternal aspect, but it took a while to catch. So me and my movie-going chum Robert called him The Character Actor. He was turning up in Joe Dante films, of course, but also in 1941, THE TERMINATOR, early Zemeckis and Demme, a lot of recent things we were catching up with. I’d seen a scattered bunch of Corman films but maybe not the ones that featured him prominently so I don’t think I knew how far back he went. He was one of those guys, like Charles Napier, who just turned up in stuff and gave a pleasurable glow of recognition along with a no-nonsense performance, the eighties equivalents of the Preston Sturges stock company.

Here’s Dick Miller catching an airborne kiss blown by Rosanna Arquette in the manliest manner possible, and with fucking APLOMB.


RIP Dick Miller. 90 is a good age, and you seem to have enjoyed life all the way through. A great way to go, but I wish you didn’t have to.

The Obligatory Dick Miller

Posted in FILM, Politics, Television with tags , , , , , on August 4, 2016 by dcairns


When my school friend Robert and I first became aware of Dick Miller, being impressed by him in AFTER HOURS (“He said the title!”) but realizing that somehow we already knew him from many films, we had trouble remembering his name. It seemed too ordinary for him. So we called him The Character Actor.

One thing we quickly realized is that The Character Actor nearly always turned up in Joe Dante films, as a kind of Added Treat.

Here he is (left)  making his obligatory appearance in Joe Dante’s excoriating satire THE SECOND CIVIL WAR, the timely subject of this fortnight’s edition of The Forgotten. Now THAT’S character!

The Character Actor

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , on June 26, 2014 by dcairns

Bucket of Blood

THAT GUY DICK MILLER is, as you would expect, what is called an affectionate tribute to character player DM — and why would you want it to be anything else? A lot of the talking heads use the expression “that guy” to describe their first impression of Miller — if you see af American movies, you will sooner or later see that guy turning up again and again in various guises, generally consistent — down-to-earth, laid-back yet intense, REAL — yet able to impersonate a wide variety of types, binding them together with the instantly recognizable air of a guy doing a job. My best pal Robert and I spotted him in AFTER HOURS, where he gets to say the title, then started noticing him in Joe Dante films and all over. We didn’t call him that guy, and we didn’t call him Dick Miller because it was too normal a name to remember. We called him The Character Actor.

All Hail Dick Miller!

Guests at EIFF tonight will be treated to a special live interaction with Mr M via Skype. Still, in his ninth decade, the epitome of no-nonsense muscular affability, a firm handshake in human form.

That Guy Dick Miller still 2