He was launched in the late fifties and early sixties, just at the end of the Studios Golden Era. He made some interesting films.
His 1959 movie debut in Crime and Punishment U.S.A. won him awards in Hollywood (a Golden Globe) and in England (a BAFTA citation). The black-and-white picture was described as a “beat generation” version of the Dostoyevsky novel. (Hamilton was cast because he resembled then hot actor Anthony Perkins.)
Then came a slew of commercial titles that helped cement Hamilton’s image as a debonair playboy with a perpetual tan, an actor not to be taken very seriously. We disagree with that assessment. Hamilton has logged appearances in more than 120 movies and tv productions over the course of his long career, and at 80, he is still with us and still working.
But let’s not gloss over the commercial gloss….
Where The Boys Are. Refined schlock this picture may be but it has had a stubborn history of NOT being forgotten in the decades since it was made in 1960.
The plot is straightforward enough. Four Midwestern female collegians make the trip to Fort Lauderdale (where much of the movie was actually filmed) during spring break because — that’s where the boys are. The times were simpler then. Where The Boys Are has no wet T-short contests, nudity and other sexual hijinks. Just whacky encounters between the winsome protagonists and the goofy male collegians they encounter — notably including Hamilton.
1962’s Light in the Piazza in which the Memphis,Tenn.-born Hamilton plays an Italian (one Fabrizio Naccarelli) with designs on one Yvette Mimieux.
And also, 1961’s By Love Possessed, with Hamilton developing his melodramatic chops alongside Lana Turner.
But on the upside there’s……
1979’s Love At First Bite, a clever Dracula sendup that nicely displays Hamilton’s comedic capabilities.
And ditto in the 1981 satire, Zorro the Gay Blade’.
Finally, Hamilton as a mob lawyer in 1990’s The Godfather Part III.