Stone, Philip


Stone, Philip
(b. 1924)
   Philip Stone began acting in television in 1961, in episodes of The Avengers. Screen roles soon followed, and Stone has acted in such films as Thunderball (1965), O Lucky Man! (1973),Voyage of the Damned (1976), and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1976). He also had a busy stage career, appearing in productions of Loot, An Inspector Calls, The Contractor, Six Characters In Search of an Author, and John Gabriel Borkman. Philip Stone and JOE TURKEL, with three performances each, are tied for the most appearances by any actor in STANLEY KUBRICK’s films. Stone can be seen as the father of Alex (MALCOLM MCDOWELL) in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971), Graham the accountant in BARRY LYNDON (1975), and the sinister Delbert Grady in THE SHINING (1980). With the possible exception of Graham, who barely registers until the final scenes of Barry Lyndon, Stone creates characters as vivid and interesting as any in the Kubrick canon, all the more interesting for being comparatively minor characters.
   Each of Stone’s roles for Kubrick includes a scene of negotiation, in which the character masks his true motives behind a veneer of good manners. “Pee” (as Alex calls his father) must find a way to keep Alex from moving back in; Graham buys off Barry Lyndon (RYAN O’NEAL), and Delbert Grady exhorts Jack Torrance (JACK NICHOLSON) to commit murder. As Alex’s father, Stone is first glimpsed at breakfast with his wife, somberly wondering what exactly it is that Alex does when he goes out at night. He seems to have wondered about this topic more than once, and to have been less than happy at his conclusions. When next seen, he is dealing with the surprise reappearance of the freshly rehabilitated Alex, and desperately fishing for excuses to keep Alex from taking his old place in their lives. Stone’s slow diction, almost a trademark in Kubrick’s films, is most effective as he gradually finds a way to justify turning Alex out into the street. Finally,we see him talking to Alex in the hospital, with a loudly sniffling Mum by his side, promising Alex his old home back. Graham, in Barry Lyndon, is a much smaller role, nearly a cameo. Graham is the accountant at Castle Lyndon. As the film progresses and the financial difficulties of the family increase, Graham appears with more regularity, shuffling through bills as Lady Lyndon (MARISA BERENSON) signs them. It is Graham who discovers Lady Lyndon after her suicide attempt, and apparently he brings news of it to Lord Bullingdon (LEON VITALI). Stone’s big scene comes in the film’s penultimate sequence, as he visits Barry and his mother (MARIE KEAN), describing the terms under which the Lyndon family will continue to support Barry. The placid dignity with which Graham has appeared up until then is gone, as Graham appears, all sweaty and out of breath. Stone beautifully depicts Graham’s embarrassment in the situation. Philip Stone probably makes his greatest impression as The Shining’s ghostly Delbert Grady. Grady first appears at the Overlook Hotel’s supernatural ball, spilling a tray of yellow liqueur (avocaat) on Jack Torrance, then escorting Jack to the bathroom to see to the stains. As Torrance recognizes him as the long-ago caretaker who murdered his own wife and children, Grady freezes. All warmth disappears from his demeanor, and he seems to be wondering how to escape from this apparently demented guest of the hotel. Quickly, though, his motives become clear, as he chillingly reminds Torrance that,“You are the caretaker; you’ve always been the caretaker. ” Grady speaks proudly of how he “corrected” his wife and daughters-by which he plainly means that he hacked them to pieces with an ax. The vicious relish with which Stone says the word corrected is as disturbing as anything else in the film. Stone continues this malign politeness in his final moment in the film, as an unseen Grady speaks to Torrance through the drylocker door. He appeals to Torrance’s masculine ego, reminding him of how his wife seems to have gotten the better of him, and advises him that the matter will have to be dealt with in the harshest possible way. In 1999, Stone appeared the TV film Doomwatch: Winter Angel. He may also be seen in the Italianproduced documentary, Stanley and Us (2000).
   References
   ■ LoBrutto, Vincent, Stanley Kubrick: A Biography (New York: Da Capo, 1999);
   ■ “Philip Stone,” Internet Movie Database, www.imdb.com.
   T. D.

The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick. . 2002.

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