Oedipus Rex (01/06/1957)

Shatner’s second motion picture is…underwhelming.

In 1950, when Shatner was most likely a junior at McGill University in Montreal, he appeared in his very first motion picture The Butler’s Night Off. In that film, he played one of the “crooks,” a very small role with only a few lines. Seven years later he would appear in his second motion picture, this time a filmed version of the classic Sophocles play Oedipus Rex. Once again however, and actually even more so than The Butler’s Night Off, this was the very opposite of a starring or featured role.

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The Butler’s Night Off (1950)

In the beginning, there was Le Shat

If there is one thing that I think we can all agree on, it is that William Shatner is the greatest actor who has ever lived, or will ever live.

We would then reasonably expect that the very first appearance of this god made flesh, this indomitable future titan of the stage, TV and silver screen would be in a role that showcased his incredible talent. Oh, we shouldn’t expect some huge leading man performance for a first timer, but something more along the lines of a small but essential part that clearly displayed his fiery range, that made him stand out above all the others in the production. A role that would make manifest to all watching that this actor, this almost otherworldly figure on the screen before them, had firmly claimed the throne that was so rightly his.

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