equal conviction

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redgiant

Senior Member
Cantonese, Hong Kong
In the late '50s, he moved into work at other studios and proved to be one of the most versatile leading actors in Hollywood, playing heroes and villains with equal conviction and success in such diverse productions as John Sturges' Bad Day at Black Rock (1955),

http://www.leninimports.com/robert_ryan.html

Does the meaning "an unshakable belief in something without need for proof or evidence" sufficiently explain the word "conviction" in this case? I think it says "good acting". But I'm not sure. Thanks for your help.
 
  • b1947420

    Senior Member
    British English
    In the late '50s, he moved into work at other studios and proved to be one of the most versatile leading actors in Hollywood, playing heroes and villains with equal conviction and success in such diverse productions as John Sturges' Bad Day at Black Rock (1955),

    http://www.leninimports.com/robert_ryan.html

    Does the meaning "an unshakable belief in something without need for proof or evidence" sufficiently explain the word "conviction" in this case? I think it says "good acting". But I'm not sure. Thanks for your help.
    Heroes and villains are like opposite roles to act, but the text is saying that this actor played them equally well.

    In other words he applied the same effort and skill to each role without favour - he had the conviction / strong belief to each / either.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think the suggestion is that some actors, Henry Fonda, for example, are so naturally frank and sincere that it's hard for them to play people who are devious and villainous. Actors pretend to be other people and good actors can persuade you that they are, in different films or plays, either very good or very disagreeable people.
     

    cycloneviv

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    I think "conviction" is talking about his ability to convince, in other words to make the viewer believe in the honesty of his portrayal.

    I notice there is no definition in the Word Reference dictionary that reflects this meaning of "conviction", however you can find it at thefreedictionary.com:

    the act of convincing.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It's a very intriguing point, Cycloneviv. I'm not certain that you are right, and far from certain that you are wrong, I ought to add. For me conviction in the context means with force and self-confidence.
     
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