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Customer Discussions > In the Electric Mist forum

Who should play Clete Purcel?

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Showing 1-16 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 10, 2010, 6:48:16 AM PDT
If they make another Dave Robicheaux movie, who should play Clete Purcel, the best sidekick ever invented for book or screen (he didn't feature in In the Electric Mist)?
A very difficult question, indeed, as any James Lee Burke fan should very well know. A larger-than-life character with a soft heart but near-psychotic tendencies and a frightening temper to say the least.
I've always pictured a slightly younger Nick Nolte as Clete when reading the books. I think he would be excellent as Clete.
Who do you think? Gary Oldman, maybe?
I would also have said John Goodman, if he didn't already feature in this movie. He's also brilliant as someone with a very dangerous streak flowing underneath his skin.

Posted on Nov 15, 2010, 9:08:03 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 15, 2010, 9:17:59 PM PST
J. R. Bourke says:
I just started to read James Lee's books about 6 months ago and have read 5 Robicheaux stories. From the very start I visualised the character Clete entirely as John Goodman...even the voice and i didn't even know about the movies until today. My mental image of Dave has never been of any actor tho. I lived and worked all over southern Lousiana from 1971-1978. I/everyone knew the names of the top mob bosses just by reading the newspapers. They would be ringside at popular boxing matches just like other local celebs (Dr. John for one). It was quite a time to be there. my name is James R Bourke (pronounced Burke). Noboby describes the people and places in that area as well as James Lee. He takes me back.

Posted on Feb 24, 2011, 6:00:56 AM PST
Yeah, I've also always who should play Clete Purcel in a movie.
Tom Sizemore seems a good bet, a younger Nick Nolte definitely (what the hell, why not Nick Nolte now?)
I've always pictured Nolte when imagining Clete in my head, so.....
A good heart wrapped in a volatile, don't-give-!@#$ attitude and a temper that will scare away Satan himself?
Yeah, Nolte....
Maybe Oldman...he can certainly do the anger, but his recent roles (Dark Knight, etc) has softened his image for me.

Posted on May 10, 2011, 8:30:16 PM PDT
Love Labs says:
Brian Dennehy would have been the perfect Clete.

Posted on Apr 13, 2013, 10:09:12 PM PDT
I've always seen Dennis Franz (Sipowitz on Hill Street Blues) wearing a blond wig and the seersucker suit, as the perfect Clete. Same kickass attitude, but Franz would be too old now to play him. I've pictured Burke as Dave.

Posted on Jul 30, 2013, 1:40:18 PM PDT
R. Winkler says:
Robbie Coltrane, who else?

Posted on Feb 2, 2014, 9:05:37 AM PST
pirate says:
Brendan Gleeson for sure!

Posted on Oct 13, 2014, 7:21:13 PM PDT
Adrian says:
John Goodman, no question. 100%.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2015, 6:08:41 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 3, 2015, 6:10:13 AM PDT]

Posted on Jun 9, 2015, 7:18:26 PM PDT
NONeill says:
I've kind of always pictured Dean Norris as Clete. John Goodman would be great if he was more "big and solid" and less obese.

Posted on Jul 20, 2015, 12:03:34 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 20, 2015, 12:25:02 AM PDT
K. Barnard says:
Oliver Platt-6'4" with blond hair. Checked out Dean Norris. A possibility. Clete needs to be tall, bulky muscles with padding, easily sunburned/redfaced. Big, broad-faced Anglo-Norman vs smaller chiseled French/Italian. Chunky Viking with the berserker tendency.

Posted on Dec 19, 2015, 7:05:43 AM PST
Rebdeb says:
Hands down Ron White. Josh Brolin should be Dave.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2016, 1:16:57 PM PDT
Paul A. Sand says:
I always thought (don't laugh): John Ratzenberger. But (slight spoiler here), at the end of Creole Belle, it's revealed that John Goodman "looks just like Mr. Clete". I'd say that's definitive.

Posted on Sep 1, 2016, 1:07:29 PM PDT
Robby Coltrane

Posted on Sep 9, 2016, 1:48:31 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 9, 2016, 1:50:23 PM PDT
Jim Mitchell says:
John Goodman. From the minute I first read about Clete, it's always been John Goodman. Always pictured Tommy Lee Jones as Dave, too, so it was a nice surprise when he was announced in this movie.

Has JLB ever commented on this? I'd almost be surprised if he claimed he WAS NOT writing with John Goodman in mind for Clete. Even his dialogue seems written to be spoken by JG.

And if you've ever seen Goodman in person, he absolutely has a solid, tough presence. Yes, he's overweight, but there's a powerful man in there that would give any Louisiana gangster a run for their money. He's definitely the guy I'd want at my back if I pulled some of the crap that Dave gets himself into...

Posted on Aug 17, 2017, 10:46:21 PM PDT
I too have always pictured John Goodman in the role of Clete. Nolte would have been a good choice in his younger days, too. Russel Crowe *might* be able to pull it off. He could have difficulty with a realistic southern drawl. As for the other guys mentioned in this discussion, no way.
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Participants:  15
Total posts:  16
Initial post:  Jun 10, 2010
Latest post:  3 days ago

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In the Electric Mist [Blu-ray] by Ned Beatty (Blu-ray - 2009)
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