Some very established ones didn’t make it…
Time was when Hollywood actresses had the choice of three different roles: a wise cracking maid, a borderline prostitute, or a put upon wife weeping by the sink. Their job was to make the men look heroic, or virile, or – in some cases – heterosexual. It wasn’t a great time to be a woman. But then we killed the Nazis, and everything changed. Suddenly women were granted permission to wear trousers in public, and their film roles began to slowly diversify, opening doors for beautiful thespians to branch out and play angry maids, hilarious prostitutes, and wives still standing by the sink, but NOT weeping. And now that Barack Obama has been crowned King of The World, who knows what might happen next? What we do know, however, is that the four greatest ever actresses might look something like this…
1. Kathleen Turner
As enormous fans of the 1980s film noir, Body Heat, it was always going to be Kathleen Turner at the top spot. Magnificently sexy in her early roles – Body Heat, Romancing the Stone, The Man with Two Brains, Prizzi’s Honour – she was the human embodiment of an iron fist in a velvet glove, what with her lovely glistening body mixed with some mightily impressive acting chops. She went on to be the voice of Jessica Rabbit – the sexiest cartoon woman of them all – and then it all went a bit Pete Rubbish, culminating in a role as Chandler‘s DAD in Friends. By then, however, the legend had been cemented.
2. Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda makes the list for just two films – Barbarella and Klute. One an intergalactic sex romp, the other a hard hitting thriller, where she plays a New York hooker. Both marvelous movies. She also made big waves in films like Coming Home, Barefoot in The Park, and On Golden Pond, but we’ll forever doff our collective caps to the two aforementioned, and her fantastic charity work for the aerobics community.
3. Sigourney Weaver
Weaver is the tough cookie in the pack, with a face as sharp and angular as a bag of knives, and one of the sternest speaking voices in history. She starred in Alien, Aliens, and Ghost Busters – films that would probably all make an Interestment Top 20 – and we even quite liked her in the rather pretentious Ang Lee droner, The Ice Storm. On the downside, she turned down a role in The Terminator. Bad move, Weaver. But still our number three.
4. Scarlett Johansson
Yes, you’re right, Johansson is not a particularly good actress, and her films, for the most part, have been utter dross. But what we like about her is her Hollywood glamour, which harks back to greats gone by, and suggests that she might carve out a decent career yet. She’s a bit like Mia Farrow crossed with Marilyn Monroe. Basically, she’s really good looking.
Birds Eye Beefburgers
Kathleen Turner – yes, Kathleen Turner – turns a very lovely 55 today. And what a gal she is. She’s done it all. In the 1980s, she was probably the most sensual woman alive, making steamy films like Body Heat, followed by excellent comedies like The Man With Two Brains. Not to mention one of the finest action movies of all time, Romancing The Stone. She had everything in her acting armory, that girl. Everything. And then, in a weird twist, she spent a portion of the 90s playing Chandler’s DAD in Friends. Still, we thought we should buy her a gift, so we drank exactly nine pints of Staropramen each, then decided to discuss things in the back of a speeding cab. It boiled down to a toss up between a bucket to throw up into, or an old advert about beefburgers. In the end we got her both. Happy Birthday Kathleen Turner!
Cage, Dillon, Penn, some other guy…
Watching Mickey Rourke rising from the flames like a lumpy phoenix with a strange surgically enhanced face at the Bafta Awards got us to remembering all of his old films. He was great in Angel Heart, Barfly, 9 1/2 Weeks. And, of course, Rumble Fish. What a line up in that film! Mickey Rourke, Dennis Hopper, Matt Dillon, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Nicolas Cage, Chris Penn, Tom Waits. “Is this the most excellently cast film of all time?” we wondered, taking a big puff on a wooden pipe.
Other contenders include: The Towering Inferno – Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Fay Dunaway, Fred Astaire, OJ Simpson; Body Heat – William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Mickey Rourke, Ted Danson; The Breakfast Club – Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Anthony Michael Hall; The Godfather – Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton etc…
But what is YOUR favourite cast of all time? Let us know with a comment…
And enjoy a tribute to Rumble Fish after the jump…
These men did not make the cut…
Actors tend to get divided into two camps early on. You get the pristine stars with their squeaky clean images, questionable religious beliefs and arranged marriages. And then you get the real heroes – the men with bad skin, anger problems, strange methods of preparation, addictive personalities, worrying intensity. They tend to be the ones that we like the most, the ones who can turn a good film into a brilliant one. Here are four of the best:
1. Mickey Rourke
By far the coolest man ever, he has enjoyed two excellent careers. One as the great looking heartbreaker in films like Angel Heart, 9 1/2 Weeks, and The Pope of Greenwich Village (below), and another as the heavy set lunatic in Sin City, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and The Wrestler. He has never been bad in a film.