Ladies and gentleman, John Cazale!
Don’t be fooled by the way they stride grinningly around the planet, when the doors shut, and the staff have been angrily dismissed, actors weep hysterically into pillows. If discovered, they claim to be getting into character, but the truth is that they’re petrified that one day they might make a bad film. Everyone’s done it – De Niro, Pacino, Brando, Nicholson, Depp. Everyone. Sean Penn’s been in mostly appalling films. But, of course, as with everything, there is an exception that proves the rule – in this case, it’s the late John Cazale, who made just five films before bone cancer got him in 1978. All of them excellent. The five – The Godfather, The Godfather Part Two, The Conversation, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Deer Hunter – were all nominated in the Best Picture category at the Oscars, and his co-stars included: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Gene Hackman, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Christopher Walken, Harrison Ford, and his girlfriend Meryl Streep. In each of the films he was absolutely brilliant. Hence, the greatest of all time? Quite possibly.
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…
One or two big names just missed out…
Some names were coined to become glorious. You are, for example, unlikely to meet someone unsuccessful called Hercules or Agamemnon. Likewise, there has never been an ugly human being called Bo. It’s all in the name. And when it comes to acting, one of the strongest names you can have is Robert. It’s a proud, almost aggressive title, and below are the four best Roberts to light up the silver screen, in our humble (but amazing) opinion:
1. Robert Duvall
It was a close one, but Duvall takes De Niro’s place, because he’s equally serious, but far more diverse – De Niro, at his best, essentially plays De Niro. Plus, unlike De Niro, Duvall has never been bad in a film, and often he’s been the best thing in it – The Godfather Part One, Apocalypse Now (below), Tender Mercies, Colors, Days of Thunder, Open Range. Hence, our top Robert.
Academy, why do you ignore this woman (right)?
Never the most beautiful face in the crowd, Glenn Close is a big movie star because she’s excellent at acting. It may have helped that her bulbous blonde hair was perfectly feathery and moist for the 1980s crowd, but under the mane beat the heart of a true thespian. An Oscar worthy actress. And yet, she has never been rewarded for her fantastic work, even though Halle Berry and Nicole Kidman have – and both of those women are horrible actresses, by the way.
Her first three big Hollywood films – The World According to Garp (Robin Williams hilarity), The Big Chill (middle class summer festival), and The Natural (baseball mayhem with Roberts Duvall and Redford) – all garnered her a Best Supporting Actress nomination (in 1982, 1983, 1984). And for two consecutive years – 1987 and 1988 – she was up for Best Actress, first time around for her tour de force in Fatal Attraction, then as some kind of aristocratic bitch in Dangerous Liaisons. Amongst those who have stolen her crown are Linda Hunt and Cher. That’s right – Cher.
See Cher stealing more of Glenn Close’s thunder after the jump…
Hanner Pei, Boom-Shaka-Boom-Tang
It’s so hard to know what to buy a legendary actor who has just turned 78 for his birthday. It was a toss up between Welsh funk, or some opium. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Robert!