“The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas

Friday, June 19, 2009

Now for greatest actress of our time....

Originally Posted by Reid

NOTICE: I've had a request in the comments thread for this post, that we discuss the best actresses, so I've moved the post back to the top of the page. Have at it, as always, in the comments thread.

While enduring a rain delay in baseball this weekend, the conversation/discussion started about the greatest actor of our time. Comments immediately went to Jack Nicholson and Sean Connery, but soon moved to many others. I am putting this topic out for the RR audience. By the way Ed, I apologize for taking us from the serious to the sublime.To stir it up, I am taking John Travolta! Kind of a big leap but here I go...

50 feature films for his career to date. He keeps reinventing himself and remains a matinee icon. Many varied and different roles selected and all have been done well. I will digress. The film career started with Carrie, as he played the antagonist love interest of Carrie. He moved on to Grease. Bad movie, although we all saw it, he did an okay job with a bad script. The breakout role was Tony Manero in Sat. Night Fever. It put most everybody in a white dance suit learning stupid moves. He was a "cool"gang member. The always forgettable Urban Cowboy was next. (how many times did he say "Sissy" in the show?).

J.T. did manage to pull off country however. A few forgotten films (although Jamie Lee Curtis looked good in Perfect) and then resurrection time in Pulp Fiction. Great character and great hair. What a slug he portrayed and played it to the hilt!! Another villainous role in Broken Arrow, followed by 2 good roles for J.T. - Phenomenon and Michael. He was super as the angel!! His career the started going south and he picked it back up with a stellar performance as a southern redneck in The Generals Daughter. Good Cop Bad Cop in one!! He followed that with an intriguing role in Basic. He finishes a great run with Hairspray. His role of Edna Turnblat was hysterical. He obviously enjoyed it and it showed. Being female and fat was a huge challenge. I imagine the costume took a long time to get into daily. I understand that his new flick "Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 is a role similar to his role in Pulp. We will see. He married well. Kelly Preston was a beautiful young woman. He also sandwiched in a career on Welcome Back Kotter. He remains the only viable alum from the show. The balance have all had mediocre to no careers.

From the 1970's til 2010 he has been on or near the top of the profession. A solid resume with many outstanding performances.

Is he the best, maybe - maybe not. You decide. Give me a comment or vote for some one else. Lets see what you think.


Anonymous said...

Travolta's not bad, if you can look past the sheer nuttiness of Scientology and what role it may have played in his son's passing.

Clint Eastwood.....that is all.

Joe Camel said...

Eastwood always plays the same role- period. He's a great actor, but nowhere close to the best>

I vote for Dustin Hoffman. Electric Cowboy's Ratso Rizzo to Rainman, with man varied and different roles sprinkled in between.

Michael said...

Now many of you won't buy this, but with my extremely limited knowledge of movies in the past 15 years, I am going with Samuel L. Jackson. I mean, in every movie I have seen with him in it, he has truly made the movie, whether he is the main character or simply a role player. As a last resort for my argument, the man made the movie Snakes on a Plane at least a moderate success. I for one cannot discount any actor who can pull that off. Now let the criticism begin.

Reid said...

Not a bad choice young man. He was very good in Pulp Fiction. Did a great job in Coach Carter, but I think he was exceptional in A Time to Kill. He is up there.

ed said...

I'll chime in with John Cusak. I can honestly say that I have never seen a JC movie that I didn't like. I can't say that about anybody else. Just to name a few...Sixteen Candles, Say Anything, Serendipity, High Fidelity, Con Air, Better Off Dead, and my favorite....Gross Pointe Blank. All classics in my book. I don't care that he's an annoying liberal, the guy makes good movies.

Reid said...

I like Cusak. I thought he was great in Identity, and Runaway Jury as well as those you listed Ed. I just don't know if gets to claim sixteen candles as his film. A few scenes, good but not noteworthy in the film. By the way Con Air was a bad film, but produced a Cangemi classic character!!

ed said...

I might have to change my vote to Steve Buscemi. That guy is talented!

Anonymous said...

I happen to know John Travolta cannot memorize his lines and uses a teleprompter (sound familiar) for all his movies. I think this eliminates him from contention.

Anonymous said...

Robert De Niro

He has been in 79 films also produced 31 and directed 2 more.


The above url has all the information I have given plus much more.

Once Upon a Time in America (the full version), Casino, Heat, and of course the Godfather 2 are just a few of his movies. I remember seeing Raging Bull the first time and feeling like I had saw magic. Or maybe Goodfellas where just like Raging Bull his acting was beyond comparison. Heck I forgot Deer Hunter and ......

Just my two cents :)

David said...

Reid, a good choice as the movie "Hairspray" would have been a career-killer for anyone else. What a crappy movie - sort of Grease meets Yentil, or maybe Mrs. Doubtfire.

Speaking of Doubtfire, Robins Williams has had his moments. And I always like Craig T. Nelson although he doesn't have the same caliber of resume as Travolta.

Reid Brown said...

This is not a defense, I think DeNiro is very good, although his characters all tend to be the same. Travolta at least has a varied range of roles. My choice during the rain delay was originally Sean Connery. I think he is an excellent actor. His roles vary a little and he is James Bond. I think Robin Williams is a good actor. He has comedic and serious roles (Doubtfire and Good Will Hunting). He was perfectly cast in Patch Adams and Good Morning Vietnam.

Anonymous said...

As typical good-guys who have played bad-guy roles go(Robin Williams), I vote for Kevin Bacon. He's a terrific bad guy.

As for actors who's characters are all the same, Gene Hackman takes the cake.

Susie Q said...

How cah ou bunch of arrogant asses omit Keanu. Oh my Gosh>>>>

Ed said...

@ Susie, well assume your comment to include Keanu is tongue-in-cheek, otherwise you'd deserve a royal mocking.

Susie Q said...

How can you say that - a royal mocking HA! I was moved by his portarayal of Jack in Speed. Wonderfully artistic and a great performance. His gutsy yet soft manner was spoken many times. Point Break's Johnny Utah was breathtaking. Ted well what can you say a true comedic classic. He had to carry Bill(Alex Winter)bu all greats have crosses to bear. Neo was mindboggling. The 2nd quarterback he played, Shane Falco in the Replacements, Again superb. His smile, how can that not knock you to your knees. His soft side again in The Lake House. But his best role was as the son of Satan in The Devils Advocate. The Kevin Lomax character is vintage Keanu. All the girls want him, and all the guys want to be him.

Ed said...

That was classic comedy Susie Q....well done! It's almost as if you were actually a Keanu fan. I am cracking up over here.

Anonymous said...

JT Greatest Actor- Maybe?
JT Greatest Missed Opportunity to Utilize Celebrity- Probably?
The volumes of positive public awareness, that he & his wife could've shared, about Autism & Seizure Disorders; but, chose to shroud themselves behind their beliefs in Scientology- SAD Indeed!!
JT Greatest Advocate for His Child-(I think) N*O*T!!
Proud Mother of a Special Needs Child/ BBC

ed said...

A lot of people have brought into question the role that their nutty Scientology beliefs played in their sons sad death.

Jim Bob & the Leisure Suits said...

Many actors ave extremely weird or "nutty"beliefs. This has no bearing on their acting ability, or maybe it makes it better because they must constantly hide those beliefs. Is this possible? By the way, I agree with the assessment of Sc ientology and the resulting death in the Travolta family. Now lets talk about actresses!!!

Ed said...

Alright, I'll move this post back to the top of the page so we can discuss actresses but, if anybody mentions Meryl Streep, I'm going to punch a kitten in the head. Cannot stand her!

Joe Camel said...

Okay, but just in order to save small innocent kittens. MERYL STREEP! MERYL STREEP!! MERYL STREEP! I couldn't resist. Hit the cat hard. I am Camel and don't like 'em either.

Anthony C. said...

DeNiro, Duvall, Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, Morgan Freeman, Seymore Hoffman Sam Jackson, Clint Eastwood, Al Pacino, Travolta, Connery, the list goes on and on. Take your pick! Actuall the greatest modern actor and actress is a husband and wife team, Michele and Barack Obamma. Can you imagine how much greater he would be if he could remember his lines?

Reid said...

I will give you a nomination for "Best Actress". My offer is Michelle Pheiffer. Great looking still, good roles and did I say good looking. Grease 2, Scarface, Tequlla Sunrise (she had to carry Mel Gibson and Kurt Russell), Fabulous Baker Boys (carried the brothers Bridges), Up Close and Personal, Hairspray, Dangerous Minds and Frankie & Johnny,- many different roles and all good jobs by her.

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