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Old July 7 2013, 09:24 PM   #2
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Re: Great Actor's Worst or Most Forgettable Roles

Mojochi wrote: View Post
Inspired by McBain's thread

Of these celebrated actors, which movie role was their poorest, most forgettable or worst disappointment?

Jack Nicholson
I don't know if I could say it was his worst but I'm going to be controversial and select The Shining. The reason is that it marked the moment when the relatively subtle and controlled Jack of the 1970s turned into the manic, shrieking Jack of the 1980s and onwards. It's an enjoyable turn and he did give some good subsequent performances but for me, he became a bit more cartoony thereafter. Perhaps more realistically, movies like Man Trouble mark his real nadir.

Robert DeNiro
Frankly, pick any of his movies from the last 2 decades and with the odd exception, the odds are you'll find nothing but stinkers. But I suppose Rocky and Bullwinkle has to mark the lowest of his low.

Dustin Hoffman
I'm loath to pick anything, as I've loved The Real Hoff in anything I've ever seen him in. But if I have to pick one, I'd have to pick Family Business, for the sheer disappointment of a Sidney Lumet-directed movie starring Dustin, Sean Connery and Matthew Broderick proving so dull (not to mention the unlikely casting of Connery as father to DH and grandfather to Broderick).

Paul Newman
Well, the man himself took out an ad in a newspaper to apologise when his movie debut in The Silver Chalice aired on tv. But I've never actually seen it. I'm going to be awkward again and nominate The Colour of Money, as I think he got a sort of 'pity Oscar' for it and really should've won for its predecessor, The Hustler, which is a superior movie.

Kevin Spacey
I'm nominating his dodgy Oirish accent in Ordinary Decent Criminal.

Christopher Walken
Probably Last Man Standing (another questionable accent).

Anthony Hopkins
Joins DeNiro in the Great Actor Who Mostly Slums it These Days file. I personally didn't like Howard's End but I suppose the likes of Instinct, Proof or Beowulf are more deserving contenders.

Morgan Freeman
Probably Along Came a Spider.

Johnny Depp
I'm guessing that in years to come The Lone Ranger might dominate for him as might his Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows or Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. As I haven't seen any of them, I'll go for The Astronaut's Wife; I got the impression that he was pushed to do a commercial movie and opted to do the worst one he could find, in the hope that he wouldn't be asked to do another in a hurry.

Gary Oldman
Either the Scarlet Letter or Red Riding Hood. Clearly the colour Red is unlucky for Gaz.

James Earl Jones
Conan the Barbarian. Yes, I said it. It sucks donkey balls.

Denzel Washington
I know he must have had his share of duds, but I think I've avoided them all. One I have no interest in ever seeing is The Preacher's Wife, so I suppose I'll nominate it by default.

Daniel Day Lewis
The Boxer, for its cringeworthy depiction of Belfast.

Michael Douglas
Shining Through.

Liam Neeson
Coincidentally, he was in Shining Through but it wasn't 'a Liam Neeson movie', so I'll plump for The Haunting.

Robert Downey Jr.
The Shaggy Dog (imagine how low his stock was only 2 years before IM)

Gene Hackman
Either Superman IV or Loose Cannons, a desperately unfunny comedy from the late 1980s.

Tommy Lee Jones
Batman Forever

Robert Duvall
Also in The Scarlet Letter.

Marlon Brando
The Island of Doctor Moreau

Bonus question: Which 3 actors listed here deserve to be on this list of "Great" actors the least?
My first two noms are Liam Neeson (struggles with accents and has about 2 facial expressions) and James Earl Jones (great presence and voice, but outside of Darth Vader, I don't think he's had a great role that required him to be anything other than JEJ).

The third is much harder to pick but of them all, I'd have to go for Anthony Hopkins, who I think has coasted on reputation for many years. I much prefer Brian Cox or Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal and AH has tended to either go madly OTT or do his constipated underplaying British thing in roles; there's very little in-between. Admittedly, he's great in the right role and deserves to be regarded as A Great but the rest of that list set the bar high. So...
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