The Top 40 Male Film Lead Actors of all Time

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Foxhot, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    It's self-explanatory. Poisonous barbs will only be enacted if one of my particular personal favorites is unjustifiably besmirched or something. Read it, learn it, defrost and debate it. Make your counter list. Even a counter-number if you desire. Whatever. Life is too short. If you like or dislike the choice, explaining why reinforces the debate and adds to the taste. The top all-time best actress ever is clearly Genevieve Bujold, so why list the runners-up?

    The three all-time worst ever male actors are also painfully clear: Steven Seagal, Jack Black and Robert Mitchum, one two three. Moving onto the factors in by best 40 choices.....

    a. longevity
    b. talent
    c. badassery
    d. character actor excellence in lead roles
    e. cultural impact

    Many may not have all five of these qualities, but most or all possess three or more of them. So I doubt they'll be too many surprises here. None of the five qualities are judged as more important than each other.....either they have it or they don't. So.....

    40. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
     
  2. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    1. Clint Eastwood

    He matches all your 5 criteria, and then some.
     
  3. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Sean Connery
     
  4. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    This is a subject that I'd enjoy engaging in, but making it into a days-long, one-name-at-a-time project pretty much kills my interest.

    Considering the many thousands of actors who have appeared on film, the word "clear" seems singularly mis-applied.

    Justin
     
  5. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    Keanu Reeves (Matrix, Speed, some other crap)
    Hayden Christensen (Darth Vader!)
    Jean-Claude Van Damme or Dolph Lundgren
    Shia LeBeouf (Transformers, Surf's Up)
    Christian Slater
    Jason Alexander (George!)
    Tim Allen (Tool Time and Galaxy Quest)
    Steve Gutenberg
    Pauly Shore
    Matt Leblanc
    Michael Keaton (Batman)
    Joe Piscopo
     
  6. Kirkman1987

    Kirkman1987 Commodore Commodore

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    I think Clint Eastwood is very solid choice. I would also nominate James Stewart.
     
  7. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Eastwood, Stewart, Newman and Bogart are 1-4. We can quibble about the order but there's the top four.
     
  8. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    Oh, best actors, not worst actors.

    My bad.

    James Stewart
    Clint Eastwood
    Cary Grant (not particularly badass, but influential for years)
    John Wayne (not sure about talent, but he maxes out on badassery, influence, etc)
    Harrison Ford
    Robert DeNiro
    Al Pacino
    James Cagney
    Marlon Brando
    George C Scott
    Jack Nicholson
    Michael Caine
     
  9. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Denzel Washington
    Samuel L. Jackson
    Tom Cruise
    Liam Neeson
    Bruce Willis
    Russell Crowe
    Sylvester Stallone (Hey, he won an Oscar and he had a major impact in the action genre)
     
  10. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    I'll give you Steven Seagal, there—he's got no range and, like, one facial expression—but I think you're off on the other two. (I don't even like Jack Black in some of the roles I've watched him play, but he's nowhere near "worst ever"; Mitchum's just fine as an actor, and occasionally outstanding.)
     
  11. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Night of the Hunter. Stunning.
     
  12. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    Occasionally.
    His CAPE FEAR remake cameo was excellent, and no argument on NIGHT OF THE HUNTER. THE YAKUZA was also very enjoyable. But, I prefer lead actors to seem awake 100 percent of the time, and I found him rather droning in THE WINDS OF WAR plus other later roles. His famous quote was ''Baby, I don't care.'' So, why should we?:cool:

    Obviously he's better than Seagal and Black. You could say he's my least favorite classic major lead.

    ''Character actor excellence in lead roles'' requires a bit more elaboration. For me it's not playing memorable characters in itself, but having a chameleonic variety in which the actor may not be as recognizable as his character. So I'm not convinced Eastwood, Robert Redford or other ''unmistakable'' famous actors qualify for that fifth category.
     
  13. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Amen.

    And I'm going to nominate . . . Peter Cushing.

    C'mon, he played Dr. Frankenstein, Dr. Van Helsing, Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Who, Moff Tarkin, and starred in countless other horror and sf films.

    And as for badassery . . . the man killed Count Dracula (three times!), shot the Hound of the Baskervilles, Created Woman, visited the Earth's Core, survived the Island of Terror, and blew up Alderaan.

    I'd like to see Clint Eastwood top that! :)
     
  14. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, the OP has a real WTF thing going on here.
     
  15. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Good list, but I'd add

    James Dean
    Paul Newman
    Clark Gable
    Spencer Tracy
    Gregory Peck
    Henry Fonda
    Kirk Douglas
    Steve McQueen - coolest badass of all! Am I really the first person to mention him?
     
  16. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    I'd add Toshire Mifune (Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, etc.) Clint Eastwood's most famous archetype, used in his Sergio Leone films, was the Yojimbo character.

    I'd kick Kirk Douglas off the list just for brutally raping Natalie Wood and putting her in the hospital for a week, doing permanent serious physical damage (or so says Robert Downey Jr. - and as this week's Natalie Wood news has unfolded, it seems there's a tape of a statement that Robert Wagner threw her overboard in rage and said something like "f**k, let the bitch drown.")
     
  17. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I'm unaware that Robert Downey Jr. has been substantiated as being one of the people circulating the rumor about Kirk Douglas raping Natalie Wood. That Robert Downey Jr. himself is involved in circulating the rumor is itself, as far as I know, just a rumor.
     
  18. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    No, I'm pretty sure he outed his online identity to confirm the veracity of the rumor, saying it came straight from an actress he starred with in a certain movie, which turned out to be Natalie Wood's daughter. I was following that particular thread and got Natalie Wood's daughter's home phone number before he reconsidered and edited his comment. :cool:

    He figured he was done for a long while to deal with the career fallout from posting the very brutal details of what Kirk Douglas had done, but it didn't seem to have many public ramifications. He still comments in between movies, and he left a really nice 9/11 tribute last week. His wife also comments there sometimes. I think he's one of the best and funniest writers on the web, even as a semi-anonymous commenter that everybody knows is RDJ. He writes from the heart like few can.
     
  19. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Citation please.
     
  20. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    It's probably going to be in this one, but several pages in.

    http://www.crazydaysandnights.net/2012/05/todays-blind-items-greatest-celebrity.html

    He posts as Himmmm, and yes, he got Natalie's daughter's permission to post what he did. I think it might be preceded by a hilarious post where he channels both Batman and Sherlock Holmes.

    His comments on the Aurora shooting are in this one. Moving stuff.

    http://www.crazydaysandnights.net/2012/07/dark-knight-rises-fans-killed-at.html

    9/11 tribute here.

    http://www.crazydaysandnights.net/2012/09/never-forget.html