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4/12/04 Noontime question from Michaelskis

michaelskis

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This past weekend, I watched the movie “Somethings gotta give” and a friend of mine commented on how Jack Nicholson is one of the greatest actors of all time…

So I am going to ask who would you say is the greatest actor of all time?
 

GeogPlanner

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OMG...it's that time already...wow!

The best actor of all time...Bobby D. It's so hard to say...I think that I would rather pick best performances because I like actors for different reasons. But the resurgence of DeNero these past few years has been quite a treat!
 

otterpop

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An oldie but goodie: Jimmy Stewart. Always watchable. Equally adept at comedy and drama. The quality of his character contributed to his art. George Bailey, Jefferson Smith, Destry, Mr. Hobbs -- all exceptional every men.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
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Marlon Brando...coming in a close second: a tie between Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong. ;-)
 

tsc

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Jack is quite good... I also would include Jodie Foster, Meryl Streep and Glenn Close
 

ludes98

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Humphrey Bogart, not particularly dynamic with roles, but he was excellent.
 

Repo Man

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I think Jack was good, but I think his recent work has a sort of same-ness. Nonetheless he is a great actor. I think one of the best current actors is Ed Norton. If you look at all of the different roles he has had, from Primal Fear to American History X, he has amazing range. Kevin Spacey and Bill Murray are also great.
 

vaughan

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I think that, when its all said and done, Sean Penn will be pretty high up on my list. His latest- Mystic River and 21 Grams- are intense but great.
 

mendelman

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Repo Man said:
I think Jack was good, but I think his recent work has a sort of same-ness. Nonetheless he is a great actor. I think one of the best current actors is Ed Norton. If you look at all of the different roles he has had, from Primal Fear to American History X, he has amazing range. Kevin Spacey and Bill Murray are also great.
I agree with Repo on this. Jack seems to play essentially the same kind of characters, pretty much his whole career. (except About Schimtd)

I also argee with Repo's choices for other great actors - in particular Ed Norton. American History X and Fight Club are two of my favorite movies and are really profound also.
 

NHPlanner

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Probably not on anyone's "best actor" list, but my fave continues to be John Cusak.
 

tsc

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NHPlanner said:
Probably not on anyone's "best actor" list, but my fave continues to be John Cusak.
on that note ....I seem to like anything Joan Cusak is in.... she is just funny...
 

Dragon

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DeNero could be the greatest.

I enjoy the Governator’s movies, but he isn’t the greatest actor of all time, and may not be making any more movies either :( .
 

Maister

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In my mind, there are two criteria for a great actor: 1) When viewing a performace does the actor become that character (like George C. Scott was Patton) and you completely cease to register awareness during the performance that it is an actor playing a part and 2) Over a career does the actor exhibit an ability to reproduce a similarly complete transformation playing a very different character.

I can think of lots of actors who have pulled off completely convincing character portrayals where they 'became' that character, but my second criteria limits that group to a relatively select few....Robt. Dineiro, Robt. Duvall, Jodi Foster, Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Marlon Brando, Sean Penn are among this pantheon.
 

Bear Up North

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In no particular order, these are "faves".....

Robert DeNiro
Humphrey Bogart
Jimmy Stewart
James Cagney

Meryl Streep
Julie Christie
Renee Zellwegger

Bear
 

ludes98

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The American Film Institute has a top 50 legends of the big screen.

1.Humphrey Bogart
2.Cary Grant
3.James Stewart
4.Marlon Brano
5.Fred Astaire

1.Katharine Hepburn
2.Bette Davis
3.Audrey Hepburn
4.Ingrid Bergman
5.Greta Garbo

The rest of the list is here. (PDF)
 

Maister

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ludes98 said:
The American Film Institute has a top 50 legends of the big screen.
here. (PDF)
I wonder wtf their list is based on? Clearly not talent. Clark Gable a great actor?????
 

ludes98

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Maister said:
I wonder wtf their list is based on? Clearly not talent. Clark Gable a great actor?????
Perhaps "legend" means ability to sell tickets/make money for the studio. ;-)
 

Plannerbabs

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Well, going on the premise that actors become their character, I'd go for Gary Oldman. That man has a frightening ability to become whoever the character is. Then DeNiro, of course, and Bill Murray, and Helen Mirren, and Audrey Tatou.
 

BKM

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otterpop said:
An oldie but goodie: Jimmy Stewart. Always watchable. Equally adept at comedy and drama. The quality of his character contributed to his art. George Bailey, Jefferson Smith, Destry, Mr. Hobbs -- all exceptional every men.
Dittos! Destry rules.

I would nominate Clint Eastwood in his early incarnation (Fistfull of Dollars, High Plains Drifter)
 

Zoning Goddess

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I like old movies, so some of of my nominees would be dead:

Jimmy Stewart
Spencer Tracy
Tom Hanks
Gregory Peck
Harrison Ford (drool factor, since I first saw Star Wars)
 

The Irish One

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There are so many.

Jimmy Stewart
Clint Eastwood -even for the last ten years, he has a natural ability.
Tom Hanks has the Jimmy Stewart appeal, but I'm not sure he belongs in the ranks yet.
 

Wulf9

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Dragon said:
I enjoy the Governator’s movies, but he isn’t the greatest actor of all time, and may not be making any more movies either :( .

Maybe he will quit and go back to movies. I would support that. Also noted Clint Eastwood. For those who have lived in Carmel, Clint is a real estate developer. Enough about politician actors. Oh, except that I think that the DC airport should still be National Airport.

But, good actors. I agree with John and Joan Cusack, Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Rizzo the Rat.
 

Dan

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James Gandolfini. Got a problem with that?



Thought not.
 

Cardinal

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There are many good choices listed above, but I can't believe that nobody has suggested Gene Hackman yet.
 

Doitnow

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All I had to do was to read through the earlier posts and I had many of my favourites.Here's my incomplete list: (not in any particular order but Deniro, Jack and Gene would be up there..)

Clint Eastwood
Jack Nicholson
Gene Hackman
Robert DeNiro
Al Pacino
Tom Hanks
Kevin Spacey
Sean Penn
Jim Carrey
Charlie Chaplin
Sean Connery
Gregory Peck
Harrison Ford
Michael Douglas,
I liked Fred Astaire

Susan Sarandon
Jody Foster
Julia Roberts
Meryl Streep
Glenn Close

and my list goes on and on as I AM a Movie Buff!! :)
 

otterpop

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BKM said:
Dittos! Destry rules. )
No matter how many times I've seen it. A dozen or more. I always get choked up when the dying sheriff says what kind of fool sheriff gets shot in the back and Destry comforts him by saying that they didn't have the courage to face his father either.
 

Habanero

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tsc said:
on that note ....I seem to like anything Joan Cusak is in.... she is just funny...
And she's in every movie John is in, right? I've love John Cusak from way back in the 16 Candles days.
 

Gedunker

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Anthony Hopkins is one of my favorites, especially as Lt. William Bligh in Bounty

Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in the "Road" movies were perfect foils to each other.

Charlize Theron is young but has shown an impressive ability to be spot on her characters.
 

The Irish One

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Joan Cusak is awesome!
Nobody has mentioned Woody Allen, whom I like a lot and then there is Albert Brooks who manages to make great movies all the time and imho is a genius on screen and behind screen.
John Torturro is somebody that's getting up there, maybe when the Coen's make a commercial oscar hit, John will be cast and recognized.
 

michaelskis

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I am not saying that he is great, but what are your thought about Sean Connery?

Ones that I also like Martin Shean, and Michael Douglass.
 

Maister

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michaelskis said:
I am not saying that he is great, but what are your thought about Sean Connery?
Nothing wrong with Connery.....I don't think he exhibits the greatest range (not bad just not Great) but I invariably enjoy his performances. Like I said in my earlier post, there are lots of actors that do one thing real well. John Wayne played himself extremely well as does Woody Allen and each have their own devoted following I just happen to think that the greatest of the greats are those actors who can portray the greatest range of roles (act in other words.
 

Doitnow

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Ya

John Wayne
Robin Williams
Mike Myers
Toomy Lee Jones( How could anybody not mention him before)
Anthony Hopkins
Val Kilmer...
 

The Irish One

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Val Kilmer..
I give him lots of credit for his role in Spartan, that movie was great and very throw back, all of his lines are quick no nonsense to the point and the film itself doesn't treat the viewer like an idiot, this is Vals best movie, special thanks to David Mamet !
 
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