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My Best Film: Gene Hackman


Devon Malcolm
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One of the greatest American film actors over the 40-odd years he was working? Damn right. Here's some reasons why:-* Bonnie & Clyde - marker put down, Hollywood take notice. Steals the film.* The French Connection - now he's properly arrived. Popeye Doyle is one of the most believably dangerous obsessive cops in film history. He is terrifying during that car chase.* Prime Cut - saw this film only recently and it is an undiscovered little gem. He plays a farm owner whose farm is actually a cover for a whorehouse and slave labour camp who sees off Chicago gangsters who try and shut him down by grinding them into sausages and mailing them back to the Mafia. Brilliant.* The Superman films - when they weren't shit and didn't care about the sodding comic books and he made Lex Luthor an interesting villain and not some smarmy bald twat or some other nondescript cunt.* No Way Out - can he still do film-stealing support roles? Yes, thanks.* The Conversation - his finest hour. A masterpiece of a performance and a film. Everyone needs to see this film even if your taste is shit and if you think it's shit then I can bully you about it.* Bat*21 - underrated Vietnam film, almost a one man show.* Narrow Margin - yes, he can do a nice thriller on a train as well, ta.* Unforgiven - enough said.* Get Shorty - not a very good film but shows he can do comedy.* The Royal Tenenbaums - fantastic film, an even better performance where he outshines a brilliant cast.Plus there are plenty of others. Discuss! How dare he retire :(

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I'd like to throw out Mississippi Burning aswell, was the film that got me into Hackman and I thought both he and Defoe were very good together in that. He's one of the all time great's for me, wish he had've made more Westerns during his career as he was generally excellent in them.

Edited by Maverick
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Forgot Mississippi Burning - not a huge fan of the film but he's excellent in it.He did a few westerns but I guess in the period he worked in and was most prominent during he wouldn't have got as much chance to do many. Still, he did four or five pretty good ones, I think.

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Nailed it with your pics but I'd chuck in his performances in Hoosiers ( not a great film but a stand out in the Coach takes a shitty team and turns them round genre) and Hackman vs Eastwood in Absolute Power. Everyone go and watch The Conversation.

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Can't praise The Conversation enough, it's a film I studied extensively in my first year of university and I have a lot of time for it. However, it ranks behind French Connection and The Royal Tenenbaums in my personal favourites, but as a piece of work it's by far his best.

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I do enjoy a bit of Hack Man, he's a supremely talented actor. I'll throw Scarecrow out there for those with an interest in him (or Al Pacino). Certainly not his best but it's a hidden gem of a film and a good little road movie. I saw it on TCM a few years ago and haven't seen it on there since. It's a proper actor's film and the two leads play off each other really well. Won the Palm d'Or as well, apparently. It's directed by Jerry Schatzberg, who also directed the very underrated The Panic in Needle Park. Check it out.

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* Bat*21 - underrated Vietnam film, almost a one man show.

I love that film, it's fantastic. no idea why people slate it, Hackman is simply delightful in it. Amongst those not already mentioned, his turn in Enemy of the State is wonderous and as is him and Dan Ackroyd in Loose Cannons, which about 2 people ever have seen. It's is a shame as it's totally bonkers through out.
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'Unforgiven' for me, absolutely timeless film, and he is superb in it, you don't know whether to hate him or root for him.I hated 'The Royal Tennebaums', way too much forced quirkiness like pretty much every Wes Anderson film. Didn't find it funny at all. No fault of Hackman's though, it was the script, premise and general aesthetic that I despised rather than the actual acting.

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All the famous ones, and the ones I would have chosen, have been taken so I'm going for " Bat*21 " too. " Bat*21 " Wiki Page

Lt. Col. Iceal "Ham" Hambleton is a weapons countermeasures expert and when his aircraft is shot over enemy territory the Air Force very much wants to get him back. Hambleton knows the area he's in is going to be carpet-bombed but a temporary shortage of helicopters causes a delay. Working with an Air Force reconnaissance pilot, Capt. Bartholomew Clark, he maps out an escape route based on golf courses he has played. Along the way however, he has to face enemy forces and the death of some of his fellow soldiers.

Edited by bAzTNM#1
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