Thursday, May 21, 2020
Thursday Movie Picks: Great Final Film Performances
In the 21st week of 2020 for Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks. We go into the subject of great final films of actors and actresses which was suggested by me as some retire with a whimper while others choose to go out with a bang. Here are my three picks:
1. Bruce Lee-Enter the Dragon
The genre-defining starring and co-directed by Bruce Lee was the film that proved how immense the kung-fu/martial arts genre would be to capture the minds of western audiences. The film is about a spy who enters a secret invitational tournament to find out who killed his sister and the secrets behind the tournament. The film was released nearly a month after his death where he was trying to work on another film in Game of Death which he never finished though a 38-minute unfinished version of the film is available and is set to be available in a remastered form in an upcoming Blu-Ray box set devoted to Bruce Lee’s work from the Criterion Collection.
2. John Cazale-The Deer Hunter
Though he only appeared in five films during his life time from 1972 to 1978, John Cazale at least created an impressive amount of performances in those films as all five films that he appeared in remain revered and have either won or have been nominated for Best Picture. In his role as a steelworker who doesn’t join three of his friends to go to Vietnam to fight in the war, Cazale’s character is someone that talks a lot of shit but never does anything though he is a man that means well. Cazale’s performance is overlooked in comparison to his co-stars yet he does have moments where he stands out as it is a great farewell to one of cinema’s great actors.
3. Richard Burton-Nineteen Eighty-Four
Michael Radford’s adaptation of the George Orwell novel that stars the late John Hurt as Winston Smith is a film that explores a totalitarian world as Smith is someone who wants to be an individual in a world where individualism is taboo. It is a film that bears more relevance given the times we’re in this pandemic world. Especially in America as there’s a dictator that is creating lies and having followers who will spout his idiotic rhetoric. In his final performance as O’Brien, Richard Burton brings a lot of gravitas to his role as the antagonist who studies Smith’s activities and tortures him in the worst ways. It is a towering performance and a real way to go out.
© thevoid99 2020