Sunday, June 5, 2016

Top 100 Actors: Part XIII (#40 - 36)

40. Al Pacino

Certainly one of the biggest names in film for the past 40+ years, it could be argued that he's managed to influence more young actors over his 5 decade-spanning career than anyone else (you could count the number of actors with more influence in one hand). No, I don't hold him in quite as high of regard, but ultimately, I understand the love, and even though his career has turned into a bit of self-parody in the past 10-15 years, that hasn't been enough to damage the impact this man has made on the industry, nor can it take away from the amount of fantastic performances he's given over the course of his life.

Favorite performances:
The Godfather Part II
Dog Day Afternoon
Glengarry Glen Ross
The Godfather
Carlito's Way
And Justice For All
Scent Of A Woman

39. Kirk Douglas

One of my favorite old-timers, Douglas took me a while to warm up to after his ho-hum performance in Spartacus, but once I took a deeper look at his filmography, I was amazed at just how great he really is. A charming leading man who isn't afraid to take on dark, morally-misguided and genuinely appalling characters, there were few actors throughout the late '40s, '50s, and into the '60s who had the skills this man possesses. An electrifying actor with a powerful screen presence and truly impressive range.

Favorite performances:
Ace in the Hole
Paths of Glory
Lust For Life
Detective Story
The Bad and the Beautiful
Lonely Are the Brave

38. Klaus Kinski

I almost feel like it's cheating for me to include Kinski seeing as I've only watched a small handful of movies he's been in, but of what I've seen, it doesn't feel out of place at all for him to land this high. This man as truly a force of nature, tearing up every scene he was in, but not without any empathy or subtlety to his performances. His crazed personality and on-screen persona may have not been something easily digestible to mainstream audiences, but to people interested in admiring the craft of acting, there's no way this guy isn't going to leave an impression.

Favorite performances:
Aguirre, Wrath of God
Nosferatu, the Vampyre

37. Laurence Olivier

When going down the list of actors respected by film and theater critics alike, it won't take long for Olivier's name to come up. Over the course of his career, he earned more Oscar nominations than any other actor before him (actresses not included), and it's easy to see why. This man is an acting legend, capable of expressing more with one look or gesture than most actors could ever muster in an entire film.

Favorite performances:
Wuthering Heights
The Entertainer
Marathon Man
Pride and Prejudice
The Boys From Brazil

36. Michael Caine

One of the few actors to ever receive Oscar nominations in 5 different decades, Caine is still going strong even after 50 years. Though the number of great performances he's given have decreased in more recent years (a few quick cash-grab type performances have emerged over time), there is no sign that Caine is planning to retire or quit delivering the goods anytime soon. Who knows, maybe he'll get another nomination and make it 6 consecutive decades. That would be cool.

Favorite performances:
Little Voice
Hannah and Her Sisters
Get Carter
Educating Rita
Mona Lisa
Children of Men

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