I say he’s a great and one-of-a-kind actor that looks like nobody else and is a presence in Hollywood that would be undeniably missed. I loved him in The Shining, The Departed, Anger Management, Mars Attacks!, Hoffa, A Few Good Men, The Two Jakes, Batman, The Witches of Eastwick, Prizzi’s Honor, Terms of Endearment, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Carnal Knowledge, Easy Rider, and The Terror to name a few of his films. If you can think of a few more please list them with your post.
he likes the lakers therefore i don’t like him.
but cuckoo’s nest is one of my faves, as is chinatown.
. . . The Last Detail . . . Five Easy Pieces . . . The Passenger . . .
Am I allowed to mention Five Easy Pieces? I don’t know if you have seen it or not. If you haven’t I would hate to mention it because I might be rubbing it in your face I know more than you about film. The last thing I want to do is upset you, so let me know.
Oh by the way there is already a thread on Nicholson. Learn to use the search function.
Drew, if I haven’t seen Five Easy Pieces does that mean I haven’t seen a Nicholson film? I didn’t mention Rebel Rousers or Little Shop Of Horrors either. Is that OK. What did you like about Five Easy Pieces? And about the other Nicholson thread…it must not be getting many posts to it. Haven’t seen it. So Drew, how about the Bergman thread?
“What did you like about Five Easy Pieces?”
That Ben Folds knew to steal the title.
YES @ adam hahahahahaahaha
Great actor. Unique look, unique style. Of course he’s great in the typical ones The Last Detail, Cuckoo’s Nest, Shining, Five Easy Pieces (which has one of my favourite Chopin compositions, I believe it’s called Suffocation), As Good as it Gets, Batman, Easy Rider, Chinatown, etc. But I really liked him in The Pledge (a very underrated film) and The Passenger, as well as The Departed. Fantastic actor.
Oh and aren’t they making a sequel to The Last Detail?
He is quite great in The Pledge
“Oh and aren’t they making a sequel to The Last Detail?”
They did. It was called Chasers.
Yes. Richard Linklater who directed A Scanner Darkly and School of Rock is talking about directing a sequel to The Last Detail.
^^ Wow that wasn’t a sequel, it just stole/borrowed the same script as Last Detail.
The sequel I’m talking about which Daniel already elaborated on a bit, is supposed to have Jack Nicholson and Randy Quaid.
I don’t know, I kind of prefer Chasers, especially imagining Erika Eleniak wearing a Randy Quaid hairpiece on top of her blond hair.
Fantastic actor, even in small roles he excels anyone seen him in Reds. Also ,agnificent in Terms of Endearment and i’m sorry allthough a bit over the top he’s just perfect in A Few Good Men truly brilliant. The man is a gem and reminds us of the golden age of cinema. Holds his own very well next to the likes of Brando, Dean, Stewart, Fonda. A gift to us all.
Great actor based off Five Easy Pieces alone, he was excellent in a lot of films that followed – Chinatown, Cuckoos Nest but felt repetitive in most of his post Reds phase
Nicholson, like some of his other contemporaries, seems to have become a sad parody of himself. I think up through the late 80’s, and maybe even a little into the 90’s he was giving us great work. Now, not so much.
I used to get angry when I would see him doing another movie in which he would play the same character again, or Pacino. But I heard an interview with Robert De Niro in which he discussed the fact that he does not get many offers for good roles anymore. It seems that casting directors, and directors, have a limited conception of what he can do based on previous work, and general impressions. He said that he found this frustrating, but that he needed to work, and this is why he is willing to take lesser parts. I still think that De Niro, Pacino, Nicholson, and others have been phoning it in for a while now, but I’m willing to cut them a little slack.
I think that’s a bit harsh to call their recent performances ‘phoning in’, should we really expect them to reinvent themselves with every film? Nicholson, for instance, was great in As Good as It Gets and he plays the typical Nicholson character, but it was also a good film with a great cast. In the Departed, Nicholson played his usual character, but I felt the writing for his character was a little weak (although the film itself was pretty good), so he came off as ‘phoning in’ so to speak.
I’m not trying to knock those guys. I think they’re all great. Nor do I think they need to constantly reinvent themselves. However, if you look at Nicholson’s body of work (specifically up to the late 80’s), you’ll find that he’s playing a wide variety of character types. When I say “phoning it in” I don’t mean to imply that the performances are poor, only that they are not so compelling or refreshing because they smack of the actors previous work. This type of performance makes it difficult for me to forget who’s on screen.
There was no finer actor in the seventies than Jack Nicholson. The man gave five legendary performances — Five Easy Pieces, Carnal Knowledge, The King of Marvin Gardens, The Last Detail, Chinatown — back to back and STILL found time to get himself embroiled in a scandal involving his hot tub, an underage girl, and a miniature Polak. Then something happened to him. Something pugilists are only too familiar with, and are wise to steer clear of before a fight: poonanny. Once the hairy, one-eyed monster took him hostage he hasn’t been the same and is now only shown respite during basketball season.
When ‘About Schmidt’ hit the theatres, a radio film reviewer said “Jack Nicholson played Jack Nicholson”.
Nicholson has not received his many kudos by being a one-trick pony. In that film I believe his character was either on-screen or somewhere in the room for every scene on camera in the entire film. The punch he threw at his friend was totally unlike anything we might have seen in Five Easy Pieces, Chinatown, A Few Good Men or Cuckoo’s Nest. In Easy Rider he was too civilized to throw a punch.
The only time he might have phoned it in was in Warren Beatty’s Reds. In one of the features on a recent DVD, Nicholson said he asked Beatty why Beatty wanted him in that film. The response was Beatty felt that Nicholson was the only person the audience might believe could take a woman away from him!
Older, less nimble, less attractive; Nicholson does not have to justify or apologize for his performances to anyone.
About Schmidt, was in my opinion one of his greatest performances and easily his best since 1975, where he gave his two greatest performances in Milos Forman’s One Flew Over The Cukko’s Nest and Michelangelo Antonioni’s underrated masterpiece The Passenger. Has he phoned in some performances? Sure, hes guilty of that. Is he one of the greatest actors America has ever had? Easily. Nicholson deserves to be placed among the many great American cinema icons like Humphrey Bogart and Jimmy Stewart who brought their persona into their performances, but were good enough to make the world believe they were the characters they portrayed. Easily one of my all time favorite actors.
Agree on most of the comments on here. At his peak he was brilliant and About Schmidt was a great performance. When he’s doing run-of-the-mill stuff he’s usually the best thing in it. I even enjoyed Something’s Gotta Give because of him.
Carnal Knowledge. Great performance.
Jack Nicholson is as much an institution as Mt. Rushmore, as are DeNiro and Pacino. Further, he has written films, produced them, directed them, and given some of the most searing performances ever.
@Mel Brown — I do not agree that his performance as Eugene O’Neill in Reds was “phoned in.” To the contrary, I have championed it since 1981 as one of the most inspired pieces of casting (by Beatty), and, in Nicholson’s decision for understatement, one of his genuine best. If a criticism ca be made, his films of recent vintage may have him playing what has become “the Jack Nicholson role,” but still, who better to play them?
Great actor who’s taken some pretty God awful roles. Remember “Wolf?” I try not to.
“I think up through the late 80’s, and maybe even a little into the 90’s he was giving us great work. Now, not so much.”
I really don’t think that this comment has merit…Have you seen The Pledge, About Schmidt, or Blood & Wine? C’mon…those are three of his best ever performances, wildly divergent and put together with a lot of care.
Granted, he doesn’t work nearly as much as he did in the 80s or early 90s, but he’s on the backside of 70, that doesn’t mean that he’s even remotely on the same downward spiral as De Niro and (especially) Pacino.
His performance in The Departed was masterful. He captured the sleaziness, the utter grossness of a certain Boston mobster (still on the prowl) brilliantly. PLEASE see that performance again and just watch him in the convenient store with the young girl…CREEPY.
Didn’t Coppola recently back peddle for saying similar comments? I can’t recall…but anyway, I think Nicholson was and still is the greatest living American actor.
and PS for really godawful…see Man Trouble…or don’t…he’s apparently famously loyal to his friends and did it for writer…yikes!
He surely isn’t what he once was, but nearly every role before THE SHINING was perfect. And he was brilliant in quite a few since, including THE DEPARTED.
ok …that kind of says it all….that was then, this is now…we all have to deal with Jack’s aging…but he WAS brilliant in The Departed :-)