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Best performances of great actors


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I was watching Serpico recently and then One Flew over... And then Tootsie was on.


So I was wondering what, of the great screen actors/actresses are their best roles?


Pacino must be either Serpico or Dog Day Afternoon.

Nicholson I've never been a Huge fan but he's great in OFOTCN. Shining is a bit 'just go nuts.'

Hoffman was terrific once, seems hard to believe now. Kramer?

De Niro is probably Mean Streets for me.


So...there's a thread. Maybe.

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Nicholson's excellent in a few things, even stuff like Carnal Knowledge. Pacino and De Niro have been on automatic for years. Heat is nearly 20 years old ffs.


Pacino's last good acting performance was probably Donnie Brasco. Glengarry Glen Ross, Scent Of A Woman and Carlito's Way was a cracking run of films in the early 90s. In fact, four or five years back then was probably the last great period for films where CGI wasn't the main attraction.


I think i've only liked Hoffman in a handful of films and nothing since Rainman, which is 25 years ago. Outbreak and Sphere are criminal performances by someone who was completely miscast.

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Pacino - Godfather I & II will always define him for me but his work between the early 70s and late 90s is with some very obvious exceptions (e.g Revolution) wonderful

De Niro - The Deer Hunter. Watched it today and he's exceptional in it. John Cazavele and Meryl Streep are also magnificent.


Some others:

Orson Welles - A Touch of Evil

Katherine Hepburn - The Philadelphia Story

James Stewart - so many but the man who shot liberty valance , rope and its a wonderful life always stand out for me.

Henry Fonda - 12 Angry Men

Cary Grant - North by Northwest, His Girl Friday, Arsenic & Old lace

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I always think DDL's greatest moment was Gangs Of New York. An incredible performance IMO.


With regards to Di Nero, there's a not very well known film out there called Hide & Seek, low budget etc, but he's superb in it. Try it.

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Dustin Hoffman was great as Lenny Bruce and in Marathon Man & Midnight Cowboy


De Niro's best for me were Godfather 2, The Deer Hunter and Raging Bull


Henry Fonda in 12 Angry Men and The Grapes of Wrath


Robin Williams: Good Morning Vietnam, Awakenings, Good Will Hunting


Clint: outlaw Josey Wales, The Unforgiven


Tom Hanks: Castaway, Forest Gump,


Meryl Streep: Sophie's Choice


Paul Newman: Cool Hand Luke


Peter Finch: Network

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Sean penn in the assassination of Richard Nixon

Marion cotillard in la vie en rose


Just watched them both again recently and was blown away by their performances. Incredible performances.

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Robert DeNiro -- Raging Bull -- possibly the greatest acting job ever. Taxi Driver was pretty awesome too.

Daniel Day-Lewis -- Gangs of New York -- he was astonishingly good.

Al Pacino -- Dog Day Afternoon -- you could feel the tension and his agony in it.

James Stewart -- It's a Wonderful Life

Robert Downey Jr -- Chaplin

Phillip Seymour Hoffman -- Capote

Anthony Hopkins -- The Remains of the Day

Edward Norton -- American History X

Dustin Hoffman -- Papillon

Gene Hackman -- Mississippi Burning

Sean Penn -- The Game

Jack Nicholson -- The Last Detail

Marlon Brando -- On the Waterfront

Denzel Washington -- Flight

Spencer Tracy -- Captain's Courageous

Gary Oldman -- State of Grace

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De Niro's - The Deer Hunter / The King of Comedy

Pacino – Serpico / The Godfather

Hanks – Big

Hoffman – Kramer vs Kramer

Eastwood – Unforgiven

Freeman - Shawshank

Hackman – French Connection

Walkden – Deer Hunter

Streep - Sophie's Choice

Nicholson – One Flew Over

Day-Lewis – my Left Foot

Washington - Malcolm X

Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker has been the best in the last 10 -15 years

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De Niro was great in so many films. Casino, King of Comedy, Deer Hunter, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Mean Streets.

Unbelievable actor whose work can never be sullied, no matter how many 'family comedies' he auto-pilots.

Goodfellas and Cape Fear too.


The energy of his 70s films is incredible though.

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Don't understand the enthusiasm for Day Lewis in Gangs of New York. Totally out of control. Scorsese let him get away with too much there.


De Niro in Raging Bull ranks with anything in American cinema.

Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon.

Brando in On the Waterfront


In the Allerton genre of "World Cinema"


Lino Ventura in Army of the Shadows

And possibly the two greatest acting performances in recent years, Toni Servillo in both Il Divo and The Great Beauty.

Marion Cotillard in Rust and Bone

Penelope Cruz in Volver for sheer fun.

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