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Greatest movie actor ever

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Versatile, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Daniel Day-Lewis seems like a lock to win his third Academy Award for Best Actor. This is unprecedented and provides a news peg for this debate. We can talk about actresses another day.

    I'm not quite ready to rank them, but here are some names I think should be considered:

    Robert De Niro
    Humphrey Bogart
    Marlon Brando
    Gregory Peck
    Paul Newman
    Jimmy Stewart
    Al Pacino
    Dustin Hoffman
    Clint Eastwood
    Robert Redford
    Kirk Douglas
    Cary Grant
    Jack Nicholson
    Sidney Poitier
    Harrison Ford
    Peter North
    Clark Gable
    Gary Cooper
    Spencer Tracy
    Laurence Olivier
    Sean Penn
    Robert Duvall

    I am leaning toward De Niro and Bogart at the top of my list now.
  2. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Not that I think they are at the top of the list, but that list could also include Burt Lancaster, Jimmy Cagney, Henry Fonda, and possibly Robert Mitchum and (don't laugh) Gene Hackman.
  3. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Adam Sandler?
  4. Uncle.Ruckus

    Uncle.Ruckus Guest

    Carrot Top?
  5. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Laurence Olivier

    And the actress one is easy: Streep and Katherine Hepburn at the top, then sort out the next tier.
  6. Azrael

    Azrael Active Member


    Chaney? Chaplin? Keaton? Fairbanks? Barrymore? Valentino?
  7. godshammgod

    godshammgod Member

    I would probably go with Day-Lewis, largely because of that group, he's the most of my era. I also think he's an incredibly diverse actor. Even the differences in the way he played "evil" characters (Bill the Butcher/Daniel Plainview) are really stark. Plus, he gets credit for his selectively, which has led to only a couple of sub-par films. I guess he embodies "actor" to me. Someone who can transform himself into a character in such a way that you're not thinking about the actor playing the character.

    After that I have trouble differentiating between DeNiro/Brando/Nicholson. I love them all, but by the time I watched all their movies I knew they were great actors. I know they're talented-- I can see it, but I guess I can't have the same reaction to them that I have to Day-Lewis. For example, Taxi Driver or Raging Bull. I went into the films knowing how amazing DeNiro was, and I could see it and appreciate it, but I also consciously knew I was watching an amazing actor perform his craft. I think the first Day-Lewis film I saw was In the Name of the Father. I know it's not one of his "big" films, but I thought it was an amazing performance in its subtlety. The rest of his movies kind of speak for themselves.

    I know this is not part of the discussion, but Chris Cooper is one of my favorite underrated Actors. His performance in Breach back in 2007 is still one of my favorites of all time.
  8. Azrael

    Azrael Active Member

    Jack Lemmon.
  9. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    No, don't think so. I think not having the voice in play disqualifies you from the discussion. Numerous star silent actors fell by the wayside because they didn't have the voice for talkies.
  10. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    I'd put Christian Bale on that list.

    At some point Leo DiCaprio is added to the list.
  11. Azrael

    Azrael Active Member

    If 'silents' are a play-in bracket, maybe Chaplin moves through on the strength of talkies like 'Monsieur Verdoux' and 'Limelight' and 'The Great Dictator.' Even 'Modern Times' had sound, but not much dialogue.

    As an aside, it's always interesting to see how little respect 'comic' actors get on these lists.
  12. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    What year did Day-Lewis win his first Oscar?

    It's a pretty long career of excellence.
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