Jack Nicholson

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inspired by just seeing The Last Detail - fuuck is he good in it

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Chinatown (1974) 10
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) 9
Five Easy Pieces (1970) 8
The Shining (1980) 7
Hells Angels On Wheels (1967) 7
The Passenger (1975) 6
The Last Detail (1973) 3
A Few Good Men (1992) 2
About Schmidt (2003) 2
The Departed (2006) 2
The Border (1982) 1
Ironweed (1997) 1
Carnal Knowledge (1971) 1
The Missouri Breaks (1976) 1
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) 1
Easy Rider (1969) 1
The Pledge (2001) 1
On A Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970) 0
Ensign Pulver (1964) 0
The Witches Of Eastwick (1987) 0
Flight To Fury (1964) 0
The Fortune (1975) 0
The Shooting (1966) 0
Tommy (1975) 0
The St Valentine's Day Massacre (1967) 0
Ride In The Whirlwind (1967) 0
Psych-Out (1968) 0
Rebel Rousers (1969) 0
The King Of Marvin Gardens (1972) 0
A Safe Place (1971) 0
The Last Tycoon (1978) 0
The Bucket List (2007) 0
Wolf (1994) 0
The Crossing Guard (1994) 0
Mars Attacks! (1996) 0
The Evening Star (1996) 0
Blood And Wine (1996) 0
As Good As It Gets (1997) 0
Anger Management (2003) 0
Hoffa (1992) 0
Man Trouble (1992) 0
Goin' South (1978) 0
Reds (1981) 0
Terms Of Endearment (1983) 0
Prizzi's Honour (1985) 0
Heartburn (1986) 0
Broadcast News (1987) 0
Batman (1989) 0
The Two Jakes (1990) 0
Something's Gotta Give (2003) 0


johnny crunch, Friday, 20 March 2009 23:55 (eleven years ago) link

not sure yet what im votin tho

johnny crunch, Friday, 20 March 2009 23:56 (eleven years ago) link

Five Easy Pieces

kenan, Friday, 20 March 2009 23:56 (eleven years ago) link

Five Easy Pieces through Cuckoo's Nest is one helluva string.

Voted for Chinatown.

The Screaming Lobster of Challops (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 20 March 2009 23:57 (eleven years ago) link

Wow I forgot what an amazing career he had before he went completely off the rails.

Alex in SF, Friday, 20 March 2009 23:57 (eleven years ago) link

I AM THE MOTHERFUCKING SHORE PATROL!

Blackout Crew are the Beatles of donk (jim), Saturday, 21 March 2009 00:00 (eleven years ago) link

"Chinatown" seems the obvious choice to me?

Pashmina, Saturday, 21 March 2009 00:00 (eleven years ago) link

voted chinatown with a nod to as good as it gets tbh

14 karat gold steen computer wizard (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Saturday, 21 March 2009 00:07 (eleven years ago) link

voted 5 easy pieces out of instinct but admittedly I haven't seen the more obscure stuff

iatee, Saturday, 21 March 2009 00:10 (eleven years ago) link

chinatown 4-ever

i stole a metal dude's t-shirt in richmond just to watch him cry (latebloomer), Saturday, 21 March 2009 00:32 (eleven years ago) link

The Last Detail.

Mark G, Saturday, 21 March 2009 00:36 (eleven years ago) link

So, was the "Little Shop of Horrors" too obscure for the poll?

Mark G, Saturday, 21 March 2009 00:37 (eleven years ago) link

He's made so many movies that he deserves his own Most Underrated Jack Nicholson Movie poll.

For example:

The Passenger
King of Marvin Gardens
The Border
(one of his best quiet performances)
The Pledge (ditto)

The Screaming Lobster of Challops (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 21 March 2009 00:39 (eleven years ago) link

xp no, just had to cut it to 50

johnny crunch, Saturday, 21 March 2009 00:43 (eleven years ago) link

he's really good in 'the two jakes', which is a totally enjoyable movie with an even better harvey keitel performance. only mentioning it because it's underrated. i'd vote 'the last detail'.

The Prices are .......... VERY AFFORDABLE!!! (omar little), Saturday, 21 March 2009 00:44 (eleven years ago) link

xp fair enough

Mark G, Saturday, 21 March 2009 01:00 (eleven years ago) link

Chinatown ahead of 10-12 other great performances

Past a Diving Jeter (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 21 March 2009 02:00 (eleven years ago) link

i can't stand the counterculture movies he was in.

voted the pledge.

abanana, Saturday, 21 March 2009 03:29 (eleven years ago) link

its Chinatown

Roberto Mussolini (Shakey Mo Collier), Saturday, 21 March 2009 03:46 (eleven years ago) link

"xp no, just had to cut it to 50"

I understand that, but some of what you left he has fairly minor roles in.

Alex in SF, Saturday, 21 March 2009 04:41 (eleven years ago) link

I remember really liking the two Hellman Westerns (only one of which is on the Poll). Suspect I'll vote Five Easy Pieces.

Alex in SF, Saturday, 21 March 2009 04:43 (eleven years ago) link

Carnal Knowledge is a movie destroyed by laughable casting.

Alex in SF, Saturday, 21 March 2009 04:44 (eleven years ago) link

Post-85 the hits become fewer and farther between, don't they?

Alex in SF, Saturday, 21 March 2009 04:45 (eleven years ago) link

chinatown

the name's ban. suggest ban (J0rdan S.), Saturday, 21 March 2009 04:48 (eleven years ago) link

i recently saw Terms of Endearment and his part was much smaller than i'd expected it to be.

nobody said Shining yet. he's funny there. :) also, a nod to About Schmidt.

Ludo, Saturday, 21 March 2009 12:31 (eleven years ago) link

wtf, Ann-Margret is great in CK.

that's the problem w/ The Shining, too funny

Past a Diving Jeter (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 21 March 2009 12:42 (eleven years ago) link

Sure, his more more nuanced performances are perhaps worthy of merit badges and such, but cmon, the correct answer is so obviously The Shining.

Tho this gets an honorable mention:

2 ears + 1 ❤ (Pillbox), Saturday, 21 March 2009 14:03 (eleven years ago) link

"wtf, Ann-Margret is great in CK."

I don't remember Ann-Margret. Jack and Candace and Art are the laughably cast ones! They're all pushing 40 and pretending to play college students!

Alex in SF, Saturday, 21 March 2009 14:05 (eleven years ago) link

His Terms of Endearment part is small, but he's so great in it!! But yeah, damn, this is really hard.

lolling through my bagel (Pancakes Hackman), Saturday, 21 March 2009 14:20 (eleven years ago) link

the shining = jack nicholson as Godfather 2 = Al Pacino in terms of where self-parody began...

JtM Is Ruled By A Black Man (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Saturday, 21 March 2009 14:38 (eleven years ago) link

But Pacino doesn't yell much in GF2! The self-parody begins with Scarface, and maybe those other early eighties performances in films no one has much seen.

The Screaming Lobster of Challops (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 21 March 2009 14:52 (eleven years ago) link

Jack was 33 or 34 at time of CK, his hairline was just receding... when you have characters aging from 21 to 45 in a film, you have to pick an age, and hope your audience can suspend some belief. That's like ppl complaining about Stewart and Wayne being too old in Liberty Valance -- bullshit.

Also, A-M doesn't appear til after the college sequence in Carnal Knowledge.

Past a Diving Jeter (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 21 March 2009 14:57 (eleven years ago) link

Jack's self-parody began w/ Cuckoo's Nest. But he does takes breaks from it, as in The Border and The Pledge.

Also, he's even funnier in Mars Attacks than Pacino is in Dick Tracy.

Past a Diving Jeter (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 21 March 2009 15:01 (eleven years ago) link

But Pacino doesn't yell much in GF2! The self-parody begins with Scarface, and maybe those other early eighties performances in films no one has much seen.

― The Screaming Lobster of Challops (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, March 21, 2009 10:52 AM (9 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

^^^ Watch the "In my BEDROOM" sequence and get back to me.

JtM Is Ruled By A Black Man (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Saturday, 21 March 2009 15:02 (eleven years ago) link

"Jack was 33 or 34 at time of CK, his hairline was just receding"

He's an old looking 33. They should have cast someone in their early to mid-twenties and aged him for 41 sequences (which are a smaller part of the movie anyway.)

Alex in SF, Saturday, 21 March 2009 15:25 (eleven years ago) link

I couldn't suspend disbelief. I found it incredibly distracting.

Alex in SF, Saturday, 21 March 2009 15:26 (eleven years ago) link

pity then. CK w/ Ryan O'Neal, DNW.

Past a Diving Jeter (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 21 March 2009 15:30 (eleven years ago) link

^^^ Watch the "In my BEDROOM" sequence and get back to me.

I don't know -- I guess! But that's like arguing that the scene in Sophie's Choice where Streep has to choose b/w her kids sewed the seeds for self-parody.

The Screaming Lobster of Challops (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 21 March 2009 15:32 (eleven years ago) link

it's weird to realize that i saw 4 of his last 7 movies in the theater - wtf is wrong with me

dom sued (some dude), Saturday, 21 March 2009 15:38 (eleven years ago) link

the pledge is great, it was on tv the other day

rip dom passantino 3/5/09 never forget (max), Saturday, 21 March 2009 15:47 (eleven years ago) link

I don't know -- I guess! But that's like arguing that the scene in Sophie's Choice where Streep has to choose b/w her kids sewed the seeds for self-parody.

― The Screaming Lobster of Challops (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, March 21, 2009 11:32 AM (18 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban

It did!

JtM Is Ruled By A Black Man (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Saturday, 21 March 2009 15:52 (eleven years ago) link

Looking over this list, I account The Shining as the film that ruined Nicholson's career as an actor. It taught him how easy it was to ham it up and persuade audiences to accept it as good acting. He never looked back. Boy howdy, has he been gawdawful the past couple of decades!

btw, I voted Missouri Breaks, just to be contrarian. Chinatown is clearly the strongest horse in this field.

btw, I'm white.

Aimless, Saturday, 21 March 2009 16:56 (eleven years ago) link

yelling in GF2 (or Panic in Needle Park) is not same as Robot Pacino Yelling

Past a Diving Jeter (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 21 March 2009 18:10 (eleven years ago) link

voted easy rider because it's my favorite movie up there, but chinatown will (and prob should) win

k3vin k., Saturday, 21 March 2009 18:15 (eleven years ago) link

I account The Shining as the film that ruined Nicholson's career as an actor. - I see your point, but just because TS birthed the "crazy Jack is gonna snap" schtick that, yeah, got old really quick, doesn't mean that his performance in that film, taken on its own, should be held accountable for The Witches of Eastwick or whatever. To use the Pacino analogy,Glengarry Glen Ross should not be blamed for The Devil's Advocate, even though his lawyer/Satan was essentially a hyper-stylized Ricky Roma.

I'm probably biased, being a horror buff, but I've always thought of the Jack Torrence character as one of cinema's great psychopaths, not necessarily for the cackling and clowning of the film's final third, but for the sinister undertone boiling up between the point when he hurts his son & later starts interacting with ghosts/hallucinations, hitting full stride in the uber-creepy dialog between Jack and the previous caretaker in the washroom. The "here's Johnny" sequence is what people typically associate with the character, but it is that bathroom exchange which best exemplifies the strength of his performance.

Sorry for the lengthy post. I just like The Shining a lot, flawed though it may be.

2 ears + 1 ❤ (Pillbox), Saturday, 21 March 2009 19:16 (eleven years ago) link

Sorry for the lengthy post. I just like The Shining a lot, flawed though it may be.

i just watched Louis Theroux in some kind of self-help-hypnosis world and have to say: DON'T APOLOGIZE. that was a good post :)

Ludo, Saturday, 21 March 2009 20:52 (eleven years ago) link

i'm not a good judge of what makes quality acting, but the movie of these i have enjoyed the most is prob. five easy pieces.

ian, Saturday, 21 March 2009 21:19 (eleven years ago) link

xpost: thanks. I feel a little self-conscious when I'm the only dude on a thread with a long post, which tends to be often, just cuz I'm such a flowery bastard. I wasn't apologizing for my love of TS, but it is a flawed film. The third act just can't support the masterful tone of the first two (but at least it didn't end with an attack of giant hedge bunnies, as King would have preferred).

At first, while voting in polls, I was conflicted about whether I should vote for the objectively "best" thing, or the thing I just happen to like the most. In keeping with the (variably)anti-canonical spirit of ILX, I decided to just go with the latter. So yeah, objectively, Chinatown 9 times out of 10, but I'm voting for the first two-thirds of The Shinning (sic)

2 ears + 1 ❤ (Pillbox), Saturday, 21 March 2009 21:47 (eleven years ago) link

i want you to hold this poll between your knees

Past a Diving Jeter (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 21 March 2009 21:54 (eleven years ago) link

oh yeah, well I won't stand for your smartness and sarcasm.

2 ears + 1 ❤ (Pillbox), Saturday, 21 March 2009 22:07 (eleven years ago) link

watched both the border & the passenger today -- similar disconnected vibe in both, but hes consistently compelling to watch in p much every scene of each, think i actually preferred the border a little

johnny crunch, Saturday, 4 May 2013 23:30 (seven years ago) link

the border's really good.

a few good men was on tv the other day so i watched it, jack's great in the 'i eat breakfast' scene. horrible score

turds (Hungry4Ass), Sunday, 5 May 2013 00:09 (seven years ago) link

it's nicely subtle in that nicholsons character isnt the boy scout cop caricature outraged @ his corrupt colleagues &/or w/ a crusading woody for mistreated brown ppl but more i think that he just realizes that even going along w/ it, getting $ & w/e would only mean his wife would buy more worthless furniture & whatnot so y not do the "right" thing~

johnny crunch, Sunday, 5 May 2013 01:09 (seven years ago) link

otm

Ask The Answer Man (sexyDancer), Sunday, 5 May 2013 04:34 (seven years ago) link

don't think I've seen it since '82 so it's time I spose

Pope Rusty I (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 5 May 2013 13:56 (seven years ago) link

his best from that dark post-Cuckoo's Nest pre-Reds period.

A deeper shade of lol (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 5 May 2013 14:04 (seven years ago) link

Just to be thoroughly annoying, The Border came out after Reds...I've never seen it (meant to at the time); better than The Shining?

clemenza, Sunday, 5 May 2013 14:07 (seven years ago) link

You're right!

A deeper shade of lol (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 5 May 2013 14:09 (seven years ago) link

His performance? Yeah. Whether the movie is better than The Shining I'll leave for the Kubrickiphiliacs.

A deeper shade of lol (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 5 May 2013 14:10 (seven years ago) link

I think you know my answer....

Does anyone like Goin' South? Never saw that one. In an alternate reality he could've been a comedic stalwart, as in The Fortune (or the Little Shop cameo).

Pope Rusty I (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 5 May 2013 14:28 (seven years ago) link

I walked out on The Border after the first 50 minutes or so, ages ago, when I saw it in a theater back when it was released. I don't recall Nicholson's performance as being the main problem so much as the script and direction. I felt I was being intensely manipulated and I didn't like it. Still, it makes me wonder at all the favorable remarks that film gets on this thread. I couldn't stand it.

Aimless, Sunday, 5 May 2013 20:36 (seven years ago) link

well it's been 21 years, Aim.

A deeper shade of lol (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 5 May 2013 20:36 (seven years ago) link

incidentally his commentary track for The Passenger, which I praised here years ago, is still one of my favorites -- one of the few actors who understood exactly what the director wanted him to do as well as having perfect insight into the director's methods, period.

A deeper shade of lol (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 5 May 2013 20:38 (seven years ago) link

in the as good as it gets commentary nicholson doesn't say much for a while and then there's a shot out a window of some boats and he makes a HRMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM foghorn noise. best part of as good as it gets, obviously.

the white queen and her caustic judgments (difficult listening hour), Sunday, 5 May 2013 20:46 (seven years ago) link

xps hated goin' south so much! not just an early showcase for all his worst tendencies as an actor, but just excruciatingly unfunny & irritating. I mean I don't really rate his comedy performance in the shining either, but he does at least make me lol in that.

just dude intonation (wins), Sunday, 5 May 2013 20:47 (seven years ago) link

in the as good as it gets commentary nicholson doesn't say much for a while and then there's a shot out a window of some boats and he makes a HRMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM foghorn noise. best part of as good as it gets, obviously.

― the white queen and her caustic judgments (difficult listening hour), Sunday, May 5, 2013 4:46 PM (33 seconds ago) Bookmark

lmao

turds (Hungry4Ass), Sunday, 5 May 2013 20:47 (seven years ago) link

Looking over his filmography, I don't see Reds as any kind of demarcation point the way Alfred does. The point at which he starts imitating himself--sometime slyly, sometimes clunkily--and his films don't seem like such a big deal anymore, that seems to come a few years later. I'm not sure exactly when--I haven't seen everything in question--but maybe sometime in the mid/late-'80s? I would agree that Cuckoo's Nest ends his great period.

clemenza, Sunday, 5 May 2013 20:54 (seven years ago) link

The point at which he starts imitating himself is Cuckoo's Nest. Though he doesn't always.

Pope Rusty I (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 5 May 2013 21:10 (seven years ago) link

Gotta disagree there. Every actor has mannerisms--he's already doing Jack stuff in Easy Rider--but McMurphy is a fully realized character.

clemenza, Sunday, 5 May 2013 21:26 (seven years ago) link

I only mentioned Reds as his first Academy-recognized Good Performance since Cuckoo's Nest, and for once the Academy is right: that 1976-1982 period is dismal.

A deeper shade of lol (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 5 May 2013 21:38 (seven years ago) link

*mentioned Reds BECAUSE it was

A deeper shade of lol (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 5 May 2013 21:38 (seven years ago) link

he was awful and miscast in The Postman Always Rings Twice and - well, I won't say much about The Shining.

A deeper shade of lol (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 5 May 2013 21:39 (seven years ago) link

agreed on postman, from that post-cuckoo pre-reds period i am very fond of the missouri breaks.

balls, Sunday, 5 May 2013 23:06 (seven years ago) link

three months pass...

http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2013/09/04/jack-nicholson-retires/

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Wednesday, 4 September 2013 17:55 (seven years ago) link

He needs to do a voice-over role or something so that How Do You Know? doesn't become his Buddy Buddy.

bad bad disco (Eazy), Wednesday, 4 September 2013 18:00 (seven years ago) link

or his Welcome to Mooseport or whatever the fuck it was

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 4 September 2013 18:02 (seven years ago) link

he shoulda done that third Jake Gittes film really low-budget, maybe w/ Joe Swanberg

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 4 September 2013 18:03 (seven years ago) link

Haha, yes, and poor Hackman needs to do Krapp's Last Tape.

bad bad disco (Eazy), Wednesday, 4 September 2013 18:08 (seven years ago) link

Wow--remember directors making such an announcement, not an actor or actress. (Bet he can be coaxed out of it.) Just loaned Five Easy Pieces to someone this morning.

clemenza, Wednesday, 4 September 2013 18:09 (seven years ago) link

Connery's last was that reclusive author/inner city prep school movie, right? It was probably the most respectable bow-out of the three of them.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Wednesday, 4 September 2013 18:12 (seven years ago) link

Hackman retired too.

first I think it's time I kick a little verse! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 4 September 2013 18:13 (seven years ago) link

no it was league of extraordinary gentleman
xpost

congratulations (n/a), Wednesday, 4 September 2013 18:13 (seven years ago) link

woops – I need lunch.

Nicholson is so rich he can pay these actors' pensions.

first I think it's time I kick a little verse! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 4 September 2013 18:13 (seven years ago) link

oh in that case, nm. xp

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Wednesday, 4 September 2013 18:14 (seven years ago) link

STAY RETIRED!

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Wednesday, 4 September 2013 18:16 (seven years ago) link

I keep thinking Connery was in Skyfall because that dad/Scotland role was so clearly meant for him.

bad bad disco (Eazy), Wednesday, 4 September 2013 18:18 (seven years ago) link

James Cagney hated Billy Wilder so much he retired after One, Two, Three, then came back 20 years later for Ragtime.

Pretty sure Cary Grant announced his retirement 20 years before his death, too.

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 4 September 2013 18:18 (seven years ago) link

The Sir Billi trailer I just watched makes me incredibly sad, like Connery may have been tricked in some sort of scheme and doesn't have people around him looking out for his best interests. Alan Cumming is in it too, but Alan Cumming will do anything.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Wednesday, 4 September 2013 18:27 (seven years ago) link

Nicholson's rep denying retirement and memory loss

what's up ugly girls? (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 5 September 2013 15:53 (seven years ago) link

one year passes...

Orion to thread

The Stan-Reckoner (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 23 April 2015 00:13 (five years ago) link

seven months pass...

Producer Jerome Hellman bought the rights to Theroux's novel as soon as it was published, and Weir committed to filming it. Jack Nicholson was originally offered the lead role, but backed out partly because he could not watch the LA Lakers from Belize, where part of the film was to be shot.[1] He instead went on to star in Terms of Endearment, a role Ford had also been offered.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 3 December 2015 07:16 (four years ago) link

one year passes...

80 today

johnny crunch, Sunday, 23 April 2017 02:35 (three years ago) link

The point at which he starts imitating himself is Cuckoo's Nest. Though he doesn't always.

― Pope Rusty I (Dr Morbius), Sunday, May 5, 2013 9:10 PM (three years ago)

i haven't seen this film in a while, but i don't remember jack being too ott in this one. if anything he plays it down considerably from the larger-than-life character in kesey's novel.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Monday, 24 April 2017 02:10 (three years ago) link

I think he means that's where you start to see the seeds sewn for the rat mimicry to come.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 24 April 2017 02:47 (three years ago) link

three years pass...

Film school should just be Jack Nicholson talking about Michelangelo Antonioni for free on the internet. pic.twitter.com/52kRFCjxxs

— John Frankensteiner (@JFrankensteiner) October 15, 2020

Donald Trump Also Sucks, Of Course (milo z), Thursday, 15 October 2020 04:19 (two weeks ago) link


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