tagReviews & Essays"Heere's Johnny! Daddy's Home!"

"Heere's Johnny! Daddy's Home!"


This celebrity story is all about my personal list of favorite male actors.

I took a couple of screenwriting courses in college while earning my degree in English to know that screenwriting wasn't for me. I did like reading the book and watching the movie in class while comparing what the director did to bring the author's words to life. The only books that I can recall that are exactly like the movie are Piano, written by Jane Campion.

Not typical and very unusual, Campion wrote the book after she made the movie. Normally, the movie is adapted from the book. Also, the dialogue of Martin Scorsese's Age of Innocence, word for word, was exactly like Edith Wharton's novel.

The only author the director was unable to bring to life was F. Scott's Fitzgerald, as his work is filled with imagery, ergo the reason why the Great Gatsby was such a flop at the box office. Also, Milan Kundera's, The Unbearable Lightness of Being didn't translate well in the movies, even though Daniel Day Lewis, Juliette Binoche, and Lena Olin did a superb job. Not every book that's written should be made into a movie.

The claim to fame of the professor I had in my screenwriting classes wrote screenplays for Moonlighting with Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepard. A hit show but with the stars hating one another, the show prematurely ended after four years. He loved the Academy Awards and as part of taking his class, we had to buy his book that listed every Oscar won by anyone how had to do with making a movie, from cameramen, to film editors, to set designers, to costume designers, and everyone in between. The book filled with details was a very interesting read and resource to have.

With a typical screenplay being 120 pages with lots of white space, a page for each minute of the movie, basically screenwriting is the writer writing dialogue and leaving everything else up to the imagination and the interpretation of the director and actors. I don't only want to write dialogue. I'd rather write novels. I'd rather write everything instead of giving up control of my story to someone else.

Yet, this story isn't about screenwriting, per se, this story is about four of my favorite actors, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, and Dustin Hoffman, of course, there's Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and Steve McQueen, too. I have many other favorite actors but the above mentioned four actors are my all-time favorite actors. I'd like to give special mention to Spielberg's Schindler's List, with Liam Neeson, one of my most favorite movies.

I titled this celebrity story from direct quotes taken from the movie, The Shining. In the way that Jack Nicholson portrayed his character, Jack Torrence, that was a scary movie.

"Redrum! Redrum! Redrum!"

I love watching movies. Ever since I was a kid when I watched black and white reruns of The Old Man in the Sea with Spencer Tracy, Soldier in the Rain with Jackie Gleason and Steve McQueen, and Requiem for a Heavyweight with Jackie Gleason, Mickey Rooney, and Anthony Quinn, I've been hooked watching movies. I used to love any old, black and white movie with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn. Now I'll watch any movie with Brad Pitt and/or George Clooney while knowing the movie will be entertaining and that Brad will die horrifically in the end as he did in Troy, Meet Joe Black, and the Assassination of Jesse James.

* * * * *

Of course I have some favorite actors over others, such as Al Pacino, mostly because of the Godfather. Born in East Harlem, New York in 1940, he's 74-years-old and 5'7" tall. Granted he's lost millions of dollars because of an unscrupulous business manager but it's amazing to me that his net worth is only $135 million dollars when Taylor Swift's net worth is around $200 million dollars. He lived with Beverly D'Angelo for seven years and had fraternal twins with her. Beverly D'Angelo is the actress better known for her National Lampoon movies with Chevy Chase.

He also had relationships with Diane Keaton, Tuesday Weld, Jill Clayburgh, Martha Keller, Kathleen Quinlan, and Lyndall Hobbs. He was recently signed to star in a movie with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, The Irishman by Martin Scorsese. He's also agreed to play Penn State's Coach Joe Paterno in an upcoming movie, Happy Valley. He dropped out of school at 17 to study acting with Lee Strasberg.

When he's not playing a mobster, he's playing a cop. A Silicy American, just as fictional character, Don Corleone was, his nickname growing up was Sonny. It's interesting that he should act opposite James Caan when he played Sonny Corleone. Here are some of my favorite Al Pacino quotes when he played Michael Corleone, from the Godfather movie.

"Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment," he said. "There are many things my father taught me here in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close but your enemies closer," he said. "Only don't tell me that you're innocent. Because it insults my intelligence and makes me very angry," he said. "It's not personal, Sonny. It's strictly business," he said. "Just when I thought I was out...they pull me back in."

He also starred in Serpico about a cop blowing the whistle on corruption with the NYPD. Dog Day Afternoon was another great movie of his with him on the other side of the law. An interesting tidbit, the actor, John Cazale, who also played his brother, Fredo, in the Godfather was his partner in crime in the above mentioned movie.

Who can forget him playing Tony Montana against Michele Pfeiffer in Scarface?

"Say hello to my little friend!"

I love him in the Sea of Love as Det. Frank Keller opposite his love interest, Ellen Barkin. The sex scene in that movie was hot. He was great in Scent of a Woman as Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade and won the Oscar for that portrayal. I've never seen a sightless man drive a Ferrari until that movie. Of course he was in Heat, one of my all-time favorite movies, as Lt. Vincent Hanna. Donnie Brasco was an unbelievable movie too. A character actor in the way of De Niro, Nicholson, and Hoffman, he's had such meaty roles.

He played John Milton, as the Devil, in the Devil's Advocate with Keanu Reeves and Charilze Theron. The best scene in the movie was when he was being hustled by a couple of Hispanics on the subway and he turns to one in fluent Spanish to tell him that his wife is having an affair and if he leaves right now, he'll catch her.

Some of his best work was his earlier work, from the early seventies to the late nineties.

* * * * *

Robert De Niro is another one of my all-time favorite actors. He dropped out of school at 16 to study acting with Lee Strasberg. His nickname was Bobby Milk because of his pale complexion. Accustomed to the huge net worth numbers of lessor celebrities, De Niro's net worth is 185 million dollars. Maybe I've been desensitized to celebrities earning so very much money, with all the movies he's made, I thought he'd be worth more.

Born in Greenwich Village, New York, in 1943, he's 71-years-ol and 5'10" tall. He was in Godfather 1 as Vito Corleone. As you may determine, the Godfather movies, directed by the Francis Ford Coppola, are some of my favorite movies. Rather than thinking of the actors, I think of the movies. De Niro won the Oscar for his portrayal of Vito Corleone in Godfather II. I think more about their body of work than I do them personally. With the contributions from so very many people, so much work goes into making a movie and typically the one who receives most of the credit, the accolades, and the money is the star.

Two of my favorite movies were Heat and Casino. Robert De Niro was in both of those movies and Al Pacino was in Heat. If you haven't seen the movies, I highly recommend them. He also starred in Taxi Driver as Travis Bickle, a disturbing movie with Jodie Foster. Then there was the Deer Hunter, De Niro at his best with Christopher Walken and Meryl Streep. If you love boxing as all my brothers did and as De Niro did, if you haven't see it already, you must see Jack La Motta's story, Raging Bull with Cathy Moriarty and Joe Pesci. That was a great movie and De Niro won the Oscar for his role.

Goodfellas is another one of my all-time favorite movies with Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci again. Joe Pesci also starred in Casino with De Niro. I guess they must be friends. I could spend the entire story just talking about De Niro but there are other actors that I'd like to write about too.

* * * * *

Jack Nicholson is another one of my favorite actors. Born in Neptune City, New Jersey in 1937, Jack is 77-years-old and 5'10" tall. Right up there with Mel Gibson and Sylvester Stallone, he's one of the richest actors. With his net worth estimated at $450 million, he could buy Al Pacino and Robert De Niro and have $120 million left over.

He's tied with Walter Brennan and Daniel Day Lewis for one of only three, male actors who have won three Academy Awards, Oscars. A long time New York Yankees and Los Angeles Lakers fan, the bad boys of Hollywood, he was close with Warren Beatty, Marlon Brando, and Robert Evans. A collector of fine art, he owns a priceless collection of Matisse, Tamara de Lempicka, Andy Warhol, and Jack Vettriano.

Even though he's had a long term relationship with famous actress, Angelica Houston, he's been romantically linked to many women. Michelle Phillips, Lara Flynn Boyle, Bebe Buell, Janice Dickinson, Christina Onassis, Jill St. John, Candice Bergen, Rita Moreno, Amanda de Cadenet, Kate Moss, Rachel Ward, Sharon Stone, and Drew Barrymore are just the ones we know about. A Hollywood playboy right up there with Warren Beatty, no woman was safe with those two around in their heyday.

I'd watch anything with Jack Nicholson. Easy Rider with Peter Fonda and the late, great Dennis Hopper started his movie career in 1978 when he played George Hanson. With him winning the Oscar, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest with him playing R. P. McMurphy with Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched was one of my favorite movies of his. The Postman Always Rings Twice with Jessica Lange is another one of my favorites. The scene where he has sex with her right on the kitchen table is worth seeing the rest of the movie.

Terms of Endearment is another one of my favorite movies of his when he played, Garrett Breedlove with Shirley MacLaine as Aurora Greenway. He won the Academy Award for that movie too as the best supporting actor. He had a funny role in that sad movie. Prizzi's Honor with him as Charlie Partanna with Kathleen Turner as Irene Walker is worth seeing too. Probably more his character in real life than a fictional portrayal, I loved him in the Witches of Eastwick as Daryl Van Horne with Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Michele Pfeiffer.

Then, when he played the Joker in Batman, that character was all Jack. With him starring in a Few Good Men as Colonel Nathan R. Jessup and opposite Tom Cruise and Demi Moore, wow, that was a memorable movie. As Good As It Gets with him playing Melvin Udall with Helen Hunt was a great movie and gained him his third Oscar. The Departed with him playing Frank Costello when he was really playing a known criminal Whitey Bulger with Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Mark Wahlberg is worth the rental fee.

* * * * *

Last but not least is Dustin Hoffman. Born in Los Angeles, California in 1937, he's 77-years-old and 5'6" tall. His net worth is around $275 million dollars. I think he's one of the greatest actors of our lifetimes. An interesting tidbit, an Archie comic fan, he owns a copy of every issue ever printed. He's one of the few actors without a scandal or a seedy past.

When I watch one of his movies, I can just feel him immersing himself in character. Starting with the Graduate with him playing Benjamin Braddock with Katharine Ross and Anne Bancroft as her mother is a movie, I've watched that movie several times and enjoyed it every time. Midnight Cowboy with him playing Ratso Rizzo with John Voight, Angelina Jolle's Dad, as Joe Buck is a haunting movie.

Little Big Man with him as Jack Crabb is a must see epic movie. In the way of the Charles Bronson Death Wish movies of old, Straw Dogs is a disturbing movie about rape but is worth seeing. Then, there's Papillon with Steve McQueen with them both held as prisoners.

Dustin Hoffman has too many big movies to list. Every one of his movies are entertaining from Lenny, the story of Lenny Bruce, to All the President's Men, about Nixon's Watergate scandal, to Marathon Man, to Tootsie. He won the Oscar for Kramer vs. Kramer and for Rain Man. Again, much in the way of Al Pacino, Dustin's best work was from the early 70's to the late 90's.

The End

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