Actors’ Spotlight #59: Michael Caine

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Sir Michael Caine, CBE (born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite; 14 March 1933) is an English actor and author. Renowned for his distinctive working class cockney accent, Caine has appeared in over 115 films and is regarded as a British film icon.

He made his breakthrough in the 1960s with starring roles in a number of acclaimed British films, including Zulu (1964), The Ipcress File (1965), Alfie (1966), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award, The Italian Job (1969), and Battle of Britain (1969). His most notable roles in the 1970s included Get Carter (1971), The Last Valley, Sleuth (1972), for which he earned his second Academy Award nomination, The Man Who Would Be King (1975), and A Bridge Too Far (1977). He achieved some of his greatest critical success in the 1980s, with Educating Rita (1983) earning him the BAFTA and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. In 1986, he received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters.

Caine played Ebenezer Scrooge in The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992). Having by that time practically retired from acting on the big screen, he enjoyed a career resurgence in the late 1990s, receiving his second Golden Globe Award for his performance in Little Voice in 1998 and receiving his second Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for The Cider House Rules the following year. Caine played Nigel Powers in the 2002 parody Austin Powers in Goldmember, and Alfred Pennyworth in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy. He appeared in several other of Nolan’s films including The Prestige (2006), Inception (2010), and Interstellar (2014). He also appeared as a supporting character in Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men and Pixar’s 2011 film Cars 2. As of February 2017, films in which he has starred have grossed over $3.5 billion domestically and over $7.8 billion worldwide. Caine is ranked the eleventh highest grossing box office star.

Caine is one of only two actors nominated for an Academy Award for acting in every decade from the 1960s to 2000s (the other one being Jack Nicholson; Laurence Olivier was also nominated for an acting Academy Award in five different decades, beginning in 1939 and ending in 1978). In 2000, Caine was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his contribution to cinema.

Caine has been everywhere, literally everywhere, I think he’s the only actor who has done every single genre of movie available and with each movie he’s done, there are definitely hits and misses.

Let’s begin our look at the career of Michael Caine by looking at some of his biggest misfires as an actor:

5. The Now You See Me Movies

I’m sorry, I do not get the appeal of the Now You See Me movies, these movies are not entertaining, they are not exciting, they are not written well, the only thing that these movies do well on are the visuals but like I’ve said, visuals do no make the fucking movie. Why was there even two of these to begin with?

4. Get Carter (2000)

A lame remake of the 1971  crime thriller, it does the original a huge disservice and despite Sylvester Stallone trying his hardest to make it work, it just turns into a generic lame action thriller.

3. Beyond The Poseidon Adventure

At the worst era of the 70s disaster movies where we were only a few movies away from reaching Meteor and The Swarm levels of terrible disaster films.

2. On Deadly Ground 

Steven Seagal wanted to do this so Warner Bros., trying to get Under Siege 2 made, said, “yes, Steven, do whatever you want with this.” And this is why Steven Seagal will never be taken seriously as an action star because my god, this shit was bad.

and the #1 worst Michael Caine movie is…

Jaws: The Revenge

Need I say more about this one that hasn’t already been said.

And now, the best…

5. The Nolan Batman Trilogy

Even though the role of Alfred is a smaller role than Batman is, Michael Caine does a good job humanizing the character of Alfred in all of the Batman movies under director Christopher Nolan and his connection with Christian Bale is very good in all three films.

4. The Weather Man

Still one of the most underrated movies of recent memory, Caine gives a great supporting performance in this playing Nicolas Cage’s dying father.

3. Hannah & Her Sisters

An excellent Woody Allen movie with Caine starring alongside Mia Farrow, Carrie Fisher, and Barbara Hershey.

2. Children Of Men

A brilliant well made post apocalyptic movie directed by Alfonso Cuaron and co-starring Clive Owen and Julianne Moore.

and the #1 best Michael Caine movie is…

Harry Brown

A great underrated crime thriller that can easily be seen as a modern day version of Death Wish, Caine is excellent in this movie with great supporting performances from Emily Mortimer, Ben Drew, & Charlie Creed-Miles. Definitely seek this movie out.

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Posted in Actors' Spotlight

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