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Favorite Robert Redford Performances


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So no one likes Redford's performance as reform-minded prison warden BRUBAKER (1980)?  I thought he was pretty good as the warden fighting through a sea of human slime to make the jail a more civil place. 

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18 hours ago, filmnoirguy said:

I know his reviews weren't the best for Out of Africa (critics couldn't accept him as an Englishman), but for my money I thought his performance was very good.

Omigod-my Mother LOVES that movie! She'd watch it every time it was broadcast on TCM! 

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11 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

I'm sorta embarrassed to bring up a Marvel movie, but as far as recent Redford goes, his surprise turn in Captain America: the Winter Soldier was highly entertaining.

Some of his movies get forgotten about, but are pretty good movies. The Hot Rock (1972) and Havana (1990) are good examples of that.

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5 hours ago, Mr. Gorman said:

So no one likes Redford's performance as reform-minded prison warden BRUBAKER (1980)?  I thought he was pretty good as the warden fighting through a sea of human slime to make the jail a more civil place. 

Actually that's the one-non Newman film with Redford that I do like. I have to admit he did turn in a pretty good performance in there. It also featured Morgan Freeman in a small role as one of the inmates (warming up for SHAWSHANK, maybe?).

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17 hours ago, DougieB said:

Three Days of the Condor and All the President's Men are my top favorites too. I'm fond of Inside Daisy Clover, though it has to be acknowledged as a somewhat nutty movie.  But props to him for playing a gay actor that early in his movie career. (And I like the short tribute to Natalie Wood he recorded for TCM, based on a friendship they developed during that movie.) I think he went on playing the golden boy a little too long, as in The Way We Were maybe, but at any age he was generally compelling on the screen. He and Jane Fonda were amazing when they reteamed for the HBO movie Our Souls at Night (2018); he's still got it, and so does she.

Condor is one of my fav films of all time (non-classic era) and I love him in it, too.  ATPM is also great and his performance is wonderful.  I'd add Sneakers and Up Close and Personal to my list as well.  Butch Cassidy and The Sting standout, of course....

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I didn't really care for Gatsby,  and it seemed to me that critics liked his performance so much he felt he needed to be Gatsby in several movies he made after it.  

Sepiatone

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I like many of the Redford performances mentioned and I'll add "The Horse Whisperer". 

In addition, Redford's directing skills are amazing.  "Ordinary People" is an intense, powerful film about a family being torn apart with amazing performances by Timothy Hutton, Mary Tyler Moore and Donald Sutherland.  Redford's knowledge and expertise as an actor had to have contributed to his direction of this remarkable film.  It is very sensitively done.  Casting Mary Tyler Moore in this dramatic role was a surprise because she was so well known for comedic roles but she is so authentic as Beth - an upper class housewife permanently warped by tragedy.

Ordinary People Reviews - Metacritic

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3 minutes ago, Toto said:

I like many of the Redford performances mentioned and I'll add "The Horse Whisperer". 

In addition, Redford's directing skills are amazing.  "Ordinary People" is an intense, powerful film about a family being torn apart with amazing performances by Timothy Hutton, Mary Tyler Moore and Donald Sutherland.  Redford's knowledge and expertise as an actor had to have contributed to his direction of this remarkable film.  It is very sensitively done.  Casting Mary Tyler Moore in this dramatic role was a surprise because she was so well known for comedic roles but she is so authentic as Beth - an upper class housewife permanently warped by tragedy.

Ordinary People Reviews - Metacritic

Yes, I always appreciated Redford's directorial efforts more than his acting, and ORDINARY PEOPLE in my opinion is his best work.

Hutton deserved his win and Mary deserved her nomination as well (but her bad luck to be running against COAL MINER DAUGHTER'S Sissy Spacek, otherwise she might have won the Best Actress Oscar).

What I don't understand is why Donald Sutherland wasn't nominated? He was equally outstanding as much as Mary and Hutton were.

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4 hours ago, 37kitties said:

Is Redford's Gatsby better than DiCaprio's, or vice-versa?

Any opinions on that?

I'm not sure how Leo himself handled the deceptively-charming veneer of Mr. Gatsby, but, like all his movies, literally Baz Luhrmann's ONLY interest in adapting F. Scott Fitzgerald (apart from wishing that they played Beyonce' at 1920's champagne parties) was in the ancient old gay wishful-thinking idea that Jay & Nick were a "couple" because they hung out together so often...Uhh, NO.  😡

In the '74 version, Redford does a good mix of Gatsby's carefully-crafted image of Titan of Business with his nervously insecure farm boy roots underneath--imagine a mix of the despicable millionaire from "Indecent Proposal" with Johnny Hooker from "The Sting"--and the movie's suitably bacchanalian depictions of his 20's parties lets us understand that A) next-door neighbor Nick only hung around with him because everyone else in the 20's was fascinated with the rich life, and B ) Gatsby was still nervous as a schoolboy around Daisy, and liked the fact that Nick reflected his humble "roots".

They're both good performances, but only one of the two directors read the book.

4 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

I didn't really care for Gatsby,  and it seemed to me that critics liked his performance so much he felt he needed to be Gatsby in several movies he made after it.  

The movie got MAJOR hype in the 70's for trying to start a "Gatsby-era" trend for 20's fashion, but when audiences who came for the clothes and cars saw the story they got, you can't blame the movie for not doing well at the box office.  

I never had to study the book in college, so I can't speak for whether Jack Clayton's dour soft-focus "ruined" the adaptation, but Redford's performance IS pretty darn good.  👍

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Re:  Gatsby - Leonardo was terrible - Toby M. was the best part about it.  I think the Redford version is the first time I saw Sam Waterson (sp?) as Nick.  Redford film had better cast.

 

As for why Sutherland wasn't nominated or why Redford never won an acting Oscar, that is the way awards shows go.

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I previously posted about some favorite Robert Redford movies in the I Just Watched thread  so if anyone feels like they're having a déjà vu moment when you're reading this, you are . . .

 

I  really like ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN. It’s one of the most engrossing movies about journalists, mostly because it plays out like a detective story, with two young newspaper reporters uncovering clues that link members of the Nixon administration to the 1972 Watergate break-in. (The burglary and the administration’s attempts to cover up involvement in it grew into the scandal that ultimately led to the President’s resignation.) I especially like Robert Redford’s performance in the early parts of the investigation. There’s something very real and engaging in those scenes where Redford (as journalist Bob Woodward) is interviewing leads on the phone and taking notes and doodling. I also like the sequence where Woodward and his Washington Post colleague Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) try to locate and interview workers for the Committee to Re-elect the President (CREEP *haha!*) from a personnel list they obtain. The different reactions the reporters receive outside the doors of the committee workers’ homes are compelling. A favorite moment is when they finally find someone who is eager to talk but soon learn that she is not the CREEP worker they’re looking for, just someone with the same last name who is upset by the threat to the Constitution.  

I haven’t seen THE CANDIDATE (another politically themed movie) yet, but I want to.

I like THE WAY WE WERE quite a bit. Some of my fondness for it is rooted in nostalgia: it’s favorite movie of both my mother and grandmother so I have memories of them watching it during my childhood. But I’ve also enjoyed watching it as an adult even though it is an imperfect movie. Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand play two people who are “wrong for each other” but who fall in love and marry. The biggest problem with the movie is that the couple’s split when Streisand’s character is pregnant with Redford’s character’s child makes no sense, despite his one-night stand with the Lois Chiles character. Apparently, there were some scenes that were cut from the movie that were political in nature (the break-up occurred during the time of the Red Scare/Hollywood blacklist period --- Redford’s character is a screenwriter at this point on the story) which provide more plausible reasons for the characters' divorce. The version with those scenes tested poorly with a preview audience while the version without the political scenes tested well.  Even with the plot holes in the released movie, there are a number of magical scenes that consistently move me.  One is the scene where the college professor reads one of Redford’s stories in class as an example of great writing. The way Redford’s face reveals his character’s both modesty and pride is amazing to watch. (Streisand is also very good in this scene:  she conveys her character's heartbreak that her story wasn't chosen by the professor as well as her genuine awe of the writing talent of Redford's character.) Another magical scene is the final “years later” one at the end, where the divorced Redford and Streisand meet by chance. Redford’s look when he tells Streisand he can’t have drinks with her and her current husband! And Streisand’s when she responds “I know.”

I’ve never seen THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR in its entirety. I tried watching it a few years ago (I think when it shown on TCM as part of Faye Dunaway’s Summer Under the Stars tribute). I couldn’t get into it then even though I’m a fan of Redford, Dunaway and director Sydney Pollack. Maybe it’s time to give this one another try. This movie was one of the inspirations for CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, which is streaming now on Disney+ . . .

Another Robert Redford movie I like is BAREFOOT IN THE PARK, adapted from the Neil Simon play. Redford plays the strait-laced newlywed that he also played on Broadway. In the movie adaptation, his free-spirited wife is played by Jane Fonda, who is fantastic in the role and so beautiful. Redford’s non-verbal reactions are hilarious! This was not a movie I expected to like.  I had the pre-conceived idea that it would be an un-funny gag-fest. However, when I saw it for the first time last year with my sweetie, we literally laughed out loud throughout it. We loved Mildred Natwick as the wife’s mother, who like Redford reprised her role from the original stage production. The three actors’ comic timing is impeccable and they play Simon’s dialogue “for real” rather than trying to hit the jokes. Charles Boyer plays a bohemian neighbor of the newlyweds that Jane Fonda’s character tries to set up with her mother. As a fan of 1960s fashions, I loved the wardrobe Edith Heath designed for Jane Fonda, especially her long-sleeved orange top with brown slacks and her sleeveless pink sheath (or was it a shift?) dress.   I had a major OUCH! moment when one of the characters slipped on an icy stoop.   By the way, because the movie is set in New York City, I had previously thought that the “park” in the title was Central Park, but I discovered that it was actually Washington Square Park (the newlywed couple’s apartment is in Greenwich Village).

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There's a smugness to Redford that has always put me off him (one of my old professors filmed Redford for a featurette on the making of A River Runs Through It and Redford insisted on only being filmed in extremely soft lighting and filter to hide his wrinkles- made me laugh when i heard it), but I do love A River Runs Through It.  I guess his only performance in it is the narration.  Great book and film.

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The (((Circle))) of SUTS: 

Jane Fonda starred with Robert Redford in the 1967 Paramount comedy BAREFOOT IN THE PARK and later Robert Redford starred with George Segal in the 1972 20th Century Fox caper comedy THE HOT ROCK and later George Segal starred with Jane Fonda in the 1977 Columbia comedy FUN WITH DICK AND JANE.  

Has anyone ever seen the movie SITUATION HOPELESS . . . BUT NOT SERIOUS (1965)?   It stars Alec Guinness, Mike Connors and Robert Redford.  Seems to have vanished off the planet. 

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1 hour ago, HoldenIsHere said:

I’ve never seen THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR in its entirety. I tried watching it a few years ago (I think when it shown on TCM as part of Faye Dunaway’s Summer Under the Stars tribute). I couldn’t get into it then even though I’m a fan of Redford, Dunaway and director Sydney Pollack. Maybe it’s time to give this one another try. This movie was one of the inspirations for CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, which is streaming now on Disney+ . . .

MCU said that CA:tWS was a, quote, "Throwback to paranoid 70's political thrillers" (which it is)--

But apart from Condor, Gene Hackman in "The Conversation" and Warren Beatty in "The Parallax View", I don't know of that many other "70's paranoid political thrillers" they could have chosen from--Leaving aside All the President's Men for being fact-based.  Think they were saying straight out that casting Redford in Winter Soldier was a straight-out homage to Three Days of the Condor, even though I wasn't particularly fond of the activist-indulgent ending either.

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4 hours ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

Yes, I always appreciated Redford's directorial efforts more than his acting, and ORDINARY PEOPLE in my opinion is his best work.

Hutton deserved his win and Mary deserved her nomination as well (but her bad luck to be running against COAL MINER DAUGHTER'S Sissy Spacek, otherwise she might have won the Best Actress Oscar).

What I don't understand is why Donald Sutherland wasn't nominated? He was equally outstanding as much as Mary and Hutton were.

Yes - Sutherland's performance was great too!

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@EricJ:  I think WINTER KILLS (1979) would qualify as a "'70s Political Paranoid Thriller" to keep company with The Parallax View, Three Days of the Condor and The Conversation. 

That could be a night of TCM Programming: 

TCM Proudly Presents:  A Night of Political Paranoia -- 1970s Style! 

Only thing is 3 of those 4 movies are Paramount flix.  Paramount movies don't seem to air as much on TCM as movies from other studios.  (WINTER KILLS has been on TCM before, tho).   

 

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10 hours ago, 37kitties said:

Is Redford's Gatsby better than DiCaprio's, or vice-versa?

Any opinions on that?

Redford's Gatsby was truer to Gatsby in F. Scot Fitzgerald's famous novel but honestly, no film version of Gatsby is near as good as reading the book.

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4 hours ago, Shank Asu said:

(one of my old professors filmed Redford for a featurette on the making of A River Runs Through It and Redford insisted on only being filmed in extremely soft lighting and filter to hide his wrinkles- made me laugh when i heard it),

The only thing I know to tell you is he doesn't seem to do anything to hide or diminish the shock of his present appearance. That may have been the way he was in 1991 or whenever that movie came out, but I think he's embraced his current looks 30 years later.

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4 hours ago, Toto said:

Redford's Gatsby was truer to Gatsby in F. Scot Fitzgerald's famous novel but honestly, no film version of Gatsby is near as good as reading the book.

My least favorite Fitzgerald novel.  Best film adaptation of any of his works IMO is Babylon Revisited based on a mostly autobiographical short-story.  Really not too many films on his work that i know of.

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10 hours ago, Toto said:

Redford's Gatsby was truer to Gatsby in F. Scot Fitzgerald's famous novel but honestly, no film version of Gatsby is near as good as reading the book.

I agree, I didn't care for either film version of the book. 

I think the story might have worked better as a mini-series.

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