Tuesday 23 January 2018

Three legendary schmacting performances

Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now

Paul Whitington

Tom Hulce in Amadeus

Tom Hulce was a baby-faced character actor who tended to play put-upon everymen until he was cast as Mozart in Milos Forman's lush period drama Amadeus (1984).

Egged on by a silly script, Hulce played the great composer as a mincing hysteric who races around his Viennese apartment in his underpants blowing raspberries and shouting expletives. This was schmacting alright.

Sir Anthony Hopkins in Legends of the Fall

A great schmactor like Sir Anthony knows instinctively when a movie is in trouble and starts turning on the fireworks. In Edward Zwick's risible 1994 drama Legends of the Fall, Hopkins plays the swaggering patriarch of a family of hardy Montana settlers. As the film slowly headed south, Sir Anthony began squinting madly and messing with his walk, and later perpetrated the funniest stroke in cinema history.

Dennis Hopper in Apocalypse Now

For most of the 1970s, Dennis Hopper's natural unpredictability was enhanced by his enthusiastic drug use to the extent that nobody wanted to work with him. Francis Coppola was game, though, and cast him as a hopped-up photojournalist in Apocalypse Now (right).

There's no telling where the babbling Vietnam War reporter ends and Hopper begins, but it's a fantastically energetic and demented performance.

Irish Independent

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