Few actors earn the honor of being immortalized in the public's memory. Although they do not like to be remembered by a specific character, they know that it is an envied merit in the cinematographic universe. Revista Bula conducted a survey to find out what, according to readers, are the most memorable performances in the history of the seventh art. The consultation was made to collaborators and followers on the magazine's page on Facebook and Twitter. The 21 most cited performances were put together in a list, which covers films from different periods and nationalities. At the top of the ranking are names like Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Meryl Streep.
“The Godfather” (1972) tells the story of the Corleone mobster family in 1950s New York. Marlon Brando, one of the most influential actors of all time, played Don Vito Corleone, the mafia boss. This was considered the most important character of his career and won him the Oscar for Best Actor, after a series of failures at the box office. Mario Puzo, author of the novel that inspired the film, told director Francis Ford Coppola that he always imagined Marlon Brando for the role.
The film, from the era of silent cinema, tells the story of the peasant woman Joan D’Arc, who was sentenced to death for leading the French people against the English army. Interpreting Saint Joan of Arc put France's Maria Falconetti in the pantheon of the best artists of all time, but also traumatized her. She said that the director, Carl Theodor Dreyer, was demanding and forced her to shoot the same scene many times. In addition, several tortures were real and she even broke her leg to express the character's suffering.
In Martin Scorsese's “Taxi Driver”, Robert de Niro played Travis Bickle, a taxi driver who suffers from insomnia and spends the night driving through New York. While preparing for the role, he was filming another film in Rome. Then, on Fridays, he took a plane to New York, where he obtained a taxi driver's license, rented a real taxi and drove through the city, returning the vehicle before returning to Rome. The film sealed the partnership between De Niro and Scorsese, who worked together nine times.
In this sequence, Al Pacino played Michael Corleone, the son of mobster Don Vito Corleone and new responsible for the family's corrupt business. This is considered the most memorable performance of the actor, but he was almost dismissed. In an interview, Al Pacino said the studio did not believe he was ideal for the character, which was hotly contested. “Michael Corleone was – and still is – the most difficult role I've ever played. I didn't see him as a mobster; he felt that power was his enigmatic quality, ”said the actor.
In this biographical feature, George C. Scott played the American George S. Patton, a ruthless general who achieved decisive victories against the Nazis. Consecrated in the theater, George C. Scott won the Oscar for "Best Actor" for his role as Patton. But, he did not go to receive the statuette and stayed at home watching a hockey game. According to Scott, the intention of the Academy was to force the actors to become stars and the ceremony was a "meat market".
The feature narrates the biography of Margaret Thatcher, the British prime minister, known as "Iron Lady", with a focus on the Falklands War in 1982. The work was criticized for being "neutral", but the performance of Meryl Streep received only praise. For the film, she won the third Oscar of her career, in the Best Actress category. According to Streep, capturing Thatcher's voice and mannerisms was the key to the role's success, from the voice to the way she crossed her legs.
“Freud Além da Alma” portrays the life of the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, and the history of the elaboration of psychoanalytic theory. Montgomery Clift, who was one of the first Hollywood actors to seek technical training to practice the profession, was acclaimed for his performance in the feature. He managed, profoundly, according to the newspaper "Le Monde", to create an introspective Freud obsessed with proving the veracity of his controversial ideas.
The film chronicles the life of Jane Hudson, an elderly woman who was a famous artist during her childhood and now, away from the stage, takes care of Sister Blanche. Bette Davis played Jane in this smash hit movie, for which she received her last Oscar nomination. Blanche was played by Joan Crawford, Bette Davis' rival. Outraged at not being nominated for the award, Joan took revenge by taking the stage to receive the statuette of the winner, Anne Bancroft, who won for the film “The Miracle of Anne Sullivan”.
The film follows the criminal Randle Patrick, who pretends to have mental problems to be transferred from an ordinary prison to a psychiatric institution. “Um Estranho no Ninho” was called an “acting film”, as all the actors played their roles well. But the highlight was Jack Nicholson, the protagonist, who won the Oscar for Best Actor for his mastery of acting. In all, the feature won five Oscar statuettes.
Decadent actress Norma Desmond shelters fugitive screenwriter Joe Gillis at home, and hires him to review the script for the feature film that marks his return to the screen. Legendary Gloria Swanson played Norma, a role for which she received her third Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Gloria resented the criticism that she would have played herself, since she, who had been the biggest star of the 1920s, was also in a bad phase of her career.
In the film, bankrupt miner Daniel Plainview leaves with his son for an oil-rich city, but his plans conflict with those of the pastor, the most influential local figure. Paul Thomas Anderson, director of the film, said that if Daniel Day-Lewis did not accept to play the miner, there would be no film. Lewis not only accepted, he prepared for the role for four years and won the second Oscar for Best Actor in his career for acting.
Miss Daisy, an elderly Jewish woman, is forced by her son to live with Hoke Colburn, a black driver. At first, she refuses the new employee, but then the two become great friends. Morgan Freeman, Hoke's performer, became known to the general public in this film, with which he received his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor. “I think Freeman could do almost anything. He and Robert Duvall are the two most skilled actors I've ever worked with, ”said the film's director, Bruce Beresford.
In the 16th century, in Feudal Japan, a village constantly plundered is protected by the old samurai Kambei, who decides to teach everyone how to defend themselves. For that, he asks six other samurai for help. Toshiro Mifune gave life to Kambei, a role that gave him international fame and established his partnership with director Akira Kurosawa, with whom he worked 16 times. According to “Folha de S. Paulo”, “no actor embodied the image of Japan in the West better than Toshiro Mifune”.
Actress Elisabeth Vogler goes through a trauma and loses her voice. Isolated from the world, she is cared for by nurse Alma, with whom she develops a deep friendship. Liv Ullmann, who played Elisabeth, was known as the muse of Ingmar Bergman, the film's director. In addition to this, they worked together on nine other works, had a relationship and a daughter. Elisabeth was Liv Ullmann's first featured role.
Brick, a former football player, recalls passages from his life and career while visiting his parents, alongside his beautiful wife Maggie. Elizabeth Taylor played Maggie and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her performance. Maggie was one of the main roles of Taylor's career, who was a pupil of filmmaker Orson Welles. Known for her stunning beauty, she was immortalized as the queen of Egypt in the feature “Cleopatra” (1963).
The film narrates the conflicts of the couple Ted and Joanna Kramer. The two go through a turbulent separation and fight over custody of their only son, Billy. Dustin Hoffman, who played Ted Kramer, won his second Oscar for Best Actor for acting. Ted goes through several transformations throughout the film and, according to the critic, Hoffman knew how to capture each one of them in an exquisite way. Hollywood star Meryl Streep also won the Best Actress award.
Joey was raised by her parents to be an open-minded woman, but the situation changes when she takes black doctor Prentice, her new boyfriend, to dinner. Sidney Poitier, playing Prentice, made history and became the first black Oscar winner for Best Actor. Despite being criticized for "pleasing whites", Sidney says the opportunity has placed him as the highest-paid actor in Hollywood.
Lucky is a 90-year-old man who lives in a small Texas desert town. Atheist, he begins to reflect on his existence when he receives the news that he is seriously ill. The character Lucky was said to be the farewell of Harry Dean Stanton, an actor with a prolific career in Hollywood, who died in the same year the film was released. To compose the protagonist, the screenwriters used facts from the life and personality traits of the actor.
In a futuristic society, Alex is the leader of a gang of criminals. He ends up being arrested by the police, who use him in an experiment called “Ludovico Treatment”, designed to curb criminal impulses. Malcom McDowell was chosen by Stanley Kubrick to play Alex due to the scary and seductive look he had already shown in other roles. To prepare, the actor said he spent nine months watching violent films alongside Kubrick.
In "Blue Jasmine", by Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett played the main character, Jasmine, a woman who refuses to accept the new reality after losing all her money. “For me, the most pleasant thing about playing Jasmine was the fact that she is an unreliable narrator. She believes everything she is saying, as well as all good liars, ”said the actress in an interview. With the film, Blanchett won the Oscar for Best Actress for the second time.
"The Other American History" chronicles the life of neo-Nazi Derek Vinyard, who is arrested for killing two young black men. After his release, he promises himself that he will change his attitudes. According to the critic, Edward Norton, who played Derek, was impressive on paper. The film was accused of being simplistic, but his performance became memorable and he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for the first time.