Welcome back to Movie Lists, the column where we look at lists of odds and ends pertaining to movies.
Up today, the films of Robert Redford.
Redford just announced his retirement from movies, and his swan song is the light and fun THE OLD MAN & THE GUN (2018), currently in theaters. Here’s a look back at some of Redford’s movies over the years, covering just a handful of his 79 acting credits:
WAR HUNT (1962) – Private Roy Loomis – After working exclusively on television for two years, Redford made his theatrical film debut here along with Sidney Pollack and Tom Skerritt, in this Korean War thriller in which John Saxon plays an army psychopath.
THE CHASE (1966) – Bubber- Redford actually plays the villain in this thriller starring Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda, Angie Dickinson, and Robert Duvall.
BAREFOOT IN THE PARK (1967) – Paul Bratter- co-stars once again with Jane Fonda in this classic comedy by Neil Simon. One of my favorite early Robert Redford roles.
BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969) – The Sundance Kid- one of my favorite Redford movies, this iconic western was the first pairing of Redford with Paul Newman. Newman plays Butch Cassidy, and Redford plays the Sundance Kid. With Katharine Ross Etta Place. Directed by George Roy Hill with a fabulous witty script by William Goldman. And for such a light film, its classic shocking ending packs a wallop and lasts long after the end credits have rolled. Who are those guys?
JEREMIAH JOHNSON (1972) – Jeremiah Johnson – plays the title role in this solitary western by director Sydney Pollack.
THE CANDIDATE (1972) – Bill McKay- Redford again plays the title role, this time as a candidate for the U.S. Senate.
THE WAY WE WERE (1973) – Hubbell Gardiner – love story also starring Barbra Streisand, again directed by Sydney Pollack. Redford and Streisand play two lovers who are polar opposites but who fall in love anyway only to see that they’re not really compatible after all.
THE STING (1973) – Johnny Hooker- probably my favorite Robert Redford film of all time. This second pairing of Redford with Paul Newman as a couple of con men is high entertainment from beginning to end. Robert Shaw is outstanding as the main baddie here, the man Newman and Redford plan to con. Again directed by George Roy Hill.
THE GREAT GATSBY (1974) – Jay Gatsby – Title role in this film version of the classic novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. In spite of high production values and a strong cast which includes Mia Farrow, Bruce Dern, Karen Black, Scott Wilson, and Sam Waterston, this movie along with Redford’s performance has never really wowed me. Somehow failed to capture the depth and nuances of the novel.
THE GREAT WALDO PEPPER (1975) – Waldo Pepper – Again directed by George Roy Hill and again playing the titular role, Redford plays a World War I pilot who gets a second chance with a surprising movie career.
THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR (1975)- Turner – Thriller directed by Sydney Pollack in which Redford plays a CIA researcher who finds his co-workers dead and has to solve the crime.
ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN (1976) – Bob Woodward – another of my favorite Robert Redford movies. Redford plays journalist Bob Woodward and Dustin Hoffman plays journalist Carl Bernstein in this tale of the reporters who cracked the Watergate case which led to the downfall of President Richard Nixon. Jason Robards won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his memorable performance as “Washington Post” editor Ben Bradlee.
A BRIDGE TOO FAR (1977) – Major Cook – part of an all-star ensemble cast in this Richard Attenborough World War II adventure.
BRUBAKER (1980) – Brubaker – Redford takes on prison corruption.
THE NATURAL (1984) – Roy Hobbs – classic baseball movie in which Redford plays Roy Hobbs, a middle-aged player who leads his team to victory in the 1930s. Amiable movie, although I never truly bought Redford as a major league baseball player.
OUT OF AFRICA (1985) – Denys- co-stars with Meryl Streep in this love story set in Africa again directed by Sydney Pollack. This was popular when it came out, but it never really did much for me. Outstanding supporting performance by Klaus Maria Brandauer.
LEGAL EAGLES (1986) – Tom Logan – Fun comedy drama by writer/director Ivan Reitman in which Redford plays a district attorney who becomes romantically involved with his adversary, defense attorney Laura Kelly, played by Debra Winger.
SNEAKERS (1992) – Bishop – another fun movie. This time Redford plays the leader of a group who specialize in testing security systems. When they’re blackmailed into committing a crime, they use their skills to strike back at their blackmailers.
INDECENT PROPOSAL (1993) -John Gage – Redford plays a millionaire who offers to pay off the debt of a young couple played by Woody Harrelson and Demi Moore. The catch? He gets to spend the night with Moore’s character. This one never ever did much for me.
THE HORSE WHISPERER (1998) – Tom Booker – Redford heals horses and falls in love with a horse owner.
SPY GAME (2001) – Nathan Muir- thriller in which Redford co-stars with Brad Pitt in this flick by director Tony Scott where Redford is a CIA agent seeking to rescue his protegé played by Pitt who’s been arrested in China.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (2014) – Alexander Pierce – Redford joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Defense Secretary Alexander Pierce in this second Captain America movie.
THE OLD MAN & THE GUN (2018) – Forrest Tucker- Redford’s swan song, as he announced that he would retire from acting after this movie. This is a light, fun film in which Redford plays a polite bank robber who everyone seems to love because he’s so happy. Also stars Sissy Spacek and Casey Affleck.
There you have it. A brief look at the career of Robert Redford. And while I’ve never been a huge fan of Redford’s, he certainly has made his share of memorable movies, my favorite being THE STING (1973).
Okay, that’s it for now. Join me again next time when we look at more Movie Lists.
Thanks for reading!