Happy 80th to Robert Duvall! And Now…Five Great Robert Duvall Movie Performances…

Happy 80th to Robert Duvall! And Now…Five Great Robert Duvall Movie Performances…

Robert DuvallNormally, we leave The Five segments to our daily blogger Erik Davis, but since today is Robert Duvall’s 80th birthday, we thought we’d throw together another list of five, too, of some of the actor's most memorable performances. Granted, there are more than five great Robert Duvall performances on celluloid, so be sure to let us know which of your favorites we missed in the comments section below. Here are ours…
The Godfather/The Godfather: Part II – This goes without saying. As Tom Hagen, the adopted son and family lawyer for the Corleones, Duvall turned in a pair of classic performances (the first one led to an Oscar nomination). His performance in The Godfather isn’t flashy, but like his character, he is a steady, reliable, constant presence in the background.
Apocalypse Now – Another that goes without saying. In a movie filled with quotable quotes, none are more memorable than Duvall proclaiming his love of “the smell of napalm in the morning,” because, whiff,  it smells “like victory.” His performance as Colonel Bill Kilgore earned him a second Oscar nomination.

 

Tender Mercies – It may not be one of the first films that rolls off your tongue, and its story of a broken-down, middle-aged country singer trying to pull his life together may seem a bit stale on the page, but as Mac Sledge, Duvall launched into another tour-de-force (and Oscar-winning this time) acting performance. Plus, he really can sing.

The Apostle – Written and directed by Duvall, this story of a Texas preacher who wreaks havoc on his life, moves to Louisiana and starts preaching on the radio, earned Duvall his second Best Actor Oscar nomination. The movie also starred Billy Bob Thornton, Farrah Fawcett and June Carter Cash, who summed up the Duvall character best saying, “sometimes he talks to the Lord, and sometimes he yells at the Lord.”


 


 

To Kill A Mockingbird – Sure, you have to wait until the very end before Duvall appears as Arthur “Boo” Radley, but, just as waiting for Orson Welles in The Third Man proved, your patience is rewarded. Though only a small part, this is where it all began (cinematically speaking) for Mr. Robert Duvall.


 

As a fitting birthday present, Duvall will also be honored today by sinking his hands and feet into the cement outside Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, marking almost 50 years in showbiz. And, like we said, we’ve left quite a few Duvall classics off our list of five, including Network, The Natural, The Great Santini, MASH and many more…so be sure to let us know your favorites, and how you rank 'em up.
Also, see who else celebrates a birthday today and throughout the month of January in our Birthday Gallery!
 
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