Friday, March 21, 2008


Gary Oldman, born on 21st March 1958, is one of the legendary actors of Hollywood. Though I also admire various academy award winning actors like Robert De Niro, Daniel Day Lewis, Anthony Hopkins,etc. but something about Oldman made him my favorite actor (May b coz we share the same sun sign :)). The intensity with which he plays all his characters is just awesome. I am here discussing some of his performances I really admire.

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992):
His first movie that I saw, Gary's biggest commercial success was Francis Ford Cappola's Dracula, in which he played the lead role of vampire Count Dracula living for 400 years, who haunts the city of London in search of his princess reborn as Mina, played by the gorgeous Winona Ryder. The film also starred various other great actors like Anthony Hopkins and Keanu Reeves. But ओउत्स्तान्डिंग Oldman excelled in the peformance of Dracula. Gary Oldman used three different getups for the film. When I saw this film I thought these are two different actors playing the role of old and young Dracula. I have read the novel also, so I also admired his portrayal of older Dracula. His intense deep voice and intentionally broken english made that role memorable. In the role of younger Dracula, he perfectly portrayed the pain of a departed lover in his scenes with Ryder.
memorable quotes: Though there are many memorable quotes of Oldman in this movie, some are really unique;
"...... and I never drink....... wine...."
"....your impotent men with their foolish spells cannot protect you from my power, I condemn you to living death, to eternal hunger..... for living...... blood"
"...I am a monster that breathing men would kill... I am dracula"
"The luckiest man who walks on this earth is the one who finds true love....."
"(after watching blood trailing down from Keanu Reeves neck while shaving) Take care how do you cut yourself.... it is more dangerous than you think.....(he looks at the glass and the glass smashes) Ohh, a foul bauble of men's vanity, perhaps you should grow beard..."

True Romance (1993) :
1993 action flick True Romane had a team of great actors like Christopher Walken, Dennis Hopper, Samuel Jackson, Brad Pitt and Val Kilmer, playing small roles each barely lasting 15 minutes. But each of the performances was unique. Gary Oldman played the role of Drexl Spivey. In the original movie, Drexl had 2 scenes but in the edited version of the movie, the second scene was shown uncut while the first scene was edited. The first scene showed Drexl, along with a nigger Floyd and Big Don played by Samuel Jackson. In this scene, Flyod calls Drexl a"white boy". Now Drexl is a crazy pimp who is actually white but he think he is black, and this is evident from his getup. So in that scene, Drexl kills Big D and Floyd and takes away their drugs. Later, in the second scene there is a confrontation of lead character Clarence, played by Christian Slater, and Drexl. This is one of the most famous scenes of the movie. Drexl offers Clarence to sit on chair, but he refuses. Clarence has come with full determination to kill Drexl. But Drexl is a dangerous crazy person who is not one-to-be-messed-with. Oldman himself decided on his getup for the movie. His makeup, getup and carefree tone made the role memorable.

memorable quotes:

"...I know I am pretty, but I aint as pretty as a couple of ti**es..."

"....It aint a white boy day, Is it?"

Leon (1994):
One of the most memorable roles of Gary Oldman was that of Norman Stansfield. I have also read somewhere that this was an oscar worthy performance. He plays role of a psychic, dangerous and really unpredictable character who is a corrupt cop. A true villain. Stansfield kills the family of Mathilda (Natalie Portman; it was her first movie), who then joins a hitman Leon (beautifully played by Jean Reno). Oldman's hasty expressions and sometimes confused face made this role memorable. The scene in which he points the gun at Mathilda is one of my favorites.

memorable quotes:
"I like these calm little moments before the storm...... it reminds me of Beethoven"
"(to Mathilda) thats good, I never take pleasure in taking the life of a person who dont know its meaning...."

Murder in the First (1995):
Though his role wasnt among the lead characters and neither did he got more than a few scenes, Gary's portrayal of Milton Glenn is a special one. He played the role of cruel and heartless warden of Alcatraz prison. His makeup and hairstyle added spice and chill to his role. The scene in which he cuts the ankles of Kevin Bacon with shaving blades really made me shiver. His face and performance showed that the character wasnt at all guilty or ashamed of his deeds.
memorable quotes:

"For Every action, there is a reaction..."
"(in the climax)Welcome back Henry,......I missed you..."

Lost in Space (1998):
Lost in Space was a full time entertainer, I believe. Though I havent seen the original TV series but I really enjoyed the movie and that too just because of Gary Oldman. He played a stylish, funny and cunning villain, Dr. Smith. On a mission to demolish the mission of Dr. Robinson (William Hurt), he changes the settings of personal robot machines and gives them order to kill the Robinson family as soon as their spaceship leaves earth. But he is double crossed and also gets locked up in the same spaceship. And he is also lost in space with Robinson's family. Even after being lost in the middle of nowhere, he did not loose his nature, and remains cunning throughout.

memorable quotes:

"Black was always my color"
"...Yes..... I am a doctor...."

The Contender (2000):
Oldman's portrayal of Shelly Runyon is always my favorite. The best till now. He plays the role of a stern, adamant and orthodox Republican who is all set and determined not to let the newly nominated senator (Joan Allen) to become vice-president. Shelly Runyon is a person with radical thoughts and he dont want to support the lady and will try to do anything to stop her. He takes advantage of the sexual allegations made on the senator and uses it as a leverage. In one particular scene, where Joan and Gary had a confrontation regarding women's choice of abortion, Gary's tone and expressions show Shelly's true nature and the silence that follows the confrontation is really superb.

memorable quotes:

"Greatness is an orphan of urgency...."
"What I say American people will believe, and you know why? bcoz I'll have a big microphone in front of me"
"We both are pointing guns at each other, the difference is mines are loaded"

Hannibal (2001):
Very rarely mentioned and ofcourse not officially credited, Gary's performance of Mason Verger remains another unique one. I believe that it was not just the work of make up but also an intense effort on his part which made Mason's character so memrable. He was a gruesome villain, ugly by face and ugly by heart. He was a psychopath and his crazy feelings and thoughts were very well expressed by Gary in his tone (he mimiked a different voice for the movie).

memorable quotes:

"Isnt it funny? you can look at my face.......... but you shied when I said the name of God...."
"When the fox hears the rabbit scream, he comes running, ..............but not to help"

Harry Potter and Prizoner of Azkaban(2004) & Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007):
I wont say much about Sirius Black. Potter's fans already have complaint that the character wasnt given much importance in the films. Its true. But looking at the novels and its movie adaptations, its Ok for me. He got good part in the 3rd Potter film but the 5th movie, the supposedly important one, his role was chopped I think. But whatever part he got, Gary did it with full justice and successfully became a tragic hero, like the character in the Potter series.

memorable quotes:

"The ones we love never really leave us and you can always find them, (touches Harry's heart) here"
"The world isnt split into good people and death eaters, we all got both light and dark inside us, what matters is the power we choose to act, and thats who we really are.."

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