Ten things you probably didn’t know about Robert Duvall
- He is a distant relative to former US president George Washington.
- He is a staunch Republican and has been active in helping fundraise and support presidential hopefuls like Rudy Giuliani and John McCain.
- Ironically (considering #2), he is also a distant relative to Barack Obama.
- He was in The Terry Fox Story (1983). He also played Major Frank Burns in the movie MASH (1970) and can be seen as well in the original True Grit (1969). *SPOILER ALERT: He gets shot by John Wayne. I guess it’s not that much of a spoiler. I mean, who doesn’t get shot by John Wayne in any of his movies?
- He loves Argentina. Buenos Aires is his favourite city and he has a home there that he goes to at least five times a year.
- He speaks fluent Spanish.
- He lends his voice to his Godfather character, Tom Hagen, on the Godfather video game (2006) and five other related and subsequent video games.
- He has directed four films. One of them he wanted badly to make but couldn’t get any support. He put $5 million dollars into it out of his own personal funds and it paid off: the Oscar nominated The Apostle (1997).
- Getting his start back in the 60’s he was in far more TV series than he was movies. Some of those shows were Twilight Zone, Kraft Suspense Theatre, The Outer Limits, Mod Squad and The Fugitive.
- When he was a young struggling actor he was close friends with two other young struggling actors: Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman. They had a lot of fun together but they also all had short fuses which led to a lot of bar fights.
And now: Ten Robert Duvall movies that you probably have not watched, but should (excluding our three nominees this week)
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) – Oh come on… who doesn’t want to see a movie with this title? And get this: his role is “priest on a swing.” Now you’ve got to see it. Am I right?
- Get Low (2009) – This one looked like it was going to be a blockbuster and Oscar winner when its trailer came out, but it fell short. However, it really is a great movie and Duvall, a character actor if there ever was one, gives yet another stellar performance.
- Secondhand Lions (2003) – Once again, it’s his gift in character acting that makes this movie great. Though I’m not sure this would be in the “probably haven’t seen” category as I hear a lot of people rave about this one.
- Network (1976) – Honestly I wasn’t all that enthralled with this movie, but it has some pretty great acting in it. It’s more noteworthy to mention Peter Finch as Howard Beale. It’s in this movie that his famous line is spoken over and over: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”
- Tender Mercies (1983) – Honestly, I haven’t seen this one, but it’s on my long-to-semi-short list of movies I want to watch. Apparently his portrayal of the character Mac Sledge is a big deal. It’s considered one of the greatest performances of all time.
- Days of Thunder (1990) – Even though this movie came out in 1990, it is a prototypical 80’s movie, with Tom Cruise in the lead role to boot. You’ve really got to see it if for no other reason than that. I think it will surprise though you how much you end up enjoying it.
- The Scarlet Letter (1995) – Ok, I’ll admit that this movie sucks. However, it was shot in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. So like, right there, you have to watch it.
- Kicking and Screaming (2005) – I don’t care if Will Farrell’s characters are often alike, I love his comedies. Besides, his character isn’t too stereotypical in this one. It is hilarious!
- Falling Down (1993) – This is one of the best forgotten movies of the 90’s. I watched it in the theatre when I was doing my college practicum in Michigan. Michael Douglas and Duvall both–along with an enthralling story–make this movie a great experience.
- John Q (2002) – This movie is so engaging and it can really open your eyes to the struggles that many people (particularly the poor) go through in the face of insurance and health care. I’ll admit that it’s Denzel Washington who makes this movie, but Duvall is great in it too.
Ok, I got my list fix. It was obvious that this week’s choice was To Kill A Mockingbird, which is funny considering it was his first movie and it’s a tiny role with little to no lines. Jamie was right about his portrayal of Tom in The Godfather. He’s perfect. And let’s not forget Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore. Amazing. But, in the end the movie of the week is yet another movie that gets the distinction of being a repeat winner on this sight.
Congratulations To Kill A Mockingbird. This is your week.
And the Oscar goes to…
Best Actress: Diane Keaton. I’ve never been a big fan of hers, but that doesn’t take away from her legendary ability on the big screen. This is most likely her greatest achievement.
Best Actor: Other than Duvall, this one goes to Marlon Brando. He plays major roles in two of this week’s noms. The man is/was a legend.
Best Quote: I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” – as Bill Kilgore in Apocalypse Now.
I love finding out things about my favourite actors that I didn’t know before. It’s the same in real life—so fun to learn new things about friends and family. So it’s important to share our stories with each other. So do it often. And may you be a repeat winner in life. Every day.