Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Five Favorite Anti-Hero Films

Following the brutal realities associated with World War II, American movies changed because the audience had changed. After the steady dose of feel-good, even propagandistic movies Hollywood churned out during the war, a new breed of filmmakers sought to portray a grittier, more worldly view in the stories they told.

Thus, altruistic heroes and thoroughly wicked heavies began to seem corny. Absolutes were shoved aside. Shades of gray and anti-heroes were in style during the third quarter of the 20th century. Many of the most popular filmmakers and actors of that period specialized in making anti-hero features.

My five favorite films that feature anti-heroes as protagonists are as follows (in alphabetical order).

“Chinatown” (1974): Directed by Roman Polanski; Cast: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston

“The Hustler” (1961): Directed by Robert Rossen; Cast: Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie

“Lonely Are the Brave” (1962): Directed by David Miller; Cast: Kirk Douglas, Gena Rowlands, Walter Matthau

“On the Waterfront” (1954): Directed by Elia Kazan; Cast: Marlon Brando, Lee J. Cobb, Eva Marie Saint

“Treasure of the Sierra Madre” (1948): Directed by John Huston; Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt

1 comment:

Vivian J. Paige said...

Good list, although I haven't seen "Lonely are the Brave." Guess I need to add that to my watch list.