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Old 02-08-2017, 07:12 PM
The Stainless Steel Rat The Stainless Steel Rat is online now
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What/Who are the best "Chewing the Scenery" Films/Actors?

In case anyone isn't familiar with the term, "Chewing the Scenery" is defined as: Displaying excessive emotion or acting in an exaggerated manner while performing; to be melodramatic; to be flamboyant. Normally this is considered to be a Bad Thing, worthy of criticism and ridicule, but on occasion there is a need for it and actors (and by this I mean good actors, not some refugee from a SyFy monster movie) use it to enhance the movie.

Reason I mention it is I just watched "Buckaroo Banzai", where John Lithgow, who has won more than a few awards for his undeniable acting ability, simply owns the movie with his way over-the-top portrayal of alien-possessed Dr. Emil Lizardo ("Sealed with a curse as sharp as a knife; doomed is your soul and dammed is your life.")

The other one that come immediately to mind is Brian Blessed as the Hawk King Vultan in "Flash Gordon". In an otherwise barely competent acting troop, Blessed not only chewed the scenery, he probably chewed the director's chair and part of the building, but damn, he's the only reason to watch the movie. ("Oh well, who wants to live forever? DIVE!!)

So what have I missed? Again, it has to be actors that have done competent work before or after and their overacting enhance the movie instead of dragging it down.
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Old 02-08-2017, 07:24 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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A number of the actors who've played the Doctor, with Tom Baker and David Tennant leading the way.
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Old 02-08-2017, 07:26 PM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is online now
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I think Samuel L. Jackson is an Oscar-caliber actor.

I say this because I've seen him play a calm, low-key guy.
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Old 02-08-2017, 08:01 PM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is online now
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Originally Posted by The Stainless Steel Rat View Post
I just watched "Buckaroo Banzai", where John Lithgow, who has won more than a few awards for his undeniable acting ability, simply owns the movie with his way over-the-top portrayal of alien-possessed Dr. Emil Lizardo
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So what have I missed?
Well, you realize that Christopher Lloyd was in that one, right?

At that, I'm pretty sure Gene Wilder had two settings: 'regular' and 'atomic'.
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Old 02-08-2017, 08:07 PM
SaharaTea SaharaTea is offline
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Al Pacino's performance in The Devil's Advocate is crazy over the top, and I love every second of it. I would say the same for Scarface. I guess one could argue that most of his work now is scenery-chewing, but those are my favorites.

Last edited by SaharaTea; 02-08-2017 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 02-09-2017, 07:57 AM
kayaker kayaker is online now
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Al Pacino's performance in The Devil's Advocate is crazy over the top, and I love every second of it. I would say the same for Scarface. I guess one could argue that most of his work now is scenery-chewing, but those are my favorites.
I was going to say Scent of a Woman, for which Pacino got Best Actor.
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Old 02-09-2017, 08:16 AM
Icarus Icarus is offline
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Streep

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Old 02-08-2017, 08:24 PM
running coach running coach is offline
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Chris Tucker as Ruby Rhod in The Fifth Element.
  #9  
Old 02-08-2017, 08:26 PM
Barkis is Willin' Barkis is Willin' is offline
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Daniel Day Lewis in pretty much anything. Especially Gangs and TWWB. Love him in both of those, but man he's intense.
  #10  
Old 02-09-2017, 12:17 PM
teela brown teela brown is offline
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Daniel Day Lewis in pretty much anything. Especially Gangs and TWWB. Love him in both of those, but man he's intense.
I just rewatched Gangs of New York yesterday, and afterwards read some trivia on IMDB. It said DDL stayed in character all the time he was filming the movie, even when going about his personal life. He went out to dinner with Scorcese and DiCaprio, and the character terrified the waitress, who wouldn't go near him.
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Old 02-09-2017, 01:27 PM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is online now
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I just rewatched Gangs of New York yesterday, and afterwards read some trivia on IMDB. It said DDL stayed in character all the time he was filming the movie, even when going about his personal life. He went out to dinner with Scorcese and DiCaprio, and the character terrified the waitress, who wouldn't go near him.
He apparently stayed in character while filming My Left Foot, to the point of suffering broken ribs from being hunched over for that long -- you know, while getting fed in between takes, since he couldn't do it himself. And for The Crucible, he of course didn't shower during the making of the film -- because there was no indoor plumbing in the little 1600s-type house he (a) lived in during the production, after it was (b) built with his own two hands. Though he apparently got plenty of cold water thrown on him when he was living in a jail cell for In The Name Of The Father.

They say he got so into character as Hamlet that he saw his father's ghost.
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Old 02-09-2017, 01:59 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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They say he got so into character as Hamlet that he saw his father's ghost.
Well, that's okay, but he'd better not thrust a sword through a curtain.
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Old 02-09-2017, 02:01 PM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is online now
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I'm just saying, we could really clean up this city if they'd just cast him as Batman.
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Old 02-08-2017, 08:39 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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The best example of scenery chewing recently was the UK TV series Vicious, where Ian McKellan, Derek Jacobi, and Frances de la Tour compete to see who can chew the most.
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Old 02-08-2017, 08:43 PM
silenus silenus is offline
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Khaaaaaaannnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!!

a

Last edited by silenus; 02-08-2017 at 08:43 PM.
  #16  
Old 02-08-2017, 08:46 PM
Andy L Andy L is offline
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Lenny Henry in "Chef!" - for example https://tune.pk/video/3547187/salt-f...-bbc-show-chef

Shatner can do subtle, affecting acting, but he can certainly chew scenery.

Last edited by Andy L; 02-08-2017 at 08:46 PM.
  #17  
Old 02-08-2017, 09:12 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Anthony Hopkins in "Silence of the Lambs". Most people are surprised to learn that he was only on screen for 16 minutes total, but he's been a serious ham in other films, as well.

Jack Nicholson improved nearly every movie he was in over his career, but was most memorable when he was at his most manic.
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Old 02-10-2017, 09:05 PM
KidCharlemagne KidCharlemagne is offline
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Anthony Hopkins in "Silence of the Lambs". Most people are surprised to learn that he was only on screen for 16 minutes total, but he's been a serious ham in other films, as well.
Man he annoys me. He plays the same character in every movie(except for Remains of the Day). He looks out the window or across some vista - and delivers a parable monologue. Fuck your wisdom Anthony.
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Old 02-23-2017, 02:27 PM
CaptMurdock CaptMurdock is offline
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Anthony Hopkins in "Silence of the Lambs". Most people are surprised to learn that he was only on screen for 16 minutes total, but he's been a serious ham in other films, as well.
You should watch him in Coppola's Dracula. That made his SOTL performance look understated.
  #20  
Old 02-23-2017, 04:02 PM
JeffB JeffB is offline
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Simon Callow can chew pretty well. The ones that come to mind are Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love, and as Charles Dickens in Doctor Who.
  #21  
Old 02-08-2017, 09:17 PM
buddha_david buddha_david is offline
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Richard E. Grant as Withnail in Withnail & I.

Kenneth Branaugh as Prof. Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

In both cases, their ultra-exaggerated, dial-it-up-to-eleven acting styles perfectly fit the characters they were portraying.
  #22  
Old 02-08-2017, 09:27 PM
Brown Eyed Girl Brown Eyed Girl is offline
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The original scenery chewer, Gloria Swanson, of course, in Sunset Boulevard.

Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest.

Shirley MacLaine in Terms of Endearment.

Gary Oldman in True Romance.

Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood.

Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet.

Christopher Walken in Pulp Fiction.
  #23  
Old 02-09-2017, 08:54 AM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is online now
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Originally Posted by Brown Eyed Girl View Post
The original scenery chewer, Gloria Swanson, of course, in Sunset Boulevard.

Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest.

Shirley MacLaine in Terms of Endearment.

Gary Oldman in True Romance.

Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood.

Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet.

Christopher Walken in Pulp Fiction.
Can't disagree with any but the last. Walken's appearance in Pulp Fiction is fairly gentle and low-key. Certainly it is mannered, but it is Walken.....that's always an element of any role he takes, but it isn't scenery-chewing I don't think. True Romance? far more so I'd suggest.
  #24  
Old 02-10-2017, 05:47 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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Christopher Walken in Pulp Fiction.
Walken is also in a little B-movie called The Prophecy, in which he plays the angel Gabriel, against Viggo Mortensen as Lucifer. Walken's performance is really over-the-top, but great fun.
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:55 PM
Dale Sams Dale Sams is offline
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Walken is also in a little B-movie called The Prophecy, in which he plays the angel Gabriel, against Viggo Mortensen as Lucifer. Walken's performance is really over-the-top, but great fun.
I remember thinking that Viggo acted like he made up his lines in that film...and was gratifyed to later find out that was sorta true.
  #26  
Old 02-23-2017, 10:53 AM
Brown Eyed Girl Brown Eyed Girl is offline
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Walken is also in a little B-movie called The Prophecy, in which he plays the angel Gabriel, against Viggo Mortensen as Lucifer. Walken's performance is really over-the-top, but great fun.
AH! I had forgotten about that one. Good choice!
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Old 02-22-2017, 11:56 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brown Eyed Girl
Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest.
Faye Dunaway in most of her movies. Eyes Of Laura Mars may have been the chewiest.
  #28  
Old 02-23-2017, 10:32 AM
Haldurson Haldurson is offline
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[QUOTE=Brown Eyed Girl;19987338]Gary Oldman in True Romance.

He's also great in "Leon The Professional" -- the scene I'm thinking of:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74BzSTQCl_c
  #29  
Old 02-08-2017, 10:17 PM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is offline
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Let's not forget Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross; he upstaged Al Pacino, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey, Jack Lemmon and Ed Harris ffs.
  #30  
Old 02-08-2017, 10:26 PM
RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
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The best example of scenery chewing recently was the UK TV series Vicious, where Ian McKellan, Derek Jacobi, and Frances de la Tour compete to see who can chew the most.
McKellan and Jacobi can be subdued as well, though.

Robert De Niro does it in virtually every movie.

Gloria Swanson was not the first, nor was Sunset Boulevard the first film in which she did it. Donald Crisp did it in Broken Blossoms in 1919, for example, and Swanson did it in an early talkie called Indiscreet. Joan Crawford was a master of it, and so was Barbara Stanwyk, but Crawford's career reaches back to the silents.

Lucille Ball started out as a dramatic actress, and could chew scenery with the best. She has quite a list of credits before she found comedy.
  #31  
Old 02-22-2017, 02:46 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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Let's not forget Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross; he upstaged Al Pacino, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey, Jack Lemmon and Ed Harris ffs.
That's five Academy Awards between those men, btw. Only Harris hasn't won one, and he's better than many who have.

In terms of single scene dominance, you show me someone else who just completely stole the movie from five actors of that caliber and still had the movie in his pocket after the scene even though he's not in the movie again.

I think a really interesting question would be who ate the most scenery in an Oscar-winning performance. Denzel in "Training Day, where I think he gained about thirty pounds during the shoot eating parts of the set, is the most egregious example I can think of. Al Pacino devoured a lot of set during "Scent of a Woman," too.

Last edited by RickJay; 02-22-2017 at 02:46 PM.
  #32  
Old 02-22-2017, 02:59 PM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is online now
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I think a really interesting question would be who ate the most scenery in an Oscar-winning performance. Denzel in "Training Day, where I think he gained about thirty pounds during the shoot eating parts of the set, is the most egregious example I can think of.
Quentin Tarantino supposedly almost despaired of making INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS because he couldn't find anyone who could be magnetic in four different languages. Anyhow, he then found Christoph Waltz and the day was saved.
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Old 02-22-2017, 10:20 PM
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There have been a lot of good ones named, but one who has been overlooked is Michael Keaton in "Beetlejuice". Also in "Birdman". His role in "Batman", while quirky, was subdued to play against Jack Nicholson.

I agree with Shatner. I notice how he played the scenes as Captain Kirk, but I never felt it out of place for the scenes.


[QUOTE=Celidin;19988917]in particular Jeremy Irons in the Dungeons and Dragons movie... so very over the top there, it was the best thing about it. [QUOTE]

You are incorrect - it was the only good thing about it. And with purple lipstick!
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Old 02-22-2017, 10:31 PM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is offline
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I agree with Shatner. I notice how he played the scenes as Captain Kirk, but I never felt it out of place for the scenes.
I've always felt that Shatner deserves more credit than he gets. The Enterprise bridge was made of pastel-colored plywood. If Shatner hadn't been absolutely earnest and convinced (as opposed to convincing) that he was on a starship in the Ceti Alpha system, the audience wouldn't have believed it, either. Just a little wind and a nod and the whole thing could have turned very silly, very fast. The show spawned a fanatical fanbase that has stuck with it for 50 years. He must have done something right.
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Old 02-22-2017, 11:17 PM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is online now
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There have been a lot of good ones named, but one who has been overlooked is Michael Keaton in "Beetlejuice". Also in "Birdman". His role in "Batman", while quirky, was subdued to play against Jack Nicholson.
And even when he isn't using it, you know he has a Jimmy Cagney impression ready to go; it's like watching a quick-draw gunslinger with an twitchy trigger finger!
  #36  
Old 02-22-2017, 11:58 PM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is online now
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I think a really interesting question would be who ate the most scenery in an Oscar-winning performance.
Well, he only got an Oscar nomination for it, but I defy you to do an exaggerated parody of Burgess Meredith's performance in the ROCKY movies. Uh-huh. No, see, I asked you to do an exaggerated version. Like, deliver the same lines, but in a way that's decidedly more over-the-top. Yeah, that's not -- you're not pulling it off.
  #37  
Old 02-24-2017, 10:31 AM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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Well, he only got an Oscar nomination for it, but I defy you to do an exaggerated parody of Burgess Meredith's performance in the ROCKY movies. Uh-huh. No, see, I asked you to do an exaggerated version. Like, deliver the same lines, but in a way that's decidedly more over-the-top. Yeah, that's not -- you're not pulling it off.
You ask the impossible, sir.
  #38  
Old 02-08-2017, 10:25 PM
Son of a Rich Son of a Rich is offline
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Charlton Heston.
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:50 PM
GinoC GinoC is offline
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Charlton Heston.
My first thought also, but he's still one of my favourites of all time.
  #40  
Old 02-08-2017, 10:34 PM
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On a good day, with the wind behind him, Geoffrey Rush can make you forget that there is anyone else in the cast, let alone sharing a set / stage with him.
  #41  
Old 02-08-2017, 10:36 PM
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Geoffrey Rush, especially in Pirates or Mystery Men for example, is great at it when he wants to be.
  #42  
Old 02-08-2017, 10:44 PM
Jim's Son Jim's Son is online now
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Alan Rickman, the only reason to see Kevin Costner's "Robin Hood".
  #43  
Old 02-08-2017, 10:50 PM
blondebear blondebear is offline
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First actor that comes to mind is George C. Scott in Dr. Strangelove.
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Old 02-08-2017, 11:07 PM
Dale Sams Dale Sams is offline
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First actor that comes to mind is George C. Scott in Dr. Strangelove.
Good God....Exorcist 3 has Scott*, Superpriest Nicol Williamson, Brad Dourif....and its amazing.

"I KNOWWWWW....PAIN!!! And I KNOWWWWW....FEAR!!!!"
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Old 02-24-2017, 11:44 AM
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First actor that comes to mind is George C. Scott in Dr. Strangelove.
Do you think Mr. Scott's portrayal of Patton as scenery chewing?

IMO, he was portraying (loosely) a person who deliberately affected a larger than life persona in front of his troops.
  #46  
Old 02-24-2017, 12:11 PM
Richard John Marcej Richard John Marcej is offline
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Do you think Mr. Scott's portrayal of Patton as scenery chewing?

IMO, he was portraying (loosely) a person who deliberately affected a larger than life persona in front of his troops.
If you want a scenery-chewing George C. Scott film I'd nominate "Hardcore".
"Oh my GOD, thats MY DAUGHTER!"
  #47  
Old 02-25-2017, 08:56 AM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is online now
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They apparently told Nicolas Cage to chew as much scenery as humanly possible in FACE/OFF, and then apparently told John Travolta, "okay, now it's your turn."
  #48  
Old 02-28-2017, 10:09 AM
mlees mlees is offline
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If you want a scenery-chewing George C. Scott film I'd nominate "Hardcore".
"Oh my GOD, thats MY DAUGHTER!"
I never watched that one.
  #49  
Old 02-28-2017, 12:30 PM
Barkis is Willin' Barkis is Willin' is offline
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If you want a scenery-chewing George C. Scott film I'd nominate "Hardcore".
"Oh my GOD, thats MY DAUGHTER!"
Oh, that reminds of me of Sean Penn doing some serious chewing in Mystic River. "IS THAT MY DAUGHTER IN THERE!?!?!"
  #50  
Old 02-09-2017, 06:22 AM
bobkitty bobkitty is offline
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Pretty much the last 20 years of Jeremy Irons's career.
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