Best films containing lots of famous actors before their peaks or near enough to.

I give you The Bounty (1984)

Anthony Hopkins
Mel Gibson
Daniel Day Lewis (!)
Liam Neeson (!)
Laurence Olivier …man this movie is the ultimate trivia question (Yes Larry is after his peak… still)

Same with Edward Fox

And finally Bernard Hill seen later in Lord of the Rings.
Yes, I know Anthony, Mel, Daniel and Liam wern’t completely unknown or even near so, but they hadn’t peaked yet. Watch the film…damn they’re all so young. And sooooo handsome~~!


Donald Sutherland
Elliot Could
Robert Duvall
Sally Kellerman
John Schuck
Michael Murphy
Bud Cory

“Fast Times at Ridgemont High”. Sean Penn, Forrest Whittaker, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Nicholas Cage.

Ha!! I think Oscar winners Whittaker and Cage have maybe three lines between them!

I submit Next of Kin1989

Patrick Swayze
Liam Neeson
Adam Baldwin
Helen Hunt
Bill Paxton
Ben Stiller
Ted Levine

Although I highly doubt it will be ranked as ‘best.’

And Judge Reinhold.

American Grafitti
Harrison Ford
Ron Howard
Richard Dreyfus
Mackenzie Philips
Cindy Williams
Charles Martin Smith

And a whole lot of lesser knowns

Not in contention, but worth mentioning: Flirting, with Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman, and Thandie Newton.

Two very good films from 1981:

  1. Excalibur
    Helen Mirren
    Gabriel Byrne
    Liam Neeson
    Patrick Stewart
    Ciarán Hinds

  2. Ragtime
    Brad Dourif
    Elizabeth McGovern
    Mandy Patinkin
    Mary Steenburgen
    Debbie Allen
    Jeff Daniels
    Fran Drescher
    Samuel L. Jackson
    Michael Jeter
    John Ratzenberger

Actors way, way past their peak:
James Cagney
Donald O’Connor
Not actually an actor:
Norman Mailer

I’ve always heard The Outsiders bandied about in discussions like this.

Liam Neeson wasn’t really in the public eye, but he wasn’t exactly unknown. He was also in The Mission (1986), along with the already well-known Robert de Niro and Jeremy Irons.

You forgot Suzanne Somers! :eek:

Just yesterday, on TCM - ‘Sense and Sensibility’ (1995) had Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, Hugh Laurie, Hugh Grant, Gemma Jones - probably many others famous but unknown to me - all of them so young and easy on the eyes!

Animal House had a few, Tom Hulce, Karen Allen, Kevin Bacon, as well as others that achieved less fame but still frequently recognized like Bruce McGill, Peter Riegert, Stephen Furst, as well as past actors getting new notice like John Vernon, Verna Bloom and Cesare Danova, and Tim Matheson.

Wet Hot American Summer 2001

Janeane Garofalo
David Hyde Pierce
Paul Rudd
Christopher Meloni
Molly Shannon
Joe Lo Truglio
Ian Michael Black
Amy Poehler
Bradley Cooper
Elizabeth Banks
Judah Friedlander

“Diner” had Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon, Paul Reiser, Ellen Barkin and Steve GUttenberg.

And Tim Daly!

I had trouble following Black Hawk Down when I first saw it because I had trouble telling the actors apart. Now many have since become famous so I might need to watch again:

Josh Hartnett
Ewan McGregor
Tom Sizemore
(okay, all somewhat famous at the time, but then:)

Hugh Dancy
Ioan Gruffudd
Jason Isaacs
Tom Hardy
Matthew Marsden
Orlando Bloom
Eric Bana
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

ETA: Wet Hot American Summer is by David Wain, so he and a lot of other people from the State/Viva Variety/Reno 911 overlap, though I agree about many of the others, especially Bradley Cooper who was pretty unknown then.

Silverado 1985

Kevin Kline
Scott Glenn
Kevin Costner
Danny Glover
John Cleese
Rosanna Arquette
Jeff Goldblum
Brian Dennehy
Linda Hunt

The cast list is enormous, actually. I’m sure I missed a few others that people would know.

Sort of - I remembered her and then forgot to put her on the list!