Jack Nicholson is considered one of the greatest actors of all time. The 84-year-old legend has earned his place in film history over a nearly 60-year career. He wore some of the most iconic movies ever made, including one flew over the Cuckoo’s nest and Terms of infatuation as well as collaborating with some of the greatest directors who still existed from Stanley Kubrick to Martin Scorsese. Nicholson has shown over and over again that he can do it all.
The actor is one of only six actors to have ever won three Oscars for acting (a list that includes Daniel Day-Lewis, Meryl Streep, Frances McDormand, Ingrid Bergman and Walter Brennan). It’s no secret that every time Nicholson plays a role, you can expect the greatest truth, authenticity and excitement in his portrayal. Here are Jack Nicholson’s best performances, arranged.
9 Easy rider
Directed by Dennis Hopper and the film released in July 1969 Easy rider was a very important role of Nicholson. His performance of George Hanson was a monumental moment in his career that earned him his first Oscar nomination in the category of Best Supporting Actor. Easy rider immediately became a success with his all-star cast from Nicholson to Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper.
8 Five easy pieces
Five easy pieces is a 1970s drama starring Jack Nicholson, Karen Black and Susan Anspach. The film follows a man who tries to reconnect with his family when he finds out his father is extremely ill, but struggles to fuse his new blue-collar lifestyle with his once upper-class existence. With an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, Five easy pieces received critical acclaim and received five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Nicholson’s Second Nomination (this time in the Best Actor category for his role as Robert Dupea).
This crime / mystery, Chinatown directed by Roman Polanski, is one of Nicholson’s most iconic and successful films. In a movie filled with passion, mystery and murder, Nicholson and Faye Dunaway shine as JJ ‘Jake’ Gittes and Evelyn Cross Mulwary. The film has an almost perfect critique score on Rotten Tomatoes which comes in at 99%, and is on almost every reviewer’s list of the best movies of all time. Chinatown is a classic and a movie that will be enjoyed for years to come.
6 Those who left us
Those who left us is the result of one of the greatest directors of all time who has collaborated with some of the greatest actors of all time. Every minute of this movie is wildly entertaining and captivating. Those who left us is a story of crime, love and family unraveling in a big city, all that director Martin Scorsese best portrays. Jack Nicholson, Leonardo Dicaprio, and Matt Damon plays the thirty-two-minute film that won the great Martin Scorsese his first Academy Award for Best Director and took home the Oscar for Best Picture in 2011.
5 The shine
Jack Nicholson’s most iconic performance of all time is probably in Stanley Kubrick’s cult classic horror film The shine. Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, this movie follows Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), a family man who moves his wife and son with him to Colorado for the winter while he watches over the Overlook Hotel. The hotel’s ghostly past does not seem to bother Jack at first, but as time goes on, it becomes clear that something sinister is happening within the walls of the hotel that eventually makes Jack angry. Nicholson’s performance in this film is legendary and Stanley Kubrick’s directing is brilliant, making the film’s zero Oscar nominations one of the greatest Oscar nominations of all time.
4 Some Good Men
Nicholson has no shortage of iconic movie quotes, including “Here’s Jonny!” of The Shiny and “I must be crazy to be in a strait like this” by one flew over the Cuckoo’s nest, but perhaps the actor’s most famous quote of all is “You Can’t Handle the Truth!” of Some Good Men. Nicholson’s performance in the 1992 legal drama is the most memorable aspect of the film in which he plays Tom Cruise and Demi Moore. The movie is definitely a must-see.
3 As good as it gets
Love, anger and obsessive-compulsive disorder are what make up the romance / drama As good as it gets. Jack Nicholson’s character Melvin Udall is an angry writer who lives in Manhattan and suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder. Despite the fact that he does not really like anyone, he takes a liking to his waitress played by Helen Hunt, with whom he eventually develops a deep connection while helping to slowly change Melvin for the better. Nicholson and Hunt won the 1998 Academy Award for Best Actor and Best Actress for their performances in As good as it gets.
2 Terms of infatuation
This drama / comedy, directed by James L. Brooks and released in November 1983, won Jack Nicholson his second Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, in addition to being nominated and winning Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay. This film is one of the actor’s most successful and notable movies.
1 one flew over the Cuckoo’s nest
To reach number one on the list of best Jack Nicholson shows is his most beloved and iconic film one flew over the Cuckoo’s nest. Nicholson is magic in this movie and his rendition of Randle Patrick McMurphy is legendary. His 1976 Oscar award is one of the most deserved Best Actor victories of all time, especially considering how nearly forty-seven years after the film’s initial release viewers still praise his performance. Nicholson is an actor you can watch over and over on screen and still be amazed by the choices he makes every time.
Despite Marvel Studios and Sony hoping for Oscar glory, Spider-Man: No Way Home will not take any BAFTAs home this year.
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