Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A friend of mine used to think I was crazy for saying Christopher Walken was my favorite actor. But with Stephen Hunter's recent homage to him in last weekend's Washington Post, I'm feeling vindicated.

As Hunter relates, "For the past 20 years, Walken has specialized in big roles in small films or small roles in big ones." The question is, has Walken ever disappointed? Sure, some of his movies might have (think Communion), but his performances have largely been superior. My favorite Walken role might still be as Max Zorin in A View to a Kill, though his recent fatherly portrayals in Blast From the Past and Catch Me If You Can are close runner-ups. (And let's not forget his classic "Contintental" lecher on SNL.)

Perhaps we all have our favorite Walken roles. Either way, Hunter's tribute is long overdue.

12 comments:

growler said...

Let us not forget his fantastic dancing in that Moby video. Also, the "MORE COWBELL" sketch from SNL.

Ralphie said...

My favorite will always be his role as Annie Hall's brother.

Anonymous said...

I view Walken as an American Micheal Caine. He has been in lots of movies; some good, some bad and a lot in between. I'm not a big fan of Walken's work, I admire his work ethic.

Matt said...

Walken's status as a cult hero was only heightened when Fark added a "Walken" tag to its article listings.

The man communicates stone-faced intensity like no other.

Also, I highly recomment reading web-giant (and current Defamer editor) Bunsen's imaginary stare competition with Walken, from August 2003:

http://bunsen.tv/2005/07/staring-down-walken.html

B.F. said...

Gotta love Walken as the exterminator in 'Mousehunt.'

Jeff said...

Walken is quite deserving of the appreciation, although the Zorin turn has always seemed a bit too near self-parody for my tastes; I really couldn't take Walken seriously as a Bond villain (matching the difficulty by then of taking Roger Moore seriously as Bond). And far better than either the Continental or the Cowbell was . . . "Ed Glosser, Trivial Psychic." Best. SNL sketch. Ever.

Anonymous said...

growler:
Walken danced on the Fatboy Slim "weapon of choice" video, not Moby. And yes, it is not......to-be......for-gotten (said in Walken style)

Kubusz said...

I hate to say it, but I saw Walken in Vegas a few weeks ago. Apparently he was receiving a lifetime achievement award, and he looked it--the man is old. I fear the end of the Walken era is upon us.

SippicanCottage said...

What BF said.

Blast From the Past was his sweetest work, I think. Telling bad jokes, watching Jackie Gleason, and homeschooling his kid.

And drinking hot Doctor Pepper.

Anonymous said...

He was great in a little-sceen thriller called Nick of Time that starred Johnny Depp.

In one scene he explains why he had to -- just had to -- kill his best friend, even though "I loved this guy; Just loved him." He does it while casually scarfing down a plate hors d'oeuvres.

You have to watch it to see just how incredibly creepy it is ...

Anonymous said...

From Pulp Fiction:

"The way your dad looked at it, this watch was your birthright. He'd be damned if any of the slopes were gonna get their greasy yellow hands on his boy's birthright. So he hid it in the one place he knew he could hide something: his ass. Five long years, he wore this watch up his ass. Then when he died of dysentery, he gave me the watch. I hid this uncomfortable piece of metal up my ass for two years. Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. ... And now, little man, I give the watch to you."

Pure genius ...

ricardo said...

Check out Wild Side: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114941/. Insane Walken performance; so over the top, he's practically spoofing his own acting style.
And who can forget McBain?