Jack Nicholson is quite possibly the coolest actor in Hollywood. His impressive resume has kept him on top of the A-list since the early 70’s and arguably even the late 60’s with his first Oscar nomination for Easy Rider (1969). Including his nomination for best supporting actor in Easy Rider, Jack has 12 total Oscar nominations, the most recent was in 2003 for About Schmidt. His three Oscar wins came in 1975 for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 1984 for Terms of Endearment, and 1997 for As Good As It Gets. Other notable films starring Jack are Chinatown, A Few Good Men, The Last Detail, Batman, The Departed, Prizzi’s Honor, and The Shining. This page is not about these great films, but rather about some of his films that might have been overlooked, some due to Jack Nicholson playing a smaller role. The Five Forgotten Films of Jack Nicholson:
5. Tommy, By The Who (1975)
This Rock ‘n Roll Opera is filled with stars of music and the screen. A very strange film about a deaf, dumb and blind teenager named Tommy who becomes a cult leader due to his pinball skills. Jack plays the part of Dr. A. Quackson, the “Specialist”, who determines that Tommy’s condition is all in his head. This a must-see for fans of classic rock and Ann Margret. The music of Pete Townshend and Ann Margret were both nominated for Oscar for their work in Tommy
4. The Passenger (1975)
Jack is incredible as a journalist who trades identities with a dead man in hopes to find his story. This arty Italian film by the great Michelangelo Antonioni (Blow-up, L’Avventura) shows some of the far reaching talents of Jack Nicholson.
3. the Crossing Guard (1995)
Sean Penn wrote and directed this dark thriller about murder and revenge. Jack looks to avenge the death of his daughter by waiting for David Morse to be released from prison only to kill him. Great cast in this one including Angelica Huston, and Robin Wright.
2. Broadcast News (1987)
Directed by James L. Brooks (Terms of Endearment), Broadcast News is a love triangle film between a news director, a brilliant writer, and a not-so-bright anchor. Stellar cast runs deeper than the three leads with Jack Nicholson as a shrewd boss-man and Joan Cusack providing some comedy relief. Holly Hunter is brilliant in this one.
1. Reds (1981)
This epic masterpiece by Warren Beatty is sometimes pushed aside because of the controversial political views in this film. Do not let that keep you from seeing this film. The acting is very strong with Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson alongside Warren Beatty. Reds is a film about passion, be it in a personal light of love or in a professional light of duty and freedom. In every way, this is a must-see.