Born on a day like today January 30thbut of 1930, Gene Hackman he survived a troubled childhood and his army service to become one of the greatest actors world cinema has ever seen. Thus, this iconic interpreter dedicated himself to working on television and journalism, but the opportunity came with more than 30 years oldand he decided to pursue what was always his vocation: to be an actor.
In this way, Hackman would fulfill 93 years old today and, although retired since 2004, his legend continues at his long-standing age. Recognized as a “natural” actor, Hackman is also remembered for turning down star roles –like Hannibal Lecter, for example– but, above all, memory will tell us that the actor won 2 Oscars, 3 Golden Globes and a Silver Bear for Berlin.
Mississippi Burning (Alan Parker, 1988)
A bloody and heartbreaking film about racism in the USA, equipped with a legendary and explosive performance from Hackman as the detective on duty. It’s a thriller that reflects a current social problem, with enormous chemistry between the protagonists (Hackman, Willem Dafoe and Frances McDormand), and harsh critical speech even for Hollywood, which passed over the film at the 1989 Oscars.
Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood, 1992)
The The second Oscar in Hackman’s career is due to the storytelling genius of Clint Eastwood, who turned the traditional version of the hero in the western on its head. Thus, Hackman’s character is terrible but, at the same time, prey to the irony of fate, when he was killed by that gunman who he judged finished. The final scene, where he is killed, is anthology.
The French Connection (William Friedkin, 1971)
With this classic and cult film, the actor won his first Oscar, for embodying the famous detective ‘Popeye’ Doyle, whom he endowed with credibility and naturalness, so much so that his model would be copied in the cinema and on television. A) Yes, this researcher becomes credible because his reactions are more human and, also, he succumbs to the emotional weight of failure. The action sequence at the end is memorable.
The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, 2001)
Yes, it is a comedy, but in it Hackman surprises us with his rogue nature without losing the tenderness that covers up an opportunistic father. The film made him win the Golden Globe and Wes Anderson continues to regret the actor’s retirementwhom he considered perfect for the black comedy that addresses family problems and traumas.
Bonnie & Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967)
Here, Hackman has a small role as the brother of Clyde Barrow (in fact, he was recommended by Warren Beatty himself), and there is no doubt that gave spark and charisma to the tragicomedy lived by the gang of criminals they portray. All in all, aesthetic violence is the hallmark of this classic film that also gave the actor his first Oscar nomination.
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