Happy 74th Birthday Dustin Hoffman! August 8, 1937
In honor of the birthday of one of the greatest film actors alive today, the Movie Monkey has compiled a list of Top 10 Incredible Dustin Hoffman movies.
#10 Meet the Fockers (2004)
Ok before you jump down my throat about this, we are well aware Meet the Fockers is far from an incredible film. However Dustin Hoffman’s kooky portrayal as Bernie Focker is the highlight of this mediocre second entry in the Meet the Parents trilogy along with his sex crazed wife Barbara Streisand as Gaylord Focker’s loving parents. This is one of his most hilarious film roles he has had in recent years. Unfortunately he couldn’t keep it up for the dreaded final chapter Little Fockers.
#9 Tootsie (1982)
Tootsie is the farcical story of Michael Dorsey, a highly talented but extremely difficult actor who can not find a job and has to resort to cross dressing as Dorothy Michaels to get a part on a soap opera. Directed by Sidney Pollack and co-starring Jessica Lange, Teri Gar, Dabney Coleman and Bill Murray.
#8 Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
Kramer vs Kramer is the dramatic and raw portrayal of a custody battle between a divorced couple. Ted Kramer (Hoffman) is a workaholic who always puts his family second. Joanna Kramer (Meryl Streep) plays his neglected wife who leaves him with custody of their young son completely altering his lifestyle. A year and a half after she walks out on them, Joanna returns to claim custody of their son, something Ted refuses which culminates in a vicious court case. Exceptional film where both Hoffman and Streep won multiple awards including the Oscar.
#7 Lenny (1974)
Hoffman portrayed famed comedian Lenny Bruce during his brilliant but self-destructive years as he fought obscenity laws and his own personal demons on stage before ultimately dying of a morphine overdose in 1966.
#6 All the Presidents Men (1976)
The riveting true life story of Washington DC reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein (Robert Redford & Dustin Hoffman) who uncovered the Watergate scandal which led to the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon.
#5 Straw Dogs (1971)
One of the most controversial and violent movies ever released directed by Sam Peckinpah. Hoffman plays David Sumner, a pacifist American mathematician who moves to an isolated English farmhouse with his wife and immediately develops conflict with her ex and his friends. The film culminates with the brutal rape of his wife and David’s revenge when they try to strike again.
#4 Midnight Cowboy (1969)
Hoffman plays Enrico “Ratso” Rizzo in this highly controversial film that was originally released with an X-Rating. Rizzo is a small time street hustler who takes the naïve Joe Buck (Jon Voight) under his wing and shows him the ropes of how to hustle on the streets including selling himself as a male prostitute.
#3 The Graduate (1967)
The Graduate was Dustin Hoffman’s first major film role and brought him world-wide acclaim. Hoffman stars as Benjamin Braddock a naïve recent college graduate with no direction in life that starts an affair with an older woman (Anne Bancroft) after being seduced by her and then later falls in love with her daughter Elaine.
#2 Wag the Dog (1997)
Wag the Dog is a political satire directed by Barry Levinson which finds Stanley Motts (Hoffman) an influential Hollywood producer that gets hired to fabricate a fake war with a Washington D.C. spin doctor (Robert De Niro) after the President gets involved in a sex scandal. Wag the Dog was Hoffman’s last great film performance before starring in standard mediocre films for the next decade.
#1 Rain Man (1988)
In Hoffman’s best performance to date, he plays Raymond Babbitt an autistic savant who goes on a cross-country road trip with his scheming brother who is trying to dupe him out of a $3 million inheritance after their father dies. Even though Hoffman’s portrayal of an autistic patient was wildly inaccurate it was still one of his greatest film performances and won him several awards including the Oscar.
Little Fockers (2010) (no stars)
Why didn’t they name it, Meet the Little Fockers, or Meet the Parents 3, or I would have even accepted Revenge of the Fockers. But with a name like Little Fockers, you would expect that the third entry in the Meet the Parents series was going to focus on Greg Fockers zany little kids. The Little Fockers that the title implies are barely in this crapfest of a movie. What we do get is 98 minutes of lame dick and fart jokes. Did Jay and Silent Bob do an uncredited rewrite?
You wanna know how bad this movie is? The only line of dialogue mentioned by the “Little Fockers” that even somewhat resembles a punchline to a half assed joke is: “Can girls poop out of their vagina?” If that is what passes as comedy these days than I give up. The funniest thing in this movie was Sustengo, the name of the inane plot device brand of sex pills that Greg starts to sell.
The fact that talented veterans like Harvey Keitel, Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand phoned in their awful performances simply for the paycheck shows just how bad this series has become.
Two disturbing facts about this awful movie that I truly cannot comprehend; 1. They wasted $100 million dollars creating this travesty and 2. It made over three times its budget back in the $300 million range. WOW!
Bring on Meet the Little Fockers 4!
p.s. Jessica Alba won the 2011 Razzie award for Worst Supporting actress for this film in what is surely her worst film to date.
Little Fockers (2010) (no stars)
I think it was supposed to be a Comedy but I’m not sure???
Directed by Paul Weitz
Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Jessica Alba, Owen Wilson, Teri Polo