Latest Entertainment News Headlines

The Good, the Bad & the Badass: Bob Hoskins

05.05.2014

Last week, we took a look at the career of director of the great Gene Hackman. This week, we turn our focus to another great character actor, who sadly passed away this week...

Bob Hoskins

I was sad to hear early this week that the great Bob Hoskins had passed away. Being a child of the eighties, Mr. Hoskins was a big part of my childhood from having starred in the great WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT. One of my earliest memories is having seen this in theaters with my mom and sister and I remember being utterly transported into this strange world where humans and cartoons lived side-by-side. Looking back at it now, ROGER RABBIT probably seems quaint but in 1988, this blend of live action and animation was mind-blowing. And unlike a lot of modern blockbusters, the film had real heart, thanks in large part to Hoskins, who made a superb Eddie Valliant – a broken down, alcoholic private detective plagued by guilt over the death of his brother at the hands of a toon. Considering he had to act opposite a cartoon – which during production was just Charles Fleischer walking around in a bunny suit – Hoskins did a great job making it seem like Roger was real.

However, even without WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT, Hoskins had a great career. Before coming to Hollywood, he was renowned in his native Britain, with now-classic roles in movies like THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY and MONA LISA. After ROGER RABBIT, Hoskins became an unlikely leading man, and he made dozens of films in Hollywood. Another movie I watched a lot as a kid was HEART CONDITION, which saw Hoskins as a racist cop whose life is saved by the transplant of an African-American district attorney’s (played by a young Denzel Washington) heart. This is a weird movie, as it’s basically a buddy-cop movie where one of the partners happens to be a ghost, with Washington coming back from beyond the grave to help solve his murder. It’s goofy but fun. And of course there’s SUPER MARIO BROS, but in respect to Hoskins, who despised the experience, let’s not focus on that...

His Best Performance

While many of you would probably think WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT is a shoe-in, I beg to digress. If I was choosing his “best film” then obviously it would be WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT. However, here I’m focusing on Hoskins’ “best performance” and anyone who’s seen THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY can tell you that’s the best part he ever played. As a tough gangster whose world is torn apart over an especially violent Easter Weekend, Hoskins is incredible. This is one of the great gangster performances of all time, up there with anything by James Cagney, Robert De Niro or Al Pacino. He’s like a pitbull here (and ably supported by a young and gorgeous Helen Mirren as his moll). The final scene where he’s taken away (by a young Pierce Brosnan) to his death is a master class in film acting. Without saying a word, you see him run a whole gamut of emotions, from anger, to fear, to final acceptance of his dire situation. It’s brilliant.

His Most Overrated Performance

One movie I don’t get all the love for is HOOK. Hoskins played Captain Hook’s right hook (get it?) man Smee. Now, I’m not saying Hoskins isn’t great in it. He is (and so is Hoffman as Hook actually), but it’s a minor part and a dull film. Steven Spielberg has gone on record saying that it’s one of his worst films and I agree. It’s a pretty dull, lifeless film, and not one of the things Hoskins should be remembered for.

His Most Underrated Film

Neil Jordan's MONA LISA was the film that really put Hoskins on the map, with him being nominated for an Academy Award for his turn as a newly sprung working-class mobster who goes to work as a driver for a high-class call girl. When she asks him to help her find a street-walking colleague, he descends into a hellish cesspool of sadism that he's ill-equipped to deal with, finding himself now in the cross-hairs of a maniacal pimp (played by a young Clarke Peters) and his gangster boss (an amazing Michael Caine). If you haven't seen this, it's well worth checking out. Probably if it hadn't been for this, he would have never gotten the chance to do WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT.

His Most Memorable Scene

Having already highlighted THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY, I’m going to go back to ROGER RABBIT. My all-time favorite scene in that film involves Hoskins – who played Valliant relatively straight throughout – doing a wild song and dance act in order to do-away with The Weasels, who he literally makes die with laughter. God, what a brilliant scene.

His Top-Five Films

5. FELICIA’S JOURNEY
4. THE COTTON CLUB
3. MONA LISA
2. WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT
1. THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY

Up Next

Sadly, Mr. Hoskins – who had been retired for a few years due to his struggle with Parkinson’s disease – passed away this week at the age of seventy-one. Rest in peace Mr. Hoskins, and thanks for all the memories.

Source: JoBlo.com

RECOMMENDED MOVIE NEWS

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

11:06AM on 05/05/2014
Very good tribute, and I agree with lots said here.

I consider "Hook" one of the worst films of the 90s, but Hoskins as Smee interjects an energy and sense of fun sorely lacking from the rest of the film.
Very good tribute, and I agree with lots said here.

I consider "Hook" one of the worst films of the 90s, but Hoskins as Smee interjects an energy and sense of fun sorely lacking from the rest of the film.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:34AM on 05/05/2014

I must just be the right age

but i have always loved Hook. I hear the same critiques all the time but it's always been a favorite of mine. I'm sure it also has something to do with the fact that it came out at a time when being a lost boy was the dream. I also got a VHS copy of it on my 5th birthday… so there's that
but i have always loved Hook. I hear the same critiques all the time but it's always been a favorite of mine. I'm sure it also has something to do with the fact that it came out at a time when being a lost boy was the dream. I also got a VHS copy of it on my 5th birthday… so there's that
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:34AM on 05/05/2014

One of the great character actors

Even if the movie wasn't all that great (HOOK), he still gave his A game. I loved one of his later roles: the evil gangster in DANNY THE DOG/UNLEASHED.
Even if the movie wasn't all that great (HOOK), he still gave his A game. I loved one of his later roles: the evil gangster in DANNY THE DOG/UNLEASHED.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
8:22AM on 05/05/2014
Talk about an amazing actor. I personally favor Mona Lisa slightly over The Long Good Friday, at least in acting. If it weren't for the Academy feeling like they owed Paul Newman, he should've won the Oscar for that. And I will challenge anyone who thinks Who Framed Roger Rabbit is "quaint."
Talk about an amazing actor. I personally favor Mona Lisa slightly over The Long Good Friday, at least in acting. If it weren't for the Academy feeling like they owed Paul Newman, he should've won the Oscar for that. And I will challenge anyone who thinks Who Framed Roger Rabbit is "quaint."
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:28AM on 05/05/2014
Just watched Who Framed Roger Rabbit again like 2 nights ago on Netflix… it's still awesome
Just watched Who Framed Roger Rabbit again like 2 nights ago on Netflix… it's still awesome
7:39AM on 05/05/2014
One of the greatest British actors that ever lived. He's left us such a legacy.
One of the greatest British actors that ever lived. He's left us such a legacy.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
6:48AM on 05/05/2014
I'm glad you pointed out The Long Good Friday.
I think the film only really got noticed in the uk and nowhere else. Not only does it feature Bob Hoskins best performance but also one of Helen Mirren best parts.
I'm glad you pointed out The Long Good Friday.
I think the film only really got noticed in the uk and nowhere else. Not only does it feature Bob Hoskins best performance but also one of Helen Mirren best parts.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
4:04AM on 05/05/2014

Felicia's Journey

Thanks for putting that in the top 5; it's my personal favorite of all his roles, very haunting film.
Thanks for putting that in the top 5; it's my personal favorite of all his roles, very haunting film.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+0
3:48AM on 05/05/2014
Hoskins was a Great actor and he will be missed, May he rest in piece. I for one however dont understand all the hate for Hook. It was one of the First movies i sae as a kid, and it always had a special place in my heart, especially because of the dynamic between Hoskins and Hoffman
Hoskins was a Great actor and he will be missed, May he rest in piece. I for one however dont understand all the hate for Hook. It was one of the First movies i sae as a kid, and it always had a special place in my heart, especially because of the dynamic between Hoskins and Hoffman
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:46AM on 05/05/2014
I agree with this article except for Hook, I think he was fine in it, very funny as a Weland Smithers for Dustin Hoffman...
I would have added 2 badass performances :
- Unleashed : in which he was amazingly crazy
- Enemy At The Gates : very coonvincing as Nikita Khrushchev
I agree with this article except for Hook, I think he was fine in it, very funny as a Weland Smithers for Dustin Hoffman...
I would have added 2 badass performances :
- Unleashed : in which he was amazingly crazy
- Enemy At The Gates : very coonvincing as Nikita Khrushchev
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:08AM on 05/05/2014
He's an underrated badass. If you ask me what's my favorite British gangster movie, it's not Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, Layer Cake, or even the original Get Carter. It's The Long Good Friday and it's because of dynamite performance from Bob Hoskins. His performance demands your full attention. And he was superb in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, particularly the third act where he fights with Judge Doom. You'll be dearly missed, Mr. Hoskins. RIP.
He's an underrated badass. If you ask me what's my favorite British gangster movie, it's not Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, Layer Cake, or even the original Get Carter. It's The Long Good Friday and it's because of dynamite performance from Bob Hoskins. His performance demands your full attention. And he was superb in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, particularly the third act where he fights with Judge Doom. You'll be dearly missed, Mr. Hoskins. RIP.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:39AM on 05/05/2014
agree completely with everything you typed. Having The Long Good Friday next to those other great gangster movies really puts it in perspective. although Caine's Get Carter is a real favorite of mine
agree completely with everything you typed. Having The Long Good Friday next to those other great gangster movies really puts it in perspective. although Caine's Get Carter is a real favorite of mine
11:01AM on 05/05/2014
Thanks a lot, man. Caine was really awesome in Get Carter. But to me, The Long Good Friday is the definitive British gangster movie. It's not about fast editing, camera angles. It's about story telling and The Long Good Friday got me hooked.
Thanks a lot, man. Caine was really awesome in Get Carter. But to me, The Long Good Friday is the definitive British gangster movie. It's not about fast editing, camera angles. It's about story telling and The Long Good Friday got me hooked.
12:58AM on 05/05/2014
i really need to see the long good friday and mona lisa loved hoskins world lost a very underrated actor
i really need to see the long good friday and mona lisa loved hoskins world lost a very underrated actor
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
View All Comments

Latest Entertainment News Headlines


Top
Loading...

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Movie Hottie Of The Week

More

Taboola