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May 15, 2007

Greatest cast...ever?

"Now, ask yourself, has there ever been a greater cast ever assembled in the history of cinema? Honestly."

So said The Hater Nation's NFL Adam just a few days ago, in reference to the cast of The Cannonball Run. And yes, the cast is impressive, though terribly dated for not being even 30 years old - many of its "stars" are glorified B-listers at this point: Farrah Fawcett? A joke. Dom DeLuise? He wishes he were relevant enough to still be a joke. Adrienne Barbeau? No one under 35 knows who she is.

You get the point.

So, it wasn't without some sense of coincidence, then, that Boogie Nights was playing (seemingly on a loop) on IFC this past weekend. The 1997 porn-world saga (easily one of the top films to come out in the last 20 years) just so happens to have a cast that blows (no pun intended) Cannonball away, not to mention just about any other ensemble you can think of (though we'll see about that...). By my count, it features no less than 11 actors who have either "starred" or been the main "co-star" in a major motion picture (not to mention a number of porn stars who have surely "starred" in hundreds of films - I'm looking at you, Nina Hartley). Let's run down the lineup:

* Mark Wahlberg (starred in a number of films; Oscar nominee for The Departed)
* Burt Reynolds (ditto; Oscar nominee for this film)
* Julianne Moore (4-time Academy Award nominee; star of the horrible film The Forgotten)
* Don Cheadle (Oscar-nominated star of Hotel Rwanda)
* William H. Macy (Oscar nominee for Fargo, star of The Cooler)
* Heather Graham (not much of an actress, but a star in her own right)
* Philip Seymour Hoffman (Oscar winner for Capote)
* John C. Reilly (Oscar nominee for Chicago; Will Ferrell's main man in Talladega Nights)
* Alfred Molina (acclaimed supporting actor: Frida, Spider-Man 2, Raiders of the Lost Ark)
* Thomas Jane (star of Deep Blue Sea, The Punisher; won praise for playing Mickey Mantle in 61*)
* Luis Guzman (tree-mendous character actor: Out of Sight, Traffic)
* Philip Baker Hall (star of Hard Eight (renamed Sydney), famously played the librarian "Bookman" on Seinfeld)

That list speaks for itself, if you ask me. But instead, I'll ask you. Below, I have listed a few choices (off the top of my head) for best ensemble casts - vote for one (or "Other" if you don't like my choices) or, even better, send me your own choice - with or without a write up - of what you think is the best cast ever assembled.

Which movie has the best cast EVER ASSEMBLED?
Boogie Nights (see above)
The Cannonball Run (see above)
Ocean's Thirteen (Clooney, Pitt, Damon, Pacino, Garcia, etc.)
True Romance (Pitt, Walken, Hopper, Slater, Arquette, Oldman, Gandolfini, Sam Jackson, Rappaport, etc.)
The Departed (DiCaprio, Damon, Nicholson, Wahlberg, Baldwin, Sheen, etc.)
Glengarry Glen Ross (Spacey, Baldwin, Lemmon, Pacino, Arkin, Ed Harris, Jonathan Pryce)
Magnolia (Cruise, Macy, Moore, Reilly, Robards, Molina, Hall)
The Godfather (Pacino, Brando, Caan, Duvall, Keaton, etc.)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Sneezy, Doc, Grumpy, Bashful, etc.)
Free polls from Pollhost.com

7 people have chosen wisely: on "Greatest cast...ever?"

NFL Adam said...

Great post. But let's be clear on one thing: Dean Martin is the greatest entertainer of our time. Of any time. So one other classic I would add to this list would be the original Ocean's 11. Martin, Sinatra, Lawford, Davis, Bishop, Cesar Romero, Angie Dickinson, Henry Silva and Mr. Roper himself, Norman Fell.

Awesome, huh?

Or maybe a little love for Robin and the Seven Hoods that had Martin, Sinatra, Davis, Bing Crosby and Peter Falk. Not bad.

But in the modern era, you would (and this is if you are voting for something other than Cannonball) have to go with Ocean's 13. That's real star power. In those movies you listed, a lot of those guys were unknowns and not real stars. The Ocean's movies are the only ones with these guys are the absolute top of their game.

Fletch said...

You're showing your age. ;)

Yea, I would argue that both of the "classics" you mention had bigger star power than Cannonball, considering the enduring popularity of the Rat Pack.

I guess I'm looking for wattage and depth, so yeah, the new Oceans flicks are hard to argue against. Though let's be sure to exclude Ellen Barkin from that "top of their game" comment. ;)

NFL Adam said...

Alright. I'll take that back.

Hard to argue with Ocean's 12 with Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta Jones. Now, you can like them or not, but Roberts is one of the most bankable stars of her generation.

I'll have more later, time for the Shield.

Anonymous said...

Where is Royal Tenenbaums on your list?

And you call yourself a movie expert... pshaw.


Fletch said...

Where is Royal Tenenbaums on your list?

I actually thought of that after the fact, but hadn't bothered to add it yet. Good call.

Fletch said...

Scratch that - tried to add it, but the poll host would force me to create a new poll and all that jazz. Meh.

Consider it on the mental list.

Anonymous said...

Word. Good lookin' out.