Authored by Mike Bacon in Movies and Television
Published on 11-04-2009
Michael Douglas is a versatile actor who learned his craft from a very close source, his Academy Award winning father, Kirk Douglas. Michael has shown the ability to play characters that are sympathetic, and those who are less than honorable. He is equally at home in comedic roles as dramatic. He has also produced several critically acclaimed films such as “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975), and “The China Syndrome” (1979) which he also co-starred in. He starred as Inspector Steve Keller opposite Karl Malden in “The Streets of San Francisco (1972). Douglas played the role for four seasons on television. Since then he has made nearly 40 motion pictures.
Here is a list of some of the finest films starring this Academy Award winning actor.
Romancing the Stone (1984)
Douglas starred in this comedy adventure with Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. (Whom he would co-star with, in several other films) In the film Turner plays Joan Wilder, a city born and bred romance novelist who dreams of adventure. She gets more than she bargained for when her sister is kidnapped in Columbia and she travels there to try to find her. She meets an adventurer by the name of Jack C. Colton, played by Douglas who agrees to help her. DeVito is one of the inept kidnappers. The action is plentiful and moves quickly. A sequel, “The Jewel of the Nile” was released a year later with the three stars returning for another action packed adventure.
Fatal Attraction (1987)
In this film directed by Adrian Lyne, Douglas plays family man Dan Gallagher. When his wife Beth (Anne Archer) is out of town for the weekend with their daughter, Dan meets Alex Forrest portrayed chillingly by Glenn Close. They have a brief fling and Dan goes home. He soon discovers that their tryst meant a lot more to Alex, than it did to him. Alex is relentless in her attempts to get Dan back, but when his family is threatened by this out of control woman, Dan finally has to fight back. Close won the Academy Award for her portrayal of the psychotic Alex. Two directors, John Carpenter, and Brian DePalma passed on directing the film because of its similarities to “Play Misty for Me” (1971)
Wall Street (1987)
Douglas won his only acting Oscar as ruthless and greedy corporate raider, Gordon Gekko (great name!) in this Oliver Stone directed box office hit. Charlie Sheen played a young stockbroker who gets involved with Gekko and his illegal tactics. Martin Sheen co-starred as Charlie’s father. In the film, Gekko utters the line this film is best remembered for. “Greed, is good”. A long awaited sequel is currently filming.
Falling Down (1993)
Douglas plays a rather different part in this picture. He is William “D-FENS” Foster.(D-FENS is the license plate on the car he drives in the beginning of the film) He is an unemployed, divorced defense industry engineer on his way to see his daughter on her birthday. When traffic gridlocks in front of him, years of suppressed rage boils to the surface, and Foster reacts violently and psychotically to those whom he views as getting in the way of his goal: To go see his daughter. Robert Duvall and Rachel Ticotin play the LAPD detectives trying to find out who Foster is and a way to stop him before he kills someone. Frederic Forrest has a wonderful turn as the white supremacist owner of a gun store that Foster interacts with at a critical point.
The American President (1995)
Douglas is Andy Shepherd, the widowed President of the United States. When he meets lobbyist Sydney Wade (played by Annette Benning) both are attracted to each other. However, trying to have a relationship with a woman while the entire country is watching is a challenge to say the least. Adding to the problems facing Shepherd and Wade is Senator Bob Rumson. (Richard Dreyfuss) Rumson is planning a run for the White House himself. He tries to use the budding romance as a way to discredit the President. Martin Sheen also stars as Shepherds Chief of Staff in a role that led to his being cast in “The West Wing” as the President. This film and the television series were written, and produced by Aaron Sorkin. Rob Reiner directed this film.