Russell Crowe is a versatile actor at home with heroic roles, as well as villains. He was born in New Zealand, but grew up in Australia. He became an Australian child star and was introduced to American film audiences with his first major role in the film “The Sum of Us” (1994). Sharon Stone wanted him cast in her western film, the Quick and the Dead” (1995) which she was co-producing. Tri-Star Pictures was not sure about Crowe, because at the time he was relatively unknown to American audiences. The choice was a good one, and put Crowe on the map.
Here are some of the best films starring Russell Crowe.
Crowe starred as S.I.D.(Sadistic, Intelligent Dangerous) version 6.7, a virtual serial killer used to train police officers in this futuristic thriller. SID has been created using the personalities of 150 serial killers. This program manages to inject its personality into an android body, and is on the loose. It’s up to prisoner and former police officer Parker Barnes (Denzel Washington) to stop SID. Kelly Lynch and William Forsythe co-starred.
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Crowe played an L.A. cop in this period murder mystery set amid the sleaze of Hollywood, and police corruption. Set in the 50’s, the story shows the investigation of a shooting at an all night diner by three cops who use very different methods. Bud White (Crowe) has a violent and tragic past that makes him a violent cop. Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) is the son of a hero cop who goes by the book. Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) is the technical advisor of a Dragnet style police show, and is somewhat of a fashion plate. Nominated for 9 Oscars, the film won 2. One was for the screenplay adaptation of the book by James Elroy, the other for Best Supporting Actress Kim Basinger.
Crowe plays Maximus, a Roman General who is about to be made heir by the Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. However, in an attempt to kill his competitor, Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) the natural son of Marcus betrays Maximus and has his family murdered. Maximus ends up a slave, and then a gladiator. Finally, he gets his chance for revenge. Ridley Scott directed this winner of 4 Academy Awards including Best Picture, a Best Actor nod for Crowe, and Best Visual Effects.
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
In this true story directed by Ron Howard, Crowe plays John Forbes Nash Jr. Nash was a brilliant mathematician who would go on to win the Nobel Prize. Nash was an arrogant and antisocial man who suffered from paranoid delusions. When he was medicated to stop seeing people who did not exist, he could not function in his field. Nash learned to ignore the delusions without medication. His wife Alicia (Jennifer Connolly) stood by him through all of his paranoia. The film won four Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director for Ron Howard, and Best Actress for Jennifer Connolly.
3:10 to Yuma (2007)
In this remake of an earlier western, Crowe plays outlaw Ben Wade, who is captured and is due to go to Yuma to stand trial for train robbery and murder. Rancher Dan Evans (Christian Bale) offers to hold Wade overnight. He then agrees to escort Wade to Yuma. He needs the $200.00 the sheriff is willing to pay him. Wade’s men are coming to free him and Evans must keep his word to save his ranch, and re-earn his son’s respect. Peter Fonda has a supporting role.