All Women's Talk

7 Dustin Hoffman Movies That Show His Greatness ...

By Neecey

I don’t think there’s any in the long list of Dustin Hoffman movies that I don’t enjoy. I have been a serious fan of this supremely talented actor for a long time. I had the pleasure of seeing him play Shylock in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice on the London stage in May 1989 and it was one of my best birthday presents ever. I’d like to share some of his triumphs with some of the best Dustin Hoffman movies.

1 Kramer V Kramer

On iTunes at itunes.apple.com

This is the one that started it all for me. If I had seen Dustin Hoffman movies prior to this, it hadn’t registered. The movie won Best Picture Oscar in 1979 as well as Best Actor and Actress for Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep as Ted and Joanna Kramer in a story about a dysfunctional marriage, divorce and a custody battle.

2 All the President's Men

On iTunes at itunes.apple.com

Hoffman enjoyed some very big roles in the ‘70s. In All the President’s Men he plays Carl Bernstein, one of the reporters who broke the news of the Watergate scandal. Although the movie picked up four Oscars, none were for Hoffman or his fellow lead, Robert Redford, as Bob Woodward. It is an interesting journey into the world of investigative journalism that doesn’t involve the gutter press tactics and phone hacking of today’s news media.

3 Marathon Man

On iTunes at itunes.apple.com

I wasn’t kidding when I said the best Dustin Hoffman movies came out of the ‘70s – here’s another. In Marathon Man, college student and runner Babe (Hoffman) becomes embroiled in a plot thanks to his brother. He comes up against the supremely chilling Nazi SS dentist Szell (brilliantly played by Laurence Olivier) and a briefcase of diamonds. This was made when thrillers relied on excellent characters, fast moving plots and eloquent dialogue rather than special effects and loud noises.

4 Rain Man

On iTunes at itunes.apple.com

I think this is probably the most common answer to the question “can you name any Dustin Hoffman movies”? and rightly so, because it gained him his second Oscar for Actor in a Lead Role. Rain Man also won Best Picture Oscar in 1989. Hoffman delivers a memorable and extremely credible performance as Raymond Babbitt, an autistic savant, opposite Tom Cruise as his brother Charlie, a self-centred, embittered, money grabber.

5 Wag the Dog

On iTunes at itunes.apple.com

You know how sometimes when the Oscar nominations are announced there are a few surprises, movies you didn’t expect to feature? Wag the Dog was one such movie and Hoffman was nominated for Lead Actor, although he lost out to Jack Nicholson for As Good as It Gets (who would argue with that?). I like to think Wag the Dog, which is a comedy about a presidential sex scandal, paved the way for shows like The West Wing, House of Cards and Scandal.

6 Tootsie

On iTunes at itunes.apple.com

Would you believe this is another of the Dustin Hoffman movies that earned him another Oscar nomination for Actor in a Leading Role. (This time he lost out to Sir Ben Kingsley as Gandhi – no surprise there.) When you watch this you get a real impression that Hoffman is seriously enjoying his dual role as out-of-work actor Michael Dorsey and soap star Dorothy Michaels. Want to find out what happens when a man who is supposed to be a woman falls in love with a woman and that woman’s father finds the same woman he fell in love with is actually a man? Confused? Watch Tootsie to see how it all unravels.

7 Midnight Cowboy

On iTunes at itunes.apple.com

Although Rain Man is probably the most well-known, many fans will quote Midnight Cowboy as one of Dustin Hoffman’s best roles. And you guessed it – he was nominated for an Oscar for Actor in Lead Role for this one too, alongside his co-star John Voight. They may have lost out to John Wayne in True Grit, but Midnight Cowboy picked up the Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director (John Schlesinger) in 1970. In Midnight Cowboy, Hoffman plays Ratso, New York-streetwise but sickly friend to naive male prostitute Joe Buck (Voight). The ending remains one of the most poignant in the movies.

This was just a small selection of terrific Dustin Hoffman movies and I didn’t even get to mention Little Big Man, Straw Dogs, Hook or The Graduate. I think seven Oscar nominations with two wins, as well as a host of Emmy, BAFTAs and Golden Globes nominations and wins easily qualifies Dustin Hoffman as a great actor. Agreed?

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