Sunday, July 28, 2019

Sunday Best: Top 5 Rutger Hauer Movies

image by DWDD
This past week we lost Rutger Hauer.  As intense of an actor as he was, Hauer was never someone you could pin down.  He could play dark and menacing, but he could also be as effectively cowardly or noble in such incredibly believable ways.  His filmography is a scattered patchwork of diverse roles.

In memory of this actor, I wanted to go over the Top 5 Rutger Hauer movies.  I'm choosing to look at which of his movies were great, rather than strictly great performances.  For example, I detest the movie The Hitcher, but Hauer is fantastic in it.  Therefore that movie is not on the list.  I'm also leaving out movies where Hauer had very small parts, like Batman Begins

5.  Blade Runner

This would probably be #1 on most people's lists.  I have never been a huge fan of this film, though my introduction to it was confusing.  However, no one can miss Hauer's amazing portrayal as the murderous replicant who only wants to live.  His "Tears in the Rain" speech, which he improvised mostly himself, is profound.

4.  Blind Fury
This is pure B-Movie pulp, but Hauer does it so well.  He layers his performance as a blind martial artist with humor, drama, and rage.  He is so completely watchable in that movie which makes the movie watchable as a result.

3.  Wedlock
Another B-Movie that is so incredibly clever in its conventions.  Hauer's character and Mimi Rogers' character must remain within 100 yards of each other or explosive collars will blow up their heads.  The movie constantly puts them in absurd situations, like one of them being taken down an express elevator in a high rise building while the other desperately runs down the steps.  The movie is not necessarily a great film, but if you buy into the concept, it is a great deal of fun.

2.  Escape from Sobibor
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This is a tough movie to watch, but Hauer brings a great deal of power to the movie.  He comes in about half-way through the story as a Russian soldier imprisoned in the concentration camp.  He gives the prisoners the added strength they need to proceed with their overthrow of the camp.  He is stoic and restrained, but he allows his emotional side to show when he realizes that one of the women in the camp has fallen for him.  The movie is harrowing to watch and lacks the beauty and artistry of Schindler's List, but it worth the one-time viewing.

1.  Ladyhawke
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This under appreciated Richard Donner actioner is fantastic and Hauer is fantastic in it.  He is hopelessly hopeful while also being violent and noble.  His pain at getting only the slightest glimpse of his beloved is heartbreaking.  But the best part is when he is in the church at the end and he realizes that he has made a terrible mistake that could destroy his love.  His desperation and despair are fantastic and help make the movie what it is.


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