Gene Hackman's entire career is made of tough-as-nails types, but he does it so well, I can't stop watching. According to Internet Movie Database imdb.com, Hackman was a marine, which explains why he's convincing as the military figure or patriarch.
Hackman's also one of those actors who has been "in every movie ever made," I commented to blogger Moe recently, who found that he has been in over 99 productions... To see the starring roles he's allegedly turned down (the lead in Indiana Jones (!), for one), see imdb.com. Because he's "been in every movie ever made," I can't review them all here. Lean way back in your seat, grit your teeth and be prepared to watch these features from CPL's collection of Gene Hackman movies:
Hackman plays Little Bill in Unforgiven (see the Best Westerns post on this blog for a review). According to IMDB, he scared himself into avoiding violent films after this edgy role.
In another pairing with Clint Eastwood, Absolute Power, Hackman plays the president of the U.S., who is connected to a woman's murder. This movie is based on David Baldacci's novel, also in the collection.
In John Grisham's Runaway Jury, the tension is in the courtroom battle between a manufacturer and litigant. Hackman is the scary expert who attempts to discredit witnesses.
I haven't yet watched Twilight starring Hackman and Susan Sarandon as husband and wife, but I just get the feeling Hackman will be scary. The plot has Paul Newman's character investigating the mysterious disappearance of a woman's first husband. Guess who plays the sinister second husband? Don't confuse this with the teen vampire movie blockbuster of the same name.
Hackman is less scary as a conservative father meeting his future son-in-law's same-sex parents in the charming comedy The Birdcage (a remake of La Cage aux folles) starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane. Don't miss him in The Royal Tenenbaums as the misguided patriarch of a kooky family. A kinder, gentler Hackman in the end but he's still pretty grumpy...
To find many more Gene Hackman roles on dvd at CPL enter "Gene Hackman" in the search field. You will notice that he is now a novelist.