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Thursday
Mar142013

To Sir Caine, With Love

JA from MNPP here, wishing the great Sir Michael Caine a happy 80th birthday. I used pictures of him in Children of Men and as Alfred in Nolan's Batman movies mostly because they express his admirable range succinctly - can you imagine a conversation between Alfred and Jasper? - but they're also two of my favorite performances from him, at least from within the past decade or so. I'm not much of a Batman fan but Caine did some very good work therein. Looking further back his role in Dirty Rotten Soundrels was a favorite of mine when I was young, and then of course there's Hannah and Her Sisters, with that infamous Oscar tale of missing the ceremony so he could shoot Jaws: The Revenge. (Sad but true fact - I have seen Jaws: The Revenge more times than I have seen Hannah and Her Sisters. Stone me now. Jaws: The Revenge is just so entertainingly terrible!) And what about Dressed To Kill? It's tranvestitastic. And then all of his classics that modern stars have remade trying (and failing) to ape his effortless cool - Alfie and Get Carter and The Italian Job. What's your favorite Caine?

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Reader Comments (25)

Children of Men and The Muppet Christmas Carol. And Get Carter. And Sleuth. And The Man Who Would be King. And a few others.

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDevin D

Alfie!

But seriously, the man is AMAZING.

Here is my personal top ten:
http://afistfuloffilms.blogspot.com/2013/03/80-years-of-michael-caine.html

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

It's so hard to pick just one!! It might be a tie between Sleuth (the original) and The Man Who Would Be King. Definitely The Italian Job as well. Oh, and Noises Off! He's flawless in Noises Off.

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Marie

Sleuth, Alfie, Hannah and Her Sisters.

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

Austin Powers in Goldmember

Seriously though, probably Hannah and Her Sisters, but he's been excellent in so many things. Mona Lisa comes to mind. Also great more recently in The Quiet American.

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

So much to choose from! The Quiet American, I think, is my favourite but I also love him in The Man Who Would Be King- it's one I always seem to end up watching over Christmas.

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSVG

In order to do this, I must put aside my personal beef about Caine stealing Tom Cruise's well-deserved Oscar with a lacklustre performance. But I can do that.....

I have a fondness for DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS from seeing it so many times in the late 80s/early 90s. I like his work in anything Nolan. But my favourtie dramatic performance of his is easily Thomas Fowler in THE QUIET AMERICAN.

He is also responsible for one of my favourite (and most-recited) movie quotes of all time:

"There are two things I can't stand in this world: People who are intolerant of other people's cultures; and the Dutch"

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTravis

I love Michael Caine, but the best Michael Caine performance was by Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in "The Trip." SHE WAS ONLY 15 YEARS OLD!

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

I loved him in Hannah and Her Sisters, but Educating Rita will always be my favourite performance. It's not what you expect from him, but it is utter genius.

(Also, to be pedantic, the correct form of address is "Sir Michael", never "Sir Caine").

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterScottieboy

I thought he was a fine foil in the Batman movies, especially the last one, despite how bad that one was.

My favorite Caine performance is in "Husbands and Wives," but then again who can beat the impeccable acting in that film.

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

He's so great in so many movies, and most of them have been mentioned above. So I'm gonna pick one that I think deserves its own kudos: Miss Congeniality. He's so sharp and funny in that performance. "I haven't seen a walk like that since Jurassic Park", "I was distracted by the half-masticated cow rolling around in your wide-open trap"... Great fun.

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

My favorites have been mentioned so I'll add his sublime duet with Maggie Smith in California Suite and his memorable doctor in The Cider House Rules. He stole nothing.

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Sleuth and Hannah and Her Sisters.

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

BVR: I know. It's kind of like Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Strikes Again, but with worse idea of managing it's end goals. What we should have seen to accept the end result: Robin John Blake is a brilliant fighter and detective who figured out Batman's identity based on solid evidence and has a stable psychological setup. What we got: Robin John Blake is a decent fighter (not good enough to be a replacement for Batman) and decent detective who figured out Batman's identity by staring into Bruce Wayne's eyes and who is probably going to go stir crazy due to the set-up Batman left him with. Plus other problems, but those amount to being the three absolute largest ones.

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

LOVE HIM.

Haven't seen Hannah and Her Sisters (the appeal of Woody Allen has eluded me for a long time, but I THINK I'm finally starting to get it?), but my favorites are easily The Quiet American and Noises Off. Underrated films the pair of them.

Also much love for him in The Prestige, The Muppet Christmas Carol, the original Sleuth, and The Wrong Box - but those may be more out of love for the films themselves than his performances specifically. Loved his take on Alfred in Nolan's Batman films too.

March 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Gambit
Get Carter
Hannah and her Sisters
Children of Men
The Man who Would be KIng
Educating Rita
Dressed to Kill
The Italian Job
The Ipcress File
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdaniel23

I like Caine's supporting performances where he adds zip, zest, warmth, and tartness to a film. The scenes he's in make the movie work.

But I LOVE his leading performances. I like the way so many posters appreciate The Quiet American (so happy that he got a nomination for that), The Man Who Would Be King, and even The Wrong Box! Now I want to go out and see the ones I haven't seen, like Noises Off.

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteradri

MICHAEL CAINE IS 80!?! I mean, I didn't think he was 60 by any means, but 80 was a good 5-10 years older than I thought.

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

Didn't even know it was his 80th birthday yesterday when I watched THE QUIET AMERICAN. Another great performance. Although he has been in bad films over his long career, he is one of those actors (much like Morgan Freeman) who still seem to get away rather unharmed. Somehow, they manage to float above the bad script and the rest of the actors. Hopefully, he won't stop working too soon.

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDom

Alfie, Sleuth, and Get Carter, definitely among my favorites of him.

It is a little weird that he has his Oscars for supporting as he was always this leading man but he is always winning as an ensemble player.

He was always my dream-casting for Alfred and then when it finally happened it was Christopher Nolan had already clinched my appreciation for the movies. That said, I feel like Caine has largely been under-served in his movies with Nolan, especially Inception.

And I cannot think of him now without thinking of Coogan and Brydon's riffs in The Trip.

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Jaws the revenge is such a laugh. At one stage Jaws roars when leaping out of the water! I 'm sure I read Michael Caine was asked had he seen it, he said no but it paid for his house.

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersuzy

The man is one of the all-time greats. That he's appeared in so much drek somehow only proves his untarnishable image. So many great roles, so versatile, so accessible even when he's not. He even managed to make Jaws 4 watchable, as long as you can see his face past Lorraine Gary's horrible jagged bob haircut. Looks like the shark munched through that too.

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Just because it's on TV right now, I always forget how delightful he is in Miss Congeniality. Fun movie and he is a lot of fun in it (as are Sandra Bullock and Candace Bergen).

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

@scottieboy- I think you are right, that the form of address is "Sir Michael", like Lawrence Olivier was "Sir Lawrence" and then when he was made a lord, his title became "Lord Olivier".
But Michael Caine actually chose to be knighted under his real name, Maurice Micklewhite, to honor his family. So I guess he is "Sir Maurice" but I doubt anyone ever calls him that.

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteradri

To choose only one favorite in such a great filmography full of great performances? Impossible! For me he is one of the greatest actors of the past 50 years, and of course one of my favorites! I like him specially in Sleuth, The Man who Would be King, Dressed to Kill, The American, and in my favorite Woody Allen-film, Hannah and her Sisters. And I like not only his supporting performances in Children of Men and as Alfred for Nolan, but also even in films as Beyond the Poseidon Adventure!

March 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoel

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