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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

R.I.P. Dennis Hopper

Sad to see one of the great Hollywood Bad Boys die, but he did live longer than most would have thought. Breaking into the business in the mid '50's with television and bit parts in great films like Rebel Without A Cause (1955) and Giant(1956) Hopper showed a lot of potential. He looked like the boy next door with a streak of rebellion and recklessness. Along with Brando, Newman, and James Dean, Hopper helped feed the fear of all WWII vets that the youth was going to ruin America. Dennis Hopper was one of the few that actually tried to change the way things were, and he proved it with his and Peter Fonda's ground breaking directorial debut Easy Rider(1969).
Like so many others Hopper spent the 70's drugged out of his mind and getting in trouble with the law and Hollywood executives. In 1986 The Dennis Hopper Resurgence occurred with two amazing performances, Blue Velvet ( My favorite) and Hoosiers, and from this he was allowed to direct and get choice roles again. In the 90's the elderly Hopper became one of the great crazy bad guys and shined in movies like Speed (1994). I thought his last good performance in a quality film was in Basquiat (1996) and I am saddened that he never had one more great role before he died. Everyone should drink a Pabst Blue Ribbon this week in his honor.

Other Notable Films
Gunfight At The OK Corral (57) His hometown
Cool Hand Luke (67)
True Grit (69)
The American Friend (77)
Apocalypse Now (79) Maybe my 2nd favorite performance
Rumble Fish (83)
My Science Project (85) That's Right! and I'm gonna skip Flashback because of this.
The Indian Runner (91)
Red Rock West (93)
True Romance (93) He's in the best scene in the entire picture.
Waterworld (95)
As a Director
The Last Movie (71)
Colors (88)
The Hot Spot (90)

1 comment:

  1. Here’s to your fuck. Good obit dude, made me tear up almost as much as the one for Swayz.

    And I didn’t realize how seriously Hopper made 1986 his bitch. Hoosiers, Blue Velvet, Texas Chainsaw 2. Not to mention River’s Edge, probably my favorite performance of his, like a mashup of what he does best, mixing Frank Booth crazy with something more pathetic and sad.

    Makes me want to reread "Easy Riders Raging Bulls," which has the best Hopper stories, almost all of them involving a pound of blow and chasing his wife around with a shotgun.

    There's one good thing that'll come out this though, they'll probably get around to releasing "The Last Movie" on disc probably the most batshit thing he's ever done.