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So there's actors that are in good movies and actors that are in bad movies. I thought of this when I recognized Miguel Ángel Fuentes while we were watching Fitzcarraldo. Fuentes was in Puma Man a low budget flick that probably got more attention when it was MST3K'ed than when it was released. I started to think about actors with the greatest standard deviation in the quality of their films. That is, who's been in the best *AND* the worst films of all time during their career?

While I generally like Herzog, Fitzgerald is an acquired taste so maybe it doesn't qualify as one of the best films of all time, but it does yield another candidate for "Best/Worst". After Puma Man massive commercial success, Fuentes reunited with Donald Pleasence for the blockbuster Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie, and Pleasence was in both "The Great Escape" and "The Eagle has Landed". Now we're getting somewhere.

A friend mentioned John Travolta for "Battlefield Earth/Pulp Fiction". Anthony Quinn comes to mind for "Ghosts can't Do It/Zorba (et. al)", but the standards for old films are somewhat different. Christopher Walken just likes working, so he's been in some great stuff and some awful stuff. Bill Murray is probably on the list, too. I'm discounting bit parts, too, so great actors with bit parts in terrible movies, or bad movie actors who get bit parts in great movies (Darryl Hannah in "Blade Runner") don't count. I'm thinking of people who can turn in great performances showing up in lead roles in both truly great movies and spectacularly bad movies.

Who am I missing?


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January 2014

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