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Robert Duvall

FULL NAME Robert Selden Duvall
BORN January 5, 1931, San Diego, California, USA
ASSOCIATION Actor (Director, Producer, Writer)
NATIONALITY American
REVIEWED ENTRIES 28 (27)
MAX. RATING

(performer)
(filmmaker)

MIN. RATING

(performer)
(filmmaker)

AVERAGE RATING 4.06 (performer)
3.83 (filmmaker)
STRENGTHS
  • Naturalistic approach, methodic acting
  • Powerful screen presence and intensity
  • Remarkable depth of character

 

FILMOGRAPHY (ONLY SEEN ENTRIES, REVIEWED ENTRIES ARE HYPERLINKED)

YEAR TITLE ROLE RATING
1966 The Chase Edwin Stewart

1968 Countdown Chiz

1968 Bullitt Weissberg
1971 THX 1138 THX 1138

1972 The Godfather Tom Hagen

½

1973 The Outfit Earl Macklin

½

1974 The Conversation The Director
1975 Breakout Jay Wagner

½

1976 Network Frank Hackett

1979 Apocalypse Now Lt. Col. Kilgore

½

1979 The Great Santini Bill Meechum

½

1983 Tender Mercies Mac Sledge

½

1988 Colors Officer Bob Hodges
1989 Lonesome Dove (TV-mini) Augustus McCrae

1990 The Handmaid's Tale The Commander

1991 Rambling Rose Daddy Hillyer

½

1993 Falling Down Predergast

1994 The Paper Bernie White

½

1995 The Scarlet Letter Roger Chillingworth

1995 The Stars Fell on Henrietta Mr. Cox

1996 Phenomenon Doc Brunder

1996 Sling Blade Frank Childers
1997 The Apostle Sonny Dewey

1998 The Gingerbread Man Dixon Doss
1998 Deep Impact Capt. Fish Tanner
1998 A Civil Action Jerome Facher

2000 A Shot at Glory Gordon McLeod

½

2000 Gone in 60 Seconds Otto Halliwell
2003 Secondhand Lions Hub

2003 Open Range Boss Spearman

½

2006 Thank You For Smoking The Captain

2009 The Road Ely

2009 Get Low Felix Bush

2012 Jack Reacher Cash

½

 

FILMMAKER FILMOGRAPHY (ONLY REVIEWED ENTRIES)

YEAR TITLE ASSOCIATION

FILM RATING

1983 Tender Mercies Co-producer

½

1997 The Apostle Director/Producer

2000 A Shot at Glory Producer

 

PORTRAIT

Of all the actors and actresses I admire, I don't think there is anyone who performs prolifically on such a high level as Robert Duvall. I have never seen him do a bad role, and he always seems believable no matter which character he depicts.

Duvall came fairly late into the game of acting, but made an unforgettable debut in Robert Mulligan's acclaimed To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) and has since appeared in a remarkably high number of well-received or high-profile films: The Chase, Bullitt, M*A*S*H, THX 1138, The Godfather, The Conversation, The Godfather, Part II, Network, Apocalypse Now, Days of Thunder and The Paper, just to name a few. He has a knack for portraying hard-edged authoritarian characters, but many of his most memorable performances has come in touching, sensitive and often very emotionally expressive (and demanding) roles. His ability to go deep into his roles and make any character believable is singular.

Every once in a while, Duvall also takes place in the director's chair, and when he does, his work is incredibly personal and forceful. He was hailed for his Angelo, My Love in 1983, but it was going to take 14 years before he directed again with the magnificent portrait of a misfortunate minister in The Apostle. It was an important film for Duvall which he struggled to raise money for and ended up financing partly himself. And although it hasn't got the attention it deserves, it is one of the best films I have ever seen.

At 74, Duvall's position in the business is unique. He alternates between leading and character roles and is frequently hailed for his work. His looks are striking and commanding, roughly handsome but with a soft smile. As Leonard Maltin pointed out, his face wouldn't look out of place on Mount Rushmore. He is one of few actors that can expect to find his name high up on the cast list for as long as he chooses to (or is able to) continue acting. It will hopefully be for a long time still, because he's still as vigorous as ever. For my own part, although I've seen almost twenty films in which he's appeared, I still have a lot unseen from his rich body of work to look forward to. Duvall is currently living with 33-year-old Argentine actress Luciana Pedraza.

 

TRIVIA

  • The first film I saw him in was probably Falling Down (1993)
  • He is the one actor that I've seen the highest amount of films with (6) that I haven't reviewed.
  • He is also probably the actor I have seen the highest number of films with (31).

 

AWARDS

The Academy Awards (Oscars)

1972

Nominated for Best Supporting Actor for The Godfather

1979

Nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Apocalypse Now

1980

Nominated for Best Actor for The Great Santini

1983

Best Actor for Tender Mercies

1997

Nominated for Best Actor for The Apostle

1998

Nominated for Best Supporting Actor for A Civil Action

 

WHAT DO THE CRITICS SAY?

The Great Santini

"It's Duvall who really makes the movie live." - Roger Ebert

"(...) mens tittelkarakterens manglende empati og selvinnsikt er sårt og henrivende portrettert av Robert Duvall" - Fredrik Fevang

Countdown

"I de rivaliserende hovedrollene finner vi de to talentfulle karakterskuespillerne Robert Duvall og James Caan i startgropen av sine karrierer, og begge kombinerer smått arrogant ungdommelighet med behagelig respekt for både hverandre og mediet." - Fredrik Fevang

The Handmaid's Tale

"Bare i scenene som involverer en (som alltid) dynamisk Robert Duvall kommer filmen til liv" - Fredrik Fevang

The Apostle

"Robert Duvall har en dybde i karakteren som utsletter forskjellen mellom skuespilleren og hovedpersonen." - Fredrik Fevang

 

QUOTES

On why he didn't do The Godfather III:
“Why were they doing this? They were doing it for money, because Coppola’s always looking for money. He lives high on the hog. I figured if I was going to do it, come up with some real money."

On Marlon Brando:
"When we did The Chase, he was talking and he turned to act as an extension of what [occurred before the scene]. I think that offhandedness is pretty special. I learned that from him. I said to my [then] wife, “We’re go­ing to be like brothers. I love this guy.” Then he wouldn’t even say good morning for eight weeks. He’d just walk past you. I wasn’t used to people like that."

About Scottish footballer Ally McCoist:
“McCoisty – what a character! I said to Albert Finney, I’m working with this guy McCoist, the footballer, I’m gonna make an actor out of him,” and Finney said [puts on gravelly-posh Finney accent] ‘Shahp as a tack!’ He was right."

About Michael Owen:
“McCoist was a good footballer, of course, but not as good as Michael Owen – I love Michael Owen, he’s great. He almost beat Argentina single-handed – I got on the phone to people, I was saying, ‘You should see this kid – he’s brilliant.’ I looked into his record, and I found that in your version of ‘little league’ when he was 12 years old he scored 13 goals in 18 minutes one game. Incredible!”

About Scottish footballer Jimmy Johnston:
“I met a lot of characters in my time, Texas, here, there, all over – the biggest I ever met was Jimmy Johnston. We spent about two hours talking – what an entertaining guy, just to sit and talk for two hours. People say the Scots are dour, but they’re not: they’re like the Italians, they throw things, they curse!”

About his career:
“I always figured that I was a sort of a ‘late bloomer’ – I felt my time was later than guys like Jimmy Caan, De Niro, Pacino. It’s later now… I guess I’m still around! In fact, I’m getting more offers than ever – that’s fine with me. They want me to do Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea.”

Asked about if there are any downsides to being an autheuristic director:
"I suppose there is a downside but I love it. I would like to do more but I don’t have any ideas."

 

CHARACTER QUOTES

Rambling Rose (1991)

Daddy (Robert Duvall): "Put your damn tit back in your dress. Do you hear me girl? Replace that tit!"

 

The Apostle (1997)

The Apostle E.F.: "I'm a genuine, Holy Ghost, Jesus-filled preachin' machine this mornin'!"


The Apostle E.F.: "I may be on the devil's hit-list, but I'm on God's mailing list."