The following post is largely un-funny. And I don't mean un-funny like most of my attempted humor posts. I mean that I didn't intend it to be very funny. Perhaps the fact that my youtube posts are more popular than my original posts---should be telling.
When most people think back on their favorite movie stars and movies, there are names that pop up every time. "Braveheart", "Gladiator", "The Shawshank Redemption". Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Anthony Hopkins. Blah Blah Blah...I agree. These are what you'd call "monumental" movies and actors. Ones where after watching, you feel "moved."
I believe that if took a poll of the top 50 actors, you wouldn't find the name Chevy Chase in there at all. While I reluctantly agree with most that he was not the best "actor" as traditionally classify "good actors," I think he might have put out one of the best 10 year run of movies of all time.
I know...you're thinking--huh? Chevy Chase? Didn't he have a late-night talk show for 2 weeks or something? Let's think of it this way--think of movies that if they came on cable, you'd stop to watch. His movies fit the bill every time. His run in the 80's was unbelievable, and the re-watchability factor of his movies is almost un-paralleled. I'm going to place some data before you here, and I think you'll start to see my point of view. Below is a list of what I consider his "great" movies that he did in the 80's, and the US box office revenue.
European Vacation--1985--59 million
Spies Like Us--1985--59 million
Three Amigos--1986--40 million
Fletch Lives--1989--33 million
Christmas Vacation--1989--71 million
Are you kidding me?? This list is unbelievable. In fact, I think he peaked at the end of the decade with a sequel that was just as funny if not better than the original (Fletch Lives) and what I consider the funniest movie of all time in Christmas Vacation. Don't tell me that you would skip over any of these movies if you ran across them on TBS.
Now, I thought about the careers of some of the other actors who are obviously more popular, and did bigger movies. These guys below may have had bigger and better movies, but they are strewn across their entire careers, whereas Chase pumped out hits in a single decade.
Jack Nicholson--He has been in some of my favorite movies, but his character in every movie now, is almost like he's trying to be an actor playing an icon of Nicholson.
Harrison Ford--I love him...but without George Lucas--ouch.
De Niro/Pacino--Great movies....and they have done a ton of them....many forgettable also.
Tom Cruise--He's a psycho--yes. But he's been in some good shows. But you can't honestly say you'd stop and watch "Far and away" or "Days of Thunder" on a Saturday afternoon.
Nicholas Cage/Kevin Costner--Recipe for success on these 2
1--Insert actor A into big action movie.
2--Have him act the same regardless of the part.
3--Blow things up around him. Make 100 million on movie.
In fact, I think it's even more difficult to make a good comedy movie. Are movies about Gladiators or battle scenes awesome? Heck yeah. It's easy to make that type of movie watchable. But its even harder to put out a good comedy that stands the test of time.
NOW---There is one actor who has put together quite a decade-long run in his own right. His run in the 90's was just as impressive.
Have you guessed by now?? Tom Hanks. Take a peek at this list---wow.
Sleepless in Seattle--1993--126 million
Forrest Gump--1994--330 million
Apollo 13--1995--172 million
Toy Story--1995--191 million
Saving Private Ryan--1998--216 million
Toy Story 2--1999--245 million
The Green Mile--1999-136 million
Road to Perdition--2002--104 million
Catch me if you can--2002--164 million
Yeah...he had "BIG" and "Splash" in the 80's, but he did "Turner and Hooch" and the awful "Joe Versus the Volcano" in between...so they don't count.
So...the next time you think of the great actors and some of the best decade-long run of great movies...let's give our boy Chevy Chase some love.