Robert Mario De Niro Jr.
Born - 17th August 1943
Career Died - 1998
Films From '98 - 25!!
Oh dear, what went wrong Bob? You were the best.....but now......
Let's go back to 1973.....WAYNES WORLD STYLE.....do la la do do la la do do la la do do la la do.....
A 30 year old New Yorker walked on to the set of Mean Streets and by the time he left it the seeds had been sown . The seeds of being a legend. This film signalled the beginning of a beautiful working partnership between the greatest actor and director of all time™, De Niro with Martin Scorsese.
He soon followed this up with an Oscar winning turn in The Godfather Part 2 in 1974, which says a lot depending he isn't on screen too long!
Then in 1976 came that one defining moment that happens in almost every actors career, that one role.....TAXI DRIVER!!! Now let's be honest who here hasn't heard of this masterpiece? I'm betting there's a few of you who probably will be saying, "oh I've never heard of it, sounds boring following a taxi driver about", but I can promise you, you will know it. I'm going to say just one thing to you, "You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me". You telling me you haven't ever stood in front of the mirror and uttered those words even if you haven't seen the film and have no idea how you know that line? Oh come on don't deny you cheeky little scamps, we've all done it!
See, there you go......This also signalled another collaboration between De Niro and Scorsese and boy was it a fantastic experience. It's a 113 minute tour de force from De Niro and this is the film that alerted a lot of people to his skills as an actor, most definitely the academy who again honoured him with a nomination. Try it out, it get's 5 of the famous winks so you know it must be good!!!
A few more films here and there in the following years cemented De Niro's reputation as a fantastic actor, not afraid to push the boundaries of what he was willing nor able to do.
This leads us to 1978 and to The Deer Hunter. Yes it caused a little controversy over a little russian roulette scene but pah, it's a fantastic film, and guess what, yep you got it, another Oscar nomination!! Not too bad is it? 3 nominations in 4 years!!!
Fast forward to 1980 and the next defining role for Bob came with his portrayal of Jake La Motta in Raging Bull. Another team up with Scorsese (Greatest Director Ever™), this showed De Niro at his ultimate best. Method Acting came into play here with De Niro training to be a boxer as well as gaining 60lbs to show La Motta after he retired. Another film to be gaining 5 winks from us and guess what.....YOU'VE GOT IT...Yet another nomination for De Niro and his 2nd win, bringing us to 2 Wins from 4 Nomination in just 6 years!
In the next 10 years from 1980 through to 1990 we were brought some fantastic films including The King Of Comedy, Once Upon A Time In America, Brazil, The Untouchables and one of my all time favourites, Midnight Run.
As you can tell from what we put earlier with 1998 being what we like to call the "Career Death Date" for good 'ol Bob, the 90's were the start of things going pear shaped. It started of so well with another personal favourite of mine, Goodfellas. A fantastic true story on the mob (if you look at De Niro's career you will see that he's done quite a few films concerning the mob and mafia) and yet another collaboration with Scorsese.
This was swiftly followed up with a role in Awakenings again in 1990 which yet again brought him yet "another" Oscar nomination and yet another collaboration with Scorsese in 1991. This time it was a remake of a Gregory Peck film, Cape Fear. De Niro by this time had psychopathic nutcase's down to a tee and it showed with his portrayal of the rapist, Max Cady. Yet again this brought De Niro another Oscar nomination bringing his total to 6 nominations, with 2 wins in just 17 years.
Then came accomplished performances in Mad Dog and Glory, A Bronx Tale and Frankenstien before his next and final link up with Martin Scorsese in Casino from 1995.
A brilliant story of how the mob ran Vegas back in the day, it's yet again, another amazing performance from our man. If you can't tell, I'm a massive fan of De Niro's earlier work and this yet again gains 5 winks from us as it rightly deserves it!
Luckily that same year De Niro finally linked up and shared some screen time with another brilliant actor, Al Pachino in what is easily the greatest heist film of all time, Heat.
After Heat, things started to slowly wind down for Bob with roles in films such as The Fan, Sleepers, Cop Land, Jackie Brown and in 1998 his final decent role, Ronin.
And then things started to go wrong, yes I'm talking about Meet The Parents (and it's 2 atrocious sequels), Showtime, 15 Minutes, The Score (which depending it had Ed Norton and Marlon Brando in, it should have been a hell of a lot better), Analyze This and That and of course Rocky and F&*%$!g Bullwinkle!!!! My god don't get me started on that piece of shit!! If there was a moment where you could physically see someones career crash and burn....this was it.
I mean check him out 14 seconds in!!! Ugh.......
And then there is the foray into horror films.....oh my god. Now by know I'm hoping with you reading the site for a few months that I'm a massive horror fan so forgive me when saying this about Godsend and Hide And Seek...
THEY ARE SHIT!!!!!!!
In fact we're not even going to carry on talking about them as, well, THEY'RE SHIT!!!!!!
A few more roles in various other films didn't bring any glory back to the man who for years had been labelled the greatest actor of all time....he's become a shadow of his former self. The reasons behind this? Who knows, all that is known is that he's made some poor, poor choices and it hurts.
Yet again he has 6 films in the pipeline at the moment (7 if you include the rumoured adaptation of Uncharted, which is a video game). So you never know, there might be a role in there that brings Mr.De Niro back to his former glories....we can only hope.
Let me leave you with this though, please don't remember De Niro like this.....
But like this........
As he said in Heat