Thursday, May 31, 2012

10 Best Actors of All Time Relay Race

I recently stumbled upon a new blog to follow, a blog that goes by the name My Film Views. One day - way before I had ever heard of this blog -, its owner Nostra had a superb idea; 

"I've created a list of what I think are the best actors. At the end I, just like in a real relay race, hand over the baton to another blogger who will write his own post. The blogger will have to remove one actor (that is an obligation) and add his own choice and describe why he/she did this. At the end the blogger chooses another blogger to do the same. We will end up with a list (not ranked in order) which represents a common agreement of the best actors." 
 - Nostra

Many thanks to the lovely Lesya Hearst from Eternity of Dream, who recently passed this award on to me.

Previous participants:

The Actors
(listed alphabetically)

Bogart, Humphrey

Brando, Marlon

Day Lewis, Daniel

De Niro, Robert

Depp, Johnny

DiCaprio, Leonardo

Newman, Paul

Nicholson, Jack

Oldman, Gary

Stewart, James

Maybe the idea of this "race" has become to show some different options of the ten best actors of all time, because to be honest I think this list is very much perfect already. At least I would be able to live with my suggestion, because I find it so hard to remove someone from this list, also because I don't really know much of some of these actors' work, though I know they must be great.

I bid goodbye to...

Sirius Black is one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series, and I loved Gary Oldman in the films, but I don't think he's one of the greatest actors I have ever seen. Admittedly, I haven't seen his supposed-to-be greatest work, Léon, but he just didn't leave that big an impression on me in other films. I never thought "Hey, this is one of the greatest actors ever!".

My addition

70 years old now, Hindi-film legend Amitabh Bachchan is finally making his way to Hollywood. Or at least it looks like it - who knows just how big his role in the upcoming (incredibly looking) The Great Gatsby is going to be. However, Bachchan has told the media that he's been asked to play in non-Indian productions frequently, but never felt like it, so the offer must have been tempting, slash,  challenging enough.

Amitabh Bachchan has worked with everyone who ever made or is making a name, or is going to be making a name for him/herself in the Hindi film industry during his lifetime, and in contrary to many other "superstars", Amitabh-ji made his way into the movies without the help of family relationships.
After struggling for roles after his first feature film Saat Hindustani, Amitabh had his breakthrough in Zanjeer in 1973 and became an icon for a whole generation of dissatisfied young people. During that period, Amitabh mostly played characters that were unified under the term "Angry Young Man", including the grand cult film Sholay, which is probably the most quoted and loved Hindi film of all time. However, Amitabh proved his talent in different roles too - both comedies and tragedies - and many of his films from the 1970s are cult films today. 
Later on, Amitabh tried out doing some politics and his acting career was concerned finished, but after many flops in the late 1980s and 1990s, he returned for his big comeback by the millennium change. Still known for his unusual height, baritone voice and great acting talent, Amitabh Bachchan is today considered one of the greatest Indian actors of all time, and is still successfully pursuing his acting career, portraying a wide range of characters. 

Amitabh Bachchan was in the first Indian film I saw (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham), and my respect for his work has grown ever since. I wish him all the best for his Hollywood debut, and hope that he will be welcomed with open arms and choose his films wisely. 
I hope that I've inspired a few people to check out some of Amitabh-ji's films (start with Sholay!), and that the other bloggers will keep him in this race, or at least see one or two of his acclaimed films before they consider to kick him out. 

I'm passing this task on to thevoid99 from Surrender to the Void - have fun!


  1. It's nice that you look outside of the box picking an actor. But I must admit that I absolutely hated Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham when I saw it last autumn. It was a pain to get through it. Over-sentimental crap that just kept repeating ad nausea. That film could have been told in 25 minutes rather in 3,5 hours! I guess this actor wasn't to blame... And perhaps he's done better since. Because that was not something I remember fondly.

    1. Kabhi Khushi is definitely one of the less good Hindi films, perhaps one of the worst... the only reason why I like it a little is because it was the first Hindi film I ever saw, and I like the actors. Otherwise, it is a pain, as you said.
      But Amitabh has made many, many - thousands - of good films! (Okay, maybe hundreds).

  2. Another week with Depp surviving!!
    I'm not a Bachchan fan myself (SRK ALL THE WAY) but he was the Star of the Millennium in India. People do love him loads. Still sad to see Oldman go.

    1. I just couldn't take him out, I love his films so much... and he's a great actor too!
      Well, it was either Shahrukh or Amitabh, but I think Shahrukh hasn't been what he used to be in the past years... even though I would watch him in anything.

  3. There are a few other people I'd pick to remove before Oldman but I do love your pick of Bachchan. He was great in Sholay and in a supporting role in Veer-Zaara and even manages to be the main salvageable part of an otherwise fairly trite Kaante. If I had to pick one I might give the edge to SRK but either deserves accolades to match those we give to American actors of their stature.

    1. That's great to hear! I haven't seen Kaante yet, but Amitabh has saved many films from being complete crap. As I said, I was considering Shahrukh but it was a hard choice.

  4. I actually wrote in my own post, that there is not enough foreign flavour among the 10 actors. Max Von Sydow was kicked off, so good on you for an unexpected pick, but then again, as you love Bollywood, perhaps it was a natural choice.
    I'm afraid that your man won't last long, unless the next participants are from India or something ( : If nothing else, as you say, your selection may inspire bloggers to check out a movie by Bachchan, or simply notice him in the upcoming Gatsby...

    1. I thought that maybe people will keep him until they've seen one of his films, because I couldn't dream of kicking off an actor I don't know.

  5. A nice International addition to the list, NICE! I'm not familiar w/ Amitabh Bachchan but I know he's huge in his home country. I think it's great that he's cast in The Great Gatsby, he should be great in it. Sad to see Gary Oldman go, but ah well, there's only room for 10.

    1. Yes, sadly... I'm glad you like the addition though.

  6. Leon's not Oldman's best work, although I'm blanking out on movies where he was better.

    Anyway, love seeing risky choices here, especially choosing a man of colour. I'm an Aamir Khan fan myself, having only seen 3 Idiots.

    1. Aamir Khan was another choice I considered, but then again I like Shahrukh a tad better.
      Thanks for commenting!

  7. I personally believe that Shahrukh is entertaining, but when it comes to acting,he is generally very medicore.Amitabh is definitely one of the best mainstream actors in bollywood...I wont and cant compare Amitabh to Shahrukh in acting..amitabh has the natural intensity in his acting, the demeanor, the voice..etc.. that cant be matched by the likes of shahrukh... being successful at box office doesnt mean one is a good actor(opinion).

  8. Hi Anonymous, thank you for commenting!
    I think there is more to Shahrukh than just his ability to entertain, but he hasn't had too many chances to really prove his acting talent. My favourite performance of his is in Dil Se, but I think he was great in many others, just not in the last few years.
    However, I still think Amitabh is the better actor, and I'm glad you agree.

  9. Hi Mette!
    Of course, it's sad to see Gary Oldman go, but I considered him a candidate to write off the list alongside Tom Hanks, so I see where you're coming from. And of course I'm happy that DiCaprio is still here as well as Nokhat's choice Depp!

    I don't know much about the Indian cinema, but I have no doubts that you picked Amitabh Bachchan for good reasons.

    1. DiCaprio and Depp are two great actors, I didn't even consider writing them off.
      I hope Amitabh Bachchan will stay in the last at least for a while.

  10. I have only seen one movie starring Amitabh Bachchan, so really can't say much about his acting. Refreshing to see a non-Hollywood actor being added though (even if he was removed on the next round)

    1. It was likely to happen - at least I added some ethnical flavour to the list for a little while :). But I completely understand the reasons for taking him off the list. I wasn't sure if I should include an Indian actor, because I do watch more non-Indian than Indian movies, but I felt Amitabh should have the honour to be in this at least for a while.

  11. Hey man considering the fact i personally feel KAMAL HASSAN is way better than other Indian actors..The TALENTS and his ACHIEVEMENTS one is in the race not even halfway through to this LEGEND

    1. Ahm, I actually haven't seen a Kamal Hassan film yet, so I really can't say anything about that.
      Thanks for your suggestion though.



    1) Only actor to get 4 national awards and three international

    2) Four national award for nayagan, indian ,moonram pirai and
    kalathur kannama.

    3) Three south asian international best film award for virumaandi
    swati muthayam, saagar sangamam

    4) First actor in indian cinema whose 7 films made an official entry
    to oscar,this itself a rajini or amitab only kamal

    5) First and only actor in indian cinema to be awarded with 18
    filmfare awards.Even dilip kumar has only 14 filmfare awards.

    5) Times magazine listed nayagan film in the top 100 greatest films
    ever made.No other south indian actor gets that accolade.

    6) He was also awarded fourth highest civilian award - the

    7) Recently he was conferred an honorary doctrate by sathyabhama
    Deemed university

    8) His self production company raj kamal after giving blockbuster
    moviekuruthi punal, aboorva sagodhargal, raja parvai etc declared a
    turn over profit of Rs.450 million

    9) His dream project maruda nayagam was inaugurated by Queen
    Elizabeth 2.

    10) Started a new company raj kamal audio to drive to corporatise
    all his film commitments

    1. GREAT LIST DUDE,,,but he has won 24 filmfare awards not 18...

  13. 11) First actor in world to transform his fans club into social
    service organisation

    12) He and his iyakkam has donated 10000 eye pairs.kamal distributed
    10000 kg rice to poors , gave free chappels to the needs,etc

    13) Our actor was given 100 crores by a politican to join their
    political party but kamal refused it. He is simply the best

    14) Only tamil actor who does take tamil movie to other states and
    make it hit.but actors like rajinikanth remake film from kannada
    film, vijay almost all his films are telugu remake.Be proud that our
    ulaga nayagan brings respest to tamil and tamilians

    15) Several other films of kamal has bagged many national awards

    16) Two andhra state awards

    17) 7 or 8 tamil nadu state awards

    18) Kalaimamani - by TN Govt

    19) Kadhal ilavarasn - by gemini ganesan

    20) Puratchi mannan - by K.B

    21) Super actor - by panchu arunachalam

    22) Kalai gnani - by M.karunanidhi

    23) Universal hero - by k.s.ravikumar

    24) The Fuel Instrument Engineers (FIE) Foundation, (
    Ichalkaranji, Maharashtra ) has conferred "F.I.E" award of Greatest
    Indian of our time.Till now only 5 Indians has got it including TATA.

    25) Chennai Rotary Club awarded 'Sirantha Manithar' award.

  14. are you serious at all.......amitabh is a good actor but not great....In my opinion only mohan lal and kamal hassan are worth including..


Let the discussion begin!