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Friday, October 24, 2014

The Bill Murray Lists

Over the years he's played many roles, but one thing in Bill Murray's career never changed:
His ability to light up the screen.
No matter how big the part, drama, comedy or dramedy, he brings something special to a film.
His latest film, St. Vincent, opens today to positive reviews.
It will be placed in a diverse filmography that makes you laugh, cry and realize the definition of charisma.
So without further ado North/South presents . . .

The Bill Murray Lists

Dan's List

5. Groundhog Day / What About Bob?
The early 1990s were a beautiful time for light comedies.
They didn't have to be grossout, slapstick or R-Rated, they could just be enjoyable.
Groundhog Day and What About Bob? are both highly rewatchable Saturday TV movies.
If you come across them on cable, you are definitely going to watch most, or all of them.
I'd love to have Stripes in this spot, but it has not aged well and nostalgia factor doesn't get you on the list!

4. Where The Buffalo Roam
Murray killed it as my favorite writer, Hunter S. Thompson.
Most people associate Johnny Depp with Thompson, but that was Depp as Thompson as Raoul Duke.
Got it?
Murray's portrayal is much closer to the genuine article. 
Plus, it gave us one of the great courtroom scenes in film history.

3. Ghostbusters
Like many people, my first memories of Bill Murray come from Ghostbusters.
I can specifically point to the introduction of Peter Venkman as the point I thought, "Hey, I like this guy".
Venkman is the quintessential Murray character: Witty and charming, but with a slight edge.

2. Caddyshack
The Dalai Lama Story alone would warrant a place on the list. 
Carl Spackler is an absolute mad man and this was a huge part of Murray's boom.
Amazingly, Meatballs outgrossed Caddyshack.
A huge surprise considering Caddyshack was one of the most quotable films ever.

1. The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou  
This film and character were made for the talents of Bill Murray.
There is no way I can fathom Life Aquatic with another actor in the Zissou role.
It doesn't matter how many times I watch it, the submarine scene always make me misty.
When he drops, "That was my favorite age.", cue the waterworks.

                                Belafonte Bill Murray animated GIF

Chris's List 

5 - Kingpin
"Call me Ernie, or Big Ern." One of the greatest comedy supervillains

4 - Caddyshack/Stripes
Quintessential, classic Murray. Carl Spackler is the best part of Cadyshack (Cinderella Story, Dalai Lama, etc). And even though Stripes falls apart in the second half, the first part is comedy gold from Murray/Ramis. 

3 - Lost in Translation
I unabashedly love this film, even though many have soured on it in subsequent years. Older, wiser, but still hilariously sarcastic Murray is on full display here perfectly effectively portraying a mid-life crisis. 

2 - Rushmore (Life Aquatic & other Wes Anderson films)
Wes Anderson and Bill Murray are a prefect match for one another. The director helped revive and reinvigorate Murray's career with Rushmore, his best performance in an Anderson film (followed closely by Zissou, which I knew would be Dan's #1). Bit parts in TenenbaumsMoonrise Kingdom, and Fantastic Mr. Fox are all great too.

1 - Ghostbusters
Do I really need to explain why this is at #1? I am ashamed Dan has it at #3 (are we even friends?). GhostbustersBack to the Future, and Indiana Jones are my childhood. Murray's true comedic genius film

Honorable Mention:

He's great in a bit part in Ed Wood. He's the best part of Wild Things (yes, really). He has one of the greatest cameos of all-time playing himself in Zombieland. Plus, he's also great in indie films that few people ever saw, like Get Low and Broken Flowers. 

Basically, Bill Murray is the man! 

Thanks For Reading!

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