Follow FilmMinion on Twitter  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Five Best: John Goodman

Yesterday, June 20th, was the great John Goodman's birthday, now a healthy 59 years old. Born is St. Louis, Missouri, he rose to fame while starring on TV's "Roseanne," but has a filmography that is as brilliant as anything he did on that show. So, without further ado, let's try to narrow down his exceptional career into his five best, in chronological order.


John Goodman and William Forsythe in "Raising Arizona" courtesy of

Raising Arizona (1987)

The first Goodman/Coen Brothers collaboration is one of the funniest movies of the 1980's, without question. It also gave birth to one of the best actor-director continuous collaborations ever. Goodman plays Nicholas Cage's former prison buddy, who tunnels out of jail, in one of the most incredibly hilarious scenes of the film. Regardless, it's the Coen Brothers best foray into borderline screwball comedy and one of Goodman's funniest performances.

John Goodman in "Arachnophobia" courtesy of

Arachnophobia (1990)

The tagline: " The suspense of Alien! The excitement of Jaws! The fun of Back To The Future!" It's not too far off. A South American spider is transported to America and begins to breed, attempting to wipe out an entitre small California town. It's campy, exciting, and Goodman is fantastic alongside Jeff Daniels as the exterminators trying to control the menace.

John Goodman in "Barton Fink" courtesy of

Barton Fink (1991)

One of the best films about writing and making movies, "Barton Fink" follows John Turturro, an intellectual playwright who is pulled into Hollywood to write a Wallace Beery wrestling film. Goodman plays his loud, jovial neighbor who tries to help him with his writer's block. It's dark and manacing at points, but it's a truly honest film about the struggles of writing and what happens when you doubt yourself.

John Goodman in "The Big Lebowski" courtesy of

The Big Lebowski (1998)

I will fight anyone to the death who claims that Walter Sobcheck is not Goodman's greatest character and performance to date. Goodman is the best friend to Jeff Bridges' Jeffrey "the dude" Lebowski, who gets pulled into a mystery after his apartment gets defaced by thugs. This third Coen brothers movie on our list reached cult classic status very quickly and is essentially one of every person in my generation's favorite films, including myself.

Sully (voiced by John Goodman) in "Monsters, Inc." courtesy of

Monsters, Inc. (2001)

You can always count on Pixar, and this is easily one of the better entries in their filmography. Here, Goodman voices James P. Sullivan, alongside Billy Crystal's Mike Wazowski, monsters who generate their city's power by scaring children. When a child finds its way into the town, it throws the entire world into disarray. A genuinely original idea with wonderfully developed characters and a great heart, Pixar succeeds admirably, as they always do.

So, thanks Mr. Goodman for always bringing us good entertainment. Happy Birthday!

No comments:

Post a Comment