For the first time in my life I truly felt sad for a celebrity death after hearing the news that Robin Williams had taken his own life. For a guy who grew up loving movies, Robin Williams was a staple in my life. From his early days in Popeye to Williams’ later work in films like the little viewed but underrated World’s Greatest Dad, Robin Williams could do it all. He could make you laugh, cry and believe a man could fly. He was nominated for four Academy Awards (Good Morning, Vietnam, The Fisher King, & Dead Poets Society) and took home the Oscar for Good Will Hunting. His voice work was so outstanding in Aladdin that The Golden Globes gave him a special award for his role as Genie. It’s a shame to think the quality we loved the most, his manic personality, is what unfortunately lead to his demise. I really wish it hadn’t ended this way for Williams, but I will always be happy for the laughs, smiles and joy he brought to me through his career. Here is my very personal ‘The 4: Robin Williams Movies’.
Good Will Hunting (1997)
After being nominated for Oscars 3 times previously, only to lose, Williams finally took home the gold for his role as Sean Maguire, the man assigned to counsel the brilliant Will Hunting (Matt Damon) in Good Will Hunting. Williams leaves the comedy behind and gives a very subtle, but strong performance as the therapist who’s dealing with his own issues, while teaching Will that “It’s not your fault.” Aside the emotional breakdown scene with Damon, Williams also delivers a memorable Fenway Park monologue and shows the anger he has burning inside of him over the loss of his wife. There was no denying Williams this time around in Good Will Hunting. The Oscar was his.
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Mrs. Doubtfire in today’s age seems to be Williams’ forgotten film. That’s crazy to think considering the film grossed $219 million dollars when that number actually meant something. Plus, Robin Williams is incredible in Mrs. Doubtfire. You believe he is an English Nanny that talks like Julia Child. The film is very funny, but also has a ton of heart. Mrs. Doubtfire delves into the messiness of divorce and sometimes it’s almost uncomfortable to watch. Still, Mrs. Doubtfire provides a light at the end of the tunnel for families who are no longer together. The Academy flat-out dropped the ball not nominating Williams for his role in Mrs. Doubtfire. He deserved it.
Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
We all knew that Robin Williams could be funny, but what we didn’t know in 1987 is that he could act. Enter Good Morning, Vietnam. The true life story of controversial Army disc jockey, Adrian Cronauer, who was the king of the airwaves for the troops during Vietnam. Williams is wild and hilarious as the DJ who rocks the boat, much to the listening soldiers delight. It’s not all laughs in Good Morning, Vietnam. Williams showed off his serious side as a man bearing witness to the horrors of war and being censored from telling the whole world of the losing effort in the Vietnam conflict. This was Williams’ first Academy Award nomination and showed Hollywood his diversity as an actor. Plus, who hasn’t screamed into a microphone “GOOOOOOOD MORNING, VIETNAM!”.
The Best of Times (1986)
I know this is the point where everyone screams “Where’s Dead Poets Society?”. There’s no way I’m putting a movie on this list where someone kills themselves. It’s a fantastic movie, but like I always say: My list, my rules. My personal pick goes to The Best of Times starring Williams and Kurt Russell. The Best of Times is a funny and touching story about second chances. Williams’ Jack Dundee dropped the winning pass in a rivalry game in High School that changed his whole life. He became known as the guy who dropped the ball in his small town of Taft. Despite his wife, the town and his best friend and former star QB Reno Hightower resistance, Dundee decides to play the game again to find out who was better. Rival Bakersfield or Taft. The Best of Times has the classic Monday Night Football scene and will have you on the edge of your seat to see if that SOB would drop the ball again.
There’s my list. I’m sure there are a ton of other great films that I didn’t make list. That was the greatness of Robin Williams. You will be missed. So what 4 Robin Williams Movies should have been on the list? Check me out on Twitter @tmpowellCW44 and become a fan on Facebook to let me know your picks. Remember there are no wrong answers for this list………well maybe Toys. Nano Nano!