Michael Douglas gets honorary Palme d’Or: 5 films that defines his Hollywood career
CANNES, France—Michael Douglas received an honorary Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday, May 16.
Douglas described it as “an incredible honor,” adding: “This means so much to me because there are hundreds of festivals around the world but there’s only one Cannes.”
The 78-year-old has delivered many beloved films, from thrillers such as “Basic Instinct,” “The Game” and “Falling Down” to dramas such as “Wonder Boys” and superhero spectacles like “Ant-Man.”
Here are five key films that defined his varied and era-defining Hollywood career:
One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Before he became a star in front of the camera, Douglas won an Oscar as producer of this 1975 classic about a rebellious man in a psychiatric ward.
Awkwardly, he had to reject his own father, film legend Kirk Douglas, who had won accolades for the stage version, and instead opted for Jack Nicholson in the lead role.
It is one of very few movies to win all five top Oscars—best picture, director, screenplay, actor and actress.
Douglas became a household name with 1984’s action comedy “Romancing the Stone,” but he helped define an era with this 1987 film from director Oliver Stone about an unscrupulous corporate banker, winning the best actor Oscar in the process.
Amid the go-go capitalism of 1980s New York, the character of Gordon Gekko and his infamous quote that “greed… is good” was supposed to be an attack on bankers, but instead became their slogan.
It was a huge year for Douglas in 1987, which also saw the release of this box office smash, a psychological thriller about a woman (played by Glenn Close) who refuses to accept the end of a brief affair with a married man.
It has since been criticized for perpetuating the concept of a deranged female, famously putting the term “bunny boiler” into the English language.
Douglas built a reputation for erotic thrillers in the 1980s and 1990s—and none had a steamier image than this thriller by director Paul Verhoeven, in which he played a detective falling for Sharon Stone.
“At the time, I wanted to do something hardcore. It was the start of the 1990s, Americans were extremely conservative—it was a form of provocation,” he told France’s Liberation newspaper on Tuesday.
Behind the Candelabra
Douglas has remained in demand in recent years, starring in Marvel’s “Ant-Man” films and scoring a Netflix hit with comedy series “The Kominsky Method.”
But he gave one of his greatest-ever turns as pianist Liberace in this 2013 film, shortly after recovering from cancer, winning him an Emmy and Golden Globe.
Somehow delivering the character’s flamboyance in a subtle and tender way, many saw it as the crowning achievement of a storied career. /ra
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