1991 was the year of the woman, there were not that many good films that were about men, or even had any real good performances by men, at least in my opinion. Except for Anthony Hopkins as his now famous role as Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs. But there were a few good men. Here is my favorites of 1991.
#10) Billy Crystal in City Slickers: Through the 80’s Billy Crystal was the king of comedy films. This film was no exception and his performance was one of his best as a city guy getting away to enjoy the country and all the adventures of doing just that.
#9) William Baldwin in Backdraft: He is one of the Baldwin brothers that was able to really pull off a dramatic role and make you believe it. Baldwin plays Brian McAffery, a brother to Kurt Russell’s Bull McAffery. They don’t get along at all, but working together becomes even more of a challenge. The story is good, and the performances of both Baldwin and Russell are great.
#8) Kurt Russell in Backdraft: See above
#7) Val Kimer in The Doors: As famed front man of the Doors, Jim Morrison, Kilmer gave an eery drugged out performance, much like the man he was playing. He was on the mark even though the movie didn’t do as well.
#6) Jack Palance in City Slickers: Jack was a legend of old westerns. As his role as the old codger ranch hand and guide he made life miserable for the City Slickers. He won a long deserved Oscar that year and did one handed push ups when he accepted his Oscar.
#5) River Phoenix in My Own Private Idaho: In what would be one of his last performances before his untimely death, River Phoenix gave a beautiful portrayal as Mike Waters a gay hustler in love with his “straight” partner as he searches for his mother. Beautiful film and great performances by both Phoenix and Keanu Reeves.
#4) Tommy Lee Jones in JFK: Oliver Stone’s epic conspiracy film regarding the assassination of JFK is long and drawn out, but Tommy Lee Jones as Clay Shaw, a supposedly ring leader of the conspiracy to get rid of the Kennedy’s is superb.
#3) Robin Williams in The Fisher King: Robin Williams move from comedy to drama was almost as powerful as Tom Hanks’. In the Fisher King he plays Parry a deranged homeless man. His performance is one of his best ever.
#2) Kevin Costner in JFK: One of the other and even better performances in Oliver Stone’s JFK. Costner plays the investigator who believes that Oswald was part of a much bigger plan in assassinating the President and he sets out to prove his theories.
#1) Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs: No other man could be Hannibal Lector. Hopkins portrayal of the psychotic serial killer that eats his victims is hauntingly perfection.