Happy Birthday to Jack Nicholson!!! The man that came bursting through our doors with an axe, to show us how great the Joker can be on the Silver Screen. Celebraing his 80th birthday this past weekend on Saturday 4/22/17, Jack has had a crazy amount of impact to the pop culture world and, in doing so, the nerd world as well. If you’re a movie fan then you’re a Jack Nicholson fan. Here is a list of some of our favorite Nicholson movies to watch as a celebration to the man.
No nerd specific site could start off with any other film than this classic. Every Batman film and television property prior to this, had the camp factor. It was just a consensus in Hollywood that you couldn’t have a dark superhero film if you wanted to be successful. Tim Burton’s Batman showed you could, but beyond that it showed how great the Joker can be as an on screen villain. Jack’s role as the Joker was amazing, so much so that it was believed that nobody would ever be able to come close to how well he did it. If not for Jack the film may have been good, but not GREAT!!!
Considered one of the top 100 films of all time. Jack took home the Oscar for Best Actor very early in his career for this one. A movie that takes place within an insane asylum for 2hr 13min and it’s not a horror film. A good amount of people would look at that and say it will probably be boring. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is anything but, solid pacing with great characters. If you consider yourself a movie geek and have never seen the film, rectify that immediately.
The Shining (1980)
Want to watch Jack completely lose it? That’s what he does in The Shining. You can’t go wrong when you take a movie based on a Stephen King novel and put it in the hands of Stanley Kubrick to direct. A chilling film that shows the terror involved with being isolated in a giant hotel with no help to be found. This should be watched for all the pop culture references made from the movie alone.
Once again a movie that gave us a pop culture reference for the ages. Jack’s line “You want the truth? YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” was used in just about every comedy skit and routine for the year. Just like Glengarry Glen Ross is worth seeing just for Alec Baldwin’s small screen time. The little we see of Jack in A Few Good Men is well worth it.
As Good as it Gets (1997)
This rom-com about a man that is a true jerk in every sense of the word. Dealing with germophobia and OCD his ability to actually associate with people in society properly is hard sought. It is a very endearing film that will give you a laugh here and there. Not to mention the quality of acting in the film, as it did very well during the awards season.
Mars Attacks! (1996)
This movie is cheese in all shapes and forms; a love story to the old low budget alien movies of the 50’s. Just know that going into it because if you’re expecting anything else you will be disappointed. Jack’s role as the President of the U.S. is fun and comedic.
Jack has had a very diverse career and there are quite a few more films worth seeing as well if you’re going to do a full on marathon. These include, among many others:
- Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
- Chinatown (1974)
- Witches of Eastwick (1987)
- The Departed (2006)
With such a long film history there are many other films that could be mentioned. In the comments below let us know your favorite Jack Nicholson film. Join in the conversation and make sure to follow us on our many platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
MEST5150 – Contributor