Michael Caine – Part 2
Although Caine also took better roles, including a BAFTA-winning turn in Educating Rita (1983), and an Oscar-winning one in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and a Golden Globe-nominated one in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988), he continued to appear in notorious duds like the thinly veiled skin flick Blame It on Rio, and the critical-commercial flop Jaws: The Revenge (1987) (in which he had mixed feelings about the production and the final cut) and Bullseye! (1990); his appearing in so many films that did not meet with critical or box office acclaim made him the butt of numerous jokes on the subject. Of the former, Caine famously said (primarily about Jaws: The Revenge) “I have never seen the film, but by all accounts it was terrible. However I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.” All these film failures later became cult films among his fans today. His other successful films (critically and/or financially) were the 1978 Academy Award-winning California Suite, the 1980 slasher film Dressed to Kill, the 1981 football/war film Escape to Victory, the 1982 film Deathtrap, and the 1986 Academy Award-nominated Mona Lisa. He also starred in Without a Clue, portraying Sherlock Holmes.
The 1990s were a lean time for Caine, as he found good parts harder to come by. A high point came when he played Ebenezer Scrooge in the critically acclaimed The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), which he apparently considers to be one of his most memorable roles. He played the beleaguered stage director Lloyd Dallas in the film adaptation of Noises Off (1992). He also played a villain in the Steven Seagal film On Deadly Ground (1994). He was also in two straight to video Harry Palmer sequels and a few television films. However, Caine’s reputation as a pop icon was still intact, thanks to his roles in films such as The Italian Job and Get Carter. His performance in 1998’s Little Voice was seen as something of a return to form, and won him a Golden Globe Award. Better parts followed, including The Cider House Rules (1999), for which he won his second Oscar.
In the 2000s, Caine appeared in Miss Congeniality (2000), Last Orders (2001), The Quiet American (2002), for which he was Oscar-nominated, and others that helped rehabilitate his reputation. Several of Caine’s classic films have been remade, including The Italian Job (okay), Get Carter (awful), Alfie (pointless) and Sleuth (okay). In the 2007 remake of Sleuth, Caine took over the role Laurence Olivier played in the 1972 version and Jude Law played Caine’s original role. Caine also starred in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) as Austin’s father and in 2003 he co-starred with Robert Duvall in Secondhand Lions. In 2005, he was cast as Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred Pennyworth in Christopher Nolan’s reboot of the Batman series, in Batman Begins. In 2006, he appeared in the films Children of Men and The Prestige. In 2007 he appeared in Flawless, while in 2008 he reprised his role as Alfred in the critically acclaimed Batman sequel, The Dark Knight as well as a fantastic performance in the British drama Is Anybody There?, which explores the final days of life.
It was reported by Empire magazine that Caine had said that Harry Brown (released on 13 November 2009) would be his last lead role. Caine later declared (in the Daily Mirror) that he had been misquoted by the magazine… he has continued to disprove the quote.
Caine had a cameo appearance in Christopher Nolan’s science fiction thriller, Inception. He voiced Finn McMissile in Pixar’s 2011 film Cars 2 and also voiced a supporting role in the animation, Gnomeo and Juliet. He also starred in the 2012 family film Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. Caine will reprise his role as Alfred Pennyworth in the Batman sequel, The Dark Knight Rises, due for release in mid 2012.
Caine has been Oscar-nominated six times, winning his first Academy Award for the 1986 film Hannah and Her Sisters, and his second in 1999 for The Cider House Rules, in both cases as a supporting actor. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1992 Queen’s Birthday Honours, and in the 2000 New Year Honours he was knighted as Sir Maurice Micklewhite CBE. On 5 January 2011, he was made a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France’s culture minister, Frederic Mitterand. He also worked with my mate Brad who says he’s a cool guy…