Stuck On a Deserted Island: Male Actor Edition

Round 2:  Same deal as before, but for male actors.

You’ve been banished to a desert island, never to return.  In addition to food and water to survive indefinitely, you’re allowed to take a device to watch TV/film with and the collected works of any single male actor, but no other media.

What film/TV library do you select?

Additional Rules:

  1. You can choose an actor who has been in movies, television shows, or both.
  2. Cameos count, but only for episodes, not series.  For example, if you choose Tom Selleck, then you get all of his films, Magnum P.I. (entire series), and the handful of episodes from Friends he was in, but not the entire Friends series.
  3. Voice-over for animation roles count (Choose Tom Hanks, and you would get to take Toy Story with you).
  4. Other non-acting roles do not count. For example, the fact that Tom Hanks is an actor does not allow you take Big Love.

My choice: Harrison Ford, in a walk.  The Star Wars Trilogy, Blade Runner, Indiana Jones, and that excellent turn he had in that one movie where he’s a washed up cop in Hollywood with an earring.  Er…hrm.  The only shortcoming is a sports-related film–I wish he had something akin to Field of Dreams to take with me to the island, but I’ll survive with Han Solo just fine.

Others I would consider if I couldn’t take Ford:

  • Bruce Willis (Die Hard, The Sixth Sense, Die Hard, Moonlighting, Unbreakable, Die Hard…and the episodes from Friends he was in.)
  • John Ratzenberger (The Empire Strikes Back, every Pixar offering, Cheers…)

Next time: Stuck On a Deserted Island: Female Actor Edition

38 thoughts on “Stuck On a Deserted Island: Male Actor Edition

  1. Harrison Ford. Hands down no one else comes close. Second pick would have to be Clint Eastwood. Third place is trickier and would probably be Terry O’Quinn or Robert Duvall. Fourth place is Humphrey Bogart.

  2. Ron Jeremy. (j/k)

    I originally thought you’d get to take this actor with you, which could present some interesting options. =S

    John Cusack. Action and Comedy are the easiest to re-watch over and over (Hmm, maybe Jackie Chan?) but I have a soft spot for the 80’s Cusack comedies (Better Off Dead, Sure Thing, One Crazy Summer, Sixteen Candles) I could probably watch them for quite some time.

  3. I don’t know how I forgot to include my own opinion (again), but it is definitely Harrison Ford, like Clark said. The Empire Strikes Back alone might be sufficient for my needs.

  4. Simply for the magnitude of time, you would want an actor that had a long running television show, and hopefully was in a few movies as well. E.g., the guy that does the voices for Simpsons; William Shatner; Alan Alda. In such a case, prolificcy trumps most.

  5. Any of these choices carry some potential brain damaging choices. Harrison Ford is good, but I like Sean Connery, except you get Zardoz. Compensation is that you also get Darby O’Gill and the Little People, the real James Bond, and gems like Robin & Marian.

    Likewise Nicholas Cage. For every Raising Arizona, you get something like that movie where he rides the motorcycle with the flaming head.

    Wait, didn’t Nicholas Cage and Sean Connery do The Rock with Michael Bay? Yeah, Harrison Ford, got to be.

  6. kevinf,
    I was originally going to pick Nicholas Cage as my choice, just to tick Supergenius off.

  7. No nods for Cary Grant??!!

    I think Cage would be for down on my list. Next, anyone?

    Ford would be very high up, too.

    Crowe doesn’t have a long enough resume yet, but what he does have is mostly stellar.

    Duvall has the Godfather going for him, plus all the other billion movies he’s been in.

    Jeff Bridges has a surprising amount of decent but not great movies.

  8. Bill Murray
    Robert DeNiro
    Steve Buscemi (would that get me the Sopranos?)

    I also like Clark’s suggestion of Robert Duvall.

  9. gst,
    I’d have put down $20 that you were going to say Harry Hamlin. Words can’t begin to express my dismay over your choices.

  10. Greg (10),
    Bill Murray is one name I completely overlooked, and I’m sweating making the switch now.

  11. William Fichtner is a solid choice. Just because his filmography includes The Dark Knight doesn’t mean that you have to watch it.

  12. I’m not a huge fan of repeat viewings, so I’d go for sheer number of films/TV credits: Christopher Lee, John Carradine. If my kids are on the island with me, then Mel Blanc and Frank Oz.

  13. Gene Hackman would be one of my top choices too…only 99 credits, but most of them are solid.

  14. I noticed while watching Superman II the other day that it features John Ratzenbeger for a few seconds. Pixar and Zod. Think about that…

  15. I think choosing a character actor that appeared in a ton of diverse movies and TV would be the way to go here. John Ratzenberger is a good example, but my choice would be Joey Pants (Joe Pantoliano).

  16. My first thought was Harrison Ford.

    Also Robert Downey Jr because I never get tired of looking at him. Er, I mean watching his movies.

    But now I’m thinking Ruth Gordon, for Harold and Maude. Oh wait she’s a female.

    Maybe Matthew Modine, for the 80s teen flicks plus Birdy.

  17. Definitely Harrison Ford, for all the reasons you mentioned, plus Dr. Richard Kimble and Jack Ryan.

  18. hm. You want quantity and a nod to quality (many second tier movies better than a handful of great ones), and also variety (work across many genres).

    Jeff Bridges is a great choice here. Many good movies across many genres. I’d also get some of my favorite movies: Fabulous Baker Boys, Fearless, Lebowski!!!, … look what he’s done in just the last couple years: True Grit, Iron Man.

    Anthony Hopkins also a great choice for the same reasons. Many many movies, not all of them great but most watchable (the Edge), with a few great ones (Lion in Winter, Silence of the Lambs, Howard’s End).

  19. I nearly mentioned Cary Grant and Bill Murray for 5th but since I had two 3rd place ones I figured that was enough. An other excellent choice is Matt Damon. He’s honestly done few bad movies and a slew of good ones. Few actors are able to pick them like he does. The only bad one there is Jersey Girl. I’d still put Bill Murray or Cary Grant ahead. But just barely.

    Speaking of Dark Night look at at Michael Caine’s filmography. Admittedly a lot suck. But man there are some good ones there.

    I thought about Robert Downey Jr. but honestly until about Kiss Kiss Bang Bang I just didn’t like the movies he picked. He was always a good actor but even worse than Caine in his film choices. Nicolas Cage is almost the reverse. After he won that Academy Award his choices went to heck. (OK, I did like Adaptation and Matchstick Men)

  20. Clint Howard deserves a mention. He’s been in everything from edtv and the Waterboy to Apollo 13 to Cinderella Man, plus you get a few TV shows like Fringe and Heroes. The Roast of Shatner! Austin Powers series. The Rocketeer. Backdraft. Tango and Cash :) Etc, etc 202 titles! That’s pretty good.

    But in the end, I’d go with Harrison Ford just Star Wars alone.

  21. Alfred Molina should be in this conversation. Probably doesn’t beat Ford, but you’d end up with a diverse collection of good movies. Same would go for Alan Rickman.

  22. Speaking of actors and their role choices. What on earth happened to Harrison Ford and his midlife crisis? Not only did he do the “chase after strippers” stage but then he married a woman half his age, started wearing earrings and dressing like he was twenty something. All of that I could handle. (Let’s be honest: actors aren’t exactly the most stable. Was Charlie Sheen really a surprise to anyone?) But what was worst of all is from that moment on Harrison Ford started making horrible movies. It’s like he wasn’t really a leading man of the traditional sort anymore. But he couldn’t accept this. (Contrast Ford with Sean Connery in this regard)

    Seriously, has Ford made a good movie since around 2000? I think this summer’s Cowboys vs. Aliens might be the first return to form.

  23. Not Harrison Ford.

    Samuel L. Jackson:
    Coming to America
    Do the Right Thing
    Pulp Fiction
    Jackie Brown
    Black Snake Moan
    Kill Bill 2
    Snakes on a Plane
    The Negotiator
    Iron Man
    Inglourious Basterds
    The Incredibles
    Iron Man 2

    And that is only about one third of the movies he has been in. I also considered Michael Douglas (Romancing the Stone, Falling Down, The Game, Basic Instinct…) or Steve Buscemi (Pulp Fiction, The Wedding Singer, Reservoir Dogs, Miller’s Crossing, The Big Lebowski, Billy Madison, Big Fish, the list goes on…).

  24. My choice would be Harry Shearer. I would then have all of the Simpsons’s episodes, a few seasons of SNL when they were good, the Spinal Tap movie and related Spinal Tap appearances on other shows, most of Christopher Guest’s semi-improv movies, and a huge number of guest appearances on other shows going back 50 years, all the way to Leave it to Beaver and the Jack Benny show. Really: check out his credits on IMDB.

    It’s a bummer that I couldn’t take any other media: it would also be great to have his audio-only work, including his membership in the Credibility Gap and (briefly) the Firesign Theatre, as well as years of his radio work, including Le Show.

  25. I think I’d have to go with Brad Pitt, honestly.

    He’s in a number of my favorite movies, he’s done action, drama, and comedy. And in the end, I don’t think I could survive without Fight Club.

  26. Oo. samuel jackson … great choice. Added The Sunset Limited this last month … fabulous HBO production of the Cormac McCarthy play … with Tommy Lee Jones, who might be another one to look at. Brad Pitt isn’t a bad choice either. If we are able to get air dropped future work, Brad Pitt looks even better. Matt Damon, too. Cool.

  27. I would pick an actor with a career spanning a few decades from the era when actors made lots of movies and a variety of them, and one who shared the screen with lots of other good actors. The one who comes to the front for me is Kirk Douglas.

    Lots of westerns and war movies, some contemporary comedies and thrillers, a couple Kubrick movies, adaptations of G.B. Shaw, Tennesse Williams, and Jules Verne. Co-starring with Burt Lancaster (several times), Yul Brynner, Laurence Olivier, Joseph Cotten, George C. Scott, John Wayne, Eli Wallach, Johnny Cash, and a couple dozen others still recognizable by name forty years later. Not so many big name actresses: Ava Gardner and Deborah Kerr.

  28. I have to admit–I went with Harrison Ford to begin with, and didn’t think I could depart from that choice, but as time has gone on, the possibility of having every Bill Murray film ever is growing increasingly difficult to resist.

    Think of it:
    The 80’s comedies: Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Stripes, etc…
    The 90’s brilliance: What About Bob?, Groundhog Day, Rushmore, etc…
    The 2000’s awesomeness: Lost in Translation, additional Wes Anderson films, Broken Flowers, etc..

    Plus: Saturday Night Live…

  29. I’d settle on Jeff Bridges, I think.

    Also considered:
    Danny Trejo for number of titles
    Robert DuVall (Bobby D!) for quality

    I like MCQ’s suggestion of Joey Pants. Pretty good set there.

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