For my third spotlight on filmmakers, I have chosen Kurt Russell, as I grew up watching his films as a child. A talented actor with a passion for aviation, Kurt Russell was born on March 17, 1951 and began his career with films as a young child, including the 1963 film, It Happened at the World’s Fair, portraying a young boy who kicks Mike Edwards, portrayed by Elvis Presley.
From there, Russell went on to star in various roles, all of which were within films that have become some of my favorites, including, Snake Plissken in Escape from New York and Escape from L.A., R.J. MacReady in The Thing, Jack Burton in Big Trouble in Little China, Captain Ron Rico in Captain Ron, Wyatt Earp in Tombstone, Colonel Jack O’Neil in Stargate and Herb Brooks in Miracle.
Another of his films includes another favorite of mine, the 1989 buddy cop action comedy, Tango & Cash. Sylvester Stallone stars with Russell, as does Teri Hatcher, who I’ve since had a crush on, as two police officers set up for a crime they didn’t commit. Combining action, humor and human faults, Kurt Russell provided audiences with a great relief of humor and comedy that has become a classic to me.
Perhaps my favorite film of Russell’s is the one that also stars his real life wife, Goldie Hawn. Although not officially married, the two see themselves as such and have been a couple for many years. The 1987 film is Overboard and is a tale of a woman (Hawn) who falls into cold waters at night, losing a great deal of her memory. Russell’s character, Dean Proffitt, takes advantage of this opportunity and makes up a story of her being his wife, after having previously been a victim to her rudeness and deciding to get revenge.
Hawn’s character, Joanna Stayton, now believes herself to be Annie Proffitt, the mother of their four children, who’s real mother has previously died. The story is a comedic tale of love, deceit and revenge that unfolds as a lesson that even someone who loves only themselves, can learn to treat others with respect and kindness.
Russell’s latest film, The Fix (previous titled: The Black Marks), stars Russell as Crunch Calhoun, a retired motorcycle daredevil and thief, who becomes involved with his old crew for one last heist. The film is set for a 2013 release.
I had the good fortune of growing up watching many of these films and thus, Russell has become a favorite actor of mine. Overall, Russell’s career is an inspiration and an underrated one, as he has thrilled audiences with a great variety of characters and genres that will last through years and generations to come.
A Kale Slade Article