Death of actor James Caan – Film Review

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Rain People © 1969 American Zoetrope / Warner Bros. France All rights reserved

American actor James Caan died last night. He was 82 years old. Entered fairly early in his career in the history of cinema thanks to his role as Sonny Corleone in The Godfather by Francis Ford Coppola, Caan had however known how to shape a rich and varied filmography until the end of the 2010s. Despite the fact that the character of the irascible gangster tended to stick to his skin, he had collaborated over time with directors as prestigious as Howard Hawks, Francis Ford Coppola, Norman Jewison, Sam Peckinpah, Claude Lelouch, Richard Attenborough, Alan J. Pakula, Michael Mann, Rob Reiner, Wes Anderson, James Gray, Lars von Trier and Guillaume Canet.

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Le Flambeur © 1974 Jack Stager / Paramount Pictures / Les Acacias All rights reserved

Like many of his contemporaries, James Caan had taken his first steps as an actor in front of a television camera in the early 1960s. The cinema had begun to call on him from the middle of the decade, for often secondary roles in movies such as A woman in a cage by Walter Grauman, Red line 700 and Eldorado by Howard Hawks, The Devil at Three by Curtis Harrington and Objective moon by Robert Altman. In 1969, Caan first teamed up with Francis Ford Coppola on The Rain People, followed two years later by Buzz Kulik’s hit TV movie “Brian’s Destiny”. Tipped at the beginning for the role of Michael Corleone, finally held by Al Pacino, he had marked the spirits in The Godfather by Coppola – Oscar for Best Picture in 1973.

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Rollerball © 1975 Graham Attwood / Algonquin / United Artists / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer All rights reserved

From then on, the offers did not dry up with regard to the young actor, yet not always very wise in his choices. While the list of roles he turned down at the time is long and infamous – let’s mention here only that of Jack Nicholson in Flight over a cuckoo’s nest by Milos Forman and that of Dustin Hoffman in Kramer versus Kramer by Robert Benton – James Caan had also been busy during this prosperous period of his career.

Thus, he had agreed to work, among others, with Mark Rydell (permission to love and Two weirdos in New York), Richard Rush (Guardian Angels), Karel Reisz (The Flambeur), Herbert Ross (funny lady), Norman Jewison (roller ball), Sam Peckinpah (elite killer), Claude Lelouch (another man another chance and One and the other), Richard Attenborough (A bridge too far), Alan J. Pakula (The Breath of the Storm), Robert Moore (chapter two), Michael Mann (The solitary) and Robert Mulligan (Kiss me I’m leaving you).

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The Solitaire © 1981 James Zenk / Mann-Caan Productions / United Artists / Splendor Films All rights reserved

The unsatisfactory shooting of this last film, as well as personal problems such as the death of his sister from leukemia and her addiction to narcotics, had prompted James Caan to put his acting career on hold for five years in the middle. of the ’80s. Finally, it was to better return to the front of the stage, thanks to his reunion with Francis Ford Coppola in 1987 on stone gardens. This atypical war film was followed by Dick Tracy by Warren Beatty Misery by Rob Reiner, For the Boys Yesterday Today and Forever by Mark Rydell, Honeymoon in Las Vegas by Andrew Bergman Flesh and Bone by Steve Kloves Great North by Nils Gaup, Bottle Rocket by Wes Anderson, The Eraser by Charles Russell and bulletproof by Ernest Dickerson.

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Misery © 1990 Merrick Morton / Castle Rock Entertainment / Nelson Entertainment / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
All rights reserved

The last twenty years of James Caan’s career, from the year 2000, were marked by the same eclecticism. We have thus been able to see it in James Gray (The Yards), Christopher McQuarrie (Way of the Gun), Lars von Trier (Dogville), Jon Favreau (Elf), Peter Segal (Max the threat), Tony Kaye (Detachment), Guillaume Canet (Blood Ties) and Amanda Sthers (Holy Lands).

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The Yards © 2000 Barry Wetcher / Industry Entertainment / Miramax / Bac Films All rights reserved

James Caan was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1973 for The Godfather. He is the father of actor Scott Caan (“Hawaii 5-0”).

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Elf © 2003 Alan Markfield / New Line Cinema / Metropolitan Filmexport All rights reserved

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Death of actor James Caan – Film Review

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