Growing up in the ’90s, it always seemed to me that the three most dominating forces of the big screen were Julia Roberts and the two Toms – Cruise and Hanks. I remember my parents owned at least a dozen VHS copies of their collective films – Pretty Woman, A Few Good Men, Big and so on. Whenever my mom had Entertainment Tonight on, it was all but a forgone conclusion that at least one of the three would make an appearance.
The thing is, I had never much cared for Roberts or Cruise, though I have these days come around to quite admiring the latter. I absolutely loved Hanks, however – I wore the hell out of that Big video, and very much enjoyed the likes of A League of Their Own, The Money Pit, Bachelor Party and his Meg Ryan films. Later, I of course got around to Philadelphia, Saving Private Ryan and I thought he was flat-out fantastic in the recent Captain Phillips.
So, in honor of Hanks’ 60th birthday today, here is my list of what I consider the Oscar-winner’s 10 greatest performances (to date)…
10. The Bonfire of the Vanities (as Sherman McCoy)
9. The Green Mile (as Paul Edgecomb)
8. Cast Away (as Chuck Noland)
7. Forrest Gump (as Forrest Gump)
6. A League of Their Own (as Jimmy Dugan)
5. Road to Perdition (as Michael Sullivan)
4. Saving Private Ryan (as Captain John H. Miller)
3. Philadelphia (as Andrew Beckett)
2. Captain Phillips (as Captain Richard Phillips)
1. Big (as Josh Baskin)
What is your Tom Hanks top 10?
OSCAR FLASHBACK: Best Original Song (1974) – Another Maureen McGovern Disaster
10. Captain Phillips
9. A League of Their Own
5. Saving Private Ryan
4. Toy Story
3. Forrest Gump
2. Sleepless in Seattle
I don’t think I can rank his perfs. He’s tops imo.
Still, anyone who can convincingly “pee” that long has my vote any day.
Can’t say I’m a big fan of Tom Hanks, but I certainly recognize his place in the canon. In my formative years, I was more engaged with what Julia, Denzel, and Will were doing instead. His comedies won’t be high on my list versus dramas, with one “big” exception (pun fully intended). However, a special shout-out to “Bosom Buddies” for my television comrades! Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari are one of the unheralded great television duos of our time. Acting range means a great deal to me, so there’s that at least for Hanks.
1. “Philadelphia” (1993)
2. “Saving Private Ryan” (1998)
3. “Big” (1988)
4. “Forrest Gump” (1994)
5. “Catch Me If You Can” (2002)
6. “Toy Story” (1995)
7. “Captain Phillips” (2013)
8. “The Green Mile” (1999)
9. “Charlie Wilson’s War” (2007)
10. “Apollo 13” (1995)