The Greats of our Time

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The Greats Of Our Time Directory

Michael Caine

1933 – Present

Requested by Kristian of Tales from the mind of Kristian

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Michael Caine

Sir Michael Caine CBE (/kn/; born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, 14 March 1933) is an English actor, producer, and author who has appeared in over 125 films and is considered to be a British film icon. Known for his distinctive “cockney” accent, Caine was born in South London, where during his early childhood he and his parents lived in a rented flat on Urlwin Street, in Camberwell, about a mile-and-a-half south of the Elephant and Castle, the bustling London crossroads district referred to in the title of his most recent autobiography

He made his breakthrough in the 1960s with starring roles in British films, including Zulu (1964), The Ipcress File (1965), Alfie (1966), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award, The Italian Job (1969), and Battle of Britain (1969). His roles in the 1970s included Get Carter (1971), The Last Valley (1971), Sleuth (1972), for which he earned his second Academy Award nomination, The Man Who Would Be King (1975), and A Bridge Too Far (1977). He achieved some of his greatest critical success in the 1980s, with Educating Rita (1983), earning him the BAFTA and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. In 1986, he received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters.

Caine played Ebenezer Scrooge in The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992). This was his first starring role in several years, which led to a career resurgence in the late 1990s, receiving his second Golden Globe Award for his performance in Little Voice in 1998, and receiving his second Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for The Cider House Rules the following year. Caine played Nigel Powers in the 2002 parody Austin Powers in Goldmember, and Alfred Pennyworth in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy. He appeared in several other of Nolan’s films, including The Prestige (2006), Inception (2010), and Interstellar (2014). He also appeared in Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men and Matthew Vaughn’s action comedy film Kingsman: The Secret Service. As of February 2017, films in which he has starred have grossed over $3.5 billion domestically, and over $7.8 billion worldwide. Caine is ranked as the twelfth-highest-grossing box office star.

Caine is one of only two actors nominated for an Academy Award for acting in every decade from the 1960s to the 2000s (the other one being Jack Nicholson; Laurence Olivier was also nominated for an acting Academy Award in five different decades, beginning in 1939 and ending in 1978). Caine appeared in seven films that featured in the British Film Institute’s 100 greatest British films of the 20th century. In 2000, Caine received a BAFTA Fellowship, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his contribution to cinema.

Who doesn’t like Michael ‘Blow the bloody doors off’ Caine?

Zulu 1964

In 1879, the Zulu nation hands colonial British forces a resounding defeat in battle. A nearby regiment of the British Army takes over a station run by a missionary (Jack Hawkins) and his daughter (Ulla Jacobsson) as a supply depot and hospital under the command of Lieutenant John Chard (Stanley Baker) and his subordinate Gonville Bromhead (Michael Caine). Unable to abandon their wounded soldiers even in dire circumstances, the regiment defend their station against the Zulu warriors.

The Ipcress File 1965

Tasked with investigating the kidnappings and brainwashed reappearances of top scientists, including Dr. Radcliffe (Aubrey Richards), the insubordinate British spy Harry Palmer (Michael Caine) navigates his way through criminals, secret agents, and his superiors (Nigel Green, Guy Doleman). While attempting to bring in the suspect Bluejay (Frank Gatliff), Palmer discovers a mysterious audiotape labeled “IPCRESS,” an inconspicuous, but ominous, piece of evidence.

Alfie 1966

Set in postwar London, “Alfie” features Michael Caine as a chauffeur bent on promiscuity. After impregnating his girlfriend he takes off on vacation. He continues his life of womanizing, but he can’t hide forever. A misfortune strikes and Alfie is forced to face the product of his ways.

The Italian Job 1969

A British crook (Michael Caine) robs gold ingots in Italy by having a computer expert (Benny Hill) cause a traffic jam.

Get Carter 1971

Jack Carter (Michael Caine) is a cold-blooded London gangster, and not the sort of man you want to cross. When Carter’s brother winds up dead, he travels to Newcastle to arrange the funeral. Convinced that his brother was murdered, Carter questions local thug Eric (Ian Hendry), who eventually leads him to kingpin Kinnear. From there, Carter carves a bloody trail of revenge through the seedy underbelly of Newcastle in search of his brother’s killer.

Sleuth 1972

Based on the renowned play by Anthony Shaffer, this mystery finds Andrew Wyke (Laurence Olivier), a wealthy author of detective novels and game aficionado, facing off against his wife’s lover, Milo Tindle (Michael Caine), a middle-class hair salon-owner. When Wyke, who is seemingly content to split from his wife strikes an unusual deal with Tindle, it sets into motion a fierce game of one-upmanship between the two, with the stakes growing increasingly higher.

The Man Who Would Be King 1975

Based on a short story by Rudyard Kipling, this adventure film follows the exploits of Peachy Carnehan (Michael Caine) and Danny Dravot (Sean Connery), English military officers stationed in India. Tired of life as soldiers, the two travel to the isolated land of Kafiristan, where they are ultimately embraced by the people and revered as rulers. After a series of misunderstandings, the natives come to believe that Dravot is a god, but he and Carnehan can’t keep up their deception forever.

Educating Rita 1983

Rita (Julie Walters), a married hair stylist in her 20s, wants to go back to school. She begins studying with Dr. Bryant (Michael Caine), a professor using alcohol to cope with his divorce. Despite his personal problems, Dr. Bryant helps Rita realize her academic potential. In turn, her passion for learning revitalizes his love of teaching. However, when Rita’s blue-collar spouse learns that his wife is more interested in education than homemaking, he becomes frustrated by her independence.

Hannah and Her Sisters 1986

Three successive family Thanksgiving dinners mark time for Hannah (Mia Farrow), her younger sisters Lee (Barbara Hershey) and Holly (Dianne Wiest) and the men in their lives. Lee is having an affair with Hannah’s husband, Elliot (Michael Caine), and trying to end her Svengali-like romance with artist Frederick (Max von Sydow). Holly is frustrated by her lack of career fulfillment and her increasing dependence on Hannah’s largesse, while being courted by the hypochondriac Mickey (Woody Allen).

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels 1988

Con artist Lawrence Jamieson (Michael Caine) is a longtime resident of a luxurious coastal resort, where he enjoys the fruits of his deceptions — that is, until a competitor, Freddy Benson (Steve Martin), shows up. When the new guy’s lowbrow tactics impinge on his own work, Jamieson resolves to get rid of him. Confident of his own duplicitous talents, Jamieson challenges Benson to a winner-takes-all competition: whoever swindles their latest mark first can stay, while the other must leave town.

The Cider House Rules 1999

A young man is taught medicine by the doctor at the orphanage where he was brought up. However, when he clashes with his mentor over the issue of abortion, he leaves the home and finds work on a cider farm. There he falls in love with another man’s girlfriend but starts to re-evaluate his principles when one of the farm workers becomes pregnant by her own father.

The Quiet American 2002

From the classic novel by Graham Greene comes a murder mystery centered on a love triangle set against the French Indochina War in Vietnam, circa 1952. It’s the story of a veteran English journalist (Michael Caine), a young American (Brendan Fraser), and a beautiful Vietnamese woman caught between them. This is a world where nothing is what it seems — suffused with opium, intrigue, and betrayal.

Children Of Men 2006

When infertility threatens mankind with extinction and the last child born has perished, a disillusioned bureaucrat (Clive Owen) becomes the unlikely champion in the fight for the survival of Earth’s population; He must face down his own demons and protect the planet’s last remaining hope from danger.

Harry Brown 2009

A recently widowed former Royal Marine decides to take action against the teenage drug dealers terrorising and killing the residents of his South London neighbourhood.

Inception 2010

Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a thief with the rare ability to enter people’s dreams and steal their secrets from their subconscious. His skill has made him a hot commodity in the world of corporate espionage but has also cost him everything he loves. Cobb gets a chance at redemption when he is offered a seemingly impossible task: Plant an idea in someone’s mind. If he succeeds, it will be the perfect crime, but a dangerous enemy anticipates Cobb’s every move.

The Dark Knight Rises 2012

It has been eight years since Batman (Christian Bale), in collusion with Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), vanished into the night. Assuming responsibility for the death of Harvey Dent, Batman sacrificed everything for what he and Gordon hoped would be the greater good. However, the arrival of a cunning cat burglar (Anne Hathaway) and a merciless terrorist named Bane (Tom Hardy) force Batman out of exile and into a battle he may not be able to win.

BONUS

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