Theme Times – Bill Murray

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Bill Murray

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William James Murray (born September 21, 1950) is an American actor, comedian, and writer. He first gained exposure on Saturday Night Live, a series of performances that earned him his first Emmy Award, and later starred in comedy films—including Meatballs (1979), Caddyshack (1980), Stripes (1981), Tootsie (1982), Ghostbusters (1984), Scrooged (1988), Ghostbusters II (1989), What About Bob? (1991), and Groundhog Day (1993). He also co-directed Quick Change (1990).

Murray garnered additional critical acclaim later in his career, starring in Lost in Translation (2003), which earned him a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award for Best Actor, as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, and for frequently collaborating with director Wes Anderson. He also received Golden Globe nominations for his roles in Ghostbusters, Rushmore (1998), Hyde Park on Hudson (2012), St. Vincent (2014), and the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge (2014), for which he later won his second Primetime Emmy Award.

Murray received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2016. His comedy is known for its deadpan delivery.

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Bill Murray

This Theme Times is dedicated to Beckie of Beckie’s Mental Mess who always love humour at its very best!

Bill Murray also happens to be one of my favourite comedian actors, l think the man is hilarious, more so because of the way he is able to deliver some very funny moments  without breaking down laughing for the screen.  Here is my personal selection of his 15 best movies to date. The first time l actually saw him was on Saturday Night Live.

Anyway, enough, let’s get this show on the road!

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1993 – Groundhog Day – 1

A cynical TV weatherman finds himself reliving the same day over and over again when he goes on location to the small town of Punxsutawney to film a report about their annual Groundhog Day. His predicament drives him to distraction, until he sees a way of turning the situation to his advantage.

1981 – Stripes – 2

Hard-luck cabbie John Winger (Bill Murray) — directionless after being fired from his job and dumped by his girlfriend — enlists in the U.S. Army with his close pal, Russell Ziskey (Harold Ramis). After his barely satisfactory performance in basic training, the irreverent Winger emerges as the figurehead for a ragtag band of Army misfits. However, his hijinks threaten to cause an international scandal when he inadvertently commandeers a military assault vehicle behind enemy lines.

1988 – Scrooged – 3

In this modern take on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” Frank Cross (Bill Murray) is a wildly successful television executive whose cold ambition and curmudgeonly nature has driven away the love of his life, Claire Phillips (Karen Allen). But after firing a staff member, Eliot Loudermilk (Bobcat Goldthwait), on Christmas Eve, Frank is visited by a series of ghosts who give him a chance to re-evaluate his actions and right the wrongs of his past.

2003 – Lost in Translation – 4

A lonely, aging movie star named Bob Harris (Bill Murray) and a conflicted newlywed, Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), meet in Tokyo. Bob is there to film a Japanese whiskey commercial; Charlotte is accompanying her celebrity-photographer husband. Strangers in a foreign land, the two find escape, distraction and understanding amidst the bright Tokyo lights after a chance meeting in the quiet lull of the hotel bar. They form a bond that is as unlikely as it is heartfelt and meaningful.

1984 – Ghostbusters – 5

After the members of a team of scientists (Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray) lose their cushy positions at a university in New York City, they decide to become “ghostbusters” to wage a high-tech battle with the supernatural for money. They stumble upon a gateway to another dimension, a doorway that will release evil upon the city. The Ghostbusters must now save New York from complete destruction.

1991 – What About Bob – 6

Before going on vacation, self-involved psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) has the misfortune of taking on a new patient: Bob Wiley (Bill Murray). An exemplar of neediness and a compendium of phobias, Bob follows Marvin to his family’s country house. Dr. Marvin tries to get him to leave; the trouble is, everyone love Bob. As his oblivious patient makes himself at home, Dr. Marvin loses his professional composure and, before long, may be ready for the loony bin himself.

1980 – Caddyshack – 7

Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe), a teen down on his luck, works as a caddy at the snob-infested Bushwood Country Club to raise money for his college education. In an attempt to gain votes for a college scholarship reserved for caddies, Noonan volunteers to caddy for a prominent and influential club member (Ted Knight). Meanwhile, Danny struggles to prepare for the high pressure Caddy Day golf tournament while absorbing New Age advice from wealthy golf guru Ty Webb (Chevy Chase).

1998 – Rushmore – 8

When a beautiful first-grade teacher (Olivia Williams) arrives at a prep school, she soon attracts the attention of an ambitious teenager named Max (Jason Schwartzman), who quickly falls in love with her. Max turns to the father (Bill Murray) of two of his schoolmates for advice on how to woo the teacher. However, the situation soon gets complicated when Max’s new friend becomes involved with her, setting the two pals against one another in a war for her attention.

2004 – The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou – 9

Renowned oceanographer Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) has sworn vengeance upon the rare shark that devoured a member of his crew. In addition to his regular team, he is joined on his boat by Ned (Owen Wilson), a man who believes Zissou to be his father, and Jane (Cate Blanchett), a journalist pregnant by a married man. They travel the sea, all too often running into pirates and, perhaps more traumatically, various figures from Zissou’s past, including his estranged wife, Eleanor (Anjelica Huston).

1979 – Meatballs – 10

Tripper (Bill Murray) is the head counselor at a budget summer camp called Camp Northstar. In truth, he’s young at heart and only marginally more mature than the campers themselves. Tripper befriends Rudy (Chris Makepeace), a loner camper who has trouble fitting in. As Tripper inspires his young charges to defeat rival Camp Mohawk in the annual Olympiad competition, Rudy plays matchmaker between Tripper and Roxanne (Kate Lynch), a female counselor at Northstar.

1982 – Tootsie – 11

New York actor Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) is a talented perfectionist who is so hard on himself and others that his agent (Sydney Pollack) can no longer find work for him. After a soap opera audition goes poorly, Michael reinvents himself as actress Dorothy Michaels and wins the part. What was supposed to be a short-lived role turns into a long-term contract, but when Michael falls for his castmate Julie (Jessica Lange), complications develop that could wreck everything.

1980 – Where the Buffalo Roam – 12

In 1968, drug-addled journalist Hunter S. Thompson (Bill Murray) covers the drug possession trial of a group of young people defended by Thompson’s old friend Carl Lazlo (Peter Boyle). After Lazlo loses the case, the idealistic lawyer and the cynical writer go their separate ways, but meet again five years later while Thompson is covering the Super Bowl. Now a revolutionary who has abandoned the legal system, Lazlo attempts to get Thompson to join his cause.

1989 – Ghostbusters II – 13

After saving New York City from a ghost attack, the Ghostbusters — a team of spirit exterminators — is disbanded for demolishing parts of the city during the battle. But when Ghostbuster Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) learns that spirits have taken an interest in his son, the men launch a rogue ghost-chasing mission. The quest quickly goes awry, landing them in court. But when the ghosts turn on the judge, he issues an order allowing the Ghostbusters to get back to work.

1997 – The Man Who Knew Too Little – 14

In London to celebrate his birthday with James (Peter Gallagher), his rich younger brother, hapless American Wallace Ritchie (Bill Murray) gets signed up to participate in an elaborate role-playing theater performance. However, when Wallace accidentally receives a call intended for an actual hit man, he gets caught in a web of intrigue, completely unaware that the action unfolding around him is real. Luckily, the lovely Lori (Joanne Whalley) is around to help the clueless guy out of tight spots.

2004 – Garfield: The Movie – 15

Based on the popular comic strip, this live-action comedy follows the exploits of Garfield (Bill Murray), the large, lazy and wisecracking cat owned by hapless Jon Arbuckle (Breckin Meyer). Jon’s other housemate, Odie, is a dim but sweet dog who frequently annoys Garfield. When the conniving orange feline gets fed up with Odie, he devises a way to get rid of the pooch. However, after Garfield has a change of heart about Odie, he must find a way to get his fellow pet back.

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Bonus

So there we go Beckie of Beckie’s Mental Mess  and there we go folks, so tell me, who is a Bill Murray fan, and if so, what are your best and favourite performances?

6 thoughts on “Theme Times – Bill Murray

  1. Rory!!! This made my Friday morning a blast!!! Thank you, so very much!!! Like you said, Bill Murray could deliver a line so straight-faced, and have me rolling with laughter! 😀 😁 😂 🤣
    I thought about this as a suggestion for your series too… The whole cast from the “Carol Burnett Show” They, on the other hand, couldn’t keep it together if their lives depended on it. Hilarious!!!!

    1. Hey Cheryl, oh yes very much so 🙂

      What was your best film? Of the ones listed l liked many, but an all time favourite was What About Bob 🙂

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