The Long Good Friday is not the most successful film to star Bob Hoskins, who has died at the age of 71. (That would be the 1988 blockbuster Who Framed Roger Rabbit.) It may not even be the British actor’s best gangster movie; a case can be made for Neil Jordan’s superlative Mona Lisa. But as a reminder of Hoskins’ volcanic, yet subtly-applied talents, it is impossible to beat this 1979 thriller from director John Mackenzie.
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When Who Framed Roger Rabbit sprang into theaters in the summer of 1988, animation was as beleaguered as ol’ Wily E. Coyote. These were the dark days of Disney’s The Great Mouse Detective and Universal’s An American Tale, which only seemed to prove that the glory years of cartoon mice and other fuzzy critters had finally run its course. But Robert Zemeckis’s Roger Rabbit changed everything, practically overnight. Much was made of the novelty of combining live-action with animated characters, but Mary Poppins had mixed both a quarter century earlier — and Bert and his dancing penguins were hardly the first themselves. No, what really made Roger Rabbit a hit with audiences of all ages was the come-together moment from all the iconic ‘toons that had thrilled generations of children. It was like “We Are the World,” but instead of Bob Dylan and Ray Charles, there was Daffy and Donald Duck squaring off against each other on dueling pianos and there was Mickey and Bugs free-falling with Eddie (Bob Hoskins) from the top of a skyscraper.
Throw in a new wascally-wabbit named Roger and his ahh-OOOOOOOO-gaa femme fatale of a wife (voiced by Kathleen Turner), and Who Framed Roger Rabbit became the first animated movie to make the year’s top-10 box-office list in more than a decade. The next year, Disney would present The Little Mermaid, which would confirm the resurgence of animation and set the course towards the new golden age that has lasted until the present day.
Tomorrow, Roger Rabbit arrives on Blu-ray for the first time, and even though the new 25th Anniversary Edition doesn’t include any new special features, it’s a delight to revisit Toontown and get hit on the head a few times with some classic Acme-brand laughs. Below, check out 25 great one-liners from the crazy, loony, genius movie that can’t help but make you feel like you’re nine years old again. READ FULL STORY
Academy Award nominated actor Bob Hoskins is retiring after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. In a statement from his agent, the 69-year-old actor “is now looking forward to his retirement with his family, and would greatly appreciate that his privacy be respected at this time,” according to the BBC. “He wishes to thank all the great and brilliant people he has worked with over the years, and all of his fans who have supported him during a wonderful career,” read the statement.
During a screen career that spanned four decades, Hoskins played a colorful variety of tough guys from both sides of the law. He was nominated for an Oscar in Neil Jordan’s Mona Lisa (1986), and he starred as the streetwise gumshoe in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). His most recent role was as one of the dwarves in this summer’s Snow White and the Huntsman.
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