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ALL-TIME BEST 10 RICHARD DREYFUSS MOVIES

10. Red (2010)

It seemed as though a majority of the fun, action-adventure movies came out in the late-1980’s to mid-1990’s. “RED” was a major exception though. The all-star cast didn’t exactly hurt the film either. As good as Bruce Willis and others are, John Malkovich easily steals the show.

9. Stakeout (1987)

Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez star in this mega-underrated action comedy. The two leads have terrific chemistry, leading to some extremely memorable laughs. The suspense and shootout scenes here are also pretty good. 

8. The Goodbye Girl (1977)

This film adaptation of a Neil Simon classic, was one of the most significant roles of Richard Dreyfuss’ career. This film really showed that he had leading man potential in a major dramatic role. Like most of Simon’s work, this one has plenty of laughs. 

7. Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995)

Even today, “Mr. Holland’s Opus” is Richard Dreyfuss’ most famous role. While the film hasn’t aged too well, and is pretty schmaltzy, it’s still a very enjoyable with a ton of heart. The character’s journey to find meaning in his work is extremely fun to see. 

6. The American President (1995)

Andrew Shepherd was a pretty good POTUS. He was smart, dashing, and had a good handle on foreign policy. Yeah, he turned the White House into his own love nest, but so did Bill Clinton. At least, Shepherd didn’t allow the demise of Glass-Stegall. This flick was actually the inspiration for “The West Wing.”

5. What About Bob? (1991)

“Bob” was hilarious during a time when we actually knew very little about mental illness. Nonetheless, the movie does a decent job of showing some of the pain of Bob’s plight. The movie is truly funny and has a pretty good heart about it, even if it’s not always PC.

4. Stand By Me (1986)

John Cusack has a very, very small role and Dreyfuss is the narrator in this outstanding bildungsroman, based on a Stephen King short story. The film is truly excellent and its mastery is in the subtleties. Unlike most “kid’s” movies, “Stand By Me” really pulls no punches, as it presents the world in the bittersweet reality we all inhabit.

3. American Graffiti (1973)

Harrison Ford played a major league jerk, who’s not quite the expert drag-racer he thinks he is. This was one of Harrison’s first major film appearances and got him acquainted with some dude named George Lucas. Shame that never paid off or anything…

2. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

While “E.T.” was the more commercially successful film, there’s no doubt in my mind, that Close Encounters was in fact, the better alien movie. The film has a great deal of subtlety and depth to it, more so than nearly every other Spielberg work. In addition, Richard Dreyfuss was masterful as the lead. If you haven’t seen this one, or haven’t watched it in years, go back and check it out again, as the film really holds up.

  1. Jaws (1975)

Watching Jaws today, it still holds up as a perfectly executed film and a masterpiece. There really is no element that you could possibly tweak to make the film any better. The acting, dialogue, plot…all superb. The decision to delay the shark’s unveiling was absolutely brilliant and led to even more suspense and tension. People today, bash Spielberg for relatively minor things, but I’m not sure how they can find any fault with Jaws.

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