Friday, December 4, 2015

Nick Nolte: Undiscovered Treasure

Sadly, when you think of actor Nick Nolte today, often it is the images of his 2002 mugshot for DUI that comes to mind. If Nick had to be remembered for a mugshot, it's too bad it's not his 1961 mugshot (below) following his arrest for selling phony draft cards.

It's too bad, I have recently dived into Nolte's film archive and have been impressed with his body of work. Up until recently, I really didn't pay too much attention to Nolte as an actor, or as the sex symbol he most certainly was. I don't even remember seeing much of his work growing up except for Cape Fear, which I went to the theatre to see when I was just 14 or 15. I remember the film scared the shit out of me, mostly due to Robert De Niro's terrifying and relentless portrayal of Max Cady. When recently catching the movie on TV, De Niro was still brilliant, but for the first time gained an appreciation for the difficult role Nolte pulled off in the film.

My decision to put together a piece on Nolte started with that repeat airing of Cape Fear, but was followed by recently watching Nolte in The Prince Of Tides, as well as a recent TCM airing of The Deep. The Deep, except for Nolte's tight shorts, was pretty forgettable, but his turn in Barbra Streisand's The Prince Of Tide was hauntingly memorable. Nolte was incredible as Tom Wingo, and I was glad to find out he was nominated for an Academy Award for the role.

Nolte attended university on a football scholarship, but eventually left to pursue his passion for theatre. To make a living, Nolte began modeling in the 60's, but eventually started getting roles on television and in movies. Nolte's acting career really got a boost from the attention he received for his work in the 1976 mini-series Rich Man Poor Man.

The Deep (1977)

Ack! Notle is one of Bisset's Men...

Finding some of Nolte's early movies wasn't easy, many have yet to make it to DVD. Youtube was helpful and I managed to find copies of several of films including 1979's North Dallas Forty. I loved Nolte in this film, flawed and sexy and he certainly committed to the role. I think when looking back, Nolte was at his hottest in the 70's. Check out caps from the film in the post below.

The Prince Of Tides (1991)

Nolte at his 1970's finest

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