Top Ten James Gandolfini movie roles


It is with great sadness that we woke up to the news today that James Gandolfini had died. At only 51, it could easily be argued that his best work was ahead of him, which is quite incredible really considering what he did in his lifetime. 

To almost everyone he is Tony Soprano, but to the small minority of moviegoers who are fans of crap Brad Pitt and even crapper Robert Redford movies, he was someone else entirely. And even if he might have appeared in some films which didn’t match The Sopranos – what can? – Gandolfini was always worth watching. Here are his top ten movie roles.

10. Surviving Christmas (2004)

An utter piece of yuletide crud. But at least you get to see Gandolfini whack Ben Affleck over the head with a shovel.

And then sing with him.

9. 8mm (1999)

At 9, it’s 8mm, where Gandolfini plays a real sleazebag who feels some Nicolas Cage Rage in Joel Schumacher’s bleak look into the seedy world of snuff films.

8. Get Shorty (1995)

No one gets thrown down a flight of stairs by John Travolta like James Gandolfini. No one.

7. The Mexican (2001)

Okay, so The Mexican isn’t the best film ever made, but it does have its moments. Most of them involve Gandolfini’s gay hitman, a role that reads like a piece of crap on paper but is made into a scene-stealer by the big man himself. Effectively a vehicle for the two biggest stars on the planet at the time – Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt – the film is really Gandolfini’s. Here’s why.

6. The Last Castle (2001)

Just like The Mexican, The Last Castle isn’t the greatest film ever made either, but like The Mexican, it’s classic 11.55pm on BBC1 on Friday night fare. Mainly cos it has Gandolfini chewing scenery with Robert Redford. Who can ask for more than that?

5. Killing Them Softly (2012)


4. True Romance (1993)

Gandolfini oozes real menace in Tony Scott’s vision of Quentin Tarantino’s words. We could show you his most memorable scene from this movie, but it’s just slightly unsuitable for younger audiences, so here we have him talking shop with a stoned Brad Pitt. Brad Pitt and Gandolfini… again!

3. In The Loop (2009)

Gandolfini was a brooding presence in The Sopranos but he had a light touch for a big man. Nowhere is this more clearly illustrated than in In The Loop, a spin-off of The Thick Of It that transported things to Washington. Going American for such a celebrated British show might have seemed risky, but in Gandolfini’s (kids’ toy-tapping) hands, it was as safe as houses.

2. Where The Wild Things Are (2009)

Gandolfini might have seemed an unlikely choice as a kid’s cuddly – but chaotic – companion, but he is perfectly cast as the voice of Carol in Spike Jonze’s unfairly maligned version of Maurice Sendak’s book, Where The Wild Things Are. He taps into the sadness of the character brilliantly.

1. Romance & Cigarettes (2005)

Gandolfini could do anything. Even sing. Just ask Ben Affleck. And be the middle man of a love triangle involving Kate Winslet and Susan Sarandon. Good work, Gandolfini.



2 Responses to “Top Ten James Gandolfini movie roles”

  1. zecchius Says:

    I’d have to say the best was “The Mexican.” But then, I haven’t seen all of these movies.

  2. I havent seen any are they old movies?

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