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Michael Caine as Supporting Roles: 5 Times Star Shined Without Being Lead Actor

Image: Michael Caine as Supporting Roles: 5 Times Star Shined Without Being Lead Actor
Michael Caine in Zulu, 1964. (Metro Goldwyn Mayer)

By    |   Friday, 24 Apr 2015 04:55 PM

When Michael Caine is on-screen, he's the focus of the viewer's attention even when he's not the lead. Let's take a look at these as unforgettable Michael Caine roles where he was a supporting actor:

1. "Zulu" (1964)

This is the performance that helped establish Caine's acting career, even though he thought it was going to end it. In an interview with The Mirror, Caine says, "I was just bad — I was very bad. Career over, I thought."

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Critics disagreed, and praised his performance in this film about a pivotal battle between the British army and Zulu warriors in Africa in 1879. One reviewer even said "Zulu" was the greatest British war movie of all time, "It's a superior film to them all," reports The Telegraph.

2. "A Bridge Too Far" (1977)

This World War II epic is a classic in the war genre, boasting a star-studded cast of Sean Connery, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, and of course Caine. Amongst all that talent, it's no wonder that Caine was forced into a supporting role. Nonetheless, he left his mark.

Based on one of the most notorious failures of the Allied army, Operation Market Garden, Caine demonstrated his expansive range, portraying a character that struggles in the midst of a doomsday scenario while still yet finding moments of levity.

3. "Hannah and Her Sisters" (1986)

Caine's acting was universally recognized for his supporting performance in this Woody Allen classic, as he garnered nominations for Best Supporting Actor from the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, and BAFTA Awards.

Famed critic Gene Siskell of the Chicago Tribune said that Elliot, a cheating husband, was "played superbly by Caine." He continued, "He's given many fine performances before. But never, except possibly for his major film debut in 'The Ipcress File' 20 years ago, has Caine seemed so fresh and credible."

4. "The Cider House Rules" (1999)

You'd think with a cast starring Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron, and Paul Rudd that Caine might have had difficulty separating himself from such a strong group of actors. However, that's not the case. In fact, Caine won his second Oscar for his portrayal of the kindly Dr. Wilbur Larch, the director of an orphanage in Maine who guides wayward youths while concealing his own personal demons.

In his review, noted film critic Roger Ebert singled out Caine's performance, calling this role "one of his best." He further described the movie as "enchanting" and "absorbing," no thanks in part to Caine's unforgettable rendering.

5. "Children of Men" (2006)


Caine didn't win any awards for his role as Jasper, the hippy in hiding in this popular dystopian sci-fi, but there's no doubt that he won many admirers, including Director Alfonso Cuaron. He was so enamored with the actor that he knew from the very beginning that Michael Caine would play the part. When writing the film, he said "We used to refer to Jasper as the Michael Caine part."

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When Michael Caine is on-screen, he's the focus of the viewer's attention even when he's not the lead. Let's take a look at these as unforgettable Michael Caine roles where he was a supporting actor.
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Friday, 24 Apr 2015 04:55 PM
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