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The 8 Roles That Defined Michael Caine's Career to Date

By    |   Monday, 16 Mar 2015 08:56 PM

Michael Caine has been working in film since 1956. In that time, he’s racked up more than 150 acting credits. However, a few of his characters stand out above the rest. The following are eight Michael Caine roles that have come to define his illustrious career so far.

1. “Alfie” (1966)

This popular romantic comedy starred Caine as a self-centered ladies’ man who eventually learns the error of his ways and finds humility. It was a hit with audiences and critics alike, earning Caine his first Oscar nomination.

2. “The Italian Job” (1969)

This fast-paced film introduced Caine to audiences in a new light, showing him as an action star. Despite portraying a notorious thief who attempts an audacious crime, Caine maintains his character’s sense of humor, making him a “lovable boob,” according to a Time magazine review.

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3. “Get Carter” (1971)


Here, Caine takes a darker turn as a brutally unrelenting gangster seeking vengeance against rival mobsters for his brother’s murder. Long heralded as charming and likeable, Caine was seen as something completely different than moviegoers were used to. This film showed his versatility as “the ultimate anti-hero,” according to Clothesonfilm.com.

4. “Sleuth” (1972)

Starring opposite the great Lawrence Olivier in an epic battle of wits, Caine turns in a mesmerizing performance, earning his second career Oscar nomination in the process.

5. “Hannah and her Sisters” (1986)

This Woody Allen flick earned Caine his fourth Oscar nomination and first-ever win for Best Supporting Actor. According to The Boston Globe’s Jay Carr, this role showcased Caine’s “best work in years.”

6. “The Cider House Rules” (1999)

Sometimes forgotten, this critically adored film unveiled yet another career-defining performance by Caine. He won his second Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and delivered the memorable quote, “Goodnight, you princes of Maine, you kings of New England.”

7. “Batman Begins” (2005)

Batman is a ubiquitous character, and so is his dependable butler Alfred, portrayed here by Caine. He reinvigorates the dry, one-dimensional comic book character as a jovial man of action. This role successfully ingratiated the storied actor to a new generation of younger filmgoers.

8. “Children of Men” (2006)

Despite the dark, dystopian future established within the world of this film, Caine manages to provide much needed levity while simultaneously underscoring its thematic underpinnings. It’s yet another career-defining role that justifies the praise garnered by co-star Clive Owen, who in an interview described the great British actor as a “legend” and “a very special talent.”

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Michael Caine has been working in film since 1956. In that time, he’s racked up more than 150 acting credits. However, a few of his characters stand out above the rest. The following are eight Michael Caine roles that have come to define his illustrious career so far.
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