Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Top 10: Tom Hanks Roles

Alright, I figured it out. I have decided to do a Top 10 list about my all-time favorite actor, Tom Hanks. I pretty much like all of Mr. Hanks' work, although he has had a few duds in the mix. So, getting just 10 characters was a bit difficult. But, I did do it.

When I wrote down the characters he has played I actually came out with 12 that were my favorites, so I have to give Lawrence Whatley Bourne III from Volunteers and Scott Turner from Turner & Hooch an honorable mention.

So here is the list (reverse order as always):

10) Robert Langdon - Da Vinci Code
Synopsis: Based on the best-selling novel, Hanks takes over as Dr. Robert Langdon, a symbologist who is called into action of tracking down hidden clues inside Leonardo Da Vinci's paintings.

9) Jim Lovell - Apollo 13
Synopsis: Lovell is named captain of the Apollo 13 moon mission, and along with two other astronauts, will be one of the first few people on the moon. An explosion within the shuttle, however, makes this mission into a rescue mission.

8) Carl Hanratty - Catch Me If You Can
Synopsis: Hanratty is the main investigator in catching the con man Frank Abagnale Jr. During his pursuit he sort of develops a relationship with the young man - as sort of a father figure.

7) Chuck Noland - Cast Away
Synopsis: In one of Hanks' most brilliant performances, Noland is stranded on a remote island after a plane accident. For 2/3's of the movie, Hanks is forced to keep the audience interested with only his actions and his interactions with a volleyball named Wilson.

6) Mr. White - That Thing You Do
Synopsis: Mr. White of PlayTone Music is the new manager of The Wonders, whose hit single "That Things You Do" is climbing up the charts. But, friction between the band members soon puts an end to the magical run and the band becomes a one-hit wonder.

5) Josh Baskin - Big
Synopsis: The movie that really moved Hanks into the mainstream. Hanks plays Baskin, a 12-year old boy looking to grow up a little too fast. Making a wish on a Zoltar Machine, Baskin wakes up as an adult and is forced to figure things out on his own.

4) Forrest Gump - Forrest Gump
Synopsis: Easily one of the most quotable movies of Hanks' career. Hanks plays Gump, a man with a well-below average IQ, but even with his lack of smarts, Gump lives an extraordinary life and meets many fascinating people along the way.

3) Jimmy Dugan - A League of Their Own
Synopsis: Dugan is a retired baseball player, who during his prime was one of the greatest hitters of all-time. Drinking, however, got in the way of his playing career and he is given the chance to manage the Rockford Peaches of the All-American Baseball League - a woman's league. But it could very well be the best thing that ever happened to him.

2) Capt. John Miller - Saving Private Ryan
Synopsis: Hanks plays Miller, a school teacher who is in charge of men's lives during World War II. He is given the assignment of tracking down Private Ryan, whose three bothers had already been killed in the war. It's a gripping tale and one of the most realistic (so I'm told) war movies ever created.

1) Sheriff Woody - Toy Story
Synopsis: As stunning a career as Tom Hanks the actor has had, it's his voice work that has truly made the biggest splash. Hanks lends his voice to Woody, the jealous cowboy doll, in Toy Story. Which, along with being the first all-computer generated film in history, is also one of the best all-around movies.


  1. I would have had 'Catch Me If You Can' and 'Forest Gump' higher on the list (if not putting Gump in the number 1 spot).

  2. Oh... and what about his role in The Green Mile?

  3. I liked the Green Mile, but as far as Hanks' role - I felt it was a bit secondary to Clarke Duncan.

    I was probably also using the criteria of rewatchability. As much as I like some of his true dramatic performances - I sometimes find it difficult to throw in Forrest Gump, Green Mile or especially Philadelphia.

  4. What about any/all of the movies he co-stared with Meg Ryan? Joe vs. the Volcano, Sleepless in Seattle, and You've got Mail.

  5. No way are any of those roles in Hanks' Top-10 of his career. Sure they are all decent films, but not his best characters.