Turner Classic Movies features writer, director, producer and movie star Robert Redford this month starting on Tuesday, January 6. From his appearance as the grim reaper on an episode of The Twilight Zone and in his movie debut in 1962, War Hunt, which kicks off TCM’s Star of the Month programming, to his more recent roles in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and An Unfinished Life, and all the hits in between, Mr. Redford gives a penetrating performance in nearly every picture. I am an unabashed admirer.
Standout star turns include his leading roles in The Sting (1973), an excellent movie, Three Days of the Condor, The Way We Were, and, in particular, the underestimated Jeremiah Johnson. I also can’t resist him in the first movie I ever saw in a movie theater, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). All are mentioned, scheduled for airing or discussed in my exclusive interview about Robert Redford, who was once discussed for the role of John Galt in a screen adaptation of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, with TCM host Robert Osborne (read the interview here). We talked about his appeal, his bad timing in Hollywood, his co-star Barbra Streisand and more in an examination of this elusive star’s extraordinary career.
Besides his movie roles, I also recommend two of his movie directions, the thought-provoking ethical drama Quiz Show (1994) and an indelibly powerful 1980 motion picture from Paramount which I think is both misunderstood and one of the most psychologically complex and liberating films ever made: Ordinary People, which depicts a region I once knew well and dramatizes loss, grief, anger and the glory of recovering one’s self-esteem. I agree with Robert Osborne that Robert Redford is both iconic as a movie star and a deep and serious filmmaker. I encourage everyone to see as many of his films as possible this month on TCM.