Robin Williams - best and worst

Last updated 13:35 24/11/2010

Robin Williams has been and gone from these shores for his first stand-up tour of NZ, but his films shall live on in infamy.

(One of the best laughs of his Weapons of Self Destruction show was a spontaneous one:Robin Williams

During the encore, someone in the crowd yelled out "Mork!"

Williams quipped back: "After an hour and a half you've only just realised who I am?")

Everyone has a favourite Williams film and (at least) one that just makes you cringe to think of it - even Williams joked about how dreadful Bicentennial Man is.

So for the good:

The World According to Garp (1982)  in this radical for its time film, Williams plays the straight-man, surrounded by stars such as Glenn Close and John Lithgow (playing the cross-dresser Roberta Muldoon).

Dead Poets Society (1989) "Oh captain, my captain!" I so wanted an English teacher like him, until I got one - the inspiring individualist Ms McColl called us all "cherubs" and "scholars" when we behaved - other things when we were unruly...

Aladdin (1992) While Williams's big blue genie may grate on the nerves for some, he was responsible for firing up the trend of celebrity voices for cartoon characters, which lead to things like Shrek and, well, pretty much any mainstream modern US cartoon movie you can think of - including his penguin pic Happy Feet and Happy Feet 2 (coming out next year).

Good Will Hunting (1997) Another mentor inspiring young 'uns in the mould of Dead Poets, but he won an Oscar for this one.

One Hour Photo (2002) Who would have thought the man who played Hook could be such a creepy stalker?

Mrs Doubtfire (1993) I never really liked the crossdressing nanny schtick but for some reason people loooove a man in a dress. Hilarious (unless it's actually your dad in a dress - how much counselling would those three kids need?).

It's intriguing that the man who has an R18 stand-up show with such one-liners as: "God gave man a brain and a penis but only enough blood to run one at a time" has made so many cloyingly cringeworthy "family" films.

The worst:

License to Wed, Old Dogs, RV, Bicentennial Man, Father's Day and Jack (as parodied by Ben Stiller in Tropic Thunder), and the list goes on...

Enter your picks for best and worst Robin Williams moments below.

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37 comments
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VJ   #1   01:58 pm Nov 24 2010

He played Pater Pan, not Hook. Hook was played by Dustin Hoffman.

ScrabbleChick   #2   01:59 pm Nov 24 2010

I can't believe you didn't include "Good Morning Vietnam" in his good films list! That's one of my favourite films of all time and he was a genius in it. Agree with all of the ones on your dog list. Also disliked "One Hour Photo" because it was a really creepy film but have to admit that he was good in it.

Kirsty   #3   02:08 pm Nov 24 2010

A correction is needed. Robin Williams did not play Captain Hook in the film Hook. He played the role of Peter Pan.

Don 1   #4   02:09 pm Nov 24 2010

Best was probably Insomnia for me. Or One Hour Photo. He does creepy well. And then there's The Fisher King and Awakenings. Cadillac Man wasn't too shabby either.

Worst? Gotta be Popeye, surely? Or maybe Jumanji. OR Flubber. Or Patch Adams.

Bex   #5   02:28 pm Nov 24 2010

I am a bit of a fan of Robin Willams, loved him in Mork and Mindy on TV. Then the movies, i think the good out weighs the bad like...Patch Adams, Good Morning Vietnam, One Hour Photo, Insomnia, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society, The Fisher King, Mrs Doubtfire. His voice over work in Aladin, Robots and Happy Feet was pretty fantastic.

the_fridge   #6   02:33 pm Nov 24 2010

I can honestly say I can't stand Robin Williams and don't' find him funny at all one bit, the only movie of his that I found bearable was Good Will Hunting.

Although I've never seen Dead Poets Society but plan too pretty soon.

BG   #7   02:58 pm Nov 24 2010

I am not a Robin Williams fan at all and hate most of his work but a few months ago I saw a film of his called Man of the Year (also stars Christopher Walken and Laura Linney) that was suprisingly good. I had never heard of it prior so not sure how well known it is but definitely worth a watch.

Lars   #8   02:59 pm Nov 24 2010

I actually liked that film with Cuba Gooding Jnr.. What dreams may come? Found that sad. Good Morning Vietnam was great.

DragonLips   #9   03:12 pm Nov 24 2010

I also Loved Good Morning Vietnam, mers Doubtfire and Good Will Hunting. Jumanji wasn't that bad for it's time. Didn't much like RV.

A-T   #10   03:17 pm Nov 24 2010

He's one of the few actors or actresses who can do drama or comedy, and well. Regardless of whether he's your taste or not, actors like him and, say, Jim Carrey, are rare. True comedians who can switch to drama.

Sure, films like Old Dogs and RV are dreaful, but Williams totally rocked that dress in Mrs Doubtfire. And his dramatic stuff - One Hour Photo, What Dreams May Come - is great.

Good Morning Vietnam = awesome.


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