Movies That Killed Careers

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by JediJones, Apr 14, 2021.

  1. JediJones

    JediJones Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Or ALMOST killed them. Or damaged them so severely that we can say there was a career comeback later. Use your own judgment. You just get more internet points if it was a clean kill. Actors, directors, producers, etc. all eligible.

    Heaven's Gate - Michael Cimino. A director's career death. A career killer is not necessarily the last item on the resume, but is a severe injury that starts a bleeding the patient never recovers from.

    Jade - David Caruso - Killed his attempt at a film career. A William Friedkin/Joe Eszterhas thriller that flopped and sent Caruso back to TV.

    Last Action Hero was considered the first major misfire in Arnold's career. He recovered nicely with True Lies, but it exposed a vulnerability that never really healed. He would have far more misfires than hits throughout the rest of his career.

    Hollywood Homicide - a double career killer for director Ron Shelton and Harrison Ford. Harrison had been soaring to great heights in the '90s but K19 and Homicide were back-to-back flops. K19 could be seen as an overall miscalculation but Homicide wasn't as excusable. It was designed to be purely commercial. Ford essentially never recovered after this, only retaining a high profile by doing sequels to his big 1980s hits. Shelton had a couple flops before this, but nothing so high profile and big budget. It would be 14 years before the director of Bull Durham and White Men Can't Jump would direct another feature film (which also flopped).

    Catwoman - Halle Berry. This was like hitting a brick wall at 90 miles an hour after X-Men 1 and 2, Swordfish, Die Another Day, Gothika and her Oscar win for Monster's Ball. Other than finishing up her X-Men cameos, her movie career has gotten downright shabby and ragged since Catwoman. Catwoman also did no favors for...

    Sharon Stone, who two years later made Basic Instinct 2. Stone's career has been a giant mess of hits and flops, full of Golden Globe, Oscar and Razzie recognition. Her career had all but bled out by the time of Basic Instinct 2, but it was the final ice pick in the chest. After this, mainstream Hollywood basically said the second chances are over and she's been, perhaps happily, working only in low-budget, independent films.

    Troop Beverly Hills - Shelley Long. This was the one where everyone finally knew for sure Shelley had made the wrong decision to leave Cheers. If there was any doubt left, Frozen Assets put it to rest three years later. Yes, she had a dead cat bounce with The Brady Bunch, but in a supporting role and not something that could be called a comeback or led to bigger roles.

    Dana Carvey - Master of Disguise. This was essentially a second chance after doing 3 movies in 1994 that all flopped. The box office on Master wasn't even that disastrous. But when you star in something that's considered one of the worst movies ever made, it doesn't give people a lot of confidence in you. This was it for Carvey. Only voice-acting roles from then on.

    Mike Myers - The Love Guru. It's not truly over for Myers. Hollywood would give him another chance starring in a comedy, like Dr. Evil: The Movie or Wayne's World 3, maybe even something original. He's gotten praise for supporting work after this. But this notorious flop seems to have been a self-inflicted death blow. Myers has lost the confidence in himself to attempt a major comeback.

    Chevy Chase - Vegas Vacation - Chevy had been in trouble for a while, but his last film before this, Man of the House, was a bit of a box office comeback for him. But Vegas Vacation cost more and did worse. Chevy's career essentially died with his number one franchise here. The resume from this point on is a nightmare.

    Dan Aykroyd - Nothing But Trouble - This directorial debut killed Dan's directing career in one shot and did no favors for his acting career or anyone else's involved. Arguably his acting career got its death blow a bit later with...

    Exit to Eden - A disastrously ill-conceived movie that may qualify as a career killer for Dan Aykroyd, Dana Delany and Rosie O'Donnell. Dan may have gotten a couple more decent parts after this, but the public no longer saw him as a box office draw and they weren't successful. And if there was any doubt, Blues Brothers 2000 was the final nail in the coffin.

    Eddie Murphy - Norbit - Eddie's career had lost its heart and soul long before this, but was still doing reasonable box office. But this movie was so disastrously ill-timed after his minor creative comeback with Dreamgirls. It did okay box office, but was the last thing anyone rooting for him wanted to see at this point. This kicked off a particularly bad triple threat of movies with director Brian Robbins (Eric on TV's Head of the Class) that also included the instantly obscure Meet Dave and A Thousand Words. Eddie's post-Dreamgirls career is a huge missed opportunity that I don't think a desperate attempt at a non-theatrical sequel to one of his biggest 1980s hits will rectify.

    The Adventures of Pluto Nash - A 2002 disaster that didn't quite end Eddie's career, but sent director Ron Underwood to director's jail. The director of Tremors, City Slickers and Mighty Joe Young would be relegated to TV and one low-budget feature after this.

    Cruising - Razzie noms, controversy, weak box office and essentially the end of director William Friedkin's star director status.

    Waterworld - It was NOT a death blow to Costner, but it definitely put Kevin Reynolds in director's jail. The big budgets and high-profile projects wouldn't come his way again.

    The Sorcerer's Apprentice - It's hard to pinpoint but this appears to be the point at which Nicolas Cage's career lost its last remaining shreds of dignity and credibility.

    Jack Frost - This was the end of Michael Keaton's credibility as a movie star for a long time until his genuine comeback in Birdman 16 years later.

    Battlefield Earth - John Travolta. Nuff said.
  2. arley

    arley Forum Resident

    You could argue that Citizen Kane really hurt Orson Welles' career. You p*** off Hearst, you'll have trouble getting financing from any studio since the studios needed to be able to advertise in Hearst newspapers to promote their films.

    When you see the MGM logo saying 'art for art's sake, keep in mind that Louis B. Mayer offered to destroy the Citizen Kane negative to appease Hearst.
  3. TheNightfly1982

    TheNightfly1982 Forum Resident

    Striptease basically started the downward spiral for Demi Moore’s film career. And Freddie Prinze Jr. has never recovered from making those Scooby Doo movies.
  4. Scooterpiety

    Scooterpiety Current operator of the Freedonia peanut stand

    Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest. It seems to be the film Dunaway is now best known for, even eclipsing Bonnie and Clyde. It was the first of several bad films she made in the '80s, including the awful Supergirl, which just might be her worst performance. She made something of a comeback in Barfly, but her career seemed to mostly fade away after Mommie Dearest.
  5. Big Jimbo

    Big Jimbo Forum Resident

    I remember someone arguing it was more “The Lady from Shanghai” that hurt Welles. “Citizen Kane” kind of slapped him down but it was “Lady From Shanghai” that set him to where he was wandering, acting in other people’s films to raise money to make his own.

    “Myra Breckinridge “ destroyed whatever career Michael Sarne would have had.

    IIRC Victoria Price says in a biography of her father Vincent that doing “Mystery in the Wax Museum” (or some such horror film) instead of an offer to appear on Broadway so he could get money quickly to buy a particular painting limited her father to horror pictures.
  6. Vahan

    Vahan Forum Resident

    Glendale, CA, USA
    North by Rob Reiner.
  7. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

    Scranton, PA
    Actually, what killed Cimino's career was being thrown out of the editing room on The Sicilian. Why? Its a long story.
    P(orF), enro99, fr in sc and 3 others like this.
  8. Scooterpiety

    Scooterpiety Current operator of the Freedonia peanut stand

    Dan Aykroyd has been pretty risilient, all things considered. He's appeared in a lot of bad films, stretching all the way back to Doctor Detroit, but he's been in a lot of good ones as well. He was even nominated for an oscar for his role in Driving Miss Daisy.
    He's appeared in some decent films since Nothing but Trouble and Exit to Eden.
    As for his career dying, remember the man is nearly 70 years old.
  9. RageRomano

    RageRomano Idiot

    Pretty sure the Star Wars prequels are to blame for the career deaths of Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen (due to the cruelty of the fanbase)
  10. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Chevy Chase was an odd one. He had so many great films in the 80's, but it was like someone flicked the switch and he suddenly stopped being funny. I remember seeing Memoirs of an Invisible Man in the theater in the early 90's and being shocked at how bad it was.
    altaeria, Matthew Tate and hi_watt like this.
  11. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    He wasn't bad in Community...
    But you are right, he fell off the movie map.
    George Co-Stanza likes this.
  12. Rob P S

    Rob P S Senior Member

    Pittsburgh, PA
    Dudley Moore followed 10 and Arthur with Six Weeks, a critically-lambasted bomb in which he did give a credible dramatic performance. That was followed by flop after flop, with a couple of minor hits, but he never regained credibility.

    Burt Reynolds - Stroker Ace, for which he turned down a potential Oscar-winning role in Terms of Endearment.

    Diana Ross - Mahogany, followed by The Wiz and nothing else.
    Frozensoda, hi_watt and fr in sc like this.
  13. Standoffish

    Standoffish Don't you dare call me an ostrich!

    North Carolina
    Director Michael Powell's career was pretty much killed by the controversial Peeping Tom. Ironically, Psycho came out a few months later with similar themes, and Hitchcock's career got a big boost.
  14. Slackhurst Broadcasting

    Slackhurst Broadcasting Forum Resident

    Jeremiah Chechik was a young director on the way up in the early Nineties. Then he made the 1998 Avengers movie.
    hi_watt likes this.
  15. Slackhurst Broadcasting

    Slackhurst Broadcasting Forum Resident

    Jennifer Lynch's directorial career was pretty much knocked out in the first round by Boxing Helena.
    MLutthans, Dudley Morris and hi_watt like this.
  16. Slackhurst Broadcasting

    Slackhurst Broadcasting Forum Resident

    His being an absolutely terrible film-maker didn't help. Before Myra Breckinridge he made Joanna which was very nearly as bad.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  17. johnod

    johnod Forum Resident

    Some of the people mentioned were just poor actors to begin with.
    Fullbug, Ms. Daisy, inperson and 5 others like this.
  18. GregM

    GregM The expanding man

    Daddyland, CA
    Nicholas Cage - Face Off...I think that was the beginning of the end for him.
    DrZhivago likes this.
  19. JCRW

    JCRW Forum Resident

    Chevy Chase along with a few other actors listed in this thread (Mike Myers) have been tagged by the industry with the label of being "difficult" to work with on set. Once you get this tag it is an uphill battle to maintain and/or revive your career.
  20. hbbfam

    hbbfam Forum Resident

    TCM Joins Search For Orson Welles’ Lost ‘The Magnificent Ambersons’ Cut – Deadline
  21. 2trackmind

    2trackmind Forum Resident

    I would say it happened for Eddie way before that with "Holy Man"
    Matthew Tate and hi_watt like this.
  22. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits, Abbie & Mitzi: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    Nah - good movie, great reviews and it was a hit. He still had plenty of noteworthy movies after 1997.

    Cage's career declined after he went into "anything for a paycheck" mode 10-15 years ago...
  23. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits, Abbie & Mitzi: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    Murphy's career significantly declined after "Coming to America".

    1989's "Harlem Nights" barely made half of the prior movie's gross.

    1990's "Another 48 Hrs." bounced back some but seemed to be largely disliked and didn't live up to box office expectations.

    Murphy then made a series of movies that usually didn't outright bomb, but they had mediocre box office receipts - way lower than his 80s standards.

    1995's "Vampire in Brooklyn" appears to have been Murphy's first outright BOMB. Even the much loathed "BHC3" made $42 million, but "ViB" only grossed $19 million,

    1996's "Nutty Professor" became a nice comeback, and he had a few more hits like "Dr. Doolittle" and the "Professor" sequel.

    However, he made a lot of duds in that period too.

    In truth, Murphy's career never quite went into the tank as it seemed. Like I mentioned, even in his "low points", his movies usually made decent money.

    But these definitely seem like bombs compared to the standards he set!
  24. The Wanderer

    The Wanderer Seeker of Truth

    Bill Murray, always brings a smile, sort of playing himself - Chevy Chase doesn't know who he is.
  25. ...and every time I turn on Netflix or Prime there 's another half dozen new movies with him in them.
    wrat, Ms. Daisy, vegafleet and 8 others like this.

Share This Page