Essential William Hurt: His Best 13 Movies
Illustration by Tag Brum
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Essential William Hurt: His Best 13 Movies

William Hurt was a movie star with leading-man good looks and a character actor’s way of delving into the quirks of a role, no matter how little. William Hurt, who died at the age of 71, was one of those actors who could be both smart and deeply compassionate, whether he was playing noble, saints or manipulative scumbags; he famously despised the film industry and yet he knew how to enchant his audience. William Hurt‘s best movies showed how deep he could embody a character.

Here are our favorite roles in no particular order, but Kiss of the Spider Woman is a must-watch:

Altered States (1980) – HITPLAY

A research scientist explores the boundaries and frontiers of consciousness. Using sensory deprivation and hallucinogenic mixtures from native American shamans, he explores these altered states of consciousness and finds that memory, time, and perhaps reality itself are states of mind.

The Accidental Tourist (1988) – HITPLAY

After the death of his son, travel writer Macon Leary seems to be sleep walking through life. Macon’s wife is having similar problems. They separate, and Macon meets a strange, outgoing woman who brings him ‘back down to earth’, but his wife soon thinks their marriage is still worth another try.

Broadcast News (1987) – HITPLAY

Basket-case network news producer Jane Craig falls for new reporter Tom Grunnick, a pretty boy who represents the trend towards entertainment news she despises. Aaron Altman, a talented but plain correspondent, carries an unrequited torch for Jane. Sparks fly between the three as the network prepares for big changes, and both the news and Jane must decide between style and substance.

William Hurt’s best movies encompass how multifaceted he was.

Children of a Lesser God (1986) – HITPLAY

James, a new speech teacher at a school for the deaf, falls for Sarah, a pupil who decided to stay on at the school rather than venture into the big bad world. She shuns him at first, refusing to read his lips and only using signs.

The Big Chill (1983) – HITPLAY

Seven old college friends gather for a weekend reunion after the funeral of one of their own.

Body Heat (1981) – HITPLAY

In the midst of a searing Florida heat wave, a woman convinces her lover, a small-town lawyer, to murder her rich husband.

Smoke (1995) – HITPLAY

Writer Paul Benjamin is nearly hit by a bus when he leaves Auggie Wren’s smoke shop. Stranger Rashid Cole saves his life, and soon middle-aged Paul tells homeless Rashid that he wouldn’t mind a short-term housemate.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) – HITPLAY

David, a robotic boy-the first of his kind programmed to love-is adopted as a test case by a Cybertronics employee and his wife. Though he gradually becomes their child, a series of unexpected circumstances make this life impossible for David.

Gorky Park (1983) – HITPLAY

Police Inspector Renko tries to solve the case of three bodies found in Moscow’s Gorky Park but finds his attempts to solve the crime impeded by his superiors. Working on his own, Renko seeks out more information and stumbles across a conspiracy involving the highest levels of the government.

Dark City (1998) – HITPLAY

User Rating 7.3 Running Time 100 Certification r Tagline A world where the night never ends. Original Title Dark City Release Date 1998-02-27 00:00:00 Budget 27000000 Revenue 27200316 A man struggles with memories of his past, including a wife he cannot remember, in a nightmarish world with no sun and run by beings with telekinetic powers who seek the souls of humans.

The Doctor (1991) – HITPLAY

Jack McKee is a doctor with it all: he’s successful, he’s rich, and he has no problems…. until he is diagnosed with throat cancer. Now that he has seen medicine, hospitals, and doctors from a patient’s perspective, he realises that there is more to being a doctor than surgery and prescriptions.

A History of Violence (2005) – HITPLAY

An average family is thrust into the spotlight after the father commits a seemingly self-defense murder at his diner.
William Hurt dead at 71 best movies
Illustration by Tag Brum

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Written by Tag Brum

Tag Brum lives in Brooklyn and writes things from a computer whenever wi-fi is available.
You can follow him on Twitter @tagbrum.

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