De Niro In The Spotlight

The Many Faces of Robert De Niro: From Movies And Beyond

May 30, 2024

Robert De Niro has been a towering presence in cinema for over six decades. Known for his incredible range and intense method acting, De Niro has captivated audiences with unforgettable performances. Let's dive into his career, his collaborations with Martin Scorsese, and his recent political activism.

Before we begin, let's just remind ourselves of De Niro's prolific career:

Robert De Niro's Career Highlights

  • 1968–1973: Early films included Greetings, The Wedding Party, and Mean Streets. Breakthrough role as Johnny Boy in Mean Streets (1973), directed by Martin Scorsese.
  • 1974: Won Best Supporting Actor Oscar for playing the young Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II.
  • 1976: First Best Actor Oscar nomination for Taxi Driver as Travis Bickle. Famous for the line "You talkin' to me?".
  • 1977: Starred opposite Liza Minnelli in New York, New York, directed by Scorsese.
  • 1978: Best Actor nomination for his role in The Deer Hunter.
  • 1980: Won Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull.
  • 1980s: Notable films included Brazil (1985), The Untouchables (1987), and Midnight Run (1988), earning a Golden Globe nomination.
  • 1990: Oscar nomination for Awakenings.
  • 1991: Best Actor nod for playing Max Cady in Cape Fear.
  • 1990s: Starred in iconic films like Heat (1995), Casino (1995), and Jackie Brown (1997).
  • 1993: Directed and starred in A Bronx Tale.
  • 1999: Golden Globe nomination for Analyze This.
  • 2000s: Major roles in the Meet the Parents franchise.
  • 2006: Directed The Good Shepherd.
  • 2012: Oscar nomination for Silver Linings Playbook.
  • 2019: Played a talk show host in Joker and reprised his mobster role in The Irishman (Scorsese).
  • 2023: Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor in Killers of the Flower Moon.

Early Career and Breakthroughs

Early Films

Robert De Niro in Greetings (1968)

De Niro's journey began with small roles in films like Greetings (1968) and Hi, Mom! (1970). But it was his performance in Bang the Drum Slowly (1973) as a terminally ill baseball catcher that caught everyone's attention, as well as Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets in 1973, that really put him on the map, with his electrifying performance as the unhinged Johnny Boy.

Breakthrough Role

And then, boom! The world witnessed young De Niro's sheer brilliance as he stepped into Marlon Brando's shoes, portraying the young Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II. That Oscar-winning turn proved he was no one-trick pony.

Taxi Driver & Raging Bull - Iconic Collabs with Scorsese

Of course, we can't talk about De Niro without mentioning his legendary collabs with Scorsese. Who could forget Taxi Driver and that bone-chilling "You talkin' to me?" scene? Genius!

But it was Raging Bull in 1980 that truly cemented De Niro's status as a GOAT. His raw, visceral portrayal of boxer Jake LaMotta, including that insane physical transformation, earned him a well-deserved Best Actor Oscar. Talk about commitment to the craft!

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The Dynamic Duo

De Niro and Scorsese have one of the most celebrated actor-director partnerships in cinema. Their collaborations include Mean Streets (1973), Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), Casino (1995), and The Irishman (2019).

Long-standing Partnership

Their collaborations have spanned over four decades, with their latest film, Killers of the Flower Moon (2023), further solidifying their legacy. In this film, De Niro plays a cattleman involved in the Osage murders, adding another acclaimed performance to his repertoire.

The 80s, 90s & Beyond

From Brazil, The Untouchables, Goodfellas, Casino and Heat De Niro kept delivering knockout performances, solidifying his reputation as the ultimate method actor.

And let's not forget his seamless foray into comedy with Analyze This and the Meet the Parents franchise. The dude's got range, folks!

Recent Acclaim

From 2012 - 2019 Robert De Niro

De Niro's performances in Silver Linings Playbook (2012), The Irishman (2019), and Joker (2019) have reminded audiences of his enduring talent.

Political Activism

Criticism of Donald Trump

Recently, De Niro has been vocal in his criticism of former President Donald Trump. He made headlines for his fiery remarks at a press conference outside the Manhattan courthouse where Trump's trial was taking place. De Niro called Trump a "clown" and a "monster," and warned of the dangers he posed to American democracy.

Public Statements

De Niro's outspoken political views have made him a prominent figure in the media. His comments have sparked both support and backlash, highlighting the polarising nature of today's political landscape.

Hobbies and Interests Outside Acting

Exercise and Physical Activities

De Niro stays active with regular exercise, which has been crucial for his demanding roles. He has practiced martial arts and enjoys sports like soccer.

Creative Pursuits

Beyond acting, De Niro has directed films like A Bronx Tale (1993) and The Good Shepherd (2006).

Co-founding the Tribeca Film Festival

Robert De Niro co-founded the Tribeca Film Festival in 2002 with producer Jane Rosenthal and philanthropist Craig Hatkoff, in response to the devastation of the September 11 attacks. His goal was to rejuvenate the Tribeca neighborhood and support independent filmmakers. De Niro's hands-on involvement and vision have been key to the festival's success and growth into one of the most prestigious film festivals worldwide.

  • Response to 9/11: Founded to help revitalize New York City, especially Tribeca.
  • Support for Independent Filmmakers: Provides a platform for emerging talent.
  • Economic Impact: Boosts local businesses and tourism.
  • Cultural Hub: Hosts films, panels, workshops, and exhibits.
  • Global Prestige: Attracts international filmmakers, celebrities, and audiences.

Advocacy and Philanthropy

De Niro is a passionate advocate for various causes and supports numerous charities through his film festival and other philanthropic efforts.

Robert De Niro's illustrious career, marked by iconic roles and unforgettable performances, has made him a legend in the film industry. His collaborations with Martin Scorsese have produced some of the most critically acclaimed films in cinema history. Outside of acting, his political activism and diverse interests show a man of many talents and passions. As we look back on his incredible journey, it's clear that De Niro's impact on film and culture will be felt for generations to come.

Richard Wells

I am the founder of The Rewind Zone, created in 2022. My passion for film knows no bounds! It is my goal through this medium to bring the wonders of film from a bygone era back into your lives.