We've finally reached the second and top place finishers in our Oliver Stone countdown. Most of our staff picks have aligned with Stone's top commercial successes, but a few were unsung classics that were personal favorites. We began with number 10 as a triple-tie, so it's only appropriate that we end with a tie, or two!
Here is number 2...
It's tie between:
JFK (1991) dir. Oliver Stone. Starring: Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon, Sally Kirland and Jay O. Sanders. JFK is a historical legal-conspiracy thriller film. It examines the events leading to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and alleged cover-up through the eyes of former New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison (played by Kevin Costner). Garrison filed charges against New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw (Tommy Lee Jones) for his alleged participation in a conspiracy to assassinate the President, for which Lee Harvey Oswald (Gary Oldman) was found responsible by a government investigation. The film was adapted by Stone and Zachary Sklar from the books On the Trail of the Assassins by Jim Garrison and Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy by Jim Marrs. Stone described this account as a "counter-myth" to the Warren Commission's "fictional myth." The film became embroiled in controversy. Upon JFK's theatrical release, many major American newspapers ran editorials accusing Stone of taking liberties with historical facts, including the film's implication that President Lyndon B. Johnson was part of a coup d'état to kill Kennedy. After a slow start at the box office, the film gradually picked up momentum, earning over $205 million in worldwide gross. JFK was nominated for eight Academy Awards (including Best Picture) and won two for Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing. It was the most successful of three films Stone made about the American Presidency, followed later by Nixon with Anthony Hopkins (Staff pick #9) in the title role and W. with Josh Brolin as George W. Bush. [via Wikipedia]
Scarface (1983) dir. Brian de Palma. Starring: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, F. Murray Abraham, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. Scarface is an American crime film and a remake of the 1932 film of the same name. The film tells the story of Cuban refugee Tony Montana (Al Pacino in a career-defining performance) who arrives in 1980s Miami with nothing and rises to become a powerful drug kingpin. Scarface was released on December 9, 1983 and was a box office success, grossing $44 million. Initial critical reception was mixed, with criticism over excessive violence and profanity and graphic drug usage. Some Cuban expatriates in Miami also objected to the film's portrayal of Cubans as criminals and drug traffickers. In the years that followed, the film has received reappraisal from critics, considered by some to be the best mob film ever made. Screenwriters and directors such as Martin Scorsese have praised the film, which has been referenced extensively in rap music, comic books, and video games. [via Wikipedia]
And the NFF Staff Number One Oliver Stone script pick is...another tie!
Any Given Sunday (1999) dir. Oliver Stone. Starring: Al Pacino, Jamie Foxx, Dennis Quaid, Cameron Diaz, James Woods, LL Cool J, Matthew Modine, Lauren Holly, Lawrence Taylor, Bill Bellamy, Aaron Eckhart, and Charlton Heston. Any Given Sunday is Oliver Stone's one foray into the sports genre, depicting a fictional professional American football team and the dysfunctional family that owns it. The film features an ensemble cast, including Ann-Margret, Lela Rochon, Marty Wright, and legendary NFL player Jim Brown. It is partly based on the novel On Any Given Sunday by famed NFL defensive end Pat Toomay; the title is derived from a line in the book (also used in the film) that a team can win or lose on "any given Sunday," said by the fictitious coach Tony D'Amato (played by an electric Al Pacino). Cameo roles also featured many former American football players including Dick Butkus, Y. A. Tittle, Pat Toomay, Warren Moon, Johnny Unitas, Ricky Watters, Emmitt Smith and Terrell Owens, as well as coach Barry Switzer.
Platoon (1986) dir. Oliver Stone. Starring: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Keith David, Forrest Whittaker, John C. McGinley, and Johnny Depp. Platoon is the first film of a trilogy of Vietnam War films directed by Stone, followed by Born on the Fourth of July (1989) (staff pick #3) and Heaven & Earth (1993). Stone wrote the screenplay based upon his experiences as a U.S. infantryman in Vietnam, to counter the vision of the war portrayed in John Wayne's The Green Berets. Platoon was the first Hollywood film to be written and directed by a veteran of the Vietnam War. Platoon won the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1986; it also won Best Director for Oliver Stone, as well as Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing. In 1998, the American Film Institute placed Platoon at #83 in their "AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies" poll.