Is Jack Nicholson retired

Jack Nicholson turns 80 : The man with the shark grin

At some point in the past few years, Jack Nicholson quietly said goodbye to the cinema, so that his absence from the deafening continuous fire from superhero franchises and nostalgia projects à la “Star Wars” almost went unnoticed. The only thing missing on the big screen is his dirty shark grin.

Jack Nicholson comes from a different era, which can already be seen in the fact that Martin Scorsese, his New Hollywood companion and director of his last major film, "The Departed", no longer receives any cinema funding. Of course, both have long since made each other unforgettable.

Back from retirement

Nicholson is one of the last Hollywood stars, whose name is a registered trademark. His grin, the expressive eyebrows that can make him look sardonic and mischievous, the bad boy reputation that he cultivated since his biker films with B-movie maestro Roger Corman in the sixties: Nicholson always has his image against him Brushed the line, as a womanizer, who made Hollywood insecure in his heyday with Warren Beatty and Marlon Brando, as well as an actor. Unforgettable his acceptance speech at the Golden Globes 1990, when he shone in front of an audience. Someone like that doesn't say goodbye silently, he leaves with a bang.

So it is just right that Jack Nicholson just reported back from retirement with a sensational announcement - just in time for his 80th birthday. He has expressed the wish to be in front of the camera again - as Toni Erdmann, in the Hollywood remake of Maren Ades popular success. Jack and Toni are of course one match made in heaven, should also have thought Nicholson, who, according to rumors, personally campaigned for the remake after seeing the film in Cannes. A socially difficult retiree with a penchant for pretending to be a joke, almost all Nicholson roles since his dropout film "About Schmidt" sounded like that with the late bloomer Nicholson, who was already 32 years old when he broke through with "Easy Rider" in 2002 Introduced late work.

Highlights in the 70s

There are, however, other good reasons for his interest in "Toni Erdmann", because Nicholson has always had a weakness for European cinema - a predilection that he shared with other descendants of the Corman school - Martin Scorsese, William Friedkin, Francis Coppola - Splits. At that time, Nicholson and director Monte Hellman sold their producer Corman “Das Schießen” (1966) as a kind of “African Queen”. Instead of an adventure film, however, it got an existential new wave western with one of the strangest surreal showdowns in film history.

Nicholson played one of his best roles ten years later in Michelangelo Antonioni's "Profession: Reporter". The figure Locke is, so to speak, a symbol of the lost ideals of the American counterculture: a journalist who, on the run from his bourgeois life, takes on the identity of an arms dealer.

In the mid-1970s, Nicholson had a fabulous run that established him as one of the greatest in Hollywood: “The Last Command” by Hal Ashby, Roman Polanski's film noir “Chinatown” (also a film about the death of Hollywood, written by his buddy Robert Towne) and of course “One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest”, which earned him his first of three Oscars. With a total of twelve nominations, Nicholson is now considered the most successful male actor in Hollywood.

The greatest success becomes a curse

“One flew over the cuckoo's nest” turned out to be a curse for Nicholson. The role of the maladjusted McMurphy, a mental hospital patient, gave him ample opportunity to overact. In the years that followed, this over-the-top mannerism turned into a quirk - from the role of the maddened family man in "Shining" to "The Witches of Eastwick," in which he played the devil, to his appearance as the Joker in Tim Burton's "Batman." ". The Joker's mad, acidic grin became an icon of his late career. Nicholson no longer plays roles, it was said, he only plays "Jack".

With casual sovereignty, Nicholson has repeatedly thwarted the image of the heavy hitter in his roles. He let himself go, gave up on the ramp, defaced himself outwardly. In no way should Nicholson's narcissism be confused with mere vanity. Bob Rafelson, director of "When the Postman Rings Twice", expressed concern at the time about the appearance of his star, who was supposed to be putting a quickie on the kitchen table with his film partner Jessica Lange in a scandalous scene. Nicholson, on the other hand, enjoyed the role of smear. A steamy erotic thriller, a genre that boomed in the eighties, has not become “When the postman rings twice” thanks to him.

You have to be critical of the sex and drugs myth of the New Hollywood era at least since the allegations against Bernardo Bertolucci and Roman Polanski, who allegedly raped 13-year-old Samantha Gailey in Nicholson's house. Jack Nicholson sometimes flirts with his reputation in interviews, although things have calmed down around him. The image of the dirty old man simply does not match the former young and wild Hollywood. Jack is waiting for one last big role, said his "Easy Rider" partner Peter Fonda recently. Maybe Nicholson made the best birthday present for himself with Toni Erdman.

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