Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman Revealed
The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Empire Blogs
Empire States

Back to all blogs Comment Now

Our Favourite Bob Hoskins Moments

Posted on Thursday August 9, 2012, 12:41 by Phil de Semlyen in Empire States
Our Favourite Bob Hoskins Moments

The news of Bob Hoskins’ death is a further reminder that they genuinely don't make 'em like they used to. It's hard to imagine any contemporary actor bursting to prominence with the same coiled energy that characterised an early '80s Hoskins heyday spanning The Long Good Friday, Brazil and Mona Lisa. When he announced his retirement in 2012, we asked Empire's twitter followers to name their favourite Hoskins moments. As a tribute to the North Londoner, we've reassembled the results here. Here's your tribute to Blighty’s finest.

Battering Les Battersby in a skip for Shane Meadows' Twenty Four Seven (1997)  - @BustedShoe
Not just a fine actor, Hoskins also has an eye for an up-and-coming director. His Mona Lisa producer Stephen Woolley put him in touch with a young Midlander called Shane Meadows for the director’s first film, Twenty Four Seven. “He was doing a piece of theatre in the West End”, remembers Meadows, “and I went backstage where he met me. I just sat with him getting pissed on this wine in his dressing room. He always said that, because I was the same shape as him - this little, short, slightly receding guy with stocky shoulders – he saw a little bit of himself in me. At the end of the meeting he said, ‘I don’t care about the money, I love the script, I think you’re great, let’s do it.’ And his word was his bond.”



“The mafia? I shit 'em!” in The Long Good Friday (1980) - @Therealjohnnew
Possibly the greatest of all Hoskins’ meltdown moments – and your most-requested Bob bit - comes as East-End hood Harold Shand’s Mafia contacts prepare to skip town and shatter his Thatcherite dreams in the process. “Shut-up, you little streak of paralysed piss,” he rages, introducing the Cosa Nostra to a new line in cheeky Cockney banter. Special relationship? Not so much.



The look of sheer resignation on his face when being driven away at the end of The Long Good Friday (1980) - @GarethMcKenna
An utterly dazzling piece of non-verbal acting, Hoskins’ face dominates the screen for more than a minute as Harold Shand realises that his time has come, in the shape of Pierce Brosnan’s IRA goon. Sudden anger, Shand’s go-to emotion, gives way to shock which duly turns to fear and, ultimately, sadness. It’s an epitaph that’s arguably more moving than the character deserves.

You must include Hoskins’ arrival in Stalingrad in Enemy At The Gates (2001) - @PabloCuevas
Arguably not everyone’s first choice to play a Russian wartime propagandist and hampered by a giant prosthetic nose, Hoskins still nails the role of scary Nikita Kruschev with typical gusto in this scene. Props too for pronouncing ‘Stalingrad’ like it’s a particularly nasty bowel complaint.

“Smee, Smee. What About Smee? Smee! Smee! Smee. Smee. What about Smee? Smee's me. What about me?” Hook (1991) - @CM_Ste (and @SilentHamish)
Bob ratcheted up the cheeky-chappie quotient as Hook’s henchpirate Smee and, god bless us, we loved him for it. A kind of Mutley to Dustin Hoffman’s Dick Dastardly, he helps keep his melodramatic boss’s foul schemes ship-shape.



BOB: “I'd like a pot of tea please.” WAITER: “Earl Grey or Lapsang Souchong?” BOB: “Nah. Just tea.” I LOVED him in Mona Lisa (1986) - @sicrook
Oscar-nominated for the role, Hoskins was never better than as fading crim George in Neil Jordan’s classic thriller. He may have missed out on the big prize to Paul Newman for The Color Of Money, but here, seizing the chance at some kind of redemption on the high-gloss, low-morals streets of ‘80s Soho, he’s a powerhouse. Just don’t offer him any of that Darjeeling nonsense.

I love his movies but a mention has to go to his performance in the music video for 'Sheila' (2007). Amazing what he can do in three minutes - @LiamCallananana
Bob shows his tender side in the promo for Jamie T’s single, lip-synching his way along the Thames in his formals like a lovelorn Harold Shand and encountering some unhappy couples as he goes. Happily he resists the urge to hang said couples from bleedin’ meat hooks.



Any time his eyes were focused perfectly on that non-existent rabbit. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) - @BrendonConnelly

“It was bloody murder to shoot,” Hoskins remembered of Robert Zemeckis’ ‘toon triumph. “Acting against something that wasn’t there was very difficult... you can’t just move around wherever you want. Occasionally I had people with their hands up my back actually moving me to make sure I was in exactly the right place.” In the company of Roger, Jessica, Daffy, Bugs, Mickey and co, and occasionally operated from behind, he still manages to ground the Toon Town mayhem like Sam Spade on laughing gas. And Bogey never got to drive a cartoon taxi.

The song-and-dance routine to get the Weasels laughing themselves to death at the end of Roger Rabbit is sublime - @annawaits
As @Sollozzo01 points out, Bob Hoskins is probably the only actor to get kicked in the nuts by a toon. There isn’t an award for this – or for laughing a weasel to death – and cinema is poorer for it.



The pub scene in Last Orders (2001). Lovely stuff - @mistermistry

Often praised as pugnacious screen presence, Bob is just as adroit in quieter moments. The touching ending of Last Orders, the scattering of old friend Jack’s (Michael Caine) ashes on a Margate seawall, is a perfect example.

Always loved Hoskins as nasty J. Edgar Hoover in Nixon… (1995) - @andysubitch82
The Brits ruled the White House in Oliver Stone’s underrated biopic, with Hoskins and Anthony Hopkins forming an ‘axis of weasel’ in the highest echelons of US government. Six years before he played Kruschev in Enemy Of The Gates, here was Bob doing sleazy, grasping politico like he was born for it. He may not have been as close a physical match as Clint Eastwood and Leonardo DiCaprio’s J. Edgar but he was a whole lot more fun.



So many moments in Felicia’s Journey (1999), perhaps just the guilty way he steals a grape or the icy look to camera near the end - @kingoftheducks

Bob Hoskins has played some scary men down the years but none quite as likely to send an ice-storm up your spine as Brummie bachelor Joe Hilditch. He may seem like a common-or-garden sort, but on closer examination it feels like this particular common-or-garden might be full of other peoples' bones.

Playing Dr. Frasier Crane's ‘girlfriend’ (s10 E15, ‘Trophy Girlfriend’) in full-on cigar-chomping PE instructor mode- @lastcaress1972

One of Bob’s funniest cameos comes when Frasier Crane summons his shouty P.E. teacher from the deep recesses of his subconscious. Terrifying for Frasier; hilarious for the rest of us.

Best Bob Hoskins moment is easy... from Brazil (1985), when central services turn up at Sam’s apartment. Great actor in a great film - @JordanBowers15

If the sight of Bob dressed as a plumber brings back terrifying memories of Super Mario Bros., join the club. As Central Services’ U-bend buff Spoor, however, he’s more likely to be knocked out of his stride by some uncompleted paperwork than a rogue Goomba. It’s a short cameo that, like so many Hoskins turns, lives long in the memory.

(Thanks too to @SqueakySneaker, @ScozzaThompson, @Revis24Cuadros, @kennywah, @mc_tone and @rkambury)



Farewell Bob. We’ll miss you.

Login or register to comment.

Comments

1 JimmyThe Saint
Posted on Friday August 10, 2012, 15:26
Bob should have played Capone and he should have won an Oscar for Mona Lisa. If Paul Newman had won an academy award previously, he would have.

It is such a shame.
Terry Thomas, Michael J Fox, Ali.
How many people we admire will be afflicted by this cruel disease?

2 troyalg
Posted on Friday August 10, 2012, 21:07
I have loved this man as Eddie Valiant and Smee since I was a child. His news breaks my heart.

The one role I would have loved to see him play was Mundungus in Harry Potter.

3 HighwayJoe
Posted on Saturday August 11, 2012, 14:21
Dude! You scared me for a second there with "the sad news that..." I thought Mr Hoskins had died. Which made "retired" sound so much better.

Then I read the comments and learned he has Parkinsons, and that is very sad. He is one of those actors that can make any scene better, just by standing there.

Log in below, or register to post comments
Username:
Password:
Remember Me:

CATEGORIES

Empire States (439)

Under The Radar (317)

Infinite Lives (92)

Small Screen (57)

Words From The Wise (35)

Cannes 2011 (28)

Off The Wire (24)

Comic-Con 2010 (21)

Casting Couch (2)

Oscars 2011 (1)


RECENT POSTS

9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
By Ali Plumb

Pete Docter And Jonas Rivera Talk Pixar's Inside Out
By James White

Miss Game Of Thrones Already? Here's The Solution…
By Dan Jolin

H. R. Giger: An Empire Tribute
By Ian Nathan

How Edible Cinema Finally Allows You To Eat A Movie
By Ali Plumb

Why Do People Think Captain America Is Boring?
By Helen O'Hara

Are iPads And Smartphones Changing The Face Of Filmmaking?
By Ben Kirby

Screen To Stage: Let The Right One In
By Helen O'Hara

My Encounter With Shia LaBeouf
By James White

Empire Meets Chris Hemsworth’s ‘Rush’ Alter Ego
By Ally Wybrew


RECENT COMMENTS

Miss Game Of Thrones Already? Here's The Solution…
"Nice to know Martin enlisted another author to help in his world-building. Time to get acquainted wi"  Imperion
Read comment

9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
"@Y2Nield.com The original Hogwarts section and what was duelling dragons (has now"  Sexual Harassment Panda
Read comment

Miss Game Of Thrones Already? Here's The Solution…
"Actually i recomend The Foucault Pendulum for several reasons, in the first place it explores the es"  andresfelipeurb
Read comment

9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
"A great sneak peek, Ali. Aside from your confusion as to where Diagon Alley/King's Cross and Hogsmea"  bruciebonus
Read comment

9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
"im due to go in October this year and having been before, i can honestly say i cannot wait. I agree "  kopite
Read comment

9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
"still think it's a shame that they didn't make this in England. imagine getting the Hogwarts Express"  RX78
Read comment

9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
"Were you actually there Ali? If so, surely you know that Marvel Land is Islands of Adventure and not"  Y2Neildotcom
Read comment

Miss Game Of Thrones Already? Here's The Solution…
"I did the exact same thing with the books after season 1(even though I'd promissed myself to just re"  manufan
Read comment

H. R. Giger: An Empire Tribute
"Giger was such a major influence and I was such a major fan! I just wish I possessed more of his inc"  Courtland
Read comment

Why Do People Think Captain America Is Boring?
"Avengers12, I think you're confusing the theme of this original post with the film, it's not saying "  davidleach2000
Read comment


POPULAR POSTS

Movies’ Most Quotable Lines
566 comments

'It's Just A Bit Of Fun': Why Defensive Fans Are Bad News For Movies
361 comments

Competitive Geek Baiting: Or, How To Start A Fanboy Fight
338 comments

The Avatar Backlash: Evaluatin' The Hater-atin'
303 comments

The Complete List Of Tired Movie Cliches
286 comments

Your Favourite Animated Film
217 comments

Note To Hollywood: How To Get People To Switch To Blu-Ray
192 comments

Food For Thought
132 comments

The Ten Moviegoing Commandments
127 comments

Just The Facts, Ma’am
127 comments


BLOGGERS
Damon Wise (297)
Helen O'Hara (166)
James Dyer (86)
Amar Vijay (71)
Ali Plumb (56)
James White (29)
Phil de Semlyen (19)
Owen Williams (15)
Ally Wybrew (2)
Ben Kirby (1)
Ian Nathan (1)
Dan Jolin (1)
David Parkinson (1)

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Models Inc.: The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
How the likes of Batman, Superman and Luke Skywalker become collectible figures

The Empire Podcast #121: Brett Ratner Talks Hercules On This Week's Show
Plus The Purge: Anarchy producer Jason Blum pops in to talk horror

Empire's Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Our official verdict on Marvel's latest addition to their cinematic universe

Frank Grillo's Ten Toughest Hollywood Tough Guys
The Purge: Anarchy star picks his favourite badasses

Role By Role With Joel McHale
The star of The Soup and Community on Spider-Man 2 and much more

'I Have The Club But I Didn't Get The Lion's Head'
Dwayne Johnson (and pals) talks Hercules props, action and ancient superheroes

Classic Feature: The Making Of The Silence Of The Lambs
Is this the most frightening movie ever made?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)