Black Film Classics | The Hurricane

3 04 2009

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Ten years ago, two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington gave arguably one of his finest performances of his long distinguished career in the emotionally stirring prison drama, “The Hurricane.”

The biopic about the wrongful imprisonment of rising middleweight boxer Ruben “Hurricane” Carter. The film tells the story of Carter, whose conviction for a Paterson, New Jersey triple murder was set aside after he had spent almost twenty years in prison.

**Click the image above to see an example of Washington’s tour-de-force performance in “The Hurricane”**

Earlier this week, we had the opportunity to revisit this film once again and was taken aback by Washington’s tremendous use of his acting instrument that he was able to infuse his characters with a range of many different emotions. Washington, who won Hollywood’s top prize for “Training Day” and another supporting actor trophy for “Glory,” remarkably didn’t win for “Malcolm X” and we would argue his work in “The Hurricane” is the equal of films that he won for – if not slightly exceeds it!

Even our colleague, Roger Ebert, film critic for the Chicago Sun Times, thought that Washington was brilliant. “This is one of Denzel Washington’s great performances, on a par with his work in “Malcolm X” . . . Washington as Hurricane Carter is spare, focused, filled with anger and pride…This is strong stuff, and I was amazed, after feeling some impatience in the earlier reaches of the film, to find myself so deeply absorbed in its second and third acts, until at the end I was blinking at tears. What affects me emotionally at the movies is never sadness, but goodness.”

For almost three decades, Washington has consistently given outstanding performances in a variety of different films. Up next for one People Magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive” is remake of the 70s thriller, “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.”

Check out Bob Dylan’s song and video, “Hurricane.”

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