Bruce Dern's best performances

by skipcyoung | created - 17 May 2011 | updated - 23 Jul 2017 | Public
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1. Coming Home (1978)

R | 127 min | Drama, Romance, War

61 Metascore

A woman whose husband is fighting in Viet Nam falls in love with another man who suffered a paralyzing combat injury there.

Director: Hal Ashby | Stars: Jane Fonda, Jon Voight, Bruce Dern, Penelope Milford

Votes: 11,205 | Gross: $32.65M

2. Black Sunday (1977)

R | 143 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

57 Metascore

Black Sunday is the powerful story of a Black September terrorist group attempting to blow up a Goodyear blimp hovering over the Super Bowl stadium with 80,000 people and the president of the United States in attendance.

Director: John Frankenheimer | Stars: Robert Shaw, Bruce Dern, Marthe Keller, Fritz Weaver

Votes: 6,045 | Gross: $15.77M

3. Nebraska (2013)

R | 115 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

86 Metascore

An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize.

Director: Alexander Payne | Stars: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, Bob Odenkirk

Votes: 105,147 | Gross: $17.65M

4. Silent Running (1972)

G | 89 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

In a future where all flora is extinct on Earth, an astronaut is given orders to destroy the last of Earth's botany, kept in a greenhouse aboard a spacecraft.

Director: Douglas Trumbull | Stars: Bruce Dern, Cliff Potts, Ron Rifkin, Jesse Vint

Votes: 24,547

One of Bruce's few starring roles.

5. The Hateful Eight (2015)

R | 168 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

68 Metascore

In the dead of a Wyoming winter, a bounty hunter and his prisoner find shelter in a cabin currently inhabited by a collection of nefarious characters.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins

Votes: 432,269 | Gross: $54.12M

6. The Great Gatsby (1974)

PG | 144 min | Drama, Romance

43 Metascore

A Midwesterner becomes fascinated with his nouveau riche neighbor, who obsesses over his lost love.

Director: Jack Clayton | Stars: Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Bruce Dern, Karen Black

Votes: 21,999

7. Posse (1975)

PG | 92 min | Western

An unscrupulous politico marshal and his deputies chase a gang of train robbers whose leader proves that every man has his price.

Director: Kirk Douglas | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Bruce Dern, Bo Hopkins, James Stacy

Votes: 1,534

8. Smile (1975)

PG | 113 min | Comedy

It's time again for California's "Young American Miss" beauty pageant, the biggest event of the year for Big Bob Freelander and Brenda DiCarlo, who give their all to put on a successful ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Ritchie | Stars: Bruce Dern, Barbara Feldon, Michael Kidd, Geoffrey Lewis

Votes: 1,938

9. The Laughing Policeman (1973)

R | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

In San Francisco, California, one victim in a mass murder is a police detective. His partner and a new partner investigate in the city's seamy side.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg | Stars: Walter Matthau, Bruce Dern, Louis Gossett Jr., Albert Paulsen

Votes: 2,195

10. The Cowboys (1972)

GP | 134 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

52 Metascore

Rancher Wil Andersen is forced to hire inexperienced boys as cowhands in order to get his herd to market on time but the rough drive is full of dangers and a gang of cattle rustlers is trailing them.

Director: Mark Rydell | Stars: John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Browne, Bruce Dern, Colleen Dewhurst

Votes: 12,002 | Gross: $7.50M

11. After Dark, My Sweet (1990)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

78 Metascore

An ex-boxer is drifting around after escaping from the mental hospital. He meets a widow who convinces him to help fix up the neglected estate her ex-husband left. Her Uncle talks them both... See full summary »

Director: James Foley | Stars: Jason Patric, Rachel Ward, Bruce Dern, Rocky Giordani

Votes: 2,935 | Gross: $2.68M

12. Family Plot (1976)

PG | 120 min | Comedy, Thriller

A phony psychic/con artist and her taxi driver/private investigator boyfriend encounter a pair of serial kidnappers while trailing a missing heir in California.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Karen Black, Bruce Dern, Barbara Harris, William Devane

Votes: 18,477

13. The Driver (1978)

R | 91 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

56 Metascore

A getaway driver becomes the latest assignment for a tenacious detective.

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Bruce Dern, Isabelle Adjani, Ronee Blakley

Votes: 12,386 | Gross: $4.91M

14. The Rebel Rousers (1970)

R | 78 min | Crime, Drama

In a small, U.S. costal town, with many Spanish speakers, a motorcycle gang arrives on vacation. Also in town to try to reconnect with his pregnant girlfriend, Karen, is businessman Paul ... See full summary »

Director: Martin B. Cohen | Stars: Cameron Mitchell, Bruce Dern, Diane Ladd, Jack Nicholson

Votes: 538

15. They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969)

M/PG | 129 min | Drama

72 Metascore

The lives of a disparate group of contestants intertwine in an inhumanely grueling dance marathon.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Jane Fonda, Michael Sarrazin, Susannah York, Gig Young

Votes: 14,641

Probably the best movie Dern was involved in, but this list rates his performances.

16. Monster (2003)

R | 109 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

74 Metascore

Based on the life of Aileen Wuornos, a Daytona Beach prostitute who became a serial killer.

Director: Patty Jenkins | Stars: Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern, Lee Tergesen

Votes: 124,410 | Gross: $34.47M

17. Hang 'Em High (1968)

M | 114 min | Western

62 Metascore

When an innocent man barely survives a lynching, he returns as a lawman determined to bring the vigilantes to justice.

Director: Ted Post | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Inger Stevens, Pat Hingle, Ed Begley

Votes: 31,647

Dern has a small role in this classic.

18. Bloody Mama (1970)

R | 90 min | Crime, Drama

A psychologically-disturbed matriarch presides over her damaged family of bank-robbing misfits.

Director: Roger Corman | Stars: Shelley Winters, Don Stroud, Pat Hingle, Diane Varsi

Votes: 2,698

Dern's small role is just one more reason to watch this fun movie.

19. Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969)

G | 92 min | Comedy, Romance, Western

In the old west, a man becomes a Sheriff just for the pay, figuring he can decamp if things get tough. In the end, he uses ingenuity instead.

Director: Burt Kennedy | Stars: James Garner, Joan Hackett, Walter Brennan, Harry Morgan

Votes: 9,093

Again, small role but good movie.

20. The King of Marvin Gardens (1972)

R | 103 min | Drama

A daydreamer convinces his radio personality brother to help fund one of his get-rich-quick schemes.

Director: Bob Rafelson | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, Ellen Burstyn, Julia Anne Robinson

Votes: 4,418

21. Marnie (1964)

PG | 130 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Mark marries Marnie although she is a habitual thief and has serious psychological problems, and tries to help her confront and resolve them.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery, Martin Gabel, Louise Latham

Votes: 40,386 | Gross: $7.00M

Dern appears briefly as a sailor and isn't memorable.

22. Django Unchained (2012)

R | 165 min | Drama, Western

81 Metascore

With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington

Votes: 1,205,726 | Gross: $162.81M

23. Drive, He Said (I) (1971)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Sport

Hector is a star basketball player for the College basketball team he plays for, the Leopards. His girlfriend, Olive, doesn't know whether to stay with him or leave him. And his friend, ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Nicholson | Stars: William Tepper, Karen Black, Michael Margotta, Bruce Dern

Votes: 1,212

24. The Haunting (1999)

PG-13 | 113 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

42 Metascore

When Eleanor, Theo, and Luke decide to take part in a sleep study at a huge mansion they get more than they bargained for when Dr. Marrow tells them of the house's ghostly past.

Director: Jan de Bont | Stars: Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Owen Wilson, Lili Taylor

Votes: 66,772 | Gross: $91.41M



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