Top 10 Jack Nicholson Performances
#10 - Warren Schmidt in ABOUT SCHMIDT [2002]
Warren Schmidt in ABOUT SCHMIDT [2002] Image

"Relatively soon, I will die. Maybe in 20 years, maybe tomorrow, it doesn't matter. Once I am dead and everyone who knew me dies too, it will be as though I never existed. What difference has my life made to anyone. None that I can think of. None at all."

#09 - Joker (Jack Napier) in BATMAN [1989]
Joker (Jack Napier) in BATMAN [1989] Image

"Now comes the part when I relieve you, the little people, of the burden of your failed and useless lives. But, as my plastic surgeon always said: if you gotta go, go with a smile."

#08 - George Hanson in EASY RIDER [1969]
George Hanson in EASY RIDER [1969] Image

"I mean, it's real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace. Of course, don't ever tell anybody that they're not free, 'cause then they're gonna get real busy killin' and maimin' to prove to you that they are. Oh yeah, they're gonna talk to you and talk to you and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it's gonna scare 'em."

#07 - Melvin Udall in AS GOOD AS IT GETS [1997]
Melvin Udall in AS GOOD AS IT GETS [1997] Image

"Never, never, interrupt me, okay? Not if there's a fire, not even if you hear the sound of a thud from my home and one week later there's a smell coming from there that can only be a decaying human body and you have to hold a hanky to your face because the stench is so thick that you think you're going to faint. Even then, don't come knocking. Or if it's election night and you're excited and you wanna celebrate because some fudgepacker that you date has been elected the first queer president of the United States and he's going to have you down to Camp David and you want someone to share the moment with. Even then, don't knock. Not on this door. Not for ANY reason. Do you get me, sweetheart?"

#06 - Jonathan Fuerst in CARNAL KNOWLEDGE [1971]
Jonathan Fuerst in CARNAL KNOWLEDGE [1971] Image

"You want a job? I got a job for you. Fix up this pigsty! You get a pretty goddamned good salary for testing out this bed all day! You want an extra 50 dollars a week, try vacuuming! You want an extra hundred, make this goddamned bed! Try opening some goddamned windows! That's why you can't stand up in here, the goddamned place smells like a coffin!"

#05 - J.J. "Jake" Gittes in CHINATOWN [1974]

"OK, go home, but in case you're interested, your husband was murdered. Somebody's been dumping thousands of tons of water from the city's reservoirs and we're supposed to be in the middle of a drought. He found out about it and he was killed. There's a waterlogged drunk in the morgue, involuntary manslaughter if anybody wants to take the trouble—which they don't. It seems like half the city is trying to cover it all up, which is fine by me. But Mrs. Mulwray, I goddamned near lost my nose. And I like it. I like breathing through it. And I still think that you're hiding something."

#04 - Billy "Bad Ass" Buddusky in THE LAST DETAIL [1973]

—"I am the motherfucking shore patrol, motherfucker! I am the motherfucking shore patrol! Give this man a beer."

—"I don't want a beer."

—"You're gonna have a fuckin' beer!"

#03 - Robert Eroica Dupea in FIVE EASY PIECES [1970]
Robert Eroica Dupea in FIVE EASY PIECES [1970] Image

"Where do you get the ass to tell anybody anything about class or who the hell's got it or what she typifies? You shouldn't even be in the same room with her, you pompous celibate . . . You're totally full of shit! You're all full of shit."

#02 - R.P. McMurphy in ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST [1975]
R.P. McMurphy in ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST [1975] Image

"And now they're telling me I'm crazy over here because I don't sit there like a goddamn vegetable. Don't make a bit of sense to me. If that's what being crazy is, then I'm senseless, out of it, gone-down-the-road, wacko. But no more, no less, that's it."

#01 - Jack Torrance in THE SHINING [1980]
Jack Torrance in THE SHINING [1980] Image

"Heeere's Johnny!!!"


User Comments - Add a Comment
analstunner - 2010-02-25 17:57:24

don't agree that the shining was his best performance .. r.p mcmurphy should be top

Hoodlum - 2010-03-24 00:53:13

Yuup, McMurphy FTW!

floyd gondolli - 2011-01-29 06:22:46

Good list, but Five Easy Pieces is the best performance of all time.

Brian - 2012-12-06 12:47:13

I was hoping "The Shining" would be number one. Nice call. I haven't seen all those films, but seriously, Nicholson should have got at least an Oscar nomination for "The Shining" and Shelly Duvall as well, because she was amazing. Too bad the Oscars pretty much ignored horror films back then, or Kubrick would have got a best director nomination too.

andrew hamcell - 2014-11-02 15:44:05

I like most of them. great movies.'S+NEST+[1975]