On his 49th birthday, we revisit the works of Nicolas Kim Coppola Cage who is arguably one of the most prolific actors to have ever graced the screen. We revisit some of his finest films.
In a bid to make his own mark and not be overshadowed by his uncle Francis Ford Coppola, he changed his name early in his career to Nicolas Cage, inspired in part by the Marvel Comics superhero Luke Cage. Has a son named Kal-el (ala Superman) Coppola Cage.
- Is supposed to have got Johnny Depp his first acting job.
- Cage has been married three times. First to Patricia Arquette, sister of David Arquette and Rosanna Arquette. Then to Elvis Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley (ex-wife of Michael Jackson) for two years. And currently to Alice Kim Cage who he met at sushi bar wher she was waitressing. Alice is over 20 years younger than Cage.
- Suffers from vertigo.
- Cage is an avid comic book fan. He auctioned a collection of 400 vintage comics worth over $1.6 million in 2002.
Raising Arizona (1987)
Recidivist hold-up man HI McDonnough and police woman Edwina marry, only to discover they are unable to conceive a child. Desperate for a baby, the pair decide to kidnap one of the quintuplets of furniture tycoon Nathan Arizona. The McDonnoughs try to keep their crime secret, while friends, co-workers and a feral bounty hunter look to use Nathan Jr for their own purposes. Raising Arizona, directed by the Coen brothers was not a blockbuster at the time of its release, but has since achieved cult status. In a manner typical of Coen Brothers fare, the movie is replete with symbolism, visual gags, unconventional characters, and idiosyncratic dialogue.
Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
People who believed Nicolas Cage was only capable of action and macho roles had to eat their words when Leaving Las Vegas was released. The movie, which won Cage his first and only Oscar to date, had him playing the role of Ben Sanderson, an alcoholic Hollywood scriptwriter who moves to Las Vegas and takes up with a prostitute, Sera (Elizabeth Shue). Cage took his role seriously, preparing for it by binge drinking and visiting chronic alcoholics. Often considered one of the best films of 1995, Leaving Las Vegas gave Cage a chance to prove his acting chops.
While his latest movie Being John Malkovich is in production, screenwriter Charlie Kaufman is hired by Valerie Thomas to adapt Susan Orlean’s non-fiction book The Orchid Thief for the screen. The book details the story of rare orchid hunter John Laroche. Charlie wants to be faithful to the book in his adaptation, but despite Laroche himself being an interesting character in his own right, Charlie is having difficulty finding enough material in Laroche to fill a movie, while not having enough to say cinematically about orchids.
Directed by John Woo, Face/Off saw Cage and John Travolta at their twisted best. The two both play a rugged FBI agent and a dreaded terrorist, sworn enemies who assume the physical appearance of one another. At terrific counterpoint, as Castor Troy and Sean Archer, he turns in one of his finest performances ever, in this action thriller. The movie grossed over $245 million worldwide, establishing Cage’s dominance of his craft.
Private investigator Tom Welles is hired by the recently widowed Mrs Christian who has found a startling pornographic film in her late husband’s possessions. In the film a teenage girl is apparently killed and Welles is pretty sure it’s a genuine snuff film. He takes the case, first going through records of runaways finally identifying the girl and learning that she may have run off to California. There he enters the seedy underworld of pornography with the help of Max California, a porn store clerk.
Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
What more can you ask for when you have action, adventure, hot cars, hot women, Nicolas Cage, Angela Jolie, Dominic Sena and Jerry Bruckheimer on board? Nothing else, it seems. Cage shines in his role as a retired master car thief who returns to the industry and steal 50 cars with his crew in one night to save his brother’s life. While we are the first to admit that even though it might not have been his most intellectual performance, you cannot deny the film is utterly enjoyable, especially if you are an adrenalin junkie.
- Adaptation (2002)
- Raising Arizona (1987)
- Lord of War (2005)
- The Rock (1996)
- Moonstruck (1987)