If one characteristic characterizes John Travolta’s film career, it is the diversity of his roles. From repulsive antagonists to captivating performers and vocalists, the actor has demonstrated his ability to perform in front of the camera. Saturday Night Fever revolutionized the disco era and propelled Travolta to fame. The film, which is a timeless tale about youthful love, features a multitude of memorable melodies and spirited dance sequences.
1. The Taking of Pelham 123
If you’re looking for proof that Travolta can act outside of his swaying, disco-fueled dance moves, this thriller is the place to start. As an FBI agent pursuing revenge on terrorist Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) he delivers an utterly gripping cinematic experience. The vumoo movies also showcase Travolta’s ability to handle complex characters. As loan shark Chili Palmer he is able to switch between mobster and Hollywood producer with ease.
While the film’s plot is not as solid as some of the others on this list, it does showcase Travolta’s talent to portray a character with depth. It is a must-see for all fans of the actor. Despite his ups and downs he still remains one of the most versatile actors on the screen today. The movie industry should be thankful for his willingness to take on a variety of roles in both great and bad films.
A small-town everyman turns into a genius after seeing a flash of light on his 37th birthday. He then begins to show extraordinary mental abilities, such as rerouting sunlight for energy and learning multiple languages. He believes he is a messenger from God and uses his gifts to help people in his community. But he also attracts the attention of the government and scientists who want to study him.
The film is not only a science fiction/fantasy drama, but it also tackles spirituality and the frailty of life. Its characters are real and it’s ending is heartfelt. Travolta’s performance as George Malley is remarkable. He delivers the role with a depth of emotion that you don’t usually see from high-energy actors. He also demonstrates restraint in one of the most romantic non-sex scenes in film history, where Kyra Sedgwick gently shaves his face.
3. The Fanatic
A slough of bum movies hasn’t hampered John Travolta’s ability to retain a substantial following. However, has the affable swagger run out of lives? In The Fanatic, directed by Fred Durst (frontman of ’90s rap rock band Limp Bizkit), the actor affects the tics of a developmentally challenged man-child to portray Moose, a horror movie buff who becomes so wounded by his favorite star’s brusque behavior that he takes him hostage.
The plot is absurd and the acting, especially from Travolta as Moose, is so over the top that it’s hard to take seriously. With his nervous tics and grating delivery, it’s as if the actor is trying to poke fun at himself rather than actually engaging with the material. The Fanatic also stars Devon Sawa as the horror movie star. Fred Durst co-wrote the screenplay based on a supposedly true story from his own life.
4. The Catcher in the Rye
A sleazy loan shark is caught in the crossfire between police and mobster families in this thriller. Travolta shines as the morally conflicted character and the film was a critical success. This was the first movie director Brian De Palma cast John in and it shows the actor’s comfort in sleaze. This is a film that is surprisingly good considering its sleazy subject matter. Travolta shines as the enigmatic Vincent Vega. The movie is filled with breathless action and cutting wit.
This movie is an underrated gem. It features a stellar cast of actors including Travolta and Samuel L Jackson. The film is a crime drama that is well written and directed. It is a must see for all fans of John Travolta.
5. The Devil’s Rain
Despite receiving a very mixed critical response, The Devil’s Rain has become a cult classic. It tells the story of a lawyer obsessed with a case that could destroy his career. Travolta’s characterization of Jack Terry is undoubtedly the film’s highlight. He embodies the character with an oblivious confidence that adds much needed depth to the film.
The plot is confusing and dreary, but the movie is worth watching if you’re willing to cut it some slack. It’s a lesser genre entry from the ’70s, but director Robert Fuest is able to bring visual flair to the proceedings. Plus, you get to see Anton LaVey play a satanic priest and Ernest Borgnine prance around in goat makeup. How can you go wrong?