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Mr Unstable
06-19-2010, 10:26 AM
Dustin Hoffman or Robert De Niro?

I will definitely go with Hoffman because of his range. De Niro usually played a tough guy, but Hoffman played EVERYTHING, and did amazing at EVERYTHING.

I had goose bumps to the point of leprosy during The Graduate - still probably my favorite of all time.

Oh, and he was so damn good in Tootsie too, and Rain man.

Pretty much every movie!

Smish
06-19-2010, 10:35 AM
Hoffman.

mulcahy67
06-19-2010, 11:04 AM
De Niro.

De Niro had just as much range as Hoffman. I think Stardust would attribute to that calling.
as for better quality films, Hoffman. he has chosen his movies much more wisely than De Niro.

Wayne K
06-19-2010, 11:25 AM
IMO Hoffman by a mile

De Niro is great, but Rainman set Dustin Hoffman apart. Mentally retarded characters are hard to do--he walked off the set twice--a lot of actors wouldn't touch the role.

Death of a Salesman was my favorite role by him. Willy Loman is a hard part to play convincingly. He did it masterfully.

maestrowork
06-19-2010, 01:22 PM
De Niro.

De Niro had just as much range as Hoffman. I think Stardust would attribute to that calling.

Well, have you seen Tootsie? I think Hoffman has far greater range. de Niro is like Nicholson; they are great when cast in the right role, and usually something very similar. Hoffman, on the other hand, can do anything from Rainman to Tootsie to Mrs Robinson to Midnight Cowboy, and so good at them. Now that is a chameleon.

nighttimer
06-19-2010, 01:42 PM
DeNiro wouldn't have been convincing in The Graduate or Tootsie, but films like Marathon Man, Little Big Man, Midnight Cowboy, Kramer vs. Kramer? DeNiro could have played any of those roles and definitely Raymond in Rainman.

Turn it around and does Dustin Hoffman work as Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver or Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull? Get serious. Hoffman as young Vito Corleone in The Godfather II? No way.

Hoffman replacing DeNiro in Heat, Good Fellas, The Deer Hunter, Mean Streets, Cape Fear, Analyze This, The Untouchables or Once Upon A Time In America? Can't be done.

Hoffman and DeNiro have shared the screen in Sleepers, Wag the Dog, Meet the Fockers and the upcoming Little Fockers (God help us!) They're both great actors but they aren't interchangable. What Hoffman is great in is are certain films that play to his strengths. But he has never played a convincing mobster (I've never seen his Dutch Schultz in Billy Bathgate) and in a film-by-film comparison it's easier to swap DeNiro into a Hoffman role than the other way around.

kjarva
06-19-2010, 07:10 PM
I'd say DeNiro. He was outstanding in godfather II, had a totally different role in the deerhunter and then turned around and did something completely different for stardust.

Hoffman is good though. I think it could be hard to say, though a tougher one to call would be al pacino vs Robert De Niro.

Maryn
06-19-2010, 07:18 PM
Damn, I voted before I read.

My Hoffman vote was for Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who's a better actor than either of them.

If we're talking Dustin Hoffman vs. DeNiro, then it's DeNiro.

Maryn, pretty sure votes can't be reversed

Mr Unstable
06-19-2010, 07:22 PM
Damn, I voted before I read.

My Hoffman vote was for Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who's a better actor than either of them.

If we're talking Dustin Hoffman vs. DeNiro, then it's DeNiro.

Maryn, pretty sure votes can't be reversed

Oh brother. You aren't one of those contrarians are you?

Celia Cyanide
06-19-2010, 07:23 PM
Well, have you seen Tootsie? I think Hoffman has far greater range. de Niro is like Nicholson; they are great when cast in the right role, and usually something very similar. Hoffman, on the other hand, can do anything from Rainman to Tootsie to Mrs Robinson to Midnight Cowboy, and so good at them. Now that is a chameleon.

Word. I'm actually surprised that so many people agree with me on this. I always thought everyone considered De Niro to be the greatest living male actor. I know that there is luck involved, and just because a person is never offered a certain type of role does not mean that s/he cannot play it. But based on what I've seen from both of them, I am more impressed by Hoffman. I've never seen a bad performance by either one, but I do think Hoffman has shown a better range.

Shakesbear
06-19-2010, 07:57 PM
Hoffman. I certainly do not consider De Niro "to be the greatest living male actor."

Hoffman has my vote not only for his films but for his stage work. He was an excellent Shylock in the London production of Merchant of Venice. He was convincing and held the audience - and yes, I have seen other Shylocks ranging from Sir Laurence Olivier to Anthony Sher.

nighttimer I find your swapping roles theory interesting but not convincing.
Hoffman as young Vito Corleone in The Godfather II? No way. Why not?

Shadow_Ferret
06-19-2010, 08:05 PM
To be honest, I can't vote since I don't believe I've ever seen a DeNiro movie. I've seen quite a few of Hoffman's however.

mulcahy67
06-19-2010, 08:06 PM
Well, have you seen Tootsie? I think Hoffman has far greater range. de Niro is like Nicholson; they are great when cast in the right role, and usually something very similar. Hoffman, on the other hand, can do anything from Rainman to Tootsie to Mrs Robinson to Midnight Cowboy, and so good at them. Now that is a chameleon.

of course i've seen Tootsie. I've seen just about every Hoffman movie and i know for a fact i've seen ever De Niro movie. I think there are parts that both of them have played that the other couldn't.
De Niro has been great in many different roles, from Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, Rupert Bupkin in King of Comedy, to Max Cady in Cape Fear, Father Bobby in Sleepers, and recently, Captain Shakespeare in Stardust, and Frank Goode in Everybody's Fine.

has he played a lot of tough guys? sure, I guess. but he's played a large amount of different type characters in his career and he has been great at everything he's done.

as for chameleons, we all know the true chameleon is Gary Oldman. you don't even recognize that man in half his work.

dgiharris
06-19-2010, 08:13 PM
They are both great,

But I have to give it to De Niro.

Maybe you can make the argument that Hoffman has greater range, but its not a whole lot greater just a little wider.

But the one thing that De Niro has that far exceeds Hoffman is gravity.

De Niro brings a certain amount of gravity to his roles and films that very few actors can match.

Chameleons don't rule the jungle, lions do. And De Niro is a lion.

Mel...

Shadow_Ferret
06-19-2010, 08:16 PM
But the one thing that De Niro has that far exceeds Hoffman is gravity.

De Niro brings a certain amount of gravity to his roles and films that very few actors can match.



Gravity? Like a sun? Like Jupiter? Are you calling the man fat? *imagines all these minor stars and starlets all being sucked up into De Niro's gravitational pull*

nighttimer
06-19-2010, 08:22 PM
Hoffman. I certainly do not consider De Niro "to be the greatest living male actor."

Hoffman has my vote not only for his films but for his stage work. He was an excellent Shylock in the London production of Merchant of Venice. He was convincing and held the audience - and yes, I have seen other Shylocks ranging from Sir Laurence Olivier to Anthony Sher.

nighttimer I find your swapping roles theory interesting but not convincing. Why not?

We're starting to get into the area where George C. Scott was right about how silly it is to compare actors like horses, but I'll try and make this clear.

Dustin Hoffman is a wonderful actor, but he wouldn't be even remotely convincing as the Sicilian patriarch of a Mafia crime family.

It's kind of a stretch to think this guy...

http://www.milams.com/DUSTIN-1.jpg

...grew up to become this guy...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/625000/images/_627052_diniro_150.jpg

...who ends up as this guy.

http://im.rediff.com/movies/2008/jul/09godfather.jpg

Ya dig? :idea:

Shakesbear
06-19-2010, 08:48 PM
Nope! The photos only show how they looked at one moment in time - they do not in any way, imho, show their unique and individual skills as actors - how they create a character by using voice, gesture, props and all the other paraphernalia that helps an actor to create and perpetuate an artificial character. The photos do not show the nuances of their voices, what vocal tricks they use, if they have gestures or vocal habits that they use what ever character they are in. Make up could have achieved the different looks - it is how they project the character that makes them great actors not just cardboard cut outs.

ArcticFox
06-19-2010, 08:57 PM
Hoffman, for all the reasons listed above.


we all know the true chameleon is Gary Oldman. you don't even recognize that man in half his work.

A THOUSAND TIMES THIS. I have been saying the same for years.

Shakesbear
06-19-2010, 09:13 PM
Originally Posted by mulcahy67
you don't even recognize that man in half his work.

That is true of a few others, for example Viggo Mortensen who is like a chameleon.

Lavern08
06-20-2010, 01:03 AM
They are both great,

But I have to give it to De Niro.

Maybe you can make the argument that Hoffman has greater range, but its not a whole lot greater just a little wider.

But the one thing that De Niro has that far exceeds Hoffman is gravity.

De Niro brings a certain amount of gravity to his roles and films that very few actors can match.

Chameleons don't rule the jungle, lions do. And De Niro is a lion.

Mel...

Indeed! ;)

nighttimer
06-20-2010, 01:09 AM
Nope! The photos only show how they looked at one moment in time - they do not in any way, imho, show their unique and individual skills as actors - how they create a character by using voice, gesture, props and all the other paraphernalia that helps an actor to create and perpetuate an artificial character. The photos do not show the nuances of their voices, what vocal tricks they use, if they have gestures or vocal habits that they use what ever character they are in. Make up could have achieved the different looks - it is how they project the character that makes them great actors not just cardboard cut outs.

The photos don't show how they looked at one moment in time. They show why despite the ability of an actor there are certain roles in which they would be hopelessly miscast.

There isn't a gesture, prop, nuance or special effect that could make Dustin Hoffman believable as Don Corleone.

Physicality is part of the performance and Hoffman in gangster gear looks less than threatening as a mobster and more like a pissed-off accountant.

http://whatsontv.co.uk/blogs/movietalk/wp-content/blogs.dir/12/files/nicole-kidman/thumbs/thumbs_billy-bathgate1.jpg

Which probably goes a long way in explaining why Hoffman so rarely plays the heavy in his films. He lacks the gravitas to be believable as someone that could kill you as soon as look as you.

DeNiro can do that in his sleep. Hoffman? Joe Pesci would kick his ass up and down the block without even breaking a sweat. Once he got through laughing his ass off.

ArcticFox
06-20-2010, 01:09 AM
Morgan Freeman like patented gravitas.

Smileycat
06-20-2010, 01:31 AM
Hoffman. He changes his mannerisms, etc. with every part. And he doesn't let those attributes fall by the wayside.

While I liked De Niro in Stardust and other films, he tends to play bad guys almost the same. Bad guys have many different personalities, just like good guys. For instance, Ted Bundy seemed perfectly normal, even charming until just before he executed his prey. While De Niro will change his look, it doesn't really seem to help him change the personality of the nasty characters he often takes on, especially the Italian mob figures. Don't get me wrong, I do like him.

ChaosTitan
06-20-2010, 01:58 AM
Hoffman. Hands down.

nighttimer
06-20-2010, 04:21 AM
Hoffman. He changes his mannerisms, etc. with every part. And he doesn't let those attributes fall by the wayside.

While I liked De Niro in Stardust and other films, he tends to play bad guys almost the same. Bad guys have many different personalities, just like good guys. For instance, Ted Bundy seemed perfectly normal, even charming until just before he executed his prey. While De Niro will change his look, it doesn't really seem to help him change the personality of the nasty characters he often takes on, especially the Italian mob figures. Don't get me wrong, I do like him.

I don't see any commonality between the bad guys of Travis Bickle, Al Capone, Jimmy Conway, Neil McCauley and Jake LaMotta except DeNiro playing the part.

When I think of actors who play bad guys the same way, I look at Christopher Walken, Joe Pesci, and even Jack Nicholson. DeNiro brings a lot more to the party than just hitting the same notes in slightly different ways.

Paul
06-20-2010, 04:24 AM
Hoffman, bec of midnight cowboy seen him in a De Niro role (ie tough guy) recently, even at that he's pretty convincing.
DeNiro has great presence, but i've only once seen him change his persona (Jackie Brown - tough but lost)

Kalyke
06-20-2010, 04:57 AM
I actually do not think these two actors should be compared because they play a totally different range of characters. I think Hoffman evaded being stereotyped early in his career because it is harder finding lead parts when you are 5'5" tall have a big nose and are not very good looking and have a whiny voice. De Niro on the other hand could get the good looking young man types. He was more the romantic lead part. Hoffman had to work harder to get his parts, but made a lot of really great decisions early on. Both have a great body of work and are among a handful of actors who were true artists.

Wayne K
06-20-2010, 04:02 PM
Dustin Hoffman kissed me. He wins

Shakesbear
06-20-2010, 04:14 PM
The photos don't show how they looked at one moment in time. They show why despite the ability of an actor there are certain roles in which they would be hopelessly miscast.

There isn't a gesture, prop, nuance or special effect that could make Dustin Hoffman believable as Don Corleone.

Physicality is part of the performance and Hoffman in gangster gear looks less than threatening as a mobster and more like a pissed-off accountant.

http://whatsontv.co.uk/blogs/movietalk/wp-content/blogs.dir/12/files/nicole-kidman/thumbs/thumbs_billy-bathgate1.jpg

Which probably goes a long way in explaining why Hoffman so rarely plays the heavy in his films. He lacks the gravitas to be believable as someone that could kill you as soon as look as you.

DeNiro can do that in his sleep. Hoffman? Joe Pesci would kick his ass up and down the block without even breaking a sweat. Once he got through laughing his ass off.

These are your opinions and I disagree with them. Neither of us is going to change the others mind or opinions so I think it best that we agree to disagree and respect that both are, in their own way, great actors.

Wayne K
06-20-2010, 04:36 PM
In the first few minutes of this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqaZsIzwE5w)Mr. Lipton gives a list of Dustin Hoffman's awards. They're too many to list. (for me)

I love DeNiro, but c'mon guys

maestrowork
06-20-2010, 06:18 PM
Hoffman was convincing as a gangster, just a different type than the STEREOTYPICAL gangsters you see in Scorsese's films. If you're looking for Joe Pesci, than you're as limited as Joe Pecsi himself (and just because Pecsi could play a damn good gangster would you say he's a better actor than Hoffman? Get real).

Look, both Hoffman and De Niro are great actors. No one is saying they are not, but come on, there is no comparison when it comes to range. The films you all listed just confirm that... De Niro pretty much played similar roles. He is De Niro. Hoffman, on the other hand, often disappeared into his roles. As an actor, I really admire that.

Jcomp
06-20-2010, 06:53 PM
I'd call it a draw. I think as far as range goes they both had limitations, just like any other actor (except, perhaps, Daniel Day Lewis, who is every kind of awesome that cold ever exist). I could never imagine Hoffman as Jake Lamotta, young Vito or Travis Bickle anymore than I could imagine De Niro as Tootsie or Ben Braddock.

They have some roles where they could interchange. I could see Hoffman as De Niro's character in Awakenings (hey remember that? It wasn't all gangsters and bravado with Robert, he got an Oscar nod for that role). But for the most part their career paths don't have much in common.

nighttimer
06-21-2010, 03:31 AM
Hoffman was convincing as a gangster, just a different type than the STEREOTYPICAL gangsters you see in Scorsese's films. If you're looking for Joe Pesci, than you're as limited as Joe Pecsi himself (and just because Pecsi could play a damn good gangster would you say he's a better actor than Hoffman? Get real).

Look, both Hoffman and De Niro are great actors. No one is saying they are not, but come on, there is no comparison when it comes to range. The films you all listed just confirm that... De Niro pretty much played similar roles. He is De Niro. Hoffman, on the other hand, often disappeared into his roles. As an actor, I really admire that.

Playing a gangster once is just a change-of-pace role. It's hardly "convincing" proof that they are better at it than DeNiro who has played bad guys multiple times. Hoffman has rarely played the heavy. In the underrated Straight Time he does a superb job as a ex-con trying to stay on the straight and narrow but events are forcing him back into crime.

And yes, I would say when it comes to playing gangsters, Pesci is a better actor than Hoffman. Certain actors are better suited for some parts than others. That's why Bruce Willis sounds more legit saying "Yippie-ki-yay, motherfucker," than Dustin Hoffman would. Dustin Hoffman and "action hero" are words that don't go together.

This is really an apples and oranges comparison. Who says any one actor gets to be the "greatest American actor?" Where's Gene Hackman, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Tom Hanks, or Denzel Washington in this conversation?

Hell, who's to say Meryl Streep doesn't kick both their asses up and down the block?

Celia Cyanide
06-21-2010, 03:35 AM
as for chameleons, we all know the true chameleon is Gary Oldman. you don't even recognize that man in half his work.

I do. Always.

nighttimer
06-21-2010, 03:46 AM
I do. Always.

Gary Oldman is one of the most underrated actors working today. He gets into a role so deeply he takes you there with him. I named his work in Romeo Is Bleeding (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lj4azx2pZEI) as one of my favorites of the decade.

Celia Cyanide
06-21-2010, 03:49 AM
He is awesome. I love him. But yeah, I always recognize him.

mulcahy67
06-21-2010, 05:18 AM
He is awesome. I love him. But yeah, I always recognize him.

i didn't really mean physically, but uh, congratulations haha

Don Allen
06-21-2010, 05:51 AM
The photos don't show how they looked at one moment in time. They show why despite the ability of an actor there are certain roles in which they would be hopelessly miscast.

There isn't a gesture, prop, nuance or special effect that could make Dustin Hoffman believable as Don Corleone.

Physicality is part of the performance and Hoffman in gangster gear looks less than threatening as a mobster and more like a pissed-off accountant.

http://whatsontv.co.uk/blogs/movietalk/wp-content/blogs.dir/12/files/nicole-kidman/thumbs/thumbs_billy-bathgate1.jpg

Which probably goes a long way in explaining why Hoffman so rarely plays the heavy in his films. He lacks the gravitas to be believable as someone that could kill you as soon as look as you.

DeNiro can do that in his sleep. Hoffman? Joe Pesci would kick his ass up and down the block without even breaking a sweat. Once he got through laughing his ass off.


NT, if this thread was a casting model for G1 G2 or G3 you would have a case to cast Bobby instead of Dustin, hands down.

But I can give you a bunch of performances by Hoffman that De Niro would have just looked stupid trying to do,,,, Marathon Man is one of those, De Niro would have been lost, also he sucked in New York New York, a movie that interchanged with Hoffman, and i think Hoffman would have killed in that roll.

Ratso Rizzo, as mentioned was brilliant, and so was his performance in "The Graduate" Which De Niro couldn't have pulled off. Having said that I love Robert De Niro and think he is an amazing talent..... I give the nod to Hoffman in a photo finish...

rhymegirl
06-21-2010, 06:02 AM
I voted for Dustin Hoffman. Better acting range.

MattW
06-21-2010, 06:14 AM
Hoffman replacing DeNiro ... Can't be done.

I think this switch could actually work for a movie like Casino.

nighttimer
06-21-2010, 06:37 AM
NT, if this thread was a casting model for G1 G2 or G3 you would have a case to cast Bobby instead of Dustin, hands down.

But I can give you a bunch of performances by Hoffman that De Niro would have just looked stupid trying to do,,,, Marathon Man is one of those, De Niro would have been lost, also he sucked in New York New York, a movie that interchanged with Hoffman, and i think Hoffman would have killed in that roll.

Ratso Rizzo, as mentioned was brilliant, and so was his performance in "The Graduate" Which De Niro couldn't have pulled off. Having said that I love Robert De Niro and think he is an amazing talent..... I give the nod to Hoffman in a photo finish...

DA, if you go back to my first post, I don't dispute Hoffman owns the role of Ben Braddock but by the same token you can't cherry-pick a bad role like DeNiro played in a bad film like New York, New York and blow it off with a "he sucked." Hoffman sucked in Ishtar, and no, recasting it with DeNiro wouldn't make it any better.

Yeah, Hoffman was great as Ratso Rizzo, but could he have played Travis Bickle? Would you buy him trying to play Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull, either in his prime or as a porky has-been? Put him in the Scorcese remake of Cape Fear and he's playing the Gregory Peck role, not the Robert Mitchum part. However, DeNiro could have played either role whereas Hoffman would have been convincing only as the lawyer, not the psychotic ex-con.

Truth be told, neither one of them has made a great movie in over a decade unless you want to consider sharing the screen in Meet the Fockers to be an underrated comic gem.

maestrowork
06-21-2010, 06:39 AM
NT's whole argument seems to be built on the fact that De Niro does a great gangster and Hoffman only played it once. If that is the case, then Joe Pesci must be the greatest actor in the world.

Look, you keep listing what roles De Niro played that Hoffman couldn't, but you continued to fail to acknowledge that those roles were rather similar, whether it was Raging Bull or Godfather or even Meet the Parents. That's the point. Hoffman may not play a convincing Italian mobster (since he is Jewish and short), his range is definitely wider than De Niro. Even your examples illustrate that point.

Celia Cyanide
06-21-2010, 08:09 AM
NT's whole argument seems to be built on the fact that De Niro does a great gangster and Hoffman only played it once. If that is the case, then Joe Pesci must be the greatest actor in the world.

Exactly. There are certain roles that are suited to Keanu Reeves and nobody else. That isn't really a reflection of his great talent.



Look, you keep listing what roles De Niro played that Hoffman couldn't, but you continued to fail to acknowledge that those roles were rather similar, whether it was Raging Bull or Godfather or even Meet the Parents. That's the point. Hoffman may not play a convincing Italian mobster (since he is Jewish and short), his range is definitely wider than De Niro. Even your examples illustrate that point.

I think so, too. There are some roles that De Niro could play that Hoffman could not, but for the most part, it is a specific character type. There are many roles, and many character types that Hoffman can pull off that De Niro cannot.

That doesn't mean De Niro isn't brilliant. Look at Jack Nicholson. He's far from one-note, or one character type all the time, but he doesn't disappear in his roles the way Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep do. He's still one of the greatest living actors.

Hoffman just has a specific ability that most actors do not.

nighttimer
06-21-2010, 09:12 AM
NT's whole argument seems to be built on the fact that De Niro does a great gangster and Hoffman only played it once. If that is the case, then Joe Pesci must be the greatest actor in the world.

If the part calls for someone to play a sawed-off, shoot-you-just-as-soon-as-look-at-you, borderline psycho killer, you bet I'd definitely cast Pesci before Hoffman. Not just because Pesci has done it before, but because he's done it well and totally sold it. Though similar in stature, Hoffman simply does not convey menace.


Look, you keep listing what roles De Niro played that Hoffman couldn't, but you continued to fail to acknowledge that those roles were rather similar, whether it was Raging Bull or Godfather or even Meet the Parents. That's the point. Hoffman may not play a convincing Italian mobster (since he is Jewish and short), his range is definitely wider than De Niro. Even your examples illustrate that point.

I fail to acknowledge De Niro's roles as Jake LaMotta and Vito Coreleone were similar because I don't see the similarities. Besides both being Oscar-winning performances, you're going to have to tell me what those similarities are.

People keep saying Hoffman has a wider range than De Niro. How so? I look at some of his best roles and I see a pattern of similar performances.

The Graduate.......................................twi tchy nebbish college grad
Midnight Cowboy...................................twitchy nebbish lowlife
Little Big Man.......................................twitchy nebbish con artist
Straw Dogs..........................................twit chy nebbish mathematician
All the President's Men...........................twitchy nebbish reporter
Papillion......................................... ......twitchy nebbish prisoner
Tootsie........................................... .....twitchy nebbish cross dresser
Rain Man..............................................t witchy nebbish savant

Because of his looks, stature and mannerisms, Hoffman makes for an unlikely action hero, romantic lead, soldier, cop, or criminal. He makes for a very good ordinary guy in extraordinary circumstances, but if you swap him out say for Al Pacino in Heat where the two protagonists are meeting over a cup of coffee, I don't think that would work at all where DeNiro could nail either role.

When De Niro is doing an Analyze This, he's riffing on his many mobster roles. Hoffman would have been an upgrade over Billy Crystal as the psychiatrist, but unlike some actors these two have been in four movies together. Obviously, they don't see any type of competititon between them for the mythical title of "Greatest Living Actor"

http://cincinnati.com/freetime/movies/mcgurk/img/wag_rev_175x287.jpg


Exactly. There are certain roles that are suited to Keanu Reeves and nobody else. That isn't really a reflection of his great talent.

The same thing could be said for almost any actor. You don't ask Schwarzenegger to do The Merchant of Venice or Death of a Salesman, but you don't ask Hoffman to put on a leather jacket, sunglasses and really big gun and growl, "I'll be back."


There are some roles that De Niro could play that Hoffman could not, but for the most part, it is a specific character type. There are many roles, and many character types that Hoffman can pull off that De Niro cannot.

Examples, please. There are equally as many character types that De Niro can pull off that Hoffman cannot.


That doesn't mean De Niro isn't brilliant. Look at Jack Nicholson. He's far from one-note, or one character type all the time, but he doesn't disappear in his roles the way Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep do. He's still one of the greatest living actors.

Hoffman just has a specific ability that most actors do not.

And what might that "specific ability" be? Can you provide some specifics?

Celia Cyanide
06-21-2010, 12:43 PM
The same thing could be said for almost any actor.

Yes, I know, and that's the point. An actor being more suited to a character type than another actor does not make the actor better.



Examples, please. There are equally as many character types that De Niro can pull off that Hoffman cannot.

I'm not going to give any examples, because I don't agree with this at all. There may be many roles that I would cast De Niro in before Hofffman, but that doesn't mean that Hoffman could not also play them. I think he could.


And what might that "specific ability" be? Can you provide some specifics?

That he has a better range.

nighttimer
06-21-2010, 02:35 PM
I'm not going to give any examples, because I don't agree with this at all. There may be many roles that I would cast De Niro in before Hofffman, but that doesn't mean that Hoffman could not also play them. I think he could.

What you "think" Hoffman could do really doesn't mean much. You might "think" he could play the Mr. T. part in The A-Team remake, but that don't make it so.

If you "don't agree with this at all" why claim Hoffman is a better actor than De Niro when you have provided nothing to support the assertion beyond you say so?


That he has a better range.

Yeah, you said that already. You just haven't bothered to make the case that it's so. :rolleyes:

ChaosTitan
06-21-2010, 04:55 PM
You just haven't bothered to make the case that it's so. :rolleyes:

No one in this thread is required to "make the case" or provide support for their opinion. The support is in each and every movie that Hoffman and DeNiro have made over the years. No one here (that I'm aware of) is an acting expert. We're all giving our opinions on these two actors, based on our own perspectives of their careers.

We're not here to change anyone else's mind.

Celia Cyanide
06-21-2010, 05:01 PM
What you "think" Hoffman could do really doesn't mean much.

Actually, since I am an actor and a casting director, what I think does mean quite a bit. All we have is our own opinion, anyway.


If you "don't agree with this at all" why claim Hoffman is a better actor than De Niro when you have provided nothing to support the assertion beyond you say so?

I have. But if you're going to claim that all those roles you listed that Hoffman played are basically the same, then what can I say in response to that? I don't think they're the same at all. I think they're very diverse. But if you don't agree, it doesn't matter.

Don Allen
06-21-2010, 05:19 PM
What you "think" Hoffman could do really doesn't mean much. You might "think" he could play the Mr. T. part in The A-Team remake, but that don't make it so.

If you "don't agree with this at all" why claim Hoffman is a better actor than De Niro when you have provided nothing to support the assertion beyond you say so?



Yeah, you said that already. You just haven't bothered to make the case that it's so. :rolleyes:


In actuality, it's not who is the better actor, it should be who is the most versatile. ...Here you may have a better argument, and I have to stand down and think about their roles for a bit.

Smileycat
06-21-2010, 05:56 PM
I don't see any commonality between the bad guys of Travis Bickle, Al Capone, Jimmy Conway, Neil McCauley and Jake LaMotta except DeNiro playing the part.

When I think of actors who play bad guys the same way, I look at Christopher Walken, Joe Pesci, and even Jack Nicholson. DeNiro brings a lot more to the party than just hitting the same notes in slightly different ways.

There is a difference in our opinions, which I respect.

He makes the same faces, uses the same mannerisms a lot of the time, and he is rarely subtle, etc. That is how I see him as an actor, anyway.

Having briefly acted, I can understand the difficulty of creating and maintaining a whole new character, especially when you are known for being a great actor.

I certainly see how he is thought of as a terrific actor, and I am not saying he's not. This comparison is between 2 particular actors, and in my opinion, Hoffman is better at it.

nighttimer
06-22-2010, 04:42 AM
No one in this thread is required to "make the case" or provide support for their opinion. The support is in each and every movie that Hoffman and DeNiro have made over the years. No one here (that I'm aware of) is an acting expert. We're all giving our opinions on these two actors, based on our own perspectives of their careers.

We're not here to change anyone else's mind.

You're absolutely right that we're not here to change anyone's mind, ChaosTitan, but "because I say so" isn't supporting a position or making a case.

Blanket statements and appeals to authority lack credibility. It's haughty and dismissive. I could really not care less if someone prefers the films of Dustin Hoffman to Robert DeNiro. What I don't have much regard for is dismissing out of hand when someone attempts to make a case for DeNiro's range as an actor, but when asked to provide a counter-perspective essentially says, "I don't have to. I know better."



Actually, since I am an actor and a casting director, what I think does mean quite a bit. All we have is our own opinion, anyway.

Despite your background, when a producer is putting their money up for a film production and you cast Actor A instead of Actor B for a critical part, you should be able to explain to the producer why you made that particular choice.


But if you're going to claim that all those roles you listed that Hoffman played are basically the same, then what can I say in response to that? I don't think they're the same at all. I think they're very diverse. But if you don't agree, it doesn't matter.

It's not that I don't think Hoffman isn't a diverse actor, but I don't think he's as diverse as DeNiro and I'm not reluctant to compare their films to support my point.

Hoffman has mannerisms, tics, tropes, fail-safes and fallbacks upon which he can rely on. Maybe I see it one way and you see it another. The difference is I'm able to explain my position. Yours is to say you don't have to or it doesn't matter.

Celia Cyanide
06-23-2010, 05:14 AM
Despite your background, when a producer is putting their money up for a film production and you cast Actor A instead of Actor B for a critical part, you should be able to explain to the producer why you made that particular choice.

I can explain that to a producer. And I could explain it here if I thought you were interested in hearing what I had to say. But I don't.

poetinahat
06-23-2010, 05:38 AM
De Niro usually played a tough guy, but Hoffman played EVERYTHING, and did amazing at EVERYTHING.

What, are they dead?

MsGneiss
06-23-2010, 06:01 AM
I voted for De Niro, because anyone who WAS in Godfather Part II is automatically better than anyone who was NOT.

CatSlave
06-23-2010, 06:12 AM
Damn, I voted before I read.

My Hoffman vote was for Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who's a better actor than either of them.

If we're talking Dustin Hoffman vs. DeNiro, then it's DeNiro.

Maryn, pretty sure votes can't be reversed
I'm with you.

nighttimer
06-23-2010, 08:02 AM
I can explain that to a producer. And I could explain it here if I thought you were interested in hearing what I had to say. But I don't.

Odd. And here I thought I made it pretty clear I was interested, but if the excuse is you want to flip the script and put it on me, then go ahead and make it easy on yourself.

"Don't" looks more like "Won't." :rolleyes

dgiharris
06-23-2010, 11:33 PM
When deciding who is the better actor you need to define all the parameters in the equation.

So start listing all the factors. I'm not an actor but if I just listed a few traits off the top of my head it would be...

Range
Presence
Intensity
Believability

So if I were rating the two on a scale of 1-10.

.....................Hoffman.................De Niro
Range................10.........................8
Presence.............8.........................10
Intensity.............8.........................10
Believability.........10.........................9

The problem I see with some of the arguments in this thread is that they are focusing on only one factor (like range).

Being an actor is more than just range, there are other factors involved.

Again, I think they are both great actors, but I have to side with De Niro. Its close, but I have him ahead by a nose.

Mel...

Mr Unstable
06-24-2010, 12:22 AM
The greatest actor of all time -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owGykVbfgUE

Haha jk. But I don't think anyone else could play that part as well.

Celia Cyanide
06-25-2010, 08:04 PM
Odd. And here I thought I made it pretty clear I was interested,

Not really, no. I think you are determined to be right, here. You've come right out and said that what I think doesn't matter.

nighttimer
06-25-2010, 08:26 PM
NT's whole argument seems to be built on the fact that De Niro does a great gangster and Hoffman only played it once. If that is the case, then Joe Pesci must be the greatest actor in the world.

Look, you keep listing what roles De Niro played that Hoffman couldn't, but you continued to fail to acknowledge that those roles were rather similar, whether it was Raging Bull or Godfather or even Meet the Parents. That's the point. Hoffman may not play a convincing Italian mobster (since he is Jewish and short), his range is definitely wider than De Niro. Even your examples illustrate that point.



I think so, too. There are some roles that De Niro could play that Hoffman could not, but for the most part, it is a specific character type. There are many roles, and many character types that Hoffman can pull off that De Niro cannot.

That doesn't mean De Niro isn't brilliant. Look at Jack Nicholson. He's far from one-note, or one character type all the time, but he doesn't disappear in his roles the way Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep do. He's still one of the greatest living actors.

Hoffman just has a specific ability that most actors do not.


I'm not going to give any examples, because I don't agree with this at all. There may be many roles that I would cast De Niro in before Hofffman, but that doesn't mean that Hoffman could not also play them. I think he could.


Not really, no. I think you are determined to be right, here. You've come right out and said that what I think doesn't matter.

It's not that I'm determined to be right. I'm determined not to defer to your opinion simply because you say so. When you claim Dustin Hoffman has a specific ability that most actors do not, but you either can not or will not say what that specific ability actually is, why should I defer to your opinion? Because you are an actress and a casting director? That's all very well and good, but it hardly makes your opinion the definitive word.

You are the one who co-signed Maestrowork's statement about Hoffman's greater range. However, neither one of you have cited even ONE example of this. That is the difference here; if I make a provocative statement I'm going to provide examples to support it. Whether or not anyone agrees with it is subjective. I'm still waiting (in vain) for you to support your own provocative statement.

If you put a little less effort in making this a "he said/she said" sideshow and put a little more effort in backing up your claim, you'd make a far more convincing case for Mr. Hoffman than you have.

And where exactly did I "come right out" and said what you think doesn't matter.

Celia Cyanide
06-25-2010, 08:43 PM
You said this:


What you "think" Hoffman could do really doesn't mean much.

It doesn't really matter what I say. And I don't care if you believe me or not.

CaroGirl
06-25-2010, 08:55 PM
I dislike this kind of comparison, but I'd go with Hoffman, if for Ratso Rizzo alone. Who hasn't cried at the end when he's on the bus to Florida and... well, I won't add a spoiler. Also, watch his performance in The Graduate, remember how old he was, and let that sink in. An incredible actor, IMO.

nighttimer
06-26-2010, 02:22 AM
...Oh for heaven's sake...:rolleyes



Examples, please. There are equally as many character types that De Niro can pull off that Hoffman cannot.


I'm not going to give any examples, because I don't agree with this at all. There may be many roles that I would cast De Niro in before Hofffman, but that doesn't mean that Hoffman could not also play them. I think he could.


What you "think" Hoffman could do really doesn't mean much. You might "think" he could play the Mr. T. part in The A-Team remake, but that don't make it so.


Actually, since I am an actor and a casting director, what I think does mean quite a bit. All we have is our own opinion, anyway.


You said this:


What you "think" Hoffman could do really doesn't mean much.

It doesn't really matter what I say. And I don't care if you believe me or not.

You haven't said anything except that you're an actor and a casting director and because of that what you say does mean quite a bit.

Saying what you "think" (note the quotation marks) doesn't mean much is absolutely true when you make bold, declarative statements you don't back up. That is not the same thing as saying your opinions don't matter. Your opinions matter quite a bit and I would never suggest otherwise.

What does not matter is making unsupported statements that you insist should be taken as gospel because you "think" it is so. That is weak and you can believe I do believe that.

Celia Cyanide
06-26-2010, 06:17 AM
Saying what you "think" (note the quotation marks) doesn't mean much is absolutely true when you make bold, declarative statements you don't back up.

Uh, no, I didn't.

No one in this thread has ever said anything other than what they think. With a question like this, that's all anyone has.

You listed several of Hoffman's roles, and said that you thought they were all the same. I don't think they are at all. But if you disagree, there is nothing I can do about it.

Yes, I'm aware that I have to explain to producers why I would cast someone. But do you think any self-respecting producer would ever say to a director, "Tell me why the hell you want to cast Dustin Hoffman, and give me examples"? I mean, do you think that's even possible? Do you think that's happened once since The Graduate?

Don Allen
06-26-2010, 06:29 AM
:D C.C. N.T if you two ain't married, you ought to be,,, Cause you got the ragging couple thing down....

nighttimer
06-26-2010, 08:08 AM
You listed several of Hoffman's roles, and said that you thought they were all the same. I don't think they are at all. But if you disagree, there is nothing I can do about it.

Yes, I'm aware that I have to explain to producers why I would cast someone. But do you think any self-respecting producer would ever say to a director, "Tell me why the hell you want to cast Dustin Hoffman, and give me examples"? I mean, do you think that's even possible? Do you think that's happened once since The Graduate?

Once? Are you kidding me? Of course Dustin Hoffman has lost out on roles.


The part that interested Hoffman the most, though, was the lead in Blake Edwards' The Man Who Loved Women, a remake of Truffaut's 1977 classic, where an absurdly lucky Charles Denner got to chase after such beauties as Leslie Caron, Brigitte Fossey and Nathalie Baye. Given his uproarious past, ole Dustbone was made for the role, and Hoffman was furious when it was handed to renowned hunk and box office idol Burt Reynolds.

http://www.talktalk.co.uk/entertainment/film/biography/artist/dustin-hoffman/biography/176?page=31

As great as he was as Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate, he wasn't the first choice for the role. Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Charles Grodin and Jack Nicholson all were considered for the role of the WASPy Braddock. As it turns out, the then 30-year-old Hoffman knocked the role of the college grad out of the park, but it wasn't as if he didn't overcome heavy competiton.


:D C.C. N.T if you two ain't married, you ought to be,,, Cause you got the ragging couple thing down....

To the best of my knowledge, D.A., Miss Cyanide and I are married. Just not to each other. :LilLove:

jvc
06-26-2010, 07:52 PM
I haven't meged this thread with the other 'Compare the Actors' threads due to the unique and interesting conversation here. Just remember to keep it all civil and always keep in mind the respect the fellow writer rule. :)

jvc
06-26-2010, 07:55 PM
And just in case no one saw the announcement in the newly created (from the other merged threads) 'Super Dooper Celebrity Death Match/Compare the Actors Thread', all other 'Compare the Actors' threads will be automatically merged into the above mentioned one.

Many thanks and as you were :)

Celia Cyanide
06-26-2010, 09:05 PM
Once? Are you kidding me? Of course Dustin Hoffman has lost out on roles.

And that is NOT what I said. At ALL. The Gradudate is one of my favorite movies, and I know the whole story about how he got the role.

Like I said, I don't think you're even listening to what I'm saying, so I won't say anything more about it.

nighttimer
06-27-2010, 04:05 AM
Yes, I'm aware that I have to explain to producers why I would cast someone. But do you think any self-respecting producer would ever say to a director, "Tell me why the hell you want to cast Dustin Hoffman, and give me examples"? I mean, do you think that's even possible? Do you think that's happened once since The Graduate?


The part that interested Hoffman the most, though, was the lead in Blake Edwards' The Man Who Loved Women, a remake of Truffaut's 1977 classic, where an absurdly lucky Charles Denner got to chase after such beauties as Leslie Caron, Brigitte Fossey and Nathalie Baye. Given his uproarious past, ole Dustbone was made for the role, and Hoffman was furious when it was handed to renowned hunk and box office idol Burt Reynolds.


And that is NOT what I said. At ALL. The Gradudate is one of my favorite movies, and I know the whole story about how he got the role.

You may know the whole story about how he got the role but apparently you're having a real problem acknowledging even Dustin Hoffman doesn't get every role he goes gunning for.

I gave you an example of Hoffman losing out on a role he wanted to Burt Reynolds and the next thing I know you're issuing denials like you're testifying before Congress. What's up with that?


Like I said, I don't think you're even listening to what I'm saying, so I won't say anything more about it.

I'm listening all right. I'm just not agreeing and that's what the issue seems to be here.

Celia Cyanide
06-27-2010, 05:36 AM
You may know the whole story about how he got the role but apparently you're having a real problem acknowledging even Dustin Hoffman doesn't get every role he goes gunning for.

No, I do NOT. I'm NOT stupid, and that is NOT what I said.

Despite Dustin Hoffman not getting every role he wants, if a director wanted to cast him, a producer would understand why. At least enough that I would not have to explain to him or her any more than I've already explained to you.

If you want any more explanation, you're going to have to ask someone else who feels the same way I do.

nighttimer
06-27-2010, 08:11 AM
No, I do NOT. I'm NOT stupid, and that is NOT what I said.

What a coincidence. I never said you were stupid. Nor would I ever disrespect you or anyone else on this board by calling them stupid.

What IS stupid is thinking you or I are changing anyone's mind one little bit. At the end of the day neither DeNiro or Hoffman's star shines any brighter or is tarnished by this serve and volley.

But I can keep this up just as long as you can.


Despite Dustin Hoffman not getting every role he wants, if a director wanted to cast him, a producer would understand why. At least enough that I would not have to explain to him or her any more than I've already explained to you.

I've never made a movie, never acted in a movie, don't know a thing about casting a movie and never sat in on a movie production meeting, but I have seen movies, written about movies and reviewed movies, so I'm not totally clueless as to what's involved in making a movie.

So I do understand a director might want to cast Actor X instead of Actor Y or Actor Z in his or her film and tells the producer who they want. The Producer may reply, "Well, I'd love to have Actor X in that role, but they demand $10 million up front, script approval, director approval and casting approval. They also want X amount of a percentage of the back end and their last three movies all stiffed."

When an actor reaches a certain level of stardom, their celebrity precludes casting them in roles they once might have been part of. In 2010, the name of Dustin Hoffman over the title is no longer a certainty of box office success. Hoffman cannot "open" a film the way he once did. Neither can DeNiro, Pacino, Ford, or Nicholson. They have to be either paired with another "star" or in a premise that is certain to put fannies in the seats.

You're probably familiar with the parade of well-known actors who were up for roles in The Godfather. By now, everyone knows how Paramount fought Francis Ford Coppola in his choice of Marlon Brando as Don Corleone. Brando beat out Laurence Olivier, Ernest Borgnine and Danny Thomas(!) among others to play the don, but the pivotal role of Michael Corleone found actors such as Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, James Caan, and yes, Dustin Hoffman either auditioning or being offered the part that went to Al Pacino.

The website lists (http://www.notstarring.com/actors/hoffman-dustin) plenty of projects either offered to Hoffman, written for Hoffman, turned down by Hoffman or ones he was passed over for including The Goodbye Girl, Days of Heaven, Gandhi, Jaws, Sea of Love and In the Line of Fire (in the Clint Eastwood part!)

My point is Hoffman chooses some of projects and other times he's in the right (or wrong) place. Timing and luck have just as much to do why some actors shine in certain roles where others are left to ponder what would have happened if the breaks had gone their way.


If you want any more explanation, you're going to have to ask someone else who feels the same way I do.

Yeah, so far not having much luck finding a lot of others who do. :e2shrug:

Celia Cyanide
06-27-2010, 01:51 PM
Yeah, so far not having much luck finding a lot of others who do. :e2shrug:

You can't find others who think Hoffman is a better actor?

Go back and read the thread again. There are plenty.

nighttimer
06-27-2010, 03:59 PM
You can't find others who think Hoffman is a better actor?

Go back and read the thread again. There are plenty.

That's not the question. I know there are plenty of others who think Hoffman is a better actor. Maybe a smarter one too since he isn't doing Little Fockers.

The question is whether or not a producer would blithely accept the casting director choosing Hoffman for a role without question.

I say, depending on the role, any smart producer certainly would question casting Hoffman particularly considering his reputation as a difficult actor and his lack of box office success of late. You seem to be saying despite those serious caveats any smart producer would just sign off anyhow.

I dispute that and you still have produced NOTHING to support your contention.