With a career spanning more than 60 years, Jeff Bridges has been one of Hollywood’s most beloved and versatile actors.
A single Oscar seems like a poor return for a performer who has given us such memorable performances in everything from The Last Picture Show, Starman and The Contender to The Fisher King, The Fabulous Baker Boys and Thunderbolt and Lightfoot.
To celebrate his return to action in Disney+’s The Old Man, Stuff to Watch has taken a look through the now 72-year-old’s back-catalogue and come up with this list of seven of our favorite Bridges flicks (and where you can watch them right now).
* The Old Man: Jeff Bridges is back with a bang in Disney+’s addictive thriller
* TVNZ’s Life After Life, Apple’s Black Bird, Netflix’s Uncoupled among July’s must see TV
* Seabiscuit: The greatest horse racing movie of all-time comes to Disney+
* Jeff Bridges recalls being ‘pretty close to dying’ while battling COVID-19 amid cancer treatment
The Big Lebowski (1998, Prime Video)
Bridges’ most recognisable, beloved and oft-quoted (“The Dude abides”) role. He headlines this cultest of comedies about a man who is mistaken for a millionaire and then seeks restoration for a ruined rug.
Julianne Moore, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and Philip Seymour Hoffman also star.
“Put a smile on my face that never left for 117 minutes,” wrote the Chicago Tribune’s Michael Wilmington.
Crazy Heart (2009, Disney+)
Bridges won the Oscar for Best Actor starring alongside Maggie Gyllenhaal and Robert Duvall in this drama about a faded country music star who is forced to reassess his dysfunctional life when he embarks on a seemingly doomed romance.
“Blessed with many marvelous moments, lovely lines and vivid characters, ” wrote The Wall St Journal’s Joe Morgenstern.
Hell or High Water (2016, Various Rental Services)
Filled with dramatic tension, complex characters, rich, memorable dialogue and uncomfortable reflections of the plight of many modern-day Americans, David Mackenzie’s contemporary western is a compelling watch from go to whoa.
Boasting terrific performances from Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster, this delivers a political message on institutionalized poverty with chutzpah, brio and humor as dry as a gulch.
Seabiscuit (2003, Disney+)
Not long after Phar Lap set hearts and wallets a’flutter in Australasia, a small knobble-kneed bay colt took America by storm.
Seabiscuit, foaled in 1933, earned almost half a million US dollars for his owner, Charles S. Howard, between 1935 and 1940. His rise coincided with the beginning of racing radio broadcasts and a population desperate for any means of escape from the effects of the Great Depression.
Starring Bridges, Chris Cooper and Tobey Maguire, this 2003 tale focuses on the three men who shared in the glory that was “the biggest sensation on four legs since Hope and Crosby”. Part history lesson, part boys’ own adventure, Seabiscuit is superb human and equine drama.
Tron (1982, Disney+)
Whether it was the neon-infused special effects, the lightcycles, or the very idea of being trapped inside a computer game, this was a family fantasy flick that proved to teens that Disney could make more than just cartoons and movies that would be better suited to two-part Sunday teatime viewing.
Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner are our heroes battling to stay alive against the seemingly undefeatable forces of the Master Control Program, while, fresh from playing pure Evil in Time Bandits, David Warner provided another bout of sleepless nights for young moviegoers.
True Grit (2010, Netflix)
In a role first made famous by John Wayne in 1969, Bridges is outstanding as the taciturn Rooster Cogburn in the Coen Bros’ adaptation of Charles Portis 1968 novel.
His boozy, trigger-happy lawman is enlisted by a stubborn teenager (Hailee Steinfeld in a stunning debut) determined to track down her father’s killer in 1870s America. Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper also feature.
“Terrific: tough, exciting, funny, gorgeous and bewitchingly acted, this is darn close to perfection,” wrote Empire magazine’s Angie Errigo.
Tucker: the Man and His Dream (1988, iTunes)
Francis Ford Coppola spent 15 years trying to make this biopic about Preston Tucker, the maverick car designer who attempted to take on the “big boys” of the American automotive industry.
At various stages, he planned to make Marlon Brando his leading man and tell the story as a musical, but, in the end, he got a quite brilliant turn from Bridges, ably supported by the likes of Joan Allen, Martin Landau, Christian Slater and Dean Stockwell.
“Coppola tells this story with grand exuberance without masking the personal and historical tragedies that it involves,” wrote The New Yorker’s Richard Brody.