Morgan Freeman could read the phone book and your attention would never waver. That voice! Oh, that voice. For a man who didn’t really have his big break until he was 50 years old, Morgan Freeman has put together an amazing career. His dedication to acting shows in every role he takes up. He can be funny or serious and his God-like voice is both powerful and soothing. He once quoted the nautical saying “long foretold, long last; short notice, soon past” to describe his acting career. He meant that it took him a long time to achieve success in the acting profession, but he hoped his long struggle would mean his career would last and not prove to be just a flash in the pan. And today, he is one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood. Mr. Freeman has appeared in some of the biggest films of the last 30 years, picking up several awards along the way, including an Academy Award and 4 nominations. While Sony PIX celebrates the legend’s 83rd birthday, here are some of his unmissable roles to binge-watch on his special day.
There are hundreds of psychological crime thrillers out there, but none have had a bigger impact than David Fincher’s Seven. The film is famous for its harrowing conclusion, leading “What’s in the box?” to become a key movie quote which is often used in popular culture. Freeman is the perfect fit for the role of Detective Somerset, who is a kind-hearted, intelligent, soft-spoken, soon-to-be-retired detective, who has seen far too many bad things throughout his career. He is partnered by the explosive and idealistic Detective Mills, creating a memorable and contrasting duo as they become deeply involved in the murderer’s seven-deadly-sins-inspired killing spree. Catch Seven only on Sony PIX.
This is one of the most important movies for Freeman, you can find it somewhere running at almost any time of the day or night, every single day. If you took a poll on the street of people asking them for their favorite Morgan Freeman movie, it’s a safe bet that The Shawshank Redemption would far and away be the most popular answer. Freeman plays Red, a man whose been in jail for a long time when Andy Dufresne, played by Tim Robbins arrives after he is sentenced to life for murdering his wife and the man she was having an affair with. Red mentors Andy and their friendship grow. It’s a wonderful movie and Morgan Freeman’s portrayal of the convicted criminal with a heart of gold made millions of Gen Xers and Millennials consider Freeman as one of the most beloved actors of all-time.
Invictus sees Freeman taking on the unenviable task of playing the late, larger-than-life former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. The film is based on John Carlin’s book Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation and follows the events after Mandela’s release from prison in 1990. The film goes into detail on Mandela’s efforts to dismantle apartheid and the lead-up to the 1995 Rugby World Cup, which was hosted in South Africa. The film was well-received, with Freeman’s turn as Mandela earning the lion’s share of the praise and yet another Academy Award nomination.
Clint Eastwood’s boxing drama Million Dollar Baby became one of the critical darlings of 2004, winning four Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Freeman. The film tells the story of a has-been boxing trainer Frankie Dunn who reluctantly takes on an amateur female boxer named Maggie Fitzgerald. He soon discovers she is a natural fighter. Freeman steals the show every time he’s on-screen in the role of Dunn’s gym assistant Eddie ‘Scrap-Iron’ Dupris, another former boxer who was blinded in one eye on is 109th and last fight.
Morgan Freeman credits Street Smart as his breakout role, but for most audiences, it was his performance as the chauffeur to Miss Daisy, that really put him on the movie star map. Driving Miss Daisy won four Oscars and was nominated for another five, including Best Actor for Freeman. He plays a chauffeur who is hired to drive an elderly woman who can no longer drive for herself. As the years go by the two become best friends as Miss Daisy famously tells Freeman in the film’s final scene.
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