Nobody likes a good comeback story more than Hollywood. However, for every Rocky you have a Showgirls—a film that even the best actors just can’t come back from. Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint just where an actor’s movie career derails–other times, it’s quite easy. Today we’re going to take a look at a few career-killing films that have proven, over time, that some things are just not forgivable.
In The Cut – Meg Ryan held the coveted spot as America’s Sweetheart for a long time before making this 2003 debacle. If she stayed in her comfort zone of the romantic comedies that earned her the title of America’s Sweetheart, we would have been more than happy to love her forever. But, as many typecast actors and actresses, she started itching for meatier roles. Sadly, her foray into drama landed a bit flat. She was criticized for her nudity in the movie and lost her temper with British talk show host Michael Parkinson when promoting the film. Since then, she’s had a string of bad films and some personal issues that have made a comeback unlikely.
Revolution – Al Pacino, with the likes of Scarface and The Godfather under his belt, could seemingly do no wrong. That is until 1985 when he took on the role of a New York fur trapper in Revolution. The director of the movie, Hugh Hudson, cited bad weather and being rushed through the editing process as the reason the movie tanked. We can certainly agree that it didn’t help. However, Pacino as a father in the Revolutionary War just wasn’t believable.
The Passion of the Christ – While Mel Gibson didn’t act in this 2004 monstrosity, he was certainly front and center at all the press junkets. It didn’t help that he was becoming more famous for drunken rants than his acting. The unapologetic look at the crucifixion garnered Gibson much scrutiny also. The movie itself was a hit, and earned tons upon tons of money at the box office. However, it was at this point that Mel Gibson himself took a turn for the worse and has not recovered.
Staying Alive and Two of a Kind – John Travolta is like a perpetual Phoenix rising from the ashes of bad films. However, even Travolta hasn’t quite recovered from the one-two career punch of Staying Alive and Two of a Kind in 1983. While reprising his role of Tony Manero seemed like a sure thing, it just didn’t click with audiences. Maybe by 1983 Disco was already too far gone. But reuniting with Olivia Newton-John in Two of a Kind was just kicking his career while it was down.
Wild Orchid – Mickey Rourke has been compared to screen legends like Marlon Brando and James Dean. But when he signed on to attempt an erotic thriller, he was signing his career’s death warrant. While rumors circulated that he and co-star Carrie Otis weren’t faking those sex scenes, they also began claiming that he was just not quite ‘with it’ anymore. Since then we’ve seen all too well the downfall of this once World’s Sexiest Man, and judging by current pictures of his plastic surgery, we’ve seen the last of him.
Striptease – Demi Moore was everywhere in the 90s, for all the right Hollywood reasons. But something happened around the time she filmed this movie. Public perception started to shift. Although this was her 6th nude appearance in a film, she was crucified in the media for it. The fact that she was paid more that $12M to do so added fuel to the already fierce fire, and the movie essentially bombed. Moore hasn’t really done much since, and probably won’t now that she and Ashton Kutcher have divorced.
Guest blogger bio: Serge is a producer at EDICTIVE who is the leader in online film, TV production management software.
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