Hollywood icon Dustin Hoffman isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Despite being in the business since 1960, the golden oldie remains a jobbing actor. At the ripe old age of 83, he took the lead role in Donato Carrisi’s Into the Labyrinth. The 2019 Italian thriller sees Hoffman, as Doctor Green, helping a woman get her memory back.
As they walk through repressed memories, details of her abduction come to light. Labyrinths, underground prisons, and a series of wicked games are brought to the fore. Although the film wasn’t seen much outside of Italy, it received positive reviews. In fact, such was the reception that it was released internationally on DVD and across all major digital platforms on April 19th, 2021.
With Hoffman serving as an inspiration to young actors around the world, we’ve decided to take a look back through some of his best roles. He may not have hit the mark with everything he did – what actor has? – but there’s no doubt many of his iconic performances have kept him in the game for over 50 years. With that being said, here are three of our top-rated Dustin Hoffman classics.
The Graduate (1967)
This romantic comedy-drama is considered Hoffman’s breakout performance. He plays the 21-year-old Benjamin Braddock who has graduated from college with little more than a degree and a lack of direction. He stumbles into a relationship with the older Mrs Robinson (Anne Bancroft) but becomes infatuated with her daughter, Elaine (Katherine Ross).
A three-way relationship results in lies, cover-ups, deceit, and betrayal. Elaine eventually moves on and attempts to marry Carl. Benjamin is warned not to stop the wedding but he finds a way. That’s when we see the famous shots of Benjamin (Hoffman) banging on the glass window overlooking the church sanctuary. Elaine calls out his name and the two escape on a bus, ready to live out the rest of their lives together.
Midnight Cowboy (1969)
Hoffman’s follow-up to The Graduate was a complete departure from his role as Benjamin Braddock. From that somewhat wholesome, if not a little misguided lover, Hoffman assumed the role of Enrico Rizzo aka Ratso. The streetwise New Yorker befriends cowboy Joe Buck (Jon Voight) who is new in town. The unlikely friendship soon develops as conman Rizzo teaches Buck the ways of the street.
Flashbacks provide an insight into why Buck ended up in New York as a hustler. Ratso also reveals various truths about his life as his health deteriorates. The relationship between the two triggers an epiphany in Buck. He goes on to plan a new life in Florida, one away from the seedy world he’d become entangled in. His aim is to take Ratso with him but, alas, he discovers that his friend had died. With tears in his eyes, he questions why it happened but we also get the sense he’s opened the door to a new chapter in his life.
Rain Man (1988)
When slick looks and smooth talk meet awkward mannerisms and robotic speech, the end result is something unexpectedly brilliant. Rain Man is one of those movies that captures your heart and takes you on an emotional ride. The story follows two brothers, Charlie (Tom Cruise) and Raymond Babbitt (Dustin Hoffman) . The former is a chancer who finds out that the brother he never knew existed is the heir to their father’s fortune. Being the schemer he is, Charlie attempts to win over his autistic savant brother in order to get the money.
One of the most memorable scenes from the film involves Raymond playing blackjack. He turns out to be a genius with numbers and wins thousands. Whether he could do that today at the top blackjack websites as ranked by www.asiabet.org is another matter. As the casino industry has evolved, the use of RNGs (random number generators) has become common practice. This ensures that, today, you’re guaranteed a fair playing experience wherever you decide to play your hand. Either way, Raymond was a great blackjack player in the movie. But, that’s not all, he’s also a man in need of love, something his brother Charlie eventually offers him.
Dustin Hoffman: An Iconic Actor Who’s Survived the Test of Time
There are many more Hoffman films we could talk about: Tootsie, All the President’s Men, Kramer vs Kramer, and Wag the Dog are all fantastic. Of course, for all the highs, there are a few lows. Kung Fu Panda and Meet the Fockers weren’t terrible but they certainly weren’t on par with Hoffman’s other roles.
But whatever you think of those films, whichever cinematic offering you believe is the best, there’s no denying that Dustin Hoffman is a fabulous actor. He’s moved us in every way imaginable and he’s still doing it today. Into the Labyrinth sees the great man entertain us once again and we can’t wait to watch it on DVD.