These go to 11. Lists are cool. Everyone else has Top Tens. Whereas these...well you get the idea.
I love Bill Murray - who doesn't?
A man who can make any film watchable.
Seeing as there are so many great roles to choose from, I thought why not make this my first 'eleven'?
Agree, disagree? Talk to Jodie.
Would you like to make CONTACT?
These Go To 11 - #1: Bill Murray Performances
1. Phil Connors (Groundhog Day, 1993)
"Morons! Your bus is leaving!"
Murray at his misanthropic best. Caught in the marvellously named 'Gobbler's Knob' enduring the same day over and over again. Face-cream abuser Andie McDowell is the object of his affection in what eventually becomes a rather sweet rom-com.
2. Peter Venkman (Ghostbusters, 1984/Ghostbusters II, 1989)
"Back off, man. I'm a scientist."
Already a household name in America thanks to Saturday Night Live. This is the role that made him a star. While his wisecracking is but one of the elements that made Ghostbusters a success, it's virtually the only thing that makes G2 bearable.
3. Bob Harris (Lost In Translation, 2003)
"You want more mysterious? I'll just try and think, 'Where the hell's the whiskey?' "
A role that brought Murray to the Academy's attention. He fashions his trademark deadpan humour into something all the more rounded. It's a testament to his talents that his (platonic) affair with a very young Scarlett Johansson never feels in any way creepy.
4. Herman Blume (Rushmore, 1998)
"Never in my wildest imagination did I ever dream I would have sons like these."
A pleasant surprise, this. Not many people knew Murray was capable of pulling his weight in a serious if quirky film. Exasperated with his family he forges a friendship with the similarly disaffected Jason Schwartzman and finds love with Olivia Williams.
5. Steve Zissou (The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, 2004)
"If you're not against me, don't cross this line! If yes, do."
Here Murray is let off the leash and seems almost larger than the film at times, despite his hangdog demeanor. We should be grateful, though, as director Wes Anderson seems to be trying to out-quirk himself. He managed it in The Darjeeling Limited. Co-stars Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett et al bask Murray's offbeat glow.
6. Bunny Breckinridge (Ed Wood, 1994)
"Let's hear you call Boris Karloff a cocksucker."
A delight in possibly Tim Burton's best film. His fey, sex-change-wanting socialite seems to get all the best lines. Fashionably (for the time) pale and refined, here Murray showcases his talent for subtlety and physical comedy. Witness Bunny's uncomfortable reaction to the mass baptism.
7. Frank Cross (Scrooged, 1988)
"You've got a program featuring America's favorite old fart. Reading a book in front of a fireplace. Now, I have to kill all of you."
It's almost as if Dickens wrote it with Bill in mind. The put-downs and rants are Murray on auto-pilot, his real trick here is making you buy his eleventh hour redemption.
8. Carl Spackler (Caddyshack, 1980)
"Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac... It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!"
Murray seems to be in a different film to everyone else as his man-versus-gopher almost steals the show. What's unique is that he manages it without his trademark acerebic put-downs.
9. Grimm (Quick Change, 1990)
"'Baby! Up your butt with a coconut!' I think he was prepared to do it! Except I saw no coconut. He, uh, he had no coconut to my knowledge."
Lesser-known Bill, this. In a movie he co-directed, Murray plays a bank robber on one last score with girlfriend Geena Davis. While the job goes without a hitch, getting out of town isn't so easy. He's a 'crying-on-the-inside kinda clown', apparently.
10. John Winger (Stripes, 1981)
"Chicks dig me, because I rarely wear underwear and when I do it's usually something unusual."
An early Murray role where his slacker soldier saves the day by making jokes and goofing off. Why isn't life more like that? The high point is him leading his platoon in a wacky drill routine. Look out for a young Sean er, Young.
11. Ernie McCracken (Kingpin, 1996)
"That woman's a stone-faced liar. I pulled out way early."
Murray sinks his teeth into a rare villain role. Not only does he win the trophy, he makes off with the film as well. Also, his terrific comb-over easily out-acts Woody Harrelson.