Throwback Thursday: Robin Williams movies that we laughed and cried along with

We laughed, we cried, we blew our collective minds watching these movies featuring Robin Williams.

Ankita Maneck August 11, 2016 13:28:49 IST
Throwback Thursday: Robin Williams movies that we laughed and cried along with

The iconic comedian and actor, Robin Williams, died on 11 Aug 2014. He was 63.

Two years after his sad demise, Williams still remains one of the most beloved comedians to have graced the silver screen. His comic timing and witty repartee have no parallels in comedy ever since.

Williams' tragic death was ruled as suicide, and near and dear ones revealed his history of battling with depression. This is our way to pay homage to all the tears of laughter and sadness we have shared with the great comedian while watching him on the silver screen:

Popeye (1980)

Throwback Thursday Robin Williams movies that we laughed and cried along with

Lovable sailor Popeye seeks out his long-lost father in the town of Sweethaven. Along the way, he vies with Captain Bluto for the affections of Olive Oyl and adopts the young Sweet Pea. Williams nails it as Popeye with the sailor's trademark forearms, perpetual squint and lopsided grin. This unconventional musical was based on the enduring (and endearing) cartoon character by Max Fleischer and sticks to the original idea of the comical spinach eating hero.

The movie's songs, composed by Harry Nilsson, bring the musical together beautifully. Watch out for Robin William singing Popeye's anthem, 'I Yam What I Yam' and Olive Oyl's song to Bluto, 'He's Large'.

The Dead Poets Society (1989)

Throwback Thursday Robin Williams movies that we laughed and cried along with

Dead Poets Society is the film that gave us one of Williams' most unforgettable performances —as a professor of English literature in a school for privileged students, who urges them to not be 'another brick int he wall' and develop their own identitied instead. Alongside the greats of literature and poetry, Williams teaches his young charges important lessons about seizing the day — 'Carpe Diem' — and seeing the world from a perspective that wasn't the usual (it lead to one of the film's most poignant scenes when the students get up onto their desks to give Williams their tribute: 'O Captain, my Captain!').

Mrs Doubtfire (1993)

Throwback Thursday Robin Williams movies that we laughed and cried along with

This is the story of a divorced man who misses his children so desperately that he disguises himself as a middle-aged British nanny in order to be near them.

The man's ex-wife and three kids are all, of course, completely fooled by the deception, leading to great poignancy when the man hears himself discussed in what appears to be his absence. This lovable movie has also been adapted into a Tamil movie Avvai Shanmughi (1996) and Hindi film Chachi 420 (1997) both starring Kamal Hassan.

Jumanji (1995)

Throwback Thursday Robin Williams movies that we laughed and cried along with

Twelve-year old Alan Parrish finds 'Jumanji', a board game, in 1969. He and Sarah Whittle play it that night. When a quote says "In the jungle you must wait, until the dice roll 5 or 8" Alan (Robin Williams) is suddenly pulled into the game. Twenty-six years later, two more kids find this game. The movie is a fan favourite and still has fan fiction boards and reddit threads dedicated to it. A 2017 remake of the film will star Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black in pivotal roles.

Flubber (1997)

Throwback Thursday Robin Williams movies that we laughed and cried along with

“Flying rubber! Flubber!”

The absent-minded scientist, Prof. Phillip Brainard (Robin Williams) ends up forgetting his wedding anniversary three times in a row. His dedication to his chemistry lab though, is how he invents flubber, saves his college, career and wins back his wife, in that order.

This is the remake of a 1961 classic The Absent-Minded Professor which was based on a play. The play, in turn, sought inspiration from Hubert Alyea, the chemistry professor at Princeton University who was known as 'Dr Boom' because of his explosive demonstrations.

Though the movie is not critically acclaimed, it remains a staple for '90s kids who still remember Robin Williams playing this goofy professor.

The 2000s made Robin Williams challenge his funnyman stereotype and he took up more challenging, serious roles in these movies: 

One Hour Photo (2002)

Throwback Thursday Robin Williams movies that we laughed and cried along with

This psychological thriller revolves around Seymour 'Sy' Parrish, who works behind the photo counter of a huge retail store. He immerses himself into his job and almost manages to conceal his desperation and loneliness.

He takes the customer's films, develops them, and has photos ready in an hour (hence the title). His favorite customers are the Yorkins: Nina, Will and cute young Jake. They've been steady customers for years. When they bring in their film, he makes an extra set of prints--for himself.

Death to Smoochy (2002)

Throwback Thursday Robin Williams movies that we laughed and cried along with

Danny DeVito steps behind the camera again to pay homage to his black comedy films like Throw Momma From the Train (1987) and The War of the Roses (1989). Robin Williams stars as Randolph Smiley, a popular children's show host known as 'Rainbow Randolph.'

Dismissed from his beloved job when he's caught taking a bribe, Randolph becomes increasingly mentally unhinged and the target of his delusional revenge fantasies is Sheldon Mopes (Edward Norton), otherwise known as Smoochy, the fuchsia rhino character that has replaced him and soared to national popularity.

Insomnia (2002)

Throwback Thursday Robin Williams movies that we laughed and cried along with

Before he made Inception (2010) and  Interstellar (2014), Nolan created this psychological masterpiece in 2002. The plot follows a sleep-deprived detective is sent to a small Alaskan town to investigate the murder of a teenage girl. Forced into a psychological game of cat-and-mouse by the primary suspect (played by Robin Williams), events escalate and the detective finds his own stability threatened.

Bonus:
Aladdin (1992)

Throwback Thursday Robin Williams movies that we laughed and cried along with

Robin Williams and animation were made for each other: case in point, Disney's Aladdin.

Williams' speed of comic invention has always been too fast for flesh and blood; the way he flashes in and out of characters can be dizzying. Aladdin has Williams' playing the Genie gives him full freedom to explore his comic timing with playing a genie who can instantly be anybody or anything.

Mork and Mindy (1978-1982)

Throwback Thursday Robin Williams movies that we laughed and cried along with

"Na-nu, na-nu!"

Mork, an alien from the planet Ork on a mission to Earth to study human behavior, travels to 1970s where he meets up with Mindy after his spacecraft lands near her home. William plays an alien trying to get a grip on the culture and happenings on Earth and his frequent dispatches to his home planet where he sounds off on human foibles is amusing to watch.

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