Certain films attract the masses for the commercial element in it..some for the plot, and some of the performances of the leads in the film. But one person, who can subdue any other defective element or dominating component in a film in which he is a part of, is none other than MORGAN FREEMAN, ( the king of narration, period.)…and he does this with ease by virtue of his mindblowing baritone which enhances an extraordinary narration, to such a level that, cast Morgan Freeman in your film, and he will do the rest to appeal the masses. Let’s lookback at some of the best performances from the legendary actor all these years…
1) Morgan Freeman as Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding in “The Shawshank Redemption”
Stephen King wrote this character as a white Irishman, but Freeman’s aura of honesty and his compassionate voice got him the job. Given a quintessential narrator role, Freeman anchors the story in person as a Shawshank lifer, who forms vital relationships inside prison walls but
struggles on the outside after decades spent incarcerated, but that’s his best work in the film
because the redemption is his. This role turned to be the best role he has ever portrayed all-time. He made this film serve as a standard film of inspiration and study for voice over narration concept.
2) Morgan Freeman as Detective Lt. William Somerset in “Se7en”
The formula is there. Headstrong, reckless young cop partners with the finicky almost retired old guy. Only this film and its characters are much more than that, thanks to top-notch acting. On the trail of a sadistic serial killer, Freeman and Brad Pitt show dynamic chemistry, but it’s Freeman’s methodical perceptive and almost scholarly performance, in both the suspenseful action sequences and the quieter scenes, that steals the show.
3) Morgan Freeman as Hoke Colburn in “Driving Miss Daisy”
Spanning decades religions cultures and more, this story proves the people from different worlds can find common ground. After originating the role in the Pulitzer prize-winning play, Freeman gave an impressively subtle performance in the film as Miss Daisy’s kind, wise and patient chauffeur. With gestures and facial expressions, sometimes seeing more than words, this movie propelled Freeman to leading man status and earned him his second Oscar nomination.
4) Morgan Freeman as Eddie “Scrap-Iron” Dupris in “Million Dollar Baby”
Freeman’s got one of Hollywood’s best voices and it’s that voice that narrates the story. Through the eyes of a former fighter in a straightforward and emotional way, this tale is one where the boxing is incidental and the relationships are everything. Partnering again with Clint Eastwood, Freeman is a friend and confidant and not the film’s focus, but his unwavering support for the main players earned him his first Oscar.
5) Morgan Freeman as Sergeant Major John Rawlins in “Glory”
Outlining the tribulations of the first all African-American Civil War Unit, this movie tracks the bravery of those, forgotten by history, and its strength comes from supporting players like
Denzel Washington, Andre Braugher and Freeman himself. All three transcend Hollywood stereotypes about African-Americans and give tremendously distinctive performances. As the kindly reasonable father figure, Freeman’s John Rollins is a born leader who could even moonlight as a pastor.
6) Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox in the “Batman trilogy”
One thing the big films do right is featuring veteran actors in vital supporting roles. Freeman, while providing Bruce Wayne with the gadgets he requires to be Batman, acts as a father figure and
sometimes an ethical center. With full of warm class and even some comic moments, Freeman’s understated performance proves why he was the only actor ever considered for the portrayal of this character.
7) Morgan Freeman as Fast Black in “Street Smart”
This was Freeman’s break into Hollywood. Portraying the role of a morally bankrupt fast-talking pimp, Freeman takes this film to a different level with his Oscar-nominated performance, making it the pivotal reason for making this film a watchable one. He blew everyone by surprise by enacting a highly ruthless and intimidating character, which at some points in the film appears charismatic too. Although the movie did not garner rave reviews, Morgan became too good to be remembered for his role.
8) Morgan Freeman as Joe Louis Clark in the film “Lean on Me”
This was one of the performances which showcased Freeman’s screen presence’s effect. Portraying the role of Joe Clark, a city administrator, Freeman embodies himself with rousing speeches, unflinching discipline, and an aggression via a baseball bat, to revive a school’s condition by unconventional methods of motivation. Freeman’s simplicity lends authority and style to this tough love story about someone who goes to any extreme for his objective.
9) Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela in the film “Invictus”
This was one of the best characters portrayed by Morgan Freeman. It is said that Nelson Mandela himself handpicked Morgan Freeman to portray him in the biopic. Although Freeman might sound not being the central character of this film, he is the vital reason behind carrying the inspirational plot till the end by his appealing diction and performance. With nobility, grace, and confidence, Freeman etched the idea of racial integration visionary of Nelson Mandela in the minds of the viewers and earned an Oscar nomination for this role.
10) Morgan Freeman as Ned Logan in the film “Unforgiven”
Packing up in a cowboy hat and a shotgun, Freeman steps into this class Western Oscar-winning film. The film had a star-studded cast comprising Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, and Richard Harris. Despite the presence of such heavyweights in the film, Morgan Freeman shines and even surpasses the rest portraying a retired gunslinger Ned Logan. Had any other actor been cast other than Morgan Freeman for this role, the character could have gone away as a mere sidekick. But, with Morgan at the helm, Logan went on to become a character etched everlastingly in the memory of the viewers.
And thus folks, I present you a list of the top 10 performances of the legendary 78-year-old actor from Memphis, who still continues to conquer our hearts every time he steps in, by his vulnerable diction and proves that at times your words can speak more than your actions!