Hal Hero
The Films of Hal Holbrook
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Cleveland, Ohio, native and World War II veteran Hal Holbrook (1925-2021) first shot to fame with his live stage performances as Mark Twain, which paved the way for an illustrious stage career and high demand as an actor in both film and television. The Oscar-nominated actor, who recently passed at the age of 95, excelled in many genres including drama, thrillers, horror and action films, often in character roles that showcased his tremendous range and grounded screen presence. Discover the many talents of Hal Holbrook in this selected filmography.

1

All The President's Men

1976

WHERE TO WATCH

Though he had been around in movies for years, Holbrook first grabbed the world’s attention in a major way with his role as Deep Throat, the mysterious informer who helped reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein break open the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. His clandestine meetings doling out information in parking garages are among the most unforgettable scenes in the film, and he became a familiar face on the big screen for years to come.

WHERE TO WATCH
All The President's Men
1976
138 Mins | PG
Reporters (Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman) link Watergate to the White House.


2

Capricorn One

1978

WHERE TO WATCH

Holbrook’s career is filled with fine leading and supporting work in tense thrillers, including such unsung gems as Natural Enemies (1979) and Rituals (1977). One of his most memorable is this suspenseful tale of three astronauts Holbrook’s NASA official targets for murder after a planned trip to Mars goes awry—and has to be faked, leading to a massive cover-up.

WHERE TO WATCH
Capricorn One
1978
124 Mins | PG
Space official (Hal Holbrook) fakes a Mars flight Hollywood-style.


3

Creepshow

1982

WHERE TO WATCH

This horror anthology from George A. Romero and Stephen King is packed with iconic moments, and Holbrook gets more than a few himself in his story, “The Crate.” As a college professor repeatedly browbeaten by his wife in public, he stumbles across a unique opportunity when something strange and sinister is discovered beneath a stairwell in his building. And remember, “Just tell it to call you Billie.”

WHERE TO WATCH
Creepshow
1982
117 Mins | R
Tales spotlight a nagged professor (Hal Holbrook) and a tycoon (E.G. Marshall) with cockroaches.


4

The Firm

1993

WHERE TO WATCH

John Grisham’s bestselling legal thriller was the first of his works to come to the big screen, with Tom Cruise starring as a young attorney who finds out his new firm is far more than dangerous than it appears. Holbrook shows his sinister side once more as Oliver Lambert, a senior partner concealing many dirty secrets.

WHERE TO WATCH
The Firm
1993
154 Mins | R
An Ivy League lawyer (Tom Cruise) goes to work at a small Memphis firm no one has ever left alive.


5

The Fog

1980

John Carpenter’s spooky follow-up film to the classic Halloween (1978) stars Holbrook as a tormented priest reckoning with his seaside town’s dark past, which causes a ghostly ship to appear a century later on a mission for revenge. Holbrook’s tense climactic showdown in a fog-enshrouded church gave the film one of its most indelible images.

WHERE TO WATCH
The Fog
1980
89 Mins | R
Ghosts of people killed 100 years ago appear out of a strange fog to seek revenge on a small town.


6

The Great White Hope

1970

James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander reprised their acclaimed stage performances in this powerful biopic based on the life of fighter Jack Johnson, whose interracial relationship in the early 1900s and unstoppable winning streak in the ring made him the target of powerful forces. Holbrook offers sturdy support as Al Cameron, who plays a pivotal role in Jack’s eventual fate.

WHERE TO WATCH
The Great White Hope
1970
103 Mins | PG-13
Boxing champ (James Earl Jones) punished for having white mistress (Jane Alexander) circa 1910.


7

Into The Wild

2007

WHERE TO WATCH

Holbrook earned an Oscar nomination for Supporting Actor in director Sean Penn’s unforgettable depiction of the true story of Christopher McCandless and his perilous journey into the Alaskan wilderness. Holbrook’s role as a widowed leather craftsman forms the emotional core of the film as he forges a connection with the young traveler.

WHERE TO WATCH
Into The Wild
2007
147 Mins | R
Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) sheds his possessions and makes an ill-fated trek to Alaska.


8

Lincoln

2012

WHERE TO WATCH

After portraying Abraham Lincoln twice for television, Holbrook shifted gears to take on the role of journalist and political influencer Francis Preston Blair for Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning drama, with Daniel Day-Lewis portraying the American president.

WHERE TO WATCH
Lincoln
2012
149 Mins | PG-13
In his final months, Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) takes steps to ensure the end of slavery forever.


9

Magnum Force

1973

WHERE TO WATCH

Clint Eastwood’s second outing as tough-talking San Francisco cop Dirty Harry pitted him against a death squad of rogue vigilante policemen, with Holbrook on board as his superior who has a lot more going on than meets the eye.

WHERE TO WATCH
Magnum Force
1973
124 Mins | R
Dirty Harry (Clint Eastwood) links vigilante killings to the police.


10

Wall Street

1987

WHERE TO WATCH

Oliver Stone’s compelling meditation on greed and ethical compromise earned an Academy Award for leading actor Michael Douglas, with Holbrook cast opposite him in contrast as a stockbroker whose personal integrity makes him a more admirable mentor for up-and-coming traders. Though originally intended to be more compromised in Stone’s script, the character ended up becoming a glimmer of hope in the film’s world of cutthroat finance.

WHERE TO WATCH
Wall Street
1987
125 Mins | R
A yuppie broker (Charlie Sheen) courts a corporate raider (Michael Douglas) with inside information.


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