Faye Dunaway is an American actress who has had a prolific career in film and television. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest actresses of her generation, known for her intense and nuanced performances.
Dunaway’s work has garnered her many awards and nominations, including an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in “Network” (1976).
Best Faye Dunaway Movies
We’ll highlight some of the best Faye Dunaway movies that have cemented her status as a beloved and talented actress.
1. Network (1976)
“Network” is a critically acclaimed drama film from 1976 directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway, and William Holden.
The film follows the story of Howard Beale, a news anchor who becomes increasingly unstable and starts using his platform to express his frustrations about the state of the world.
The film is notable for its satirical take on the television industry and its critique of the shallow and profit-driven nature of media.
Here are some reasons why you should watch “Network”:
Powerful Performances: The film features outstanding performances from its lead actors, particularly Peter Finch as Howard Beale. Finch won a posthumous Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, making him the first actor to receive this honor after his death.
Thought-Provoking Themes: “Network” explores themes such as the influence of media on society, the blurred lines between news and entertainment, and the ethics of broadcasting.
The film’s commentary on the state of the television industry in the 1970s is still relevant today, making it a thought-provoking watch.
Memorable Scenes: “Network” features several iconic scenes, including Howard Beale’s famous on-air breakdown, which includes the memorable line “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this anymore!” The film also features a satirical take on the TV news industry, including the ratings-obsessed executives and the absurdity of reality TV.
Overall, “Network” is a must-see film for anyone interested in the power and influence of media, and it remains relevant even today, more than 40 years after its release.
2. Chinatown (1974)
“Chinatown” is a 1974 neo-noir mystery film directed by Roman Polanski and starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and John Huston. The film tells the story of private investigator Jake Gittes (Nicholson), who is hired to investigate a case involving corruption and murder in 1930s Los Angeles.
Here are three reasons why you should watch “Chinatown”:
Masterful storytelling: “Chinatown” is widely regarded as a masterpiece of storytelling. The film’s screenplay, written by Robert Towne, is widely considered to be one of the greatest screenplays ever written and won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
The film’s complex plot and intricate character relationships keep the audience engaged from beginning to end.
Iconic performances: “Chinatown” features iconic performances from its talented cast. Jack Nicholson delivers a memorable performance as the hard-boiled detective Jake Gittes, and Faye Dunaway is excellent as the enigmatic and troubled Evelyn Mulwray.
John Huston also gives a standout performance as the wealthy and corrupt Noah Cross. The chemistry between the actors is palpable and adds to the film’s tension and intrigue.
Stunning cinematography: “Chinatown” features stunning cinematography, with its dark and moody atmosphere capturing the grit and corruption of 1930s Los Angeles. The film’s use of shadows and lighting adds to its noir aesthetic and gives the film a sense of unease and tension.
In summary, “Chinatown” is a must-watch for fans of neo-noir and mystery films. Its masterful storytelling, iconic performances, and stunning cinematography make it a classic and a standout in the genre.
3. Mommie Dearest (1981)
“Mommie Dearest” is a biographical drama film released in 1981, directed by Frank Perry and starring Faye Dunaway. The film is based on the memoir of the same name by Christina Crawford, the adopted daughter of actress Joan Crawford.
The film portrays the tumultuous and abusive relationship between Joan Crawford (Dunaway) and her daughter Christina (played as a child by Mara Hobel and as an adult by Diana Scarwid).
It depicts Crawford as an emotionally unstable and manipulative mother who uses physical and emotional abuse to control her daughter’s life and career.
“Mommie Dearest” was a critical and commercial failure upon its release, but it has since gained a cult following and is known for its over-the-top performances and infamous scenes, including Dunaway’s portrayal of Crawford’s breakdown over wire hangers.
While some critics praised Dunaway’s performance, the film was criticized for its sensationalized and inaccurate portrayal of Joan Crawford and her relationship with her daughter.
Christina Crawford herself has disputed some of the events depicted in the film, and many in Hollywood have defended Crawford as a hardworking and caring mother.
Despite the controversy surrounding the film, “Mommie Dearest” has become a pop culture phenomenon and is often referenced and parodied in popular media.
4. Little Big Man (1970)
“Little Big Man” is a 1970 Western film directed by Arthur Penn and starring Dustin Hoffman. Here are three reasons to watch the movie:
Unique storytelling: The film tells the story of Jack Crabb, a 121-year-old man who recounts his life as a frontiersman, soldier, and adopted member of the Cheyenne tribe. The movie features a non-linear narrative and uses flashbacks to highlight key moments in Jack’s life.
Great performances: Dustin Hoffman delivers an excellent performance as Jack Crabb, while Faye Dunaway, Martin Balsam, Richard Mulligan, and Chief Dan George also give memorable performances.
Thought-provoking themes: “Little Big Man” explores themes such as identity, morality, and the clash of cultures. The film challenges traditional Western tropes and offers a nuanced portrayal of Native Americans that was ahead of its time.
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5. Barfly (1987)
“Barfly” is a 1987 film directed by Barbet Schroeder and starring Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway.
It is based on the autobiographical writings of poet and screenwriter Charles Bukowski, and follows the life of an alcoholic writer named Henry Chinaski.
The film is a gritty, realistic portrayal of the bohemian lifestyle and the struggles of a writer trying to find his voice while dealing with addiction and poverty.
The performances by Rourke and Dunaway are praised for their raw and authentic portrayal of the characters, and the film has become a cult classic among Bukowski fans and admirers of independent cinema.
6. The Champ (1979)
“The Champ” is a 1979 American sports drama film directed by Franco Zeffirelli and starring Jon Voight, Faye Dunaway, and Ricky Schroder.
The film tells the story of a former boxer, Billy Flynn (Voight), who is attempting to come back into the ring and redeem himself, while also trying to be a good father to his young son T.J.
(Schroder), who he has been raising on his own.
The film received critical acclaim and was nominated for two Academy Awards, with a win for Best Supporting Actor for Schroder. It has since become a classic sports drama film.
7. Three Days of the Condor (1975)
“Three Days of the Condor” is a 1975 American political thriller film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway.
The film follows the story of Joe Turner (Redford), a CIA researcher who discovers a sinister plot within the agency and becomes a target of assassination.
He seeks refuge with Kathy Hale (Dunaway), a woman he meets by chance, and together they try to uncover the truth and expose the conspiracy.
Dunaway delivers a strong performance as Kathy Hale, a photographer who becomes involved in Joe Turner’s dangerous situation. Her character is resourceful and intelligent, providing crucial support to Joe as he navigates the dangerous world of espionage and betrayal.
“Three Days of the Condor” is widely regarded as a classic of the political thriller genre, praised for its suspenseful plot, strong performances, and thought-provoking themes. Dunaway’s performance is a highlight of the film and showcases her talent as an actress.
8. Arizona Dream (1993)
“Arizona Dream” is a surreal comedy-drama film from 1993 directed by Emir Kusturica and starring Johnny Depp, Faye Dunaway, and Jerry Lewis.
The film tells the story of a young man named Axel who moves to Arizona to work for his uncle and becomes entangled in a strange and surreal world of dreams and desires.
Here are some reasons why you should watch “Arizona Dream”:
Unique Storytelling: “Arizona Dream” is a highly original film that blends comedy, drama, and surrealism to create a unique and unforgettable viewing experience. The film’s dreamlike sequences and absurd humor make it a memorable and thought-provoking watch.
Talented Cast: The film features a talented cast of actors, including Johnny Depp, Faye Dunaway, and Jerry Lewis. Each actor delivers a memorable performance, with Depp in particular giving a standout performance as the young and restless Axel.
Beautiful Cinematography: “Arizona Dream” is visually stunning, with breathtaking shots of the Arizona landscape and vivid colors that help to create the film’s dreamlike atmosphere.
The film’s soundtrack, which features music by Goran Bregović and Iggy Pop, also adds to the film’s unique and captivating style.
Overall, “Arizona Dream” is a highly original and visually stunning film that is sure to captivate and intrigue viewers. Whether you are a fan of surrealist cinema or simply looking for a unique and memorable movie-watching experience, “Arizona Dream” is definitely worth checking out.
9. The Rules of Attraction (2002)
“The Rules of Attraction” is a 2002 black comedy-drama film directed by Roger Avary and based on the novel of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis.
The film follows a group of affluent college students as they navigate their relationships and identities in a nihilistic world of drugs, sex, and apathy.
Here are three reasons why you should watch “The Rules of Attraction”:
Edgy and provocative: “The Rules of Attraction” is an edgy and provocative film that pushes boundaries with its portrayal of sex, drugs, and hedonism.
The film does not shy away from the darker aspects of its characters’ lives and delves into the themes of nihilism and apathy. If you enjoy films that challenge societal norms and conventions, this film is for you.
Unique storytelling: The film features a unique storytelling style that includes non-linear timelines, split-screen scenes, and a variety of perspectives.
The multiple perspectives and fragmented narrative add to the film’s chaotic and disorienting atmosphere, making it a thrilling and suspenseful watch.
Strong performances: The film features strong performances from its young cast, including James Van Der Beek, Shannyn Sossamon, and Ian Somerhalder. The cast delivers a raw and intense portrayal of their characters, adding to the film’s authenticity and realism.
Overall, “The Rules of Attraction” is a bold and daring film that offers a unique perspective on the lives of young adults in the early 2000s. Its edgy and provocative themes, unique storytelling, and strong performances make it a must-watch for fans of independent cinema.
10. Don Juan DeMarco (1994)
“Don Juan DeMarco” is a romantic comedy-drama film released in 1994, directed by Jeremy Leven and starring Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando, and Faye Dunaway.
The film tells the story of John Arnold DeMarco (Depp), a young man who believes himself to be the legendary Don Juan, the greatest lover in the world.
He is sent to a mental institution after a failed suicide attempt, where he is treated by Dr. Jack Mickler (Brando), a psychiatrist who is set to retire.
As Dr. Mickler listens to Don Juan’s stories of his romantic conquests, he becomes increasingly drawn into his patient’s world and begins to question his own beliefs about love and life.
“Don Juan DeMarco” explores themes of love, identity, and mental health. It received mixed reviews from critics, but was praised for its performances, particularly those of Depp and Brando.
The film was notable for its unique and imaginative approach to storytelling, incorporating elements of magical realism and fantasy to explore the themes of the story.
It also featured a popular soundtrack, including the hit song “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?” by Bryan Adams, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
11. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
“Bonnie and Clyde” is a 1967 American crime drama directed by Arthur Penn and starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.
The film tells the story of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, two young lovers who embark on a violent crime spree in the 1930s, robbing banks and killing anyone who gets in their way.
The film was a commercial and critical success, and is considered a landmark in American cinema for its innovative style and use of violence. Here are three reasons to watch “Bonnie and Clyde”:
Groundbreaking cinematic techniques: “Bonnie and Clyde” broke new ground with its innovative use of violence and storytelling techniques.
The film’s blend of humor and violence, jump cuts, and slow-motion action sequences were revolutionary for its time and inspired a new generation of filmmakers.
Iconic performances: Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway deliver powerful performances as the charismatic and doomed couple. Their chemistry and dynamic onscreen presence helped to propel the film to commercial and critical success.
Historical significance: “Bonnie and Clyde” is a historically significant film that captures the mood of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The film’s themes of rebellion, anti-establishment sentiment, and a desire for change resonated with audiences of the time and helped to usher in a new era in American cinema.
12. The Towering Inferno (1974)
“The Towering Inferno” is a 1974 American disaster film directed by John Guillermin and starring Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and Faye Dunaway.
The film is about a fire that breaks out in a newly constructed skyscraper during a glitzy opening party, trapping the guests and putting the lives of hundreds of people in danger.
It was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $139 million worldwide and winning three Academy Awards. The film is known for its impressive visual effects and intense suspense, as well as its star-studded cast.
13. Albino Alligator (1996)
“Albino Alligator” is a 1996 crime thriller directed by Kevin Spacey and starring Matt Dillon, Faye Dunaway, and Gary Sinise.
The film follows three small-time crooks who take hostages after a failed robbery attempt and find themselves trapped inside a New Orleans bar with the police closing in on them.
The film received mixed reviews from critics but was praised for its tense atmosphere and strong performances.
14. The Yards (2000)
“The Yards” is a 2000 crime thriller film directed by James Gray and starring Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Charlize Theron, and Faye Dunaway.
The film follows the story of Leo Handler (Wahlberg), a former inmate who returns home to New York City and becomes embroiled in a corrupt scheme involving his uncle (James Caan) and his cousin (Phoenix) who work in the city’s subway yards.
Dunaway plays the role of Kitty Olchin, the mother of Leo’s friend and love interest, Erica (Theron).
Despite her limited screen time, Dunaway delivers a powerful and emotional performance as a woman struggling with her own personal demons and the pressures of her family’s criminal activities.
“The Yards” was praised by critics for its gritty and realistic portrayal of the criminal underworld, as well as its strong performances from its talented cast. Dunaway’s performance in particular stands out as a testament to her range and ability as an actress.
15. Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)
“Eyes of Laura Mars” is a thriller film from 1978 directed by Irvin Kershner and starring Faye Dunaway and Tommy Lee Jones.
The film tells the story of a successful fashion photographer named Laura Mars, whose controversial and violent images start to reflect real-life murders happening around her.
Here are some reasons why you should watch “Eyes of Laura Mars”:
Unique Concept: The film’s premise of a fashion photographer whose violent images start to reflect real-life murders is a unique and intriguing concept. The film explores themes of art, violence, and voyeurism in a thought-provoking and engaging way.
Strong Performances: Faye Dunaway delivers a captivating performance as Laura Mars, portraying the character’s vulnerability and strength in a nuanced and convincing way. Tommy Lee Jones also gives a standout performance as the detective investigating the murders.
Stylish Direction: Irvin Kershner’s direction creates a stylish and suspenseful atmosphere throughout the film. The film’s use of split-screen and fast-paced editing add to the tension and help to create a sense of unease.
70s Aesthetic: “Eyes of Laura Mars” has a distinct 70s aesthetic, with its fashion and set design capturing the era’s style and glamour. The film’s use of disco music also adds to its unique and entertaining vibe.
Overall, “Eyes of Laura Mars” is a stylish and thought-provoking thriller that is worth watching for its unique concept, strong performances, and stylish direction. If you enjoy suspenseful and visually striking films, “Eyes of Laura Mars” is definitely worth checking out.
3 Reasons To Watch Faye Dunaway Movies
Faye Dunaway is a highly acclaimed actress known for her stunning performances in a variety of films. Here are three reasons why you should watch Faye Dunaway movies:
Iconic roles: Faye Dunaway has played many iconic roles in film history, including Bonnie Parker in “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967), Diana Christensen in “Network” (1976), and Evelyn Mulwray in “Chinatown” (1974). Her performances in these roles are unforgettable and have earned her critical acclaim and numerous awards.
Range of talent: Faye Dunaway has shown incredible range in her acting career, playing everything from tough and gritty characters to refined and sophisticated women. She is equally adept at playing comedic and dramatic roles, showing her versatility as an actress.
Impact on film: Faye Dunaway’s contributions to the film industry have been significant, and she has left an indelible mark on cinema. Her performances have inspired and influenced generations of actors, and her body of work has contributed to the advancement of the film industry.
Overall, Faye Dunaway is a talented actress with a wide range of roles and accomplishments in the film industry. Whether you’re a fan of classic cinema or modern films, Faye Dunaway’s performances are worth watching for their timeless quality and impact on film history.
Best Faye Dunaway Movies – Wrap Up
Faye Dunaway is a talented actress known for her captivating performances and powerful presence on screen. She has appeared in numerous films throughout her career, including several that have become classics in the world of cinema.
Throughout her career, Dunaway has been praised for her versatility and ability to bring depth and complexity to her roles.
She has won numerous awards for her work, including an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in “Network.”
Her impact on cinema has been significant, and her performances in these movies continue to inspire and entertain audiences around the world.