It’s kind of interesting to learn that Martin Short was headed towards a career in social work before he became interested in acting, but it’s fortunate that he did since throughout his career he’s been a rather funny individual that a lot of people have taken for granted too often. While it’s true that he tends to need a stronger presence on set with him to really make his material pop he does his absolute best and doesn’t disappoint most times since he does have a very charming manner about him and an act that is convincing enough to allow him to be counted among the greats. His movies have almost always been kind of goofy and a little bit out there but thanks to the cast members he’s worked with they’ve also been highly enjoyable. He’s worked with some of the top names in the business and despite not always making hits he has made a lot of memorable appearances.
Here are his five best movies.
5. Captain Ron
Peter Swanson of Sail Magazine gave what amounts to a very backhanded comment to this movie but it is kind of warranted since this movie isn’t one of those that needs to take itself too seriously. Captain Ron is the kind of guy that you’d sail with no doubt but continually wonder if he knows what he’s doing or just making it up as he goes along. The kind of cruiser that gets out on the water and just lets things happen as they will isn’t the most reassuring person in the world but it does make for an interesting time right up until guerrillas decide that they need a lift on your yacht and won’t take no for an answer.
4. Three Fugitives
This is kind an oddball story since a reformed bank robber that’s trying to do right is taken hostage by a man that can’t seem to do anything right and yet is trying to be a criminal all the same. The problem with this is that the cops, taking a look at the reformed individual and the crook, tend to think that their roles are reversed and think that the reformed convict is in fact the bank robber. One can only imagine the level of frustration this would cause, and how seriously flawed the situation would become when the actual bank robber, his ‘hostage’ and the robber’s young daughter go on the run.
This movie has actually inspired a few other shows in its time since the idea of shrinking yourself down and being inserted into another living being is something that’s kind of interesting, gross, but interesting. When the pilot realizes he’s not inside the lab rabbit that he was meant to explore however and inside a man things get a bit wacky as he has to help guide the beleaguered individual back to the lab where he can be drawn out so that both of them can be saved without any permanent damage. This kind of story is just up Short’s alley since it was goofy and insane but also kind of touching.
2. Father of the Bride
Honestly this is the day that a lot of fathers dread when they have daughters since throughout much of their lives their daughters are their little girls and are meant to be cute, innocent, and not at all attracted to boys. But then they grow up, they start getting interested, and, well, things happen. The idea is still slow to sink in for a lot of dads while the process of the wedding is going on but at some point the average father will finally realize that their daughter is no longer the cute little muffin they once were and has taken on this new, adult persona and is moving on with their life. It’s something that some folks know is coming, but it’s still hard to prepare for.
1. Three Amigos
What better movie to go out on than Short’s first movie? Anna Green from Mental Floss composed a list of facts about this movie that a lot of people likely forgot, but one item was the fact that this was Short’s first time on the big screen and he did wonderfully as one of the Three Amigos, a trio of actors that were essentially all washed up and looking for a gig. When they were hired on by a woman to help their village they had no idea what the job entailed, they only knew that they were wanted and had another job. When they came to realize just what kind of job they’d been hired to do however it was a little too late to tuck tail and run. This movie stands out as one of the great classics from an era when movies were still entertaining and were simply meant to make you laugh.
His name has faded a bit with the years but he’s still memorable to many of us that grew up watching his movies.