Total Recall

Rank Goldie Hawn's 10 Best Movies

In this week's Total Recall, we count down the best-reviewed work of the Snatched star.

by | May 10, 2017 | Comments

When Goldie Hawn returns to theaters in this weekend’s Snatched alongside Amy Schumer, it’ll mark her first film release in 15 years — an unaccountably lengthy layoff, and one we’re happy to see come to an end. To demonstrate our affection for the long-lost star, we’ve decided to dedicate this feature to a look back at some of Ms. Hawn’s best-reviewed efforts, lining ’em up Tomatometer-style. It’s time for Total Recall!

10. Shampoo (1975) 60%

The year after The Sugarland Express, Hawn’s charmed ’70s streak continued with Shampoo, the Warren Beatty-led comedy about a shallow lothario who uses his job as a hairdresser as a springboard into bed with a succession of beautiful women. Ultimately a rather sober warning against the potential emotional hangovers looming during the sexual revolution, the film nevertheless offered a series of pointedly funny observations about the tenor of the times, racking up a healthy box office and a slew of awards and nominations along the way, and it’s come to be regarded as something of a comedy classic; as Lisa Schwarzbaum wrote for Entertainment Weekly, “There’s a self-awareness to Shampoo that gives the movie a cleansing sadness and, oddly, makes Beatty an affectingly amoral roue.”

Watch Trailer

9. Butterflies Are Free (1972) 69%

It’s essentially pointing out the obvious to say that Hawn built a career out of playing to type — but it’s distinctly to her credit that she managed to carve out an award-winning niche by conforming to expectations, and as 1972’s Butterflies Are Free capably demonstrates, she had a great feel for kooky blonde comedy basically from the beginning. Adapted by Leonard Gershe from his own play, the story concerns a young couple who meet cute and fall in love — although the relationship is of course complicated by his mother, who’s overprotective due to her son’s blindness and convinced his new girlfriend will eventually break his heart. It’s all stock stuff, elevated by its performers; Eileen Heckart won an Oscar for her performance as the mother, and her younger co-stars earned their own fair share of praise. As Scott Weinberg later wrote for eFilmCritic, “Watch this one if you’ve ever wondered how Goldie Hawn became a star.”

Watch Trailer

8. Seems Like Old Times (1980) 70%

(Photo by Columbia courtesy Everett Collection)

Two years after scoring a hit with Foul Play, Hawn and Chevy Chase reunited for Seems Like Old Times, a Neil Simon story about a man who goes running to his ex-wife after he’s forced to rob a bank by some ruffians and ends up on the lam. With its leads once again exploiting their comedic chemistry — abetted by Charles Grodin playing the straight man as Hawn’s second husband — Seems Like earned the duo another round of polite applause from critics like Janet Maslin of the New York Times, who singled Hawn out for particular praise in her review. “Miss Hawn is as sweetly zany as ever,” wrote Maslin. “She has clearly established herself as the most delightful comedienne now working in movies, with her sparkle, her adorable indignation, and her ability to proffer false reassurance under any and every kind of circumstance.”

Watch Trailer

7. Foul Play (1978) 74%

(Photo by Paramount courtesy Everett Collection)

A veritable Who’s Who of ’70s comedy stardom, Foul Play unites Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase in a Hitchcock-with-laughs hybrid about a librarian who thinks she’s stumbled onto a plot to kill the Pope and her subsequent entanglement with a policeman who doesn’t take her claims seriously. Toss in Dudley Moore, Billy Barty, and Burgess Meredith, and you’ve got yourself some serious talent in front of the camera; if the results still ended up being somewhat less than the sum of their impressive parts, they were still entertaining enough for most critics. “Chevy when he was funny, Goldie when she was starting her heyday, and Dudley too,” wrote Widgett Walls. “What a deal.”

Watch Trailer

6. Everyone Says I Love You (1996) 79%

(Photo by WestEnd Films)

A Woody Allen musical… starring actors not known for their singing voices? It could have been another misfire from Allen’s scattershot ‘90s filmography, but Everyone Says I Love You ended up going down as one of the director’s more satisfying — and surprising — critical triumphs. A winsome romantic comedy that boasts glamorous locations (New York, Venice, and Paris) to match its ensemble cast (Hawn, Julia Roberts, Ed Norton, and Natalie Portman, to name just a few), Everyone made the most of its stars’ often pedestrian vocal skills while wringing comedy from the romantic travails of the extended family spinning around a divorced couple (Hawn and Allen). It was all part of the charm for critics like the Boston Phoenix’s Gary Susman, who called the movie “an odd mix of old and new, realism and fantasy, craft and amateurism that shouldn’t work but is inventive and hilarious anyway.”

Watch Trailer

5. Private Benjamin (1980) 82%

(Photo by Warner Brothers courtesy Everett Collection)

Hawn picked up her second Oscar nomination for this runaway hit, which finds laughs in the travails faced by a young woman who finds herself widowed after her husband passes away on their wedding night — and, understandably distraught, she’s conned into joining the army by an unscrupulous recruiter. It’s the kind of story that could have taken some awfully dark turns, but with Howard Zieff behind the camera (directing a script co-written by Nancy Meyer) and Hawn at her effervescent best, Private Benjamin was one of the bigger box-office successes of the year. Calling her “totally charming,” Vincent Canby of the New York Times wrote of Hawn’s performance, “She’s an enthusiastic farceur, but her characterization is so firmly based that she can slip from slapstick to romantic comedy and back without losing a beat.”

Watch Trailer

4. $ (Dollars) (The Heist) (1971) 86%

Cast young Goldie Hawn and Warren Beatty in a heist caper with fabulous European locations, and you’ve won half the battle already. Put writer-director Richard Brooks (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Elmer Gantry) at the creative reins, and you’ve got yourself a pretty good picture — as attested by 1971’s Dollars, in which Hawn and Beatty co-star as two of the conspirators involved in a plot to make off with more than $1.5 million in loot from safe deposit boxes at a West German bank. Certain elements haven’t aged well — the “hooker with a heart of gold” stock character Hawn plays would certainly require a rewrite today — but the chemistry between Brooks’ stars is inarguable, and he keeps the action coming fast enough to drag viewers painlessly past any rough spots in the narrative. The whole thing got a thumbs up from Roger Ebert, who observed, “Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn are weirdly interesting together.”

Watch Trailer

3. Cactus Flower (1969) 88%

Plenty of viewers saw Goldie Hawn as little more than a pretty face during her breakout stint on Laugh-In, but she quickly parlayed that fame into a fast-rising career as a leading lady on the big screen. Her first film role of any real substance, as Walter Matthau’s suicidal ex-girlfriend in 1969’s Cactus Flower, earned Hawn a Best Supporting Actress Oscar — and demonstrated how easy it was for the young star to steal screen time from seasoned pros like Matthau and Ingrid Bergman. “It comes as a pleasing jolt to find the youngster, Goldie Hawn, at the apex of the triangle,” wrote Howard Thompson for the New York Times. “Not only beautifully holding her own with the two veteran stars but also enhancing the content and flavor of the movie.”

Watch Trailer

2. The Sugarland Express (1974) 85%

Steven Spielberg was still a young college dropout with a few years of TV work under his belt when he cut his feature-film teeth on The Sugarland Express, a 1974 crime drama about a husband and wife (Goldie Hawn and William Atherton) bound and determined to prevent their young son from being put in a foster home — even if it means they have to hold a cop hostage and lead police on a chase across Texas in order to do it. Inspired by real-life events and topped off by a typically charming performance from Hawn, Express demonstrated Spielberg’s youthful command of his medium, particularly with its action sequences; although audiences largely ignored it at the time, it’s come to be recognized as an entertaining early entry in a filmography chock-full of them. “The Sugarland Express is not terribly original — Bonnie and Clyde, Badlands, and The Getaway are indelibly marked in its DNA,” wrote Christopher Lloyd for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. “But it shows an already dazzling young filmmaker honing his skills and vision.”

Watch Trailer

1. Swing Shift (1984) 87%

It endured an infamously bumpy production period — during which stars Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell went over Jonathan Demme’s head to arrange edits and reshoots with a different director — but even if Swing Shift didn’t end up fulfilling Demme’s original vision, critics still felt it effectively told the story of a war bride (Hawn) who enters the workforce and starts an affair with a musician (Russell) during WWII while her husband (Harris) is overseas. Although more than a few viewers have taken issue with its soft-focused treatment of adultery, the picture’s rich detail and well-written script impressed writers like Filmcritic’s Pete Croatto, who observed, “Sofia Coppola and Wes Anderson could learn a few things watching this. Or maybe they already have.”

Watch Trailer

Pages: Prev 1 2

Tag Cloud

batman fresh Pop TV NBC natural history Disney 007 A24 Lionsgate Reality Competition The Witch robots mission: impossible harry potter Rom-Com Stephen King HBO Max rt archives spanish language zombie worst movies comics TNT japanese cancelled TV shows BET Star Trek nature Fox News Year in Review true crime a nightmare on elm street finale dogs Martial Arts Western Anna Paquin halloween tv rotten Showtime romance Musicals quibi golden globes golden globe awards zombies festivals HBO Go toy story Calendar CW Seed Binge Guide Pet Sematary Trivia worst Cannes GLAAD directors Writers Guild of America unscripted Valentine's Day Bravo GIFs Syfy singing competition Mudbound Freeform series PaleyFest Character Guide Pixar based on movie laika Election political drama Emmys Hallmark scorecard Winners technology Extras spy thriller 2015 screen actors guild Arrowverse TCA YA TruTV ratings TIFF IFC blaxploitation black Opinion strong female leads Heroines Comedy Watching Series italian Schedule Song of Ice and Fire Oscars toronto franchise revenge The Academy TCM jamie lee curtis Tumblr LGBTQ Pride Month classics Video Games Nat Geo casting ESPN 4/20 cancelled TV series cooking television blockbuster stand-up comedy latino films dragons A&E Travel Channel BET Awards psychological thriller ABC DirecTV psycho indie dark Pop romantic comedy Academy Awards Hear Us Out independent asian-american Superheroes dceu Apple TV Plus Polls and Games Kids & Family trailers mutant CNN Holiday Country OWN NYCC AMC screenings Sneak Peek anime anthology Amazon Crackle 20th Century Fox Netflix Photos cops The CW versus cats SundanceTV Vudu TLC animated Podcast Crunchyroll criterion Sundance Sony Pictures E3 Best and Worst Tomatazos south america Musical movies fast and furious hispanic Amazon Studios 72 Emmy Awards all-time binge ABC Signature Box Office Star Wars kids Columbia Pictures justice league Rocketman Spike Sundance Now Ghostbusters Red Carpet Lucasfilm TV renewals Spring TV war Comics on TV doctor who DC streaming service cars Turner Classic Movies boxing TCA Awards DC Comics universal monsters slashers green book CBS All Access biography Black Mirror dramedy Black History Month 21st Century Fox 2019 Countdown DGA Tarantino Interview Endgame transformers Television Academy emmy awards movie Fall TV nbcuniversal cartoon historical drama Women's History Month Starz stop motion reboot Epix medical drama Acorn TV Paramount BBC America pirates of the caribbean name the review thriller Tubi Amazon Prime remakes Classic Film Alien Dark Horse Comics Adult Swim Comic Book Warner Bros. cancelled television Superheroe theme song Mindy Kaling USA TBS YouTube Premium critics Sci-Fi disaster Nickelodeon Cosplay Pirates vampires crime crossover Nominations Disney streaming service Super Bowl Ovation New York Comic Con BBC Food Network Disney Plus FOX Mary poppins HBO VOD Lifetime streaming crime drama Certified Fresh Chilling Adventures of Sabrina CBS satire President PlayStation RT History Summer Paramount Plus talk show travel VICE free movies TCA Winter 2020 YouTube RT21 2017 french Cartoon Network Drama scary movies children's TV San Diego Comic-Con Fantasy Action Marvel Horror First Reviews james bond SXSW child's play hist 45 Grammys canceled TV shows Apple space ghosts adventure Awards Tour comic Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt BBC One Rock USA Network WarnerMedia adaptation 2016 comic books Netflix Christmas movies witnail joker El Rey christmas movies FX Film Festival See It Skip It MSNBC Trophy Talk crime thriller game show Film Funimation Hallmark Christmas movies Marvel Television Discovery Channel what to watch best Britbox The Walt Disney Company Mary Poppins Returns Christmas Captain marvel TV science fiction video on demand Comedy Central Logo reviews BAFTA Disney+ Disney Plus werewolf archives indiana jones spinoff ViacomCBS APB X-Men discovery WGN sports ABC Family rom-coms TV Land supernatural zero dark thirty richard e. Grant SDCC Brie Larson foreign obituary Reality period drama Ellie Kemper Infographic book sitcom elevated horror TV One documentaries PBS GoT Amazon Prime Video politics Hulu Universal renewed TV shows festival game of thrones Emmy Nominations social media The Walking Dead comiccon Toys Mary Tyler Moore IFC Films documentary 99% Lifetime Christmas movies football VH1 rotten movies we love sag awards facebook 71st Emmy Awards concert LGBT First Look superhero Marvel Studios Elton John boxoffice Family 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards aliens spider-man Shudder diversity The Arrangement Walt Disney Pictures FX on Hulu Teen cancelled Mystery sequel Thanksgiving Holidays E! venice Fox Searchlight twilight dc Peacock History chucky DC Universe 24 frames tv talk Sundance TV CMT cults MCU die hard parents Apple TV+ teaser mockumentary news stoner National Geographic Masterpiece docudrama award winner Chernobyl Marathons Quiz Awards Premiere Dates Creative Arts Emmys serial killer nfl police drama miniseries FXX spanish TCA 2017 Paramount Network Avengers Winter TV Shondaland Rocky Trailer spain Biopics halloween composers ITV Set visit Spectrum Originals Esquire Baby Yoda video sequels Television Critics Association jurassic park ID cinemax Disney Channel canceled hollywood MTV 2018 australia Turner 2020 comedies YouTube Red deadpool The Purge Animation breaking bad OneApp American Society of Cinematographers Music