What the Hell Happened to Elisabeth Shue?

'Gracie' Press Conference

Elisabeth Shue was the girl friend to the Karate Kid and Marty McFly.  She had babysitting adventures and cocktails with Tom Cruise.  In the 90s, she was an Academy Award nominee for Leaving Las Vegas, but then she disappeared from the spotlight until recently.

What the hell happened?

Shue got her start doing commercials.  Here she is in a 1982 Burger King commercial which also features Lea Thompson and little Sarah Michelle Gellar.

By 1983, Shue was shilling Whoppers solo.

Shue also appeared in the low budget ghost story, Somehwere Tomorrow.  Sarah Jessica Parker starred.  Shue’s role was a small one and she was credited as Lisa Shue.

shue - call to glory

In 1984, Shue landed a regular role on the TV show Call to Glory starring Craig T Nelson as an air force pilot in the 1960s.  The family drama was inspired by the success of Top Gun and based loosely on The Right Stuff.  However, the show was cancelled after the first season due to low ratings.

Shue considered the show the perfect introduction to show biz:

“I was lucky I started out on television on a show that got cancelled at the end of the year. I had a great character, I played a total tomboy. I was so fortunate that that was my first real experience, because I was very, very naïve; I did not know much about the world at that time, and I could have gotten lost, you know, in some other zone of reality.”

shue - karate kid

That same year, Shue starred opposite Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita in The Karate Kid.

The Karate Kid is basically Rocky  for the teenage set.  This is not surprising given that it was directed by Rocky director, John Avildsen.

As a 13-year-old, The Karate Kid was irresistible to me.  I loved the story of an underdog roughly my own age who not only beat the odds but got the girl.  I was instantly smitten with Shue’s fresh-faced California cheerleader.  In my opinion, Daniel-san was playing way out of his league.  I nearly signed up for karate classes as soon as I left the theater.

The Karate Kid was a surprise hit that summer.  Three sequels and a remake followed.  But Shue doesn’t appear in any of them, so we will speak of them no more.

Next: Adventures in Babysitting and Cocktail


Posted on March 23, 2011, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actress and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 210 Comments.

  1. Very funny post! Love the paired pics of Marty’s girlfriends.


  2. I need to correct you on one very large error. Elizabeth Shue was NOMINATED for the Oscar in 1996 for her role in the 1995 film Leaving Las Vegas, but lost out to Susan Sarandon for Dead Man Walking..

    I wouldn’t have mentioned it, but you caught that ball and ran with it. I saw you made the same mistake in the story about Val Kilmer and if you really love her as an actress (as you state) you should know this.

    Otherwise, I love your articles (especially the one about the bat shit crazy Sean Young).


    • Ack! Thanks for the catch! It’s funny how we misremember things sometimes. Once I got those blinders on, I forgot to double check myself. I’ll update the articles immediately.

      For the record, Ms. Shue, you’re an Oscar winner in my eyes!


  3. andymovieman

    elisabeth shue amazes me with her acting and her portrayal of love interests for tom cruise, val kilmer, michael j fox, kurt russell and so many others. she did a good job in the saint and hollow man. she should do another good movie again. same with meg ryan. i hope it works out for her.


    • I think of the two, Elisabeth Shue is the more talented actress. She has range. Meg Ryan was always more of a movie star than an actress. She could play cute, but she had problems stretching beyond that. I’d love to see them both come back in some way. But if I had to bet, I’d bet on Shue.


  4. I think that you will notice in my comments that I tend to gravitate towards movies with Nicholas Cage as I have been a long time fan. Leaving Las Vegas is my very favorite Elizabeth Shue movie. It was beautiful and tragic and should have been the start of redemption for her career. You know, you should totally do a What The Hell Happened to Nic Cage too? Not that he doesn’t still do big movies but he, like Tom Cruise, has also lost his flippin mind.

    Love this series! Love this actress. I hope she finds a way to overcome and make her way back to the top.


    • Honestly, I think if Elisabeth Shue was interested in working more, she would find more work. I think she sort of got sick of crappy movies like Hollow Man and kind of dropped out Michael Keaton-style.

      I have had a few requests for Nicolas Cage. I definitely plan to write him up. I am thinking of starting a column for actors who are still working just for the sake of reviewing their careers. Cage, Cruise and Hanks are 3 actors I would love to write about. But they don’t fit “What the hell happened to”.


      • What would be interesting is to find out how many actors either dropped out or were kicked out due to politics. In other words, they couldn’t deal with the batshit crazy lefties anymore, or the batshit crazy lefties refused to deal with them anymore. I met a guy who was a grade school teacher and conservative and he said that he at first was afraid to let people know he is conservative. Afraid that the liberal dominated education system and teacher’s union would make life difficult for him. Over time, he found that many were like him. Now he knows for a fact that his school has more conservative teachers than liberal, and yet it is the liberals who feel free to espouse their views, while he and the rest of the conservatives do not.

        OK, take that to Hollywood. I am sure, and have heard that there are many conservative actors who have to hide that fact. But what if it is found out? Is that a reason why some very talented actors are not seen in quality movies these days?


        • I don’t know. There’s a lot of high profile Hollywood conservatives.

          My take has always been that if your movies make money, no one cares what your politics are. Hollywood only takes notice when your behavior hurts the bottom line.


        • True. If for instance, a Conservative actor is thee hottest thing at the moment, they will overlook his views so long as they are making money hand over fist, but I think it is more about the secondary roles. One that just needs filled by a competent actor, but it isn’t going to carry the show. When an actor is no longer a hot item, will the liberal producers take care of the liberal “has-beens” while ignoring the conservative conservative ones? I’m willing to believe that the answer is yes.


        • I’m sure that has happened. Actors lose roles for all kinds of reasons. Many are unfair. But I’m willing to bet more roles have been lost due to the casting couch than conservative politics.

          I do feel for conservative screenwriters. Try getting your glowing biography of George W. Bush made into a movie.


        • Agreed. There is no fairness in this kind of thing. Remember the farce of a movie called Recount, or something like that? It was about the recount here in Florida, where I live. Well the truth is that there was very little truth in that movie. Also, it is a myth, and one they perpetuated in that movie that Gore actually won Florida, but was defeated in the courtroom. The truth is, the Democrats wanted only select voting districts to be recounted…ones expected to add votes for Gore. The Republicans then sought to have the entire state recounted, if those liberal voting districts were allowed to have yet another recount. The courts decided against it. So the count ended with Bush ahead. Now, the liberals rightly argue that had those select counties been recounted, Gore would have taken the lead. Not assured but a reasonable expectation. However, had the entire state been recounted, it is highly unlikely that Gore would have won. But the movie makes out as if the whole thing was a big swindle and that Gore was robbed. That’s completely untrue. Also untrue was the caricature of the woman put in charge of the recount in Florida. They make her out to be a bimbo, overdoing her make-up, accent, intelligence, etc… Totally untrue But, as you said, try to get an accurate depiction of the events is about as likely as getting a Hollywood movie with truth about man made global warming.


        • Jon Voight is a well-known conservative who is doing well now as a character actor.

          He’s very vocal and active as a Republican (a lot of Hollywood types claim to be Libertarians)- yet he still gets work.

          I imagine it might hurt a young actor trying to network – he might have to avoid political discussions around well-known liberals who he;’s trying to get a break from.


        • Much as the Lindsay Lohans get work despite being a mess, Hollywood doesn’t mind political differences as long as the money keeps coming in.


        • >There’s a lot of high profile Hollywood conservatives.

          Thats a joke, right?


        • Not at all.

          I did a 2-second Google search and came up with a list of 65 Conservative celebs.

          Obviously, they aren’t the majority. But it’s not like conservatives are being blacklisted in Hollywood. If they were, you wouldn’t find any.


        • Why would there be a glowing biography of George W. Bush? “Glowing” suggests that you want a biography that makes him look good. That’s bias, in case you didn’t know that.


  5. shue can still be great as a love interest.


  6. hollow man was a great film.


    • We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one. I thought Hollow Man was pretty lousy. It had good special effects for the time. But not much else.


  7. it was the last american film paul verhoeven did before he went back to doing foreign films. you talk about starship troopers, i thought it was great too. even robocop, total recall and basic instinct.


  8. Showgirls is definitely a “so-bad-it’s-good” flick. Watch it with like-minded friends who know what they’re in for and you’ll have a good time.


    • That’s what I’m counting on. I’ve seen bits, so I know what I’m in for. But I’ve never sat down and watched the thing from start to finish.

      I’m actually really interested to see how much of Verhoven’s satire made it into Showgirls. As a director, he’s always kind of winking at the audience. But sometimes he plays it so straight it’s hard to know when he’s kidding and when he’s just bad. That was the case for me when I watched Starship Troopers. I’m curious to see if Showgirls has any intentional redeeming value.


      • “Showgirls” always stuck me as Elizabeth Berkley’s blatant attempt to transition into more “adult” roles (kind of like how “Leaving Las Vegas” successfully, at least for the time, helped Elisabeth Shue move past her angelic, girl-next-door persona), since at the time, she was primarily known for her work on “Saved by the Bell”. I think why Elizabeth Berkley’s film career pretty much “died” during its embryonic stages is because she basically took the film too seriously (as if she wasn’t entirely “in” on the joke). Something like this may have made the film better for camp reasons but at the end of the day, it also made her look awfully foolish.


  9. that seems real interesting.


  10. I have really enjoyed reading your articles! A much needed laugh after a long day – thank you! I must say though that you left out one of my favorite Elisabeth Shue movies where I think her acting ability shined. I can understand though how it can be overshadowed since Hollow Man followed it shortly thereafter. The movie was Molly (1999) which also starred Aaron Eckhart, where she plays an autistic young woman who displays genius characteristics after undergoing an experimental brain operation. Molly’s brother Buck (Eckhart) must care for her in times of need even when it is most inconvenient. It may not have been the chart topper of the year, but I thought it was wonderful. As a mother of 4 soccer players, one being a daughter, we also loved the movie Gracie that Elisabeth did with her brother Andrew in 2007. I would love to see Elisabeth back on the screen and better than ever. Here’s hoping…


    • Glad you got a chuckle out of the article. Sometimes I do skip over a movie or two (like Molly). I usually only skip a movie under 2 conditions. 1. I have never seen it and 2. It was not particularly impactful to the subject’s career. Molly was neither a bomb nor a hit. So, since I hadn’t seen it and didn’t have much to say, I just passed it over.

      Actually, there’s a third condition. I might include a movie I’ve never seen that was neither a hit nor a bomb if I can think of a halfway decent joke. Unfortunately, I was out of autism jokes that day.

      I’m with you in hoping to see more of Elisabeth Shue in the future.


  11. I happened upon your Blog via Google and I love it. You were spot on about The Saint. I actually cringed when watching that movie, it was so awful. Elisabeth Shue was incredibly miscast in that role and I agree with you; she must not be gifted in choosing scripts. I do think she’s talented, however, and would probably sparkle in television instead of the big screen.


    • Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog.

      I think you have hit on something. Shue would be excellent on TV. We’ve talked about this before in other articles, but TV seems to be a haven for actresses these days. Someone needs to call Shue up with a juicy cable series!


  12. unlike Meg Ryan, Elisabeth Shue is as hot today as she was in the 80s. She’s one reason I enjoyed the Piranha remake (even though it didn’t hold a candle to the 1978 original). Her clout may have lessened (due to Hollywood’s notorious ageism, among other things), but I’d still put up money to see what films she’ll appear in down the line.


    • I too am in the Shue fan club. I haven’t seen Piranha 3-D. But I was unfortunate enough to see the sequel Piranaha 3-DD. I plan to write up this disaster some time soon.


  13. andymovieman

    heard she is in csi now replacing catherine willows.


  14. It’s funny how hollywood just loove those: girl next door hooker,with a heart of gold movies.Yet at the same time you get busted trying to by one.(though looking at eddie murphy and hugh grant’s choices,I will suggest they try being sober when choosing a hooker next time)
    I actually kind of liked Hollow man,and a adventures in babysiting.
    The Saint on the other hand i never really understood.
    Besides Val kilmer has only a few god movies Willow,and kiss kiss bang bang


  15. What the hell happened (or failed to happen) to Heather Graham?


    • She is on the list. I really had high expectations for Heather Graham. How did she not rise to the same heights as Cameron Diaz?


    • Good choice of words, Octo. For actresses like Shue and Graham, it’s not a case of WTHHT, but what *failed* to happen to them. Hollywood is full of pretty blondes and those two were interchangable with about 15 other “name” actresses. Unless they get lucky (like Diaz, who didn’t pay any dues and shot to the A-list with her 1st movie) these actresses need to have something unique to set them apart.


  16. I disagree about Hollow Man, it didn’t end her career at all. Hollow Man was actually considered to be a minor hit, but the majority of her films still got released in theaters after it. She didn’t fade away at all, she still made movies. Besides she probably didn’t even want to a major star, it was her decision most likely, not Hollywood’s.

    Besides this year alone she had roles in three films (admittedly not all that big) in three theatrically released movies alone.


    • You are right about Hollow Man. I have been meaning to update that. Thanks for reminding me!


    • Here’s an article that I found from around the same time that “Hollow Man” came out:

      Elisabeth Shue’s career can be divided into two phases–before Leaving Las Vegas and after Leaving Las Vegas. Growing up in South Orange, New Jersey, with divorced parents–her lawyer father and bank executive mother split when she was nine–and three brothers, Elisabeth had clean-scrubbed good looks that got her the part of a perky salesperson in a series of Burger King commercials, after which she played sweet suburban kids in The Karate Kid and Adventures in Babysitting. When she entered adult-role territory, she still played the sensible good girl (in Cocktail and in Back to the Future II and III). She went slightly edgier to play a driven actress in Soapdish, but she returned to goody-two-shoes parts in The Marrying Man and Heart and Souls. So it was a surprise to everyone when she nailed the dark and extremely challenging role of an emotionally destroyed prostitute in 1995’s Leaving Las Vegas. When she didn’t win the Oscar for that remarkable performance (Susan Sarandon won that year for Dead Man Walking), there was still every reason to believe that she would now step into the best roles Hollywood had to offer. Instead, she proceeded to star in a series of mediocre misfires (The Trigger Effect, Palmetto, Cousin Bette, Molly), a so-so Woody Allen comedy (Deconstructing Harry) and Phillip Noyce’s big-budget, big-screen version of TV’s The Saint, which was at best a moderate success. With the big-budget Hollow Man, a special-effects-fueled update of the premise of The Invisible Man that stars Kevin Bacon and is directed by Paul Verhoeven, who has the hits Total Recall and Basic Instinct on his resume, Shue has the chance for a huge audience-pleaser that could accomplish what The Saint should have.


  17. Would Elisabeth Shue had more longevity as an A-list star post-“Leaving Lost Vegas” had she done more mainstream-type movies, not counting “The Saint” and “Hollow Man”, which didn’t really rely on her talents or strengths? What I’m saying is more movies like “Adventures in Babysitting” but as an adult (if that makes sense). Part of Elisabeth’s appeal (at least in the early part of her career) was her having an girl-next-door like image (perhaps similar to Meg Ryan in her prime or Sandra Bullock). She of course I suppose, managed to successfully play against type so to speak in “Leaving Lost Vegas”. But, I’m highly sure that more people have seen or recognize Elisabeth from her ’80s movies anyway.


    • Pure speculation, but I think if Shue had started doing rom coms she would have had commercial success. Based on the fact she never did them, I’m guessing she wasn’t all that interested.

      The competition for good roles for women is always fierce. But I think that was even more so back when Shue was at the top of her game.


      • Elisabeth Shue Turns Indie Goddess with the Film Don McKay: Regarding your career, in general, it seems like at the height of your fame you pulled back from work somewhat. Was that family related or were you put off by that level of attention?

        Thomas Haden Church & Elisabeth Shue in Don McKay
        Elisabeth Shue: I don’t think I pulled back as much as I had three children, and you have an idea of what that takes (Elizabeth was referring to my 11 month old son). The reality of the three children, and then the choices you make, you end up pulling back to accommodate their life and not really being as drawn to working back to back to back. And I just think it’s a mysterious thing how careers ebb and flow. I think as I started to pull back, having children and then seeing what was out there and not being as drawn to working then led to, “Whatever happened to her?” (Laughs). In three seconds flat you’re like, “Whoa! I thought I had a little more time to figure things out.” Then you’re on the list and you’re ten down [the list]. You know how many great parts there are for women each year. I’ve seen so many great films starring women, yet every time I speak to an actress they always say that there aren’t enough good characters for women.

        Elisabeth Shue: There aren’t as many films getting made. Maybe that’s a more honest way to put it. There aren’t as many films getting made so there are a lot of great actresses and it’s just needing enough to go around, really. I bet men would complain a little bit now about the lack of films getting made. The lack of big budget films?

        Elisabeth Shue: All movies. And then the movies that get made, like ours (DonMcKay), which I love so much, we’re so lucky that we’re getting distribution. There are tons and tons of movies with huge stars that haven’t gotten distribution. And partly, during the time I disappeared, I was filming a movie a year. Those movies just didn’t come out because of the way things have shifted in our culture and all kinds of factors. It’s harder today to get them out there. Do you feel freer or more creative on an independent set than you do when you’re working on a large studio film?

        Elisabeth Shue: You usually have more opportunities to play more [interesting] characters on an independent film because they are not necessarily the stories that are going to sell to a mass public. I love the pace of independent films. I think it does lead to a certain amount of freedom. You’re not waiting around for big lighting set ups. Everything is happening so quickly. You have so little money and so little time, and I love that energy. And it’s kind of a cliché, but the people who show up to do these films really do them because they love them. There’s a certain amount of dedication that you may not find on a bigger movie. I just did Piranha 3-D which is a relatively big movie and I still found the same commitment from the actors and the love of the work and it was really hard work. People put it all out there so I guess you can’t generalize too much. Well my biggest pet peeve is with big budget romantic comedies because you go to the movie to see how everything is going to happen, but you know what’s going to happen at the end. If you see the trailer and it’s about a man and a woman who are annoyed by each other you know they are going to wind up in bed or in love, one of the two. As an actress what do you think of those kinds of female roles?

        Elisabeth Shue: I haven’t done so many of them. I don’t think I’ve done a romantic comedy where I’ve been the lead. I remember Soap Dish, but that wasn’t a romantic comedy. Maybe The Karate Kid would be the closest thing to that kind of a role.

        Elisabeth Shue: That was the quintessential girlfriend. I was annoyed by the idea of “the girlfriend,” but then I was lucky that I didn’t end up playing that many of them even though that was sort of my title for awhile… “the good girlfriend.” I hope that as the years go on, and the audience members are really the ones that need to revolt and they are the ones who need to say, “Hey, we want more interesting, more complicated, more human and surprising. And we’re not going to come out and see that other kind of movie again.” The advertising and marketing just seems to draw so many people into movie theatres that it’s hard for them to stop making those movies. They keep working enough to get people to keep coming. Back when you were nominated for an Oscar for your role in Leaving Las Vegas, those are typically the films that wind up as the stand outs and get the acclaim at the end of each year.

        Elisabeth Shue: The smaller movies. The smaller movies, or just the movies where it takes you on a journey where you didn’t know where it was going to go.

        Elisabeth Shue: That’s true. Sandra’s part this year, every once in a while there’s a hybrid of a movie that is really entertaining and works on a commercial level and also has a really great character, and for a woman, oh my God, that’s pretty amazing. And the same for Julia Roberts when she won for Erin Brockovich, that’s really rare. It’s not as rare for men, like Forrest Gump was a hybrid. And if you look at all those movies that were commercial plus they had a great actor in them, they were probably done by a huge director so that they can sell it and so the studio felt comfortable. We’re going to do a movie that is much more complicated and much more interesting, but we know we have this great director. We have Steven Spielberg or we have Robert Zemeckis, a commercial director doing it.


    • I can’t believe that I typed “LOST Vegas” instead of “LAS Vegas”!


  18. Despite Cocktail, Adventures in Babysitting and Karate Kid, Shue really wasn’t a star until LLV.

    Very few people even noticed she replaced Claudia Wells in the Back to the Future sequels. Those films were about Fox and Lloyd.

    Her part in The Marrying Man was a small one. And it was a bomb anyway. She had a large role in Soapdish, but didn’t even get her name on the poster because of all the top-tier talent. That movie wasn’t a hit either.

    Heart and Souls just didn’t work.

    Shue has had a truly remarkable comeback over the last two years. I’m really happy for her. It’s good to see her in the spotlight again even if I don’t watch CSI either.


  19. I’ve been looking around Elisabeth Shue’s IMDb message board to try to get a better idea or better insight for why her career post-“Leaving Las Vegas” pretty much went nowhere until she resurfaced on “CSI”. I do believe that the more mainstream roles in which she was a lead like “The Saint” and “Hollow Man” not doing to well maybe helped convince Hollywood to not be so urgent to buy into her.

    The best theory that I’ve found is that maybe her image is much of the problem. Elisabeth was arguably most I think she was most successful when cast as the “girl next door” (something that perhaps suits her the best). Unfortunately, you it’s a safe bet to say that you really can’t play the “girl next door” once you hit 30. With that being said, I suppose that Hollywood didn’t really know how to probably utilize her. Much of the film roles she has done since “Leaving Las Vegas” haven’t really been that noteworthy or memorable. So it could also be a “quality of scripts” issue.

    Apparently, Elisabeth has said in past interviews that she enjoys taking on roles in smaller films since they often allow her to play interesting characters that push her as an actress. She has also said that the bigger films that she’s starred in, while fun, are often more to do with paying the bills since the money is better and they’re fun to make.

    I think that Elisabeth arguably hurt her momentum by taking lengthy breaks by going back to Harvard and focusing on her family (she’s married to the guy who directed Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” and I think, has three children w/ him).


    • I think you have hit upon the answer. Life got in the way. She made enough money on things like The Saint and Hollowman that she didn’t have to keep making movies like The Saint and Hollowman.

      Shue did fit the “girl next door” mode. But I think she busted that with LLV. The problem is, she really couldn’t make a career out of “hooker with a heart of gold” type roles either.

      All in all, she’s had a career that clearly suits her. I feel like her entry is one of the happier ones in the series.


  20. Hope Springs, Or: What The Hell Happened To Elisabeth Shue:

    However, none of that is what I would like to discuss in regards to “Hope Springs.” No, the most crucial issue at its conventional core is Elisabeth Shue.

    You remember Elisabeth Shue. Twenty-five years ago she burst onto the scene as the most heroic babysitter of all time. Seven years later she earned an Oscar nomination (in my estimation she should have won) for her gut-wrenching work in “Leaving Las Vegas.” Slowly, however, her star has faded and in “Hope Springs” she turns up as a local bartender who serves Streep a bit of white wine. A ha!, I thought, Shue is playing the part of The Helpful Bartender, dispensing wisdom to Streep and then, probably later, Jones and maybe even being allowed to romance Carrell’s Dr. Field in a subplot. Excitement filled the air!

    Except, no. Elisabeth Shue was never seen again. I repeat: Elisabeth Shue was never seen again. An Oscar nominee, she turns up in this $30 million film for about two, three minutes, serves a little wine, calls out a few locals for “not getting any” and is never heard from again. How can this be? Were there scenes left on the cutting room floor? How can you hire someone with a name as known as hers for a single scene of such inconsequence? It makes no sense. Unless this is really what Elisabeth Shue’s career has come to – excitedly jumping at a one scene walk off that could just as easily have been played by Khrystyne Haje.

    “Hope Springs” revolves around a woman who has been marginalized in her own marriage. Tragically, “Hope Springs” does the exact same thing to Elisabeth Shue.


    • SCREEN: Whatever happened to Elisabeth Shue?

      M.I.A. actress is back in the spotlight with Steve Coogan’s twisted ‘Hamlet 2’

      Although the actress Elisabeth Shue plays herself in the new film comedy “Hamlet 2,” she says, “I don’t think it’s possible to play yourself. I don’t really know who I am as a character, and really don’t want to.”

      In the movie, Britain’s Steve Coogan, playing a cluelessly inept high school drama teacher, encounters the real/faux Shue working as a nurse at the Prickly Pear Fertility Clinic in Tucson, Ariz., who having turned her back on being a Hollywood actress has decided to now help couples get pregnant.

      “What I loved about her,” said Shue of her interpretation of herself during a recent interview in Manhattan’s Regency Hotel, “was that she was proud of being a nurse but yet you could sense that she really wanted to get back up there and be an actress.

      “While she was a nurse she was going to be sure she looked great, and had on just the right outfit and made sure it was tight enough and short enough so people would still appreciate that she was a sexy nurse. I just liked that sort of insecurity and need for attention.”

      As an actress whose public profile has diminished markedly since starring in a string of ’80s hits — “Karate Kid,” “Adventures in Babysitting,” “Cocktail” — and receiving an Oscar nod for 1995’s “Leaving Las Vegas,” Shue knows all about that.

      “Maybe after being around for so long, going sort of up and down, I’ve been so used to that that I have a great sense of humor finally about the absurdity of this business we’re in. I’ve been able to laugh and realize that where I am right now, even though it’s slightly more obscure, has worked for my life in such an amazing way,” she said.

      “Probably five years before I was much more in fear, like every actor, that it’s all going to end, and what would I do? What if I can’t work with the best people? Now I just really enjoy the work that I do. Every year I seem to find one movie, and even if it doesn’t see the light of day it still challenges me as an actress. I still work with people I really respect. I’m actually happier now than I’ve ever been.”

      Now a 44-year-old mother of three, Shue still looks stunning, and could still easily pass for 34. But anyone would need a thick skin for what the fictional Elisabeth Shue is put through in “Hamlet 2.” When Coogan’s character has her come speak to his drama class, the students don’t even know who she is.

      “I think they offered it to a lot of different actresses before, and I heard through the grapevine that some of them were possibly offended when they got the offer,” said Shue. “He (director Andrew Fleming) said he wanted to possibly change the script so they would know who I was, out of respect, which I think is so, so sweet. But I told him immediately that I thought they should not know who I am. That’s part of the joke, and that happens all the time.”

      Continued the actress, “Mostly people think they recognize you from somewhere. Did they go to school with you? And then you feel really embarrassed, saying, ‘Well, no, I’m an actress.’ But it’s always nice.”

      One of the more hilarious moments of the film occurs when Coogan’s character encounters Shue for the first time at the fertility clinic. He goes absolutely bonkers.


  21. 7 Movie Characters Who Had Unexplained Personality Shifts In Sequels:

    2. Jennifer Parker

    When We First Saw Her… Back to the Future (1985)

    In Back to the Future, Jennifer Parker serves as Marty McFly’s super hot, super cool ’80s girlfriend. Seriously, I don’t know anybody who has seen this movie who doesn’t think Jennifer is the epitome of “awesome wife material.” She’s only in this movie for about 10 minutes in all, but we get the sense that the writers want us to know that she’s the girl of Marty’s dreams.

    Aside from being kind of badass (she doesn’t mind being late), Jennifer is also really supportive of Marty’s music-related dreams in a sexy way (I’m not sure what I mean by that, but I can’t bring myself to delete it… it feels so right). The most important aspect of Jennifer’s personality that I’d like to highlight, though, is that we get the sense that she’s pretty intelligent. She also has a very strict dad. He’s all like, “Jennifer!”, and she’s all like, “Coming!”. You know the type.

    When We Saw Her Next… Back to the Future Part II (1989)

    I suppose you might associate this with the pitfalls of actually recasting a role with a new actress, which is what happened when the original Jennifer, Claudia Wells, was replaced (for scheduling reasons) by Elizabeth Shue. And from the moment we get our new Jennifer… well, she’s like a completely different person. Dumb, irritating kind of goofy… nothing like the badass Jennifer of yesteryear we all fell in love with in the first movie.

    I know that if your recast somebody in a role for a sequel you’re gonna get a different kind of performance, but it’s not necessarily the way that Shue is acting this that makes it odd: the dialogue just doesn’t make sense for the character. Her cool charm has vanished, replaced with, like, annoyingness. Marty doesn’t even seem as fond of his girlfriend. I don’t know why they made Jennifer so goofy… maybe Wells would’ve pulled it off. I’ve just always felt like this was somebody else entirely.


    • 8 Actor Replacements In Movie Sequels That Totally Sucked:

      3. Claudia Wells/Elizabeth Shue – Jennifer Parker

      I can’t believe I’m writing an entry on this list in which I suggest Elizabeth Shue did something wrong, but here’s a casting replacement that has always bugged me, though it might not have been our replacement actor’s fault entirely. In the original Back to the Future, Claudia Wells was cast as Marty McFly’s super hot love interest Jennifer Parker. She was written, I imagine, to be the epitome of awesome movie girlfriends – and Claudia pulled it off brilliantly, despite the fact she has, like, eight minutes of screentime in all.

      When Robert Zemeckis decided it was time to make Back to the Future Part II, Claudia Wells was unable to return to fill her role because her mother was ill at the time, and she wanted to take care of her (fair enough). So the director cast Elizabeth Shue instead, who – for some reason – plays Jennifer completely and utterly different. “Stupidly,” is probably the right word, but I don’t want to be too harsh. Shue is a great actress, and I think the script is much to blame, but this character genuinely shifted from sexy and cool to immature and annoying.


      • Craig Hansen

        I had wondered for many, many years why Claudia Wells was replaced with Shue in the BTTF sequels. It wasn’t until a few years ago I found out Wells bowed out to take care of her ill mother – my respect for her shot through the roof after hearing that. While I like Shue in general, I had always wished that Wells could’ve returned as McFly’s girlfriend instead.


        • It’s also a shame Crispin Glover shot himself in the foot over a salary dispute. His role was greatly diminished, but had Glover returned I am sure we would have seen more of George McFly in the sequels than we did.

          Thank goodness Lea Thompson was available. I need to add her name to the poll in the near future.


        • You know what’s especially funny, before Claudia Wells or Elisabeth Shue, Melora Hardin was supposed to play Jennifer Parker in “Back to the Future”. I’m sure everybody or at least, most people by now know that Eric Stoltz was originally supposed to play Marty McFly (the filmmakers always wanted Michael J. Fox, but his commitments to the show “Family Ties” made it logistically difficult). Stoltz was fired after several weeks of shooting because the producers felt that Stoltz played the role too seriously/dramatically. Melora Hardin was replaced w/ Claudia Wells because the producers weren’t comfortable w/ the idea of having Michael J. Fox’s girlfriend be taller than him!


        • I did not know that. Funny.


      • The script is 100% to blame. Zemekis has said he was kicking himself for including Marty’s girlfriend in the final scene because it meant she had to come into the future in the sequel. But he didn’t have anything to do with her there, so he knocked her out. The role as written was terrible. The script made her out to be stupid. Shue made the most out of a thinly written and minor role.

        Is it one guy who writes all these lists for What Culture? They always seem so padded.


        • The amazing thing is, Zemeckis swears up and down when making BTTF that he never intended to make a sequel – the whole bit at the end about their kids being messed up 30 years in the future, and even the final shot of “To Be Continued…..” was literally meant just as a joke to end the film on, nothing more. But then, BTTF became a runaway blockbuster – the highest grossing film of 1985 – and eventually, he decided to make parts 2 and 3, but that was after the fact.

          I’m sure George McFly would’ve been much better used as a character if Crispin Glover hadn’t made impossible demands, but I still really enjoy the sequels the way they are. I’d love to see a Lea Thompson write-up some day, she’d be a great choice for WTTH.


        • How the heck did Thompson not become a big star? Is it because she played Michael J. Fox’s mom? That she had a love scene with a talking duck?

          I just recently rewatched the BTTF sequels after many, many years. I think they hold up pretty well. The portrayal of the future from the perspective of the 80s is actually funnier to me now than it was then. They are nowhere near as good as the first movie. Zemekis was right that the first film was self contained and did not need a sequel. But he did a good job making a trilogy out of a movie that was a stand-alone story.


        • 8 Classic Trilogies That Almost Turned Out Completely Different:

          6. Back To The Future Nearly Didn’t Have Sequels

          The Films You Know: To not like Back To The Future is like not liking chocolate; you deserve to be heckled for it. Not liking the two follow ups is a little less taboo. The second is a lot of fun and the third has some nice pastiche elements, but there’s no denying they’re lower rung films; all the key elements that define the series come from the first entry. At least, unlike many trilogies, there’s a sense of intention to it all after that ending. In time where Star Wars and Indiana Jones were clearing up with sequels, it made sense for this bright new film to make way for some.

          The Films That Almost Happened: Well there almost weren’t any sequels at all. The ‘To Be Continued…’ sting at the end of Back To The Future was little more than a joke, present (along with the flying Delorean) to keep audiences on a high when they left the cinema. It was only once the cash started pouring in and Universal put the pressure on Robert Zemeckis to make a follow up or two. Even then, Zemeckis said he’d only direct if Michael J. Fox and Christopher Llyod came back; something that seems certain now, but given the issues with Crispin Glover (greedy) and Claudia Wells (compassionate) could easily have thrown a spanner in the works. At the end of the day, looking back on a possibility of Back To The Future being a standalone film, it’s hard to decide if that would have been a good or bad thing.


        • 12 Actors Whose Careers Were Destroyed By A Single Movie:

          Michael OConnor
          Jul 10

          Ellen DeGeneres film career was destroyed by starring in the romantic comedy Mr. Wrong, where it became painfully clear that she was very uncomfortable in a romantic situation with a man. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, of course, as there have been lesbian actresses who could convincingly pull off a romantic film role with a man but she could not. From that point on, Ellen focused on television and has been enormously successful.

          I would have to consider Crispin Glover for the list. I don’t think he would have been anything more than a quirky character actor, but he got good reviews for Back to the Future for his weird, slightly creepy, geeky character, but it soon turned out he was not acting but he was playing himself. His career quickly unraveled after the incident on the Letterman show (when it was not trendy to do something bizarre on a talk show) and he was not invited back for the BTTF sequels.

          Tea Leoni in Deep Impact? It was one of the worst miscastings I have ever seen.


        • It was very easy to rip on Elisabeth’s role in the “BTTF” sequels simply because of the way that the second movie was structured to literally pick up where the first one left off. So in effect (at least, when the movie starts), Elisabeth is literally forced to impersonate (since they basically reshot the last scene), line-by-line Claudia Wells. It kind of reminds me of “Superman Returns”, where most of the time, Brandon Routh was there to do little less but recite/recreate Christopher Reeve’s dialog from Richard Donner’s Superman movie from 1978.

          It’s really hard to get away w/ “putting your own spin” on a particular character so to speak, since the “BTTF” movies are so interconnected to each other continuity-wise. Basically, Elisabeth was in a lose-lose situation all around.


        • Agreed. As was Routh. I think both actors did an admirable job with a no win situation.


      • Top 8 Movie Recastings:

        #8: Elisabeth Shue as Jennifer Parker
        (Back To The Future Part II & Part III)

        First up on our list is one of the classic recastings. Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future was a breakout hit in 1986; it received widespread acclaim and was the highest-grossing film of that year with over $383 million worldwide. Thus, a sequel was inevitable and it arrived with Back to the Future Part II in 1989. That film actually had two recastings as Crispin Glover was replaced by Jeffrey Weissman due to contract disagreements but in that one Zemeckis actively tried to pull one over on the audience with makeup effects and shooting Weissman consistently from behind. The other recasting was a much less-heated situation, as Claudia Wells chose not to reprise her role when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Zemeckis replaced her with Elisabeth Shue, who made the role her own and is now largely remembered as “the” Jennifer. For my money Part II is a bit of a disappointment overall; it’s too messy and the future doesn’t work as well as Zemeckis wanted. But one of the highlights was how easily Shue integrated into the cast, using Jennifer’s expanded role to steal a lot of moments from the rest of the cast. Shue would parlay that success into a very successful career through the ’80s and early ’90s, and even an Oscar nomination for Leaving Las Vegas. To many people though she will always be Jennifer from Back to the Future which says a lot to how well she took over the role.


    • 10 Great Movie Characters Who Were Totally Butchered By Sequels:

      2. Jennifer Parker – Back to the Future Part II

      Granted, we don’t really ever see that much of Jennifer Parker in the original Back to the Future movie, and though she’s played by two separate actresses over the course of the trilogy – Claudia Wells and Elisabeth Shue – the two versions of this character are so at odds with one another, it’s angered me ever since I was a person capable of being angered by things like this. That’s to say, Jennifer Parker gets a major personality overhaul in the space of a few minutes. It’s insane.

      In the original flick, Jennifer exists mainly as a prop: she’s Marty McFly’s super hot, super cool girlfriend – so cool, in fact, “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News plays when he kisses her. Claudia Wells, brief though her role is, pulls this off brilliantly. But when Wells couldn’t return for Back to the Future Part II, she was replaced by Elisabeth Shue, who plays the character totally different. Instead of cool and confident, the new Jennifer is irritating and dumb – so much so, that you secretly want Marty to abandon her in the future. Seriously, what happened here?


      • That guy really makes a lot of noise about Back to the Future 2. How many times has he included this in lists? The character barely existed in the first movie. I really don’t see what he’s making such a stink over this for. Yes, the character was forced into some silly situations by the script. It wasn’t especially elegant. But the character wasn’t totally different so much as she was put in unfamiliar and very strange surroundings.


      • Back to the Future’s Claudia Wells (Jennifer Parker)

        You didn’t return for the sequels, but you had a good reason for turning them down. [Wells stopped acting to care for an ailing family member.] Did you go to see the sequels? Were you still interested in watching how the story played out?

        I was! When I saw it, I went all by myself to the movie theater. I got my popcorn and I slumped down in my seat and I watched the movie. It was an odd experience, because I was like, “Wow, yep, that’s the movie I’m not in!” [Laughs] But I knew that it was my choice and decision, and it was a decision that [the filmmakers] honored.

        I saw Part II in the theaters, and I saw Part III in the theaters. Both times I went by myself and slumped down in the seat and watched the movie with everyone else. It’s funny that Elisabeth Shue got the part, because I’d screen tested for Adventures in Babysitting. That role had come down between her, me, and Phoebe Cates. So, the fact that she wound up getting my role in Back to the Future is a funny synchronicity.

        Almost every movie in the 1980s came down between the three of us and Sarah Jessica Parker. It was the same group, no matter how many people auditioned, it was almost always the same people it came down to, just switching up who got it. Phoebe Cates got Gremlins, and then I got Phoebe Cates’ role, Linda Barret, in Fast Times [the TV series]. So, literally, it was a very small group of people that got most of the parts.

        There was one audition one morning where Sarah Jessica Parker and I were trying for the lead in a movie, and then that afternoon it was between the two of us for the starring role in Martin Sheen’s directorial debut, Babies Having Babies. When I saw Sarah again that afternoon, I went to her and said, “Sarah, let’s make a deal. You get one part, and I’ll get the other. Let’s shake on it.” [Laughs] As if we had any power. So we shook on it, and she got the morning part, and I got the afternoon part.


        • I thought it was pretty cool that Claudia Wells is in the “Back To The Future” video game; she has cool hair and is such a rebel, but the time…


        • I recently watched the documentary Back in Time. Wells shows up in it doing charity work at someone’s homemade Back to the Future themed putt putt golf course.


        • I recently checked out a book on the “Back to the Future” trilogy called “The Visual History”. The book didn’t really go into detail regarding the reasons why Claudia Wells couldn’t come back as Jennifer Parker for the sequels other than the general “personal issues” excuse. What I did find out that other than Elisabeth Shue, Julie Warner (Michael J. Fox’s future “Doc Hollywood” co-star) and Lori Loughlin (from “Full House”) also tested for the role.


  22. I’d probably blame “Spacecamp” (sorry, I couldn’t resist), although, in that film’s defense, Tom Skerritt & Kate Capshaw made a cute couple


    • Good one.

      I haven’t seen Space Camp. I DVRd it in anticipation of writing up Thompson some day, but I have not yet subjected myself to it.


      • Future WTHHT subject Kelly Preston (as well as a young Joaquin Phoenix) was also in that movie. “Spacecamp” (it was basically one of those “ragtag group of kids go on a grand adventure” movies from that era like “The Goonies”) was one of the biggest marketing nightmares/headaches in film history. It unfortunately, came out sometime after the Challenger exploded in early 1986.


  23. Watched the last half of LLV on cable, couple weeks ago. It made me wish I’d seen the first half instead. Suffice to say, heartbreaking stuff, performances of Shue and Cage both excellent. I will not be able to watch it again, though.


    • I haven’t watched it again. But I remember being very moved.

      I actually saw LLV and Dead Man Walking on the same day. My friend and I were horribly depressed after that double bill. It was coincidentally the same pal who took me to see Million Dollar Baby to cheer me up after my brother’s funeral. Lots of laughs.


  24. Indeed, nothing about that lineup would have been therapeutic… Kudos for how you have shouldered on after such a loss, Lebeau


    • Back when we saw Leaving Las Vegas and Dead Man Walking back to back, I had not a care in the world. I was a young man in my 20s with very few responsibilities and a good job. I was making what seemed at the time to be a fortune and saw all the movies I wanted to see for free. Usually before they opened. So that was just an afternoon of depressing movies. If I remember, we topped it off with Mr. Wrong thinking a comedy would help cleanse the palate. But Mr. Wrong turned out to be depressingly awful.

      Million Dollar Baby was something else entirely. My brother was a young man when he died. In many ways, he was like I was in the earlier paragraph. Except instead of being carefree, he was very troubled. His death was the hardest thing I have had to endure. But, you know, you have to move on.

      If you will allow me to tell a personal story that is in no way related to movies or specifically Elisabeth Shue. The day after my brother’s funeral, we had an appointment scheduled to see a fertility doctor. Mindy considered canceling the appointment and rescheduling it for a time when we weren’t so burdened. But I told her life goes on and we should carry on with our plans. During that appointment, we got a shock. Mindy was pregnant.

      During the previous week, she had felt terrible. But she had attributed it to the circumstances. We were both so taken by surprise, we didn’t fully come to grasp the good news until after we left the doctor’s office. I wasn’t for sure that we were having a baby until I saw some passing nurses pointing and grinning as we left the office.

      One day you have a funeral. The next day you find out you’re going to be a parent. Life goes on.


  25. That it does, Lebeau, that it does… unlike you I’ve never been successful but I’ve come to terms with all that. Like you I have 2 great kids that have been and continue to be life’s greatest blessing. It’s great that you and your wife have that blessing!


  26. 10 Squeaky-Clean Actresses Who Went Bad For Movie Roles:

    9. Elisabeth Shue – Leaving Las Vegas

    Elisabeth Shue started out playing a bunch of nice girl next door types, in movies such as The Karate Kid, Adventures In Babysitting and Back to the Future, which helped to procure her image as a wholesome girl who you could trust your kids with. Though she went toe-to-toe with Tom Cruise in the more adult but undoubtedly camp Cocktail, she still played a character of virtuous attribute, so it wasn’t all that out of the ordinary for her.

    So when Leaving Las Vegas came along in 1995, which cast Shue in the role of a prostitute, the world stood up and took notice: was this the same actress? For her role in Mike Figgis’ heartbreaking movie (which co-starred Nicolas Cage in an Oscar-winning role), Shue had to expose herself entirely (she’s naked a lot). There’s even a dark scene where she gets raped by a trio of frat boys. This turn could’ve ruined her career, but it actually marks her best performance to date. Bravo, Elisabeth.



      Actress Elisabeth Shue was such a fresh-faced teen actress, with roles in films like ‘The Karate Kid’ and ‘Adventures in Babysitting,’ but when she grew up she needed to get away from the girl next door stereotype, which led her to star opposite Nicolas Cage in ‘Leaving Las Vegas.’ In the film, Cage plays a suicidal alcoholic who befriends Shue’s prostitute character. Shue gets naked, has sex with Cage, and is brutally raped in the film that earned her an Academy Award nomination for best actress, and rightfully so. We’d never seen Shue like this, and she was definitely offered — and took — much more interesting parts after.


      • Did she though? Her big roles after LLV were The Saint, Molly and Hollow Man. She did some independent films that didn’t really connect with anybody and had her requisite Wood Allen bit part. But before you knew it she was back to playing Robert DeNiro’s girlfriend in a lame horror movie and the Pirahna remake.


  27. Craig Hansen

    Thinking about it more, Shue must have impressed the hell out of the people involved with Leaving Las Vegas during the casting process, because looking at her resume prior to that, it was filled with Karate Kid/Adventures In BabySitting/Back To The Future-type roles…. not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you, but I’m sure she had some convincing to do to be hired for the co-lead in that dark, disturbing film. She definately earned that Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

    By the way, Lebeau, it just occurred to me right now, seeing as how you just wrote up Hillary Swank…. Shue makes three major actors from the Karate Kid franchise to receive Academy Award nominations in their career…. Pat Morita got the Best Supporting Actor nod for the first Karate Kid (very noteworthy unto it self, as the Oscars normally don’t ever acknowledge acting in teen-oriented summer films, no matter how good they are), then Elizabeth Shue from the first film getting a nomination 12 years later for Best Actress with Leaving Las Vegas, and of course fellow WTTH alumni Hillary Swank (from Karate Kid 4) actually winning the Best Actress Oscar twice….. you wouldn’t think Karate Kid would be the kind of franchise to develop Academy-worthy actors, would you?


    • And of cousre there were all of the many nominations for Ralph Macchio… 😉

      You’re right. The Karate Kid defied a lot of expectations. When I saw it as a kid (of the non-karate variety) I loved it to pieces. But I certainly didn’t expect Morita to be nominated for an Oscar. Or for three sequels and a remake to follow. It’s crazy that a little summer movie had so much impact.

      They lucked out with the casting for sure. Everyone was perfect for their roles. And of course Shue turned out to be so much more than just the “girlfriend” she was playing at the time. There was no way to know based on her performances up to that point that she had a LLV in her.

      The disappointing part to me, is that after her good girl goes bad role got her so much attention, Hollywood didn’t really have anything equally interesting for her to do.


      • I just loved Karate Kid when I was a kid (also of the non-karate variety, ha ha). Matter of fact I owned it on VHS back in the mid-80’s (and this is back when movies were often still very expensive to own) so I watched that first movie many, many times in my early teens. Actually I watched that movie so many times, I learned how to do the Crane Technique! 🙂 It was a great movie though for that time.


        • I bought the novelization through a school book order. Remember those? Back before movies came out on a cheap home video format three months after their theatrical release. I read the novel several times. It included pictures from the movie (as movie novelizations always did). Shue was dreamy. That is all.


        • Shakespeare I Am Not

          I remember those..True story, i bought the novelizations of “Unidentified Flying Oddball” AND “Goin’ Coconuts” (the Donny and Marie movie) from a school book order. Cheaper than going to the movies.


        • Cheaper than going to the movies, you could experience the story again and again and I didn’t have to beg mom and dad for a ride.


        • I was just on a Doctor Who site where the novelizations were discussed. Who ones are semi-collectible.

          Before VHS you might never see the story again- or even worse- you might miss an episode (Who was serialized)

          Most famous novelization author? Isaac Asimov wrote the novelization to Fantastic Voyage- and fixed some of the obvious plot holes.


      • I think perhaps, one of Elisabeth’s problems for most of her career is that she really needed a charismatic or engaging male co-star (e.g. Ralph Macchio, Tom Cruise, Michael J. Fox, Robert Downey, Jr. albeit pre-“Iron Man”, Nicolas Cage, Val Kilmer fresh off of “Batman Forever”, etc.) to depend on. I don’t really know why Elisabeth’s career seemed to stagnate after “Leaving Las Vegas”.

        I think I said before that maybe another part of the problem is that Elisabeth forgot to understand that her main appeal was still her girl-next-door image (regardless of her playing a hooker in “LLV”) which arguably worked best in something like “Adventures in Babysitting”. What I mean is that Elisabeth is pretty, but she was one of those women that you felt more comfortable talking to could find easier to attain than say somebody like Kim Basinger. Unfortunately, Elisabeth kept making movies that either mainstream audiences weren’t interested in or movies that arguably anybody could’ve played.


        • What Happened to Elisabeth Shue:

          Opting for the same kind of heartrending empathy, John Duigan’s Molly has just the opposite effect. This ill-advised soap opera has already been playing to snoring audiences on transatlantic flights and the reasons why it is finally being released commercially inspire skepticism at best. Molly, played by the criminally wasted Elisabeth Shue, is an autistic woman (I’m told it is politically incorrect to use the word “retarded” now, but you be the judge) who, after years in a nursing facility, is forced into the outside world in the care of her brother Buck (Aaron Eckhart, fresh from his success in two Neil LaBute films, In the Company of Men and Your Friends and Neighbors ), a free-wheeling bachelor in advertising who takes on his new roommate with understandable alarm.

          Molly wets the bed, wanders naked through his office and gets him fired, and barely musters more than an animal grunt. Through some kind of miracle surgery that is never quite believable, cells are implanted in Molly’s brain to increase her intelligence, and a 28-year-old woman with the mind of a child is suddenly transformed into a genius with the body of a sexpot. Unfortunately, the wardrobe department apparently didn’t read the same script, and Ms. Shue is transformed from a dowdy ragamuffin into a carnival midway kewpie doll with Shirley Temple curls. Buck learns to love Molly no matter how ridiculous she looks, Molly discovers her hormones with an equally challenged hunk from the loony bin named Sam (Thomas Jane, last seen co-starring with a mechanical shark in Deep Blue Sea –not much career progress here), and just when she starts dressing like Scarlett O’Hara, Molly’s brain reverts back to the good old days when she was just a Brussels sprout, and the whole movie plunges into bathos.

          Ms. Shue was obviously told this is the kind of handicapped stuff that won Oscars for Dustin Hoffman ( Rain Man ) and Cliff Robertson ( Charly) , and she drools her way through it with legs splayed and arms flying. But did they have to make her look so gruesome in the process? In the end, they all go yachting, and you’re left with an overwhelming reaction of “Huh?” The three attractive and talented leads do their best to keep Molly afloat, but this labored, manipulative disaster is icky enough to rot the teeth.


        • ‘It Girls’ Who Fizzled Out:

          Elisabeth Shue: Leaving Los Angeles

          First known to most as the love interest of Ralph Macchio in 1984’s “The Karate Kid,” Elisabeth Shue earned a lead role in a film in 1987’s “Adventures in Babysitting” and a supporting role as Michael J. Fox’s onscreen girlfriend in 1989 and 1990’s can’t-fail “Back to the Future” sequels. But then her career hit a lull until 1995’s “Leaving Las Vegas,” which earned her an Oscar nomination. Her comeback, however, proved brief, and she’s been mostly relegated to forgettable flicks since then.


        • I think you are giving her co-stars too much credit. Shue could be the center of a movie as Adventures in Babysitting proved. But I do agree that she made a string of bad choices after LLV.


        • Maybe what I meant to say is that Elisabeth Shue for better or for worse, struck me (after reading this) as a bit of a “star by association” (if that makes sense). In other words, for whatever the reasons, it really seemed to be like many of her movies weren’t designed or advertised mostly on her star power alone. “Adventures in Babysitting” is one of the few movies that I can immediately think of in which Elisabeth had to really carry it on her own so to speak. Even now on “CSI”, even though Elisabeth is the first billed actress (she’s second billed altogether behind Ted Danson), “CSI” is really more of an ensemble.


        • It’s one of those things I say about stars here quite a bit. She’s been in some hit movies. But how many tickets was she responsible for selling? No one things of Karate Kid as an Elisabeth Shue movie. Her performance was great, but is Leaving Las Vegas an Elisabeth Shue movie? I’m not sure what an Elisabeth Shue movie would be. She never established herself as a brand. That’s not a requirement to be an actor, but it is to be a star.


        • Couldn’t anyone play “girl next-door” roles? By definition its everyone except for the Kim Bassinger/Charlize Theron types.


        • That’s the tricky thing. The “girl next door” isn’t really the girl next door. Actresses like Shue bring something to their performances that make them feel safe and wholesome while also delivering some Hollywood sex appeal. It’s a rarer quality than you would think.


        • I do agree- usually when they say “GND” I respond “not where I grew up!”

          Yeah- they have to be sexy in a wholesome way- which might be a bit hard to find in Hollywood casting calls.

          Emma Stone is probably the best current example. And yeah- there were no Emma Stones on my block


        • I have a hard time imagining any of today’s young actresses as a true GND. Stone has a little femme fatale in her, I think. Shailene Woodley, who was cast as Mary Jane in the new Spider-man movie before her role was cut, I think has the makings of a GND. Maybe I don’t watch as many movies for young people as I used to or maybe they don’t make as many movies with GNDs in them. I don’t know. But it doesn’t seem to me like there is a true heir to the GND throne.


        • You’re right, Lebeau. The first two actresses who come to mind when I think GND through my own lens are maybe Jenna Fischer and Zoisa Mamet. I’m pretty sure neither of them fits what most people would think of in those roles.
          In the right script, maybe Emma Watson could pull it off.


        • I think Watson could pull it off. But isn’t she moving in the opposite direction?

          I suspect that most actresses are worried about being typecast as TGND. And that is probably a valid concern. It’s a one-way ticket to rom-comville. Shue struggled against her GND image so much she had to play a prostitute to get decent scripts. And even then, her career fizzled. TGND tends to fade into the background. Or worse, get upstaged by the femme fatale. TGND might get her man in the end, but she isn’t as likely to be remembered.

          Or maybe audiences just aren’t interested in the wholesome GND anymore. Maybe they have shifted so that even the good girl has to be more sex fantasy than GND. See Silver Linings Playbook. J Law was the modern GND. Part Manic Pixie Dream Girl and part nympho with a heart of gold.


    • Elisabeth Shue in Leaving Las Vegas:

      Elisabeth Shue received her only Oscar nomination to date for playing Sera, a prostitute falling for a suicidal, alcoholic screenwriter in Leaving Las Vegas. Elisabeth’s nomination is considered to have been a real nail-biter though I feel the SAG, Golden Globe and Bafta nods plus the wins from the critics’ should have indicated a firm fan-base for Elisabeth. I suppose people might have been worried as she still might have been that girl from Back to the Future and Cocktail. Fortunately, she received her well-deserved acclaim for her work in Leaving Las Vegas and I suppose she was the dark horse for the Oscar (she might have even become second after Sarandon). I just hope that she gets such a great chance in the foreseeable future.

      Leaving Las Vegas is, by all means, a masterpiece. Not only is it better than any of the movies nominated for Best Picture (shitty field, I must say), it’s also one of the best movies of the nineties. There we go, I said it. If you go for wonderfully depressing, dark independent films, Leaving Las Vegas is your ideal choice. It deserved all of its nominations and should have got Best Director and at the very least Adapted Screenplay. Nicolas Cage is very effective and heart-breaking in the lead though I must say he doesn’t have much screen-time at all. I can’t really decide if he deserved the Oscar (I’ll decide after I re-watch Penn).

      And then there’s Maude Elisabeth Shue as Sera, one of the most atypical interpretations of a hooker in the history of film. Prostitutes have always done well with the Academy, we can mention Liz Taylor in her infamous Butterfield 8 or Jane Fonda’s towering achievement in Klute. I suppose I can describe Sera as a darker, even more devastating and heart-breaking version of Bree Daniels: on the outside. She basically narrates the movie and her experiences very much like Bree does, revealing her feelings and intimate details about her relationship with Ben. Just like Bree, Sera is under a mask, always putting on performances with clients. As she says, she gives whatever they need and want to see. Inside, however, they couldn’t be more different. While Bree is always hoping for a better day, Sera doesn’t even try to break out of her terrible life even though she desperately clings to the only thing that makes her feel worthy of love and attention – and that’s Ben.

      I often find myself wondering what makes a performance truly great, something that really hits you right in your guts. For instance: what’s so great about Diane Keaton in Annie Hall technically or even emotionally? My answer is not really and yet she’s #3 in my overall ranking. Her special aura and radiant persona is the thing that elevates her performance. Although Shue’s plays with emotions incredibly, it’s again that special radiation that makes her work so special as Sera. With one teardrop she can communicate the sadness and devastation of days, weeks, even decades. Shue really is the heart of Leaving Las Vegas, she makes it so wonderfully wrenching, depressing and cathartic. In fact, I feel that Nicolas Cage’s character is nothing more than an accessory to create Sera’s character. Not only that, also if we go by the numbers, she has considerably more scenes and screen-time than Cage. On top of that, as I said, she has the biggest impact and she’s the reason why you feel that pressing feeling in your throats.

      What I admired the most about Shue here is her ability to get across the humiliation and the love of Sera and the fact that she made her such a layered and beautiful character. She so carefully developed this human being that you can actually feel her heartbeats and feel her breath on your skin. It’s chilling to see how close the camera she is to her. The relationship is so intimate between her and the audience but then again the question comes up: could it even be another one of Sera’s performances? Are we also just clients of hers? Elisabeth is seemingly playing with the instincts of the viewer. She’s extremely hot and sexy, it really just feels like a sexual encounter between you and her. This might sound a little perverted but I could actually smell her skin, her hair and feel her body. Elisabeth’s literally almost in your face and this realism really fits this character.

      Furthermore, as Ben puts it many-many times, Sera is an angel to her, a form of salvation that might probably be the only thing that keeps him alive. William H. Macy’s character in Magnolia says something like ‘I have so much love to give’. I suppose that character and Sera could have a long chat about giving love. In this central relationship, Sera is seemingly the only one to give, give, give and always put up with Ben’s unacceptable behavior. Shue wonderfully showed how complicated this side of Sera is: she even suggests that it’s actually Ben who’s saving her (just remember her Oscar clip when she’s begging him to seek the help of a doctor). This quiet breakdown is one of the most heart-breaking and devastating scenes ever in a movie. Elisabeth added a touch of the essence that Julianne Moore’s (<3) character had in Far from Heaven: she turns a blind on the flaws of a man she loves and does everything to maintain that idyllic state. This is probably the biggest merit of Elisabeth: sometimes she does the most unexpected things that lead to the best outcomes. In the scene at the kitchen I felt like watching a 50s perfect housewife instead of a humiliated prostitute.

      Although Elisabeth (naturally) nails all the monologues, it's really her face that really tells Sera's feelings. She's incredibly subtle and avoids being over-the-top. She hits you hard with one simple truth: as hard as she's trying, in the eyes of others, Sera is nothing but a dirty f-ing whore. That's something that you can feel whenever she's on the screen, being humiliated by someone. Again, it's her face that makes these terrifying scenes unbearable: the pain that she displays is almost too much to carry for the audience (thankfully, she's completely in control of her character this way as well).

      Chemistry feels kind of an odd word to describe what's going on between Elisabeth and Nicolas Cage but I have no other word :-). However, their chemistry is just wonderful. Elisabeth is loving and caring, which is a great contrast to Cage's destructive, raging presence. It's over-the-top and subtle paired together and it's just a perfect synthesis. They are in love in the most peculiar and unexpected way – they are in love with each other because they need each other's love and both actors are showing this so effortlessly and naturally that I was actually doubting I was watching actors playing parts (their last scene is just so amazing).

      It takes some time and attention from the viewer to see all the things that Elisabeth put into this character and so all her layers and facets. However, if you surrender to her, it's going to be a wonderful experience for you. She makes Sera such an interesting, heartbreaking character without seeming forced for a second. It all seems to come from her so naturally: she clearly identified with this character. This wonderful, rich character study is indeed a very special gift to us and Elisabeth's talent, extraordinary range and passion makes this one of the greatest performances ever given.


  28. Good point,
    One could say the same for the Batman franchise. Jack Nicholson already won 2 Oscars when the 1st Bat-film came out, & would win a 3rd the same year his co-star Kim Basinger (undeservedly) won hers.
    Nicole Kidman (Batman Forever) would also later win an Oscar, as would her Peacemaker co-star George Clooney (Batman & Robin).
    Another Batman, Christian Bale, would also get the gold after donning the cape & mask, and, of course, Heath Ledger would get a posthumous Oscar for playing the Joker.


    • Don’t forget George Clooney, Tommy Lee Jones and Anne Hathaway!

      Although I would say that the Batman frachise is kind of a different animal. Karate Kid was a minor movie. The kind of mid-range movie they don’t make any more. Movies like Karate Kid were a dime a dozen in the mid 80s. So for any of those actors to go on to any measure of success is kind of surprising. And you would never expect the movie to turn into a franchise. Batman was a franchise from minute one with top-name talent across the board. Even if few would win Oscars for the Batman series, you were bound to have some Oscar winners involved over the course of the series. Jones and Nicholson had already won Oscars when they were cast.


  29. Searching For A Starring Role — Elisabeth Shue Has Yet Another Girlfriend Role In `Heart And Souls,’ But Such Typecasting Hasn’t Hampered Her Drive For Professional Fulfillment:

    By John Hartl
    She was Tom Cruise’s girlfriend in “Cocktail” and Michael J. Fox’s companion in “Back to the Future, II and III.” She made her big-screen debut nine years ago as Ralph Macchio’s girlfriend in “The Karate Kid.”

    This week Elisabeth Shue is Robert Downey Jr.’s on-again, off-again girlfriend in “Heart and Souls,” a comedy-fantasy that opens tomorrow and is being promoted by Universal Pictures as the sleeper of late summer. Again, she’s not exactly at the center of the story, though she’s allowed to demonstrate some independence.

    “After `Cocktail,’ I’d made a conscious decision to eliminate the girlfriend roles from my future,” said Shue during a Seattle visit. “But this character really was in charge. She was aggressive in the relationship. She knew what she wanted, and I wanted to make sure the character stayed strong.”

    Shue was also impressed with the script for “Heart and Souls,” in which Downey plays a San Francisco yuppie who is looked after by four guardian angels (Alfre Woodard, Kyra Sedgwick, Charles Grodin, Tom Sizemore). She had auditioned for Sedgwick’s part but accepted the lesser role because the script had “more depth” than anything she’d been handed in years.

    “In most of the stuff I read, the girlfriend has to be everything to everyone. These roles are so one-dimensional that when you keep getting them you start to wonder, `Maybe this is all I’m capable of.’ In your first minute on-screen, you have to show that

    everything’s just fine with your character.

    “But as my acting coach, Roy London, says, the only interesting characters are the ones who go through change, who aren’t the same at the end of the story as they are at the beginning.”

    All the scripts worth doing, she said, are also being read by other actresses. And they usually have Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Christian Slater or other male stars already attached to them. Rarely is a woman cast first.

    Following her goals

    Like many Hollywood actresses typed as starlets, Shue has gone elsewhere to find professional fulfillment. She’s set to play a character going through a nervous breakdown in an Off Broadway play, “Bang,” that opens in October, and she’s completed a couple of low-budget independent movies.

    “This frees me to follow my goals,” she said.

    Before shooting “Heart and Souls,” she appeared in an independent film, “Twenty Bucks,” cast as “a woman with no boyfriend who’s more rebellious than anyone I’ve played before.” Although it turned up at this year’s Seattle International Film Festival, it’s in distribution limbo.

    During a break in the production of “Heart and Souls,” she made another low-budget movie, “Radio Inside,” co-starring William McNamara and Dylan Walsh as brothers competing for her (MGM has the movie but hasn’t decided what to do with it). Once more, she plays an independent woman.

    In today’s blockbuster-driven market, she’s concerned about whether they’ll ever be released.

    “It’s difficult for movies that slowly go their own way,” she said. “When `The Karate Kid’ came out, I didn’t even know it had made $100 million until a year later. Now every newspaper tells you about the weekend grosses. It’s like a horse race.”

    Born in Wilmington, Del., Shue grew up in New Jersey and went to Wellesley College and Harvard while dabbling in show business. She made her Broadway debut in “Some Americans Abroad” at Lincoln Center, and had her fattest film role to date as the blues-singing teenager who dominates Disney’s 1987 comedy “Adventures in Babysitting.”

    Deciding on acting

    “I once wanted to be a lawyer,” she said. “But I did a lot of commercials in high school, and I had such instant success that I think that pushed me toward acting. My first real acting job was playing Craig T. Nelson’s daughter in `Call to Glory’ – another lucky break – and I think right after that series ended, I had decided on acting.”

    She looks back on “Adventures in Babysitting” as her career high point, and she’s delighted that kids recognize her from watching it on video.

    “I didn’t realize what a rare role it was at the time,” she said. “It was Chris Columbus’ first directing job (he went on to do the “Home Alone” movies), most of the kids were getting their first breaks, and there was an innocence about it.

    “I may never get to carry a movie like that again.”


  30. Just a minor nitpick, I highly doubt that Elisabeth’s early TV show “Call of Duty” was inspired by “Top Gun” since “Top Gun” came out in 1986, which was about two years after “Call of Duty” premiered on TV.

    I also kind of find it funny (and a bit harsh or character assassination worthy) that the way that they wrote Elisabeth’s character out/explained her absence in the first “Karate Kid” sequel is that she dumped Ralph Macchio’s character around prom time in favor of a quarterback from UCLA. As a matter of fact, it seemed like Ralph Macchio had a bit of a James Bond arc going for him in that he had to have a new girlfriend in every “Karate Kid” sequel.


  31. The extensive debate about Claudia Wells vs. Elisabeth Shue made no sense to me, and when watching BTTF movies I found them interchangeable. Then again, I’m not a guy. Shue did exactly what she was supposed to do with the very limited part of Marty’s girlfriend.
    BTW I wonder if she’s related to hunky Melrose Place actor Andrew Shue.


    • They are siblings. Good genes in that family!

      Even as a guy, I don’t get the debate over Shue vs. Wells. I think a lot of Shue’s detractors are missing the fact that the character as written in the BTTF sequels was written as broadly comedic whereas in the first film she was just there to be “the girl”.


      • Elisabeth and Andrew had an older brother named William who died in a swimming accident while on a family vacation in 1988. Elisabeth named her son, William after him.


        • Named her son after her late older brother, William Shue, who died on August 24, 1988 at the age of 26 from a freak swimming accident while on family vacation. A rope broke on a tire swing and he was thrown into a tree branch, impaling him. He was enrolled at Rutgers University’s Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine at the time of his death. Her brother Andrew Shue witnessed the accident.


      • I always like to think of the “what if” in regards to an alternate reality in which Claudia Wells was able to reprise her role as Jennifer Parker in the sequels. I mean, it wasn’t like the script was intentionally written for Elisabeth Shue or vice versa. And plus, isn’t part of the point of sequels is to futher develop the characters beyond simply being “the girl”? It’s just that the “two Bobs” (Zemkekis and Gale) had a defeatest mentality in regards to what to do w/ Jennifer (they used the “we really didn’t intent on making a sequel” excuse).


        • Agreed. The fault lies with the script. They should have just incorporated Jennifer into the action. It was a missed opportunity. The Back to the Future sequels aren’t dreadful. But I wish they had left the first movie alone.


    • Awesomely Shi**y Movies: Back to the Future, Parts 2 & 3:

      The Not-So-Awesome

      Elisabeth Shue

      Look, Liz is a very talented actress. Just watch Leaving Las Vegas if you don’t believe me. But replacing the understated, soft-spoken Claudia Wells in the role of Jennifer with the animated, overly demonstrative Shue was very distracting to me. In no way was Jennifer portrayed as the same character. Shue is excessively hammy and that awful, AWFUL wig they gave her to look more like Wells just made her resemble a 50s housewife. And yes, I know she’s a pretty minor presence in the story, but these things stand out to me. If you’re gonna recast a role the new actor’s performance needs to mesh with how the character’s already been portrayed. That’s one of the tradeoffs of taking over a role from someone else – you’re kinda stuck continuing what they’ve already done.


      • Retrospective / Review: Back To The Future Part II (1989)

        Original BTTF Part 2 Artwork supplied by Micah Brooks.


      • 12 Actors Who Were Recast And Nobody Noticed

        Claudia Wells and Elisabeth Shue as Jennifer in Back to the Future

        Back to the Future Jennifer 12 Actors Who Were Recast And Nobody Noticed

        The time-traveling adventures of Marty McFly and Doctor Emmett Brown are universally revered as some of the most beloved and endearing family films of all time. Elisabeth Shue is so well-remembered for her role as Jennifer, Marty’s girlfriend, that it may come as a surprise to discover, upon re-watching the original Back to the Future, that Shue is nowhere to be seen!

        Indeed, the role of Jennifer was played in the original film by Claudia Wells, a hard-working but relatively little-known actress. Wells was not fired, but declined to appear in the sequels, opting instead to care for her mother, who had been diagnosed with cancer. Meanwhile, the first scene of Back to the Future Part II is a shot-for-shot remake of the first film’s ending, only with Wells replaced with Shue. The two actresses look enough alike that, after hair, makeup, and wardrobe, the transition between the two is seamless, even when watching the first two films back-to-back.

        Claudia Wells did return to play Jennifer in the excellent Back to the Future: The Game, developed by Telltale Games (The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us).


        • I really like the “Back to the Future” game; it really clicked with me (Telltale games is known to do good work in general), and it was cool to have Claudia Wells voice Jennifer, sporting multi-colored hair and a rebellious attitude in the alternate timeline of Hill Valley.


        • I have heard good things about it. I played the first Walking Dead game which was cool up until the end when I realized that none of my choices actually mattered.


        • I tune into this Let’s Play YouTubber named xChaseMoney2 who played the game you described as well as “The Walking Dead: Michonne”. Since the second game has only been out for a few months, it doesn’t have as many views as the first game yet, but looks to be doing pretty well.


      • Sequels That Show What Happened Right After the First Film’s End Credits Rolled

        Back to the Future Part II

        The Back to the Future sequels are textbook examples of how to continue a story exactly where it left off in the previous film. These films are so precise that they even include the very minute at which they are starting.


  32. You need to watch The Saint again. It’s my favourite romantic/ action flick ( is that even a genre?) The plot moves very fast but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense. I’ve seen it at least 20 times and am happy to do so again. Shue and Kilmer have great chemistry and I don’t get why it didn’t do well. Were there a lot of serious films that year? Release time can really affect how a film is received. When I think of some of the rubbish that gets people excited these days I’m even more flummoxed.


    • I actually watched The Saint for the first time relatively recently. And I don’t think I’ll be watching it again any time soon. The plot is gibberish. No more or less so than your average James Bond or Iron Man movie, I’ll grant you. But the movie was rewritten repeatedly and it shows. For example, Shue’s character was supposed to die. But it was rewritten and a happy ending was slapped on.

      I love Shue and find her adorable as always. I think Kilmer is a hoot when they let him put on all kinds of zany disguises. But I thought they had all the chemistry of day-old fish.

      The Saint was more entertaining than its reputation had lead me to believe. But it was not a good movie. I would categorize it as “rubbish”, but it’s not offensively bad as some have suggested. Everyone has some rubbish movies that they enjoy. There’s nothing wrong with that. If the movie has the power to entertain you 20+ times, that’s great. For me, once was sufficient.


      • So I’m watching “The Saint”:

        And I came to the conclusion that Kilmer makes for a better Bruce Wayne/Batman in this movie than he did in Batman Forever. I don’t think he really knew what to do with BF. He was just mimicking Keaton as best he could.

        But in “The Saint” he creates an intriguing character, one that can charm a woman’s pants off (literally), jump from rooftops, and defeat the forces of evil.

        Even though he’s a bad guy himself.

        The chemistry between Shue and Kilmer is great and Val truly emotes as Simon Templar.

        FYI, this is the film that prevented Kilmer from doing another Batman movie. It’s a shame, because if that travesty had to happen (and it did) I’d rather it be with Kilmer than Clooney.


      • The Saint– What Went Wrong?

        And to think I’d been blaming Robert Evans for screwing this up…

        Turns out it was Kilmer.

        First things first–I’m a Saint fan. As a kid I read all the books and watched the Roger Moore TV series in reruns and would even catch the original George Sanders movies on late night. I like the character. The Happy Highwayman, the Brighter Buccaneer himself.

        And then came the Saint movie. I was excited. I like Kilmer, Robert Evans is a legend, Elisabeth Shue is talented, it all sounds good. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. I realize there are many defenders of this film on this board but frankly I have no idea why. Aside from serving as a mildly entertaining diversion this film is failure.

        First of all, Simon Templar is a Robin Hood character–he’d never work for people like Tretiak. The Saint works for himself and steals from the rich and gives to the poor. I’m not sure who Val Kilmer is playing, but he’s not the Saint. Oh, his name may be Simon Templar (Hell, they barely even use that), but he’s not the Saint.

        I recently found out, thanks to an old Premiere magazine article, that Kilmer himself was responsible for two of the most egregious mistakes of the film–the idea of Templar as a master of disguise and the incredibly unbelievable romance. How Kilmer had the clout to insist on these script changes is beyond me. As far as I know he is not a writer with over fifty books published, as was Charteris.

        Templar is not a master of disguise. He is not a spy. He does not fall in love. To understand this, imagine that I want to make a James Bond movie, but I decide that Bond should be a married private detective in San Francisco. Doesn’t seem right does it?

        I’m watching it right now and folks,it’s just not good. Lame script that relies on coincidences, ridiculous plot twists, sappy romance, and the worst Australian accent committed to celluloid. A heart condition? Puh-lease. At least Val got to trot out his Doc Holliday accent for one scene.

        Unfortunately, it’s all the worse due to the damage they’ve done to the source material.

        I have my doubts about the Saint being the financial success the studio had hoped for. The studio had big plans on turning the Saint into a franchise and probably would have green lit a sequel if the first one had performed up to expectations (Kilmer was already signed). Premiere reported the initial budget at $60 million. Throw in advertising (another 15-20) and you’re looking at an almost $80 million investment on a film that according to Box Office Mojo only brought in $118 million in total. Not a good enough return on their investment to pursue a sequel.


  33. When Good Shows Go Bad: C.S.I.:

    Julie ‘Finn’ Finlay is probably one of the most insufferable characters on television today. First up, she took over as assistant night shift supervisor thanks to knowing DB and there appears to be no hard feelings from Nick. When Catherine — and thus Nick — got demoted when DB showed up Catherine at least was pissed, while everyone else seems to immediately like Finn. We also find out Finn was once fired by DB for breaking the law when they worked in Seattle together. Finn acts like she did nothing wrong when she recklessly broke the freaking law. The fact that Finn basically wrote the book on blood-spatter analysis and thus tends to tell everyone else to leave the room so she can work it (thus a new character we don’t know telling the ones we know and love to screw off) isn’t exactly endearing either. Worst of all, she’s constantly proven to be right and can be a total bitch when she doesn’t get her way. Hell, she has two ex-husbands and at the end of one episode she seems to at least partially reconcile with one, a cop no less, after she insists on breaking the law again and he decides to support her because she asked him to. Basically, Julie Finlay is middle-aged Bella Swan.


    • ‘CSI’ Got A Reduced Episode Order. Are We Approaching The End Of An Era?

      It may not seem like much, but CBS’s announcement that it is reducing the season order for this season of CSI from 22 episodes to 18 is yet another move toward its inevitable cancellation. First William Peterson left. Then Laurence Fishburne. Then Marg Helgenberger. Then the ratings to what was once the top-rated drama on television began to erode. Then the CBS series was moved from its longtime Thursday night slot to Wednesday night, and now, it’s airing on Sunday nights, and the ratings continue to deteriorate.

      Now, CBS has cut the order to make way for other programming it has in mind for that slot later this year, including its spin-off CSI: Cyber (destined, with James Van Der Beek, Luke Perry, and Patricia Arquette, to have one of the most 90s casts on TV) and Vince Gilligan’s Battle Creek.

      And sure, CBS will say it’s not really about the ratings, but the inventory. But then once its gone, and nobody misses it, maybe CBS is not quick to bring it back, especially given the expense of the cast (Ted Danson gets $200,000 an episode, alone).

      We’ve all seen it before, and I’m personally glad to see that CSI is beginning inexorable decline in its 15th season, ensuring that it will not challenge Law & Order (the show it ripped off) as the longest-running procedural in television history.

      CSI is dead, long live CSI!


  34. Here’s another “Back to the Future” alumnus who should get a WTHHT:

    9. Crispin Glover

    Everyone thinks of Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd when they think of Back to the Future, but just as important to the first movie is Crispin Glover and his amazing portrayal of George McFly.

    Unfortunately, Glover refused to return for the sequels because of a pay dispute, and in the meantime, during an infamously eccentric appearance on Late Night with David Letterman Glover nearly kicked Letterman in the face. As it turns out, Glover was doing an in-character performance of his character from the movie Rubin and Ed, but the movie was not released until four years after the interview, and the lack of context did terrible things for his image.

    Since then, he’s mostly done a number of little-seen movies, and a few of them have been acclaimed. There’s nothing wrong with Glover doing quirky indie movies if that’s what he chooses to do, but along with his enjoyable oddball roles he has also appeared in terrible mainstream movies like Charlie’s Angels and its sequel and Epic Movie, or under heavy makeup or special effects like in Alice in Wonderland and Beowulf.

    So it’s clear that Glover is willing to do mainstream movies, but he makes very odd choices and prefers not to be noticed. But could you imagine what Glover could pull off in a movie with a cast as talented as he is?


  35. Gah! Upstaged by Jennifer Lawrence! Few younger actresses give me wood like Jennifer Lawrence does!


    • “Wood” as in I’m a beaver and her acting abilities give me something I can really sink my teeth into…yeah…yeah, that’s it…that’s what I meant. Doesn’t have anything to do with the beautiful face and incredible body…nah, that would be shallow of me.



      • The first time I remember seeing J Law was in X-Men First Class. And I remember finding her striking. But I also remember a lot of fanboys complaining she wasn’t sexy enough to by Mystique. That she was too thick compared to Robecca Romaijn. I was baffled. Now she’s a big star and everyone seems to agree that she’s sexy.

        Fanboys are something else!


        • Actually it is the very move you mentioned, “X-Men First Class” that brought her to my attention, and I can even point you directly to the scene that got my attention. See, I am proof that not all white guys want a skinny girl. I like a nice healthy butt. Now, go find your copy of that movie. There is a scene where they get out of a car and walk with purpose into some building. You’ll recognize the scene when you see it. I believe she has on a blue dress, and as she walks away from the camera, it shows just how amazing her butt is. Remember the scene in the movie Dragonheart where Sean Connery voicing the dragon, spots the sheep and he says, “Well, hello there.” Yeah, that was me when I saw that butt. I had to find out who she was. No way was I going to miss the Hunger Games when she was cast as the lead.


        • I think Romaijn is thinner and might look better painted blue- but I’d crawl on broken glass for J Law.

          I do remember thinking that Magneto showed great restraint kicking her out of bed!


        • I just watched Silver Linings Playbook for the first time last night. And DANG!

          The great power apparently comes great restraint. Must be why she ended up following him.


        • daffystardust

          See, since I grew up reading the X-Men comic books, I never thought either actress was really right for the part of Mystique. Both actresses are sexy, but both are too young and too blonde.
          Raven Darkholme (Mystique) is Nightcrawler’s mother, and by the time we find this out he is already fully grown and has been a member of the team for several years.
          I always pictured a more mature (but still relatively fit) actress like Anjelica Houston (clearly too old now). More importantly, Mystique is a very smart woman who has been the leader of multiple teams. She is dangerous because of her brain and drive more than because of her mutant power or sexiness. Neither of RRS or JL put across that kind of energy.
          I’m thinking somebody like Julianne Moore or maybe Julianne Nicholson?

          Because the movies made the decision to make her a follower of Magneto, her leadership qualities got de-emphasized and the character was changed to focus on her powers and sexiness.


        • The movies were really only concerned with 2 things: She’s blue and she’s naked. That clearly informed the casting.


    • Actors / Actresses whose promising careers stalled?

      Originally Posted by Lamar Mundane
      I thought of another one – Elizabeth Shue. She was everywhere as a teen and early twenty-something – Karate Kid, Adventures in Babysitting, Back to the Future series, Cocktail – and then in her first “adult” role she was nominated for an Academy Award for “Leaving Las Vegas”. […] I have a theory – as with Jeannie Tripplehorn, acting with Tom Cruise makes anyone look good, and then they get big leading roles and find that they really aren’t that good at all.

      Another theory, not involving Tom Cruise: Pretty actresses with good but not quite sizzling personalities are worth very little to Hollywood after they turn 35. Their best hope for staying in the business after that point is to marry a working actor or director,which Jeanne and Elisabeth respectively have done. Then they have the fresh connections to work when they want to – or not – as they choose.


    • I’ve read the argument that in “The Saint” at least, Elisabeth Shue was miscast because she never seemed more than a real cute star struck college freshman than an actual “genius”.


    • I think w/ “CSI”, had Elisabeth been on their right from the start, it may have better elevated her profile. But by the time that she joined, “CSI” (which at it’s peak in Seasons 3-5, the highest rated show on American television), it was already on its last legs. So it’s kind of hard to build from something that was already on its way out.

      Plus, not that it matters much in the boarder scope of her career, but it kind of reinforced the notion that Elisabeth Shue was the “second choice” for something. In “Back to the Future II”, she replaced Claudia Wells as Marty McFly’s girlfriend. And on “CSI”, she replaced Marg Helenberger as the female lead. And even then, Elisabeth doesn’t survive the end of the series.


  36. You have forgotten her part in Mysterious Skin (2004) featuring a young youn Joseph Gorden Levitt. And I must admit that Shue’s part, although very small, she gave a masterpiece performance


  37. I’m happy for the comeback of Elizabeth Shue; her performances have given me a lot of pleasure of the years. I always thought she comes off as having her act together.


  38. To Rusty:

    Honestly, conservatives and liberals exist side-by-side in Hollywood just like they do everywhere else. I wish you conservatives would stop whining online about this so-called conspiracy to keep conservatives from speaking their minds, because it’s complete and utter bull****, and you know it. And,oh,BTW, that Bush movie was in fact made by a director who’s one of the biggest-known liberals in Hollywood–Oliver Stone, so that busted some holes in your little paranoid theory right there. And funny how you chose to ignore the crazy bat**** Repubs, like practically everybody in the Tea Party. Quit acting like because you’re a conservative that only you have the right to say what you want, and us non-Rethugs–I mean Repubs—can’t. You’re only whining because the Democrats are running things again.
    Like another poster said, nobody gives a damn what your politics are in H-wood as long as you’re making the studio money. And Hollywood isn’t as liberals as you Repubs keep insisting it is—read this, for example–quite an eye-opener:


  39. Projector: Behaving Badly:
    Elisabeth Shue appears in this movie w/ fellow WTHHT alumnus Heather Graham.

    An all-star cast, led by Selena Gomez, embarrass themselves in this long-delayed disaster that Film Brain thinks is one of the worst films of 2014 – or any year, for that matter. Contains strong sex references, censored nudity and slapstick violence. This work is protected by Fair Use.


    • Thanks for the link. I’ll have to check this out.


      • Review: ‘Behaving Badly’ Really Deserves Its Zero Percent Rotten Tomatoes Rating:

        BY ALISON STEVENSON / 08.08.14

        Selena Gomez is the epitome of a good girl in the “raunchy” teen flick Behaving Badly, made by a bunch of idiots and starring some sad saps. It has the stereotypical plot-line films of this genre tend to have: boy likes girl, girl is too good for him, boy tries to win her over but stuff gets in the way, boy finally wins her over and is a better person for it. Unlike memorable teen films that have this sort of plot, Behaving Badly executes this storyline with zero charm, zero hilarity, and a zero percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Glitter has a higher rating than this film. That says something. Namely that Glitter is extremely underrated. Is that just me?

        Anyways, I decided to watch this sh*t-storm of a film because I am a good person and you should thank me endlessly for spending my real goddamn American dollars on such a travesty so you don’t have to. I suffer for you. You know who else did that? Jesus Christ. Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve compared myself to Jesus Christ, just sayin’. I managed to find a theater in Los Angeles still selling tickets for it. There were only two showtimes, so I picked the second and as soon as I told the box office teenager that I wanted one ticket for Behaving Badly, an immediate sadness came over me. The teen working that box office stared at me like I wasn’t speaking his language. “Behaving Badly, at 3?” He stared at the computer a bit longer. “Oh, that.” His emphasis on “that” made me feel worse.

        Inside the theater was me and one other person – an older, balding gentleman. I have a feeling he was there to see Selena Gomez, who, by the way, still looks like she is 15-years-old. It’s her face. Her face has not aged since Wizards of Waverly Place. Any person over the age of 17 that finds her sexually attractive needs to keep that to themselves. Maybe even seek help.

        The film opens with the main character, Rick (Nat Wolff), talking directly into the camera about what a predicament he is in. He lists things like his best friend being in jail and how he has crabs. I guess we’re supposed to be like, “What the heck? How did he get himself into this mess? This is unlike any experience I had as a teenager!” Fast forward a few minutes, and his mother (Mary-Louise Parker) has just committed suicide. From here, the film back tracks to how this all got started. He’s still talking to us, the audience, as if we are his friend. In the back track we learn some other fun facts about his family: his sister (still in high school) is a stripper, he has a big brother, his dad sucks, and he has been having sex with his best friend’s mom. He also works for the manager of the strip club his sister works at. The manager (Dylan McDermott) is a sleaze. Whoddathunk? This Rick guy is in love with Nina Pennington (Selena Gomez), but accepts a blowjob from a stripper, which doesn’t last long because he’s a horny teenage boy. He is also seduced, again, by his best friend’s mom (Elisabeth Shue), and they have sex. Nina is a proper Christian girl who would never even think of doing anything as god-awful and disgusting as sexual intercourse.

        So from there the plot gets weird and confusing. Something goes on with the Lithuanian mafia, Jason Lee is a priest, Rick gets visited by a “Patron Saint of Teenagers” (Mary-Louise Parker, again) who is supposed to help him win Nina’s heart, Rick catches his dad in a threeway, Nina wants to go to a Josh Groban concert, and Rick throws a party. The party lands him, his sister, Nina, and his best friend in jail. Heather Graham is a promiscuous lawyer who gets all of them out, except for the best friend. Rick made Nina mad, so to win her back he makes it his goal to fix everyone’s life. He helps get his sister into Stanford, so she can stop stripping. His alcoholic mom, as it turns out, has not died. She is alive, and is finally going to divorce Rick’s awful dad. Rick’s older brother comes out as gay, and Rick’s best friend gets released and eventually becomes a male stripper. Nina, upon seeing the new and improved Rick, kisses him and doesn’t want to be a priest anymore. By the way, she wanted to be a priest.

        Honestly, nothing made sense. I dozed off a few times, got sidetracked by Twitter notifications, and even got to contemplating the positives of death. Because of this, I can’t remember at all what the Lithuanian mafia had to do with anything. I don’t even know why they were Lithuanian. Was that supposed to be a joke? Jason Lee’s purpose was lost on me, too. As was the “Patron Saint of Teenagers,” who did almost nothing to further the plot. A lot of the gags in this film were supposed to be akin to the gags in American Pie or something like that. Every woman in this film was the “whore” to Selena’s “Madonna.” At one point, McDermott’s character attempts to rape Shue’s character, who squeezes his balls extremely hard, and he of course loves it. He ends up shouting, “Squeeze ‘em like they’re Filipino children,” which manages to be both nonsensical and racist at the same time. No one was appealing, except for maybe Rick’s best friend, who in the end we find out is having sex with Rick’s mom. Uh oh! As soon as that is revealed, the credits roll. Sequel, perhaps?

        Honestly, it’s hard for me to hate a movie. Even when I do hate it, I find something good about it. Something that makes me defend it in some small way. With Behaving Badly, there was nothing. It just made me sad and angry. I was sad for everyone involved, and angry towards Tim Garrick (writer and director) who, in my opinion, should be punished for his crimes. It’s official, the genre of “R-rated teen comedy” is dead. How can it be revived? Do we need a Franco to save us? Maybe, another American Pie, regardless of them being in their 40s? How about we stop having men be the center of these films? The way I see it, the last teen comedy to really be well-liked across the board was Mean Girls. How about we make an R-rated Mean Girls, that shows some dick as much as it shows boobs? Women can have some depth, and the plot doesn’t have to entirely be “Dude, we need to get laid!”. Am I asking too much? Will society as we know it implode on itself? Will this radical idea bring about World War III, or some sort of zombie apocalypse? God, I hope so!


  40. Marko Milovanovic

    To the author of the text : Cousin Bette is french master-piece. Written by Honore de Balzak, the famous french author from 19 century. The novel was written in Swisse in the mid nineteen century. And its a abomination! Its’ a Holywood piece of adaptation. Enough said.


  41. Yeah, I think this website is aces. Never change, and all that!


  42. I don’t know for sure if Elisabeth Shue is really on Twitter (since it’s not verified), so take it as you will:


  43. What is Elizabeth Shue doing these days.


  44. all she did was join a tv show that was already hit laruence fishburn did that it did nothing for him it was a hit before she came i hear people talk about csi but shes barley mentioned her movie career is dried up u make her appearnce in hopesprings to be a big hit for she was in it for 5 min ur quick to point out costners appearance in man of steel wasnt that big even though he had more screen time then shue


  45. u make house on the end street to be a huge hit 42 mill world wide on 6 mill budget if it made 42 world wide which u dont count it made less in usa now its only considerd a hit becuase of its low budget but its not realy the smash u hit u made it out to be its easy to be a hit which the low budget hell movie 43 had 6 mill budget grossed 32 mill it still considerd a failure u make hide and seek out to be a hit her role was small it did well world wide did ok in usa and u dont count world wide


  46. Word has it that one of Shue’s iconic flicks is to ’bout to get the Disney Channel treatment……


  47. Mother Brain’s Top 10 Underrated Actresses Not Yet Covered:

    5) Elisabeth Shue

    I had the lovely privilege of encountering Ms. Shue in L.A.X. airport on the security check line just days before Hurricane Sandy. No conversation, but she looks as incredibly beautiful as she did 31 years ago when she played Ralph Macchio’s object of affection in The Karate Kid. Though she was often typecast in the girl next door types in the Back to the Future sequels, Cocktail, and Heart and Souls, Shue has proved she can carry a comedic picture on her own thanks to the success of 1987’s Adventures in Babysitting; however, it was her turn as an alcoholic prostitute opposite Nicholas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas that earned her an Oscar nomination and helped her earn credibility as an actress. Though she’s worked with greats like Woody Allen and Paul Verehoeven, she has taken big risks in recent years by playing an autistic woman in Molly and a mother with secrets in Amy & Isabelle. Audiences today know her as Julie Finlay on CSI.

    Trivia: Was passed on the female lead in 1989’s Say Anything…


  48. Hollow Man (2000):

    Posted by: Rob Kirchgassner on Wednesday, July 15, 2015

    I previously expressed my disappointment with Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers. But I also noted how it’s understandable why that movie has the following that it does. The same cannot be said for Verhoeven’s follow-up to Starship Troopers, Hollow Man.

    Its plot, concerning a scientist taking a serum he’s invented that renders him invisible and eventually goes crazy because of it, made comparisons to H.G. Wells’ 1897 novel The Invisible Man inevitable. That book was made into an equally classic film in 1933 starring Claude Rains, and the movie was an intense thriller, with Rains proving a scary yet somewhat pitiable presence throughout using mostly his voice. Add to that some subtle humor, and it doesn’t take long to see why that movie, along with Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, remains one of director James Whale’s masterpieces.

    Now, remove all traces of thoughtfulness from the story and add a heavy layer of Verhoeven-esque sleaze, and you come up with Hollow Man.


    • I don’t know, I like “Hollow Man” (I have it on a tape along with game 6 of the 1993 NBA Finals and a large chunk of “Wall Street”, and that’s because I’m not afraid to stake my own claim); does that make me empty inside?


  49. Elisabeth Shue won’t return for 2-hour CSI special:

    Posted July 17 2015 — 7:35 PM EDT

    Julie Finlay won’t be around when the CSI gang reunites this fall.

    EW has learned exclusively that Elisabeth Shue, who has played Finlay on the CBS drama since 2012, will not participate in the show-wrapping two-hour special planned for Sept. 27. It’s unclear how the producers will handle Finlay’s absence from the show’s swan song.

    The special is expected to include the return of original series star William Petersen as Gil Grissom. Marg Helgenberger will also reprise her role as Catherine Willows.

    In the meantime, current CSI star Ted Danson will continue to stay with the franchise by moving over to the show’s latest spin-off, CSI: Cyber.


  50. Patrick Stewart finally loses virginity – by doing his first on-screen sex scene at 75:

    Sir Patrick Stewart will be making his sex scene debut at the grand age of 75.

    The X-Men star – who recently revealed he’ll be returning for the third Wolverine movie – will shed his clothes for his latest role in new American sitcom Blunt Talk.

    The veteran actor who has a career spanning 50 years and is married to wife Sunny, 39 years his junior, has never lost his on-screen virginity.

    Sir Patrick has spoken about how much he is looking forward to it after filming the scenes with co-star Elisabeth Shue.

    He told WENN: “I’ve led a perfectly normal sexual existence, but on camera this was my first [sex scene].

    “It was a lovely experience. I’ll have Elisabeth put in a good word for me and maybe there will be some fun and frolic in the future.”

    Actress Elisabeth Shue will be getting between the on-screen sheets with Sir Patrick
    Lucky Elisabeth, 51, who is perhaps most known for her role as Jennifer in Back to the Future II and III, is the woman who will finally bed the legendary actor.

    The pair will be starring in Blunt Talk, a sitcom about a British newscaster (Stewart) who moves to LA with his alcoholic manservant and a baggage of several failed marriages to front a new talk show.


  51. Elisabeth Shue joins Fox baseball pilot Pitch

    The CSI vet will play the personal guru and protector for the first female player in Major League Baseball.


  52. James. Barwick 803 476 7855

    Would love to meet you. Enjoyed , loved your movies


  53. 8 ‘90s Heartthrobs Who Don’t Act Anymore

    Andrew Shue

    Andrew Shue was a really big deal in the ‘90s when he starred as Billy Campbell in Melrose Place. Since the series has ended, he has barely acted. He was in Gracie and Goal! III and that’s it. According to him, he realized that he didn’t want to be an actor anymore. Now, he’s an entrepreneur. He co-founded the teen volunteer website Do Something and the social networking website CafeMom with his childhood best friend.


  54. Elisabeth Shue Joins ‘Battle of the Sexes’

    Oscar-nominated actress Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas) has just joined the cast of Fox Searchlight’s Battle of the Sexes, according to Variety.

    Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, the team behind Little Miss Sunshine, are co-directing from a script by Simon Beaufoy (Everest, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire). The story captures the epic male vs female tennis exhibition match-up of 1973 between Bobby Riggs (to be played by Steve Carrell) and Billie Jean King (to be played by Emma Stone). The face-off drew a crowd of 50 million. Shue will play Riggs’ wife. Andrea Riseborough (Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)) – who co-starred with Stone in Birdman – will play Marilyn Barnett, King’s hairdresser and former lover. Austin Stowell (Bridge of Spies) is also in the cast. Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) is attached to produce under his Decibel Films alongside Christian Colson and his Cloud Eight banner.

    Shue did a 3-year run on TV’s CSI:Crime Scene Investigation from 2012-2015, and also recently starred in House at the End of the Street, Hope Springs and Chasing Mavericks.

    Battle of the Sexes is one of three projects revolving around the Riggs-King tennis feud. HBO/Playtone have an untitled project with Oscar-nominated actor Paul Giamatti (Straight Outta Compton) and Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect) announced to play Riggs and King while Match Maker has Will Ferrell (Daddy’s Home) playing Riggs with Steve Conrad (The Pursuit of Happyness) attached to write. It will be a battle to see which of the three projects makes it to the finish line first.


    • Elisabeth Shue joining “CSI” was a good idea in theory. “CSI” at its peak, was literally, the top rated TV show in America. Unfortunately, by the time that she joined, “CSI” (the franchise as a whole for that matter) was well past its sell date. It was really in hindsight, a stop-gap for Elisabeth Shue’s career (it kind of came off as she needed “CSI” more than the other way around) than something to really build off of. To add insult to injury, she wasn’t even involved in the series finale.


    • I never heard that much about Elisabeth Shue coming across as decidedly “bitchy” or mean-spirited (in contrast to her otherwise “good girl” image on screen) in interviews, and thus that’s in part why her career went into decline. I’m admittedly in the dark about her off-set relationship with Ralph Macchio while making “The Karate Kid”. For some reason, I got the vibe that Elisabeth after she “made it big” so to speak (around the time that she did “Leaving Las Vegas”), was quite embarrassed by her association/continued recognition from that movie.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe with Elizabeth Shue it wasn’t embarrassment, but that, at that point, she had moved on with her career and outgrew that role, so she didn’t want to talk about it anymore. It’s kind of like how everyday people outgrown things (sometimes they come back to it, sometimes they don’t) and just see certain things as being a phase in their life.


      • The funny thing is that “The Karate Kid” if you ask me, is one of the top three “definitive” Elisabeth Shue movies. The other two are “Adventures in Babysitting” and “Leaving Las Vegas”. The “Back to the Future” sequels are close behind, but they weren’t exactly extremely dependent on her and she wouldn’t have been in those movies to begin with that the original Jennifer Parker, Claudia Wells not dropped out of Hollywood to take care of her sick mother.


        • I definitely agree that “The Karate Kid”, along with the other two films mentioned, are the definitive Elizabeth Shue films most anyone who’s seen her work would automatically associate her with; I know I do. As the “Back to the Future” deal with her, I’m a little lukewarm on the sequel, so that film isn’t one that I think of often ,and I felt her role in Part 3 was pretty small.
          Again though, I have a feeling a performer can get fatigued from the same films from their oeuvre, especially when they get asked to “say that line from…!”, “hey, you the ___from that movie ____”, and maybe Shue felt the same way about “The Karate Kid” after awhile. Personally, I think it’s a very good film and nothing to be ashamed of, but then I wasn’t ever constantly reminded of it either.


      • I think that Elisabeth Shue has kind of been relegated to being sort of a “journey-woman” sort of actress. What I mean is that she still works frequently, but it’s generally in other people’s movies (honestly, other than “Adventures in Babysitter” and “Molly”, I can’t immediately think of an Elisabeth Shue movie where she was the “out and out” “star” and not just the “girl” or the wife or mom in her latter roles). And the movies in question are mid-budgeted at best with Elisabeth’s role rather unremarkable for the most part.

        It’s kind of odd that she’s going to be in the remake of “Death Wish” with Bruce Willis as essentially, a sacrificial lamb/vehicle to get the plot forward.


  55. Infamous Sphere: Mysterious Skin (2004)


  56. This is a fantastic collection of Elisabeth Shue, which helps me to research about the actress.


    • Elisabeth Shue

      Elisabeth Shue began her career as one of the most popular teenage actresses of the ’80s, landing parts in The Karate Kid and Adventures In Babysitting. Then she spent much of the early ’90s bouncing from role to role in films that didn’t hit such successful heights. In 1995, though, she rode the part of prostitute Sera to an Oscar nomination for Leaving Las Vegas, and she’s worked steadily in a combination of big studio and independent films ever since. Her next project is Piranha 3D, an update of the ’80s B-movie creature-feature where she plays the sheriff of a small town with a sudden infestation of killer fish. Shue sat down at San Diego Comic Con International with The A.V. Club to discuss her long career, what it’s like playing the authority figure in a monster movie, and how being an Oscar-nominated actor doesn’t open every door.


  57. Elisabeth Shue joins Bruce Willis in director Eli Roth’s remake of Death Wish:


    • What Is Everyone Involved With the Violent ‘Death Wish’ Remake Thinking?

      Eli Roth and the rest of the filmmakers behind the remake of Death Wish must have been trying to start a controversy with the movie, right? The trailer for the Bruce Willis-led take on the original novel came out on Thursday, and it’s a tonal mess that’s already sparked confusions, criticism, and, sigh, praise.

      Much like the original 1972 book and 1974 film starring Charles Bronson, the remake focuses on a man who takes the law into his own hands, becoming a vigilante out for deadly, warped justice following the murder of his family. But, at first glance, it seems like the new movie is making the same mistake the ‘74 film did in making vigilantism seem cool and just, whereas the original book denounced it.

      Willis, who is first described in the trailer as “a white dude,” buys a gun in Chicago, which is no small feat, and then proceeds to become a folk hero of sorts as he murders his way through the Chicago underworld. After he crushes a criminal with a car, AC/DC’s “Black in Black” starts blaring. It’s celebratory, and perhaps just a hair uncomfortably on-the-nose.

      Early responses on the trailer’s YouTube page weren’t kind.

      “This trailer might have the worst identity crisis I’ve ever seen,” one user wrote. “It starts serious, and makes you think it might be some kind of vigilante drama, but then out of nowhere AC/DC kicks in and I’m like, so… is it now just an action film?”

      “This is fucked up,” another commented. “The book is called Death Wish for a reason – it’s a deconstruction and analysis of vigilantism, not a celebration of them, like this seems to be. The tone of this is way too peppy and ‘bright’, for lack of a better word.”

      The concept behind the film, that gun violence is the answer to gun violence, provided it’s a good guy (or “white dude”) with a gun, is a delicate argument in a best case scenario. AC/DC are many things, but they’re not delicate. Given the current cultural climate, and how many times President Donald Trump opines in the broadest strokes about gun violence in Chicago, is this really the type of movie we all need right now?

      But, hey, maybe that’s the whole point.

      “Another film to make the snowflakes melt,” a third YouTube user wrote. “I love it already.”


      • So Many Thoughts About This Unnecessary ‘Death Wish’ Remake With Bruce Willis …

        MGM just released the trailer for Eli Roth’s “reimagining” of the Charles Bronson franchise-starter Death Wish. I haven’t seen the original films, so I can’t comment directly on their, uh, quality, but the basic premise seems to carry through to the 2017 remake mostly intact. A man becomes a murderous vigilante after his wife and daughter are viciously attacked in their home. He hits the streets hunting for their assailants and killing other criminals along the way. I have been told that Jeff Goldblum shows up in the first film, in what was his first acting performance… as a rapist/murderer. So there’s that?
        Before we go any further, here’s the trailer for the new one starring Bruce Willis:

        When I first watched it, I didn’t realize it was a remake. I didn’t even realize it was directed by Eli Roth until his name popped up. All I could see was a white man in a hoodie being hailed as a folk hero for killing people (in Chicago of all places). Now, I’m not stupid. That is clearly a conscious choice to push buttons. And maybe the film will succeed in making some nuanced social commentary of some sort. But right now it just feels unnecessarily inflammatory at best, and at worst it sends the message that an armed white man in a hoodie is a savior, while we know that unarmed black men in hoodies are being killed IN REAL LIFE for no crimes whatsoever.

        The use of AC/DC’s “Back In Black” in the trailer doesn’t help, obviously. And not just because putting that song into action/thriller trailers has become a tired cliché.

        Even if there is a point to this, and even if the film does have some semblance of social commentary baked in — do we trust Eli Roth to convey it? I know he has fans, and I know that generally I am just not the right audience for his stuff, but from what I can tell, the man is about as subtle as a brick in the head. Feel free to explain to me why I’m wrong. I can take it.

        The film clearly is aware of the racial buttons it’s jabbing, because it makes a point to show that the home invaders (who apparently murder Willis’ wife and rape his daughter, if this film follows the original in that regard) are white men. And a lot of the people Willis goes after are white men. But not all of them. Sure, he goes after a group of black guys to avenge an injured black boy he met in the hospital, but that leads us into some icky “white savior” territory (there is also that pointed shot of a black woman in the back of an ambulance claiming that he saved her life). That’s a whole lot to pack into a single 2-minute trailer. And there’s still room for a ha ha funny at the end as Willis talks to his therapist, who tells him to keep doing whatever he’s doing because it seems to be working. Hahaha. Ha. Ha. Vigilantism is great for mental health!

        And I’m not even going to touch the whole “dead wife and maybe raped daughter” bit as motivation. It was in the original, and I’m sure they could have changed it, but they didn’t. That’s a whole other rant about using women as props to propel heroes, but I’m just not surprised. I’m… tired.

        And even setting aside the issue of social commentary, the fact that Bruce Willis is playing a vigilante hero recalls another film of his: Unbreakable. But whereas that was playing with the tropes of the superhero genre, this is a whole other bag. It’s probably not fair to compare them, but it’s almost impossible not to simply because it’s Bruce Willis.
        So I dunno. Maybe it’s silly to get so worked up over a trailer without being able to see the full film (which comes out in November). But it feels like, in this case at least, they are TRYING to get people worked up. I hope I’m wrong. I hope it surprises us.
        The film also stars Vincent D’Onofrio, Elizabeth Shue, Dean Norris, and Mike Epps.


  58. Well, I haven’t viewed “The Saint” since 1997, when a friend rented it (even then, I fell asleep during the second half, just as I did on “The Devil’s Own” that same year), but it was on FOX earlier and I was fed up with College Football, so I finally caught the second half. I don’t know, it’s alright I guess, but I think the whole thing kind of meanders. I think both Val Kilmer (being snarky and cagey, which is kind of his thing) & Elisabeth Shue (she’s so warm; I guess that’s the one word I would use to describe an onscreen Elisabeth Shue) are good and have great chemistry, the scenery is nice, and I like the disguises, but the film still doesn’t do it for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  59. Somebody on IMDb recently told me that they feel that think if they had to find a turning point it was the film “Molly”. The critical and commercial failure of the film probably hampered Elisabeth Shue’s momentum. It was four years after “Leaving Las Vegas”, but one reviewer suggested the film would hurt Shue’s future chances of being casted in future dramatic roles with substance.


    • I can understand that point of view, and “Molly” was not well-received at all. I viewed it a few years ago and thought it was okay (that film and “The Other Sister” came out the same year; different conditions with the characters, but both share in being disappointments), but the whole time I was watching it I thought, “Yeah, this film was a bust”.


      • I’m not sure if I’ve already said this but “Molly” may have been to Elisabeth Shue what “Radio” was to Cuba Gooding, Jr. What I mean is that they played a mentally challenged/impaired person as a means of creating “Oscar bait” but it wound up being what the film “Tropic Thunder” talked about regarding how you shouldn’t go “full the R-word”!

        Liked by 1 person

      • ERIC’S BAD MOVIES: MOLLY (1999)

        After being nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Leaving Las Vegas, Elisabeth Shue called her agent and said, “Now is the time for me to play a mentally handicapped woman who falls in love with her brother.” This was a taller order than you might expect. Hollywood was brimming with unproduced screenplays about mentally handicapped people, and incest scripts are always in fashion, of course. But they didn’t overlap. None of the mentally handicapped screenplays had incest, and none of the incest screenplays had mentally handicapped people. Elisabeth Shue had to wait a few years, until finally some scribe dipped his incest chocolate in the mentally handicapped peanut butter and came up with Molly.

        This miraculously ill-conceived debacle was released in 1999 to a flurry of apathy and a box-office gross of $17,650. (Really!) Shue plays the title character, a 28-year-old woman who has lived in an institution since the death of her parents some years earlier. Molly is described by her doctor as being “mentally retarded” (his words!) with some autistic tendencies and a hint of savant — basically, whatever the movie needs her to be at any given moment. Shue’s idea of playing “mentally challenged” is to speak in the sort of slurry simpleton’s voice that has been getting elementary-school class clowns in trouble for generations. It’s OK here, though, because Shue isn’t making fun of anyone. She’s ACTING!


  60. Episode 267 – Hollow Man

    On this week’s episode, the gang puts on their heat vision goggles to spy on Kevin Bacon in Hollow Man! What’s with all this Nobel Prize talk? How does being invisible make him as strong as Jason Voorhees? And is that scientist looking at pornography at work? PLUS: Meeeeeeeeeeeeme watch!

    Hollow Man stars Kevin Bacon, Elisabeth Shue, Josh Brolin, Kim Dickens, Greg Grunberg, Joey Slotnick, William Devane, and Rhona Mitra; directed by Paul Verhoeven.


  61. The smile Elisabeth Shue had on Karate Kid was so happy and full of joy! Karate Kid would have been an even greater franchise if Shue had accepted to participate in the sequel. Most of the fans were disappointed when she simply vanished. The Karate Kid brand and niche fan base were conquered by the story of a struggled son and mother that moved from NJ to California, the boy did not adapt to the new reality but found on Shue a point of support and later on Morita a point of reference and guidance. I don’t know why Shue did not accept to participate in the Karate Kid II and III the excuse of “going back to Harvard” is difficult to understand … I think that the Producer, Director or her Manager should had re-approached the situation and had told her that Karate Kid as a brand meant “Ralph, Pat and Shue” based on worldwide acceptance, she simply “vanished from the sequel”, the song “Glory of Love” on KD II was set for her and Ralph as many blogs pointed out. Karate Kid could have been a landmark for the 80’s if she had been on them. Karate Kid II was a success worldwide because the audience was interested in the continuation of the 3: “Ralph, Elisabeth and Pat”, it did not happen. Karate Kid III did not finish the franchise well. I think Hollywood missed a big chance not understand their own brand and letting Shue go. Screenwriter Robert kamen did an amazing job writing Karate Kid in the early 80’s… the success that would have come with the story of Pat, Ralph and Shue on all the sequels would had marked that era.


  62. I forgot to mention that for the 30th anniversary of Karate Kid, fans worldwide wanted Robert Kanem and John Avildsen to make a final KD with Ralph and Shue as a tribute to Pat Morita and as a message anti bullying, highlighting friendship, respect and love.


  63. Elisabeth Shue Mixes Passion With Acting

    She was just a kid when Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in their legendary 1973 tennis match. Now Elisabeth Shue, 53, plays Riggs’ wife in a film about that match, Battle of the Sexes, which opens September 22. “I was so excited to be in a tennis movie,” the Oscar-nominated actress confesses. “I’ve been a psycho tennis addict for the past 13 years.” Her lesson for improving your game? Compete.


    • The Chew [ September 22, 2017] Actress Elisabeth Shue


      • Why You Still Shouldn’t F*ck With Elisabeth Shue

        The “Battle of the Sexes” beauty looks back on “Adventures in Babysitting,” “Mysterious Skin,” and “Soapdish.”


        • Your next film, a Death Wish remake starring Bruce Willis as a vigilante, has been slammed on social media and labeled “alt-right fan fiction” based on its trailer. What’s your take on the controversy?

          It upset me when I read that. Obviously, I would never be a part of anything like that, so I think people should wait and see the movie. The trailer is slightly misleading, because you don’t really feel this guy’s grief over what happened to his family or understand his motivation to find their killers. The trailer makes it seem like he’s just going out having a great time taking care of business. But if that controversy gets more people to see the movie, that’s okay, because I think it’s really good.

          Your career has been refreshingly unpredictable. After playing girlfriends in ’80s movies like The Karate Kid and Cocktail, you balanced serious dramas with indie comedies like Hamlet 2, popcorn thrillers like Piranha 3D, and even four seasons on CSI. Do you enjoy variety or just toying with audience expectations?

          I don’t think I’ve ever had any sort of plan. I just looked for characters I thought I’d enjoy playing and people I really wanted to work with. The stories haven’t always panned out, but I feel strongly that when I look back at my career, whether the movies were good or bad, I’ll be proud to say that I worked with really talented, interesting actors and directors that I admire. At the end of the day, that’s what matters to me.

          Those wishing for Bruce Willis’ Death Wish reboot shouldn’t hold their breath. 

          According to Entertainment Weekly, the upcoming flick has been delayed from November 22 of this year until March 2, 2018. 

          Directed by Eli Roth, the filmmaker behind Cabin Fever, The Green Inferno, and 2018’s The House with a Clock in Its Walls, Death Wish will open alongside Fox’s Jennifer Lawrence-led thriller Red Sparrow, Sony’s action-drama film Alpha, and New Line Cinema and Warner Bros.’ comedy Game Night. 

          Former MGM co-chairman Roger Birnbaum is on board to produce Death Wish, which also stars Vincent D’Onofrio, Kimberly Elise, Mike Epps, and Elisabeth Shue. MGM told the outlet that the change in date will “better serve the movie,” as both director Roth and star Willis are tied up with other projects right now and will be through the end of the year. Shifting the release date will free both men up for the film’s publicity campaign. 

          Paramount released the original Death Wish in 1974, with Michael Winner directing, Dino De Laurentiis producing, and Charles Bronson starring. The flick was based on the Brian Garfield novel centered around the vigilante named Paul Kersey who hunts down criminals after his wife is killed and his daughter is left traumatized and catatonic following a sexual assault that took place during a home invasion. D’Onofrio, Elise, Epps, and Shue starred in the original Death Wish as well. 

          The original grossed a sizable-for-the-time $22 million at the box office, a figure made all the more impressive when considering the film carried a budget of just $3 million. Bronson went on to appear four Death Wish sequels: Death Wish II (1982), Death Wish 3 (1985), Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987), and Death Wish V: The Face of Death (1994). 

          Fingers crossed that Willis’ Death Wish will prove just as successful. 


      • Battle of the Sexes: Why No Love?

        October 22, 2017

        Ninety million people watched the 1973 tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King, and I was one of them. I was seven years old at the time, and I’m pretty sure I rooted for Riggs because I thought he was funny. Battle of the Sexes captures Riggs’ ridiculous sense of humor, as Steve Carell reunites with Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, the directors of his 2006 sleeper Little Miss Sunshine, which earned $60 million off an $8 million budget. Alas, Battle of the Sexes isn’t doing nearly so well, having grossed less than half its reported $25 million budget in its first month of domestic release. Why? Let me lob a few theories at you.

        Emma Stone is miscast as Billie Jean King. Sorry to say it, because I usually love Stone and was overjoyed when she won a Best Actress Oscar in La La Land. She’s not exactly a chameleon, though. She brings a certain Emma Stone-ness to all of her roles, whether she’s in Birdman or The Amazing Spider-Man (those movies are a lot different than their titles might suggest). She doesn’t look or sound much like King, which might be okay if Carell weren’t doing an ace impression of Riggs.

        The story has been told before. In 2001, Holly Hunter and Ron Silver co-starred in a TV-movie, When Billie Beat Bobby. The title spoiled the suspense for anyone who didn’t know the match’s outcome, and more important, Hunter absolutely nailed the role of King. The only advantage Battle of the Sexes has over When Billie Beat Bobby is how the big-screen version seamlessly weaves in the actual footage of Howard Cosell’s color commentary. The TV-movie cast Fred Willard as the controversial sportscaster, but there is only one Cosell. And some might say that’s a good thing.

        The title is a turnoff. True, it was the tagline used to sell the match, but that was nearly 45 years ago, and now it sounds as dated as Battle of the Network Stars, another Cosell-fronted artifact, which ABC unsuccessfully tried to reboot this summer. No question the film raises relevant questions about sexism and equality, especially in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein scandal that has cast a shadow over nearly everything coming out of Hollywood lately. But why pay to see Battle of the Sexes when you can read about the gender wars for free on the Internet every day?

        It’s a tennis movie. Unlike boxing or baseball, the sport hasn’t scored cinematically. When the most successful example is a Woody Allen film (2005’s Match Point), you’re not dealing with a lucrative genre. Still, that didn’t stop Shia LeBeouf from picking up a racket in the upcoming Borg/McEnroe. My prediction for its prospects? Double fault.


  64. 15 Celebs That Got Hotter After They Stopped Being Famous


    Elisabeth Shue was Hollywood’s perfect girl-next-door type in the ’80s and ’90s at the beginning of her career, turning in memorable work in films like The Karate Kid, Adventures in Babysitting, Cocktail – and of course, Back to the Future II and III. Then she really shed that persona with her searing performance in Leaving Las Vegas, which landed her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.

    Although Shue continued working in both film and TV, including her stint on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, the actress didn’t really regain that same fame momentum. No matter. Shue has truly gotten more beautiful with age and now picks her projects carefully. She’ll be seen next in the drama Battle of the Sexes, playing Bobby Riggs’ wife in a film about the famed Riggs/Billie Jean King match-up. Shue will also star with Bruce Willis in a remake of Death Wish.


    • I heard about “Death Wish”; seems like Bruce Willis will nail that remake, like Kenny Loggins singing a song cover. We already know Elizabeth Shue brings something cool and interesting to any role.


  65. I just feel there’s a warmth and a good skill set that Elizabeth Shue brought to her roles; the greatest babysitter ever as well!


  66. Just in case I’m not available, Happy Birthday, Elisabeth Shue!


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