Dern Tootin’ !!!

Bruce MacLeish Dern

Bruce Dern is finally getting his due.

That can take a looooooonnnngg time around Hollywood. And for some it never comes.

Bruce Dern - Nebraska 1

But Bruce just made a sweet little movie called Nebraska which is bringing him some much overdue recognition.

Bruce Dern - Nebraska

Nebraska - Bruce takes a whiz

Part of Bruce’s problem it seems – in the recognition department – is that he’s always played mostly Badguys. In Bruce’s Westerns alone – and he’s been in quite a few – he’s always played the meanest, orneryest, low-down, underhanded, back-stabbing, murdering mother-rapers that you could shake a pole-cat at. In Hollywood, that’s like playing the bridesmaid – no matter how good you are at being bad, nobody likes you. In fact, Dern will easily make my Badguys of Western cinema list – pretty well rising to the top amidst the most dastardly of villains who ever rode the plains.

Bruce Dern Western Filmography:

In Westerns, Dern starts out mean and ends up nasty – with a touch of comedy thrown in along the way:

Hard Ground with Burt Reynolds / 2003

hard ground 2003

All the Pretty Horses with Matt Damon / 2000

All the Pretty Horses - Bruce Dern

Wild Bill with Jeff Bridges and Ellen Barkin / 1995

Wild Bill - Bruce Dern

Into the Badlands with Mariel Hemingway and Helen Hunt / 1991

Into the Badlands - Bruce Dern

Harry Tracy: the last of the WIld Bunch with Helen Shaver / 1982

Harry Tracy - Bruce Dern

Posse with Kirk Douglas / 1975

Posse - Bruce Dern

The Cowboys with John Wayne / 1972

The Cowboys - Bruce Dern

Support Your Local Sheriff with James Garner and Jack Elam / 1969

Support Your Local Sheriff - 1969

Hang ‘Em High with Clint Eastwood / 1968

Hang Em High - Bruce Dern

Will Penny with Charleton Heston / 1968

Will Penny - Bruce Dern

The War Wagon with John Wayne and Kirk Douglas

The War Wagon - Bruce Dern

Waterhole #3 with James Coburn / 1967

Waterhole #3 - Bruce Dern

Awards and nominations

Well Bruce hasn’t been totally ignored …

1971 Drive, He Said Won National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
1972 The Cowboys Awarded Bronze Wrangler for Best Theatrical Motion Picture
1974 The Great Gatsby Nominated-Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
1978 Coming Home Nominated-Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated-Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
1980 Middle Age Crazy Nominated-Genie Award for Best Performance by a Foreign Actor
1981 Tattoo Nominated-Razzie Award for Worst Actor 1982 Harry Tracy, Desperado Nominated-Genie Award for Best Performance by a Foreign Actor
1982 That Championship Season Won Silver Bear for Best Actor
2006 Big Love Nominated-Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
2008 Swamp Devil Won Philadelphia Film Festival Jury Prize
2009 The Lightkeepers Nominated- Method Fest Award for Best Supporting Actor
2012 Django Unchained Nominated-San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by an Ensemble

2013 Nebraska Won Cannes Film Festival Best Actor Award Won Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Won National Board of Review Award for Best Actor
Pending-Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Pending-Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Pending-Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
Pending-London Film Critics Circle Award for Actor of the Year
Pending-Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Pending-Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Actor
Pending-Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Pending-San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Pending-Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture
Pending-Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Author: jcalberta

Howdy! I love Westerns. ... and the intent of is to celebrate Western Movies/Film - old and new. This site will eventually show my top 30 favorite Westerns - or more. I will have original graphic work with regular updates. All this - and more ... Yee Haw ... !! - jcablerta / Moderator / Administrator

6 thoughts on “Dern Tootin’ !!!”

  1. Bruce Dern can project a menacing quality that is convincing. He can also be quite funny. Glad to see him get some recognition.

    By the way, there is a great and often overlooked Western, Will Penny. If you have not seen it, it my be a candidate for your Best Westerns list. Bruce Dern plays a part.

    1. Howdy Boca !
      Yes Bruce Dern did some nice work in Westerns – mostly played bad guys of course. Yes, did some nice comedy work in Support Your Local Sheriff with James Garner and Jack Elam.
      Will Penny is a favorite of many Westerns fans. Heston made a few good Westerns. Dern and Donald Pleasence play a couple of pretty mean characters in there. Ben Johnson and Slim Pickens have parts in there too. Excellent Western.

  2. I wish i could see Nebraska in the cinema, its just not on in the area, will have to look out for it on DVD. Dern is definitely underated. Like you say his past roles as the villian haven’t helped him, plus he shot the duke which even he said would hurt his career. Looks like he’s finally being forgiven.

    1. Hey TIm ! Merry Christmas ..
      Yeah Bruce was a dirty back shooter in Cowboys. Back shooting John Wayne ! – that’s about as low as you can get ! I always thought Cowboys would a movie that could stand a remake – though there’s no more John Wayne’s around. Only thing is, that in those days when a lad was 15, he was already considered a man – and could well operate any ranch or farm he was raised on.
      This Nebraska movie is likely going to have limited distribution – even though it may well win Awards at Cannes. So you might have to find it via the internet. I’ve looked and it’s not around yet though.
      Have a good one.

      1. I’m going to catch Nebraska on DVD when it comes out. I’ve seen Dern in a few things such as Family Plot and Silent Running.
        I guess if a lad in those days was to wait til 18 life would be passing him by, which was not acceptable. Be interesting to see Cowboys remade, not sure who could replace the Duke though, maybe Jeff Bridges again? He did prove himself to be a worthy Rooster Cogburn a few years back.
        Merry Christmas my friend

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