10 Amazing Women in Robert Redford Movies
Robert Redford is an iconic actor who has been in front of and behind the camera since the 1960s. Famous for his good looks and style, he is an Academy Award winner with a long list of highly acclaimed films. Many of those movies have featured women as costars. Here are 10 amazing women who made Robert Redford movies even better.
Debra Winger / Daryl Hannah
FILM: Legal Eagles (1986) ★★★☆☆
This courtroom romance/drama sees assistant district attorney Tom Logan (Redford) caught in the middle of a wild case of sex, fire, murder, art and romance. While the movie is a bit overdone, the performances are great. Winger plays Laura Kelly, an attorney defending Chelsea Deardon (Hannah), accused of stealing a valuable painting, which she claims is her dead father’s and part of a massive insurance fraud. Kelly seeks Logan’s support in joining the team and when he ends up having sex with Deardon on the same night a person of interest is murdered, he loses his job and reputation, but not Kelly’s invitation. The old-school style of classic movie’s banter and easy romance make for a fun time, with both Winger and Hannah the highlights as they bring loads of independence and sexiness to the experience.
FILM: Havana (1990) ★★☆☆☆
At the start of the revolution in Cuba, Jack Weil (Redford) plans to come to the city of Havana to gamble and party. On the ferry from Miami he meets a beautiful woman name Roberta (Olin), who asks for his help in smuggling U.S. Army radios meant for revolutionaries in the mountains. Looking for romance, he agrees, but finds out later she is married to a revolutionary leader, who is captured and reported as killed. She is also imprisoned, but calling in favors, Weil bargains for her release and gives her shelter. He soon falls in love with the proud and fearsome woman who fights for freedom. But things as they are, it only causes heartbreak. A flawed film, the performances are strong with Olin especially good, torn by her feelings for her country and the men who love her.
FILM: Indecent Proposal (1993) ★★★☆☆
If you had a million dollars to spend, would you offer it for one night with Demi Moore? John Gage (Redford) does in this romantic drama that sees down-on-their-luck architect David (Woody Harrelson) and real estate broker Diana Murphy (Moore) heading to Las Vegas in hopes of winning one big jackpot to fund their dream. They lose but fortunately, Gage spots Murphy in a black dress and wants to see what’s underneath. This intriguing film posed a question all couples were asking each other long after it was over. While the film is a bit silly, the performances are solid, and Moore is both erotic and vulnerable in a role that pits her between two men. Gotta admit the dress is hot.
FILM: Barefoot in the Park (1967) ★★★☆☆
Corie (Fonda) and Paul Bratter (Redford) are newlyweds in New York City, living in a ridiculously tiny apartment with no heat and a hole in the skylight. The two are opposites, with Paul a conservative, structured lawyer while she’s a free-spirited lover of life who would go barefoot in the park in the middle of winter. Fonda is a high-wire act of energy in this film adaptation of Neil Simon‘s longest-running Broadway play. The perfect counter for the uptight and rigid Redford (playing a sensible man who doesn’t know how to live in the moment), she creates a dynamic character with an adventurous heart. A classic comedy, she earned high praise for her performance. And speaking of Fonda . . .
FILM: The Electric Horseman (1979) ★★★☆☆
Pairing up 12 years later, this one sees former rodeo star Sonny (Redford) in a spiral as he’s reduced to doing promotion for a new breakfast cereal. His job is to wear a wildly ornate electrified cowboy suit plugged into the saddle of a horse. Of course he’s drunk most of the time and when he’s told to ride a prized $12 million race horse in Las Vegas but learns the horse has been abused and injected with steroids, he steals it and rides off into the desert. Enter Hallie (Fonda) a reporter who finds him and falls in love. It’s a simple story with no grand message but is elevated by the charisma and charm of the leads. Fonda is in top form and makes it easy for Sonny (and us) to fall in love with her. Oh, and while we’re on the subject of horses . . .
Kristen Scott Thomas
FILM: The Horse Whisperer (1998) ★★★★☆
Based on the novel of the same name, this touching story follows a ‘horse whisperer’ animal trainer named Tom (Redford) who helps a young girl (Scarlett Johansson) and her horse after they were involved in a tragic accident. Thomas play the girl’s mother, Annie, desperate to find a way to bring her daughter back from the trauma and control the horse that many think should be put down. As the story progresses, Annie and Tom, both of whom are dealing with relationship problems find themselves attracted to each other but hesitate to make a step toward romance. While Johansson is a revelation in this movie, Thomas is her equal as a struggling mother in an impossible situation.
FILM: The Way We Were (1973) ★★★★☆
Celebrated as one of the most romantic movies ever made, this drama sees Katie Morosky (Streisand) and Hubbell Gardiner (Redford) meet in college, him a writer and she an activist. As they are extreme opposites, it takes time for the two to find common ground, and while they marry and she becomes pregnant, he is content to be a nameless screenwriter for mindless film and television productions while she thinks he could do great things. Redford is good if not perfunctory as a the catalyst for Streisand, who is a marvel, giving a deeply affecting, personal performance. This is her film (and award-winning song). Your singing it now, aren’t you?
FILM: Up Close and Personal (1996) ★★★☆☆
The ugly duckling tale of a poor, unhappy woman who fakes a resume and lands a job as a TV anchorperson seems silly and indeed is lightweight and contrived, but oh does is work so well. With names like Tally Atwater (Pfeiffer) and Warren Justice (Redford), you know what you’re in for, a breezy, fun romance, and that’s what you get. Atwater earns the chance to be on TV when veteran on air reporter and anchor Justice sees her obviously phony audition tape, seeing potential in the woman to be a star in the business. He’s right of course and the two unknowingly fall in love. Pfeiffer is mesmerizing, a fetching, dynamic actress with so much charm and beauty, it’s impossible not to want to follow her wherever she goes.
FILM: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) ★★★★★
The infamous tale of a couple of outlaws on the run after one train robbery goes afoul, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid became a huge hit (and an iconic film) thanks mostly to its pairing of Redford and Paul Newman. The girl in the middle of these two men is Etta Place (Ross), a schoolmarm and Sundance’s lover. When the boys need to leave the country, she goes with them to Bolivia where they take on a life of crime. Made famous for a ride on the handlebars of a bike in this movie, Ross deserves a lot of credit for being so well remembered in a film with such famous faces. Sensual, sexy, intelligent and honest, Ross made a huge impression on theater-goers and critics alike.
FILM: Out of Africa (1985) ★★★★★
The tragic love story of Baroness Karen von Blixen (Streep) makes for one of the most acclaimed movies in cinema history. Redford plays Denys Finch Hatton, a big game hunter in Africa who befriends the married Von Blixen on her and her cheating husband’s coffee estate. Devastated by her husband’s infidelities, which leads to her inability to have children, she soon is alone but in Hatton’s company, whose lifestyle he refuses to give up for her. Streep was highly-praised for her powerfully emotional portrayal, making it one of the most memorable in her career.