10 Great Rod Steiger Films

12 Apr

The astounding career of this tragically overlooked actor truly deserves to be on T-shirts and dormroom posters. I mean, he’s known but not Brando-known, which he should be. Each Steiger performance is like a punch in the stomach reminding you that great things can happen when an artist takes his work seriously. From Charlie Malloy, to playing Bentio Mussolini twice, all the way to the judge in “The Hurricane”, each powerhouse performance is worth it’s own class at NYU, and his linkability rating beats Kevin Bacon’s by almost 50%). Here are 10 great Rod Steiger films.

1.On the Waterfront

It was him.

2.The Amityville Horror

Seeing Steiger as a demon-possessed priest should be on everyone’s list.

3.The Illustrated Man

A tatted up Rod searches for the woman who did all the tatting.


He did his own singing.

5.The Harder They Fall

Played the crooked boxing promoter in Humphrey Bogart’s last film.

6.The Pawnbroker

Steiger plays a concentration camp survivor learning to live again. If you haven’t seen this film, rent it tonight (that is, if you can find a rental store).

7.Doctor Zhivago

As the only American cast in the film, he was apprehensive about starring alongside heavyweights like Alec Guinness and Ralph Richardson. The result: Komarovsky!

8.In the Heat of the Night

The tour-de-force that won him the Oscar.

9.Al Capone

An intense delivery in a true-to-life biopic about the rise of the notorious gangster.


The film was an utter failure, and Steiger was most likely drunk or hungover for most of the film, but nobody bitches about half the Coliseum having fallen down.

Got more Steiger favorites? Post them to comments!


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