When the subject of underrated movies comes up, I always throw out 1988’s Midnight Run.
It’s not so much underrated as underseen. Everyone who watches that movie, about a shifty mob accountant and the hard-boiled bounty hunter who is tasked with dragging him across the country to meet his fate, enjoys it, and at least half of the reason is Charles Grodin.
Grodin co-starred in Midnight Run, and his deadpan delivery as a shifty mob accountant made him the perfect foil to DeNiro’s gruff, hard-boiled bounty hunter. The pair’s interactions are the highlight of the movie. It’s a shame they never collaborated on another movie, and now they’ll never get a chance to.
Earlier today, Charles Grodin passed away at the age of 86.
Charles Grodin’s career is so varied and long that everyone reading this probably remembers him from something different, including your kids. He got started on Broadway in the 60s before breaking out in the 70s with movies like The Heartbreak Kid, Catch-22, and Heaven Can Wait.
In the 90s he emerged as the star of family comedies like Beethoven (about a dog) and Clifford (not about a dog), where he played against, respectively, an enormous, havoc-wreaking St. Bernard and a tiny, havoc-wreaking Martin Short in Clifford, one of the most inexplicable movies ever made.
He’s also written several books and once had his own talk show in the 90s.
Grodin’s comic timing was second to none and allowed him to make magic out of appearances that amounted to little more than cameos. His scene in Dave, in which he helps imposter president Kevin Kline balance the national budget, will never not delight, and while he didn’t act much after 1994’s Clifford, it was great to see him in a memorable guest role on Louis CK’s celebrated Louie on FX.
According to his son, Nicholas, Grodin’s death is the result of bone marrow cancer.
RIP Mr. Grodin.