Jeffrey Jones Movies
Character actor Jeffrey Jones earned an enduring spot in the zeitgeist with his portrayal of frustrated principal Ed Rooney, Matthew Broderick's outwitted nemesis in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Although he has tried to steer clear of playing only sinister roles, the actor's imposing height, bugged-out eyes, easy sneer, and shock of reddish-blond hair give him vaguely devilish features that have prompted villain typecasting. However, the actor is also widely respected and considered a boon wherever he appears.
Jones was born on September 28, 1947, a native of Buffalo, NY. He involved himself in pre-med studies at Lawrence University in Wisconsin prior to getting the acting bug. His first jobs were on-stage, initially with Minneapolis' Guthrie Theater, then internationally in South America, Canada, and London. In the late '70s he began working in film and landed one of his first plum roles as Emperor Joseph II in Milos Forman's Amadeus (1984), for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor.
This paved the way for Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), in which Jones plays the hissable, cartoonish high school principal hell bent on proving that the title character is faking an illness in order to play hooky. Viewers won't soon forget Rooney's disastrous home invasion in which he is mangled by a dog and thrice karate-kicked by Ferris' sister (Jennifer Grey).
But it was the gonzo Howard the Duck, released later that summer, that would truly preview the weird streak of movies with which Jones would begin to affiliate himself. In 1988 he played the good-natured father, one of the most normal
characters, in Beetlejuice, his first of several collaborations with director Tim Burton. In 1992 alone he would play a triumvirate of oddball roles: an interplanetary freedom fighter in the goofy Mom and Dad Save the World, an actual demon stand-in in the TV spoof Stay Tuned, and evil bespectacled twins in Out on a Limb. He was also the star of a short-lived sitcom called The People Next Door (1989), in which he played a comic strip artist whose creations come to life.
In recent years, Jones worked as a variety of cowardly townspeople in gothic period pieces like The Crucible (1996) and Sleepy Hollow (1999); always full of surprises, he would then go in the other direction by appearing in children's movies, such as Stuart Little (1999) and Dr. Doolittle 2 (2001). These less rewarding, secondary roles have alternated with more deserving work, such as Criswell, the over-dramatic narrator in Burton's juicy Ed Wood (1994). Following accusations of sex with a minor in late 2001, police raided Jones' home and seized numerious items of evidence relating to child pornography. The actor was arrested on related charges one year later. ~ Derek Armstrong, Rovi
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The third adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos' classic novel Les Liasons Dangereuses, Milos Forman's Valmont was released one year after Stephen Frears' more famous version of the de Laclos original, Dangerous Liaisons. The plot remains the same: two debauched, depraved 18th century French aristocrats, the Vicomte de Valmont (Colin Firth) and the Marquise de Merteuil (Annette Bening), conspire to destroy several innocent lives, just for the fun of it. But whereas Stephen Frears concentrated on the machinations of the marquise, Forman, per his film's title, devotes most of his screen space to Valmont (played in the Frears version by John Malkovich). In fact, Forman's film concludes with Valmont's conscience-stricken renunciation of his past sins, and his duel to the death, rather than de Meurteil's well-deserved comeuppance. Forman has chosen to set the story back some 50 years, de-emphasizing the opulence that was vital to Frears' vision; he has also utilized a younger cast. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
- Colin Firth, Annette Bening, (more)
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John Candy's popularity from his appearances on the Canadian television series Second City TV did not translate into film success until he made the John Hughes comedy Uncle Buck. Who's Harry Crumb? was released just before the more well-known film, and some SCTV regulars make cameo appearances. In this farcical comedy, Candy plays bumbling Harry Crumb, scion of a family of great detectives, who works as a trainee in the agency his legendary grandparents founded. His slimey boss Eliot Draisen (Jeffrey Jones) assigns the inept young detective to find the kidnapped daughter of a multi-millionaire. The plot twist is that Draisen doesn't want the kidnappers found, for reasons of his own. While Crumb blithely bumbles along through various mishaps, Draisen tries to put the moves on the millionaire's wife (Annie Potts). Fans of Candy will probably enjoy this film, which he dominates with his comedic talents and (literally) large presence. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi
- John Candy, Jeffrey Jones, (more)
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When a high-profile hip-hop star is denied membership into an exclusive country club in the Hamptons, he comes up with a cunning plan to subvert the questionable ruling in this comedy of manners starring OutKast's Antwan Andre Patton. By purchasing property directly adjacent to the 18th hole, popular rapper C-Note (Patton) is subsequently granted membership into the haughty club by default. As the curmudgeonly club members make it their mission in life to get him kicked out, the clever rapper infuses the stodgy old club with new life. Andy Milonakis, Jeffrey Jones, and Faizon Love co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
- Antwan Andre Patton, Andy Milonakis, (more)
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According to Without a Clue, master detective Sherlock Holmes was a wholly fictional character. Well, we knew that; what we didn't know was that Holmes was a figment of the imagination of his chronicler, Dr. John Watson (Ben Kingsley). When Holmes' fame begins to grow, would-be clients besiege Watson's office for chance to consult the Great Detective. In desperation, Watson hires a seedy provincial actor (Michael Caine) to pose as Holmes. Trouble is, the preening actor hasn't got a clue -- about anything. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
- Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley, (more)