Thursday, September 17, 2009

Adding it up - the strange numerical coincidence of Bruce Willis's career.

Bruce Willis has been one of the busiest stars of the last three decades. During his varied career, his filmography became noticeable for two worthwhile things. First of all, he most likely died onscreen more often than any other mega-star of my generation (his mortality rate doesn't approach a full-time villain like Danny Trejo, or oddities like Gary Oldman, but it's impressive). Second of all, he has a stunning number of movies which contain numbers in their titles. Although I draw no conclusions, let's take a moment to look through this odd duck of a filmography.

First and Last - The First Deadly Sin (1980 - his first official credit), The Last Boy Scout (1991), Last Man Standing (1996), and The Last Full Measure (2010)

And now the numbers - National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1 (1993 - his cameo is the film's best gag), Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990 - his only numbered sequel), Four Rooms (1995), The Fifth Element (1995), The Sixth Sense (1999), Lucky Number Slevin (2006 - whether that counts is up to you), The Whole Nine Yards (2000), The Whole Ten Yards (2004), Twelve Monkeys (1995), Ocean's 12 (2004), and 16 Blocks (2006).

Bruce Willis has 81 credits as an actor. Eleven of those are either video game work or guest appearances on a television show. So out of 70 film or TV-movie credits, fifteen have either a first/last in the title or an out-and-out number. That's a 21.4% ratio, which I'm guessing far exceeds any other major star. This of course doesn't mean a thing, but it's interesting to tabulate.

Scott Mendelson


R.L. Shaffer said...

We mustn't forget that overseas Die Hard With a Vengeance was called Die Hard 3: With a Vengeance. Also Live Free or Die Hard was called Die Hard 4.0.

Scott Mendelson said...

I debated whether to include those, but since they weren't officially titled Die Hard 3 and Die Hard 4, I felt it would be cheating. Since Die Hard 2: Die Harder was officially called Die Hard 2, I let it in.

R.L. Shaffer said...

But they were officially titled that overseas...and frankly, Die Hard 4.0 is a better title for the fourth film -- more in keeping with the plot.

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[url=]the day the earth stood still[/url]


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