Alan Alda has been under the spotlight for years as a result of his outstanding and impressive achievements as an actor, comedian, screenwriter, author, and director. Right from the year 1955 when he debuted in the industry, the veteran performer has never lost his relevance instead he has continued to grow his game and also win the admiration, praises, and heart of entertainment buffs. Most of Alan Alda’s movies are really amazing, interesting, entertaining, and worth watching as well. He is known to have portrayed fictional characters both in films and TV shows and for being good at delivering on the filming set.
Alda started his journey to greatness in the 1950s as a member of the improvisational comedy revue called the Compass Players. He participated in the theatrical performance of the plays like Job, Heaven Come Wednesday, Monique, and To Dorothy A Son, after he received a grant from the Ford Foundation that enabled him to join Compass Players during the 1958-1959 season at the Cleveland Play House.
As an actor, he has shared screen time with several notable actors and actresses in blockbuster films especially in Woody Allen films, who happens to be his good friend. Of all his projects, M*A*S*H remains one of the most outstanding works he has taken part in.
Alda did not only portray Captain Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce in the series, but he also directed and wrote some episodes of the series. His notability on the project also gave him a platform to lend his thoughts and views on matters that pertain to politics and women’s rights as well. The renowned performer is extensively committed to charity work and has been a staunch supporter of the feminist movement.
Apart from M*A*S*H, Alda also starred in notable movies Misdemeanors (1989), Next Year (1978), Same Time, and Crimes as well as TV programs like 30 Rock, The West Wing, and Scientific American Frontiers, snagging a Golden Globe Award and Emmy Award six times.
List of Alan Alda Movies and TV Shows: Best To Worst Filmography
The Four Seasons (1981)
The Four Seasons tells the story of three upper-middle-class married couples residing in New York City who embark on romantic vacations together during each of the seasons. Alan wrote and directed this film and also starred as lawyer Jack Burroughs, the husband of Kate Burroughs (Carol Burnett). This film was both a box office and critical success, having grossed $50.4 million on a budget of $6.5 million. It also holds the record as the ninth highest-grossing film of the year 1981. For his involvement in this film, the actor was nominated for Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.
Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
Crimes and Misdemeanors is one of Woody Allen’s best films as a director. Featuring Alan as Lester, Jerry Orbach, Martin Landau, Sam Waterston, and Mia Farrow, Joanna Gleason, Anjelica Huston, the film has everything one needs in an existential comedy-drama project. From editing to writing, and seamless storytelling, it deserves all the praises and positive reviews it received. Crimes and Misdemeanors snagged a 93% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and grossed $18.3 million on a budget of $19 million.
Regarded as one of his best movies, Alan won the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor and New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor for playing Lester in the film. He was also nominated for BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for the same role.
The Aviator (2004)
Yet another masterpiece on the list of Alan Alda movies, The Aviator was written by John Logan and stars heavyweights Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Beckinsale, Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, and Gwen Stefani. It is an epic biographical drama film that received critical acclaim after its release. It was made with $110 million and tuned up $213.7 million at the box office. For convincing playing Senator Ralph Owen Brewster in the film, Alan’s name was put for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Paper Lion (1968)
Paper Lion gave Alan Alda his first prestigious nomination; Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actor to be precise. Also starring Lauren Hutton, Joe Schmidt, Alex Karras, George Plimpton, Vince Lombardi, and John Gordy, Alda portrayed writer George Plimpton in the sports comedy film. The 107 minutes long project made $1.7 million at the box office, which was inspired by the 1966 nonfiction book ‘Paper Lion’ received a decent rating approval from critics.
This masterpiece was adapted from a feature film that was released in 1970 titled: M*A*S*H. It is a war comedy-drama television series that played influential roles in putting Alda’s talent and career on the world map. The actor featured as Captain Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce in 251 episodes of the series, winning himself a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1975–76, 1980–83), Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (1979), Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (1974, 1982), People’s Choice Award for Favorite Male Television Performer (1975, 1979–82), and Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series for his involvement in the project.
The television series, which centers on prominent personnel in a U.S Army Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) in the 1950-1953 Korean War holds the record as one the best television series Alan has starred in.
The West Wing (2004–2006)
Alan Alda appeared in 28 episodes of The West Wing. Playing Senator Arnold Vinick in the series is one of the best decisions the actor has ever made his career, as it opened up opportunities to share screen time with prominent actors such as Rob Lowe, Richard Schiff, Janel Moloney, Kristin Chenoweth, Bradley Whitford, Mary McCormack, and John Spencer and content creator, Aaron Sorkin.
The political drama series is widely regarded as one of the most influential and greatest television series in history. It has snagged numerous awards and accolades since it started airing and is highly rated in publications like Rolling Stone and TV Guide. For delivering a perfect role in the series, Alan won a Primetime Emmy Award in 2006 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series and was nominated for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2005), Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series, and Television Critics Association Award for Individual Achievement in Drama for the same role.
Club Land (2001)
Initially released on 8th April 2001, Club Land was written by Steven Weber and stars Alan Alda as Willie Walters, Steven Weber as Stuey Walters, Brad Garrett as Lou Montana, David Deblinger as Freddy Barber, and Jerry Grayson as Jules Bozell.
The TV show tells the story of Steven Weber, a talent agent as he fearlessly informs his rigid dad (Alan Alda) that he has no interest in the family business. Currently, the result of the TV programs rating by critics is still under the radar but Alda’s performance also earned double nominations which are Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie and Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.
Apart from Club Land, other amazing television projects that earned Alan Alda nominations for his outstanding performance as an actor include The Blacklist (2013-2014), The Big C (2013-2014), 30 Rock (2009-2010), ER (1999), White Mile (1994), And the Band Played On (1993), and Kill Me If You Can (1977).
Whispers in the Dark (1992)
In addition to Whispers in the Dark, The Longest Ride, Diminished Capacity, A New Life, and Canadian Bacon are other terrible projects on the list of Alan Alda movies and TV shows. Whispers in the Dark is a disappointing and disastrous film in all ramifications; it failed woefully at the box office, earned a very poor rating on film review sites, and even earned Alda a nomination for Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor.
Cast as Leo Green, Alda starred alongside Annabella Sciorra, Jill Clayburgh, Jamey Sheridan, Deborah Unger, Anthony La Paglia, and John Leguizamo. The 103 minutes long movie was written and directed by Christopher Crowe while its producers are Martin Bregman and Michael Bregman.
The Longest Ride (2015)
Despite performing fairly at the box office, Alan’s role as Ira Levinson didn’t earn any award or special recognition. This film received unfavorable reviews generally from critics for hanging below standard and other shortcomings. The Neo Western romantic drama film bagged a disappointing 29% on Rotten Tomatoes and 33/100 on Metacritic while the audience also found it unsatisfactory and not good enough.
The Killing Yard (2001)
In The Killing Yard, Alda portrayed the fictional character Ernie Goodman who defended Morris Chestnut after his indictment in the killing of two prison inmates during the 1971 Attica prison riot. This television project occupies a disappointing position on the list of Alan Alda movies, having received average scores from critics.
Same Time, Next Year (1978)
Despite scooping a subpar rating on Rotten Tomatoes (40%) and mixed reviews from the audience, Same Time, Next Year, a romantic comedy-drama film, still occupies a special spot on the list of Alan Alda movies. The actor put up a brilliant performance and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy but unfortunately, he lost to another actor.