Top 10 Christopher Walken Performances

Although he may be well known as of late of his quirky cameos and bizarre guest appearances, Christopher Walken has long been established as an accomplished actor. The oscar winner has portrayed both leading men and notorious villains, and never fails to leave his scene stealing mark on every film he appears in. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for Christopher Walken's Top 10 Performances in film.
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Top 10 Christopher Walken Performances


He’s the king of quirky cameos. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we'll be counting down our top 10 favorite Christopher Walken performances.

#10 – Whitley Strieber: “Communion” (1989)


This movie is really not very good, but you can’t have a list of memorable Walken performances without it, so why not kick off the list with the weirdest of the bunch? Who else but Christopher Walken could mesh so seamlessly with the frightening array of crazy crap that goes on in this movie? Instead of giving you a strong central character to save you from the weirdness, his presence just makes it all the more disturbing.

#9 – Gabriel: “The Prophecy” (1995)


This supernatural thriller is the perfect example of a film that wouldn’t be on anyone’s radar without Christopher Walken. The ‘80s and ‘90s were his heyday when it came to villainous characters, and this half-terrifying, half-hammy portrayal of a very angry angel is evil Walken at its most unrestrained. Oh, and Viggo Mortensen plays the devil and eats Walken’s heart at the end. That’s worth the price of admission, no?

#8 – Caesar, the Exterminator: “MouseHunt” (1997)



You figure that when they wrote the script for this movie, they just said “okay, so the exterminator is rather eccentric. Well, essentially, he’s Christopher Walken,” and everyone understood right away. The writers didn’t have to go to great lengths to show the audience how nuts-o their character was: one look into Walken’s eyes and you know right away.

#7 – Mr. Smith: “Nick of Time” (1995)


Walken often plays characters with shades of weird, but here he proves he can pull off the straight-up bad guy just as easily. Of course, there’s a scene-stealing Walken speech thrown in for good measure, but it’s his effortless friendly-while-threatening demeanor that makes him such a convincing and scary villain. It may not be a role that only he could have played, but he definitely adds that special touch to an otherwise straightforward flick.

#6 – Johnny Smith: “The Dead Zone” (1983)


That crazy look in Walken’s eyes is used to great effect in this movie. He plays a man stricken with haunting premonitions after being hit in the head in this Stephen King-inspired tale. The story requires a certain morbid weirdness to bring it to life, and Walken’s unhinged persona manages the task perfectly.

#5 – Don Vincenzo Coccotti: “True Romance” (1993)


This entire movie is essentially a well-written sequence of cameos, so it makes sense the head bad guy should be the king of cameos himself. Walken steals scenes as a mob boss who is attempting to intimidate the hero’s father, played by Dennis Hopper. Not too frightening, not too friendly, Walken still manages to shine in a film overloaded with familiar faces.

#4 – Frank Abagnale, Sr.: “Catch Me If You Can” (2002)


The memorable “Two Mice” story from this globetrotting adventure is classic Walken, but there’s much more going on here than one quirky monologue. At the beginning of the movie, you’re not sure what to make of Walken’s character: in fact, his sliminess is off-putting. But, it’s that complexity which makes him such an endearing father figure. The scene in which he confronts his con-artist son is unexpectedly heartbreaking, and is surely why this role got him an Oscar nomination.


#3 – Frank White: “King of New York” (1990)


Walken’s turn as a gangster-turned-modern day Robin Hood is a true powerhouse Walken performance, if ever there was one. While smaller, quirky roles have become his trademark more recently, this movie proves that in his prime he could carry entire movies on charisma alone. He succeeds once again in making a questionably motivated character seem believable, which is something a more clean-cut actor wouldn’t be able to pull off.

#2 – Captain Koons: “Pulp Fiction” (1994)


While this list surely proves that Walken can take on starring roles with ease, he’s become legendary in recent years for his bit parts and smaller roles. And, if there was ever one scene that epitomized his rise to the ultimate king of cameos, it’s this monologue from “Pulp Fiction.” Very serious, very stupid and more than a little bit uncomfortable. Classic Walken.

#1 – Cpl. Nikanor “Nick” Chevotarevich: “Deer Hunter” (1978)


We often think of Walken as funny, quirky, weird. But early in his career, he was a dead serious actor. For “The Deer Hunter,” he consumed nothing but bananas, rice and water in order to portray the shell of a man we see at the end of the film. Here there is no weirdness, no bizarre monologue to quote with your friends. Just a haunting and Academy Award-winning portrayal of a man who’s beyond saving.

Do you agree with our list? We’re sure we’ve left out a few of your favorites, so let us know whatch’ya think in the comments.
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