One thing you might not know about William Sadler, apart from the fact that he’s in his 70s now, is that he’s a certified speech teacher and he’s well-practiced in various accents. That’s easy to believe since his acting has been pretty impressive over the years and it’s kind of fun to see him pop up in a movie now and then, even if it’s a short role and not all the pertinent. He took up the role of Death again in the recent Bill and Ted Face the Music, and while it wasn’t quite the same as the Bogus Journey movie it was still nice to see him make an appearance in the role that he helped to make so much fun. Sadler has a habit of playing characters that are kind of jerks and can be insanely arrogant, but some of these same characters tend to be the kind of guys that are pretty decent once a person gets to know them, or if they’re allowed to be. Overall his acting skills are solid and there’s usually no need to wonder if he’s going to do a good job or not. There are definitely times when he’s been stuck in a less than stellar movie, but he’s usually given a pretty good performance all the same.
Here are some of William Sadler’s best acting roles.
5. Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight
Frank Brayker was a soldier turned drifter since he’d been alive for much longer than it would appear given his appearance, as he’d been made the recipient of the mystical key that held remnants of the blood of Christ and the blood of good and noble individuals that had possessed the key before him. When he comes to a small motel in the middle of nowhere, seeking refuge from a collector, the demon slowly but surely tempts every last soul in the area and raises his own demons in order to obtain the key. At the end of the movie, Brayker has died, but he’s appointed a new demon knight to protect the key.
4. Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey
This movie wasn’t quite as good as the first one but it was still entertaining since it took a shot at creating something different and new and in a few ways, it succeeded since the character of Death, played by Sadler, was just comical enough that he came off as less menacing and more approachable. But the idea of playing a game with Death and winning was kind of funny, even if it got a little corny considering that Death started losing pretty heavily when the games didn’t lean in his favor. Still, it was amusing enough that people remembered the character fondly and were glad to see him back in the most recent movie.
3. Disturbing Behavior
Dorian Newberry was good at hiding, that much was obvious since everyone thought he was a dimwit. But the lead character, played by James Marsden, figured out that Dorian was actually pretty intelligent when he found him with a book that likely would have been a little too advanced for a lot of people with a severe mental disability. Plus, it’s not just everyone that reads Kurt Vonnegut, no matter how many people want to argue that point. The fact that the janitor decided to hide his intelligence was kind of odd, but he was at least given a great death scene by taking out most of the psychotic high school kids that had been worked on by a sociopathic doctor trying to make them ‘good kids’.
When two firemen are given a map leading to a stolen cache of gold, one can see the lights in their eyes brighten when they start thinking of how much they’ll be able to do with the loot that was apparently stolen from a church. The only problem was that during their treasure hunt they were witness to a murder and felt it necessary to take a hostage, who just happened to be the younger brother of the leader of the gang they’d been seen by. A tense standoff takes place throughout a good chunk of the story, but in the end, Don, played by Stabler, goes out in a blaze of glory as his fellow firefighter escapes without the gold.
1. The Shawshank Redemption
Let’s not mince words and just admit that Heywood is a jerk of the highest order since he doesn’t really care what happens to other people until he shows that he does. He’s the kind of guy that can be a decent friend, but he’s also the guy you wouldn’t trust further than you could throw him since there’s a good chance he’d do or say anything to save his own hide. But if he has a reason to be a decent person it’s reasonable to think that he’s a good guy.
William Sadler feels pretty underrated, don’t you think?