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Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

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Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

Old 08-11-17, 09:37 PM
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Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

I mean I know he has endured in tv series' and those made for tv westerns or whatever that book series is.

But, I thought he would have been a big movie star after Magnum.
I mean I loved An Innocent Man and Quigley Down Under, hell Runaway is like one of my all-time favs and I think they were ok received, but I think he should have been bigger and maybe still doing films. His looks, pretty good acting should have gotten him bigger roles, no?

Guess not...
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Old 08-11-17, 09:45 PM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

Easy : he's a TV Star. A great one to be sure, but still movies are different. There are a few stars that moved seamlessly from TV to movies (George Clooney, Robin Williams, Tom Hanks, Michelle Williams, Jennifer Aniston, Johnny Depp), but mostly they stick to their own lane. Even big TV stars like Ted Danson, Michael Landon, Richard Thomas, Richard Chamberlain, James Gandolfini and Alan Alda really haven't found the same level of success on the small screen. No mystery there.
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Old 08-11-17, 09:53 PM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

The same can be said for Burt Reynolds and David Hasslehoff.

These are more refined TV actors than big budget movie actors.
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Old 08-11-17, 10:03 PM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

Burt Reynolds was the highest grossing actor of 1979 - 1982. He owned the 70s and early 80s at the box office.

I've always wondered how much turning down Raiders of the Lost Ark affected Selleck's film career. He never quite recovered after Magnim PI ended its run.

Last edited by GoldenJCJ; 08-11-17 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 08-11-17, 10:13 PM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ View Post
Burt Reynolds was the highest grossing actor of 1979 - 1982. He owned the 70s and early 80s at the box office.

I've always wondered how much turning down Raiders of the Lost Ark affected Selleck's film career. He never quite recovered after Magnim PI ended its run.
He was offered Indy role? Was he first choice? I thought the whole Star Wars Lucas connection meant sure thing for Ford?
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Old 08-11-17, 10:15 PM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?



I completely agree not doing Raiders prevented him from being big in Hollywood.
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Old 08-11-17, 10:16 PM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

I imagine his Magnum schedule prevented him from getting better roles/movies and he stuck to doing mostly mediocre movies that could be filmed in 30-60 days while his TV show was on a break.
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Old 08-11-17, 10:18 PM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

Stay in your lane, OldBoy.
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Old 08-11-17, 10:36 PM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

Originally Posted by OldBoy View Post
He was offered Indy role? Was he first choice? I thought the whole Star Wars Lucas connection meant sure thing for Ford?
Seriously? This is one of the most famous almost-was casting stories in film history.
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Old 08-11-17, 10:42 PM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

Selleck has a likable, appealing presence but not much of an edge to his onscreen personality. He's like Steve Guttenberg, who had a decent run as a likable comedic actor, but whose career flamed out when he tried to do anything else. Not surprising that Selleck and Gutts had their biggest hit starring together in 3 Men and a Baby.
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Old 08-11-17, 10:50 PM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

Originally Posted by OldBoy View Post
He was offered Indy role? Was he first choice? I thought the whole Star Wars Lucas connection meant sure thing for Ford?
Actually Lucas was pretty adamant about not wanting to re-use actors in the beginning. Harrison Ford was never meant to audition for Han Solo (because he had been in American Graffiti), but because there were 5 Lukes and 5 Leias auditioning, but only 4 Hans, Lucas was convinced to bring Ford in just to have an equal number of actors to pair with each other for test readings. Ford went in being told this up front, that he was just there to read lines with the other actors and that he wasn't being considered for the part, but he ended up being so much better than the other Hans, that Lucas finally offered him the part.

The actor who almost got the part because Lucas didn't want to re-use Ford... Christopher Walken

It was this reasoning again why Lucas wanted to cast someone else for Indy.

Last edited by Obi-Wan Jabroni; 08-11-17 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 08-11-17, 11:35 PM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ View Post
Burt Reynolds was the highest grossing actor of 1979 - 1982. He owned the 70s and early 80s at the box office.
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Old 08-11-17, 11:40 PM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ View Post
Burt Reynolds was the highest grossing actor of 1979 - 1982. He owned the 70s and early 80s at the box office.

I've always wondered how much turning down Raiders of the Lost Ark affected Selleck's film career. He never quite recovered after Magnim PI ended its run.
He never became a big film star, but I'd say he recovered quite well: co-starred in a number one movie*, made a series of popular TV movies (Jesse Stone), and he's on his eighth season of Blue Bloods. Not bad!

*Fun fact...Leonard Nimoy directed Three Men and a Baby.
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Old 08-12-17, 12:18 AM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

Might as well tell this story now : I was (and still am) a member of a social club in Waikiki. It's referenced in The Descendants (even though it was filmed next door instead of the actual club). Anyway, there were a few celebrity members of the club and none was more famous in the early 80s than Tom Selleck. He was an active member, playing volleyball and hanging out. People gave him his space and let him enjoy his time off between shooting his show.
My grandmother was nutty - and not in a cute way; she was pretty bonkers and pushy. One day when she was visiting us in HI, we took her to the club for Sunday Brunch. Sure enough, she spotted Tom on the beach. She got up and just about ran towards him. I was MORTIFIED. I dove under the table. My dad just sat there, slack jawed. She went right up to Tom Selleck, superstar and started talking to him, telling him all about her life, her son, her grandkids, whatever. He was so nice. He smiled and nodded and was nothing but gracious. After what seemed like forever but was probably 5 minutes, she left, so happy that she got to talk to him. I've never forgotten that. Tom will always be a favorite in my book after that. What a class act.
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Old 08-12-17, 12:59 AM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

With that Harry Reems mustache and shitty acting chops he should have done porn.
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Old 08-12-17, 02:09 AM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

Originally Posted by E Unit View Post


I completely agree not doing Raiders prevented him from being big in Hollywood.
I don't think Indiana Jones would have worked with Selleck in the role. Ford was born to be Indie.
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Old 08-12-17, 05:49 AM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

a better question would be, why does it feel like Tom Selleck was in"The Big Chill"?
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Old 08-12-17, 09:25 AM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
Might as well tell this story now : I was (and still am) a member of a social club in Waikiki. It's referenced in The Descendants (even though it was filmed next door instead of the actual club). Anyway, there were a few celebrity members of the club and none was more famous in the early 80s than Tom Selleck. He was an active member, playing volleyball and hanging out. People gave him his space and let him enjoy his time off between shooting his show.
My grandmother was nutty - and not in a cute way; she was pretty bonkers and pushy. One day when she was visiting us in HI, we took her to the club for Sunday Brunch. Sure enough, she spotted Tom on the beach. She got up and just about ran towards him. I was MORTIFIED. I dove under the table. My dad just sat there, slack jawed. She went right up to Tom Selleck, superstar and started talking to him, telling him all about her life, her son, her grandkids, whatever. He was so nice. He smiled and nodded and was nothing but gracious. After what seemed like forever but was probably 5 minutes, she left, so happy that she got to talk to him. I've never forgotten that. Tom will always be a favorite in my book after that. What a class act.
Cool story. I've never met him but I remember when Rosie O'Donnell basically ambushed him about his political views on her show when he was there to have a light, friendly conversation. He showed a lot of class in the way he handled O'Donnell's complete lack of class and professionalism.
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Old 08-12-17, 10:14 AM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ View Post
Cool story. I've never met him but I remember when Rosie O'Donnell basically ambushed him about his political views on her show when he was there to have a light, friendly conversation. He showed a lot of class in the way he handled O'Donnell's complete lack of class and professionalism.
I sort of remember that. Wasn't that the one about the NRA? I hate that stupid bitch.
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Old 08-12-17, 10:20 AM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
Easy : he's a TV Star. A great one to be sure, but still movies are different. There are a few stars that moved seamlessly from TV to movies (George Clooney, Robin Williams, Tom Hanks, Michelle Williams, Jennifer Aniston, Johnny Depp), but mostly they stick to their own lane. Even big TV stars like Ted Danson, Michael Landon, Richard Thomas, Richard Chamberlain, James Gandolfini and Alan Alda really haven't found the same level of success on the small screen. No mystery there.
Michelle Williams and Jennifer Aniston aren't really big movie stars at all. Sure, they were in a few decent flicks but that's about it. You forgot the most obvious...John Travolta. Sure, he had a few bad movies but we all know he made very successful films.

edit: I forgot to add Bruce Lee. It wasn't an easy road for him but he did it.

Last edited by mrhan; 08-12-17 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 08-12-17, 10:27 AM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

A bit earlier, both Steve McQueen and Clint Eastwood made the transition pretty smoothly.
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Old 08-12-17, 10:35 AM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

I think with Tom Selleck it just came down to never quite getting the right role.

The stars really seem to align when the right actor gets the right role at the right time.

Tom Selleck came out with "High Road To China" which was a sub-par Indiana Jones-style adventure that never clicked.

Quigley Down Under, Runaway, Lassiter, An Innocent Man were pretty bad and then Folks! and Mr. Baseball sent him back to TV.

Likewise, Bruce Willis had two bad films in a row, Blind Date and Sunset. He then demanded $5 million (a staggering sum at the time) for Die Hard and it worked-out really well leading to a huge career.
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Old 08-12-17, 10:54 AM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

Originally Posted by mrhan View Post
I sort of remember that. Wasn't that the one about the NRA? I hate that stupid bitch.
Yeah, I'm certainly no fan of the NRA but as a talk show host you don't ambush someone like that when they're under the impression it's going to be a breezy puff piece about the latest show/tv movie your making rounds promoting.
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Old 08-12-17, 11:05 AM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

Some people simply section off enough money to live comfortably, don't want to work too much, and don't want to risk too much on new projects.

Or they never get in with a successful clique of filmmakers. It might surprise you - but not all people working in Hollywood really know what's hot. On this forum, we all have a curated love for movies. So we know what's good, what's bad. And we're probably more qualified to pick winners and losers than most of the people working in Hollywood. This is part of why movie studios embrace geeky Comi-Con culture.
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Old 08-12-17, 12:42 PM
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Re: Why wasn't Tom Selleck more successful in the movies?

I'll never forgive him for stealing water during the recent drought.
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