This weekend Goldie Hawn returned to the big screen for the first time in fifteen years in the Amy Schumer comedy Snatched. The movie starring the two as a mother daughter duo opened to so so reviews, and while it may not go down in movie history, Goldie Hawn certainly will. The actress was even honored with a Hollywood star just a week ago, along with soulmate Kurt Russell. The return of the blonde to film may not last; that remains to be seen. And the last time we saw her on screen, even being paired with Susan Sarandon couldn’t save it. But no matter what, we’ll always have her classics, which include a roster of memorable characters. From a spoiled princess turned army girl, to a vengeful, immortal redhead, and gorgeous, rich amnesiac. I can’t advocate going to see Snatched but I can recommend you take a look, or re watch these films. Clearly, the newly reopened Quad Cinema agrees. They just finished a week long Goldie retrospective which included some of the best Goldie Hawn movies, including a few mentioned below. Now that it’s ended, head to Netflix, or your favorite streaming device to find them again.
1. Private Benjamin. Hawn plays a spoiled rich girl who, after her husband dies on their wedding night, enters the army. There, she finds strength and independence. The 1980 comedy came with it’s own share of cliches. But it also stood for more, and actually came at an important time in history for women. Even though it came out over thirty years ago, many of the themes are more relevant than ever today.
2. Overboard. This isn’t the first time I’ve talked about how much I love the classic Overboard. The 1987 film, starring couple Hawn and Russell is still just as funny today. (Even if the premise will forever remain, technically really creepy). And that zebra thong one piece bathing suit, just as memorable. If we ever needed proof this long term, notoriously unmarried couple had chemistry, one need only take a look at last week’s star unveiling. Or just at Overboard, instead.
3. Death Becomes her. Who can forget the 1992 comedy starring a redheaded Hawn alongside Meryl Streep and a very meek Bruce Willis. The women fight and battle as frenemies throughout the entire film which in itself, is a satire about aging. Though it may have seemed crazy the huge stars would star in such a silly comedy at the time, now, we revel in this cult classic.
4. Seems like Old Times. A lesser known comedy to many, the Neil Simon written movie, which also came out in ’80, is highly underrated. Not only does it pair Hawn with comic greats Albert Brooks, and Chevy Chase, a frequent co-star, but it remains one of the quickest, sharpest comedy pairings to date. Inspired by other fast talking, comedic duos like Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, Seems like Old Times delivers physical comedy and impeccable timing throughout its entirety. With Chase and Brooks also at the top of their respective games, this remains one of the best Goldie Hawn movies and definitely deserves a look.
5. Wildcats. In the eighties, Hawn was at the top of her game, playing bubbly, (maybe a little dimwitted) blonde to comic perfection. But she’d also mastered the art of playing a woman smarter than she may at first appear. She continued this trend in the ’86 comedy Wildcats playing a high school track coach who, despite the snickering and disbelief of the men around her, becomes coach of a inner city high school football team. The fish out of water, and inner city teacher making a difference themes were nothing new. We’d seen them before, and would again, in later films of a similar vein like Dangerous Minds. But Wildcats does have some standouts. Namely Hawn as, once again, a pretty blonde who proves much more capable than we thought. It also marks the screen debut of a young Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson.
6. Deceived. Typically, people don’t like it when their favorite comedy actors try drama. Though we love to think they should step outside their comfort zones, as soon as they do, we pounce. This seemed to ring true when Hawn starred in the 1991 thriller Deceived. The movie didn’t gain much traction, and is one of her lesser known films, but it happens to be pretty good. Of course, being obsessed with mysteries this one might be a slightly biased viewpoint. On the other hand, the film, starring Hawn as a married woman who finds out she doesn’t know her husband at all has lots of suspense, and the underrated John Heard who always plays the villain brilliantly. Once again, Hawn starts out a bit lost, and builds strength and resilience through each unfolding scene. Her normal comedic strengths are quieter here, but her charm still shines through in this suspenseful thriller.