Peter Boyle - Rotten Tomatoes

Peter Boyle

Highest Rated:   100% The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973)
Lowest Rated:   0% Speed Zone (1989)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Norristown, Pennsylvania, USA
Well-reputed for his "extreme" cinematic personifications in multiple genres, the American character player Peter Boyle doubtless made his onscreen personas doubly intense by pulling directly from his own personal journey to the top -- a wild, unlikely, and occasionally tortuous trek that found Boyle aggressively defining and redefining himself, and struggling constantly with a number of inner demons. Born October 18, 1935, in the hamlet of Northtown, PA, Boyle graduated from La Salle College and joined the Christian Brothers monastic order, under the name "Brother Francis." He prayed endlessly and earnestly until he developed callouses on his knees, but could never quite adjust to the monastic life, which he later declared "unnatural," with its impositions of fasting and celibacy. Dissatisfied, Boyle dropped out and headed for the Navy, but his brief enlistment ended in a nervous breakdown. With no other options in sight that piqued his interest, Boyle opted to pack his bags and head for New York City, where he worked toward making it as an actor. It made perfect sense that Boyle -- with his distinctively stocky frame, bald pate, oversized ears, and bulbous nose -- would fit the bill as a character actor -- more ideally, in fact, than any of his contemporaries on the American screen. He trained under the best of the best -- the legendary dramatic coach Uta Hagen -- while working at any and every odd job he could find. Boyle soon joined a touring production of Neil Simon's Odd Couple (as Oscar Madison) and moved to Chicago, where he signed on with the sketch comedy troupe The Second City -- then in its infancy. Around 1968, Haskell Wexler -- one of the most politically radical mainstream filmmakers in all of Los Angeles (a bona fide revolutionary) -- decided to shoot his groundbreaking epic Medium Cool in the Windy City, and for a pivotal and notorious sequence, mixed documentary and fictional elements by sending the members of his cast (Verna Bloom and others) "right into the fray" of the 1968 Democratic National Convention riots. Boyle happened to still be living in Chicago at the time of the tumult, which dovetailed rather neatly with Wexler's production and brought Boyle one of his first credited Hollywood roles -- that of the Gun Clinic Manager in the film. Unfortunately (and typically), Paramount cowed when faced with the final cut of the film -- terrified that it could incite riots among its youthful audience -- and withheld its distribution for a year. In the interim, Boyle landed the role that would help him "break through" to the American public -- the lead in neophyte writer-director John G. Avildsen's harrowing vigilante drama Joe (1970). The film casts Boyle as a skin-crawling redneck and bigot who wheedles an Arrow-collared businessman (Dennis Patrick) into helping him undertake an onslaught of death against the American counterculture. This sleeper hit received only fair reviews from critics (and has dated terribly), and Boyle reputedly was paid only 3,000 dollars for his contribution. But even those who detested the film lavished praise onto the actor's work -- in 1970, Variety called the picture "flawed" but described Boyle as "stunningly effective." Film historians continue to exalt the performance to this day. Innumerable roles followed for Boyle throughout the '70s, many in a similar vein -- from that of Dillon, the slimy underworld "friend" who betrays career criminal Robert Mitchum by handing him over to death's jaws in Peter Yates' finely-wrought gangster drama The Friends of Eddie Coyle, to that of Wizard, a veteran cabbie with a terrifying degree of "seen it all, done it all" jadedness, in Martin Scorsese's masterful neo-noir meditation on urban psychosis, Taxi Driver (1976), to Andy Mast, a sleazy private dick, in Paul Schrader's Hardcore (1979). In 1974, however, Boyle broke free from his pattern of creepy typecasting and temporarily turned a new leaf. He unveiled a deft comic flair by playing the le

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
14% All Roads Lead Home
  • Poovey
2008
15% The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
  • Father Time
$84.5M 2006
21% Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
  • Old Man Wickles
$84.1M 2004
36% Scary Movie 3
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet Bitter Jester
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story
  • Howard Hanssen
2002
4% The Adventures of Pluto Nash
  • Rowland
$4.4M 2002
89% The Cat Returns
  • Muta
2002
85% Monster's Ball
  • Buck
$31.3M 2002
43% Dr. Dolittle
  • Calloway
1998
9% Species II
  • uncredited
1998
No Score Yet Doctor Dolittle
  • Actor
1998
13% That Darn Cat
  • Pa
1997
17% Death and the Compass
  • Lonnrot
1996
No Score Yet Milk & Money
  • Belted Galloway
1996
No Score Yet In the Lake of the Woods
  • Tony Carbo
1996
63% Bulletproof Heart
  • George
1995
80% While You Were Sleeping
  • Ox Callahan
1995
No Score Yet Born to Be Wild
  • Gus Charnley
1995
No Score Yet Exquisite Tenderness (The Surgeon) (Die Bestie im weißen Kittel)
  • Lieutenant McEllwaine
1995
75% The Santa Clause
  • Mr. Whittle
1994
35% The Shadow
  • Moe Shrevnitz
1994
No Score Yet Royce
  • Huggins
1994
No Score Yet Sweet Evil
  • Jay Glass
1994
No Score Yet Nervous Ticks
  • Ron
1993
No Score Yet Taking The Heat
  • Judge
1993
22% Romeo Is Bleeding
  • Actor
1993
No Score Yet Solar Crisis
  • Actor
1993
91% Malcolm X
  • Captain Green
1992
61% Honeymoon in Vegas
  • Chief Orman
1992
No Score Yet In the Line of Duty: Street War
  • Det. Dan Reilly
1992
No Score Yet Men of Respect
  • Matt Duffy
1991
No Score Yet The Tragedy of Flight 103: The Inside Story
  • Fred Ford
1991
20% Kickboxer 2: The Road Back
  • Justin
1990
No Score Yet Challenger
  • Roger Boisjoly
1990
No Score Yet Solar Crisis (Crisis 2050)
  • Arnold Teague
1989
54% The Dream Team
  • Jack McDermott
1989
0% Speed Zone
  • Chief Spiro T. Edsel
1989
62% Red Heat
  • Lou Donnelly
1988
No Score Yet Disaster at Silo 7
  • Actor
1988
No Score Yet The In Crowd
  • Actor
1988
40% Walker
  • Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt
1987
No Score Yet Echoes in the Darkness
  • Sgt. Joe VanNort
1987
13% Surrender
  • Jay
1987
No Score Yet Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago 8
  • David Dellinger
1987
20% Turk 182!
  • Detective Ryan
1985
47% Johnny Dangerously
  • Dundee
1984
22% Yellowbeard
  • Moon
1983
80% Hammett
  • Jimmy Ryan
1982
58% Outland
  • Station Manager Sheppard
1981
No Score Yet In God We Tru$t (In God We Trust) (Gimme That Prime Time Religion)
  • Dr. Melmoth
1980
17% Where the Buffalo Roam
  • Lazlo
1980
0% Beyond the Poseidon Adventure
  • Frank Mazzetti
1979
86% Hardcore
  • Andy Mast
1979
No Score Yet The Brink's Job
  • Joe McGinnis
1978
80% F.I.S.T.
  • Max Graham
1978
99% Taxi Driver
  • Wizard
1976
No Score Yet Swashbuckler
  • Lord Durant
1976
93% Young Frankenstein
  • Monster
1974
No Score Yet Crazy Joe
  • Joe
1974
No Score Yet Ghost in the Noonday Sun
  • Ras Mohammed
1974
No Score Yet Kid Blue
  • Preacher Bob
1973
100% The Friends of Eddie Coyle
  • Dillon
1973
80% Slither
  • Barry Fenaka
1973
No Score Yet Steelyard Blues
  • Eagle Thornberry
1973
95% The Candidate
  • Marvin Lucas
1972
77% Diary of a Mad Housewife
  • Man in Group Therapy Session
1970
86% Joe
  • Joe Curran
1970
No Score Yet The Monitors
  • Production Manager
1969
95% Medium Cool
  • Gun Clinic Manager
1969

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet The X-Files
1993-2016
  • Clyde Bruckman
  • 1995
  • 1993
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live
1975
  • Host
  • Guest
  • 1976

Quotes from Peter Boyle's Characters