Tom Waits - Rotten Tomatoes

Tom Waits



Gravel-voiced, versatile singer/songwriter Tom Waits has composed and played music in a variety of films, ranging from Francis Ford Coppola's One From the Heart (1982) to Jean-Luc Godard's First Name: Carmen (1983). On or off camera, Waits has been a colorful, quirky character noted for his surreal humor. Many of his songs reflect his interest in movies with either direct references or sly musical suggestions. During the late '70s, he became more directly involved in film, composing songs and even playing piano onscreen in Paradise Alley (1978). In the early '80s, Waits teamed up with Coppola, first with the Greek choir-like narration for One From the Heart and then as an actor in several of his films. At first, Waits had a one-line role as Buck Merrill in The Outsiders (1983). Coppola next gave Waits a bigger part as Benny in Rumble Fish (1983), and then dressed the rangy singer in a tuxedo and cast him as the MC in The Cotton Club (1984).



Although he has often been offered the roles of nutcases and psychos in commercial films, Waits has preferred to work in independent productions such as Down by Law (1986). He entered mainstream film with 1987's offbeat drama Ironweed, and played himself in the concert film Big Time (1988), in which he performed his stage musical Frank's Wild Years and played the roles of a bored box-office manager, usher, and lighting grip. Waits also appeared in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992). He continued to make acting a regular element of his career throughout the 90s and 2000s with supporting roles in films like 12 Monkeys (1995) and Mystery Men (1999), and playing himself in a vignette featuring fellow musician Iggy Pop in Jim Jarmuche's Coffee and Cigarettes (2003). Waits then went on to appear in the movie Domino (2005), which he also provided music for, and Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus.

Photos

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Keith Richards: Under the Influence
  • Actor
2015
82% Seven Psychopaths
  • Zachariah
2012
29% Twixt
  • the narrator
2012
No Score Yet Austin City Limits: Tom Waits
  • Actor
2011
No Score Yet Guy Maddin: Waiting For Twilight
  • Actor
2011
No Score Yet The Monster of Nix
  • Virgil
2011
48% The Book of Eli
  • Engineer
2010
No Score Yet Tom Waits: One Star Shining
  • Actor
2010
64% The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
  • Mr. Nick
2009
67% Wristcutters: A Love Story
  • Kneller
2007
21% La tigre e la neve (The Tiger and the Snow)
  • Himself
2006
76% Absolute Wilson
  • Actor
2006
No Score Yet Tom Waits - Under Review: 1983-2006
  • Actor
2006
19% Domino
  • Wanderer
2005
No Score Yet From the Big Apple to the Big Easy: The Concert for New Orleans
  • Actor
2005
No Score Yet Norah Jones and the Handsome Band: Live in 2004
  • Actor
2004
65% Coffee and Cigarettes
  • Tom
2004
83% Bukowski: Born into This
  • Actor
2003
60% Mystery Men
  • Dr. Heller
1999
95% Short Cuts
  • Earl Piggot
1993
No Score Yet Fishing With John
  • Actor
1992
78% Bram Stoker's Dracula
  • R.M. Renfield
1992
82% The Fisher King
  • Homeless Vietnam Vet in Wheelchair
1991
38% Queens Logic
  • Monte
1991
50% At Play in the Fields of the Lord
  • Wolf
1991
65% The Two Jakes
  • Plainclothes Policeman
1990
88% Mystery Train
  • Radio DJ
1989
No Score Yet Bearskin: An Urban Fairytale
  • Silva
1989
100% Candy Mountain
  • Al Silk
1988
No Score Yet Big Time
  • Screenwriter
  • Himself
1988
65% Ironweed
  • Rudy
1987
No Score Yet Roy Orbison and Friends - Black and White Night
  • Actor
1987
90% Down by Law
  • Zack
1986
75% The Cotton Club
  • Irving Stark
1984
71% Rumble Fish
  • Benny
1983
65% The Outsiders
  • Buck Merrill
1983
No Score Yet Poetry in Motion
  • Actor
1982
73% Wolfen
  • Song Performer - Jitterbug Boy
1981
No Score Yet Paradise Alley
  • Mumbles
1978
No Score Yet Tom Waits: Under Review - 1971-82
  • Actor
1971
No Score Yet Tom Waits - Big Time
  • Actor

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Late Show With David Letterman
1993-2015
  • Performer
No Score Yet The Simpsons
1989
  • Voice
No Score Yet The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
2015
  • Guest
No Score Yet The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
2014
  • Performer
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live
1975
  • Performer

Quotes from Tom Waits' Characters