|Lemmon as Daphne.|
3. The China Syndrome (1979) - In probably the best of his later-career performances, Jack Lemmon plays a shift supervisor at a nuclear plant who gradually realizes that the reactor is dangerously close to a meltdown. Lemmon brilliantly transforms his character from an unassuming, loyal employee to one willing to do anything to expose the truth and the danger of a large-scale disaster. The performance earned him the sixth of his eight Oscar nominations. His other nominations include both Some Like It Hot and The Apartment. He won a Best Actor Oscar for Save the Tiger (1974) and a Supporting Actor Oscar for Mister Roberts (1956).
4. Days of Wine and Roses (1962) - My wife doesn't like to watch this Blake Edwards film--not because it's not a fine picture, but because Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick are achingly good as a couple that ruin their lives through alcoholism. It'd be easy to overact in some of the more dramatic scenes--such as when Lemmon's character is confined in a strait-jacket in a sanatorium. Instead, Lemmon somehow elicits sympathy for a man who has brought on his own demons and introduced them to his wife.
|Jack Lemmon and Juliet Mills.|
Honorable Mentions: Mister Roberts; Cowboy; and The Odd Couple.