In spite of his now middle-age, Tom ‘The Cruiser’ Cruise is still dominating Hollywood, not only as one of its biggest stars, but one of its biggest action stars. This dominance is not only due to Cruise’s love of doing his own stunts, his penchant for running and his obvious acting talent - it is also because of his determination to always be the loudest one in the room.
Throughout his long and varied career, Mr Cruise has gifted us with some of the greatest and more importantly, shoutiest acting moments to ever hit celluloid. With next month's upcoming horror/adventure film The Mummy sure to be filled with much screaming and yelling, what are some of Cruise’s best moments of shouting to help prepare our fragile ear-drums?
In Paul Thomas Anderson’s seminal film, Cruise’s character’s very purpose is to be the loudest man in the room.
Frank T.J. Mackey is a lothario motivational speaker peddling pick-up artist routines for desperate men, though he comes across as more of a foul-mouthed preacher. The sense of unabashed grandeur is immediately evident from the sight of Cruise’s silhouette along with the 2001: A Space Odyssey theme song in the background.
No song in history was better suited to build up to Tom Cruise shouting. As soon as the camera zooms in on Cruise, with his slick hair and leather waistcoat ensemble, the volume rises, and rises with a word sure to offend.
4. Born on the Fourth of July
One of Tom Cruise’s best dramatic leading roles (so much so he was Oscar nominated for his efforts), the pain and anguish felt in Born on the Fourth of July unsurprisingly leads to a lot of shouting and hollering.
Far and away from the more humorous shouting sessions, Cruise’s sheer exasperation at his inadequate hospital treatment following his paralysing injury can only be properly communicated by turning the volume up.
As a result, his devastating cries for help and pleading demands to be better treated could not be more affecting. Sometimes, shouting is absolutely necessary.
3. Mission: Impossible
Having witnessed his entire team seemingly murdered one-by-one before his eyes, Cruise’s hero Ethan Hunt is left understandably shaken. Fleeing to his hotel room, Hunt’s paranoia has left him hostile and twitchy, so when a woman he thought dead suddenly appears Cruise finds the perfect time to stretch his vocal chords.
Pointing a gun in the resurrected woman’s face, Cruise’s wide eyes and jittery mannerisms clearly suggest what is going to happen and when he finally does give us the shouting we’ve been waiting for, it is a harmony of acting, intensity and ear-splitting sound.
2. A Few Good Men
The final courtroom scene in A Few Good Men is well-known for Jack Nicholson doubting Cruise’s truth-handling abilities, but the scene is also a wonderful showcase for both of their first-rate shouting abilities.
In fact, the scene in question has the honour of being home to several moments of stellar shouting. Beginning with both Tom Cruise and first opponent Kevin Bacon barking over each other in a cacophony of impassioned sound, Cruise sweeps him to one side and moves onto Jack Nicholson and his perpetually angry eyebrows.
One things for sure, Cruise versus Nicholson is a more exciting battle than any superhero-on-superhero fisticuffs you’re ever likely to see.
1. Jerry Maguire
The now much loved, oft-quoted scene of The Cruiser screaming down the telephone about money and black people is undoubtedly the actor’s greatest moment of shouting.
The sight of Mr Cruise’s contorted face as even he struggles to reach the volume required to placate Cuba Gooding Jr’s loudmouthed NFL player is not only hilarious, it is far more intense than any secret agent dealings or courtroom dramas could ever hope to be.
Having been ordered to yell to higher than the top of his lungs, Cruise’s untethered vocal chords fill his office as his fellow co-workers begin to wonder why their ears have started bleeding.
His screams in The Mummy will surely be geared more towards terror, but Jerry Maguire proves that Cruise is able to hit shouting heights far beyond mortal men.
Jon Fuge is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.