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Acting in a film production is a collaborative effort, and online acting classes will teach aspiring actors that the best performances are when an ensemble works together to make a script the best it can possibly be.

In most cases, the credit for an amazing scene goes to everyone in it. However, there are cases where even when other elements of a film are not working for whatever reason, an acting performance does its utmost to save a scene or even an entire film.

scene-stealing performance often happens as a result, and here are some of the best performances in films that do not live up to expectations.


Raul Julia In Street Fighter

The 1994 film Street Fighter was seemingly destined to be a disaster.

Its lead star was a Belgian martial artist playing an American special forces soldier. The script was based on a fighting game where the most complex and memorable line was “You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance” and every decision had to be vetted by Capcom, leading to an exceptionally strange script.

However, if anything worked in that film, it was the brilliant final performance of Raul Julia, best known as Gomez Addams in the Addams Family films but also a Tony Award-nominated stage actor for his role in Two Gentleman of Verona.

He took the role for his children and added a Shakespearean gravitas to a character that could have been portrayed as a single-minded megalomaniac.


Phil Hartman In Jingle All The Way

Jingle All The Way is the inherently absurd story of completely normal dad Arnold Schwarzenegger travelling across a town trying to get an action figure for his son Jake Lloyd. The script, 

performances and direction and on par with that pairing.

However, whilst the premise is wholly ridiculous, it has an all-time performance from the late comedian Phil Hartman, whose shift as Arnie’s neighbour Ted manages to serve as the perfect foil for an actor who struggled with roles that didn’t involve wielding a bazooka.


Thomas Hayden Church In Spider-Man 3

The absurd, mean-spirited and exceptionally disappointing third entry in Sam Raimi’s trilogy of web-slinging superhero films could have been genuinely excellent, and the proof of this potential comes in the form of Thomas Hayden Church’s exceptionally sympathetic performance as Flint Marko.

Whilst the rest of the film rushes clumsily through story beats, the Sandman sections are filmed with genuine pathos and emotion and showcase what the film was intended to be before its potential was ruined by meddling.

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