‘Road to Perdition’ and Four More Films for Tom Hanks’s Birthday

It’s TOM HANK‘s birthday! To mark the occasion, here are 5 of his overlooked or lesser-known performances. Check some of these out!

Road to Perdition (2012)

In Road to Perdition, Tom Hanks plays against type as mob enforcer, Michael Sullivan. It’s a grittier, darker role than we’re used to seeing from the beloved actor, but it also showed Hanks’s range as a morally gray husband and father who unwittingly introduces his young son to the violent nature of his job as they seek to avenge the deaths of their family. Road to Perdition features some of Hanks’s finest acting to date and it’s a crime that he didn’t receive more recognition for it.

The Green Mile (1999)

Adapted from Stephen King’s serial novel of the same name, Hanks turns in a remarkable performance as Paul Edgecomb, a block supervisor at Cold Mountain Penitentiary who discovers that a new death row inmate, John Coffey, has supernatural abilities. With an incredible cast that includes David Morse, Sam Rockwell, and Michael Jeter, The Green Mile is emotional and poignant, and still one of Hanks’s best films.

That Thing You Do! (1996)

Though his role is certainly more supporting in That Thing You Do, Tom Hanks (who also wrote and directed the film) is still effective as Mr. White, the no-nonsense manager of The Wonders, whose first (and only) hit skyrockets up the charts. He’s the straight man to the rest of the cast, but he still acts as a guiding force, not only in the band but for the movie as well. That Thing You Do! has always been one of my comfort movies, something light-hearted and funny to watch when I just want to be entertained. 

A League of Their Own (1992)

In terms of famous movie quotes, Tom Hanks has spoken his fair share. “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” or “Houston, we have a problem.” But for me, Hanks’s best, most memorable line is still “Are you crying? There’s no crying in baseball!” His portrayal of abrasive, alcoholic baseball coach Jimmy Dugan is the perfect foil for the strong ensemble of women who play for the Rockford Peaches. Hanks is ridiculously funny in the role and Dugan’s crudeness helps keep the movie from becoming too schmaltzy.

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

It’s probably no surprise that I’ve listed Sleepless in Seattle here. It’s one of my favorite movies from Tom Hanks, and my favorite rom-com of all time. While I think his role in You’ve Got Mail is funnier, and flashier, I still think his portrayal as single father Sam Baldwin is extremely underrated. He’s a grieving widower, trying to get over the death of his wife while raising a young son and attempting to navigate the dating scene after years of being off the market. His role as Sam is subtle and poignant but he’s still able to tap into his comedic talents. I think this was one of the first movies to really showcase Hanks as a romantic leading man. 

What are some of your favorite films to feature birthday boy TOM HANKS?

Author: Romona Comet

"I'm probably watching a rom-com right now."