A few odd comments from an odd moderator/fan.
Christie, I somehow missed your Sabrina suggestions. I quite agree.
I recommend the 2007 remake of 3:10. I'm still not sure about the change in the ending, but I get why it was done that way.
I am a late-comer to Mr. Crowe's work, like Christie; the adds I saw didn't encourage me to see his films. I first heard about him through the publicity for Gladiator, and didn't want to see another version of Kirk Douglas doing Spartacus. I passed on A Beautiful Mind, to be honest, because it scared me to think about it. Writers, like actors, have to be at least a little bit schizophrenic, because we are both storytellers, just approaching the tales from different angles. I was intrigued by Master and Commander, and might have gone, but had just moved to SA and didn't know of anyone to go with. I did see 3:10, because I had liked the original so much. Thought he made a superb villain.
But this fall I was working on a short story that a publisher/editor friend had asked me to write for her newest anthology, Forever Travels. The entry had to have something to do with traveling. I decided to write a fictionalized version of my great-great grandparents trip across the Atlantic in a schooner built by my great-great grandfather, in 1838, "From Belfast to St. Joe, 1838, A Travelogue." I've done some sailing, but mostly in modern-day fiberglass sloops, and was having a hard time picturing what it would be like to sail in one of those old, romantic tall ships. So, I watched Master and Commander, not to see Russell Crowe, but to experience the feel of those old sailing vessels. i decided he was a better actor than I had given him credit for, and started watching his old stuff. Actually, I learned that I had seen him before. I went to see The Quick and the Dead because I thought it was going to be the Louis L'Amour book. boy, was I disappointed, but I did think the actor playing the gunslinger-turned-preacher character was quite well done. I just didn't care enough to check the credits, and there was nothing in that character to connect him with Maximus Decimus Meridius. See, I've now seen that one too, and Oscar or no, it's probably my least favorite.
Back to our hero. I've always thought he was underrated, and would get royally ticked every time someone said he always played the same character. He brought something unique to each. Think of films made back-to-back: Tumbleweed's Jim Harvey and Gunsmoke's Reb Kittredge; or better yet, Yancey Hawkes and John Gant. Another thing he has in common with Mr. Crowe, who, of course, has never been to war, and is not a real hero in the sense of Audie Murphy, although his (Crowe's) childhood poverty and some of the accompanying experiences almost came close. Audie Murphy was another actor who never played the same character twice.
"He endured the shame of being sent home a living trophy to the blood and death of too many friends"A Myth in Action: The Heroic Life of Audie Murphyhttp://www.annjoiner.com