9 James Caan movies to watch if you liked The Godfather

If you loved The Godfather, you are going to love this list of the best James Caan movies ever made.

Updated on Aug 04, 2022 07:15 PM IST  |  58.5K
9 James Caan movies to watch if you liked The Godfather
9 James Caan movies to watch if you liked The Godfather

When it comes to James Caan movies, The Godfather probably tops every list after all it fetched him an Oscar nomination. But during his expansive movie career, James Caan delivered over 137 iconic movies of all time. In fact, Caan had always been an extraordinary actor with the power of pulling heartstrings with his onscreen presence. If you have recently watched The Godfather, it is likely that you are star-struck and wondering what to watch next. Well, if that’s the case you have hit a jackpot. Here is a list of the top 10 James Caan movies apart from Godfather. Read on for a list of James Caan movies in order of release. Scroll on for extraordinary movies with James Caan that everyone should watch. 

Emerged during the 1950s James Edmund Caan leveled up to become one of the most celebrated performers on television and on stage. In 1971, Caan had his first big small-screen breakthrough in "Brian's Song." which fetched him a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role. In 1972, Caan was permanently put on the map because of his spirited portrayal of Sonny Corleone in "The Godfather” along with an Oscar nomination in the category Best Actor in a Supporting Role. This Hollywood star passed away on July 6, 2022, at the age of 82 and left behind a memorable body of work stretching back to over seven decades. Right from his first movie “Lady in a Cage” in 1964 to his final film, "Fast Charlie," which will release in 2023, here is a list of his top 10 most-loved movies from James Caan’s immortal body of work. 

9 Classic James Caan movies other than The Godfather

1. The Rain People (1969)

The Rain People is an American released in 1969, written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, starring James Caan, Shirley Knight, and Robert Duvall. Honestly, it is one of the best James Caan movies. The movie is about a pregnant housewife from Long Island Natalie Ravenna played by Shirley Knight who panics and leaves her husband as soon as she discovers she is pregnant. She embarks on a journey of self-discovery with a policeman named Gordon played by Robert Duvall and Jimmie Kilgannon who is a brain-damaged former college football star and a troubled hitchhiker played by James Caan. The story features this trio who travel together, fight and love, and try to find some meaning in their lives. With innocence in his role, Caan definitely becomes a treat for the audience. 

Where to watch The Rain People: Amazon Prime Video, Vudu Movie & TV Store, Apple TV 

2. Brian’s Song (1971)

Brian's Song is another iconic James Caan movie released in 1971. This ABC Movie of the week features the real-life story of Brian Piccolo, a football player played by James Caan, and Gale Sayers a Chicago Bears football player played by Billy Dee Williams who’s stricken with terminal cancer. This tear-jerker won the audience's heart and was one of the highest-rated-ever TV movies of the time. Caan even received an Emmy nomination for his memorable role. If you want to witness the best of Caan’s work you must definitely watch this movie right away. 

Where to watch Brian’s Song: Amazon Prime Video, Vudu Movie & TV Store, or Apple TV

3. The Gambler (1974)

Another movie that every James Caan fan will appreciate is The Gambler. This underrated gem is a 1974 American crime drama film which is written by James Toback and directed by Karel Reisz. It features star cast members like James Caan, Paul Sorvino, and Lauren Hutton. The movie was especially lauded for Caan's performance who was even nominated for a Golden Globe. The movie was about a literature professor with a serious gambling problem. Caan beautifully plays the role of the professor. Caan convincingly portrays the characteristics of an addict. Watch this movie to witness Caan’s role’s confidence and despair. With a roller coaster ride of emotions, this is one of the best James Caan movies of all time. 

Where to watch The Gambler - Amazon Prime Video

4. Thief (1981)

Released in 1981, Thief is an American action thriller film that was directed as well as written by Michael Mann. The film was based on the 1975 novel The Home Invaders: Confessions of a Cat Burglar by Frank Hohimer. It had stars like James Caan, Tuesday Weld, James Belushi, Dennis Farina, Robert Prosky, and Willie Nelson. The movie won hearts with its enigmatic conclusion. Powered by an excellent performance by James Caan who is undoubtedly at the peak of his charm, this movie is definitely a must-watch. 

Where to watch Thief - The Roku Channel

5. Misery (1990)

Another must-watch starring James Caan is this American psychological thriller called Misery, Released in 1990. Based on Stephen King's 1987 novel called Misery, this film was directed by Rob Reiner, it also featured stars like Kathy Bates, Lauren Bacall, Richard Farnsworth, and Frances Sternhagen. The plot of the movie centers around an obsessively compulsive fan who kidnaps an author and tortures him to rewrite the finale of his book series. James Caan performs the role of Paul Sheldon, the author who gets kidnapped and tortured. The beauty of Caan’s role is that plays a passive character which means everything occurs to him, rather than because of him. It’s unusually impressive to watch a muscular actor like Caan play a role of a person who’s so helpless simply because he effortlessly makes us believe he is Paul Sheldon.

Where to watch Misery - Amazon Prime Video, The Roku Channel, and Hulu

6. Bottle Rocket (1996)

Another Caan movie that you should definitely consider watching is Bottle Rocket. This American crime comedy film was released in 1996. Bottle Rocket is a directorial debut by Wes Anderson while it is written by Anderson and Owen Wilson. Based on Anderson's 1994 short film also known as Bottle Rocket, this film features stars like Owen and Luke Wilson, Robert Musgrave, Andrew Wilson, Lumi Cavazos, along with James Caan. This unusual film was filled with non-actors and newcomers except of course Caan who made the film stand out. 

Where to watch Bottle Rocket - Amazon Prime Video and HBO Max

7. The Yards (2000)

Directed by James Gray, The Yards is another iconic James Caan starer released in the year 2000. This American crime film was written by Gray and Matt Reeves and also featured stars like Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, and Charlize Theron. In this James Gray movie, Caan plays the role of Frank a corrupt uncle to Leo an ex-con played by Mark Wahlberg. Right after serving a significant time in prison, Leo decides to get his life back together. To do the same he decides to take a new job for his influential and highly connected uncle. Caan perfectly plays the role of Frank, the crooked uncle to Leo who’s endeavoring to hold his empire afloat. The character looks effortlessly natural for Caan as he successfully delivers a character full of remorse and desperation. Although he played a dishonest character, his acting made the audience fall in love with him because of his excellent portrayal of soulfulness.

Where to watch The Yards - Amazon prime video and Netflix

8. Dogville (2003)

Another unmissable Caan movie is Dogville. A 2003 drama film, Dogville was written and directed by Lars von Trier with an interesting star cast including James Caan, Nicole Kidman, Paul Bettany, Lauren Bacall, Stellan Skarsgård, Udo Kier, Chloë Sevigny, Ben Gazzara, and Harriet Andersson. Set in a minimalist small town, this movie features a story of a mysterious woman named Grace played by Nicole Kidman. Caan plays the role of the Big Man who portrays a character with the perfect blend of menace and parental tough love. Caan found the making of this film particularly hard for him but he never let that look that way on-screen. James Caan on-screen presence leaves a mark and once you watch this movie, you’ll always remember him as the Big man. 

Where to watch Dogville - Amazon prime video and Kanopy

9. Elf (2003)

While The Godfather might be one of the most talked about James Caan movies, Elf is definitely a must-watch. This 2003 American Christmas comedy movie is directed by Jon Favreau and written by David Berenbaum. With stars like Will Ferrell, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Zooey Deschanel, Edward Asner, and Bob Newhart, this movie is a classic. In fact, Caan will always be remembered as Walter, Buddy’s dad. The movie is mostly about Buddy played by Will Ferell who accidentally finds himself at the North Pole and is raised among Santa's elves. As he grows from a toddler to an adult he cannot shake the feeling that he doesn't fit in, so he sets out to New York in search of his father. The movie beautifully makes the audience believe in an imaginative concept. As a viewer, you are definitely going to enjoy the unusual father-son chemistry. Although it's the story of Buddy Caan as a constant cheerer definitely makes his story a lot better.

Where to watch Elf - Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, YouTube, and Vudu.

When we talk about James Caan Godfather is the first movie that comes to mind. In fact, Caan was widely lauded for his portrayal of Sonny Corleone which even gave him an Oscar nomination. However, this renowned Hollywood veteran actor delivered much more than just that one iconic movie. With an expansive body of work that stretches over seven decades, Caan gave his audience a number of classic movies like The Rain People (1969), Brian’s Song (1971), The Gambler (1974), Thief (1981), Misery (1990), Bottle Rocket (1996), The, Yards (2000), Dogville (2003), Elf (2003) and so many more. In fact, James Caan movies fans are overly excited for his final film 'Fast Charlie' which is all set to release in 2023. 

ALSO READ: The Godfather actor James Caan passes away at 82

FAQs

What movies has James Caan been in?
Caan gave his audience a number of classic movies like The Rain People (1969), Brian’s Song (1971), The Gambler (1974), Thief (1981), Misery (1990), Bottle Rocket (1996), The, Yards (2000), Dogville (2003), Elf (2003) and so many more.

What movies was James Caan in?
Apart from Godfather I and II, Caan gave his audience a number of classic movies like The Rain People (1969), Brian’s Song (1971), The Gambler (1974), Thief (1981), Misery (1990), Bottle Rocket (1996), The, Yards (2000), Dogville (2003) and so on.

Can James Caan sing?
Yes, James Caan gave a a number of onscreen singing performances. Some of them were in Funny Lady and The Killer Elite.

Does James Caan have a daughter?
Yes, James Caan has a daughter with Dee Jay Mathis named Tara A. Caan who was born in 1964.

Does James Caan have a brother?
Yes, James Caan has a brother Ronnie Caan.

Which James Caan movies are coming up in 2023?
James Caan fans are overly excited for his final film 'Fast Charlie' which is all set to release in 2023.

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