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The Cast of Uncommon Valor Proves Only Intermittently Valorous

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Uncommon Valor has an all-star cast: Gene Hackman, Robert Stack, Fred Ward, Patrick Swayze and, of course, veteran character actor Tim Thomerson. But how valiant are these men on a mission, and how common is this sort of behavior for them? Herewith, we present some of these actors’ credits and rate their valor, on a scale of zero to five Swayzes.

Patrick Swayze, Dirty Dancing
What a lying, cheating scumbag Johnny Castle is, right? Not only does he get a girl pregnant, he does it while two-timing her with a teen hussy just visiting for the summer. Then, he takes the teen hussy’s innocence — seducing her when she had a perfectly viable option in a nice, clean cut boy from Cornell University’s Hotel School. Unbelievable. More like common no-valor, am I right? [Ed Note: Because the author of this piece is a Cornell alum, we bumped it up one Swayze so as not to seem biased.]

Level of Valor:

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Robert Stack, Transformers: The Movie
As the heroic Ultra Magnus, Stack played second fiddle to first, Optimus Prime, then, Rodimus Prime, in the battle to the death between Autobots and Decipticons. Yet, for a good portion of the movie, Ultra Magnus manages to single handedly lead the Autobots, before sacrificing himself for the greater good. Putting other’s needs before your own? That’s valor.

Level of Valor:

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Fred Ward, Tremors
As Earl Basset, one of 14 residents of Perfection, Nevada, who managed to fight back giant underground snake monsters, Ward had only his wits and his best friend Val to help him. Not only does he come up with the plan that eventually beats the beasties, but he helps Val get together with the girl of his dreams. Saving the day, and ceding the spotlight: You’re a good man, Earl Basset.

Level of Valor:

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Tim Thomerson, Trancers
Jack Deth, the best-named character in film history, is a time cop tracking down Trancers, evil people who leap from body to body. But Deth needs to leap into the body of his 1985 relative, Phil Deth, in order to stop a psychotic killer from wiping out the future timeline they both came from. Eventually, he chooses to stay with a punk rock Helen Hunt in the past, while also defeating the killer. Points for saving the day, but a few deductions for selfishly remaining in the body he grabbed.

Level of Valor:

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Gene Hackman, Uncommon Valor
Hackman leads a group of POWs back into Vietnam to save the life of his son. With no thoughts for his own safety, he goes back into a still-hot war zone with no plan, and no hope for survival, just to save the life of another. That’s the definition of valor, right there.

Level of Valor:

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For a full schedule of Uncommon Valor on AMC, click here.

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