Tom Cruise is one of the few actors who had an equally lucrative career in both the 20th and 21st centuries. His movies go back to the early 1980s, when he was one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood and virtually every role he took was box office gold. He’s worked with a variety of directors and has shared the screen with a diverse group of actors that span three generations of cinematic magic.
When a person is so famous that they’re a “household name,” there’s no reason for them to step out of the spotlight, and Tom Cruise is still working like he was 40 years ago with no sign of slowing down. It’s difficult to pin down just a few of these movies that he carried into Hollywood legend, but here are some of his best works.
Risky Business was part of a tradition in the 1980s that meant teen comedies had to be raunchy, visceral, and rated R. Think of a version of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off but with a lot more sex, drugs, and crime in the spirit of a National Lampoon flick instead. This is one of the last and best examples of a genre that faded out as the decade came to a close. With a profit of $63 million dollars on a budget of just over six, its commercial success can’t be understated.
The main character, Joel Goodsen, is a rich kid on his way to Princeton when his parents go away for the weekend, leaving him in an empty house by himself. Throwing a party isn’t even half of what Joel gets into, but it all turns out okay in the end. Hopefully, however, he won’t choose a career in politics.