While he’s not exactly a veteran of the action-comedy genre, the role of Peter Venkman remains one of Murray’s most iconic.
4. Groundhog Day
Murray’s endearing rom-com has seemingly played on cable television at least nine times a week every single week since its release in 1993. The overexposure and repetition is somehow perfect for a story about a weatherman fated to repeat the same day on an endless loop.
Bill Murray’s turn in Caddyshack as Carl Spackler—the utterly hapless groundskeeper of Bushwood Country Club—is one of his most iconic roles. Maybe it’s his permanent-burnout demeanor, or maybe it’s his nonsensical tales of caddying for the Dalai Lama. Either way, his love of explosives and endlessly quotable one-liners (“In the immortal words of Jean-Paul Sartre: ‘Au revoir, gopher.’”) have enshrined him in the annals of ‘80s B-comedies.
A man-child, a comic foil, a romantic rival, a plutocrat—Murray’s marvelous comeback role nearly stole the show, and certainly reinvigorated his career.
1. Lost in Translation
Who cares what he whispers at the end? That’s one of the least-interesting parts of this masterful role, a study of culture clash and middle-age resignation, and the joys (and pains) of an emotional reawakening.