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Two Roads Diverged...

Two actors meeting in more than one movie is a lot less likely than you would think. Remember how weird it was that we had to wait until Heat to see Pacino & DeNiro share the screen for the first time? Often, actors follow the sage advice of Fleetwood Mac and go their own way, leading to separate levels of career success. In this column, we pick two actors from a classic movie then watch what kind of a career Destiny (and their agent) had in store for them.

The Movie
Q – The Winged Serpent (1982)

David Carradine
New Swiss Family Robinson, The (1998)
Children of the Corn V: Field of Terror (1998)
Macon County Jail (1997)
Roadside Prophets (1992)
Waxwork II: Lost in Time (1992)
Karate Cop (1991)
Bird on a Wire (1990)
Nowhere to Run (1989)
Warrior and the Sorceress, The (1984)
Lone Wolf McQuade (1983)
Michael Moriarty
Shiloh II: Shiloh Season (1999)
Shiloh (1997)
Courage Under Fire (1996)
Hanoi Hilton, The (1987)
It's Alive III: Island of the Alive (1987)
Troll (1986)
Return to Salem's Lot, A (1987)
Pale Rider (1985)

Carradine had the lion's share of success in his pre-Q days, working with Scorsese, Altman, & of course, Paul Bartel on Death Race 2000. So, he gets the benefit of the underachiever's doubt by aiming low and resting on those "Kung Fu" residuals later in his career. We can only assume that he did Children of the Corn V to keep his acting chops from growing stagnant.

Moriarty flew out of the box early, teaming with DeNiro, Nicholson, & Nolte in 3 of his first 7 features. After Q, he did Pale Rider, a lot of theater and TV, fought with Janet Reno over censorship, and for a short time, achieved notoriety as an intellectual crackpot.

Looking at Moriarty's back-to back dog movies (Shiloh, Shiloh 2 – for all those unanswered questions left dangling at the end of Shiloh 1), Carradine appears to be the more successful, pending his inevitable appearance in the next Tarantino career-resuscitating film.

David Carradine


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