In the year 1965, Tom Selleck began his career in the American entertainment industry in what has come to be a successful venture that has spanned over 3 decades. Prior to acting, Tom was on course a totally different career path that would have seen him working a white-collar job. But while a student at the University of Southern California majoring in business administration, a drama coach in the school suggested he try out acting which he heeded to. Tom later dropped out of college in his senior year and went to study acting under Milton Katselas at the Beverly Hills Playhouse.
In the course of time, he made his acting debut in the ABC television show – The Dating Game as a college senior in 1965. In the years that followed, Tom Selleck has been able to build up an impressive filmography that has seen him take home a couple of awards. However, like every other actor and actress, taking all his acting roles into consideration, his works have seen divergent reviews which prompted us to compile this list of Tom Selleck’s movies from best to worst.
The Best Tom Selleck Movies So Far
1. Quigley Down Under
Widely adjudged to be one of the best Tom Selleck movies is the Simon Wincer directed 1990 Australian-American Western film which starred our cynosure in this article, Tom Selleck, along with the likes of Laura San Giacomo as Crazy Cora, Alan Rickman as Elliott Marston, Chris Haywood as Major Ashley-Pitt and many others.
The film tells the story of Matthew Quigley which was played by Tom – an American cowboy who owns a special rifle with which he can shoot accurately from a distance. He responds to a newspaper advert from Elliott Marston who asked for a man with his skills to put down some Aborigines. Thus Quigley gets hired without prior knowledge of what he is to be paid for. However, Quigley later refused the offer and instead crosses path with Elliott Marston who tries to kill him. He was left in the wild to die only to get rescued by the very people he was employed to wipe off. This turn of events sees Matthew Quigley defending the Aborigines against Elliott’s men before he ultimately kills Elliott Marston.
For the movie, Alan Rickman won the London Film Critics’ Circle Award in the category of British Actor of the Year and the duo of Frank Lipson and Tim Chau both won Motion Picture Sound Editors Award for Best Sound Editing – Foreign Feature. With a Box office earning of $21,413,105 from a budget of $18 million, Quigley Down Under was, however, not the most profitable of Tom Selleck movies.
2. Three Men And A Baby
In 1987, Tom Selleck took up a parenting role in this film where he starred alongside Steve Guttenberg and Ted Danson as one of three bachelors who finds a baby on the doorstep of their shared New York City apartment. The bachelors whose social lives revolved around parties and flings with women are suddenly confronted with the responsibility of properly caring for a baby and they begin to do this in the best way they can albeit with a mix of comedy.
Three Men and a Baby is no doubt one of the best Tom Selleck movies anyone who is a fan of American comedy films will love. The film, which was directed by Leonard Nimoy, turned out a huge Box office success as it returned $297.8 million from a budget of $11 million.
3. An Innocent Man
An Innocent Man is a thriller, crime, drama and action film where Tom Selleck played the lead role as Jimmie Rainwood alongside other cast members like David Rasche as Mike Parnell, F. Murray Abraham as Virgil Caine, and Laila Robins as Kate Rainwood, among others
The film which was directed by Peter Yates had Jimmie framed up for attacking the police and this got him sent to jail for an extended period of time. While behind bars, he not only learned to survive but also how to kill. However, on his release, instead of going the path of seeking revenge by becoming a killer like almost every movie with a similar storyline will have us expect, Jimmie Rainwood came out a better person. The film ended with Detective Mike Parnell who was among those that framed up Jimmie being sent behind bars while Jimmie returned to a normal life.
One of the things that set An Innocent Man apart as one of the best Tom Selleck movies is the personal appeal he had for the movie. Tom revealed that while reading the scripts, he was struck by the detail description of prison life which he hadn’t seen in any prison movie before.
4. Magnum, P.I.
Though not a movie, Magnum P.I, is considered Tom Selleck’s most popular project to date. For 8 years, from December 11, 1980, to May 8, 1988, Tom Selleck was at his best playing the lead role of a private investigator (P.I.), Thomas Magnum, in this television series. He acted in the series with other main cast members like Roger E. Mosley as Theodore “T.C.” Calvin, Larry Manetti as Rick Wright, John Hillerman as Jonathan Quayle Higgins III and of course, Apollo ‘The Doberman’ Pinscher as Apollo.
Magnum, P.I. was a fan favorite as it ranked high in the top twenty television programs watched in the United States for its first 5 years of broadcast on the American television network, CBS. The series as an undisputed mention in any list of the best Tom Selleck movies won the actor a Primetime Emmy Awards as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1984 and the Golden Globe Awards as Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series – Drama in 1985.
5. Three Men and a Little Lady
After Three Men and a Baby in 1987 came its sequel Three Men and a Little Lady in 1990 starring Tom Selleck as Peter Mitchell, Steve Guttenberg as Michael Kellam, Ted Danson as Jack Holden, Nancy Travis as Sylvia Bennington-Mitchell, Robin Weisman as Mary Bennington, Fiona Shaw as Miss Elspeth Lomax, and Christopher Cazenove as Edward Hargreave, among others.
The film which grossed $72 million in the Box office had mixed to negative reviews with many critics being of the opinion that its prequel, Three Men and a Baby, needed no sequel. Though it is not the best of Tom Selleck movies, its comedy stands out as one of those works that endeared Tom to a lot of people.
Poorly Rated Movies Tom Selleck Played Roles In
6. Ike: Countdown To D-Day
Ike: Countdown to D-Day (2004) is an American historical war drama film that tells the story of U.S Army General Dwight D. Eisenhower played by Tom Selleck and the difficult decisions he made in the events leading up to the D-Day landing. Under his command, he had Lieutenant General Omar N. Bradley played by James Remar, Lieutenant General George S. Patton played by Gerald McRaney, Bruce Phillips as General Bernard Law Montgomery and General Charles de Gaulle played by George Shevtsov.
This film comes as one of the worst Tom Selleck movies because of the many errors in it and its flawed representation of historical facts. Thus, Ike: Countdown to D-Day is no doubt one of those movies Tom might look back to and feel he could have been better.
7. The Shadow Riders
With an ensemble that included Sam Elliott as Dal Traven, Dominique Dunne as Sissy Traven, Katharine Ross as Kate Connery/Sister Katherine, and Ben Johnson as Uncle ‘Black Jack’ Traven, one would have believed The Shadow Riders would turn out to be well received by movie watchers when it was released in the year 1982. The American made-for-television western film was adapted from The Shadow Riders novel of the same name written by Louis L’Amour. It, however, turned out to be another one of the less than impressive Tom Selleck movies.
8. Lassiter (The Magnificent Thief)
Tom Selleck played the lead role of Nick Lassiter a gentleman jewel thief who gets arrested after he breaks into a London mansion. He starred in the 1984 film with the likes of Jane Seymour as Sara Wells, Lauren Hutton as Kari Von Fursten, Bob Hoskins as Inspector John Becker and others. The 1984 American spy adventure action film which was made with a budget of $20 million was only able to make about $17.5 million in the Box office thus an investment loss. It was also severely criticized by critics for its lack of thrilling scenes that typically characterize such movies.
9. Mr. Baseball
Mr. Baseball is a 1992 American sports comedy film which starred Aya Takanashi as Hiroko Uchiyama, Tom Selleck as Jack Elliot, Ken Takakura as Uchiyama, and Dennis Haysbert as Max “Hammer” Dubois. Tom, in the movie, played the character of an A-list baseball player who gets forced to join a Japanese baseball club. Critics of the movie held the view that it ridiculed both Baseball and the Japanese. At the Box office, the movie was also a commercial failure as it made $20,883,046 from its budget of $40,000,000. Thus, it comes in as one of the worst Tom Selleck movies.
In 1992, Tom Selleck played the lead character of Jon Aldrich in Folks! an American comedy-drama film where his life turns around for worse all of a sudden. Other cast members in the movie who acted as his family members are Don Ameche – Harry Aldrich, Wendy Crewson – Audrey Aldrich, Christine Ebersole – Arlene Aldrich and others.
The movie received poor reviews from viewers and at the Box office, it earned a little over $6 million from a budget of $15 million, which was less than commendable. Easy to see why it is considered one of the worst Tom Selleck movies.