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RIP Robin Williams: Stream some of the late, great actor's best work

Philip Michaels, Susie Ochs | Aug. 14, 2014
We want to honor the incredible talent of Robin Williams by collecting some of his best work that's available for streaming on services like Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, and Amazon.

Hook

Robin Williams often seemed like a little kid trapped in the body of an adult (and played such a character in Jack, as a 10-year-old boy whose Werner syndrome makes him appear 40). So it's amazing to see him play Peter Pan, but with a twist: in Hook, Robin's Peter Pan grew up and went to law school and cares more about corporate dealmaking than attending his kid's baseball games. Dustin Hoffman shines as Captain Hook, but Robin's transformation from an uptight adult to the flying, fighting, crowing leader of the Lost Boys will make you stand up and cheer. Watch this one with your kids, but be sure to have tissues ready (for you) when the adorable Amber Scott sings "When you're alone, you're not alone...not really alone." Let's all remember that, OK? Hook is streaming on Hulu Plus.

Popeye

Robin's first starring movie role was playing a cartoon character — fitting, since if a cartoon character were to come to life, he'd probably be a lot like Robin Williams. Popeye, which streams on Amazon and Netflix, didn't exactly light the world on fire — it's got a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 57 percent. (Some argue that the rancor directed at Popeye is misguided.) But it certainly is well cast: besides the uncanny way Robin makes Popeye's speech and mannerisms seem totally normal, Shelley Duvall is perfect as Olive Oyl.

Mork and Mindy

You don't even need a Hulu Plus account to see the TV series that put Robin Williams on the pop culture map. Hulu offers 39 episodes of Mork & Mindy to anyone who wants to watch the 1970s sitcom about an alien from the Planet Ork whose manic energy and rapid patter made him sound a lot like, well, Robin Williams. That was because the show — in which Mork arrives in Boulder, Colorado, to study the human race for his home planet — really just existed as an excuse for Robin to bring his brand of improvisation comedy to a half-hour weekly show. (Fun fact: Mork & Mindy was a spun-off from Happy Days where the Mork character debuted and proved to be terrifically popular. And yes, you can find clips of that episode and Mork's Happy Days return on YouTube.)

Moscow on the Hudson

Until his 1987 performance in Good Morning Vietnam brought an Oscar nomination and ushered in a new phase of his career, Robin Williams' best big-screen performances can be found in The World According to Garp and Moscow on the Hudson — the latter of which is streaming on Hulu. Robin plays a saxophonist with a Moscow circus who defects during a tour of America and has to adjust to life in his new country. Robin's performance impressed Roger Ebert who wrote that the comedian "disappears so completely into his quirky, lovable, complicated character."

 

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