Old Man Discovered in Nebraska

After a lifetime of playing patricians and villains, Bruce Dern has his star turn

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"There is a human time bomb ticking away in Hollywood. He is called Bruce Dern. One of these days he is going to light up the sky." So wrote TIME in 1975, just after the lanky actor had wrapped an Alfred Hitchcock movie. One that, alas for Dern, nobody talks about. Time doesn't like to be wrong, and it wasn't. Things just took a few years longer than anyone expected.

Known for playing heels and villains, Dern is now the center of a pinwheel of critical and festival attention for his portrayal of decrepit, stoic Woody Grant in...

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