If there’s one thing that distinguishes John Travolta’s acting career, it’s his versatility. Travolta has played a wide range of characters. From singers and dancers to deranged monsters from both this world and beyond. Some of his portrayals have been praised, while others have been panned. He has become a household name as a result of the diverse skill set displayed in his body of work. Travolta has been unafraid to play any character from his debut appearance on screen in the 1975 horror B-movie The Devil’s Rain. With a filmography that includes both excellent films and abject stinkers. He has had many ups and downs both behind the scenes and in his career at large. He’ll go down in history as one of the many gifted. However, confusing stars who provide colour to the weird filmmaking profession.

Below are some of the essential films of legendary John Travolta.

1. Grease (1978)

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Director- Randal Kleiser

Danny is a sweet American guy, and Sandy, the straight-laced Australian girl. They make oaths of eternal affection and split ways forever as the summer of 1958 draws to a close. Unbeknownst to them, however, an unexpected change of plans will reunite the young dreamers at the bustling Rydell High for the new term. But something will be different this time. Now that Danny, the boastful Romeo and rebellious leader of the greaser gang T-Birds, feels obligated to uphold his hard-won reputation in front of his peers. Rydell’s high-spirited all-girl band, The Pink Ladies, have a big surprise in store for him.

2. Blow Out (1981)

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Director- Brian De Palma

Jack Terry is a master audio specialist who makes a living by creating unique sounds for low-budget horror films. He is capturing sounds for use in his films late one evening. He hears something unexpected through his sound equipment, which he records. When the media becomes involved, his curiosity gets the best of him. Soon he starts piecing together the pieces of a malevolent scheme. He doesn’t know who he can trust as he tries to survive against his dark foes and disclose the truth.

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3. Pulp Fiction (1994)

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Director- Quentin Tarantino

The unpredictable stories of a well-dressed pair of low-level hitmen; a gangster’s statuesque moll. A double-crossing prizefighter become inextricably intertwined as the small-time crooks, Honey Bunny and Pumpkin, summon the courage to hold up their favourite L.A. diner, as they face life’s cruel irony. The dark-suited assassins, Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield, are tasked with retrieving a glow-emitting leather briefcase that belongs to their boss. A powerful crime godfather, Marsellus, but instead end up with a horrific disaster. Fortunately, with men like Mr Wolf always on hand to manage a crisis, there’s time to cool off in a long twist contest while Butch, the proud champion boxer, takes a life-changing decision. Things will soon come full circle, as Jules and Vincent will once again find themselves in the ideal dead-end circumstance, right where it all started: an all-too-familiar cafeteria.

4. Face/Off (1997)

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Director- John Woo

Sean Archer is the FBI’s top agent, on the hunt for Caster Troy, the world’s most brutal terrorist. Troy tragically kills Archer’s little kid while attempting to assassinate him, and Archer is hell-bent on bringing him down. All hell breaks loose when the FBI discovers Troy has planted a large bomb that will detonate in a matter of days, putting Troy in a coma. Troy’s younger brother, Pollux, who is in a maximum security jail, is the only other person who knows where the bomb is. The FBI persuades Archer to have surgery in which he will wear Troy’s face to fool everyone into believing he is Troy and rely on Pollux to provide answers.

Troy is soon awakened and undergoes the same facial surgery as Archer. To make Archer look like a hero, Troy eliminates all evidence of his true identity and defuses the bomb himself. Archer breaks free from prison and joins Troy’s old group, intending to eliminate him once and for all.

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5. Carrie (1976)

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Director- Brian De Palma

Carrie White is shielded from the world’s dangers by her religiously devoted mother. Carrie hadn’t been taught in the events that occur when a child reaches puberty, and when she first began menstruating, she was mocked in gym class. Other females made so much fun of her that they were reprimanded. One of the girls felt terrible for Carrie and requested her boyfriend, an attractive popular guy, to accompany her to the prom in her place. One of the females was barred from attending the Senior prom as a result of her taunting Carrie in gym class. As a result, she tries to perform a practical joke on Carrie, which results in a massive deadly tragedy once Carrie discovers her telekinesis abilities.

6. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009)

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Director- Tony Scott

Ryder, a violent former convict and criminal mastermind, and his armed-to-the-teeth crew take over the Pelham 123 subway train in an ambitious attempt to extort $10 million, using the eighteen passengers and the conductor as leverage. In those circumstances, with Ryder threatening to kill everyone on board until the massive ransom is paid, the unlucky train dispatcher on duty, Walter Garber, is thrust into the role of on-site mediator for this dangerous hostage situation. The mayor now has sixty minutes to deliver the funds before Ryder begins murdering the poor commuters one by one.

7. Saturday Night Fever (1977)

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Director- John Badham

Tony Manero is a naive, immature Brooklyn adolescent. Going to the neighbourhood disco, where he is the king of the dance floor, is the highlight of his week. He works at a dead-end job at a tiny paint business and lives with his abusive, domineering parents. At the disco, Tony meets Stephanie Mangano and they plan to compete in a dance competition together. Stephanie rejects Tony’s romantic advances because she aspires to bigger things; she is relocating to Manhattan across the river. Gradually, Tony gets disillusioned with his life, and he and Stephanie decide to assist one another in starting again.

8. The Thin Red Line (1998)

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Director- Terrence Malick

The outcome of the Battle of Guadalcanal in World War II will have a significant impact on the Japanese advance into the Pacific theatre. As a reprieve for the battle-weary Marines, a group of young soldiers is sent in. The Army rifle company C-for-Charlie is put through hell fighting for a strategically located airfield that permits control over a 1000-mile radius. The troops establish a close-knit community as a result of the hardships of war; their feelings blossom into love and even family relationships. As the men’s world shrinks, the reasons for the war become more distant, until they are fighting for survival and the lives of the other men with them.

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9. Get Shorty (1995)

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Director- Barry Sonnenfeld

Ray Bones, a tough thug with a large chip on his shoulder, is loaned sharks by Chili Palmer, a Miami mobster. After a bad debt, Ray sends Chili to Vegas, where a casino boss enlists Chili’s help in tracking down an even greater crook: Harry Zimm, a Hollywood figure and low-budget horror film director. Chili joins Harry in Hollywood, along with his scream queen starring lady, Karen Flores; Harry’s drug-dealing financier, Bo Catlett; and Karen’s ex, Martin Weir (aka “Shorty”), a big star with an ego to match. Chili discovers that his Mafia skills translate well to what he’s always wanted to do: produce films.

10. Savages (2012)

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Director- Oliver Stone

Laid-back Ben and his best friend Chon, a former Navy SEAL, may not appear to be major drug dealers, but they make a fortune selling high-quality, homegrown marijuana. Furthermore, the two business partners have a mutual girlfriend, Ophelia, with whom they share more than simply a lucrative firm. But, just as Ben and Chon thought they were at the top of their game, the feared Mexican Baja cartel enters the picture, looking for a piece of the action and jeopardising their unfettered hedonism. Elena, their cruel, pitiful, and ruthless leader, will stop at nothing to get what she wants, and her top enforcer, Lado, will make sure she gets it. Things quickly escalate, causing the desperate pot sellers to reluctantly solicit the services of the unscrupulous DEA agent, Dennis, in an attempt to avoid disaster.