On this, the occasion of Steve Martin‘s 75th birthday, I’m declaring that among my five favorite Martin performances only one could be called “broad” or “silly” — the All Of Me attorney with the split personality. The other four are the ill-fated loser in Herbert Ross‘s Pennies From Heaven (’81), the Larry Gordon-ish film producer in Lawrence Kasdan‘s Grand Canyon, “Neal Page” in John HughesPlanes, Trains and Automobiles and the low-key con man in David Mamet‘s The Spanish Prisoner,

Honestly? I think his Spanish Prisoner guy might be my all-time favorite. Because I’ve always believed each and very word he says in that film, and yet the character is lying all the time. I’m sorry but I don’t like his silly stuff for the most part, and I don’t care that much for the domestic family comedies. I don’t know why I can’t remember much from Roxanne but I can’t.

Martin in Prisoner: “One thing my father taught me about business. Always do business as if the person you’re doing business with is trying to screw you. Because most likely they are. And if they’re not, you can be pleasantly surprised”