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Nicolas Cage"s 5 Best Performances on Satellite TV

You may remember seeing him for the very first time as the one-armed man in Moonstruck or the goofy bandit kidnapper in Raising Arizona, but it is unlikely you will be able to forget when you originally come into contact with Nicolas Cage. One of the few high profile actors to start out quirky and remain that way for most of his career, Cage has generally gone the way of the blockbuster since 2000 while occasionally mixing in his offbeat roles. Here are Cage's five best performances now playing on satellite TV networks.

1. Adaptation. Universally praised for his portrayal of the Charlie (and Donald) Kaufman character in this Spike Jonze picture, Cage reminded everyone what he could do when he committed himself to a role. While it was surprising he didn't receive his second Oscar win, the film is a lot of fun, mainly because of his bravura performance and Jonze's direction. Check out Adaptation in HD on Showtime film networks.

2. Wild at Heart. It's a safe bet that Cage is a giant Elvis fan, considering he married Lisa Marie and generally has a speaking voice like the King of Rock and Roll's. However, it really comes out in this wild romp of a film by David Lynch. Not only does Cage cut off a death metal band's performance to croon "Treat Me Like a Fool" to girlfriend Laura Dern, but he stalks around in his snakeskin jacket - a symbol of his individuality. With Harry Dean Stanton, Jack Nance, Isabella Rossellini and - most frighteningly - Willem Dafoe, this picture is unlike any you will ever see, now playing on the Independent Film Channel with a satellite TV subscription.

3. Leaving Las Vegas. Critics say it's easier to play a character with a disability, but Cage didn't take any shortcuts in this bleak film. Out to drink himself to death in Vegas, Cage's performance is virtuosic and commanded the respect of the entire film industry (the Oscar was simply a formality). Check out this film commercial-free on HBO.

4. Raising Arizona. Cage is obviously a smart guy, but he plays dumb so well in this Coen Brothers picture that you have to congratulate him on the work. Along with Holly Hunter, the less than successful petty criminal Cage decides his family would be better off by annexing one of the quintuplets that just landed in local businessman Nathan Arizona's lap. Naturally, the parents have a few objections to make. Check out this classic comedy on IFC in high definition.

5. Vampire's Kiss. Vampire films have a long tradition in Hollywood, but after seeing this vamp romp, you'll wonder why there aren't more comedies in the mix. Cage is a snooty, womanizing literary agent who gets more than his fair share when he takes home Jennifer Beals. From his early departures from sanity to his final Lugosi-inspired walk, Cage is beyond hilarious in this film, often featured in satellite TV On-Demand rosters.

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