Legends only: Tom Hanks’ greatest moments

As Tom Hanks prepares to play Elvis Presley’s villainous manager Colonel Tom Parker in 'Elvis', we list his greatest fact-based roles

Tom Hanks is a pro at bringing history to life. As he prepares to play Presley’s villainous manager Colonel Tom Parker in Elvis, we list his greatest fact-based roles.

Jim Lovell

Apollo 13 (1995)

(CREDIT: Alamy)

In a nail-biting drama about the Apollo 13 space mission, Hanks  plays Commander Jim Lovell, who tries to bring his crew home when their shuttle suffers catastrophic damage.


Most Hanks moment: “Houston, we have a problem” – Lovell tells mission control the shuttle is malfunctioning, remaining calm as everyone else panics.

Captain Richard Phillips 

Captain Phillips (2013) 

(CREDIT: Alamy)

An American cargo ship is hijacked by Somali pirates, who take the ship’s captain, played by Hanks, hostage for five days.

Most Hanks moment: When the ordeal is finally over, Phillips is treated by medics, breaking down in tears in one of the most powerful scenes in the actor’s garlanded career.

Captain Chesley Sullenberger

Sully (2016) 

(CREDIT: Alamy)

When both engines of a passenger plane are damaged mid-flight, its pilot (Hanks) makes the risky decision to land on water. Everyone survives. But was he a hero or needlessly reckless?


Most Hanks moment: In a heart-in-mouth sequence, Sully coolly pilots a plane full of screaming passengers.

Ben Bradlee

The Post (2017)

Tom Hanks
(CREDIT: Alamy/Everett Collection)

In 1971, leaked papers showed the US government was lying about the Vietnam War. The Washington Post, edited by Ben Bradlee (Hanks), risks everything to publish them.

Most Hanks moment: Bradlee confronts his boss, insisting the truth is worth any price.

Colonel Tom Parker

Elvis (2022)

Tom Hanks
(CREDIT: Warner Bros.)

In a rare bad guy role, Hanks plays Parker, the man who discovered Elvis, but then exploited him ruthlessly.

Most Hanks moment: Riding on a ferris wheel, that Hanks charm is employed to flatter Elvis into signing with Parker.

Take a look at NME’s special film edition Elvis digital magazine right here. Don’t miss Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis starring Austin Butler and Tom Hanks, in cinemas June 24. Book tickets now.

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