Selling out: great actors in terrible movies

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Any b-lister can make a bad movie just for the paycheck. But it takes real talent to achieve true sell-out status -- as some of our best actors have demonstrated. Here are some of our favorite cash-ins from movie history, culled from a list of 25 by Entertainment Weekly's Chris Nashawaty:

Buster Keaton in Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)
During the silent era, Keaton was arguably a greater comedic talent than Charlie Chaplin, but the introduction of sound made him obsolete. By the LBJ years, this genius was reduced to taking any fluff film that would have him in exchange for a payday. Take this Annette Funicello hormone-apalooza, which features Keaton wearing his signature porkpie hat and deadpan expression -- at least until a bikini'd bombshell crosses his path, when his eyes bug out like the world's oldest living horndog. A-oo-gah! How depressing.

Peter O'Toole in Club Paradise (1986)
Some actors see movie shoots as little more than paid vacations. But even by those lax standards, O'Toole's appearance in this Robin Williams reggae romp is particularly painful to watch. The tagline to this stink bomb says it all: "The vacation you'll never forget -- no matter how hard you try."

Richard Burton in Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
Looking like he just came off he world's longest (and sweatiest) whisky bender, Burton plays a Vatican investigator charged with reopening the Regan MacNeil case. Burton's soldier of Christ battles a ridiculous demon named Pazuzu and is even forced to wear a snug safari outfit.

Orson Welles in Transformers: The Movie (1986)
Dig this voice cast: Judd Nelson, Casey Kasem, Eric Idle, Leonard Nimoy -- and legendary director of Citizen Kane Orson Welles. He wields his gargantuan baritone as the voice of Unicron, a ravenous robot-planet that devours everything in its path. Yes, his last role was a big, fat joke.
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February 1, 2007 - 9:11am
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