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Nicholson's mental patient tops best movie role poll

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Mar 20, 2012 | 8:15am EDT

The Hollywood veteran's role as R.P. McMurphy, a criminal faking insanity to serve his jail sentence in a mental hospital, came top in a poll by Total Film magazine.

Robert De Niro's acclaimed role as boxer Jake La Motta in 1980's Raging Bull was runner-up, and Daniel Day-Lewis' Oscar-winning portrayal of a turn-of-the-century oil baron in There Will Be Blood came third.

The top five was rounded out by Al Pacino's performance as Mafia boss Michael Corleone in gangster sequel The Godfather: Part II and Emily Watson, for her role as Bess McNeill in 1996 drama Breaking the Waves.

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