Bill Gates may be the most successful nerd in history, but Mark Zuckerberg is working overtime to surpass him. Jesse Eisenberg plays the Facebook founder in David Fincher's 'The Social Network,' which opens tomorrow after garnering widespread critical acclaim. Our own Erik Davis says that Eisenberg "turns out a terrific performance as Zuckerberg -- chock-full of awkward lip-biting and short, robotic-like outbursts of imagination."
Is Eisenberg the most convincing nerd in movie history? Dozens, if not hundreds, of good-looking guys and gals have donned glasses and ill-fitting outfits to play nerds on screen. The very best have delved deep into the soul of the nerd, whether they're computer nerds, comic nerds, artistic nerds or just plain nerds. Here are our picks; what are yours?
1. Keith Gordon, 'Dressed to Kill,' 'Christine,' 'Back to School'
Call him the all-star nerd. He played Angie Dickinson's son in Brian DePalma's 'Dressed to Kill,' the high school kid who teams with a hooker (Nancy Allen) to solve his mom's murder. He was brainy to begin with and became bolder and more decisive as the story developed. Three years later, he was a much more withdrawn nerd in John Carpenter's 'Christine'; only the demonic Plymouth Fury is able to unleash his hidden fury. Finally, Gordon gave nerd comedy a whirl in 'Back to School' as Rodney Dangerfield's son, a shy kid who yearns to become his own man. It's a perfect troika of convincing nerd-dom!