Five Favorite Films

Jim Broadbent's Five Favorite Films

The Award Winning Actor on Robert Altman, Henry Fonda's Quadruple-Take in Lady Eve, and Playing a Pompous Man.

by | March 9, 2017 | Comments

(Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

A renowned stage actor with the Royal National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company, multiple award winner (including a Best Supporting Actor Oscar), Jim Broadbent has earned near universal acclaim for his work in theatre, film, and television. Some of his best-known screen credits include IrisMoulin Rouge, the Bridget Jones franchise, Time Bandits, and, of course, the Harry Potter franchise. In July, we’ll also have the pleasure of seeing him join the Game of Thrones cast, but this week, he stars in The Sense of an Ending, in which he plays a recluse coming to terms with decisions he made as a younger man. It’s a role he says is more similar to himself than most of the others he plays (more on that later).

We had the honor of speaking with Mr. Broadbent about his Five Favorite Films and it was a very close race. In fact, his original “five” included seven titles. And since we know inquiring minds want to know, the two we left off the list are His Girl Friday and The White Ribbon, both of which he loves as much as the others, which you can see in the list below:

McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) 88%

I could’ve chosen any [Robert] Altman film from that golden period. M*A*S*H was just mindblowingly exciting as… I think I was a drama student, probably, at the time, so all those Altman films that came: Nashville, McCabe and Mrs Miller, California Split. I just loved his work, so McCabe and Mrs Miller — that whole world he created I just thought was magnificent, and the Leonard Cohen music and the beauty of the winter up in Alaska or wherever it was. It was great.

The Wild Bunch (1969) 93%

Wild Bunch, yeah. I’ve seen that as many times as I’ve seen any… it was just a great classic western. The wonderful characters — full of great character actors, you know: Warren Oates, Strother Martin, L.Q. Jones, William Holden, Robert Ryan — they’re just terrific. Just from the acting point of view, the whole shape of it was brilliant, and the story. It was violent and sexy and beautiful. And a fantastic narrative — ambitious and big. Impossible to imagine anyone doing it now, really. I’m a child of that, the Bonnie and Clyde to Raging Bull period, you know. Those are the films that heightened my interest in acting and movies and everything. But that’s the sort of classic of that period, I suppose.


Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928) 100%

Buster Keaton, Steamboat Bill Jr. — that’s an epic in its own way. Just terrific. Very funny, but the famous hurricane or tornado scene or whatever, where the wall comes down and he stood there, in just one moment — and it comes down, and it’s going to flatten him, but he just happens to be standing where the window was — it’s a perfectly crafted story as well. I think it’s a masterpiece, really. And The General. But I just adore it and adore him. He’s wonderful.

Andrei Rublev (1973) 95%

That’s another great sprawling big epic that follows various episodes in the life of Andrei Rublev, who was an icon painter in probably the 15th or 16th century — I’m not sure — and just various episodes in his life. I mean, he hardly features in many of them. He’s just an observer of a lot of this, but it’s magnificent. You really, really get a feel for what it might have been like to live in medieval Russia. It’s much more approachable than some of [Andrei] Tarkovsky‘s work. I absolutely adore it and watch it again and again.

The Lady Eve (1941) 100%

Preston Sturges — Lady Eve, with Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck, and that’s just a brilliant film. I could have had any number of Preston Sturges films. He’s the funniest director I think.

When I was working with Bridget Fonda, we were talking — we were mucking about doing double-takes and she said, “My grandfather did a quadruple take in the Lady Eve.” I thought, “Your grandfather? Oh, your grandfather! Oh, you mean Henry Fonda. Oh, for God’s sake.” So I went back and she’s right. He does a quadruple take.


Kerr Lordygan for Rotten Tomatoes: What do you think will surprise your fans when they see The Sense of an Ending?

Jim Broadbent: Probably because it’s playing a character who’s quite close to me in many ways. He’s not as avuncular and as lovable as some of the characters I’ve played, maybe, but there’s a sort of hard… he’s a complex character. There’s a sort of arrogance and pomposity about him. He’s gentle with his daughter and his ex-wife. He’s not unpleasant, but there is an element… he’s thoughtless and arrogant and a bit pompous as well, but I don’t know how people perceive me. You can’t tell yourself. You’d have to film me.

RT: You’re not lovable in real life — is that what you’re implying? If you’re saying that you’re arrogant and pompous, I don’t think so.

Broadbent: I don’t know, there’s elements of that, obviously. We’re all complicated people. [laughing]

RT: I guess we all are everything, a little bit. So, awesome.

Broadbent: That’s what I like doing.

The Sense of an Ending opens on Friday, Mar. 10, 2017 in limited release.

Tag Cloud

LGBTQ latino HBO 45 Mary Tyler Moore video canceled American Society of Cinematographers Creative Arts Emmys WGN dceu Sci-Fi Bravo MTV TLC Britbox ABC VICE IFC Year in Review Musicals witnail social media dc adventure Watching Series ITV NBC TNT Toys sports TCA Paramount batman foreign zombie Comic Book Comics on TV Awards Tour Starz TruTV First Reviews Red Carpet YouTube unscripted Cosplay romantic comedy Spectrum Originals Disney+ Disney Plus AMC Family 2018 Western harry potter dragons casting sitcom ABC Family singing competition space Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt DC streaming service ratings Superheroes anthology El Rey The Arrangement Sneak Peek Apple Nominations Shondaland GLAAD YA Winners Marvel Studios See It Skip It TCA 2017 Comedy golden globes FX Song of Ice and Fire spider-man PBS zero dark thirty game of thrones Infographic joker Freeform Animation Ghostbusters crime thriller Rocky what to watch Apple TV+ Black Mirror The Purge Amazon NYCC supernatural Amazon Prime Video tv talk spinoff Super Bowl comiccon Kids & Family aliens cats Best and Worst Shudder dramedy First Look Box Office Captain marvel Musical Pop based on movie true crime TIFF Holiday VH1 cars Netflix Teen DGA romance Opinion SXSW Christmas FOX Rock binge green book game show Acorn TV Tumblr vampires USA Network Star Trek transformers 21st Century Fox Marathons Valentine's Day facebook psycho historical drama rotten movies we love TV Rocketman Syfy Film Festival Biopics TV Land Mary Poppins Returns teaser FXX talk show YouTube Red SundanceTV Music Character Guide CW Seed Country BBC CMT Pet Sematary streaming comic Turner Women's History Month werewolf Heroines RT History Nickelodeon children's TV CBS canceled TV shows BET Showtime strong female leads IFC Films Vudu comics National Geographic Writers Guild of America Quiz Trophy Talk spanish language Ellie Kemper Amazon Prime cartoon GoT Warner Bros. crime drama DC Comics Schedule Video Games Columbia Pictures Hallmark Pirates Star Wars book Crackle Mary poppins Emmys justice league Mindy Kaling blockbuster cults jamie lee curtis USA crossover Hallmark Christmas movies TV renewals Hulu 20th Century Fox BBC America Reality Television Academy Chilling Adventures of Sabrina renewed TV shows E! indie Polls and Games police drama Esquire quibi Trivia movies technology 2019 elevated horror Epix boxoffice Paramount Network cinemax 007 hist OWN south america revenge television CNN DC Universe Crunchyroll politics CBS All Access 71st Emmy Awards Sundance Now miniseries serial killer X-Men LGBT San Diego Comic-Con docudrama TBS SDCC Disney streaming service Cartoon Network Superheroe President YouTube Premium series Film Mystery Rom-Com DirecTV Brie Larson spy thriller Nat Geo independent Lionsgate 2017 composers mutant 24 frames ghosts toy story award winner Spring TV doctor who Action Horror Oscars Interview kids nature cancelled TV series Lucasfilm Fox News New York Comic Con Countdown theme song Sundance mockumentary Netflix Christmas movies ESPN RT21 Stephen King Pride Month HBO Max Walt Disney Pictures Pixar stand-up comedy Anna Paquin Chernobyl Premiere Dates war Peacock Grammys animated cops GIFs 2016 Disney Lifetime natural history Summer thriller Disney Plus The Walking Dead Adult Swim 2015 Set visit medical drama The CW Tarantino crime halloween Mudbound Logo robots Binge Guide MCU Ovation Universal festivals Spike History Fall TV Arrowverse A&E Sony Pictures Photos APB versus breaking bad Elton John Classic Film cooking richard e. Grant anime Thanksgiving Masterpiece Drama Awards TCM hispanic blaxploitation Certified Fresh zombies slashers free movies Extras Food Network Lifetime Christmas movies adaptation Podcast Fantasy cancelled TV shows Disney Channel christmas movies discovery spain diversity Marvel Television Calendar Emmy Nominations Marvel finale A24 Apple TV Plus Dark Horse Comics PaleyFest political drama sequel Comedy Central travel Election Winter TV Reality Competition cancelled television psychological thriller Turner Classic Movies cancelled WarnerMedia screenings biography disaster Holidays E3 MSNBC The Witch period drama Cannes science fiction Trailer Tomatazos Martial Arts