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) 84%

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) 90%

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

archives Mudbound Nominations Comedy Central GLAAD cartoon Schedule LGBTQ emmy awards 45 Mary Tyler Moore CBS All Access dark batman animated thriller sag awards Holidays Funimation politics sequels YouTube Red Rock Reality Podcast dramedy GIFs Superheroes Comic Book french best richard e. Grant Tomatazos dragons versus LGBT universal monsters serial killer Star Wars Tarantino crime drama Netflix OneApp Heroines Bravo Lionsgate Box Office Baby Yoda cancelled TV series TIFF See It Skip It 71st Emmy Awards streaming 20th Century Fox series cancelled cancelled television Paramount Plus robots 007 travel DC streaming service spanish dogs SDCC VICE Cannes NBC comics Freeform First Reviews space Trailer Super Bowl DirecTV rotten movies we love Academy Awards Masterpiece theme song golden globes worst movies Sci-Fi HBO Go Pet Sematary kids comiccon witnail CBS Discovery Channel Mary poppins hollywood criterion nfl A&E FX on Hulu MTV Photos mockumentary Drama discovery TCA Awards Hallmark Christmas movies Captain marvel E3 biography reboot Emmy Nominations spinoff Pop TV Polls and Games anime television movie breaking bad spy thriller Country Turner Classic Movies The Academy Song of Ice and Fire 21st Century Fox Acorn TV foreign BBC America Television Academy cooking Best and Worst reviews Interview Ghostbusters Epix all-time worst DGA werewolf romantic comedy south america RT History ratings ABC Family Rocketman Food Network Marvel Classic Film ABC Arrowverse X-Men ghosts zombies news DC Comics pirates of the caribbean A24 independent Fantasy hispanic fast and furious Apple TV+ Musical parents Video Games transformers Disney Channel unscripted OWN IFC Films historical drama Showtime Stephen King mutant NYCC Vudu Mary Poppins Returns Horror Rom-Com RT21 PlayStation vampires facebook 24 frames docudrama social media strong female leads Dark Horse Comics FX Shondaland james bond Pirates CMT Britbox ViacomCBS zombie San Diego Comic-Con Lifetime Christmas movies Brie Larson History Valentine's Day toronto Paramount Network finale what to watch USA venice The Walking Dead supernatural Teen CW Seed cancelled TV shows Alien APB Winners Black Mirror Ellie Kemper TBS AMC Marathons hist Lucasfilm Emmys scorecard nbcuniversal technology 72 Emmy Awards football game of thrones blaxploitation name the review cars Hallmark Tubi book MCU game show classics revenge Trophy Talk Infographic binge Sony Pictures twilight New York Comic Con Toys USA Network movies Summer 2020 VOD green book diversity Red Carpet Fox News ID Turner Spectrum Originals jurassic park child's play Martial Arts indie Amazon Kids & Family Chernobyl doctor who video The Arrangement Family composers Logo WarnerMedia TCA Winter 2020 teaser Warner Bros. National Geographic nature TruTV Apple Esquire remakes TCA 2017 crossover Tumblr Spike Certified Fresh 4/20 Disney+ Disney Plus miniseries documentary crime thriller 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards video on demand deadpool indiana jones Crackle Writers Guild of America aliens Western boxing President BET Awards The Witch Grammys CNN Black History Month Opinion psychological thriller Fox Searchlight PBS Chilling Adventures of Sabrina TV Land Shudder Thanksgiving TLC Calendar YouTube harry potter ITV Hear Us Out Watching Series joker Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Mindy Kaling latino stop motion BBC Marvel Studios Women's History Month Sneak Peek Columbia Pictures Film Festival Trivia canceled TV shows 2017 El Rey Film Mystery directors true crime SundanceTV singing competition fresh Animation police drama concert Crunchyroll satire superhero Sundance TV Hulu Lifetime Character Guide Disney The Purge Netflix Christmas movies WGN Election jamie lee curtis DC Universe Disney Plus free movies Musicals comic books Nickelodeon halloween tv spanish language rt archives italian Syfy TCA zero dark thirty talk show rotten rom-coms award winner based on movie documentaries cults films Winter TV disaster comedies Comedy PaleyFest The CW Action chucky sports First Look Quiz black Cosplay adaptation Paramount obituary Amazon Studios golden globe awards Nat Geo Rocky Star Trek Extras FOX Adult Swim Binge Guide Pop die hard Pixar australia BAFTA Universal FXX dceu critics stoner festival medical drama Biopics VH1 Travel Channel The Walt Disney Company toy story TCM political drama Amazon Prime Video Music adventure Holiday Christmas Fall TV laika trailers Ovation BBC One 2019 TV Sundance Now Walt Disney Pictures Television Critics Association cats Pride Month spain Disney streaming service scary movies women Premiere Dates Spring TV SXSW psycho comic IFC Set visit Amazon Prime 2015 BET war screenings Cartoon Network American Society of Cinematographers 2016 a nightmare on elm street Awards Countdown Creative Arts Emmys E! anthology Comics on TV Elton John period drama science fiction sitcom quibi ABC Signature children's TV Reality Competition dc TV renewals Peacock Year in Review crime 99% japanese renewed TV shows cops YA halloween 2018 Endgame Sundance TV One Anna Paquin asian-american franchise MSNBC mission: impossible GoT blockbuster Oscars Marvel Television justice league casting christmas movies HBO Max screen actors guild romance Starz boxoffice sequel Apple TV Plus natural history stand-up comedy elevated horror spider-man slashers cinemax ESPN Awards Tour canceled HBO YouTube Premium tv talk festivals Superheroe Avengers TNT