Yesterday was a sad day for cinema. Just four days after the death of David Bowie, the news of Alan Rickman’s passing was filtering through. Both stars where just 69 years old and had being suffering from Cancer.
In honour of one of our favourite British actors, we at nEoFILM will take a brief look at some of our favourite performances. Many will be absent as I have not seen his entire filmography, which apparently numbers at 68 completed film and TV performances since 1978 when he appeared as Tybalt in Alvyn Rakoff’s TV version of Romeo and Juliet.
- ROMEO & JULIET (1978) “I have not seen the entire film, but I have seen the opening act featuring Rickman in what turned out to be his first TV performance. His début: Shakespeare. Says it all really…”
- DIE HARD (1988) 10/10 “Does anyone NOT know who Hans Gruber is? Seriously. Rickman’s break into the mainstream has to be the creation of one of cinemas most well known and surprisingly likeable villains. Turning what should have been a bog standard terrorist of the week in to one the defining villains of a generation.”
- ROBIN HOOD PRINCE OF THIEVES (1991) 9/10 “…“Cancel Christmas!” One of the defining lines from this Kevin Costner led adaptations of the English folk law rogue, but Alan Rickman simply stole the show as the off beat and devilishly funny Sheriff Of Nottingham.”
- MICHAEL COLLINS (1996) 8/10 “Playing Eamon de Valera at the beginning of the Irish troubles in the 1910’s to 1920’s, this is probably one of the first notable mainstream low key roles for Rickman, though like a true Thespian, his seemingly effortless performance in no way lacks power or substance.”
- GALAXY QUEST (1999) 10/10 “Taking on the Mr. Spock stylised role in this brilliant homage to Star Trek, Rickman plays the straight man who again, steals the show as the Thespian who has found fame for playing an iconic character in corny sci-fi series in the 80’s, but thinks that he way too good for this populist lifestyle”
- DOGMA (1999) 8/10 “…and in the same year we have Dogma, the offbeat religious comedy by Kevin Smith, which challenges Catholicism in some controversial ways. Rickman play and angel, Metatron, deadpan in a satirical comedy with some heavyweight co-stars.”
- THE HARRY POTTER SERIES (2001 – 2011) 7/10 “Well, this is where he became a household name for another generation, playing the complex role of Professor Snape in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Again, stealing the show from some of the very best of British talent.
- LOVE ACTUALLY (2003) 7/10 “I not a huge fan of this insipid all star British rom-com regarding love of all shapes and sizes, but there is no doubt that Rickman’s adulterous husband to Emma Thomson’s middle class wife and mother was the high point. These two deliver the best performances of the entire film.”
- THE HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY (2005) 6/10 “This was a thankless gig really. The big screen remake of the Douglas Adams’ classic Radio come TV series from the early 80’s was always going to suffer in comparison and it did. But that is not top say that the cast did not do their best, Rickman included, but it was just never going to live up to the original.”
- SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET (2007) 7/10 “He can sing! Enough said.”
The late Anthony Minghella’s Truly Madly Deeply (1990) was one of the first film’s whcih I saw him in, after Die Hard, in which he delivers one of his lower key performances as the ghost of Juliet Stevenson’s husband. And leading to his final film, in 2009 Rickman would star as the Cheshire Cat in Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland and this years sequel, Through The Looking Glass.
Rest in peace Alan
I know that I am not alone in feeling that you were one of the greatest British stars of a generation, making a great impact whilst never really making a fuss. The 14th January 2016 saw marked the loss of a true star and one which whilst greatly missed, will live on through your films as well as the hearts and minds of generations.