Today we lost a legend.
I can’t say I have seen all of Alan Rickman’s films, but I do enjoy every single one of his movies that I have seen. That’s rare. You always knew when he was onscreen, not because he would take over the scene, but because he elevated the importance of it. He was a master of delivery, knowing exactly how each line, nod of the head, or even just a dastardly glare needed to be deliver to maximize the emotion. He could be soft spoken or maniacal, but he knew exactly when to use that energy to perfection.
As sad as I am at the passing of Alan Rickman, I am a big believer in celebrating a person’s life versus mourning the loss. So today, rather unexpectedly, I compiled a list of my five favorite Rickman movies. Sure, I could have added more to the list because the man was truly a genius. But these are the movies I have loved watching several times over from Alan Rickman.
In no particular order:
– Robin Hood – Sheriff George of Nottingham is the second greatest villain Rickman played. He was maniacal and over the top. And it was perfect in a who’s who of early 90s casting calls. I can’t say I want to see the Sheriff win, but I certainly wanted to see more of him on screen. By far the best line from the film comes from a back and forth with his cousin Guy of Gisborne.
Guy – “Why a spoon, cousin? Why not an axe?”
Sheriff – “Because it’s dull you twit. It’ll hurt more.”
– Galaxy Quest – Let’s be honest, Star Trek has deserved to be lampooned for a very long time. I just don’t think anyone saw this gem coming. Once again, it is Rickman who stands out in a cast of famous actors. His turn as actor Alexander Dane stuck with the fame of his most recognized role on the television show Galaxy Quest is brilliant. And the way he begrudginly embraces Dr. Lazarus of Tev’Meck throughout the film is nothing short of amazing.
– Dogma – I am fascinated by religion. And Kevin Smith’s take on the rise and fall of Bartleby and Loki is fantastic. In the film, we are treated to Alan Rickman’s Metatron explaining angels, Bethany’s lineage and of course his attitude towards clean clothes, drinking alcohol and consuming food. As he so often did, Rickman easily mixed humor and drama. We’re all familiar with his witty retorts and chiding, but this is my favorite scene from Dogma.
– Blow Dry – I happened upon this wonderful British comedy at a film festival in Athens, Ohio. It instantly became a mainstay in the Palmquist household. Rickman leads the way as a reluctant hero who saves the day for his son. Did I mention he’s a barber (hair stylist)? Yet again, it’s Rickman who stands out in a very talented cast. If you haven’t seen this flick, and I’m guessing you haven’t, you must do so immediately.
– Die Hard – What can I say. It’s the franchise that first introduced many of us to Rickman’s genius. His turn as even keeled Hans Gruber was perfection, especially at a time when most villains were over the top 80s stereotypes. Rickman played it perfectly as an incredibly smart terrorist who was really only a world class bank robber. Without him, Bruce Willis and this franchise might not have survived the decade.
Honorable Mention – You may have noticed I did not mention Professor Severus Snape. I am not a Harry Potter fan. I have never read the books. And I have only seen some of the movies. My nine year old son is a huge fan and has regaled me with all the tales. Not to mention the time Brandon and Cubby broke down the whole series to me on the way back from San Diego Comic Con to Las Vegas. I say that because although I’m not a fan of the series, I certainly appreciate Rickman’s work and the character he developed. Not to mention the amazing twist and sacrifice of Snape. So although not on my list of favorites, it does deserve a huge shoutout.
Thank you for all your great performances Mr. Rickman. You will be sorely missed.
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