The 10 Greatest Films of Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman was born in 1946, in London. He didn’t pursue acting from childhood. He began his professional life as a graphic artist, after graduating from the Chelsea College of Art and Design. At 26, he decided to pursue drama and attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. After graduating from there, he worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company. At 34, he began working on television. At 42, he had his first real cinematic role, playing the villain Hans Gruber in ***Die Hard***, and became a recognized face around the world. He has a Golden Globe, an Emmy, and a BAFTA.

10. ***Robin Hood Prince of Thieves*** (1991) — Rickman chews the scenery as the evil Sheriff of Nottingham. The film was not received well by the critics, but I love it.

>”Locksley! I’m gonna cut your heart out with a spoon.” — Sheriff of Nottingham

9. ***Close My Eyes*** (1991) — A torrid story in which Rickman plays a man whose wife begins an affair with her brother.

>”*We spend too much time thinking about the end of the world. It isn’t going to happen. Today. I promise you. Not before lunch.*” — Sinclair

8. ***Bottle Shock*** (2008) — I love movies about wine. This one dramatizes the true story of a California winery that in the mid-1970s dared to enter a contest against French wines. Alan Rickman plays a wonderful wine snob.

>”Because you think I’m an arsehole. And I’m not, really. I’m just British and, well… you’re not.” — Steven Spurrier

7. ***Truly, Madly, Deeply*** (1991) — A romantic comedy about a woman in love with a ghost. Very British. It’s a side of Rickman not often seen.

>”I really, truly, madly, passionately, remarkably, deliciously… juicily love you.” — Jamie

6. ***Michael Collins*** (1996) — Rickman played Irish revolutionary Éamon de Valera alongside Liam Neeson’s Michael Collins. De Valera was actually an American, of Irish descent, but he eventually became the President of Ireland. As a Brit, I’m not a fan of de Valera, but I do like Rickman’s performance.

>”The Irish people established the Irish Republic. It can only be disestablished by the Irish people.” — Eamon de Valera

5. ***Sense and Sensibility*** (1995) — Rickman won hearts all over the world as the charming Colonel Brandon, suitor for Kate Winslet’s Marianne in Ang Lee’s adaptation of the Jane Austen classic.

>”I knew a lady very like your sister — the same impulsive sweetness of temper — who was forced into, as you put it, a better acquaintance with the world. The result was only ruination and despair. Do not desire it, Miss Dashwood.” — Colonel Brandon

4. ***Harry Potter*** films (2001–2011) — Rickman brought the character of Severus Snape to life in the eight Harry Potter films. He did a wonderful job of making Snape a character the audience could sympathize with while simultaneously appearing deliciously evil from a child’s eye view.

>”There will be no foolish wand-waving or silly incantations in this class. As such, I don’t expect many of you to appreciate the subtle science and exact art that is potion-making. However, for those select few…” — Professor Severus Snape

3. ***Galaxy Quest*** (1999) — Often called the greatest Star Trek film, this sci-fi comedy is about the cast of a long cancelled television show. At a convention, they are attending to sell autographs, they are abducted by aliens in desperate need of help. The aliens have intercepted video signals from the old television series, but mistakenly think the footage is documentary. The cast is great. In addition to Rickman, Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver co-star.

>”By Grabthar’s hammer, by the suns of Worvan, you shall be avenged.” — Sir Alexander Dane

2. ***Love Actually*** (2003) — One of my favorite films. I watch it every Christmas. Rickman plays the boss of Laura Linney’s character and the husband of Emma Thompson’s character. Although known for scenery chewing, he gives a subtle performance here, mixing oblivious, repressed, and frustrated.

>”Oh, God. I am so in the wrong. The classic fool!” — Harry

  1. ***Die Hard*** (1988) — One of the greatest movie villains of all time. Hans Gruber’s sneering tone and tailored suit balanced Bruce Willis’s New York detective, brilliantly.

>”I am an exceptional thief, Mrs. McClane. And since I’m moving up to kidnapping, you should be more polite.” — Hans Gruber

Other films considered for this list include: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Search for John Gissing, Dogma, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. What would make your list?

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