MCM: Samuel West

25

Being the son of renowned British actors Timothy West and Prunella Scales may have given Samuel West a hand up in this field, but his resume shows he’s put in the work over the years. He’s been in Merchant-Ivory and Jane Austen productions, Shakespeare and murder-mysteries, but somehow he really has the look for roles set in the 1930s. That’s where he’s currently starring in the remake of All Creatures Great and Small, though during the pandemic, he’s been reading poetry on social media.

 

 

Albert Victor in “The Invisible Queen,” Edward the King aka Edward the Seventh (1975)

Samuel West - Edward the King aka Edward the Seventh (1975)

He’s the blond boy with his back to the camera — Timothy West played his father here.

 

 

Count Konradin von Lohenburgin in Reunion (1989)

Samuel West - Reunion (1989)

Set in the 1930s and World War II, he plays a young German aristocrat whose childhood friend is a young Jewish man who returns to town after Hitler’s rise to power.

 

 

Leonard Bast in Howards End (1992)

Samuel West - Howards End (1992)

The ill-fated clerk upon whom the story turns. His walk through the countryside is one of the most beautiful moments ever filmed, IMO.

 

 

Mr. Elliot in Persuasion (1995)

Samuel West - Persuasion (1995)

Ciarán Hinds romantic rival for Amanda Root’s affections. Yeah, this bad boy won’t win, but he’s still pretty cute.

 

 

Gerald Brenan in Carrington (1995)

Samuel West - Carrington (1995)

In this biopic of English painter Dora Carrington & various Bloomsbury affairs during the ’20s, West plays English writer Gerald Brenan.

 

 

St. John Rivers in Jane Eyre (1996)

Samuel West - Jane Eyre (1996)

In this Zeffirelli film of the novel, West is Jane’s distant cousin, a preacher with missionary zeal.

 

 

Squadron-Leader Archie Bunting in Over Here (1996)

Samuel West - Over Here (1996)

A comedic TV movie set during World War II.

 

 

Edward in Stiff Upper Lips (1997)

Samuel West - Stiff Upper Lips (1997)

This is supposed to be a parody of Merchant-Ivory movies & Masterpiece Theater, set around the 1900s, & it’s now on my to-watch list!

 

 

Prince Albert Victor Edward in The Ripper (1997)

Samuel West - The Ripper (1997)

I could swear this movie was a big deal when it came out — with its silly idea that Prince Albert was Jack the Ripper — but I can’t find any decent screencaps of it now.

 

 

Major Lord Edrington in Horatio Hornblower: The Wrong War (1999)

Samuel West - Horatio Hornblower: The Wrong War (1999)

Everybody loves a man in a uniform, & that goes double for a Horatio Hornblower flick!

 

 

Nevil Maskelyne in Longitude (2000)

Samuel West - Longitude (2000) - photo by Shutterstock

The interwoven story about the Longitude prize in the 18th century & an early 20th-century naval officer. West is in the 18th-century section. Photo by Shutterstock.

 

 

Anthony Blunt in Cambridge Spies (2003)

Samuel West - Cambridge Spies (2003)

TV miniseries about the 1930s spy scandal.

 

 

Dr. Victor Frankenstein in Van Helsing (2004)

Samuel West - Van Helsing (2004)

I actively dislike this movie. Not his fault.

 

 

Lt. Col. James Wintringham in “The French Drop,” Foyle’s War (2004)

Samuel West - Foyle's War (2004)

In one episode of this World War II-period TV series

 

 

Lord Rosterley in Desperate Romantics (2009)

Samuel West - Desperate Romantics (2009)

He plays an aristocrat who takes up with Pre-Raphaelite muse/model Annie Miller.

 

 

Phil Figgis in Albert Schweitzer (2009)

Samuel West - Albert Schweitzer (2009)

Set in the 1950s about the Christian missionary & physician.

 

 

 

Dr. Constantine in Murder on the Orient Express (2010)

Samuel West - Murder on the Orient Express (2010)

The TV movie version of the Agatha Christie murder-mystery, with David Suchet as Poirot.

 

 

Thomas Erskine in Garrow’s Law (2010)

Samuel West - Garrow's Law (2010)

In one episode of the 18th-c. court procedural TV series.

 

 

King George VI in Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)

Samuel West - Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)

During the visit of King George & Queen Elizabeth (played by Olivia Coleman) to FDR in 1939.

 

 

Frank Edwards in Mr. Selfridge (2013-2016)

Samuel West - Mr. Selfridge (2013-2016)

A newspaper editor who makes connections with and for Harry Selfridge.

 

 

Rear Admiral John Godfrey in Fleming (2014)

Samuel West - Fleming (2014)

Part of the World War II backstory of Ian Fleming, who wrote the James Bond novels.

 

 

Elliot Vincent in The Crimson Field (2014)

Samuel West - The Crimson Field (2014)

In one episode of this miniseries set during World War I.

 

 

Sir Walter Pole in Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (2015)

Samuel West - Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (2015)

A successful politician engaged to Miss Emma Wintertowne.

 

 

Sir William Chester in The Frankenstein Chronicles (2015)

Samuel West - The Frankenstein Chronicles (2015)

West plays a surgeon who is a pioneer of “galvanism,” the 18th-c. term for creating electricity through chemical action.

 

 

Benedict Haughton in Suffragette (2015)

Samuel West - Suffragette (2015)

One of the bad guys working against Mrs. Pankhurst and the suffragists.

 

 

Bishop of Winchester in “Henry VI Part 1,” The Hollow Crown (2016)

Samuel West - The Hollow Crown (2016)

Ambitious & feuding with the Duke of Gloucester.

 

 

Sir Anthony Eden in Darkest Hour (2017)

Samuel West - Darkest Hour (2017)

The Foreign Secretary who opposed Churchill in the run-up to World War II.

 

 

Anthony Blunt in “Olding,” The Crown (2019)

Samuel West - The Crown (2019)

Reprising his same role from Cambridge Spies, but in the 1960s, when Anthony Blunt was an art historian for Queen Elizabeth II (Olivia Coleman).

 

 

Siegfried Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small (2020-)

The quirky & irritable veterinary surgeon!

 

 

What’s your favorite frock flick featuring Samuel West?

25 Responses

  1. Kate Dominguez

    He’s great! I knew him from All Creatures, but I hadn’t realized how many things I’ve seen him in!

    Reply
  2. Susan Pola Staples

    Cambridge Spies is fantastic and a joy to watch. And his Sigfried in All Creatures is a gem. I only compared him with Sir Robert Hardy only once or twice regarding the horse scenes. Garrow’s Law he was so pretty but controlling. No wonder his wife left him for Garrow. There are several I need to see.

    Reply
  3. Michael McQuown

    Thank you for putting the name and the face together. Ill vote for Jonathan Strange, but it’s certainly not the only one.

    Reply
  4. Frances Germeshausen

    Two things: First, the timing of the new “All Creatures” couldn’t have been better, in the dark days of 2020, and I loved him in it. Second, I’m coming round to the belief that everyone looks better in 1930s clothing.

    Reply
  5. Victoria Hannah

    It’s funny but some of the pics from his younger roles really show how the All Creatures casting team is excellent. The brothers really do look alike.

    Reply
    • Hooley

      Thank you. In my youth I did living history demonstrations as a male soldier with an artillery unit. I pulled the lanyard often to make the cannon go boom (rounds were powder only, no cannon balls). We measured our success by the number of car alarms that went off. FYI, I also made my uniforms and those of my spouse with hand bound buttonholes.

      Reply
  6. Coco

    He also played Caspian in the 80s TV version of the Chronicles of Narnia. I feel like that was played repeatedly during days too rainy for recess when I was in elementary school.

    Reply
    • Melanie R. Clark

      Yes! When shady Mr. Eliot turned up in Persuasion ’95, I knew I’d seen him somewhere before. Probably took me a few years to figure it out, though.

      Reply
    • Jenny

      Oh my goodness! I loved that BBC adaptation of Prince Caspian, and he was wonderful in it. Samuel does have the most beautiful voice, like Alan Rickman he is instantly recognisable the moment he opens his mouth. So many great roles, but Cambridge Spies and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell both stand out.

      Reply
  7. Al Don

    Fine actor. He’s got one of those faces that lends itself perfectly to period films. I think I first noticed this in Howards End (1992).

    Reply
  8. Yanina

    I love him for Garrow’s Law and All Creatures! He’s also great voice actor, I’ve listened to few radio plays with him, and loved it; he was Henry V in Shakespeare’s adaptation for the radio too, and nailed it, especially in scenes with Catherine.

    Reply
    • Karen K.

      Oooh I’ve just downloaded this from the library! His audiobook recordings are wonderful also.

      Reply
  9. Julia

    He’s also a terrific stage actor – I have happy memories of seeing him as Hamlet and Richard II with the RSC.

    Reply
  10. Rhonda Stannard

    Loved him in the heartbreaking role of Leonard Bast. His walk in the woods through a carpet of bluebells has made me want to find that place and take that walk ever since. Also enjoying him in the new Creatures Great and Small.

    Reply
  11. Charity

    Seem him in many things. LOVE him in All Creatures. I also like his voice; I find it so soothing.

    Reply
  12. Kaite Fink

    All Creatures is moving to the top of my to watch list. He’s in so many things I’ve enjoyed, I’m not sure what I’ve enjoyed most.

    Reply
  13. Lily Lotus Rose

    Hip, hip, hooray!! I’ve wanted a Samuel West Man Candy Monday ever since All Creatures Great and Small came out. I first noticed him soooo many years ago in Howard’s End and I think he’s matured so nicely. He’s very handsome in All Creatures. It’s hard for me to choose a “favorite” because I like everything I’ve seen him in–both as overall projects and for his work. So I guess my favorites are ALL of them! He also “plays” an excellent and hilarious Mr. Elton in a reader’s version of Emma for an intellectual debate called “Jane Austen vs. Emily Bronte The Queens of English Literature Debate.” Elinor Tomlinson (of Poldark fame) plays Emma. The whole debate is good, but I really loved the readers’ interpretations by the professional actors: https://youtu.be/mP8dllTkpEg?t=1659

    Reply
  14. The Scrivener

    Love his work. I first saw him in 1995’s Heavy Weather, based on the 1933 PG Wodehouse novel about the kooky residents of Blandings Castle (also starring Frock Flicks Favorites Peter O’Toole, Judy Parfitt, and Richard Briers). He plays the innamorato, Monty Bodkin, who has to find and keep a job in order to prove to his girlfriend’s father that he is a worthy suitor. I have such a hard time with Sam West in serious roles, because every time I see him, I hear “Gertrude Butterwick: B for blister, U for ukelele…”

    Reply
    • Karen K.

      I love the Blandings books and I would pay good money to watch this! Sadly I don’t think it’s available anywhere, streaming or otherwise. :-(

      Reply

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