Albert Finney passed away in February 2019, leaving a long legacy in film, TV, and theater. Luckily for us, that includes a range of historical costume roles to remember him by.
Tom Jones in Tom Jones (1963)
Ebenezer Scrooge in Scrooge (1970)
Hercule Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
Fouché in The Duellists (1977)
Daddy Warbucks in Annie (1982)
Dr. Monygham in Nostromo (1996)
Dr. Austin Sloper in Washington Square (1997)
Winston Churchill in The Gathering Storm (2002)
Uncle Silas in My Uncle Silas (2001-2003)
John Newton in Amazing Grace (2006)
How will you remember Albert Finney?
Saw him live as MacBeth at the National Theatre in London. Great interpretation; lousy costumes — it looked like Finney was wearing a Victorian Lady’s jacket instead of a Renaissance Doublet. Otherwise, Tom Jones, forever and always. Please consider a review of “The Duellists,” I saw that film at an impressionable age and was overwhelmed by the pants.
My mom adored him as Tom Jones, and she wasn’t wrong. I love him as Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express – that’s my favorite version on screen. So glamorous! I also have a strange obsession with A Christmas Carol and try to watch as many different versions as I possibly can every year. The musical one with Finney is one I really didn’t like for a long time, but it’s been growing on me in recent years.
Have you seen the George C. Scott version? It’s my personal favorite. :)
I prefer the Victor Garber-Kathy Bates production of Annie (mostly for having Audra McDonald), but Albert Finney will always be THE Daddy Warbucks.
Haven’t seen many of these, but also, it blows my mind that he was Daddy Warbucks—I think I did see about it before, but my subconscious must be incredulous because it never sticks.
I personally love Amazing Grace. The main characters are horrified by slavery, and committed to ending it, but it’s of necessity a more abstract grief. A truly penitent person is the most powerful witness, and Albert Finney’s portrayal feels so authentic, so genuinely remorseful, that it forms I think the moral center of the film. He speaks in maybe 3 scenes total, but without them it would be missing something—even with a good script and a lot of other excellent actors telling a worthwhile story. I’m moved to tears in his final speaking scene just about every time I watch it.
The Duelists is one of my favorite films, and he was great in it.
Isn’t that everyone’s favourite historical dinner scene? He was lovely in Tom Jones – another actor might have made Tom quite loutish, but the sheer sweetness with which Finney’s Tom did loutish 18th-century things made the character irresistible.
And so were the rest of the cast – Hugh Griffith as Squire Western and Edith Evans as his sister still make me weep with happy laughter whenever they’re on screen. The frocks and wigs were pretty good too. Especially Evans’ – never other than flawlessly dressed for the occasion, whether at the top of the stairs in her starched nightcap or marching through the farmyard in full formal hoop and stomacher, beating aside the pigs and chickens with her parasol…
He could have played Donald Trump! :)
My husband and his family were fans of Big Fish and every time we saw something with Albert Finney, like the Bond movie, they’d go “hey Big Fish!” And I was like “um no that’s Mr.Warbucks!”
I was lucky enough to bump into him when my family lived in Chelsea. It was Christmas-time, and I had my four year old in one hand, my eight year old in the other, and a bag of laundry tucked under my arm as I struggled to open the door of the local laundrette. A delightful man coming out held the door for me and smiled, “Happy Christmas!” It was only then that I realized it was Finney. I wished him merry and then stammered to the clerk, “Was that who I thought it was?” She grinned. “Mr. Finney. Oh, yes, lovely man.”
He surely had only a small role in it, but he was the perfect Fouché (a lot better than Malcovich did in the notorious series!) although Claude Brasseur played Fouché in more depth (“Le Souper” 1992). Naturaly he is the best known Tom Jones of all time and he maybe will be for decades!