MCM: David Morrissey


David Morrissey has been on my mind lately, for a random reason: I’ve been bingeing through the Queens of England podcast (highly recommend!), and in all the Anne Boleyn episodes, his performance as the Duke of Norfolk is the one that keeps coming to mind. And then I remember how dreamy he was in South Riding, and I can’t decide if I should love him or hate him! So, share my mental obsession!

Cause Célèbre (1987)

A TV adaptation of the play inspired by the trial of Alma Rattenbury (Helen MIrren) and her teenage lover in 1935 for the murder of her husband.

1987 Cause celebre

Baby face!

1987 Cause celebre

Loving that suit!

1987 Cause celebre

Robin Hood (1991)

The Patrick Bergin/Uma Thurman film, not the Kevin Costner. Morrissey plays Little John.

1991 Robin Hood

I know the hair/eggbeard is appropriate to the role, but I don’t have to like it.

The Storyteller: Greek Myths (1991)

As Theseus in this live action/puppet TV series by Jim Henson (the Muppets).

1991 the Storyteller- Greek Myths

Nipple alert!

Hilary and Jackie (1998)

As the husband of flautist Hilary du Pré, who had a fucked up relationship with her sister.

1998 Hilary and Jackie

I mean, watch it if you like bleak.

Our Mutual Friend (1998)

As Bradley Headstone in this TV adaptation of the Dickens novel; everyone I know who has tried to watch it has died of boredom, so beware!

1998 Our Mutual Friend

He’s got some serious sideburns there!

The Suicide Club (2000)

Based on a short story by Robert Louis Stevenson, a Victorian man joins a club for people who want to commit suicide.

2000 The Suicide Club

Literally the best I could do.

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001)

The combination of romance + Nicolas Cage + that title makes me want to stick a fork in my eye, but apparently Morrissey plays Captain Günther Weber, so I guess is a Nazi?

2001 Captain Corelli's Mandolin

We’re in Greece! Opa!

The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

As Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, uncle to Anne Boleyn and, according to this version, very much the man behind the schemes.

2008 The Other Boleyn Girl

He pulls off that Henrician hat SO well.

2008 The Other Boleyn Girl

And he does schemey and controlling very well too.

2008 The Other Boleyn Girl

I don’t want him to organize my marriage, but I do want him to pull my hair?

Sense & Sensibility (2008)

As a more age-appropriate Colonel Brandon in this TV miniseries adaptation of the Jane Austen novel — which I watched, but don’t remember, because the 1995 feature film is the one and only for me.

2008 Sense & Sensibility

Loves me some high Regency collars!

2008 Sense & Sensibility


2008 Sense & Sensibility

Which one would you choose?

2008 Sense & Sensibility


2008 Sense & Sensibility

Dammit, I may have to give this a rewatch.

Nowhere Boy (2009)

As the common-law husband of John Lennon’s mother.

2009 Nowhere Boy

Doctor Who: The Next Doctor (2009)

As Jackson Lake, a human with memory loss who believes he is the Doctor, in this 1851 Christmas-set episode.

2009 Doctor Who- The Next Doctor

Grrrr! Although that collar is far too loose.

2009 Doctor Who- The Next Doctor

Centurion (2010)

As one of too many (for me to care) Roman soldiers in this film about the disappearance of Rome’s Ninth Legion, which flopped, so whatever.

2010 Centurion

Back left. zzzzz.

Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express (2010)

One episode of the David Suchet series. Morrissey plays Colonel John Arbuthnot.

2010 Poirot- Murder on the Orient Express

With Jessica Chastain!

South Riding (2011)

I don’t remember the specifics of Morrissey’s character, other than he’s a mucky muck in this 1930s Yorkshire town who eventually warms up to Anna Maxwell-Martin’s character, but I do remember he was DREAMY.

2011 South Riding

I think he’s the head of the school board? Or a committed father? I don’t know, he’s being paternal and protective.

2011 South Riding

And he has FORM!

The Hollow Crown: Richard II (2013)

As Northumberland in this TV adaptation of the Shakespeare play.

2013 The Hollow Crown- Richard II

National Theatre Live: Hangmen (2016)

What looks like a comedy about a professional hangman who hasn’t realized that hanging has recently been abolished in Britain.

2016 National Theatre Live- Hangmen

Britannia (2017-19)

As Aulus Plautius, the Roman general who became the first governor of the Roman colony of Britannia.

Britannia (2018)

Going full Game of Thrones I see.

Britannia (2017)

The Singapore Grip (2020)

Set during World War II Singapore, Morrissey plays a British man who controls a trading company there.

2020 The Singapore Grip

Linen suit FTW!

2020 The Singapore Grip

I think it’s a comedy? Not sure!

What’s your favorite of David Morrissey’s frock flicks roles?

18 Responses

  1. Constance

    Sorry he creeps me out no matter what role he plays…

  2. Saraquill

    Didn’t realize he was in these flicks. Of the ones I saw, The Next Doctor, for sure.

  3. Fran in NYC

    In the picture of Hangmen, the actor on the left is currently to be seen in the latest season of ‘Unforgotten’ on Masterpiece Mystery as one of the suspects.

    • Janet

      So wished the NT had shared Hangman with us on YouTube during their Covid Lockdown in 2020.
      Loved every Play/show they shared last year. I felt “rich” in solitary self-isolation.

      • Herba

        I absolutely second that because I would have loved to watch it again. Not only because of Morrissey but also because of Johnny Flynn who was also in it and hilarious

  4. hsc

    “I know the hair/eggbeard is appropriate to the role, but I don’t have to like it.”

    I hate to have to ask, but what does “eggbeard” mean?

    I see this term used every so often when men’s facial hair comes under discussion, and I don’t get it. (Googling just gets me a lot of pictures of eggs with beards drawn on them, which is cute but not helpful unless Easter is coming up.)

    Thanks in advance.

  5. Lily Lotus Rose

    Oh, yes, a very nice choice! I’ve only seen him a few things, but he always looks very good and acts very well. Centurion was fun. I’m going to add a few of these to my list.

    Am I the only one who doesn’t buy him as “teenager” in that film, Cause Celebre? I mean, he definitely looks young, but not like a teenager in my opinion.

  6. Charity

    He’s not to my taste at all, but he’s a good actor. I think part of this is having seen him in Our Mutual Friend as the VERY FIRST THING I ever saw him in — and once you’ve seen him go full-blown psycho would-be murderer (sorry, spoilers), there’s no coming back from that. I enjoyed him “all right” as Colonel Brandon, but I’m with you: Alan Rickman is my Brandon, and Kate Winslet is my Marianne, and no matter how much more I like Dan Stevens than Hugh Grant as Edward, the 1996 version is THE BEST. “Give me something to do, or I shall run mad,” pleads Rickman with his doe eyes and I… melt. I was so gone. Even as a thirteen year old, seeing it for the first time, wanting to punch Marianne repeatedly because HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE THIS MAN?

    Ahem. Yes. Moving on.

    • Allison Rabenau

      I guess I’m in the minority since I loved “Our Mutual Friend”, but yes, his Bradley Headstone was absolutely terrifying!

      • Kelly

        Yes–and brilliant. I loved this production and have watched it many times. The word Dickens uses to describe every aspect of Headstone’s appearance is “decent”–sort of like in the interview with a serial killer’s neighbors and they unanimously describe the SK as nice and ordinary. His proposal scene is a masterclass in terror and despair.
        But I got past that and loved his Colonel Brandon! “Come and find me when you’re ready.” Okay!

      • Lynne Connolly

        I really enjoyed Our Mutual Friend! I love the book because for once, Dickens wrote a feisty heroine. But that version of Richard II, with Ben Whishaw in the title role was electrifying!

    • Constance

      Same here. So after that I hated him as Brandon…kept waiting for him to turn psycho stalker 19th century version

  7. Damnitz

    I think that he was a very different Colonel Brandon and the role is not easy … He is more the tragic but bully officer.
    But he has very different scenes in the film then in Emma Thompson-adaption.

  8. Roxana

    Were dead animals draped around the shoulders ever a thing outside of thirties fox stoles and Game of thrones??