MCM: Jim Broadbent, Part One


Jim Broadbent is one of those ubiquitous actors — he’s in what feels like everything. Indeed, when I went to compile this list and saw the 163 credits to his name on IMDB, I was a little worried. When the final tally of Broadbent’s historical credits to over 40 films and television shows that I could find images of, I realized this was going to have to be split into two posts. So, stay tuned for Part Two next week!

Time Bandits (1981)

Ok, so we can quibble about how historical Broadbent’s role is in this film, but it’s one of his earliest screen credits with available photos, so I’m including it!


Blackadder (1983)

The first of Broadbent’s roles on what is arguably one of the best costumed historical series ever was as the Spanish translator for the Infanta (played by Miriam Margolyes).


Blackadder’s Christmas Carol (1988)

Again playing opposite Miriam Margolyes as Queen Victoria, Jim Broadbent is Prince Albert, in this classic retelling of the Charles Dickens story.


Enchanted April (1991)

I’m kind of ashamed to admit that I’ve never seen this film despite it being filled with many of my favorite actors. I should probably get on that.


Widow’s Peak (1994)

I’m not a big Mia Farrow fan, so probably won’t be watching it any time soon. Set right after World War I in a little Irish village, a newcomer makes waves in the insular community known as Widow’s Peak.


Bullets Over Broadway (1994)

I saw this when it came out and never revisited it. If it weren’t for the fact that it’s a Woody Allen film, I might give it another go. Jim Broadbent plays Warner Purcell, a British actor involved in all kinds of shenaniganry in 1928 New York’s theater scene.


Princess Caraboo (1994)

One of my favorite films, and the costumes are lovely.


The Last Englishman (1995)

Biopic of an eccentric British army officer, Lt. Col. Alfred D. Wintle.


Richard III (1995)

Jim Broadbent plays the Duke of Buckingham in this reimaging of Shakespeare’s famous play, set during the 1930s.


Rough Magic (1995)

Set in the 1950s and starring Brigit Fonda and Russell Crowe, this Shutterstock image is the only one I could find of Jim Broadbent, so I’m assuming he has a very small role.


Topsy-Turvy (1999)

Jim Broadbent plays William Gilbert in this biopic about Gilbert & Sullivan. Check out the full review!


Moulin Rouge! (2001)

I tried really hard to like this movie, but I just couldn’t get into it. Which is not to say it’s not beautiful… The costumes are iconic.



The Gathering Storm (2002)

Jim Broadbent plays Desmond Morton to Albert Finney’s Winston Churchill.


Gangs of New York (2002)

Another visually stunning film that I watched once and was cool with never watching again. Jim Broadbent plays Boss Tweed.


Nicholas Nickleby (2002)

Jim Broadbent plays Mr. Wackford Squeers, the one-eyed “schoolmaster” of a school for unwanted boys, in this adaptation of yet another Dickens novel.


Bright Young Things (2003)

For some reason I thought we had done a more than a short review for this film, which has a fantastic cast and some stunning costumes. Adding it to my review pile now!


And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself (2003)

This movie sounds so weird, but it stars Antonio Banderas and somehow I never heard of it. It’s based on the filming of The Life of General Villa (1914) and Jim Broadbent plays Harry Aitken, an early Hollywood film exec.


The Young Visiters (2003)

Based on a novel written by a 9-year-old girl, the story centers around bumbling aristocrat Alfred Salteena, played by Jim Broadbent.

Stay tuned for next week’s Man Candy Monday where we wrap up the rest of Jim Broadbent’s impressive list of historical films!


About the author

Sarah Lorraine

Sarah has an undergraduate degree in Clothing & Textile Design and a Master's in Art History and Visual Culture, with an emphasis on fashion history. When she’s not caught in paralyzing existential dread, she's drinking craft cocktails and writing about historical costume in film and television. She's been pissing people off on the internet since 1995.

11 Responses

  1. Susan Pola Staples

    I’m a huge, I mean huge, Gilbert and Sullivan fan and I love Topsy Turvy. It’s one of my go to comfort movies.

      • Patricia Carson

        Enchanted April!! Beautiful film- a much needed reprieve during miserable winters

  2. Aleko

    Alfred Salteena a ‘bumbling *aristocrat’? ??? The whole key to him as a character is that, in his own words, ” I am fond of digging in the garden and I am parshial to ladies if they are nice I suppose it is my nature. I am not quite a gentleman but you would hardly notice it but cant be helped anyhow.”

    • Sarah H.

      I loved The Young Visiters as it was written, but as a movie it was so broad as to remove all the humor. The whole point is that the author was totally serious! I’m not sure it’s actually possible to translate it into film and retain its character. :/

  3. Michael McQuown

    The trouble is, Broadbent blends so seamlessly into the work that one doesn’t always realize one has seen him. Or even two or three have seen him.

  4. Alys

    Wow, I hadn’t realized that was Broadbent in Blackadder(s)!!!

  5. LydiaR

    Enchanted April is a wonderful little gem of a film with a truly stellar cast. I need to see it again.

  6. M.E. Lawrence

    I love J.B. in just about anything, but have a special fondness for his supporting role as the bartender/publican in “The Crying Game.”

  7. Terry Towels

    Widow’s Peak is a wonderful film. Sly and dryly funny. Costumes are nice, too