English actor Rafe Spall has been turning up in frock flicks since 2003, most notably in Desperate Romantics and The War of the Worlds. Well, he’s starring with Emily Blunt in The English, the 1890-set western that everyone’s talking about (will we review it? IDK, how costumey is it?), and so it seemed like a good time to take a look at his career so far in historical movies and TV series! AND I JUST FIGURED OUT HE’S ACTOR TIMOTHY SPALL’S (Topsy-Turvy, the Harry Potter films) SON!
John in The Lion in Winter (2003)
Another adaptation of the play about Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine — a remake of the classic. Spall played whiny and annoying youngest son John, the future King John.
Jonathan in Dracula (2006)
He played the fiancé of Mina/protege of Dracula in this pretty-bad TV miniseries adaptation.
Keith in The Chatterley Affair (2006)
The trial of the D.H. Lawrence novel that took place in 1960. Spall plays a fictional juror.
Edward Rochester in Wide Sargasso Sea (2006)
Another attempt to adapt the modern-written prequel to Jane Eyre, wherein Mr. Rochester meets Bertha while living in Jamaica.
George Emerson in A Room with a View (2007)
I was just about to write that I refuse to watch this more recent adaptation of the E.M. Forster, Edwardian-period novel, only to see I wrote a short review! Clearly I have blocked out the experience based on my love for the 1986 adaptation.
Roger Bassington in Marple: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (2009)
Because as Trystan recently wrote, “Because every British actor shows up in Marple at some point!”
William Hunt in Desperate Romantics (2009)
Spall played Pre-Raphaelite artist William Holman Hunt in the TV miniseries.
William Shakespeare in Anonymous (2011)
He played an actor-but-not-playwright version of the bard in this stupid but pretty movie.
Harry Price in Harry Price: Ghost Hunter (2015)
A TV movie about a real-life ghost hunter, set in the 1920s.
John Hancock in Sons of Liberty (2015)
What appears to be an attempt to make the American Revolution badass? He plays the famous signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Jim Turner/Captain Flint/Polski the Parrot in Swallows and Amazons (2016)
A classic mid-century English children’s tale.
George in The War of the Worlds (2019)
The recent adaptation of the H.G. Wells alien-invasion story, reset in Edwardian Britain.
David Melmont in The English (2022)
He’s the villain in this 1890-set miniseries about a woman looking for revenge for her murdered son.
Which is your favorite of Rafe Spall’s frock flick roles?