When word hit that actress Helen McCrory had passed away on April 16, 2021, it came as a shock to everyone here at Frock Flicks. McCrory had kept her cancer diagnosis and treatment a private matter, known only to her close friends and family. Way back in 2015, when this blog was still in its infancy, we honored her contribution to historical film and TV with a “Badass Babe” feature (which later became the regular Wednesday highlight reel, “Woman Crush Wednesday”), highlighting some of her more notable historical roles. In the intervening six years since, her list of frock flick roles increased, and we were due to revisit her with an updated list. It is with great regret that we only got around to honoring her impressive repertoire in the wake of her passing. From queens to courtesans, villainesses to vixens, Helen McCrory will be remembered as one of the most versatile and interesting actresses of her age.
Yup, that’s her, Whore #2.
Witness Against Hitler (1996)
Based on the story of Helmuth Von Moltke, a German aristocrat who attempted to overthrow Hitler.
Kendra thought Helen McCrory was a stronger actress for the role than the much-beloved Sophie Marceau.
In a Land of Plenty (2001)
A classic British family saga, spanning fifty years from the 1940s to the 1990s. Helen McCrory plays the matriarch of the Freeman family.
Based on the novel set in Vichy France during WWII.
I actually really liked this adaptation of the classic Victor Hugo novel, and we should really give it a more in depth look.
Dead Gorgeous (2002)
Two old friends meet up after World War II and devise a plot to murder their respective husbands.
Lucky Jim (2003)
Helen McCrory plays the rival for the eponymous Jim’s affections in this adaptation of the 1957 novel by Kingsley Amis.
Check out our reviews of this fantastic miniseries about the life and loves of Charles I. Helen McCrory plays chief mistress and pain in Charles’ royal ass, Barbara Villiers.
Does God Play Football (2004)
Seems like a weird concept for a film, but it got decent reviews. And it reunites Helen McCrory and Kevin McKidd (who played Vronsky in the aforementioned Anna Karenina adaptation, opposite McCrory).
Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking (2004)
Every time this show comes up in one of our reviews, I make a mental note to myself that I need to sit down and watch it once and for all. Rupert Everett as Holmes … what’s not to love?
The film romp to end all film romps. I’m a bigger fan of the much weirder adaptation starring David Tennant that came out around the same time, but I still enjoyed this film.
The Queen (2006)
I know, it’s post-1969, but I really don’t care. I loved Helen McCrory and Michael Sheen’s awkwardness as late-1990s Tony and Cherie Blair.
The costumes in this movie are lovely, especially the one seen in this single scene where McCrory plays the woman author Mrs. Radcliffe, whom Jane Austen seeks out for advice on her career choice.
I think this is supposed to be set in the 16th century, but who knows? All I know is that Trystan would 100% wear everything in this image.
This movie looks really interesting. It’s about an orphan in 1930s Paris. Helen McCrory plays Jeanne d’Alcy, an aging French film actress.
We’ll Take Manhattan (2012)
McCrory plays British fashion editor Lady Clare Rendlesham in this film about 1960s supermodel Jean Shrimpton and her affair with photographer David Bailey.
Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This (2014)
The story of comedian Tommy Cooper and his dual relationships with his assistant and his wife. McCrory plays his assistant, Mary Kay.
Man, the cast for this film was insanely good, but the costuming was all over the map! Listen to our podcast for more about it.
The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (2014)
A sequel I had never heard of to a horror film I had never heard of, but the costumes look really good which is tempting me to overlook the fact that it’s a horror film … Costumes by Annie Symons who has several frock flicks under her belt, including The Crimson Petal and the White (2011).
We reviewed this as a two-fer, along with Upstart Crow. Helen McCrory plays Queen Elizabeth I.
With costumes by Joanna Eatwell, what’s not to love about this gothy, witchy, dark look at everyone’s favorite horror genre characters of Victorian England?
I’ll watch anything with Bill Nighy in it, so it’s pretty amazing that I haven’t watched this film, based on propaganda writers working for the British Ministry of Information in WWII.
I had quite a bit to say during the last Snark Week about how much I want to like this show, but the violence and shitty male characters keep me struggling to stay with it. Helen McCrory portrayed Aunt Polly, the doyenne of the Shelby crime family in interwar period Birmingham.
We’re going to miss Helen McCrory.