Hobbies

20 Quintessentially British Movies

Is there anything more English than Colin Firth and a royal palace?
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Even though the best British films posh accents, grand English country estates, and Colin Firth, the movies on this list prove that there's so much more to love about British cinema. From haunting black and white tales to slapstick comedies, these are some of our favourite British movies.

LOVE ACTUALLY


Though this beloved classic takes place during Christmas, the heartwarming film can really be viewed any day of the year. It stars all your favorite British actors and a short sequel is even coming to screens next month.

HAMLET

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This 1996 Kenneth Branagh film is one of the best adaptations of the epic tale. It stars Julie Christie, Charlton Heston, Kate Winslet, Rufus Sewell, and even Branagh himself, who plays Hamlet.

GOLDFINGER

Sean Connery starred in this 1964 movie, which was the third film in the James Bond series, but Shirley Eaton managed to steal his thunder in her scene as a corpse covered in gold paint.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS

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An adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel came out in 2012 (and it perfectly cast Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham) but nothing beats the 1946 film, which was nominated for five Academy Awards.

NOTTING HILL

Hugh Grant stars as a bookshop owner from Notting Hill who falls in love with Anna Scott, an A-list actress played by real-life A-lister Julia Roberts. It is one of the best romantic comedies of all time, but responsible for the crowds of tourists who plague Portobello Road and its surrounding areas today.

THE RED SHOES

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The 1948 movie follows the story of a ballerina who becomes the lead dancer in a ballet based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale The Red Shoes. Though the movie may appear whimsical, it has a tragic ending.

MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL

This iconic 1975 slapstick film features the British comedy group Monty Python as King Arthur and his knights during their search for the Holy Grail.

GOSFORD PARK

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The film takes place in 1932 and follows the story of a murder that occurs at Gosford Park, an English country estate. A precursor to Downton Abbey, it presents the events from the perspective of both guests and the servants.

THE DUCHESS

Keira Knightley stars as the Duchess of Devonshire, Georgiana Cavendish, who was Endlang's answer to Marie Antoinette during the 18th century. The movie is worth watching if only for the Duchess's extravagant costumes and houses.

MY FAIR LADY

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Though the film itself may be American, it tells the very British story of a young Cockney girl who's transformed into a "proper English" lady and is eventually presented to London's high society.

ELIZABETH


Cate Blanchett stars as Queen Elizabeth I in this film, which covers the first years of the monarch's reign. The sequel Elizabeth: The Golden Age features the later years of her rule.

YOUNG VICTORIA


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Written by Julian Fellowes, the film depicts Queen Victoria's early life and the beginning of her rule. It was shot at historic locations around England, including Blenheim Palace and Lancaster House.

PRIDE & PREJUDICE


Though no actor will ever top Colin Firth as Mr.Darcy in the BBC series, this film's all-star cast (which includes Keira Knightley, Donald Sutherland, Rosamund Pike, and Judi Dench) makes it one of the best adaptations of the book that's hit screens.

BERKELEY SQUARE


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The 1993 film, reminiscent of an episode of the Twilight Zone, tells the story of a young American man who is transported back to 18th century England where he meets his ancestors.

SWEENEY TODD


Tim Burton's tale of the demon barber of Fleet Street is told to perfection thanks to Johnny Depp, who plays Todd, and Helena Bonham Carter, who portrays Mrs. Lovett.

BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY


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Though we can't recommend the sequels as highly, the original movie is one of the best romantic comedies ever made. Plus, it stars the ultimate British heartthrob duo: Hugh Grant and Colin Firth.

THE KING'S SPEECH


This film explores the relationship between King George VI and the speech therapist who helped the King overcome his debilitating stutter.

THE QUEEN


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Helen Mirren earned an Academy Award for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in the 2006 film, which chronicles the actions of the royal family during the aftermath of Princess Diana's death.

BILLY ELLIOT


The poignant movie (which is now a Broadway play) tells the story of a young boy growing up in a conservative town in Northeastern England who trains to become a ballerina against his coal miner father's wishes.

ATONEMENT


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When a young English girl falsely accuses her sister's lover of a heinous crime, a heartbreaking downward spiral ensues. The film earned a handful of Academy Award nominations and took home the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture in 2008.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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