Ian McKellen is among one of the celebrated individuals in Hollywood at this moment and despite not having an Oscar to his name he is still among those that are considered to be the most epic of legends in the business because of the roles he’s played. The movies in which he’s made his mark on the movie industry have been among the best of their genre throughout the years and each and every time you can’t help but marvel at the man’s performance since it’s something you simply can’t top no matter who might have been thought of for the same roles. There are roles in which various people can perform and possibly outdo one another without much effort, but those that would take on Ian’s roles would be hard-pressed to even match what he’s already done, let alone top him. The man is simply too good at what he does, and best of all he’s still fairly humble despite the greatness he’s achieved.
Here are some of his best movies.
5. Apt Pupil
Disturbing doesn’t even begin to describe this film as Ian plays the role of a former war criminal that’s been in hiding since he left Germany and the war. When Todd comes upon him however and learns of his past he begins to take a decidedly warped interest in the crimes that Dussander is guilty of and starts to learn from the old SS officer just what he did and how it felt to commit such atrocities. This seems to wake up something in Dussander as he attempts to kill a hobo that sees him in the uniform that Todd buys for him. Todd finishes the job and helps Dussander place the man in his cellar, but that’s only a hint of how terrifying their bond eventually becomes.
4. Beauty and the Beast
Cogsworth is the loyal but continuously nervous servant to Prince Adam/Beast and a rather joyful addition to this story in both the animated and live action version. Of course in the live action story he can’t be quite as flexible since the film had to contain some sort of realism to make it interesting, but his mannerisms and attitude was so perfectly recreated that it’s hard to imagine anyone else doing a better job, even the original voice actor that did Cogsworth in the animated film. It’s true that we only get to see McKellen as human for a short time near the end, but it’s still a great movie and he was one of the best parts.
3. The Shadow
He plays a rather small part in this film but it’s still important enough to notice since he is the father of the love interest of the Shadow and the creator of the bomb that could level the entire city. That being said this film was pretty cheesy and even a bit corny but the truth of it is that it wasn’t supposed to be a blockbuster. It’s a movie based on an old radio show that people happened to love way back in the day and for all intents and purposes it did just fine with the effects and story line that it had when it was created. Plus, with Alec Baldwin and Tim Curry still in their prime it was enjoyable enough to be called a decent flick.
If anyone really raised their voice about anything in this movie it was drowned out by the thousands if not millions of fans of the X-Men that were wondering when we would get a film that really adhered to the comics in terms of the timelines and a cohesive look at what the fans remember. After all if you want the honest truth Magneto has almost never been a man that looks like McKellen, but he still played the role beautifully with both dignity and grace, as well as a ruthless manner that barely gave any quarter. The biggest concerns about this movie however is how the mixing and matching of the X-Men was done when a lot of fans know who came first and who was added in later.
1. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
This was a straight on lock when it came to casting for many people. Granted there were a couple of characters that people frowned at until they saw how awesome they became, but as far as Gandalf goes Ian McKellen was the right person for the job without any doubts. He exemplifies the image of the graying old mage that is set in his ways and does things in a manner all his own that people have trouble figuring out. As a sage and a friend to the members of the fellowship he’s kind of like the every-man that the story needs, someone that’s not perfect but can talk to everyone in a way.
There are actors that can’t be locked down as legends since they still have a few things to iron out in their careers, and then there are actors like Ian that are without a doubt already firmly ensconced in the minds of the fans when it comes to being considered among the greatest.