15 March 2018
I’m a little obsessed with Tim Curry. He’s my favourite, and the powers that be at this site said I could “write about whatever I want” so, Tim Curry it is!
The best Tim Curry movies are all marked by the man’s scene-stealing performances. With his sultry baritone and devilish grin, he’s managed to elevate roles that would descend into pantomime in the hands of less skilled actors. Across a variety of genres, let’s look at the Tim Curry movies that have earned himself a place in the hearts of millions of film fans the world.
Curry is a delight in this adaptation of the popular board game, where all involved have their tongues planted firmly in cheek. Taking the role of the motor-mouthed butler Wadsworth, Curry helps anchor the intrigue and mayhem and, despite a lacklustre performance at the box office on it’s initial release, Clue has since gone on to develop quite the cult following, something that would emerge as a pattern in the actor’s body of work.
Curry played his first out-and-out villain in this Ridley Scott-helmed Tom Cruise fantasy vehicle, delivering a wonderfully vaudeville turn as the Lord of Darkness. The film was credited in heralding a return to the more macabre European fairytale narrative, that would be repeated in further films such as Dark Crystal. This was in no small part due to Curry’s magnificent performance.
Although something of a unoriginal take on the jungle adventure genre, one of Congo’s saving grace was Curry’s villainous turn as Herkermer Homolka, a Romanian financier of dubious reputation who funds what turns out to be a search for the treasure of real money slots of an ancient lost city. Things go from bad to worse as the expedition is set upon by a tribe of deadly man-eating apes, and Curry’s increasingly manic performance is still worth the price of admission.
Muppet Treasure Island (1996)
One of the best Tim Curry movies, the man is in top form as Long John Silver, the rakishly charming buccaneer leading his puppet cohorts in search of lost pirate gold. This is one of the most beloved of all the cinematic outings of Jim Henson’s felt creations, and Curry’s vaudeville antics still hold plenty of appeal for viewers both young and old.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
In what is arguably his most cult role, Curry led both the protagonists and viewers of this high camp musical through a journey of delightful debauchment, as a straight-laced courting couple are seduced by Curry’s mad scientist drag queen Dr. Frank N. Furter. The film was both a homage to the over the top mad science B-movies of the 1930s and something of an allegory for queer culture, where it remains one of the most popular cinematic touchstones. Curry thrilled with a captivating performance where he channeled no small amount of otherworldly sex appeal in what stands amongst the very best of Tim Curry movies.
Responsible for giving a whole generation of children a fear of clowns, It may not be the best of the Tim Curry movies, but it is certainly his most widely recognised performance. Curry was an inspired choice to play Pennywise, the demonic clown who wreaks havok on the sleepy town of Derry, murdering and eating children through the centuries. The actor seemed to be channelling all his hammy charms as the wise-cracking clown, only to turn into one of horror cinema’s most chilling antagonists at the drop of a dime. Curry’s turn here is undoubtedly the principal reason that this film remains a cinematic touchstone to this day.