John Neville


John Reginald Neville, CM, OBE (May 2, 1925 – November 19, 2011) was an English theatre and film actor who moved to Canada in 1972. He made his film debut in Gregory Ratoff’s Oscar Wilde (1960), with Robert Morley, Ralph Richardson, Phyllis Calvert and Alexander Knox. Other early films include Mr. Topaze (1961), with Peter Sellers (who also directed), Nadia Gray, Leo McKern, and Herbert Lom; Billy Budd (1962), with Terence Stamp, Robert Ryan, Peter Ustinov (who also directed), and Melvyn Douglas; Unearthly Stranger (1964), with Gabriella Licudi and Philip Stone; A Study in Terror (1965), with Donald Houston, John Fraser, Anthony Quayle, Robert Morley, Barbara Windsor, Adrienne Corri, Judi Dench; and Jerzy Skolimowski’s The Adventures of Gerard (1970), wiry Peter McEnery, Claudia Cardinale, Eli Wallach, and Jack Hawkins.

Neville enjoyed a resurgence of international attention in the 1980s as a result of his starring role in Terry Gilliam‘s The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988), with Sarah Polley, Eric Idle, Charles McKeown, Winston Dennis, Jack Purvis, Jonathan Pryce, Oliver Reed, Uma Thurman, Robin Williams, and Valentina Cortese. While the film was a financial failure at the time, it was met with many positive reviews and has developed a cult following over time.

Films in the early 1990s include Baby’s Day Out (1994), with Joe Mantegna, Lara Flynn Boyle, Joe Pantoliano, and Brian Haley; Alan Parker’s The Road to Wellville (1994), with Anthony Hopkins, Bridget Fonda, Matthew Broderick, John Cusack, Dana Carvey, and Michael Lerner; Little Women (1994), with Winona Ryder, Gabriel Byrne, Trini Alvarado, Samantha Mathis, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes, Christian Bale, Eric Stoltz, Mary Wickes, and Susan Sarandon; Dangerous Minds (1995), with Michelle Pfeiffer; Sabotage (1996), with Mark Dacascos, Carrie-Anne Moss, Tony Todd, and Graham Greene; Swann (1996), with Brenda Fricker, Miranda Richardson, Michael Ontkean, David Cubitt, and Sean McCann; and High School High (1996), with Jon Lovitz, Tia Carrere, Mekhi Phifer, Louise Fletcher, Malinda Williams, and Brian Hooks.

Films in the late 1990s include Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element (1997), with Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm, Milla Jovovich, and Chris Tucker; Regeneration (1997), with Pryce, James Wilby, Jonny Lee Miller, Stuart Bunce, and Tanya Allen; Dinner at Fred’s (1997), with Gil Bellows, Parker Posey, and Kevin McDonald; Roland Joffé’s Goodbye Lover (1998), with Patricia Arquette, Dermot Mulroney, Don Johnson, Ellen DeGeneres and Mary-Louise Parker; and István Szabó’s Sunshine (1999), with Ralph Fiennes, Rosemary Harris, Rachel Weisz, Jennifer Ehle, Deborah Kara Unger, Molly Parker, James Frain, Miriam Margolyes, and William Hurt.

Films in the 2000s include James Toback’s Harvard Man (2001), with Adrian Grenier, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Joey Lauren Adams, Rebecca Gayheart, Ray Allen, and Stoltz; Time of the Wolf (2002), with Burt Reynolds; David Cronenberg’s Spider (2002), with Fiennes, Richardson, Byrne, and Lynn Redgrave; Crime and Punishment (2002), with Crispin Glover, Vanessa Redgrave, John Hurt, and Margot Kidder; Edordo Ponti’s Between Strangers (2002), with Klaus Maria Brandauer, Gérard Depardieu. Sophia Loren, Malcolm McDowell, Pete Postlethwaite, Mira Sorvino, and Deborah Kara Unger; Moving Malcom (2003), with Benjamin Ratner (who also directed); Elizabeth Berkley, Jay Brazeau, and Babz Chula; Norman Jewison’s The Statement (2003), with Michael Caine, Tilda Swinton, Jeremy Northam, Alan Bates, William Hutt, and Charlotte Rampling; and Separate Lies (2005), with Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Rupert Everett, Linda Bassett, Richenda Carey.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • Two Gentlemen of Verona (1952) – directed by Denis Carey – TV movie
  • Oscar Wilde (1960) – directed by Gregory Ratoff
  • Mr. Topaze (1961) – directed by Peter Sellers
  • Billy Budd (1962) – directed by Peter Ustinov
  • Unearthly Stranger (1963) – directed by John Krish
  • A Study in Terror (1965) – directed by James Hill
  • The Order (1967) – directed by Basil Coleman – TV movie
  • The First Churchills (1969) – directed by David Giles – miniseries
  • The Adventures of Gerard (1970) – directed by Jerzy Skolimowski
  • Boswell’s Life of Johnson (1971) – directed by Clarke Tate – TV movie
  • Paradise Restored (1972) – directed by Don Taylor – TV movie
  • Reil (1979) – directed by George Bloomfield – TV movie
  • Song of Experience (1986) – directed by Stephen Frears – TV movie
  • The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988) – directed by Terry Gilliam
  • Johann’s Gift to Christmas (1991) – directed by René Bonnière – TV movie
  • By Way of the Stars (1992) – directed by Allan King – miniseries
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth (1993) – directed by William Dear – TV movie
  • Stark (1993) – directed by Nadia Tass – miniseries
  • Dieppe (1993) – directed by John N. Smith – TV movie
  • Baby’s Day Out (1994)* – directed by Patrick Read Johnson
  • The Road to Wellville (1994) – directed by Alan Parker
  • Little Women (1994)* – directed by Gillian Armstrong
  • Dangerous Minds (1995) – directed by John N. Smith
  • The Song Spinner (1995) – directed by Randy Bradshaw – TV movie
  • Sabotage (1996) – directed by Tibor Takács
  • Swann (1996) – directed by Anna Benson Gyles
  • High School High (1996) – directed by Hart Bochner
  • The Fifth Element (1997)** – directed by Luc Besson
  • Regeneration (1997) – directed by Gillies MacKinnon
  • Time to Say Goodbye? (1997) – directed by David Jones – TV movie
  • Dinner at Fred’s (1997) – directed by Shawn Thomson
  • My Teacher Ate My Homework (1997) – directed by Stephen Williams – TV move
  • Johnny 2.0 (1997) – directed by Neill Fearnley – TV movie
  • Goodbye Lover (1998) – directed by Roland Joffé
  • The X Files: Fight for the Future (1998) – directed by Rob Bowman
  • Urban Legend (1998) – directed by Jamie Blanks
  • Water Damage (1999) – directed by Murray Battle
  • Sunshine (1999) – directed by István Szabó
  • The Duke (1999) – directed by Philip Spink – straight to video
  • Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace (2000) – directed by Eric Till – TV movie
  • Custody of the Heart (2000) – directed by David Jones – TV movie
  • Harvard Man (2001) – directed by James Toback
  • The Kid (2001) – directed by Larry Jacobs – TV movie
  • The Stork Derby (2002) – directed by Mario Azzopardi – TV movie
  • Trudeau (2002) – directed by Jerry Ciccoritti – TV movie
  • Time of the Wolf (2002) – directed by Rod Pridy
  • Spider (2002) – directed by David Cronenberg
  • Crime and Punishment (2002) – directed by Menahem Golan
  • Sea and Stars (2002) – directed by Georgine Strathy & Anna Tchernakova – short
  • Between Strangers (2002) – directed by Edoardo Ponti
  • Escape from the Newsroom (2002) – directed by Ken Finkleman – TV movie
  • Control Factor (2003) – directed by Nelson McCormick – TV movie
  • Moving Malcolm (2003) – directed by Benjamin Ratner
  • Hollywood North (2003) – directed by Peter O’Brian
  • The Statement (2003) – directed by Norman Jewison
  • White Knuckles (2004) – directed by Leo Scherman
  • Separate Lies (2005) – directed by Julian Fellowes
  • The Tragic Story of Nling (2006) – directed by Jeffrey St. Jules – short
  • Dance of Death (2010) – directed by Julian Van Mil – short
  • Bradfordian Rain (2010) – directed by Chris Green & Brendan Whelton – short