Five Favourite Films with Renny Harlin

The 12 Rounds star picks his list.

Renny Harlin

Rosemary's Baby

Rosemary's Baby

"I would say that one of the most profound memories was when my mother - who was film fanatic and loved thrillers - took me to see Rosemary's Baby when I was nine years old. The film had a huge impact on me and, of course, scared the shit out me! I certainly wouldn't take my 10-year-old to see Rosemary's Baby.

"It is a masterpiece in terms of the way it uses the language of movies and it directed me towards Hitchcock and that kind of visual storytelling, and thrillers in general - or maybe more psychological thrillers. So that was my first and most memorable movie. It was the psychological fear and oddness, the oddness of the characters; I remember I didn't even understand it all when I first saw it. Visually there were so many things that I hadn't seen before that have stayed with me. "

Click on a thumbnail below.
Rosemary's Baby
Rosemary's Baby
They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
They Shoot Horses
Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now
Lawrence of Arabia
Lawrence of Arabia
Cinema Paradiso
Cinema Paradiso


Don't Tase Me Bro

Don't Tase Me Bro

Not bad choice in films. Pity he's thoroughly incapable of emulating any of them.

May 29 - 11:47 AM

Michael M.

Michael McKinlay

Good films all and not bad influences to consider either.

May 31 - 04:22 PM

Nine Oh Two

joe schmoe

Is it just me or does every director cite Cinema Paradiso as a major influence on their work.

My favorite is PTA(that pool scene in boogie nights was taken straight from paradiso)

May 31 - 04:38 PM

inactive user

Jared King

I liked "Die Hard 2", and, and...he stinks. Nice list.

May 31 - 04:38 PM

steve s.

steve smith

finally, a director who does not list a bunch of art house ****. it is almost official ......apocolypse now and lawrence of arabia are the worlds' top two favorites.

May 31 - 04:57 PM


Greg Guro

I'm happy he went in depth enough to mention he liked the theatrical cut of Apocalypse Now.

Definately a well done well thought of list.

And, as awful as his films are, I think he's still married to Geena Davis. She totally rocks. Genius I.Q., Hot, and an olympic class bow shooter.

May 31 - 05:11 PM

Bob S.

Bob Saccomano

Huh. For a guy who makes such terrible movies, his favorites are not bad at all.

May 31 - 05:15 PM


Big Brother

Good list, I'm one of those weirdo's who likes the cinematic releases of both Apocalypse Now and Blade Runner over their more popular directors cuts (The Unicorn did nothing for me and I love Harrison Fords voiceovers). Honestly with this guy even his most notorious flops i.e. Cutthroat Island and The Covenant I didn't loath. Don't get me wrong I don't think they should have won Academy Awards or anything, but occasionally when I see them on TBS or HBO I stop and watch which isn't something I can say for other directors who have more well deserved reputations like Uwe Boll to name the most obvious example.

May 31 - 06:21 PM

steve s.

steve smith

he is married to geena davis? he must have game. rough life

May 31 - 06:35 PM


Infernal Dude

They're not married anymore.

Renny Harlin. What a waste. He showed so much potential in Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger. The Long Kiss Goodnight was a guilty pleasure as well. He had the potential to be the next great action director a la Richard Donner or John McTiernan. But he wasted it on the colossal failure that was Cutthroat Island. Everything since has been pretty bad.

OK list, though.

May 31 - 08:15 PM

Nine Oh Two

joe schmoe

Am I the only one here who thought Long Kiss was awesome? It reminded me of The Last Boy Scout or Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. An action movie w/ clever dialogue. Still waiting for the sequel(fingers crossed)

May 31 - 08:27 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Interesting selection, even though the only influence in the bunch is Apocalypse now considering that his most successful movies he's made are action oriented. And as a action movie fan, to me his best movie is Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger coming in a close second. Long Kiss Goodnight, Cutthroat Island is good as well Driven.

May 31 - 09:34 PM


Craig Mottram

Long Kiss Goodnight is a very cool film, one of my favourites. Die Hard 2 is ok. I'm suprised he even directed them since most Finns seem to be off their head on drink most of the time (and yes I've been to Finland several times :-)

Jun 1 - 04:25 AM


Martin Errington

Imagine how different his career would have been had he made his version of Alien 3?

Jun 1 - 07:19 AM

High School With Money


Will there ever be an auteur who'll champion the likes of Ghoulies, Stop or My Mom Will Shoot, Dolemite, Glen/Glenda, and The Maxtrix Reloaded? One can only dream of reading how those can be excused as faves.

Jun 1 - 09:21 AM

Funkmaster Flex

Phillip Martin

I'm sure within the next decade someone will come along and list The Matrix, Alien, The Shawshank Redemption or several other more contemporary movies because that will be what they grew up on. I'm sure their choices will get derided by poeple that bemoan the fact they never saw the movies that originally influenced those to begin with. I don't care what movie someone sees that sparks their interest in film, as long as they make some good contributions in return. Also, why does everyone hate Cutthroat Island? I know it was a flop, but if they released it today it would be a moderate success. It'll never win any award, nor should it, but it's still kinda fun.

Jun 1 - 01:46 PM


dethburger hates Flixster

I site deep blue sea as a guilty pleasure.

good list

Jun 1 - 08:17 PM


Colin Hay

I like Long Kiss Goodnight too; really fun movie, if a bit awkward at times.

I've always kind of liked Harlin. Like many action movie directors, he's not exactly a genius, and as such the fate of his movies often rest on the strength of the cast and writing, but when the right pieces are in place he does a good job, and that's all I ask. I quite like Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Deep Blue Sea, and even Cutthroat Island, to a degree (though it had WAY too many enormous explosions and bombastic chase scenes to really get into as a 'pirate movie'; it felt more like a modern day action film with all the characters dressed as pirates). But those movies had likeable and charismatic casts helping them out. Bruce Willis, Sly Stallone, Sam Jackson, Geena Davis and Tom Jane can do a lot for a movie. Since the financial debacle that was Cutthroat Island, he just hasn't had any help. The best he could manage was a sorely out-of-place Stallone in Driven and a past-their-prime Val Kilmer and Christian Slater in Mindhunters. And no writing help in anything. It's too bad, really.

Jun 1 - 08:42 PM


First Last

'Foreign films'. Hmmm.
What is he, an American ?

Oct 16 - 05:42 AM

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