James Mason - Rotten Tomatoes

James Mason

Highest Rated:   100% Age of Consent (1969)
Lowest Rated:   22% Yellowbeard (1983)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England, UK
Lending his mellifluous voice and regal mien to more than 100 films, British actor James Mason built a long career playing assorted villains, military men, and rather dubious romantic leads. Born the son of a wool merchant in the British mill town of Huddersfield, Mason excelled in school and earned a degree in architecture from Cambridge in 1931. Having acted in several school plays, however, he thought he had a better shot at earning a living as an actor rather than an architect during the Great Depression. Mason won his first professional role in The Rascal and made his debut in London's West End theater world in 1933 with Gallows Glorious. A year after he joined London's Old Vic theater, he made his screen debut in Late Extra in 1935. Mason became a regular British screen presence in late '30s "quota quickies," including The High Command (1937). The actor made a career and personal breakthrough, however, with I Met a Murderer (1939). Along with co-writing, co-producing, and starring in the film, he also wound up marrying his leading lady, Pamela Kellino, in 1940. Mason became Britain's biggest screen star a few years later with his performance as the sadistic title character in the Gainsborough Studios melodrama The Man in Grey (1943). He cemented his fame as the cruel romantic leads women loved in the critically weak, but highly popular, Gainsborough costume dramas Fanny by Gaslight (1944) and The Wicked Lady (1945), finally achieving international stardom for his charismatic performance as Ann Todd's cane-wielding mentor in the well-received The Seventh Veil (1946). Rather than immediately going to Hollywood, however, Mason remained in England. Revealing that he could be more than just brutal leading men in weepy potboilers, he added an artistic as well as popular triumph to his credits with Carol Reed's Odd Man Out (1947). Starring Mason as a doomed IRA leader hunted by the police, Odd Man Out garnered international raves, and he often cited it as his favorite among his many films.After co-starring in the British drama The Upturned Glass (1947), the Masons headed to Hollywood in 1947. Spurning a long-term studio contract, Mason became one of Hollywood's busiest free agents. Anxious not to be typecast, he bucked his image as the irresistible sadist by playing trapped wife Barbara Bel Geddes' kind boss in Max Ophüls' Caught and appearing as Gustave Flaubert in Vincente Minnelli's version of Madame Bovary (both 1949). Mason returned to roguish form (albeit tempered by sympathy) with his second Ophüls film, The Reckless Moment. Along with two superb turns as wily, disillusioned German Field Marshal Rommel in The Desert Fox (1951) and The Desert Rats (1953), Mason also engaged in a glorious Technicolor romance with Ava Gardner in Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951) and played the villain in the swashbuckler The Prisoner of Zenda (1952). Calling on his suave intelligence, Mason starred as cool butler-turned-spy Cicero in what he considered his best Hollywood film, the espionage thriller 5 Fingers (1952). The actor played the treasonous Brutus in the director's excellent Shakespeare-adaptation Julius Caesar in 1953.Mason stepped behind the camera as director for the first and only time with the subsequent short film The Child (1954), featuring his wife and daughter Portland Mason. Returning to Hollywood acting, Mason garnered numerous accolades for George Cukor's lavish 1954 remake of A Star Is Born. 1954 proved to be a banner year for the actor, as his artistic triumph in A Star Is Born was accompanied by the popular screen version of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), featuring Mason as megalomaniac submarine skipper Captain Nemo. Bolstered by these successes, he used his clout to produce and star in Nicholas Ray's groundbreaking family drama Bigger Than Life (1956). Bigger Than Life was one of the first Hollywood movies to examine prescription drug abuse, but proved box-office poison. Soured on producing,

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
86% Australia's Lost Gold (Lasseter's Bones)
  • Actor
2016
No Score Yet 3:33 AM: The Witching Hour
  • Bob Buegere
2015
No Score Yet Hatter's Castle (A.J. Cronin's Hatter's Castle)
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet People of the Wind
  • Narrator
1998
No Score Yet Cold Sweat (De la part des copains)
  • Actor
1997
No Score Yet The Assisi Underground
  • Bishop Nicolini
1985
No Score Yet The Shooting Party
  • Sir Randolph Nettleby
1985
No Score Yet George Washington
  • Braddock
1984
22% Yellowbeard
  • Capt. Hughes
1983
No Score Yet Unknown Chaplin
  • Actor
1983
96% The Verdict
  • Ed Concannon
1982
86% Evil Under the Sun
  • Odell Gardener
1982
No Score Yet Ivanhoe
  • Isaac of York
1982
No Score Yet Dangerous Summer
  • George Engels
1982
33% North Sea Hijack (ffolkes) (Assault Force)
  • Admiral Sir Francis Brindsen
1980
85% Salem's Lot
  • Richard Straker
1979
No Score Yet Sidney Sheldon's 'Bloodline'
  • Sir Alec Nichols
1979
No Score Yet Sidney Sheldon's Bloodline
  • Actor
1979
No Score Yet The Passage
  • Prof. John Bergson
1979
88% Murder by Decree
  • Dr. John H. Watson
1979
No Score Yet The Water Babies
  • Mr. Grimes / Voice of Killer Shark
1978
70% The Boys from Brazil
  • Eduard Seibert
1978
89% Heaven Can Wait
  • Mr. Jordan
1978
No Score Yet Homage to Chagall: The Colours of Love
  • Narrator
1977
80% Cross of Iron
  • Oberst (Col.) Brandt
1977
No Score Yet Jesus of Nazareth
  • Joseph of Arimathea
1977
89% Voyage of the Damned
  • Remos
1976
No Score Yet Origins of the Mafia
  • Actor
1976
No Score Yet Street War
  • Actor
1976
No Score Yet Gente di rispetto (The Flower in His Mouth)
  • Actor
1975
No Score Yet Inside Out (The Golden Heist) (Hitler's Gold)
  • Ernst Furben
1975
No Score Yet Autobiography of a Princess
  • Cyril Sahib
1975
31% Mandingo
  • Maxwell
1975
No Score Yet Kidnap Syndicate (La città sconvolta: caccia spietata ai rapitori)
  • Actor
1975
No Score Yet The Marseille Contract (The Destructors)
  • Jacques Brizard
1974
No Score Yet Great Expectations
  • Abel Magwitch
1974
No Score Yet 11 Harrowhouse
  • Watts
1974
No Score Yet Bad Man's River
  • Montero
1974
No Score Yet Frankenstein: The True Story
  • Dr. Polidori
1973
56% The MacKintosh Man
  • Sir George Wheeler
1973
92% The Last of Sheila
  • Philip
1973
No Score Yet Child's Play
  • Jerome Malley
1972
No Score Yet Kill
  • Alan
1971
No Score Yet Hunt the Man Down (Bad Man's River)
  • Actor
1971
No Score Yet The Yin and Yang of Mr. Go
  • Mr. Go
1971
No Score Yet Cold Sweat
  • Captain Ross
1970
No Score Yet The London Nobody Knows
  • Guide/Narrator
1969
100% Age of Consent
  • Bradley Morahan
  • Producer
1969
No Score Yet Mayerling
  • Emperor Franz Josef
1968
No Score Yet Duffy
  • Charles Calvert
1968
No Score Yet The Sea Gull
  • Trigorin
1968
No Score Yet Cop-Out
  • John Sawyer
1967
90% Georgy Girl
  • James Leamington
1966
No Score Yet The Deadly Affair
  • Charles Dobbs
1966
No Score Yet The Blue Max
  • Count von Klugerman
1966
No Score Yet Genghis Khan
  • Kam Ling)
1965
54% Lord Jim
  • Gentleman Brown
1965
64% The Pumpkin Eater
  • Bob Conway
1964
100% The Fall of the Roman Empire
  • Timonides
1964
No Score Yet Hero's Island
  • Producer
  • Jacob Webber/Blackbeard
1962
95% Lolita
  • Prof. Humbert Humbert
1962
No Score Yet Escape from Zahrain
  • Johnson
1962
No Score Yet Tiara Tahiti
  • Capt. Brett Almsley
1962
86% Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • Sir Oliver Lindenbrook
1959
No Score Yet A Touch of Larceny
  • Cmdr. Max Easton
1959
100% North by Northwest
  • James Vandamm
1959
No Score Yet The Decks Ran Red
  • Capt. Edwin Rummill
1958
No Score Yet Cry Terror!
  • Jim Molner
1958
No Score Yet Island in the Sun
  • Maxwell Fleury
1957
92% Bigger Than Life
  • Ed Avery
1956
No Score Yet Forever, Darling
  • The Guardian Angel
1956
96% A Star Is Born
  • Norman Maine
1954
No Score Yet Prince Valiant
  • Sir Brack
1954
89% 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
  • Captain Nemo
1954
No Score Yet The Tell-Tale Heart
  • Narrator
1953
No Score Yet The Man Between
  • Ivo Kern
1953
No Score Yet Botany Bay
  • Capt. Paul Gilbert
1953
95% Julius Caesar
  • Brutus
1953
No Score Yet Charade
  • The Murderer / Maj. Linden / Jonah Watson
  • Producer
1953
80% The Desert Rats
  • Field Marshal Erwin von Rommel
1953
No Score Yet The Story of Three Loves
  • Charles Coudray
1953
No Score Yet The Prisoner of Zenda
  • Rupert of Hentzau
1952
100% 5 Fingers
  • Ulysses Diello
1952
71% The Desert Fox
  • Erwin Rommel
1951
86% Pandora and the Flying Dutchman
  • Hendrik van der Zee
1951
No Score Yet One Way Street
  • Dr. Frank Matson
1950
No Score Yet East Side, West Side
  • Brandon Bourne
1949
No Score Yet Madame Bovary
  • Gustave Flaubert
1949
100% Caught
  • Larry Quinada
1949
No Score Yet The Reckless Moment
  • Martin Donnelly
1949
100% Odd Man Out
  • Johnny McQueen
1947
No Score Yet The Upturned Glass
  • Michael Joyce
1947
No Score Yet Hotel Reserve
  • Peter Vadassy
1946
No Score Yet The Seventh Veil
  • Nicholas
1945
No Score Yet The Man in Grey
  • Marquis of Rohan
1945
29% The Wicked Lady
  • Capt. Jerry Jackson
1945
No Score Yet They Were Sisters
  • Geoffrey
1945
No Score Yet A Place of One's Own
  • Mr. Smedhurst
1945
No Score Yet Fanny by Gaslight (Man of Evil)
  • Lord Manderstoke
1945
No Score Yet Candlelight in Algeria
  • Alan Thurston
1944
No Score Yet They Met in the Dark
  • Richard Francis Heritage
1943
No Score Yet The Bells Go Down
  • Ted Robbins
1943
No Score Yet Thunder Rock
  • Streeter
1942
No Score Yet Secret Mission
  • Raoul de Carnot
1942
No Score Yet The Night Has Eyes
  • Stephen Deremid
1942
No Score Yet I Met a Murderer
  • Mark Warrow
1939
No Score Yet The High Command
  • Capt. Heverell
1938
No Score Yet Return Of The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • Actor
1938
No Score Yet Fire Over England
  • Hillary Vane
1937
No Score Yet Mill on the Floss
  • Tom Tulliver
1937
No Score Yet The Plainsman
  • Actor
1936
No Score Yet Troubled Waters
  • John Merriman
1936
No Score Yet Late Extra
  • Jim Martin
1935

Quotes from James Mason's Characters