James Mason

Highest Rated: 100% Age of Consent (1969)
Lowest Rated: 22% Yellowbeard (1983)
Birthday: May 15, 1909
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,


Highest Rated Movies



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
88% Salem's Lot Richard Straker 1979
No Score Yet Sidney Sheldon's Bloodline Actor 1979
No Score Yet Sidney Sheldon's 'Bloodline' Sir Alec Nichols 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
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
85% The Last of Sheila Philip 1973
No Score Yet Child's Play Jerome Malley 1972
No Score Yet Hunt the Man Down (Bad Man's River) Actor 1971
No Score Yet Kill Alan 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 Producer Bradley Morahan 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
57% Lord Jim Gentleman Brown 1965
67% The Pumpkin Eater Bob Conway 1964
100% The Fall of the Roman Empire Timonides 1964
No Score Yet Hero's Island Jacob Webber/Blackbeard Producer 1962
95% Lolita Prof. Humbert Humbert 1962
No Score Yet Escape from Zahrain Johnson 1962
No Score Yet Tiara Tahiti Capt. Brett Almsley 1962
No Score Yet The Marriage-Go-Round Paul Delville 1961
86% Journey to the Center of the Earth Sir Oliver Lindenbrook 1959
No Score Yet A Touch of Larceny Cmdr. Max Easton 1959
99% 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
93% Bigger Than Life Ed Avery 1956
No Score Yet Forever, Darling The Guardian Angel 1956
97% 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 Troubled Waters John Merriman 1936
No Score Yet Late Extra Jim Martin 1935


No Score Yet Jesus of Nazareth
Joseph of Arimathea
  • 1977