James Robertson Justice - Rotten Tomatoes

James Robertson Justice

Highest Rated:   100% Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951)
Lowest Rated:   65% Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Lewisham, London, England, UK
Like the stalwart medieval castles that still dominate the hillsides of his childhood home in southwestern Scotland, James Robertson-Justice was imposing. His cavernous chest, his resonant voice, his full beard, and his stately bearing all suggested the regality of a mighty king. In fact, in the Sword and the Rose in 1953, Robertson-Justice portrayed the most lordly of British kings, Henry VIII, winning critical acclaim. Physically, he was the near mirror image of Henry as depicted in the 1538 portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger. More important, though, Robertson-Justice wore the mantle of Henry's personality, mimicking the king's authoritarian demeanor and legendary appetite for all things worldly. That he was at home in the role of Henry VIII was not surprising. Like the Tudor king,Robertson-Justice loved athletics, dancing, politics, and learning (he held two doctor's degrees: a Ph.D. and a doctorate in law). Moreover, he had mastered the royal sport of falconry, and even taught young Prince Charles the finer points of the ancient pastime. Official biographies say Robertson-Justice was born in the maritime community of Wigtown in the southernmost shire in Scotland. However, the town of Langholm, also in southern Scotland, proudly proclaims that he was actually born there in the Crown Hotel during an emergency stop when his mother was traveling. There is no argument, though, about when he was born: June 15, 1905. His education at Marborough College in England and Bonn University in Germany equipped him with the skills necessary to succeed in a variety of pursuits. Heeding one of Plato's ancient admonitions, he balanced mental activity with physical activity, becoming a netminder for the London Lions in the British Ice Hockey Association. After a skiing injury waylaid him, he refereed matches. Though he had the desire and talent to become an actor, he first pursued a career in Canada as a journalist, then fought in the Spanish Civil War and WWII. In 1944, he made his first film, Fiddlers Three, a fanciful comedy about time travelers in ancient Rome, where Robertson-Justice was a centurion. That stint was the first of many roles in films set in the distant past, including The Black Rose (1950), David and Bathsheba (1951), Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951), Les Misérables (1952), The Story of Robin Hood (1952), Rob Roy (1953), The Sword and the Rose (1953), Land of the Pharaohs (1955), and Moby Dick (1956). However, in spite of his ability to wield swords, wear crowns, and dodge cannonballs, his signature role -- the one that earned him a warm niche in the hearts of Britons everywhere -- was that of Sir Lancelot Spratt, a chief surgeon in the celebrated series of zany Doctor films. The first in the series, Doctor in the House, was Britain's biggest moneymaker in 1954. It was Spratt's job to rule unruly medical students with an appetite for women, money, and fast cars. Remarkably, while making five more Doctor films over the next 16 years, Robertson-Justice had the time and energy to serve as rector of the University of Edinburgh. He died in 1975 at King's Somborne, England.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Father Came Too!
  • Actor
2013
No Score Yet Seven Thunders (The Beasts of Marseilles)
  • Actor
2013
No Score Yet Doctor in Trouble
  • Sir Lancelot Spratt
1970
90% Spirits of the Dead
  • Countess' Advisor
1969
No Score Yet Zeta One (Alien Woman) (The Love Factor)
  • Major Bourdon
1969
65% Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • Lord Scrumptious
1968
No Score Yet Mayerling
  • Prince Of Wales
1968
No Score Yet À coeur joie (Two Weeks in September)
  • McClintock
1967
No Score Yet Doctor in Clover
  • Sir Lancelot Spratt
1966
No Score Yet The Face of Fu Manchu
  • Sir Charles Fortesque
1965
71% Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines
  • Narrator
1965
No Score Yet Doctor in Distress
  • Sir Lancelott Spratt
1963
No Score Yet Crooks Anonymous
  • Sir Harvey Russelrod
1963
No Score Yet Love on a Pillow
  • Katov, Sculptor
1962
No Score Yet Very Important Person
  • Sir Ernest Pease
1962
95% The Guns of Navarone
  • Jensen
1961
83% Murder She Said
  • Ackenthorpe
1961
No Score Yet Raising the Wind (Roommates)
  • Sir Benjamin
1961
No Score Yet Doctor in Love
  • Sir Lancelot Spratt
1960
No Score Yet Upstairs And Downstairs
  • Actor
1959
No Score Yet Orders to Kill
  • Naval Commander
1958
No Score Yet The Living Idol
  • Dr. Alfred Stoner
1957
No Score Yet Doctor at Large
  • Sir Lancelot Spratt
1957
No Score Yet The Iron Petticoat
  • Col. Sklarnoff
1957
No Score Yet Campbell's Kingdom
  • James MacDonald
1957
85% Moby Dick
  • Capt. Boomer
1956
No Score Yet Storm Over the Nile
  • Gen. Burroughs
1956
No Score Yet Checkpoint
  • Actor
1956
75% Land of the Pharaohs
  • Vashtar
1955
No Score Yet Out of the Clouds
  • Capt. Brent
1955
No Score Yet Above Us the Waves
  • Adm. Ryder
1955
No Score Yet Doctor At Sea
  • Captain Hogg
1955
No Score Yet Doctor in the House
  • Sir Lancelot
1955
No Score Yet An Alligator Named Daisy
  • Actor
1955
No Score Yet Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue
  • Duke Campbell, of Argyll
1953
No Score Yet Miss Robin Hood
  • McAllister
1953
No Score Yet The Sword and the Rose (When Knighthood Was in Flower)
  • King Henry VIII
1953
No Score Yet Les Miserables
  • Robert
1952
No Score Yet The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men
  • Little John
1952
No Score Yet The Lady Says No
  • Matthew Hatch
1952
No Score Yet Anne of the Indies
  • Red Dougal
1951
100% Captain Horatio Hornblower
  • Seaman Quist
1951
No Score Yet Pool of London
  • Trotter
1951
80% David and Bathsheba
  • Abishai
1951
No Score Yet The Magnet
  • Tramp
1950
No Score Yet The Black Rose
  • Simeon Beautrie
1950
No Score Yet Prelude to Fame
  • Sir Arthur Harold
1950
100% Whisky Galore!
  • Dr. MacLaren
1949
No Score Yet Christopher Columbus
  • Martin Pinzon
1949
No Score Yet Scott of the Antarctic
  • P.O. Taff Evans
1949
No Score Yet Quartet
  • Branksome
1949
No Score Yet Against the Wind
  • Ackerman
1948
No Score Yet Vice Versa
  • Dr. Grimstone
1947
No Score Yet Fiddlers Three
  • Centurion
1944
No Score Yet For Those in Peril
  • Operations Room Officer
1944
No Score Yet Champagne Charlie
  • Patron
1944

Quotes from James Robertson Justice's Characters

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