Albert Finney was an English actor who had a prolific career in film, television, and stage. He was known for his versatile performances and his ability to inhabit a wide range of characters, from charming romantic leads to intense dramatic roles. 

Finney was nominated for five Academy Awards over the course of his career, and he won numerous other accolades, including BAFTA Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Throughout his career, Finney appeared in many notable films, including some that are considered classics of British and American cinema.

Best Albert Finney Movies

In this article, we will take a look at some of the best Albert Finney movies, highlighting his most memorable performances and most iconic roles.

1. Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

“Murder on the Orient Express” is a 1974 British mystery film directed by Sidney Lumet, based on the 1934 novel of the same name by Agatha Christie.

In the film, Finney plays the iconic detective Hercule Poirot, who is called upon to solve a murder that occurs aboard the luxurious Orient Express train. The star-studded cast also includes Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery, and Vanessa Redgrave.

Finney’s portrayal of Poirot is considered one of the most memorable and iconic interpretations of the character. He brings a unique blend of wit, intelligence, and eccentricity to the role, making Poirot a character that is both entertaining and compelling to watch.

The film itself was also a critical and commercial success, receiving six Academy Award nominations and winning one for Best Supporting Actress (Ingrid Bergman).

Murder on the Orient Express: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries, 10)
  • Christie, Agatha (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 03/29/2011 (Publication Date) - William Morrow Paperbacks (Publisher)

2. The Dresser (1983)

“The Dresser” is a 1983 British drama film directed by Peter Yates, based on the 1980 play of the same name by Ronald Harwood.

The film follows the relationship between an aging Shakespearean actor, played by Finney, and his devoted personal assistant, played by Tom Courtenay, as they prepare for a performance of “King Lear” during World War II.

Finney’s performance in “The Dresser” is widely regarded as one of the best of his career.

He brings a raw intensity to the role of the actor, known only as “Sir”, capturing both his talent and his vulnerability as he struggles to cope with the pressures of his profession and his failing health.

The film itself was also highly acclaimed, receiving five Academy Award nominations and winning two BAFTA Awards for Best Actor (Finney) and Best Supporting Actor (Courtenay).

The Dresser [DVD]
  • Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay, Edward Fox (Actors)
  • Peter Yates (Director) - Ronald Harwood (Producer)
  • English, Japanese (Subtitles)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

3. Under the Volcano (1984)

“Under the Volcano” is a 1984 drama film directed by John Huston, based on the 1947 novel of the same name by Malcolm Lowry. The film stars Finney as Geoffrey Firmin, a British ex-consul who is struggling with alcoholism in Mexico in the 1930s.

The story takes place over the course of a single day, as Firmin tries to come to terms with his past and his uncertain future.

Finney’s performance in “Under the Volcano” is widely regarded as one of his most powerful and complex. He portrays Firmin with a raw, almost painful honesty, capturing both his despair and his

moments of fleeting hope. The film itself is a masterful exploration of the human psyche, and it features some of Huston’s most innovative and striking directorial choices.

While the film was not a commercial success, it has since been recognized as a cinematic masterpiece, and Finney’s performance in particular is often cited as one of the highlights of his career.

Under the Volcano (The Criterion Collection) [DVD]
  • Albert Finney, Jacqueline Bisset, Anthony Andrews (Actors)
  • John Huston (Director) - Guy Gallo (Writer)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

4. Tom Jones (1963)

“Tom Jones” is a 1963 British comedy-drama film directed by Tony Richardson and based on the 1749 novel “The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling” by Henry Fielding.

Finney stars in the titular role of Tom Jones, a charming and roguish young man who navigates various romantic entanglements and social obstacles in 18th century England.

Finney’s performance in “Tom Jones” was his breakout role, and it earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. He brings a natural charisma and charm to the character of Tom Jones, making him a likable and

engaging protagonist despite his flaws. The film itself was also a critical and commercial success, winning four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

It is now considered a classic of British cinema and a milestone in Finney’s career.

5. Miller’s Crossing (1990)

“Miller’s Crossing” is a 1990 neo-noir crime film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. Finney stars as Leo O’Bannon, an Irish mob boss in 1920s Prohibition-era America who becomes embroiled in a complex web of double-crosses, betrayals, and power struggles.

Finney’s performance in “Miller’s Crossing” is widely regarded as one of his most underrated, as he brings a commanding presence and subtle nuance to the role of Leo. He portrays the character as a tough, shrewd


businessman with a deep sense of loyalty and honor, making him both a formidable opponent and a sympathetic figure. The film itself is also highly regarded for its stylish visuals, intricate plot, and witty dialogue, making it a standout entry in the Coen Brothers’ filmography.

Miller's Crossing
  • DVD
  • Special Edition, Closed-captioned, Color
  • English (Subtitled), Spanish (Subtitled), French (Dubbed)
  • 1
  • 115

6. Shoot the Moon (1982)

“Shoot the Moon” is a 1982 drama film directed by Alan Parker, starring Finney and Diane Keaton as a couple going through a bitter divorce. The film explores the emotional fallout of their separation on themselves and their four children.

Finney’s performance in “Shoot the Moon” is powerful and nuanced, as he portrays a man struggling to come to terms with the end of his marriage and

the impact it has on his family. He brings a raw vulnerability to the role, making it a difficult but ultimately rewarding watch. The film itself received mixed reviews upon release, but has since gained a cult following and is considered a hidden gem in Finney’s filmography.

Shoot the Moon
  • DVD
  • Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color
  • English (Subtitled), French (Subtitled), English (Original Language)
  • 1
  • 124

7. Erin Brockovich (2000)

“Erin Brockovich” is a 2000 biographical drama film directed by Steven Soderbergh, based on the true story of a single mother who becomes a legal assistant and helps to win a landmark lawsuit against a California power company.

Finney co-stars in the film as Ed Masry, the lawyer who initially hires Brockovich and who eventually joins her in the fight against the power company.

Finney’s performance in “Erin Brockovich” is understated but effective, as he brings a sense of gravitas and authority to the role of Masry. He has a strong chemistry

with Julia Roberts, who plays Brockovich, and their scenes together are some of the most memorable in the film. The film itself was a critical and commercial success, receiving five Academy Award nominations and winning one for Best Actress (Roberts).

Erin Brockovich
  • Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart (Actors)
  • Steven Soderbergh (Director) - Susannah Grant (Writer) - Danny DeVito (Producer)
  • English, French (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

8. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007)

“Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” is a 2007 crime thriller film directed by Sidney Lumet. Finney stars as Charles Hanson, a wealthy businessman whose family becomes embroiled in a dangerous heist planned by his two sons.

Finney’s performance in “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” is powerful and heartbreaking, as he portrays a man struggling to come to terms with his family’s betrayal and the devastating consequences of their actions.

He brings a quiet dignity and emotional depth to the role, making it one of the most memorable of his later career. The film itself was highly acclaimed for its intricate plot, strong performances, and Lumet’s masterful direction.

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
  • Condition: New
  • Format: DVD
  • AC-3; Color; Dolby; DVD; NTSC; Widescreen
  • Albert Finney, Marisa Tomei, Rosemary Harris (Actors)
  • Sidney Lumet (Director)

9. The Browning Version (1994)

“The Browning Version” is a 1994 British drama film directed by Mike Figgis, based on the 1948 play of the same name by Terence Rattigan.

Finney stars as Andrew Crocker-Harris, a classics teacher at a British public school who is forced to retire due to ill health and whose life unravels as a result.

Finney’s performance in “The Browning Version” is widely regarded as one of his most poignant and heartbreaking. He portrays Crocker-Harris as a man who has lost his passion for life and who is deeply wounded by the indifference of those around him.

The film itself is a quiet, introspective work that explores themes of regret, loss, and redemption, and it features some of Figgis’ most evocative and atmospheric cinematography.

The Browning Version [DVD]
  • Albert Finney, Greta Scacchi, Matthew Modine (Actors)
  • Mike Figgis (Director)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

10. Washington Square (1997)

“Washington Square” is a 1997 drama film directed by Agnieszka Holland, based on the 1880 novel “Washington Square” by Henry James.

Finney stars as Dr. Austin Sloper, a wealthy and domineering father who disapproves of his daughter’s suitor and tries to break up their relationship.

Finney’s performance in “Washington Square” is commanding and nuanced, as he portrays Sloper as a complex and flawed character with his own set of

insecurities and motivations. He brings a sense of gravity and intensity to the role, making it one of the standout performances in the film. The film itself received mixed reviews but is considered a faithful adaptation of James’ novel, and Finney’s performance is often cited as one of its strengths.

Buena Vista Home Video Washington Square
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh, Albert Finney, Maggie Smith (Actors)
  • Agnieszka Holland (Director) - Carol Doyle (Writer)
  • Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

3 Reasons To Watch Albert Finney Movies

His range as an actor: Albert Finney was known for his ability to inhabit a wide variety of characters, from charming romantic leads to complex villains to troubled and emotionally complex protagonists.

Watching his films allows you to see the full breadth of his talent and the many different roles he brought to life on the screen.

His contributions to film history: Finney was a major figure in British cinema and his performances helped shape the landscape of international cinema.

By watching his films, you can gain a greater appreciation for the history of film and the impact that actors like Finney had on the medium.

The quality of his work: Simply put, Albert Finney was a great actor who appeared in many great films throughout his career. By watching his movies, you can experience some of the best that cinema has to offer, from classic dramas to modern blockbusters.

Whether you’re a fan of his work or simply a lover of cinema, watching his films is a rewarding experience.

Best Albert Finney Movies – Wrap Up

In conclusion, Albert Finney was a versatile and talented actor who left a significant impact on the world of cinema.

From his early breakout role in “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning” to his memorable performances in “Murder on the Orient Express,” “The Dresser,” and “Big Fish,” Finney brought a unique energy and depth to every role he played.

His range as an actor, his contributions to film history, and the quality of his work make his movies a must-watch for fans of cinema.