By Grabthar’s Hammer, my top five favorite Alan Rickman movies


I had every intention of writing a post today about Shakespeare, but with the sad news of the passing of Alan Rickman, I thought I’d pay tribute to him instead. I cannot but help admire the man . He was one of those rare actors that made the craft look easy, yet there was always depth to what he did. Because of his voice and his subtle mannerisms, it was always hard to take my eyes off him when he was on screen. What can I say about the man who transitioned from the villainous Snape to the comically depressed Marvin the robot with such ease and grace? He will be missed & we shan’t see his like again.

Here are my top five favorite Alan Rickman’s movies in descending order:

Galaxy quest Dr. Lazarus

I didn’t get a chance to see Galaxy Quest on the big screen, in fact I don’t remember how I even found the movie. But I do remember it was one of my son’s favorite movies. The movie was released in 1999, which would’ve made my son four years old. This is the age in which children can sit and watch a movie over and over again. My son was no different; I cannot count how many times I’ve seen this movie or heard it as background noise. But it never got old. Ironically Rickman played an actor who was sick of being typecast and had little use for his fans.

Rickman could have easily played the role as an insufferable jerk, but instead you felt for him and understood his dislike of the box he found himself in. Though Galaxy Quest was a silly comedy, Rickman was able to induce pathos into his character. You couldn’t help but be moved when Dr. Lazarus finally found his humanity when he embraced his alien counterpart. By Grabthar’s Hammer you will be missed!

Die Hard Hans Gruber

I don’t usually pay attention to villains in movies; I find them one-dimensional and flat. But there was something about Gruber that mesmerized me. Was it is voice, his face, His mannerisms? It was all that and more. In the hands of Rickman, Gruber came to life; I believed him to be evil and I believed every damn word he said. To be honest I thought he was the best thing about that movie.

Sense and sensibility   Col. Brandon

Ahh, here’s a secret about me. Normally I dislike l what we term “chick flicks”. I find them to be stale and wholly on believable, yet turn on Sense and Sensibility and I’m quiet for two hours (okay, I don’t cry quietly). There is nothing about this movie I don’t love. It’s the movie that made me fall in love with Alan Rickman. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that the movie came out about the same time I finally learned that it was better to fall in love with nice guys, and what better nice guy than Col. Brandon? Once again Rickman found himself playing a role that in any other hands could have been portrayed  flat and one-dimensional yet we can all agree Brandon’s smile at his wedding put a smile on our faces. We the audience felt for him and were happy for him.

Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy Marvin the depressed robot

I really, really wanted to love this film, but I also knew that it was going to disappoint me. I don’t think any director could have successfully pulled off adapting Adams’ wildly popular book into a movie to everyone’s satisfaction, but I think Garth Jennings really screwed it up for everyone. The only two things that make this movie worth watching are Martin Freeman and Alan Rickman. Rickman’s voice was perfect for the role of a depressed higher intelligent being. He was so good that now, anytime a robot of any mental state opens it’s mouth and speaks, I’m disappointed to hear it’s not Rickman. Whenever I find myself thinking or saying depressing thoughts I hear Rickman’s voice and it makes me giggle and my negative thoughts float away. Thank you sir for that gift.

Harry Potter Prof. Snape

I’m not sure I have the words to express just how perfectly Rickman embodied this role. It’s hard to believe Rowling didn’t write this character with Rickman in mind. It’s never easy to take up the challenge of bringing a much beloved (okay, loved to be hated) and popular book character to life, yet Rickman became Snape and quickly made us realize there is no one else on the earth that could have pulled this off. Why Rickman never won an Oscar for this role I’ll never understand. Shame on the Academy for not recognizing Rickman’s genius performance of Snape.

Thank you Mr. Rickman for all the wonderful role you have played and the countless gifts of entertainment. Your star shone bright and sadly went out far to quickly. I can only hope you are now at peace. As for me, like many of your fans, I will spend the day not mourning but celebrating your body of work. Well done sir, well done. Metatron, your work is now complete.

Author: sarij

I'm a writer, lifelong bibliophile ,and researcher. I hold a Bachelors in Humanities & History and a Master's in Humanities. When I'm not reading or talking about Shakespeare or history, you can usually find me in the garden discussing science or politics with my cat.

6 thoughts on “By Grabthar’s Hammer, my top five favorite Alan Rickman movies”

  1. He was a superlative film actor, and one that will be utterly missed. Extraordinarily, I’ve actually seen all the films you reference, and they’re great choices, but there are two more I’d like to add. ‘Love Actually’ has his and Emma Thompson’s middle aged couple characters become estranged, and I must admit the painful-to-watch breakdown extracted some water from my eyes.

    The other film I must mention is the one that first drew my attention to him: ‘Truly, Madly, Deeply’. This Brit film suffered from sharing similar themes to ‘Ghost’, which came out about the same time, but I found this a much more moving experience.

    Oh, and wasn’t he the Sheriff of Nottingham in ‘Prince of Thieves’, as menacing as he was in ‘Die Hard’? A phenomenal player, mesmerising and sadly no longer with us.


    1. I must admit I have not seen the two you mentioned. Having little use for any movie with the word “love” in its title, I missed these. The more I read about TMD, the more I want to see it. Unfortunately for late comers like myself, the movie is nowhere to be found on the internet (for streaming) and with its $70.00 Amazon price tag, I am afraid I may never see it.
      As for Robin Hood, I found no redeeming features in that dog of a film. This is the one movie that I can honestly say, even Rickman’s performance annoyed me. But maybe this is to his credit, as I have to admit, after watching him, I felt the need for a hot shower. He was truly creepy and disgusting.

      I watched a few of his movies yesterday as a celebration of his body of work, but when my son asked why I didn’t watch the Potter series, I said I wasn’t ready for that yet. I’d just cry. I agree, he will be missed because of his amazing talent to move us.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Shame about TMD, it’s a touching little BBC-made movie which I think you’d appreciate. Richard Curtis’s ‘Love Actually’ is much slighter and cheesier, along the lines of his other romcoms like ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ and ‘Notting Hill’ but the Thompson-Rickman strand has a degree of poignancy. As for the Kevin Costner vehicle, I’ve only ever seen the last half hour and that was enough!


  2. Hi there.

    How are you? Been on a little bit of a break from blogging but Merry merry and happy new year!

    As for Rickman, may he rest in peace. I don’t know his work well, but the first time I saw him on screen I remember thinking there was something captivating about him. And each time, I saw him after that, I would reeeeaaally TUNE in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey! Nice to hear from you. Hope all is well and that your break meant you were out doing things. Happy New Year to you as well. Yes, Rickman did have a way of capturing our attention. I do hope you get a chance to see some of his better movies. All are such treats.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi there!

        I was and am lol. Lots of life changes.

        Just lots!

        Thank-you for the New Years wish and I will definitely be taking in some of his work. He was electric on screen. RIP.


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