Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Top Ten: Princes in Cinema

tues top ten: for the listmaker in me and the listlover in you

With the release of Prince Caspian right around the corner, I thought we'd take a look at some other royal boyz 2 men in the movies...

Top 10 Princes

10 "Prince Hector" (Eric Bana) in Troy
Straddling the abyss that opened between Brad Pitt's worst performance and Orlando Bloom's least sympathetic role, Eric Bana's massive thighs, chest and biceps performance emerged as this misguided 2004 film's only selling point and a breakthrough for him as a rising star. It remains one of the only times in this history of cinema where another male actor has managed to rip my eyes away from Brad Pitt. (Brad played all the roles in Fight Club, Sleepers, Legends of the Fall and Interview with the Vampire, right?)

09 "Prince Eric" in The Little Mermaid
He wasn't just tall, dark and handsome but he was so sweet and sensitive that you knew that Ariel needn't have given up her voice at all to be with him. True maybe she did. The film's sexual politics were all over the place but their love was true and came through in the line drawings and vocals and made that happily ever after plausible. You sure wanted him to "Kiss the Girl" [plentiful Little Mermaid posts. My apologies to the Disney averse]

08 "Charlie Princ(ess)" (Ben Foster) 3:10 to Yuma
Because he practically made the movie worth watching all by his lonesome. Free advice to all supporting actors in sleepy films: strut through the movie like you own it and you will. [Drawing to your right by Joanna. See prev post for more thoughts on this film]

07 Satan in South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut
Because the Prince of Darkness as Saddam Hussein's bitch is an appropriately irreverent, immature and inspired conceit. Satan himself would probably LHFAO.

06 Prince Karl (Edmund Purdom w/ the voice of Mario Lanzo) in The Student Prince
Because he starred in the first movie musical I ever saw at the Redford Theater where I fell in love with old movies as a kid. Sentimental value, you know. I still try to go there to catch something whenever I'm in Detroit.

Prince Edward (James Marsden) in Enchanted
Few things last year made me happier than Marsden's send up of Prince Charming. From the fist biting to the bravado and bombastic enthusiasm. I heart Edward.

"116th and Broadway!!!"

04 "The Little Prince" in The Little Prince
Not so much for his cinematic outings per se but just for his existence and his profound and simple wisdom. I love Antoine de Saint Exupéry's classic so much that I've read it in three languages.

03 Prince Phillip in Sleeping Beauty
Hands down the best of all the fairy tale princes. He's a fuller character than most of them (who essentially have to be only square jawed marriage-material for the princesses). He's the actual hero of his film, too --a brave heroic dragon slayer. He looks great on a horse, giving the kiss of true love, flirting with a maiden in the forest, or bound and gagged by an evil pissed-off sorceress. In short: he's even hotter than David Beckham who played him in the Disney Dreams photo series [pictured, left] and just as believable as an underwear model.

02 Prince (Prince) in Purple Rain
I know, I know. He goes by "The Kid" here but His Purple Majesty has only ever played himself, don't you agree? And for that we're grateful. But mostly we're just grateful for the CD which we still listen to 24 years later whenever the mood strikes. Soundtracks don't come with better tracks than: Let's Go Crazy, The Beautiful Ones, Darling Nikki, Wednesday, Purple Rain, I Would Die 4 U, Baby I'm a Star, Father's Song and When Doves Cry. They just don't. If you ask us, Purple Rain was the true Thriller of the 80s.

01 "Hamlet" (most actors in the known universe) in Hamlet
Like The Little Prince, he can lounge in the throne room of this list, not for any particular outing but for his longevity, his indecisiveness (Hot. Well, not really... but relatable!) and Sybil-like quality: how can you not love a character big enough to morph into Mel Gibson, Laurence Olivier, Asta Nielsen, Richard Burton, Kenneth Branagh, Maximillian Schell, Kevin Kline, Campbell Scott, Ethan Hawke and beyond?

I'm sure you'll tell me who I've forgotten. Perhaps I'll be thrown into the stocks for this sin of omission.


Glenn said...


"Purple Rain" is my favourite album of all time (although sometimes it's a tie with Springsteen's Born in the USA). I even have a framed vinyl copy hanging on my wall!

Neel Mehta said...

No complaints about this list... yet. But any chance it gets altered later this year to include Alan Rickman?

Michael Parsons said...

Surely no one is hotter than David Beckham????!!

par3182 said...

you forgot cinema's most popular prince - the prince of darkness

Ali Arikan said...

Best thing about Last Action Hero? The taglines for the movie-within-a-movie version of Hamlet, starring Arnie:

"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, and Hamlet is taking out the trash."

"No one is going to tell this sweet prince good night."

Anonymous said...

Prince Humperdinck was fabulously evil in The Princess Bride. He engineered the kidnapping of his 'beloved' betrothed Buttercup in order to start a war with the neighboring country. He had some great lines too.

Anonymous said...

Your love for Sleeping Beauty makes me happy. I watched it over and over as a kid and in middle school even made my parents take me to the mall to buy the newly-released widescreen version on VHS. I'm glad to have some validation that it is in fact Disney's best, box office be damned.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see Prince Philip close to the top there! Sleeping Beauty has got to be the BEST Disney movie EVER!!! I've been crazy about since I was a kid... have taken any opportunity to see it, see it as a play or catch Tchaikovsky's ballet...

Other than the story/characters... the gorgeousness of those luscious backdrops! So very renaissance!

My only problem is that whenever Princess Aurora gets portrayed anywhere... they have her in the pink dress! I'm with Merryweather: BLUE!!! :p

Anonymous said...

How about Treat Williams as Prince of the City, or Tony Curtis as The Prince who was a Thief?


crazycris... i'm totally with you on BLUE.

peter --young Treat? mmmmmmm (good idea)

dusty --it's totally my favorite. I talk about The Little Mermaid a lot but Sleeping Beauty is tops for me. You'll see it way up there in the personal canon.

Kat --i totally forgot about him. Honestly i'm all about Wesley and Inigo Montaya if i'm about that movie at all. and I'm not... or not in the way 90% of the population is ;)

ali -hilarious.

Julienne said...

I watch Troy every time it's shown just to see Hector

die again and again. =(

I found this article, I don't know if u've read it already, but it's really funny

How well do we really know movie princes?


that's a fun article. i hadn't read it. I love the bits on the ten commandments.

Michael B. said...

Prince Ali in Aladdin!

But I'm glad to see Marsden on the list. He is becoming one of those underrated actors who will get one (lead) part and blow everyone out of the water one day.

Cinesnatch said...

perhaps you won't be thrown in the stocks, but bequethed a shiny new sword for forgetting ... Keanu Reeves ...

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