William John “Liam” Neeson was born in Northern Ireland, Ballymena as the third child of Katherine and Barnard Neeson. After completing high school Neeson went the Belfast Queen’s University, where he studied physics and computer science, but he was so bored of learning by rote, so he just went to work.
He was a forklift operator in the Guinness brewery, and soon he became a driver. He has been interested in acting already at that time, so in a few years, he became a member of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. He was charged with serious tasks in the theater, such as the oaf Lennie’s role in John Steinbeck’s drama, Of Mice and Men. In 1986, he was visiting an agent in California and due to his intercession he became one of the rebels in the Bounty. In Lamb he could play his first major role as well.
He married Natasha Richardson on July 3, 1994. They have two children, Micheál Richard Antonio was born on June 22, 1995, Jack Daniel on August 28, 1996. His wife died on March 18, 2009, in a skiing accident. Neeson received the British Empire Medal from Queen Elizabeth II. in 1999. In March 2011, Liam was appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
A major breakthrough happened in 1990 for Neeson when he formed the main character of Darkman directed by Sam Raimi which became a high success. Nevertheless, Liam still chose the stage and made his debut on Broadway in Eugene O’Neill’s piece entitled Anna Christie. The other big change in the career of Liam is due to Steven Spielberg, whose wife’s intervened in order to get the role of Oskar Schindler, in the film epic Schindler’s List (1993).
Spielberg initially tried to convince Neeson of gaining weight, but he failed. In spite of this slender actor produced a great performance and the Oscar awards just came. Liam suddenly became a celebrity and the next role was not long in coming, he performed in a romantic film adapted from Walter Scott’s classic novel, Rob Roy, of course within the title role.
Then again, he played the role of a famous Irish patriot Michael Collins, who was the leader of the Irish Republican Army. In 1999, Hollywood began to spread rumors that George Lucas is looking for new actors in his film Star Wars, Neeson immediately became enthusiastic and his efforts were not in vain as he received the role of Qui-Gon Jinn, besides Ewan McGregor as a partner.
However, the Phantom Menace provoked mixed echoes, but audiences and critics alike acknowledged Neeson excellent performance. In 2004, he found a common voice with director Bill Condon and Neeson performed the sexologist, Alfred Kinsey. Neeson also accepted the invitation of Christopher Nolan to play in the comic book film Batman Begins , where he received the role of Henry Ducard.
More recently he plans to make a film with Steven Spielberg again about the life of Abraham Lincoln. Let’s now investigate the top six movies of this Irish tough guy:
6. Darkman (Sam Raimi, 1990)
This Sam Raimi movie will cause lasting memories. It is more than a simple comic book movie, the actors are producing great performances. We are nor disappointed here in Liam’s play. The story is about city criminals, who may never find a safe place to be. Someone is always behind them and wants to hunt them.
Moreover, this person is the master of camouflage, once putting on the face of their boss, while other times he appears in the guise of their peers. This mysterious chameleon always finishes his victims off in a brutal way. Everyone is just guessing who this enigmatic serial killer may be, whose intentions are far from clear and who is deservedly dreadful.
5. Michael Collins (Neil Jordan, 1996)
English history is interesting. Neil Jordan directed a very strong cinema, establishing a worthy memorial to the events of history. The role of Collins was invented for Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman’s performance was valuable too. The Irish already fought for their independence since 700 years, when the tragic Easter uprising broke out in 1916.
The leaders were executed, many participants -including Michael Collins and Harry Boland- were imprisoned. After their release, Michael Collins organized the Irish Volunteers, who were fighting with particular tactics and soon became the most popular leader of the movement.
4. Excalibur (John Boorman, 1981)
This is certainly one of the best Arthurian adaptations, if not the best. It is hard to get bored with it, it is worth to watch several times. It’s magical atmosphere and soundtrack (with Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and Richard Wagner’s Siegfried’s Funeral March) raises us in divine spheres. Neeson only plays and episode role, but his performance is certainly memorable.
The poor boy obtains the throne of the country with the help of Merlin, the wizard. In fact, he’s the only one who can pull Excalibur – the sword symbolizing power – from the rock. He establishes the order of the round table, whose mission is to eliminate the chaos in the country and to continually do good. Arthur marries the beautiful Guinerva, but due to his fate, he has to share the heart of the lady with his best knight, Sir Lancelot.
3. Rob Roy (Michael Caton-Jones, 1995)
For those who are rather romantic-minded, will love this movie. Where are the real heroes in our world? Sometimes we miss this philosophy, which transcends everything and places a truthful principle before himself. In its time, this movie was a huge success, and probably not my mere chance. The dialogues are fascinating, but sometimes the question arises in us: why is this marked as a comedy?
2. Schindler’s List (Steven Spielberg, 1993)
This is Liam Neeson’s most popular movie, it is not by hazard that his performance was nominated for Oscar, this was the role of his life and he represented a perfect characterization. An epochal movie, perhaps one of the most effective about the horrors of the Holocaust, this is a drama with cathartic power. Sometimes one man is enough to change the course of events if he is brave and definite enough.
That exactly is the case with Oscar Schindler. Steven Speilberg waited 10 years after reading Thomas Keneally’s novel to be mature enough for the arrangement of this story. Oscar Schindler is a natural born businessman. He realizes the potential when he gets in Poland during the Second World War. He buys a factory and he engages many Jews because thus he can help them.
In 1944 the nazis prescribe the Endlösung and start to send Jews to the death camps. But he wants to save his workers. At the cost of some corruption, he arranges the displacement of the factory and his workers to Briinlitz which is on the border of Poland and Bohemia. The list now reaches completion, and the people represented on the list escape the crematories.
1. Husbands and Wives (Woody Allen, 1992)
Though Woody Allen may be accused of frequently repeating himself, this movie is really good, and we can rescind. The screenplay is simple and complicated at the same time. After the break-up of a familiar couple, Gabe (Woody Allen) and Judy (Mia Farrow) realize that they are no longer happy, so they split and try to find new ways.[formatp][imp]Of course, there are way too many great Woody Allen movies that we could have also brought up. Feel free to check them out on Rotten Tomatoes[/imp]
This film represents the labyrinth of emotions and the complications of relationships authentically. The actors are performing at their best.
[formatp]Thank you for reading our articles about the top six movies of Liam Neeson, this giant Irish titan, who always ignites hope in our hearts. We would be really obliged if you read our next article too, which will be about the top six junkie movies of all time.