The Best 29 Films of Richard Burton.

by John Jacoby | created - 21 Sep 2011 | updated - 25 Jan 2015 | Public

Classic, intense, consumate professional Richard Burton created many indelible film characterizations over his brilliant career. Here are 29 of his best.

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1. Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

PG | 145 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Henry VIII of England discards one wife, Katharine of Aragon, who has failed to produce a male heir, in favor of the young and beautiful Anne Boleyn.

Director: Charles Jarrott | Stars: Richard Burton, Geneviève Bujold, Irene Papas, Anthony Quayle

Votes: 5,756

2. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)

Not Rated | 112 min | Drama, Thriller

7.7
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British agent Alec Leamas refuses to come in from the Cold War during the 1960s, choosing to face another mission, which may prove to be his final one.

Director: Martin Ritt | Stars: Richard Burton, Oskar Werner, Claire Bloom, Sam Wanamaker

Votes: 12,122

3. Becket (1964)

PG-13 | 148 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.0
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68 Metascore

King Henry II of England comes to terms with his affection for his close friend and confidant Thomas à Becket, who finds his true honor by observing God's divine will rather than the king's.

Director: Peter Glenville | Stars: Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole, John Gielgud, Gino Cervi

Votes: 11,983

4. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

Not Rated | 131 min | Drama

8.1
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A bitter, aging couple, with the help of alcohol, use a young couple to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal, Sandy Dennis

Votes: 60,851

5. Where Eagles Dare (1968)

PG | 158 min | Action, Adventure, War

7.7
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Allied agents stage a daring raid on a castle where the Nazis are holding an American General prisoner... but that's not all that's really going on.

Director: Brian G. Hutton | Stars: Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, Mary Ure, Patrick Wymark

Votes: 44,319

6. Equus (1977)

R | 137 min | Drama, Mystery

7.2
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A psychiatrist attempts to uncover a troubled stable boy's disturbing obsession with horses.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Richard Burton, Peter Firth, Colin Blakely, Joan Plowright

Votes: 6,505

7. Look Back in Anger (1959)

Approved | 98 min | Drama

7.2
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A disillusioned, angry university graduate comes to terms with his grudge against middle-class life and values.

Director: Tony Richardson | Stars: Richard Burton, Claire Bloom, Mary Ure, Edith Evans

Votes: 2,575

8. The V.I.P.s (1963)

Not Rated | 119 min | Drama

6.3
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Fog delays a group of travelers headed for New York. They wait at the V.I.P. lounge of London Airport, each at a moment of crisis in his or her life.

Director: Anthony Asquith | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Louis Jourdan, Elsa Martinelli

Votes: 2,802 | Gross: $10.21M

9. The Robe (1953)

Unrated | 135 min | Drama, History

6.8
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In the Roman province of Judea during the 1st century, Roman tribune Marcellus Gallio is ordered to crucify Jesus of Nazareth but is tormented by his guilty conscience afterwards.

Director: Henry Koster | Stars: Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature, Michael Rennie

Votes: 7,381 | Gross: $36.00M

10. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)

R | 113 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

7.2
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67 Metascore

In a totalitarian future society, a man, whose daily work is re-writing history, tries to rebel by falling in love.

Director: Michael Radford | Stars: John Hurt, Richard Burton, Suzanna Hamilton, Cyril Cusack

Votes: 55,693 | Gross: $8.40M

11. My Cousin Rachel (1952)

Approved | 98 min | Mystery, Romance, Drama

7.2
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A young man plots revenge against the woman he believes murdered his cousin, but his plans are shaken when he comes face to face with the enigmatic beauty.

Director: Henry Koster | Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Richard Burton, Audrey Dalton, Ronald Squire

Votes: 1,823

12. The Sandpiper (1965)

TV-14 | 117 min | Drama

6.3
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A free-spirited single mother forms a connection with the wed headmaster of an Episcopal boarding school in California.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Eva Marie Saint, Charles Bronson

Votes: 2,399

13. Prince of Players (1955)

Approved | 102 min | Biography, Drama

6.8
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A tragic and sentimental story that depicts the early career of the 19th century American actor, Edwin Booth with some mention of the events leading to the assassination of President ... See full summary »

Director: Philip Dunne | Stars: Richard Burton, Maggie McNamara, John Derek, Raymond Massey

Votes: 299

14. The Desert Rats (1953)

Approved | 88 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.8
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Richard Burton plays a Scottish Army officer put in charge of a disparate band of ANZAC troops on the perimeter of Tobruk with the German Army doing their best to dislodge them.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Richard Burton, James Mason, Robert Newton, Robert Douglas

Votes: 3,999

15. The Longest Day (1962)

G | 178 min | Action, Drama, History

7.8
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The events of D-Day, told on a grand scale from both the Allied and German points of view.

Directors: Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Bernhard Wicki, Gerd Oswald, Darryl F. Zanuck | Stars: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Richard Burton, Henry Fonda

Votes: 46,620 | Gross: $39.10M

16. The Night of the Iguana (1964)

Approved | 125 min | Drama

7.8
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A defrocked Episcopal clergyman leads a bus-load of middle-aged Baptist women on a tour of the Mexican coast and comes to terms with the failure haunting his life.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr, Sue Lyon

Votes: 9,245

17. Cleopatra (1963)

G | 192 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.0
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60 Metascore

Queen Cleopatra of Egypt experiences both triumph and tragedy as she attempts to resist the imperial ambitions of Rome.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison, Pamela Brown

Votes: 24,395 | Gross: $57.78M

18. The Bramble Bush (1960)

93 min | Drama

5.5
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A handsome and successful young doctor returns to his home town in New England to see his dying friend for one last time. However, his friend wants to die because he is suffering so much ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Petrie | Stars: Richard Burton, Barbara Rush, Jack Carson, Angie Dickinson

Votes: 141

19. The Taming of the Shrew (1967)

Approved | 122 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.2
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Brutish, fortune-hunting scoundrel Petruchio tames his wealthy, shrewish wife, Katharina.

Director: Franco Zeffirelli | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Cyril Cusack, Michael Hordern

Votes: 6,170 | Gross: $8.00M

20. Alexander the Great (1956)

Not Rated | 141 min | Biography, Drama, History

5.9
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The life and military conquests of Alexander III of Macedon (20/21 July 356 - 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great.

Director: Robert Rossen | Stars: Richard Burton, Fredric March, Claire Bloom, Barry Jones

Votes: 2,842

21. Lovespell (1981)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

5.5
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The classic Arthurian tale of tragic love. In medieval times, Lord of Cornwall decides to marry an Irish princess Isolde. However, his most loyal knight Tristan becomes bewitched by her beauty and they fall hopelessly in love.

Director: Tom Donovan | Stars: Richard Burton, Kate Mulgrew, Nicholas Clay, Cyril Cusack

Votes: 140

22. The Rains of Ranchipur (1955)

Approved | 104 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

5.9
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Despite marital problems, English Lord Albert Esketh and his rich American socialite wife Lady Edwina Esketh travel to India to buy a prize horse from the ruler of Ranchipur.

Director: Jean Negulesco | Stars: Lana Turner, Richard Burton, Fred MacMurray, Joan Caulfield

Votes: 742

23. Bluebeard (1972)

R | 125 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

5.6
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A World War I pilot whom everybody envies as a "ladykiller" actually is one - after he beds the women he's after, he murders them.

Director: Edward Dmytryk | Stars: Richard Burton, Raquel Welch, Virna Lisi, Nathalie Delon

Votes: 969

24. The Comedians (1967)

Approved | 150 min | Drama

6.5
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A cynical Welsh hotel owner secretly romances a diplomat's wife in Haiti under the violent reign of the despot "Papa Doc" Duvalier.

Director: Peter Glenville | Stars: Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Alec Guinness, Peter Ustinov

Votes: 1,545 | Gross: $5.20M

25. Doctor Faustus (1967)

Unrated | 93 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

5.7
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A man sells his soul to the devil in order to have the woman he loves.

Directors: Richard Burton, Nevill Coghill | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Andreas Teuber, Ram Chopra

Votes: 759

26. Raid on Rommel (1971)

GP | 99 min | Drama, War

5.6
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In 1942 Libya, a German-speaking British Intelligence officer uses former British POWs, some dressed in German uniforms, to fulfill a secret sabotage mission inside German-captured Tobruk.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: Richard Burton, John Colicos, Clinton Greyn, Wolfgang Preiss

Votes: 1,681

27. Under Milk Wood (1972)

PG | 87 min | Comedy, Drama

6.3
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This is a delightful if peculiar story of a day in the life of a small, Welsh fishing village called "Llareggub" (read it backwards). We meet a host of curious characters (and ghosts) ... See full summary »

Director: Andrew Sinclair | Stars: Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Peter O'Toole, Glynis Johns

Votes: 597

28. Candy (1968)

R | 115 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

5.4
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Candy, an innocent high-schooler, encounters numerous colorful characters and humorous sexual situations while attempting to find meaning in life.

Director: Christian Marquand | Stars: Ewa Aulin, Richard Burton, Charles Aznavour, Marlon Brando

Votes: 2,259

29. Absolution (1978)

R | 95 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

6.5
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At a Catholic public school, Benjamin Stanfield is tired of being the teacher's pet and decides to play a practical joke on his form master Father Goddard. In confession, Stanfield tells ... See full summary »

Director: Anthony Page | Stars: Richard Burton, Dominic Guard, David Bradley, Billy Connolly

Votes: 920