Judi Dench talks about her Oscar-winning actress on her favorite period films. An excerpt from the Wall Street Journal article is below:
High Noon (1952) – Directed by Fred Zinnemann
“I must have seen it four or five times,” Ms. Dench says of this classic Western. Though the film is often recognized for Gary Cooper’s star performance as the frontier marshal abandoned by his town. Ms. Dench also admires Grace Kelly’s turn as his young bride.
The Wicked Lady (1945) – Directed by Leslie Arliss
The film, set in 17th-century England, stars Michael Lockwood as a society woman who spends her nights as a highway robber. Ms. Dench saw it many times in the theater. “My parents would say, ‘Why does she keep going to this?‘ ”
Elizabeth (1998) – Directed by Shekhar Kapur
This is Ms. Dench’s favorite depiction of Elizabeth I. “That’s when my admiration for Cate Blanchett started. She’s a very remarkable actress,” she says. “And I believed it – I believe that Elizabeth was really like that as a young woman.”
A Man for All Seasons (1966) – Directed by Fred Zinnemann
Ms. Dench saw this first as a play but it “translated very beautifully into film,” she says. She was inspired by Paul Scofield’s performance as Sir Thomas More, condemned for refusing to endorse Henry VIII’s wish to divorce his wife.
Amadeus (1984) – Directed by Milos Forman
“I just adored the story,” Ms. Dench says of this revenge tale, which shows Mozart through the eyes of the embittered, envious lesser composer Antonio Salieri.