On January 22nd, 2008, the world was shocked to hear that a well known, young actor had died in Manhattan, New York. Two years after his untimely death, Heath Ledger is still remembered well in cinematic history. From some fun films to roles that were much more challenging and even controversial, though he was only twenty-nine when he died, he truly made his mark.
As a tribute to Heath, on the second anniversary of his death, this Movie Bean humbly submits her top five, favourite Heath Ledger films. Please feel free to share yours in the comment section at the bottom of the article.
5. A Knight’s Tale (2001) Columbia Pictures
This medieval tale had a modern twist. Set against recent music such as Queen and David Bowie, William (Ledger) proves to the people that the game of jousting is not just for those of noble blood. Anyone with a strong will and brave heart can stand up, doing what they always dreamed of. This was one of the more fun Ledger films. The performance was not amazing, by any means, but a film to be enjoyed by all movie goers.
The Four Feathers – Paramount Pictures
4. The Four Feathers (2002) Paramount Pictures
In the 1800s, one soldier (Ledger) chooses not to join the wars in Sudan waged by the British. His friends give him four feathers, which symbolize his cowardice. Now, his best friend has been taken prisoner and the soldier will do everything in his power to save him. This to me is one of Ledger’s most underrated films. It didn’t do well at the box office and wasn’t critically acclaimed, but the performances given by Ledger and his costar, Wes Bentley, are astonishing. You are not watching an actor playing his role, you are watching a man try desperately to save his best friend. If you want to celebrate his life today, or in the future, this is the movie I recommend.
10 things I hate about you – Touchstone
3. 10 things I hate about you (1999) Touchstone Pictures
I could go on and on about this movie. I was a teenager when this came out and would watch it over and over. Based on the Shakespearean play, The Taming of the Shrew, it had a timeless plotline but with a modern take. Myself, and many of my friends, can quote to you numerous lines and this was where many of us were introduced to Heath Ledger. He was the hot, Australian hunk that we all lusted after. He was too good to be true and we couldn’t take our eyes off of him.
Brokeback Mountain – Focus Features
2. Brokeback Mountain (2005) Focus Features
Although we are living in an era that supposedly accepts homosexuality with open arms, it isn’t often that it is put out there for everyone to see in a completely honest way. Sure, there are lots of comedies that have been made around the subject, but not many mainstream dramas. Choosing to play the role of a gay cowboy in the sixties makes this move all the more brave for Ledger. His performance in this movie was utterly amazing and incredibly honest. The one kiss scene outside one of their homes is actually one of the most passionate kissing scenes I’ve ever seen on film. For it to have been pulled off by two, arrow straight men just proves their acting prowess. This role gave Ledger a nomination for an Oscar.
The Dark Knight – Warner Borthers
1. The Dark Knight (2008) Warner Brothers
Ledger’s final role as the most famous of Batman’s villains holds a special place in my heart. The Dark Knight is the last movie that Ledger completed, as he died during the production of The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. Ledger really went all out in this one. He brought a whole new side to the Joker, one that was dark, one that was insane and one that showed us how very talented he was. He won an Oscar for this performance, post-humously, and deservedly so.
So I say to all the fans of Heath Ledger, on this day, take a few moments to remember him. For anyone passionate about movies and acting, we have suffered a great loss. Rest in Peace, Mr. Ledger.
The Movie Bean