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The top 5 performances of Tim Curry


He's not just a sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania...

You know what he is, don't you...

5. Trymon - Colour of Magic (2008)

Tim Curry as Trymon in The Colour Of Magic

Bringing life to maniacal wizard Trymon in Sky One’s adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, Tim Curry delivered one of his more memorable turns in 2008’s Colour of Magic. Aligned with an all-star cast including Christopher Lee, David Jason, Jeremy Irons, Sean Astin, and with narration by Brian Cox, Curry’s Trymon reminded everyone what a fiendishly good actor he really is. Magical and malevolent in Pratchett’s Discworld, Curry seems at his devilish best as the remorseless wizard with a lust for power…

What did we learn? -  Given the right cast and a big enough budget, Pratchett’s novels can be made into truly magical television…

4. Dr Frank N. Furter - The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Tim Curry vamps it up in The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The film that made the man...

Tim Curry made his name as the all-singing, all-dancing transvestite mad scientist in 70s classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Bravely donning suspenders, heels and a face full of powdery slap, Curry caused a sensation that has survived to this day as the lingerie-clad Dr Frank N. Furter. The good doctor, playing host to a group of visitors from the planet Transsexual in his isolated castle, also offers his unique, and strangely entertaining, hospitality to newly-engaged couple Brad and Janet, who find themselves stranded after a spot of car trouble. It isn’t long before Curry’s Frank N. Furter unveils to his guests his latest creation - a young man by the name of Rocky Horror, who, unfortunately for Furter, but fortunately for us, spurns the doctor’s sexual advances. There ensues some very, very camp comedy and some hilarious musical numbers, embedding Tim Curry in our tiny time-warped minds for years to come…

What did we learn? -  ‘Don’t dream it, BE it.’

3. Lord of Darkness - Legend (1985)

Tim Curry as the ultimate bad guy - the devil himself, 'Darkness' in Legend

As the unicorn-killing Lord of Darkness in Ridley Scott’s dark fable, Tim Curry serves up a truly delicious performance as the glistening-horned villain to the fairytale’s hero, Jack, played by a young Tom Cruise. Determined to bring eternal night to the land he hopes to rule, Darkness is a truly despicable demon, made all the more terrifying by the performance conjured up from Curry’s imaginative genius. Operating in the shadows of Scott’s majestically lit and beautifully filmed fantasy, Curry dishes up a performance that, quite literally, towers above fellow cast members Cruise and Mia Sara. Just as his Lordship asks: ‘What is light without dark?’ we could ask, ‘what would this film be without Tim Curry?’ The answer: A worthwhile watch, for sure, but nowhere nearly as good as what Curry’s, almost perverse, performance makes it…

What did we learn? -  ‘We are ALL animals, m’lady.’

2. Wadsworth, the Butler - Clue (1985)

Tim Curry with Lesley-Ann Warren in Clue (1985)

With a cast including comedy greats Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Martin Mull, Madeline Khan and Colleen Camp, it takes an actor of a certain distinction to really stand out and make this movie his own – enter Tim Curry, playing host to Wadsworth, the Butler, in the always overlooked Clue, the movie adaptation of the classic board game. Penned by John Landis and director Jonathan Lynn, Curry delivers a tour-de-force of comedy gold, relishing every line of the gag-a-minute script as he leads his fellow cast around a murder-riddled mansion on a dark and stormy night. Playing into the themes of the whodunit game – murder, mystery, candlesticks and clues - Curry’s Wadsworth is the performance that makes the film, as perfect comedy timing and sheer idiocy stand head and shoulders above the performances of other cast members, who, let it be said, also deliver wonderful performances as Wadsworth’s murder-prone dinner guests…

What did we learn? - They all did it!

1. Pennywise the Clown - IT (1990)

Tim Curry as Pennywise the Clown in Stephen King's IT

‘Beep Beep, Richie! They ALL float down here. And when you’re down here with us, you’ll float too!’ So said Pennywise the Clown, eater of worlds, stuff of nightmares and tormentor of the terrified children of Stephen King’s classic tome, ‘IT’. At least 200 years old, Tim Curry’s Pennywise added fuel to the fire of an already age-old childhood fear: Clowns. Devouring the innocent little souls of Derry, King’s fictional New England town, Pennywise stalked the childhoods, and later adulthoods, of a group of social outcasts and misfits. Protected only by their unity and friendship in the face of immortal evil, they band together to fight the red-nosed nightmare haunting their lives. Convincing performances are delivered throughout, but it’s Curry who really brings it home with a truly terrifying performance that surpasses all others. Playful, taunting and pure evil, Curry’s Pennywise shows our heroes no mercy as IT plays on fear after fear after fear, leaving them with a waking nightmare that follows them from the misty haze of childhood memory right to the door of their more sensible, adult selves…

What did we learn? - Stay away from showers, sinks, drains and needle-toothed clowns offering blood balloons.

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#1 Guest 2010-03-31 20:54
What was that great thing he did in the late 80s, kind of a straight heist TV serial..? He was brilliant in that as well. Not just a character actor.
#2 Guest 2010-04-01 12:25
Bigley, you're thinking about his role as Simon Newquay in "Wiseguy" - the Dead Dog Records arc. He was brilliant in that as well!
#3 Guest 2010-04-11 00:15
He was alright in Times Square too, but perhaps would have been better if *he'd* been the one donning the eyeliner. I think that's the general consensus here.
#4 The top 5 performances of Tim Curry kaz 2010-12-23 15:23
Didn't wathc IT as have a phobia about clowns.
Wadsworth is my all time fav, next Trymon and followed by anything that Tim has done as a pirate (he is suited to that).
Fed up with everyone thinking he should only play "frankie" in any film he plays.
#5 Pennywise Meg 2011-03-31 19:19
I have to agree with #1. Much as I love Rocky Horror, Pennywise has haunted my dreams for 20 years....
#6 curry as pennywise was pound foolish david smith 2012-05-23 13:51
"It" was, indeed, a steaming pile of human excrement that you just narrowly avoided not stepping in, but Robert "Pennywise" Gray was scary because he was so nice without a hint of horror, so honest without being jokey, so tangibly likeable while never talking down to first. If King knows anything, King knows kids, and kids are ridiculously harsh judges of character. Kids would never get lured in by fake niceties and false kindness. Adolescents would see right through shit like that, so the dancing clown had to be extremely complex to come on to the young ones. Curry was one note, for the most part. That note, unfortunately, was "I'm being SCARY...look how scary I am." Even when T.C. as PW was TRYING to be nice in the telepic, his tongue was firmly ensconced in his cheek, he was mugging to the audience while playing up the "I'm not really nice and we all know it" angle, therefore making the whole thing belittling to the children's characters' integrity, and, as a result, the entire project was rendered completely unbelievable in any and every respect, and therefore exiled to the fiefdom of farce.
#7 RE: The top 5 performances of Tim Curry Boss 2012-12-04 02:09
I realize you commented months ago, but David Smith, you are a moron.
#8 dan cadman dcads 2013-07-25 00:56
i agree with boss.

a steaming pile of human excrement that you just narrowly avoided not stepping in.

I liked it and i think you have a very silly way of saying what you mean.
Just say i don't like it next time or next time i will have to say, instead of i liked it, it was a roller coaster of a ride taking place between the bittersweet nostalgia of a forgotten past mixed with the terror of a ... naw i think i will stick to i liked it :)

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