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Film

Benicio del Toro's five favourite films of all time

@Russellisation

There aren’t many actors in modern cinema quite as suave as the Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro, an icon who has made a name for himself across several genres of popular blockbusters and independent film. Winning an Oscar in 2001 for his supporting role in Steven Soderbergh’s crime drama Traffic, del Toro was also honoured at the 2004 Academy Awards with a nomination for his supporting role in 21 Grams.

Since then, del Toro has become well-known through his role as the enigmatic Collector in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, where he appears alongside Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and Karen Gillan. Becoming a key figure in the series, del Toro later featured in Avengers: Infinity War as well as the Disney+ animated series What If… that explored the many possibilities of Marvel’s multiverse. 

Celebrated for his various roles across modern cinema, del Toro has become known as a key contemporary actor in the public eye, lending his time to the film publication Rotten Tomatoes to share his favourite films of all time with his fans. 

The first choice on his list goes to a coming-of-age classic in François Truffaut’s monochrome drama The 400 Blows, a film that is now recognised as a key text of French New Wave cinema. “Love the music, love the story, love the ending,” del Toro lovingly recalled, with the film having a significant impact on the young actor at the time, adding: “To me, that was the one when I saw it I went ‘wow’ I wanna see more”. 

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From filmmaker Humberto Solás, the Cuban drama Lucia is del Toro’s second choice, with the actor believing the movie “is still important today,” in its depiction of three Cuban women, each named Lucía, from three different historical periods. Detailing the hardship of living through the Cuban war of independence as well as life in the nation through the 1930s and 1960s, del Toro highlights the performance of Adela Legrá in the film, noting, “I think she gives one of those performances that is like Brando-esque, she’s so good in it”. 

Taking his choices a little more mainstream, del Toro guides our attention to his third pick, the thrilling crime drama The Harder They Come starring Jimmy Cliff. “One hell of a soundtrack, one hell of a movie” the actor states, making note of the musical core that runs through the film that tells the story of a reggae singer who becomes embroiled with crime lords and drug pushers. “The more I watch it, the more I discover and the more I enjoy it,” del Toro enthusiastically describes. 

Growing up in Puerto Rico, del Toro describes the terror of The Creature from the Black Lagoon, a classic Universal horror villain that the young actor believed could’ve been real. “The Creature From The Black Lagoon was a monster that could live in the humidity and the heat and was that monster that could be rapping on my window. It’s a beautiful story in a way,” the actor fondly remembers as a lover of the classic monster movies of old. 

His fifth and final choice goes to The Last Detail, a lesser-known Jack Nicholson film that follows two navy men who are ordered to bring a young offender to prison but decide to show him a good time before he’s locked up. “Complicated relationships and great scenes, a lot of heart” make The Last Detail such a favourite according to del Toro, with the film showing “Jack Nicholson at his best”. 

Take a look at the full list of Benicio del Toro’s five favourite films, below.

Benicio del Toro’s five favourite films:

  • The 400 Blows (François Truffaut, 1959)
  • Lucia (Humberto Solás, 1968)
  • The Harder They Come (Perry Henzell, 1972)
  • The Creature from the Black Lagoon (Jack Arnold, 1954)
  • The Last Detail (Hal Ashby, 1973)

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