Queen frontman Freddie Mercury is no doubt one of the most iconic music superstars of all time, and, much like his industry counterparts, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, David Bowie and Bob Dylan, he would change the course of popular culture forever.
Known for his ethereal stage presence that helped him become known as one of the greatest stadium performers in music history, Mercury became a key icon of the 1970s, thanks to such songs such as ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘I Want to Break Free’.
As well as a lover of music, Mercury also had a passion for cinema, and a particular fondness for the black and white movies of the past, praising such films for their romanticism and wistful love stories. With an eye for quality cinema, the website U Discover Music has compiled a list of the singer’s all-time favourites, picking out films from the likes of Douglas Sirk, Billy Wilder and Bob Fosse.
Listing his top ten in no particular order, one of the most significant picks of the bunch was the 1980 movie Flash Gordon directed by Mike Hodges. Performing the soundtrack for the influential sci-fi film, it was shortly after the release of the project that Mercury was photographed at a concert sitting on the shoulders of Darth Vader shouting “I don’t like Star Wars” in the song ‘Bicycle Race’, a nod to his preference of Hodges’ sci-fi.
On the opposite end of the cinematic spectrum, Mercury also picked out the 1984 movie Purple Rain starring Prince, with the film following the singer as a young musician tormented by an abusive home life who must rise to fame on his own. Peter Freestone, Mercury’s former PA said of Mercury’s love of Prince, “If Freddie stayed in during the evenings he would usually ‘veg out’ and watch television… He had one video of Prince, which he forced many people to watch, sometimes over and over again”.
The classic Billy Wilder comedy Some Like it Hot also makes the list, with the Queen drummer Roger Taylor calling the film, Mercury’s “absolute favourite”. Following Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis as two musicians who disguise themselves as women to escape pursuing mobsters, the film also stars Marilyn Monroe, a star that Mercury passionately respected. Mercury’s personal assistant, Peter Freestone, revealed, “Freddie admired Marilyn as the icon she was, and felt that she was used by the studios who didn’t fully understand everything she had to offer”.
The most recent film on the list goes to the 1987 fantasy action movie Highlander starring Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery, with Queen also working to bring the film to life with several original songs. Each writing a song of their own, Roger Taylor wrote ‘It’s A Kind Of Magic’, Brian May did ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’ and Freddie Mercury topped it all off with ‘Princes Of The Universe’.
Take a look at the full list of Freddie Mercury’s top ten films of all time, below.
Freddie Mercury’s top 10 films of all time
- Shanghai Express (Josef von Sternberg, 1932)
- A Night At The Opera (Sam Wood, 1935)
- The Women (George Cukor, 1939)
- Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959)
- Imitation Of Life (Douglas Sirk, 1959)
- Cabaret (Bob Fosse, 1972)
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Jim Sharman, 1975)
- Flash Gordon (Mike Hodges, 1980)
- Purple Rain (Albert Magnoli, 1984)
- Highlander (Russell Mulcahy, 1986)