Enjoying a lengthy career spanning over 60 years, starring in the likes of such action classics as Police Story, Who Am I? and Rush Hour, Jackie Chan has become one of the most likeable actors and martial arts masters in all of cinema. Quickly becoming a worldwide icon of cinema, Chan rose to prominence in the 1970s before his career flourished throughout the remaining 20th century, holding a cult fandom in contemporary cinema.
Inspired by the life and career of Bruce Lee, a martial artist who also enjoyed considerable success as an icon of ‘70s pop culture and a strong, albeit short film career that included the likes of Enter the Dragon and The Green Hornet, Chan’s career grew in Lee’s shadow. Despite this, Chan’s impressive career and charming personality have led to him becoming an iconic figure who rivals the popularity of the ‘70s actor.
With a loyal legion of fans clinging to his every word and opinion, Chan followers were overjoyed back in 2008 when he spoke to Rotten Tomatoes about his favourite films of all time.
Choosing old classics and modern blockbusters, Chan’s first pick is the influential musical The Sound of Music by Robert Wise, starring Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and Charmian Carr. Explaining his choice, Chan told the website, “I watched it over and over when I was a kid and even though I couldn’t understand everything they were saying, I loved the songs and learned to sing along”.
The image of a young Chan singing along to ‘The Hills are Alive’ from the 1965 film is truly charming, with his cinematic tastes changing a little as he grew up. In line with this, Chan’s second pick goes to Harold Ramis’ 1999 film Analyze This, with the actor choosing the film purely “because of Robert DeNiro,” with the iconic star appearing in the film alongside the likes of Billy Crystal, Lisa Kudrow and Chazz Palminteri.
Next, Jackie Chan takes his love of cinema to the blockbusters of the early 1990s, choosing the Steven Spielberg classic Jurassic Park, starring Jeff Goldblum, Samuel L. Jackson and Laura Dern. “I was amazed by the special effects,” Chan tells the website, with the epic dinosaur sci-fi reinventing modern practical effects with its approach to animatronics, creating life-size versions of prehistoric beasts.
From science fiction to the unfortunate existential pressures of reality, Chan’s fourth pick is the influential global-warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth, a film that the martial-arts star calls “one of the most important films that anyone will ever see”. Directed by Davis Guggenheim with a screenplay by former Vice President of the United States, Al Gore, the famous 2006 Oscar-winning film would become an important document in modern cinema history.
Jackie Chan’s five favourite movies:
- The Sound of Music (Robert Wise, 1965)
- Analyze This (Harold Ramis, 1999)
- Jurassic Park (Steven Spielberg, 1993)
- An Inconvenient Truth (Davis Guggenheim, 2006)
- Police Story (Jackie Chan, Chi-Hwa Chen, 1985)
The final film on Jackie Chan’s list of all-time favourite films shows a rare glimpse into the actor’s own ego, choosing his own 1985 action movie Police Story where he stars as a Hong-Kong policeman who single-handedly takes down a drug lord. “I think it’s one of the best action films ever made,” Chan told the publication, showing that whilst he’s a big fan of cinema, even the man himself notices the fun, excitement and all-around quality of a solid Jackie Chan flick.