In celebration of Finney’s finest work, we explore some of the late actor’s most memorable performances.
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, 1960
In 1960 Finney earned a nomination for Best Actor at the British Academy Film Awards for his portrayal of Arthur Seaton in British drama film Saturday Night and Sunday Morning directed by Karel Reisz and produced by Tony Richardson.
Signifying a breakthrough for Finney, the film follows a young industrial machinist who spends his weekend and free time drinking, partying and having an affair with a married woman.
In 1999, the British Film Institute named Saturday Night and Sunday Morning the 14th greatest British film of all time after it played a prominent role in the part of the British New Wave of filmmaking.
Tom Jones, 1963
Tom Jones, a 1963 British adventure comedy film, directed by Tony Richardson marked first major international recognition for Finney who earned his first nomination for Best Actor at the Oscars.
The adaptation of Henry Fielding’s novel ended up winning four Academy Awards including Best Picture that year, a feature film that propelled Finney into the forefront of Hollywood.
Adding to his legacy of British film, Tom Jones also made it into the British Film Institute’s best films of the 20th century and ranked 51st.
Murder on the Orient Express, 1974
Fast forward nine years and again Finney is up for Best Actor at the Oscars.
The 1974 British mystery film directed by Sidney Lumet and based on Agatha Christie’s the 1934 novel of the same name, goes down as arguably one of the most iconic films in the history of British cinema.
Finney again missed out on the victory but the star-studded cast of Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery and more saw the film reap the rewards commercially and win big at the box office.
The Dresser, 1983
While Finney may well be best known for his performance in Murder on the Orient Express, it his work on 1983 film The Dresser that many fans regard as his finest performance.
The Peter Yates directed film, with the screenplay by Ronald Harwood, saw Finney and co-star Tom Courtenay nominated for a host of awards at Academy Awards, BAFTA Awards, and Golden Globe Awards.
The plot is based on Harwood’s experiences as a dresser to English Shakespearean actor-manager Sir Donald Wolfit, who is the model for the character “Sir” which is played by Finney himself.
Erin Brockovich, 2000
Proving that class is permanent, Finney was back in the Oscars spotlight some 16 years after his last nomination.
While Finney landed four Best Actor nominations during his long and illustrious career, his final nod was his one and only in the category of Best Supporting Actor.
The biographical film, directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Susannah Grant, dramatised the true story of Erin Brockovich who was played by Julia Roberts.
Finney, in the role of American lawyer Edward L. Masry, scored rave reviews for his work but ultimately missed out on the win to Benicio del Toro.