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Added by The Flagship on 8 Jan 2009 06:01
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The 100 Greatest Britons

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Winston Churchill
Former Prime Minister


Winston Churchill was the internationally renowned war-time Prime Minister of Britain. He is regarded as a national hero. We don't like to see such a great man mocked, or even worse - portrayed by an American!
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People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.1
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Engineer


Isambard is one of our most innovative and creative thinkers. He built the Great Western Railway that I ride to work every morning. He'd be turning in his grave if he saw how it was run these days... Nevertheless, one of the great engineering fathers of Britain. This 'film' is apparently about him, but I think you'd do well just to read the title and leave it at that!
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People who added this item 1386 Average listal rating (709 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.3
Diana, Princess of Wales
Stateswoman


Incredibly popular princess, charity worker and national treasure. I don't think anybody realised this until she died. Still, what better way to be represented on this list than by this film, all about a city you...er, loved.
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People who added this item 1568 Average listal rating (1055 ratings) 5.4 IMDB Rating 6.1
Evolution (2001)
Charles Darwin
Biologist


Darwin's seminal work on the theory of evolution has given headaches to religious fundamentalists ever since. Other highlights in his career include a beard to end all beards, and a welcome appearance on the back of our ten pound notes.
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People who added this item 2533 Average listal rating (1534 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.2
William Shakespeare
Playwright and poet


Bill is often credited as being the greatest of all writers in the English language. That doesn't stop him from being universally detested by secondary school children up and down the country though. At least they found an Englishman to play the wordsmith in this film.
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People who added this item 59 Average listal rating (27 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 7.3
The Apple (1998)
Isaac Newton
Physicist, Mathematician and Astronomer


A man whose contributions to physics need no introduction. One of the greatest figures in the history of science. Represented here by everyone's favourite theory-solving fruit.
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People who added this item 1395 Average listal rating (792 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.5
Elizabeth (1998)
Queen Elizabeth I
Monarch


The Virgin Queen needs no such tenuous link to a third-rate movie. She's deemed interesting enough to be the star of her own show. Her 44 year reign helped forge a sense of national identity and lay claim to multiple propaganda victories against the Kingdom of Spain
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People who added this item 4552 Average listal rating (3038 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.5
Beetlejuice (1988)
John Lennon
Musician


Hippie Rockstar, Lennon, enjoyed demi-God status in Britain, and maybe the rest of the world. As well known for his philanthropy and humanitarian causes as he was for that little fun-loving young band he was a member of.
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Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson
Naval Commander


Britannia rules the waves - a myth that was founded partially as a result of this man's endeavours I suspect. His penchant for littering the bottom of the ocean with prime European timber meant he was the hero of naval men everywhere, particularly Jack Aubrey, who waxes lyrical about him in this film.
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People who added this item 51 Average listal rating (30 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.9
Cromwell (1970)
Oliver Cromwell
Lord Protector


Cromwell offended the Monarchy so much that even after his death, the Royal Family ordered his body exhumed and then 'executed' posthumously. Sounds to me like a true British hero then.
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Sir Ernest Shackleton
Explorer


One of many British pioneers who grew discontented with the already gloomy British climate and set sail to explore the South pole instead.
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People who added this item 1365 Average listal rating (793 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.6
Australia (2008)
Captain James Cook
Explorer


Cook was the first European to make contact with the antipodean island of Australia, as well as mapping out the rest of the Tasmanian and New Zealand areas.
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People who added this item 814 Average listal rating (571 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.9
Robert Baden-Powell
Soldier


Baden-Powell and his wife Agness helped found the global Boy Scout and Girl Guides movement, which aimed to develop the physical, mental and spiritual development of young people into productive citizens. I think you'll agree that two very productive citizens adorn the film poster for this cinematic masterpiece.
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People who added this item 9 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 6.4
Alfred the Great
King of Wessex


The fearless Saxon warrior who defended The British Isles from Viking invasion and became the only English king to earn the suffix 'The Great' in the process.
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People who added this item 52 Average listal rating (34 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.3
Waterloo (1970)
Arthur Wellesley (The Duke of Wellington)
Military Commander


Keeping with tradition, The Iron Duke oversaw the destruction of the mightiest French fighting force ever assembled under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Warterloo. Went on to become British Prime Minister. A couple of times.
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People who added this item 1769 Average listal rating (1086 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7
Billy Elliot (2000)
Margaret Thatcher
Prime Minister


The first female Prime Minister of England set about making sure that wasn't the only reason she was remembered. As well as privatising everything in sight, she set about making sure a proud nation was dependant on foreign energy sources for the rest of time. In the process, she shut down dozens of coal mines and forced thousands of men to pursue alternate career paths - the zanier the better!
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Michael Crawford
Actor


Eh? This guy appeared as The White Rabbit in this adaptation of Lewis Carroll's novel. Oh yeah, and he was in Some Mothers Do 'av 'em. Michael is also the first recipient in the list of:

***UNDESERVED ENTRANT***
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People who added this item 125 Average listal rating (72 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.3
Mrs Brown (1997)
Queen Victoria
Monarch


The longest serving monarch in British History and by far and away one of the most popular. The British Empire reached its zenith under her reign and her image adorns statues of remembrance all over the world. Affectionately entitled 'The Grandmother of Europe' back in the day as well, when most of her spouse were of starting world wars. Oh yeah, Judi Dench plays her in this film.
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Paul McCartney
Musician


Someone once said 'The Beatles are dying in the wrong order'. With only 50% of the band still alive, I think it's fair to say who Britain'd miss most. I think McCartney could go out and murder a bus load of nuns tomorrow and still emerge a national hero.
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People who added this item 2063 Average listal rating (1299 ratings) 5.4 IMDB Rating 5.6
Alexander (2004)
Alexander Fleming
Biologist


The second Biologist in the list so far! Fleming took the credit for discovering Penicillin, an antibiotic that revolutionised the medicinal industry. A plaque adorns the window where this careless discovery was made. The pub over the road has a plaque claiming it as the originator of the spore! Er... he shares his name with Alexander the Great, of whom far more films have been made about...
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People who added this item 224 Average listal rating (118 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.4
Enigma (2001)
Alan Turing
Computer Scientist


Turing listed 'logician, cryptographer and mathematician' as his areas of employment expertise. Turing engineered a machine that was integral to decrypting the Enigma code. Britain repaid him by prosecuting him for being a homosexual at a time when being gay was considered a mental disease.
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People who added this item 456 Average listal rating (318 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.2
Michael Faraday
Scientist


Faraday is a big figure in the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. This obviously makes him Hollywood dynamite and countless films have been made about his achievements... Arlington road stars a university professor who... has the same name as Michael Faraday.
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People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.4
Henry IV (1984)
Owain Glyndŵr
Prince of Wales


This dude is the last legitimately welsh person to hold the title of 'Prince of Wales'. I have no idea who he is, but Shakespeare saw fit to dedicate a great deal of Henry IV to this mysterious dissident.
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People who added this item 1583 Average listal rating (865 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.3
The Queen (2006)
Queen Elizabeth II
Monarch


Queeny is probably responsible for millions of pounds worth of tourist investment in Britain. She effectively rules over 129 million people in the commonwealth realms, yet although she holds much theoretical power, she rarely intervenes with political issues.
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People who added this item 412 Average listal rating (306 ratings) 4.9 IMDB Rating 5.4
Professor Steven Hawkins
Theoretical Physicist


Hawkins' principal interests lie in quantum gravity and theoretical cosmology. He is a remarkably popular academic and author of the best-selling novel: A Brief History of Time.
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People who added this item 2267 Average listal rating (1460 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 7.2
William Tyndale
Translator


Tyndale is responsible for translating The Bible into English and printing it for the masses. That's quite some feat considering it's a pretty long book. How was he repaid for this pious and unselfish act? By being burnt at the stake and accused of heresy of course!
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People who added this item 3206 Average listal rating (2098 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.4
Emmeline Pankhurst
Suffragette


The Pankhurst family campaigned tirelessly for the right for Women to vote in parliamentary elections during the early 20th century. They now have this right! I wonder how she would regard the modern day apathy for voting in any election these days?
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People who added this item 983 Average listal rating (563 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.3
Amistad (1997)
William Wilberforce
Humanitarian


Wilberforce was a key component in the abolitionist movement. Whilst most of us take having a conscious for granted, back in the late 1700s it took revolutionary campaigners to point out that harvesting human beings as slave labour was abhorrently wrong. Amistad has slaves in it[/tenuous]!
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David Bowie
Musician


The musical chameleon. Always self-reinventing, Bowie remains a style icon and pop-culture favourite in the UK since his rise to fame in the 60s.
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People who added this item 7067 Average listal rating (4551 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.2
Guy Fawkes
Revolutionary


Tried to restore Roman Catholicism to England by blowing up the entire Royal family and associated protestant aristocracy in the Houses of Parliament. He failed and was no doubt hideously tortured and murdered.
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People who added this item 77 Average listal rating (51 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.4
Leonard Cheshire
Aviator


A pilot who served during World War II in the Royal Air Force. He was in legendary Dam Busters squadron. After the war he turned to philanthropic endeavours, endearing him to the British public for life!
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People who added this item 823 Average listal rating (482 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.8
Eric Morecambe
Comedian


One half of the award-winning double act of Morecambe and Wise. They were so big that Christmas episodes of their show hauled in almost 30 million viewers, and had them interviewing guests ranging from The Beatles to Prime Ministers.
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People who added this item 1675 Average listal rating (1045 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.7
David Beckham
Sportsman


Beckham has notched up over one hundred appearances for the national side, and is teetering on becoming the most capped outfield English player ever. His celebrity status, rake of a wife and girls voice sometimes unfairly overshadow his remarkable talents on the pitch.
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People who added this item 4995 Average listal rating (3453 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 7
Thomas Paine
Revolutionary


Paine is a revolutionary in every sense of the world. His philosophy and writings helped galvanise America in their quest from independence from Great Britain. Once he stirred up that hornets nest, he disappeared to France to kick start the French Revolution.
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People who added this item 28 Average listal rating (10 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 5.4
Warrior Queen (2003)
Boudica
Monarch


Boudica was another iron-willed warrior Queen that England seems to churn out at will. The Romans picked a fight with Boudica after her husband died. She retaliated by routing a Roman army at Colchester and then marching on London - before burning it to the ground. Legend. In all she destroyed three Roman settlements at the expense of 80,000 lives and almost forced Nero to withdraw all Roman troops from England.
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People who added this item 902 Average listal rating (568 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.2
The Gold Rush (1925)
Sir Steve Redgrave
Sportsman


Steve is Britain's most highly regarded Olympic athlete after winning five gold medals in five successive Olympic games. Arms like tower blocks, a modest persona and steely determination ensured him a place in the public hearts.
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People who added this item 781 Average listal rating (529 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.2
The Saint (1997)
Thomas More
Politician


Canonised by Pope Piux XI. In 1980, he was declared the Patron Saint of Politicians. God knows what else he did.
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People who added this item 48 Average listal rating (21 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.6
William Blake
Artist


His writings, paintings and poems are regarded as seminal examples of Romantic Age work. That'll be why I don't know who he is then. He died working on a painting commission to represent Dante's Divine Comedy if you were wondering about the tenuous link.
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People who added this item 58 Average listal rating (30 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7
The Big Clock (1948)
John Harrison
Clockmaker


Harrison made clocks and invented some sort of vital sea-faring instrument. Next!
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People who added this item 1555 Average listal rating (816 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.7
Henry VIII
Monarch


Henry's outrageous quest for a son brought a schism to the Catholic church as well as the slaughter of some of his less 'productive' wives. The man sure knew how to live though, taking a keen interest in jousting, eating and bankrupting the nation.
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People who added this item 930 Average listal rating (609 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7
Scrooged (1988)
Charles Dickens
Author


The popularity of Dickens' writings have ensured that they have never gone out of print, and he remains one of the Victorian era's most celebrated authors. He could even count Karl Marx as a fan. A Christmas Carol launched the anti-festive killjoy Ebenezer Scrooge into the public domain.
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People who added this item 2867 Average listal rating (1798 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.9
Top Gun (1986)
Sir Frank Whittle
Inventor


Frank Whittle became "The father of Jet Propulsion" by inventing the jet engine.
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People who added this item 141 Average listal rating (90 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.7
The Music Man (1962)
John Peel
Broadcaster


John Peel's personal commitment to showcasing new and unsigned musical acts earned him thousands of fans across the country. Some of the worlds biggest bands, such as Pink Floyd, The Sex Pistols and David Bowie, credit him with providing their careers with major boosts.
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People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 4.2
John Logie Baird
Inventor


Logie Baird invented the world's first ever working television. Although his design was almost immediately declared obsolete by that of a competitor, he was still first! Descendants of Baird have decried the current state of television and insist that he wouldn't have bothered with the invention if he had prior knowledge that programming would turn out like it did.
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People who added this item 743 Average listal rating (462 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 8
Sicko (2007)
Aneurin Bevan
Politician


Bevan was a key campaigner for the foundation of the National Health Service. The much maligned, often criticised but always taken for granted behemoth that is the NHS has ensured that England has sidestepped the fundamentally flawed notion of universal private healthcare.
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People who added this item 289 Average listal rating (151 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.5
Boy George
Musician


A camp musician with a hit or two under his belt and a life of breaking the law ever since. He recently hit the news for kidnapping and beating up a rent boy. What a 'Great' Briton!

***UNDESERVED ENTRANT***
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People who added this item 148 Average listal rating (106 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7
Sir Douglas Bader
Aviator


Legendary pilot and charity organiser. Bader lost both legs in an air crash, but instead of moping around for the rest of his life, he got back in the air and became a fighter pilot. Shot down over France, he was captured and imprisoned at Colditz. When he was liberated from there, he requested again to get back in the air. An unquestionable hero.
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People who added this item 4679 Average listal rating (3079 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.4
Braveheart (1995)
William Wallace
Warrior


Wallace was a key figure in the war of Scottish independence. He defeated the English army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge - something the king didn't take too kindly to. Years later after his capture, he was stripped naked and dragged around London behind a horse. Then hung, but released before death, emasculated, eviscerated and his bowels burnt before him, beheaded, then cut into four parts. His head was then preserved atop a pike at London Bridge. It's only fair I suppose.
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People who added this item 13 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 5.5 IMDB Rating 5.9
Francis Drake
Naval Commander


Drake was one of Britain's great naval men. A privateer, enslaver, politician and navigator, he was present at the defeat of the Spanish Armada. He was such a consistent thorn in the side of the Spanish King, a £4million bounty was placed on his head by the regent.
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People who added this item 0 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 6.7
John Wesley (1954)
John Wesley
Cleric


Wesley founded Methodism, whatever that may be. This contribution to Christian theocracy was actually so important that someone made a film about him. Which is good, as I had nothing.
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In 2002, the BBC published a list of "The 100 Greatest Britons" as voted for by the British Public. The list contained individuals from all disciplines and occupations, and thus listing them all by name on listal would be impossible. Instead, I've tried to find a film that in some way represents the individual in question.

Now, some of these links may be more tenuous than others! Hollywood might make films about great warrior kings or war heroes, but 'Grandfathers of electromagnetism' are generally overlooked by the big screen. I've explained the film link in the text if it isn't immediately obvious. Some are rubbish, others are ingenious. If you can think of better examples, I might consider them!

Whilst the ordering of the list might be a bit strange (this is the order it appeared in originally), most of the entrants are probably deserving of a place on the list. However, some are inexcusable and I've marked them out accordingly!

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Comments

Posted: 8 years, 10 months ago at Jan 9 16:16
**UNDESERVED ENTRANT**

Margaret Thatcher - Scum of the highest order.
Posted: 8 years, 10 months ago at Jan 9 19:08
Excellent list! I really like the films you chose to represent them, Curious George is my favourite, I'm glad Brunel is so high, I find that he's grossly overlooked by the people today.
Posted: 8 years, 10 months ago at Jan 9 20:35
Telling Americans not to mock Churchill and then writing his name wrong? Name is WINSTON Churchill if I am not completely mislead my whole life. :P

Great list still and many clever choices for movies, I especially liked Graham Bell associated with Lord of the Rings. Had some laughs of that.
Posted: 8 years, 10 months ago at Jan 9 20:36
I hang my head in shame, thanks for pointing it out!
Posted: 6 years, 2 months ago at Sep 4 4:33
I can't believe Diana was number 3...

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