Top 10 Movie Kings

Script written by Richard Bush. You may not agree with their rules, but you will follow them. The movies are full of representations of real monarchs, as well as newly invented royals who rule their kingdoms with a tender grip or an iron fist – but no matter what, they’re fascinating to watch. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 movie kings. For this list, we’re choosing the most influential kings in cinema history. These monarchs not only impacted the plots of their films and the futures of other characters, but also pop-culture. Special thanks to our users Legionleader, Andrew A. Dennison and Opst3r for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Richard Bush.

Top 10 Movie Kings


You may not agree with their rules, but you will follow them… Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we will be counting down our picks for the top ten movie kings.

For this list, we’re choosing the most influential kings in cinema history. These monarchs not only impacted the plots of their films and the futures of other characters, but also pop-culture.

#10: King Henry VIII
“The Other Boleyn Girl” (2008)

Although it’s a fictional story, it features one of history’s most iconic kings, and it delivers insight into what goes on behind the closed curtains of royalty. We witness Eric Bana’s Henry VIII waffle with indecision between two women and make choice after choice based on greed, desire and immaturity. At the same time, he attempts to retain the fearful reputation for which he has become infamous.

#9: Richard III
“Richard III” (1995)

Murder, betrayal and downright wickedness: who better to take on such a role in a contemporary Shakespearean adaptation than Sir Ian McKellen? Richard III plans to take over the throne by doing whatever it takes. And he stops at nothing, including the murder of his own brother. Family values are practically non-existent in this classic, which follows the trials and tribulations of a rotten and aspiring king.

#8: King George
“The Madness of King George” (1994)

This emotionally draining story depicts the descent into insanity of the King of Great Britain. It jumps from scenes which are slightly comical to scenes which have viewers holding back tears, as we are given a glimpse of the man behind the façade of royalty and the primitive methods used to cure him. Nigel Hawthorne’s portrayal of King George is the perfect balance of determination and unhinged energy.

#7: King Arthur
“First Knight” (1995)

A love-driven tale of the sword, there are essentially two storylines in this film – one sees the withered King Arthur battle against Prince Malagant; the other follows the love affair between Arthur’s bride Guinevere and his trusted knight, Sir Lancelot. Sean Connery’s Arthur struggles to retain stability within Camelot and the loyalty of his men. It’s a journey full of relatable scenarios, which remind us that Arthur is far from invincible.

#6: King Louis XIV
“The Man in the Iron Mask” (1998)

Although this tale features a classic switcheroo, it’s also a story of treachery and patriotism. King Louis XIV, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is destroying France, leading the country into unpopular wars and living a radical lifestyle. To bring balance, the twin brother he imprisoned long ago is sought. While the concept of Louis XIV having a twin is a little farfetched, it does act as a critique of his reign.

#5: Henry V
“Henry V” (1989)

Nothing screams war classic like a pilgrimage into battle. As King Henry and his men travel to face the French, we embark on a tale of doubt, camaraderie and loyalty as Henry deals with the fading morale of both himself and his men. Kenneth Branagh’s stellar performance provides us with a plethora of inspirational speeches, keeping us intrigued right until the dust settles on the battlefield.

#4: King of Siam
“The King and I” (1956)

Bold, brawny and bald. Yul Brynner’s King Mongkut isn’t the kind of tyrant you want to get on the wrong side of. But even with his hands-on-hips manner, he ends up the subject of a love story, where we get to see the complexities of love and the effects it can have on someone in power. Behind this apparently immoveable leader, is a man who loves his children, falls for a woman, “etc, etc.”

#3: King Arthur
“Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (1975)

The mystical tale of King Arthur is a classic, and what better way to tell it than with some satire? Although every scene is comical, from the clacking coconuts to the Black Knight, we still get a grasp of the legendary journey to Camelot, thanks to Graham Chapman’s cool yet cowardly portrayal. With his knowledge of swallows and the ways of science, it’s a film that proves Arthur truly is king of the Britons.

#2: Mufasa
“The Lion King” (1994)

The king of Pride Rock with the voice of James Earl Jones – what more could you want? On top of his wisdom and life lessons, Mufasa rules his kingdom in a fair, diplomatic and merciful manner, and is beloved by all his subjects – well most of them, anyway. He’s also stern when he needs to be, and sets a great paternal example, teaching Simba what it is to be a true king.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- King Jaffe Joffer “Coming to America” (1988)
- King Richard “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” (1993)
- Théoden, King of Rohan “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003)
- King Richard “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” (1991)
- Simba “The Lion King” (1994)

#1: King George VI
“The King’s Speech” (2010)

Unlike other kings on this list, George VI isn’t tangled in a cutthroat struggle or frivolous scandal. No, his problem is an embarrassing stammer, that makes social events a chore and important speeches arduous – to the point where he kicks and screams to come to grips with addressing the nation. Behind his royal status lies a character that is sensitive, self-conscious and most of all, just a regular guy.

Do you agree with our list? Who’s your favorite movie king? For more engaging top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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