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Top 10 Liam Neeson Scenes

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Written by Jack Beresford He has a very particular set of skills. Skills he has acquired over a very long and varied acting career. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Liam Neeson scenes. For this list, we’re revisiting some of Liam Neeson’s finest movies and the scenes that helped establish the Northern Irishman as an actor for all occasions. Special thanks to our users Andrew A. Dennison, Dale Charge and donnchadh bracken for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Liam Neeson Scenes


He has a very particular set of skills. Skills he has acquired over a very long and varied acting career. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Liam Neeson scenes.

For this list, we’re revisiting some of Liam Neeson’s finest movies and the scenes that helped establish the Northern Irishman as an actor for all occasions.

#10: Priest Vallon Vs. Bill the Butcher
“Gangs of New York” (2002)

We start with the exhilarating opening scene from Martin Scorsese’s gangster epic, with Neeson front and centre. He plays Priest Vallon, the leader of the Irish Catholic immigrant gang the “Dead Rabbits”, who face off against Daniel Day-Lewis’s William “Bill the Butcher” Cutting and the ‘Natives’, in a violent and bloody encounter. Vallon fights valiantly but is no match for Bill, with his death providing the catalyst for the rest of the film.

#9: The Funeral
“Love Actually” (2003)

Neeson showed another side to his talents in this festive favourite, playing Daniel, a man mourning the death of his wife and trying to raise his stepson. Our first look at Liam’s character is particularly poignant, as he delivers a heartfelt eulogy at his wife’s funeral - only to finish with the Bay City Rollers’ song “Bye Bye Baby”. A sweet and funny speech especially considering the personal tragedy which befell Neeson six years later, this scene sets up a particularly emotional story for Daniel.

#8: The Pink Elephant
“Darkman” (1990)

Sam Raimi lucked out landing Liam as the leading man for “Darkman”, Raimi’s first film after “Evil Dead II”. Neeson’s perfect as Dr Peyton Westlake, a scientist and vigilante out for revenge after being disfigured and left for dead by gangsters. Though able to alter his appearance to go out in public, Dr Westlake is psychologically damaged by his experience, and he won’t be pushed around by anyone anymore – as one corrupt carnival worker finds out.

#7: Who Will Take My Place?
“Michael Collins” (1996)

Before filming for this role, Neeson spent time with the relatives of the real Michael Collins, to prepare for the part. The actor has even revealed how he touched the blood of his subject, when getting to grips with a bloodstained letter which was found in Collins’ jacket the day he died. Liam’s thorough research all paid off, with the Northern Irishman wowing in a politically charged role that required him to deliver several rousing speeches. This one – calling on his followers to rise against the authorities – has to be the highlight.

#6: Improvisational Comedy
“Life’s Too Short” (2011-13)

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant suffered a rare relative misfire with this short-lived sitcom starring actor Warwick Davis as a fictionalised version of himself. However, there are some notable highlights, thanks to the celebrity cameos on offer. Neeson’s is particularly hilarious, with the “Taken” actor visiting Merchant and Gervais to showcase his next big venture: stand-up comedy. He even treats them to a couple of jokes. If you can call them that.

#5: Qui-Gon’s Death
“Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace” (1999)

The “Star Wars” prequel series wasn’t always well-received, but Liam’s input can’t be faulted. He’s great as Qui-Gon Jinn, the Jedi master who plucks a young Anakin Skywalker from obscurity and teaches him the ways of the Force. Here, Neeson lines up alongside Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi in an epic three-way lightsaber battle against Darth Maul. It ends in tragedy for Qui-Gon, but this duel and his death are standout “Star Wars” moments.

#4: Kissing Clyde
“Kinsey” (2004)

Neeson has been defying convention for much of his career, and 2004’s “Kinsey” is prime example of his range. A biopic focusing on sexologist Alfred Kinsey, the film sees Liam explore ideas around gender and sexuality in a way few other leading Hollywood men had attempted at the time. This exploration came to a head in one thought-provoking scene where Neeson’s Kinsey shares an emotionally-charged kiss with Peter Sarsgaard’s Clyde Martin – Kinsey’s real-life assistant.

#3: The Duel
“Rob Roy” (1995)

Liam is well known for his high-octane action movies, but “Rob Roy” is often overlooked - and it really shouldn’t be. A great companion piece to Mel Gibson’s “Braveheart”, which was released in the same year, the movie sees Neeson’s Scottish highlander Rob Roy MacGregor on the run in 18th century England. When he’s finally caught, Roy faces off against Tim Roth’s Archibald Cunningham in a full-on fight to the death.

#2: The Phone Call
“Taken” (2008)

To what’s probably Liam Neeson’s most famous movie moment. While “Taken” boasts plenty of pulsating action sequences, this speech is the definitive scene which fans forever draw upon. Angry but eloquent, it quickly became a part of twenty-first century pop culture and has spawned countless parodies. Repeated to less effect in two sequels, it may even be the highlight of the entire “Taken” franchise, never mind just the first movie.

#1: He Who Saves One Life
“Schindler’s List” (1993)

Neeson secured the role of Oskar Schindler after Steven Spielberg saw him perform on Broadway back in 1992. Keen to cast a relative unknown who could embody Schindler’s persona, Liam was first choice, despite reported interest from Kevin Costner and Mel Gibson. And his casting paid off, with the Northern Irishman earning an Oscar nomination for his work. This scene, where Schindler says goodbye to those he saved and laments not being able to save more, still ranks as one of cinema’s most powerful moments.
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