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Top 10 Christian Bale Scenes

Credits: Richard Bush Sean Harris
Written by Andrea Buccino He’s intense, in demand and dedicated to his craft; and he’s one of the UK’s leading acting talents. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Christian Bale scenes. For this list we’ve taken a look at Christian’s stellar career, and ranked the finest moments from some of his most memorable characters. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Christian Bale Scenes


He’s intense, in demand and dedicated to his craft; and he’s one of the UK’s leading acting talents. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Christian Bale scenes.

For this list we’ve taken a look at Christian’s stellar career, and ranked the finest moments from some of his most memorable characters.

#10: Putting the Hair On
“American Hustle” (2013)

He’s well known for his chiselled good looks, but Bale is also famous for transforming his appearance. In fact, he seems to enjoy shaking things up a little. Take Irving Rosenfeld, for example. A bald and overweight conman, he’s worlds away from the pristine beauty of, say, Patrick Bateman. “American Hustle” opens with Irving’s morning routine, showing an ageing man who refuses to let hair loss dampen his swagger. Just don’t touch the toupée.

#9: My Rice
“Rescue Dawn” (2006)

Next, Bale plays fighter pilot Dieter Dengler, in director Werner Herzog’s epic account of a true story from the Vietnam War. Captured after his plane is shot down during the conflict, Dengler is kept as a prisoner of war, and here he’s given an entirely unappetising meal. Unwavering in his will to survive, he quickly, and apparently happily, munches on the maggots. And this isn’t cinema magic either, those things are the real deal.

#8: Bale on the Drums
“The Big Short” (2015)

A standout scene during a pristine performance as Michael Burry, here we see an altogether different side to Bale’s character, an until-now unheeded economics genius. Bale’s portrayal is so believable you might easily forget that it’s him you’re watching, as he smashes through Pantera’s “By Demons Be Driven”. The sequence comes just as Bale’s character needs to vent some frustration, so the drums offer a therapeutic respite. Is there anything this guy can’t do?

#7: Look Closer
“The Prestige” (2006)

To a simple yet powerful scene, and a key moment in “The Prestige”. Bale performs a largely straightforward coin trick for a young lad, and in doing so he reveals some of his character’s most fundamental philosophies. It’s over before you realise it, and as Bale says, you have to look closely, but it’s a moment which magically foreshadows the story which is about to unravel. Impressive trick, too.

#6: Buy Bleach
“The Machinist” (2004)

Bale isn’t afraid to go to extremes for his acting, but this is on another level. He totally transformed his body for “The Machinist”, adopting an emaciated, quite terrifying look, which is shown in its full fragility here. His character, Trevor Reznik, suffers extreme insomnia, which has resulted in his skeletal appearance. Scrubbing the bathroom floor with a toothbrush, we watch as his sinewy, spider-like figure crouches to complete the task, for a haunting scene which really sticks with you.

#5: Joker Interrogation
“The Dark Knight” (2008)

True, this scene is as much about Heath Ledger’s acclaimed portrayal of the Joker, but Bale more than holds his own as Gotham’s finest. In one of the most famous scenes from Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, Batman is full of rage. The Joker seems typically unperturbed, but the moment does open up the darker potential within Bale’s iconic superhero character. And even under the cape and cowl, he delivers in spades.

#4: Tumbling Down
“Velvet Goldmine” (1998)

Even before becoming a household name, Bale had no qualms about taking on complex, challenging roles. An underrated gem inspired by David Bowie, as well as other ‘70s artists, “Velvet Goldmine” sees Bale play the journalist Arthur Stuart, who experiences a sexual awakening through glam rock. There are a few pivotal scenes and standout moments, but Stuart’s final encounter with Ewan McGregor’s Curt Wild is the film’s cryptic, romantic and dramatic conclusion.

#3: Puppy Showdown
“Equilibrium” (2002)

In a world where emotion is suppressed and punishable by death, hiding a puppy can have dire consequences, even for one of the highest ranking enforcers of the regime’s draconian laws. As John Preston, Bale engages in a tense exchange with a police captain before all hell breaks loose upon the discovery of the dog in Preston’s car. Dodging bullets and nailing some brutal kills of his own, it’s one of Bale’s most elaborate and dynamic action sequences.

#2: Cadillac of the Skies
“Empire of the Sun” (1987)

Even as a child actor, Bale’s range was clear to see. A central character in this Steven Spielberg movie, he plays prisoner of war Jim Graham. And in this scene he delivers what’s probably the film’s most famous line. Captivated by the fighter planes and the spectacle of an air raid, Bale’s character appears entirely oblivious to the danger he is in. With bombs falling in the background, he’s eventually brought to safety, but only after his excitement has passed.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honourable mentions:

Melvin Purvis Shoots Pretty Boy Floyd
“Public Enemies” (2009)

Swear to me!
“Batman Begins” (2005)

Late for Training
“The Fighter” (2010)

#1: Hip to be Square
“American Psycho” (2000)

The character which confirmed Bale as a superstar, Patrick Bateman takes today’s crown with an especially memorable scene. After waxing lyrical about Huey Lewis and the News, and one song in particular, Bale’s Bateman firmly plants an axe into Jared Leto. Switching in seconds from a kinda creepy but well-spoken music fan to an incensed, maniacal, ruthless murderer, has Bale’s range ever been better showcased? We think not.
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