Number of appearances as a pirate: 3 feature films, plus 24 TV episodes
Appearances as a seafarer:
Other films in which he goes to sea:
Performances in which he speaks with a West Country accent:
Films or programs in which he plays the main character:
Films or programs in which he plays a romantic lead:
Films or programs in which he plays a villain:
Appearances as a comic (or semi-comic) character:
Films directed or edited by David Lean:
Films scored by Victor Young:
Number of onscreen appearances with ...
That strange feeling of déjà vu
If you've seen many of Robert Newton's movies, it's not déjà vu you're experiencing; you really have seen him work with that familiar-looking actor before. The versatile Leslie Banks wins the grand prize for appearing in six films with Robert Newton, each role a very different type of character, which is even more remarkable considering Banks made only 35 films in total.
Welsh writer/director/actor Emlyn Williams, who was born the same year as Newton and gave his friend Richard Burton his first big break, is tied with Flora Robson, Elsa Lanchester, and James Mason for second place, each with four costarring roles. (Olivier's fourth "role" doesn't fully count since he doesn't actually appear in This Happy Breed.) Ironically, Williams and Newton were pitted against each other in all four films. In both I, Claudius and Jamaica Inn, Williams, as the villain, terrorizes Newton's character, kicking him to the floor in the former and trying to hang him, then tying him to a chair and slapping him in the face in the latter. In Major Barbara, they appear on the screen together only briefly, just enough time for Williams's unsavory character to swipe Newton's donation and to witness and scurry off to report his abuse of Salvation Army worker Deborah Kerr. Finally, playing duelling villains, Newton defeats Williams once and for all in Hatter's Castle, even though Williams's character may think he's got the last word in!
Meanwhile, poor Deborah Kerr (who herself appeared in three films opposite Emlyn Williams and once played the lead in his play The Corn Is Green in honor of his 80th birthday) was twice terrorized by Newton, being slugged in the face and knocked to the ground by him in Major Barbara and only a year later being roughly thrown out into a raging storm in Hatter's Castle—adding insult to the injury she's already suffered at the hand of Williams's character. (In real life, Kerr described Robert Newton as "a very dear man.")
If you can think of any more career coincidences that should be listed here but aren't, please let me know. Click here to send me an e-mail. Thanks go out to the following contributors, whose initials appear next to their contributions: Vikki Cole-Richardson, and Susan Gantz.
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