David Niven Movies

nivendavid03Want to know the best David Niven movies?  How about the worst David Niven movies?  Curious about David Niven’s box office grosses or which David Niven movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which David Niven movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences and which got the worst reviews? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

This David Niven (1910-1983) movie page comes from a request from Steve Lensman & Søren & Flora.  It seems that David Nivens screen persona can best be described by the following words:  impeccable, unflappable, urbane, and sophisticated.  Nivens’ movie career lasted over 60 years….which means he has lots and lots of movies to research and rank.

His IMDb page shows 113 acting credits 1932-1983. This page will rank 64 David Niven movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information. Television shows, cameos and movies not released in North America were not included in the rankings.

Shirley MacLaine and David Niven in 1956's Around The World In 80 Days.

Shirley MacLaine and David Niven in 1956’s Around The World In 80 Days.

David Niven Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort David Niven movies by co-stars of his movies.
  • Sort David Niven movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost
  • Sort David Niven movies by yearly domestic box office rank
  • Sort David Niven movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations each David Niven movie received and how many Oscar® wins each David Niven movie won.
  • Sort David Niven movies by Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
  • Use the search and sort button to make this page very interactive.

David Niven

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above David Nivenl Table

  1. Twenty-four David Niven movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 37.50% of his movies listed. Around the World in 80 Days (1956) was his biggest box office hit.
  2. An average David Niven movie grosses  $104.20 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using RottenTomatoes.com’s 60% fresh meter.  38 David Niven movies are rated as good movies…or 59.37% of his movies.  Stairway To Heaven/A Matter Of Life And Death (1946) is his highest rated movie while The Extraordinary Seaman (1969) is his lowest rated movie.
  4. Seventeen David Niven movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 26.56% of his movies.
  5. Eight David Niven movie won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 12.50% of his movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score is 40.00.  37 David Niven movies scored higher that average….or 57.81% of his movies.   Wuthering Heights (1939) got the the highest UMR Score while The Extraordinary Seaman (1969) got the lowest UMR Score.
David Niven in 1961's The Guns of Navarone

David Niven in 1961’s The Guns of Navarone

Ten Possibly Interesting Facts About David Niven

1. James David Graham Niven was born in Belgrave Mansions, London in 1910.

2. David Niven was named after the Saint’s Day on which he was born, St. David, patron Saint of Wales.

3. After Great Britain declared war in 1939, David Niven was one of the first actors to go back and join the army. Although Niven had a reputation for telling good old stories over and over again, he was totally silent about his war experience.

4. On David Niven’s return to Hollywood after the war he was made a Legionnaire of the Order of Merit. This was presented to Lt. Col. David Niven by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.

5. Ian Fleming recommended him for the role of James Bond for Dr. No (1962), but producer Albert R. Broccoli thought that Niven was too old.  5 years later Niven would play James Bond in 1967’s Casino Royale.

6. David Niven was only nominated for an acting Oscar® one time.  But once was enough as he won the Best Actor Oscar® for 1958’s Separate Tables.

7. David Niven was only nominated for 3 Golden Globes®.  He won two Golden Globes®: 1953’s The Moon is Blue and 1958’s Separate Tables.  His third nomination was for 1957’s My Man Godfrey.

8. David Niven was married two times.  His first marriage was to Primula Rollo from 1940 to until her death in 1946.  She died tragically while attending a dinner at Tyrone Power ‘s house. After dinner, while playing hide and seek, she opened what she thought was a closet door but instead tumbled down the basement stairs and onto the concrete floor. She died shortly after.  They had two children.  His second marriage was to Hjordis Genberg lasted from 1948 to Niven’s death in 1983.  They had two children as well.

9. David Niven and Raymond Massey (his co-star two times) both passed away on the same day….July 29th, 1983.

10. Check out David Niven’s career compared to current and classic actors.  Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time.

Academy Award® and Oscar® are the registered trademarks of the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences.  Golden Globes® are the registered trademark of the Hollywood Foreign Press.


THIS PAGE IS NOT A COMPLETED PAGE.  JUST WANTED TO SHOW THE MOVIES IN OUR DATABASE THAT STARRED DAVID NIVEN.  NOT SURE WHEN WE WILL FINISH THIS PAGE BUT UNTIL THEN, WE FIGURED THERE WAS NO GOOD REASON NOT TO SHARE WHAT WE DO HAVE.   WE CALL OUR WEBSITE ULTIMATE MOVIE RANKINGS BECAUSE WE TRY AND RANK EVERY MOVIE AN ACTOR OR ACTRESS MADE.  SINCE THIS IS ONLY SOME OF NIVEN’S MOVIES WE WILL JUST CALL THIS A DAVID NIVEN MOVIE RANKING PAGE AND LEAVE OUT THE ULTIMATE!

 

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26 thoughts on “David Niven Movies

  1. STEVE & JOHN 1 A good night of TV viewing for me yesterday which caused me to think of you both: (1) In an episode of Angela Lansbury’s Murder She Wrote the bride of Moses Yvonne DeCarlo had a bit part. I was saddened at witnessing her decline which was both professional and startlingly physical. There is no doubt W o C’s “Curse of 39” took few prisoners in Hollywood especially among women. Mrs Chuck was 63 in that 1985 episode. For good measure Psycho’s 56 year old Vera Miles was thrown in also in a supporting role

    2 Following that programme came a special tribute to Steve’s fellow countryman and recent video subject David Niven. He recounted many interesting amusing anecdotes and stories from Hollywood days:
    (1). Clark Gable was his closest friend and the King was one of the most down to earth guys you could meet. Clark valued the “wise” advice of Old Cantankerous.
    (2) Flynn was an exceptionally physically strong individual before the drink took him.
    (3) The famous Cary Grant/Mae West movie I’m No Angel was to be released as It Ain’t a Sin but the puritanical Hayes Office thought that title was too “dirty” and forced a name change on Paramount. A small fortune had been wasted training 1500 parrots which were to be situated in prominent public places all across LA to publicise the film by chirping “It Ain’t a Sin.”
    (4) Louella Parsons had a fanatic hatred of Orson Welles and Hedda Hopper was preoccupied with a detestation of Chaplin because of his perceived “left wing” views. In fact Hedda’s final column the night before her death contained a further tirade against Charlie. The vitriolic pair’s attacks on Mr Mumbles in their gossip columns failed to dent his 1950s popularity.
    (5) [Saving the best wine for the last!] David recounted that via other social connections he found himself occasionally in Churchill’s company during the war years and in their conversations Winston would regularly sing the praises of Deanna Durbin whom Churchill regarded as exceptionally talented. Oh to have been a fly on the wall back then John rather than that“happy daisy in the garden fair” that you and I discussed in relation to McCormack’s singing of the superior version of Danny Boy!

    1. A fun read Bob, thanks.

      I read one of David Niven’s autobiographies a long time ago – Bring on the Empty Horses. I remember enjoying it quite a bit. Great stories! Niven was a skilled raconteur, ditto Ustinov.

      1. Steve, John & Bob….good stories on Mr. David Niven. Glad you had a good night of television…..the power of Murder She Wrote. I have not ever watched an entire episode of that show. Thanks for some solid feedback Bob.

  2. BRUCE
    1.The update now gives an overall adjusted domestic gross of around $6.2 billion. Whilst that is impressive enough I can never make up my own mind if David should be placed at the bottom of Classic era A list stars or the top of the B list as every time someone like Grant, Peck or Doris Day appeared in one of his movies David would play second fiddle.

    2. However he was certainly an exciting and enjoyable performer in movies whatever his precise status and an equally interesting character off-screen His closest friends were apparently Deborah Kerr, Peter Ustinov and Noel Coward. Noel has always been revered among thespian Brits to a degree that this site reserves for Myrna Loy.** Aspects of his associations with great Hollywood stars like Errol Flynn and Brando are mentioned in my post dated 9 Nov 16 which discussed Steve Lensman’s colourful video on David’s movies.

    3 Apparently David’s Oscar for Separate Tables in which he appeared for just 23 mins gave him the record for shortest time on screen for an Oscar winning performance in a leading role until Sir Anthony Hopkins broke David’s record with just a 16 minute appearance in Silence of the Lambs. It shows how the mind plays tricks on one for I could have sworn that both David and Sir Anthony were on the screen for longer than the official times stated and if pressed I would probably have cited Brando’s Godpop outing as deserving what could be regarded as a rather dubious ‘accolade’.

    ** A current poll on IMDB regards Sir Maurice Micklewhite as the 3rd greatest British performer of all time.

    1. Hey Bob.
      1. I would put Niven at the bottom of the A listers. Yes he was usually second fiddle…but he was still above the credits….in many ways he was like Loy.
      2. I did not realize Niven was on screen so little in Seperate Tables…seems his role was bigger than that….but it was a pretty big ensemble cast.
      3. His 6.2 billion box office is impressive ….but it has more to do with length of career than stellar box office star.
      4. Always glad to see Sir Michael getting some respect.
      🙂

  3. 1 And the British keep on a coming! Niven told some interesting stories about his relationship with other major stars during his Hollywood days; BRANDO: David said he was nervous about filming Bedtime Story with Marlon as he had heard he was difficult to work with, but they got on very well together and in fact David claimed that Brando helped him resolve some visa renewal problems for re-entry to the US in the mid 1960s. FLYNN: For a long time Niven shared a bungalow by the sea with Errol which got a reputation of being a Sodom and Gomorrah for alcohol-fuelled Hollywood hellraisers but reports said the partnership broke up when Errol started to form a romantic attachment to Niven!

    2 VIDEO COMMENTS
    (1) Niven played a large number of supporting roles to other major stars during his career and your selections and posters reflect that (2) good selections as no movie has been given lower that a respectable 6 (3) super posters for Lady L, Ask Any Girl, Charge of Light Brigade and of course Guns of Navarone (4) fantastic still from 55 Days at Peking – hi Chuck ! (5) Bruce and you agree about 4 of the Top 5 although he rightly in my view ranks Dodsworth No 3 and gives it an 84.5 for critic/audience whereas surprisingly you leave it out altogether? (5) ironic opening quote as Niven once reportedly chastised a fan for suggesting actors were over-paid. (6) 9/10 overall but petty error as Bedtime Story was 1964 and not 1962. Anyway great stuff! BOB

    1 And the British keep on a coming! Niven told some interesting stories about his relationship with other major stars during his Hollywood days; BRANDO: David said he was nervous about filming Bedtime Story with Marlon as he had heard he was difficult to work with, but they got on very well together and in fact David claimed that Brando helped him resolve some visa renewal problems for re-entry to the US in the mid1960s. FLYNN: For a long time Niven shared a bungalow by the sea with Errol which got a reputation of being a Sodom and Gomorrah for alcohol-fuelled Hollywood hellraisers but reports said the partnership broke up when Errol started to form a romantic attachment to Niven!

    2 VIDEO COMMENTS
    (1) Niven played a large number of supporting roles to other
    major stars during his career and your selections and posters reflect that (2) good selections as no movie has been given lower that a respectable 6 (3) super posters for Lady L, Ask Any Girl, Charge of Light Brigade and of course Guns of Navarone (4) fantastic still from 55 Days at Peking – hi Chuck ! (5) Bruce and you agree about 4 of the Top 5 although he rightly in my view ranks Doddsworth 3 and gives it an 84.5 for critic/audience whereas surprisingly you leave it out altogether? (5) ironic opening quote as Niven once reportedly chastised a fan for suggesting actors were over-paid. (6) 9/10 overall but petty correction required as Bedtime Story was 1964 and not 1962. Anyway great stuff! BOB

    1. Apologies : my post duplicated itself on the same page as the original. Perhaps Bruce would remove the duplicate.

    2. Thanks for the review and trivia Bob, always appreciated. David was the quintessential English actor, did he ever ‘not’ play an Englishman?

      I thought long and hard about Dodsworth, well for about 2 or 3 minutes, and decided it was not worthy of inclusion (cue screams, loud murmuring and a yawn in the back row) I thought his role was too small, it would be like adding Winchester 73 into Tony Curtis top 10 movies.

      Yep Bedtime Story was 1964, thats the date I have in my files, I must have been distracted by another films date while compiling the video. Sorry about that.

      Looking at Bruce’s chart we have near enough the same top 30 except in different order. Bruce includes every noteworthy film Niven appeared or walked past in, including Rose Marie where if you blink you’ll miss him. Problem is by showing us his bit parts (oo err missus!) some of Niven’s more famous roles like Raffles and My Man Godfrey fall further down the chart.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NGTCVt1kF0

      1. Hey Steve and Bob.
        1. Thanks for sharing your video link – Steve.
        2. Good Niven stories – especially the behind the scenes stuff on a Bedtime Stories – Bob.
        3. Glad we agree on Doddsworth being so highly ranked on my Niven page – Bon.
        4. Basically I let IMDb decide if a movie gets included in a page….and the movies you (Steve) mentioned did not go down as either zags a bit part or uncredited so they made the page.
        5. The next time I am on on desk top I will fix your (Bob) duplicate error……I can not access it from my iPad.
        Appreciate all the movie talk…..interesting and informative.

  4. Hi

    David Niven for years sent a cheque to an old army buddy, to help him out every year. I suppose that says more about him than any film career can.
    I always liked Niven, he was a great personality. For the last 10 years of his life, he was probably known more for a best selling author and doing coffee commercials on T.V and a brilliant guest on chat shows. He hosted the AFI presentation for Fred Astaire and of course his famous quote about the streaker at the Oscars.
    I think Around The World in 80 Days really turned his career around and made him a bankable star which probably led to him get the role in Separate Tables. He was great in the role but I think it was more support rather than a lead. And of course The Guns of Navarone.
    Another favourite would be The Bishop’s Wife, one of the best Christmas movies ever.

    1. Hey Chris….thanks for checking out my David Niven page. That is cool about Niven helping out his army buddy. I did read that he had written a few books….one of which used Cary Grant as source for one of his characters. Around the World in 80 Days is his most famous movie….but compared to many of his classic roles….it is a weak Niven role. I agree that his part in Separate Tables was a supporting role….but his part was easily the most memorable. This is the perfect time to watch The Bishop’s Wife. Thanks for your thoughts on David Niven.

  5. Hey, I really liked David Niven in The Guns of Navarone – that was a very good movie – such a great cast too. One of my favorite war movies. Enjoyed the facts – such a terrible thing to have his wife dying playing Hide and Seek. My two little granddaughters and one great granddaughter played hide and seek at my house last Friday – going up and down my two sets of stairs. Useful information once again. THANK YOU!

    1. Hey BERN1960….glad your favorite….The Guns of Navarone finished in the top spot in the rankings. I can not believe I had never heard of that incident before…..but it is indeed very sad. Thankfully nothing bad happened to those little kids while they were playing hide and seek. Thanks for the visit and thanks for the comment.

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