Richard Burton Movies

burton 11111Want to know the best Richard Burton movies?  How about the worst Richard Burton movies?  Curious about Richard Burton’s box office grosses or which Richard Burton movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which Richard Burton 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.

Richard Burton (1925-1984) was a 7 time Oscar® nominated Welsh actor.  After gaining fame as the next “Laurence Olivier” of stage, Burton moved to Hollywood and almost immediately had great success.  His IMDb page shows 77 acting credits from 1946-1984. This page ranks 46 Richard Burton movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information. Television shows, shorts, cameos and movies not released in North America  were not included in the following table.

Drivel part of the page:  This page comes from a request by Albert.  We had about 60% of these movies already in our database…so we figured it was going to be a fairly easy page to research.  His movies from 1953 to 1968 were very popular and very easy to research.  However when Burton reached the 1970s his career pretty much fell off the cliff.  After 1970 only 2 of his movies cracked our Top 25.  His Equus (1977) got good reviews and his final Oscar® nomination…but tanked at the box. His Exorcist 2 (1978) earned some money at the box office but is considered one of the worst movies ever made.  So if you are wondering why so many of his later movies have almost no box office…most (Wild Geese & 1984 did ok) were low budget barely seen movies.

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in 1966's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in 1966’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Richard Burton 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 Richard Burton movies by co-stars of his movies.
  • Sort Richard Burton movies by actual domestic box office grosses
  • Sort Richard Burton movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost
  • Sort Richard Burton movies by domestic yearly box office rank or by trivia for that movie
  • Sort Richard Burton 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 Richard Burton movie received and how many Oscar® wins each Richard Burton movie won.
  • Sort Richard Burton 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.
  • *** = Richard Burton Oscar nominated performance.
RankMovie (Year)Co-StarsDomestic Box Office - Actual (Millions)Domestic Box Office - Adjusted (Millions)Yearly Box Office Rank or TriviaCritic Audience RatingOscar Nom / WinUMR Score
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) ***Elizabeth Taylor & George Segal$28.00$214.603rd of 196688.5%13 / 0588.23
The Longest Day (1962)John Wayne & Robert Mitchum$50.29$419.003rd of 196385.0%05 / 0277.03
The Robe (1953) ***Jean Simmons & Victor Mature$40.61$570.501st of 195362.5%05 / 0271.58
Becket (1964) ***Peter O'Toole & John Gielgud$14.29$128.1024th of 196480.5%12 / 0171.55
Anne of the Thousand Days (1969) ***Genevieve Bujold$17.31$102.7016th of 197072.0%10 / 0163.61
Cleopatra (1963)Elizabeth Taylor & Rex Harrison$57.78$576.402nd of 196347.3%09 / 0462.13
Where Eagles Dare (1968)Clint Eastwood$15.73$101.2013th of 196983.3%00 / 0054.86
The Night of the Iguana (1964)Ava Gardner & Directed by John Huston$12.40$111.2015th of 196473.5%04 / 0154.60
The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (1965) ***Claire Bloom & Oskar Werner$9.73$80.4033rd of 196677.0%02 / 0053.95
My Cousin Rachel (1952) ***Olivia de Havilland$3.61$55.30Greta Garbo & Vivien Leigh turned down Rachel role72.5%04 / 0051.24
Candy (1968)Marlon Brando & Walter Matthau$21.06$135.5012th of 196959.7%00 / 0049.04
Taming of the Shrew (1967)Elizabeth Taylor &
Cyril Cusack
$8.85$61.7027th of 196777.5%02 / 0048.65
Zulu (1964)Michael Caine$4.20$37.70Burton provides narration86.7%00 / 0046.57
The V.I.P.s (1963)Elizabeth Taylor & Orson Welles$13.39$131.307th of 196353.0%01 / 0146.26
Equus (1977) ***Peter Firth$2.70$10.20Burton got 7th & final Oscar nomination73.5%03 / 0044.32
The Bramble Bush (1960)Angie Dickinson$8.57$104.7028th of 196059.0%00 / 0043.96
Look Back In Anger (1959)Claire Bloom$3.17$44.6070th of 195976.0%00 / 0043.88
Ice Palace (1960)Robert Ryan$4.71$57.6059th of 196069.5%00 / 0041.59
The Desert Rats (1953)James Mason$3.03$42.60Best Screenplay Oscar Nomination73.5%01 / 0041.54
Alexander the Great (1956)Fredric March & Claire Bloom$7.14$109.5032nd of 195647.0%00 / 0039.06
The Sandpiper (1965)Elizabeth Taylor & Charles Bronson$16.65$137.607th of 196535.0%01 / 0138.78
1984 (1984)John Hurt$8.43$21.20Burton's last feature film73.0%00 / 0037.60
The Rains of Ranchipur (1955)Lana Turner$7.43$120.4031st of 195638.5%01 / 0037.16
Bitter Victory (1957)Curd Jürgens & Christopher Lee$1.79$26.90Double bill with Cell 2455, Death Row70.0%00 / 0037.07
Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)Linda Blair$37.57$142.0021st of 197732.0%00 / 0037.05
Prince of Players (1955)Maggie McNamara$1.75$28.401st CinemaScope flop68.5%00 / 0036.60
The Wild Geese (1978)Roger Moore & Richard Harris$7.78$28.0066th of 197868.5%00 / 0036.54
The Medusa Torch (1978)Lee Remick$0.25$0.90Burton earned $500,000 for role73.0%00 / 0034.45
Hamlet (1964)Hume Cronyn$0.18$1.60Stage Performance Movie68.0%00 / 0032.21
Villain (1971)Ian McShane$1.05$5.30A hit in England64.5%00 / 0031.14
The Sea Wife (1957)Joan Collins$1.47$22.20Double bill with Forty Guns54.5%00 / 0029.06
The Comedians (1967)Elizabeth Taylor & Alec Guinness$7.00$48.8042nd of 196845.5%00 / 0028.94
Under Milk Wood (1972)Elizabeth Taylor & Peter OToole$1.82$9.00Based on Dylan Thomas play57.5%00 / 0028.42
Absolution (1978)Dominic Guard$0.10$0.40Limited release in 198858.5%00 / 0027.55
Massacre In Rome (1973)Marcello Mastroianni$0.10$0.50Limited release in 197558.0%00 / 0027.34
Staircase (1969)Rex Harrison$5.29$31.4055th of 196947.5%00 / 0027.19
Lovespell (1981)Kate Mulgrew$0.10$0.30Filmed in Ireland - limited release57.0%00 / 0026.84
Bluebeard (1972)Raquel Welch$3.64$18.0085th of 197251.0%00 / 0026.76
The Assassination of Trotsky (1972)Alain Delon$0.25$1.20Some critics consider this one of his best roles54.5%00 / 0025.81
Circle of Two (1981)Tatum ONeal$0.20$0.60Ryan O'Neal & Lee Majors have cameos in a porn theater scene54.0%00 / 0025.47
Breakthrough (1979)Robert Mitchum$1.11$3.70Burton replaced James Coburn52.5%00 / 0025.24
Raid on Rommel (1971)John Colicos$1.38$7.10Originally set to be television movie50.5%00 / 0024.84
Hammersmith Is Out (1972)Elizabeth Taylor$2.42$12.00Last Taylor/Burton feature film47.5%00 / 0024.18
Boom! (1968)Elizabeth Taylor & Noël Coward$5.71$36.8053rd if 196831.0%00 / 0020.27
Klansman (1974)Lee Marvin$2.42$10.90Budget - $5,000,00039.0%00 / 0020.02
Doctor Faustas (1967)Elizabeth Taylor & Andreas Teuber$2.50$17.4091st of 196835.0%00 / 0019.15

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Richard Burtonl Table

  1. Fifteen Richard Burton movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 32.60% of his movies listed. Cleopatra (1963) was his biggest box office hit.
  2. An average Richard Burton movie grossed $83.00 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using RottenTomatoes.com’s 60% fresh meter.  22 Richard Burton movies are rated as good movies…or 47.82% of his movies.  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) is his highest rated movie while Boom! (1968) is his lowest rated movie.
  4. Fifteen Richard Burton movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 32.60% of his movies.
  5. Nine Richard Burton movies won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 19.56% of his movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score is 40.00.  19 Richard Burton movies scored higher that average….or 41.30 of his movies.   Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) got the the highest UMR Score while Doctor Faustas (1967) got the lowest UMR Score.
Jean Simmons and Richard Burton in 1953's The Robe....one of the biggest box office hits of all-time.

Jean Simmons and Richard Burton in 1953’s The Robe….one of the biggest box office hits of all-time.

Possibly Interesting Facts About Richard Burton

1. Richard Walter Jenkins was born in the village of Pontrhydyfen, Neath Port Talbot, Wales in 1928.  He was the 12th of 13 children.

2.  Phillip Burton was Richard’s school master and mentor.  Burton eventually took Burton surname as his stage name…and thus Richard Jenkins became Richard Burton

3.  Currently two Richard Burton movies are in the Top 50 Adjusted Box Office Hits of All-Time.  1953’s The Robe is in 47th place and 1963’s Cleopatra 42nd place.

4.  Richard Burton was nominated for 7 Oscar® …but he never won.  His 7 nominations are the second most without winning.  First?  Burton’s Beckett co-star, Peter O’Toole who received 8 nominations without winning.

5.  Richard Burton was nominated for 7 Golden Globes®…winning twice.  He won a Golden Globe® for 1952’s My Cousin Rachel and 1977’s Equus.

6.  Richard Burton was married 5 times.  His most famous marriage was to Elizabeth Taylor.  They were married twice…from 1964 to 1974 and 1975 to 1976.  Burton and Taylor would make 11 feature films together.  Burton had three children.  His daughter, Kate, is an actress with over 80 IMDb credits.

6.  Richard Burton sang in the backup chorus for “Rocket to Stardom” on Kris Kristofferson’s 1975 album “Who’s to Bless . . . Who’s to Blame.”

7.  Richard Burton appeared in six films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar®: 1953’s The Robe, 1962’s The Longest Day, 1963’s Cleopatra, 1964’s Becket, 1966’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and 1969’s  Anne of the Thousand Days.

8.  Richard Burton had 3 movies on Variety’s Top Rental Films of 1963 list.  Cleopatra was 2nd, The Longest Day was 3rd and V.I.P.s was 7th.

9.  In 1968, Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood starred in Where Eagles Dare.  The movie had some many stunts done by stuntmen that Eastwood referred to the movie as “Where Doubles Dared.”

10. Check out Richard Burton‘s career compared to current and classic actors.  Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time.

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40 thoughts on “Richard Burton Movies

  1. 1 Burton courted controversy throughout his career from his perceived scandalous relationship with Liz Taylor to his outspoken comments such as when he reportedly told a room full of movie critics at a film launch “I loathe the lot of you!”

    2 He was once asked who he considered were the greatest movie performers of his day and virtually heckling the interviewer into agreeing with his choices he said “Brando [his often social companion] and of course my Elizabeth [his wife].” Ah the impartiality of those Brits!

    3 VIDEO COMMENTS
    (1) Fine closing still of Richard before the booze got to him
    (2) As usual many excellent posters that were new to me and I will randomly highlight Alexander the Great, Desert Rats, Becket and a truly amazing one for Night of Iguana
    (3) He and Liz jointly appeared in 11 cinematic movies and you have included 8 of them for which your overall average marking is about 65%. This compares with Bruce’s overall figure of around 53% for the 8.
    (4) You and he agree on 4 of the Top 5 but he includes Zulu at No 2 for critic/audience whereas you ignore that one altogether. His inclusion of it surprised me as Burton just narrates in the movie and I wondered if Bruce was influenced by the fact that like Burton Sir Stanley Baker was Welsh –or, hmm?
    (5) Surprised both of you excluded the little British gem Now Barabbas was a Robber aka Now Barabbas which IMDB gives 7.9

    4 Throughout the Burton/Taylor years from 1963 – 1972 Liz was always the higher paid in a full-length role but overall Richard generated more personal income as he did almost twice as many movies a Liz in the 63-72 period. Bruce’s stats demonstrate that the adjusted overall gross for Liz’s movies in the period was almost $1.4 billion and Richard’s was nearly $2.2 billion Anyway overall video rating 9/10 – Thanks for good entertainment value.

    1. Bob, thanks for the genereous rating and movie trivia. I didn’t include Zulu of course because Burton only narrated it. Being proudly Welsh the silly twit should have been in the movie, or was he too busy making those godawful Liz Taylor movies?

      Now Barabbas is that rare thing, a film only Bob and a small handful of Burton fans have seen. I’ll bet even Burton’s family haven’t seen this one. IMDb lists just 18 votes for Now Barabbas which accounts for the unusually high score 7.9. They were probably patting themselves on the back for having discovered it. Even Bruce refused to include it and he lists walk ons, cameos and narrations. 😉

      Burton on Brando (1966) “He is a genuinely good man, I suspect, and he is intelligent. He has depth. It’s no accident that he is such a compelling actor. He puts on acts, of course, and pretends to be vaguer than he is. Very little misses him, as I’ve noticed.”

      Burton on Brando (1970) “He really is a smugly pompous little bastard and is cavalier about everybody except Black Panthers and Indians.”

      1. 1 Thanks for the new quotes . I read that some time between 1966 and 1970 Burton and Brando were reputed to have had a fist fight aboard a yacht over Liz and if that is true it would explain the change of heart which you record. I am not sure when the interview that I’ve mentioned took place but presumably before any fisticuffs that happened!

        2 It all doesn’t seem to have invoked any change of attitude on Liz’s part outwardly at least because in the mid 60s she said that she had admired Mr Mumbles since she was a young girl and when he died Liz went public with glowing praise saying she would forever miss him. She did though generally seem to have a thing for those ‘method’ boys because she was very attached to Clift and is reported to have said that she “loved” Dean.

        3 Anyway let’s leave the last word on Burton to Liz “He was among the greatest of actors and it was because other actors were jealous of him that he never got the Oscar.”

        1. Burton on actors (undated) – “Albert Finney is the greatest actor in the world. Then Peter O’Toole. Brando, Olivier and Gielgud belong to another time and place. They’re immortal, but remote from the rest of us. Sean Connery is vastly underrated. I would like to do a play with Michael Caine, whom I respect.”

          A shame he never got work to with Connery or Caine (he came close with Zulu). But he did work with Sir Roger on The Wild Geese.

          1. 1 One could quibble with the fine tuning of any ranking order but undoubtedly all of those mentioned in your quote from Burton are deservedly in the frame for consideration when selecting the greatest actors.

            2 The list of the ones whom Burton chose to mention did in its entirety strike me as odd though but I could not immediately fathom why – and then it struck me. Everybody singled out by the Welsh Richard was a Brit with the exception of Brando. Poor Bruce! – but then again maybe not.

            3 Anyway as Dalton said in Roadhouse “Opinions vary.” and Orson Welles seemed to think that the greatest American actor of all time was Joseph Cotton.

            NB Sir Sean and Burton were both in The Longest Day but I can’t recall whether they shared any scenes together.

          2. I think it’s safe to say that Brando is the most revered actor among actors, no one else comes close. If you were to take a survey today asking young actors around the world who they idolise, Mr. Mumbles will be at the top of the totem.

            Lord Olivier will have his worshippers too, De Niro and Pacino will get votes. hmm I don’t think Cruise, Hanks or Clooney will get a lot of support, I may be wrong. But I am in no doubt Stanley Kowalski rules the roost in filmdom.

          3. Hey Steve….in Burton’s diaries….he did not think so highly of Caine…..but that comment might be before Caine starred switch Taylor in X Y and Zee.

        2. Hey Bob and Steve…..thanks for all the conversations on Burton, Brando and the rest of the actors you mentioned…..it is interesting and informative.

    2. Without Burton’s outstanding narration…..Zulu might not have been as successful. I figured if Spencer Tracy gets credit for How The West Was Won…..then Burton should get credit for Zulu.

      1. Hey Olinda….that sounds like a great memory to have….many people thought Burton and Olivier were the best stage actors ever!

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