Yul Brynner Movies

Yul Brynner in 1973's Westworld

Yul Brynner in 1973’s Westworld

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

Yul Brynner (1920-1985) was a Russian-born stage and Oscar® winning actor.  His IMDb page shows 48 acting credits from 1944 to 1976. This page will rank 37 Yul Brynner movies.  Movies will be ranked from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information. Television shows, shorts, cameos and movies that were not released in theaters in North America were not included in the rankings.

Yul Brynner in 1956's The Ten Commandments

Yul Brynner in 1956’s The Ten Commandments

Yul Brynner 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 Yul Brynner movies by co-stars of his movies
  • Sort Yul Brynner movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions)
  • Sort Yul Brynner movies by yearly domestic box office rank
  • Sort Yul Brynner movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations and how many Oscar® wins each Yul Brynner movie received.
  • Sort Yul Brynner 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.
RankMovie (Year)UMR Co-Star LinksAdjusted B.O. Domestic (mils)Domestic Box Office Rank By YearCritic Audience RatingOscar Nom / WinUMR Score
The King and I (1956)Deborah Kerr$372.202nd of 195677.0%09 / 0586.04
The Ten Commandments (1956)Charlton Heston & Vincent Price$1091.901st of 195785.0%07 / 0176.60
Anastasia (1956)Ingrid Bergman$219.008th of 195779.5%02 / 0169.76
Solomon and Sheba (1959)Gina Lollobrigida$208.707th of 196061.5%00 / 0059.90
The Magnificent Seven (1960)Steve McQueen & Charles Bronson$78.5036th of 196085.3%01 / 0052.68
The Buccaneer (1958)Charlton Heston & Directed by Anthony Quinn$128.5021st of 195965.5%01 / 0051.10
Westworld (1973)Richard Benjamin & James Brolin$101.0033rd of 197374.5%00 / 0050.68
Taras Bulba (1962)Tony Curtis$109.2030th of 196367.0%01 / 0048.82
The Brothers Karamazov (1958)Claire Bloom$104.4030th of 195859.5%01 / 0044.54
The Journey (1959)Deborah Kerr & Ron Howard$51.2064th of 195972.5%00 / 0042.01
Morituri (1965)Marlon Brando$46.9062nd of 196567.0%02 / 0039.56
The Sound And The Fury (1959)Joanne Woodward$68.2054th of 195954.5%00 / 0036.19
Escape from Zahrain (1962)Sal Mineo & Jack Warden$44.5057th of 196261.5%00 / 0035.80
Cast A Giant Shadow (1966)John Wayne & Frank Sinatra$60.8035th of 196656.0%00 / 0035.74
The Light at the End of the World (1971)Kirk Douglas$23.2069th of 197168.0%00 / 0035.56
The Battle on the River Neretva (1969)Orson Welles$10.20Not in Top 10070.0%01 / 0034.88
Kings of the Sun (1963)George Chakiris$44.8049th of 196458.5%00 / 0034.43
Once More With Feeling! (1960)Directed by Stanley Donen$52.4062nd of 196055.0%00 / 0033.97
Flight from Ashiya (1964)Richard Widmark & George Chakiris$20.50Not in Top 10063.0%00 / 0032.79
Surprise Package (1960)Mitzi Gaynor & Noël Coward$38.4075th of 196056.0%00 / 0032.27
The Serpent (1973)Henry Fonda$11.50Not in Top 10063.0%00 / 0031.39
Futureworld (1976)Peter Fonda$48.0070th of 197650.0%00 / 0030.94
Invitation to a Gunfighter (1964)George Segal$28.2068th of 196454.5%00 / 0029.99
Villa Rides (1968)Robert Mitchum & Charles Bronson$22.1075th of 196856.5%00 / 0029.99
Triple Cross (1966)Christopher Plummer & Trevor Howard$8.10115th of 196660.5%00 / 0029.70
Port of New York (1949)Scott Brady$15.00Not in Top 10054.5%00 / 0027.95
Adios Sabata (1970)Dean Reed$6.60Not in Top 10056.0%00 / 0027.34
Return Of The Seven (1966)Warren Oates$24.9080th of 196646.5%00 / 0025.72
The Ultimate Warrior (1975)Max von Sydow$10.00Not in Top 10051.0%00 / 0025.52
Romance of a Horsethief (1971)Eli Wallach$9.50Not in Top 10050.0%00 / 0024.97
The Long Duel (1967)Trevor Howard$9.10Not in Top 10049.5%00 / 0024.67
Catlow (1971)Leonard Nimoy$10.10Not in Top 10049.0%00 / 0024.60
Fuzz (1972)Burt Reynolds & Raquel Welch$45.1042nd of 197236.5%00 / 0024.14
The File of the Golden Goose (1969)Edward Woodward$8.70Not in Top 10047.5%00 / 0023.67
The Double Man (1967)Britt Ekland$10.90Not in Top 10045.5%00 / 0023.07
The Madwoman of Chaillot (1969)Katharine Hepburn & Danny Kaye$11.10108th of 196939.5%00 / 0020.28
Death Rage (1976)Martin Balsam$1.20Not in Top 10041.0%00 / 0019.46

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Yul Brynner Table

  1. Eight Yul Brynner movie crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 21.62% of his movies listed. The Ten Commandments (1956) is his biggest box office hit.
  2. An average Yul Brynner movie grosses $85.30 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using RottenTomatoes.com’s 60% fresh meter.  16 of Yul Brynner’s movies are rated as good movies…or 43.24% of his movies.  The Magnificent Seven (1960) is his highest rated movie while Fuzz (1972) is his lowest rated movie.
  4. Nine Yul Brynner movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 24.32% of his movies.
  5. Three Yul Brynner movies won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 8.10% of his movies.
  6. An good Ultimate Movie Ranking (UMR) Score is 40.00.  10 Yul Brynner movie scored higher that average….or 27.02% of his movies. The King and I (1956) got the the highest UMR Score while Death Rage (1976) got the lowest UMR Score.
Deborah Kerr & Yul Brynner in 1956's The King And I

Deborah Kerr & Yul Brynner in 1956’s The King And I

Possibly Interesting Facts About Yul Brynner

1.Yuliy Borisovich Briner was born in Russia in 1920.

2. Yul Brynner and his mother emigrated to the United States in 1940.  During World War 2, Brynner worked as a French-speaking radio announcer and commentator for the US Office of War Information, broadcasting propaganda to occupied France.

3. After the war Yul Brynner struggled as a stage actor.   One of his few successes during this time period was appearing in the 1946 play Lute Song with Mary “Peter Pan” Martin.

4. In 1951, Yul Brynner, won the role of King Mongkut in the play The King and I.  Brynner would play King Mongkut for the rest of his life….which turned out to be 4,625 performances over 30 plus years.

5. Yul Brynner won the Best Actor Oscar® for 1956’s The King And I.  It was his only Oscar® nomination.

6. Yul Brynner and superheroes part 1: Marvel’s Stan Lee used his physical likeness (noticeably his bald head and intense stare) as the visual inspiration for the original illustrations of Professor Charles Xavier in the ”X-Men” comics…this was in 1963.

7. Yul Brynner and superheroes part 2:  He was the visual inspiration for the original illustrations of the superhero Green Lantern/Abin Sur….this was in 1959.

8.  Yul Brynner was married four times. He had four children.

9. Yul Brynner died on the same day as his The Battle on the River Neretva (1969) co-star Orson Welles: October 10, 1985.

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

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30 thoughts on “Yul Brynner Movies

  1. Hi Bruce,

    In late 1985 I was a young rebellious man just out of the army and looking for trouble. Lot’s of bad decisions.

    One evening I was watching some show on TV just waiting to go out and let her rip. A commercial break then came on and an announcer solemnely started with the words;

    “Ladies and gentlemen the late Yul Brynner….”

    He had died a few months earlier and now here he was in a TV commercial telling the world that now that he is dead he wished he had never started smoking. He had commisioned this commercial to warn us of smoking and cancer when he found out he was terminally ill. He wished it to be shown only after his death.

    I stayed home that evening.

    Today I have four wonderful children and a beautiful loving wife….and I am possibly much healthier than I should have been. I have always remembered this commercial; without a doudt his greatest role, and I remembered his sacrifice.

    Mr. Yul Brynner is courage.

    Marcel

    1. Hey Marcel…..I remember those commercials very well. Good to know his final message reached you and had such an impact on your life. Even better that your life is filled with 4 kids and a beautiful wife…..the joys of a big family……we have 6 kids….1 grand baby…..and a second grand baby due any day. I agree tha Mr. Yul Brynner is indeed courage. Through the power of You Tube….here is the Brynner Don’t Smoke message. Thanks again for sharing that information.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNjunlWUJJI

      1. Six?? Wow, that represents a little courage in itself. Congrats on the new edition to the Family.

        That commercial brought back some memories….thanks!

        1. Hey Marcel…..the first grand baby was a girl (she is now 9)….while this one will be a boy…so the Cogerson name will continue. We are headed to Alaska (a 10,300 mile round trip for us in a few weeks to see Mr. Nicholas) in about 3 weeks to meet the new Cogerson. I love the internet….you mentioned that commercial….and there it is sitting there just waiting for me to watch and share. His message is simple and to the point! I don’t smoke….but if I did….I think it would get me to think.

  2. 1 Yul Brynner took over 1956 with possibly the greatest trio of successive blockbusters enjoyed by any star – Anastasia, The King and I and the 10 Commandments. Certainly whilst he had a few more sporadic hits he never equalled that year again artistically or at the box office. In my opinion The King always subsequently overshadowed his career and he returned to the role on three occasions on the Broadway stage and had just completed the final Broadway run when he died. His last overall public performance was though posthumously in a pre-recorded video message urging everyone never to smoke as lung cancer as was what had killed him

    2 VIDEO COMMENTS (1) your opening quote is ironic as Sophia Loren who was a tall woman once said that the only men big enough in her time to be the ideal co-stars for her were Lancaster, Douglas and Tweedie though she added that she would have accepted Tyrone Power as he was “so handsome”! (2) very low scores in the first part of your Top 20 but that’s not your fault and he did make an extraordinary number of below par movies outside his heyday (3) you and Bruce have at last broken the curse of 3 on 3 by having a completely identical Top 5 (4) I was naturally glad that you gave such a high rating (No 6 I think) to the seafaring yarn Morituri and there you are in tune with some modern critics who say it was highly underrated when first released “Worth a dozen Ship of Fools” starring Marvin and Vivien Leigh was how one critic described it. (5) Invitation to a Gunfighter was in my view another underrated movie and it is no 17 in your chart (6) I loved in particular the posters for Sabata, Morituri and Solomon and Sheba, the ones for the latter being quite raunchy !

    3 A fine tribute to a larger than life character Steve. He once said that he did not need to structurally exercise to keep his great physique for The King as he led such a a busy life that he
    got his exercise from every day activity. In a biography of him his son Rock Brynner told of how his dad would regularly “sell his billing”. Rock told of how when making Morituri and Taras Bulba with Brando and Tony Curtis respectively Yul agreed to take 2nd billing to each of them for an extra fee fee per movie of 200,000 dollars (about 1.5 million in today’s money). It was a very astute business move as it was unlikely that he would have got billed above either of those two anyway!

    1. Thanks for the comment and movie trivia Bob. Bruce’s top 5 matches mine, it’s a miracle, with the slight difference I have The King and I in 3rd place, he has it in 4th.

      The biggest mismatch between our lists is The Light at the Edge of the World which according to my findings was universally panned by critics and is last on my chart with a score of 4.5. Maltin gave it 1 and half stars, Radio Times 1, Halliwell 0.0. But Bruce has the film high up in 8th position above the likes of Morituri and Taras Bulba (or Bulbus Taurus as a friend of mine liked to call it). It’s an anomaly. Bruce is this the same critic who gave Battlefield Earth top marks on your Travolta page? [cue Bruce snarling] I’m messing with you mon ami.

      Yep, Yul has a lot of low scoring movies, the first film to hit a score of 7 is Morituri in 6th position, by comparison Bogarts chart has 25 films above 7 points and 5 films above 9, which is very impressive. What I could do one day is tot up all the scores on each chart with my trusty calculator and find the overall average for each thespian, I don’t think dear Yul would score highly, ditto ‘the best selling solo artist of all time’.

      1. HI STEVE

        1 The averaging would be an interesting exercise to see the outcome of. Obviously the precise postions of any movie on two different charts will depend on the competion within those charts and even if say Morituri ended up 30th because of exceptionally high scores of other films involved your 7 is still a good score for a movie that was almost universally panned when it came out and Bruce didn’t treat it too badly either with a score of 67% audience/critic because of course it was by no means a classic! So I suppose it’s the actual rating that counts and not the chart position of a movie unless of course it was a Willis film that would naturally expect to be No 1 !

        2 I noticed that you and Bruce gave slightly different placings to the King and I but I didn’t want to point out to you that your Top 5 though identical to his Top 5 overall was nevertheless the less perfect one !!!

        BOB

        1. Hey Bob….actually…I just included some average stats…from my database…..somehow…I forgot to look up Mr. Brando……basically I have 507 movie subjects that I have included on my “Hollywood Index”…which is a page only in my database….but it has lots of great stats…that I look at…..one of the them is average Critic/Audience Rating. Mr. Brando is 122nd place….but when I filter out just actors with 30 or more movies he jumps up to 28th place.

          Yesterday during a break from school….I dug out my Rating The Movie Stars Book by Joel Hirschhorn and I realized you would hate this book. He has a table that gave an average score for all of the performers in his book. He ranked all the movies an actor made for 410 performers. His rankings: Randolph Scott 354th, Brando 357th, John Wayne 371st (he rated all of his B westerns). Brynner came in 314th. I can see the red in your eyes….lol.

          This will make you even more madder…his Top 3? James Dean, Ben Kingsley and Eddie Murphy. Granted at the time of publications…these 3 actors had a grand total of 6 movies made….so their scores were a perfect 4.0 (he rated all the movies on a 1 to 4 basis) the rest of the Top 10: Walter Huston, Leslie Howard, Wendy Hiller, Thelma Ritter, Donald Crisp, Robert Donat and Greta Garbo.

          1. Hey Bob…can’t say I do. In the book…Kingsley is 2nd…and that was based on Gandhi…and Gandhi alone…..the fact that he made Kingsley 2nd after only one movie immediately makes you question his entire process. Murphy being 3rd is crazy too….on my averages…he barely and I mean barely breaks the Top 500….coming in 499th place….and if I ever get around to updating my Kevin Hart page….Murphy might lose another spot.

            In the book…he does say to take his ratings with a grain of salt…and that the more movies a person made the lower the percentage would be….that had to kill Wayne’s rating. I like my rankings much better….I think that with Bruce Willis being so far down the list…464th…and Caine being at 271st shows my prejudice towards their greatness was taken out of the picture….though I guess with Cary Grant being highly ranked you could say I influenced that….but I am not the only one that thinks Grant is an acting legend.

            If I filter my database to only actors with 37 movies in my database…here is the list..with the actor with the highest average critic/audience rating

            1st Marlon Brando
            2nd Shirley Temple
            3rd George Clooney
            4th Jeremy Irons
            5th Kevin Costner
            6th Mark Walhberg
            7th Yul Brynner
            8th Ann-Margret

            Just proves the point that you can make statistics say whatever you want

      2. Hey Steve….The Light At The Edge of the World got slightly better than average reviews….a 68% is not too stellar…and it is only because of some of Yul’s lower scoring movies did it end up being ranked so high here….for comparison….on my Kirk Douglas page it is ranked 29th of his movies.

        You need to put all of the stats into an Access database…and let the computer do it for you….WoC is shaking here head when she reads….”with my trusty calculator”. Looking at my database….Yul is sitting in 430th place of the 507 movie subjects….that is when I sort my average critic/audience rating….he is at 59.53%…..just ahead of drumroll…Keanu Reeves.

        Because I know you are wondering…..Heston is 370th….while Charlie Chaplin sits number one (not using a minimum)….Michael Fassbender is 1st (when using a 20 movie minimum), when using a 30 movie minimum….the Top 3 is Woody Allen (a critic darling for years), Judy Garland and Cary Grant (all this work just so I could figure out a way to mention Grant…lol.)

        Thanks for the visit, the comment and the video.

        1. Hey Bruce I use Microsoft Works for my database, it’s primitive but I’ve been using it since 1998! I like the simplicity of the layout. Maybe I should transfer all the data to Microsoft Access?

          You could do a Top 100 page on the actors with the best overall score average. Heston 370th? Oh dear. How low is Elvis? Is the king of rock n roll last? Say it isn’t so.

          1. Hey Steve….Heston’s 370th ranking is with every category in that query…..I am sure I can filter him to a much better ranking….that was just the “raw” ranking. As for Elvis…he is pretty low…443rd…..but and I think this proves that I am not 100% biased on Bruce Willis….he is ranked 464th. The more movies a person makes…the lower the percentage….so with Willis and Heston…their productivity hurt that average…but ranks them high when looking at career box office.

            In my Rating The Movie Stars book….Joel Hirschorn had Eddie Murphy ranked as the third best actor…this was based on his Trading Places and 48 Hours only. So as I was scanning down the list looking for Elvis…I saw Eddie Murphy sitting in 499th place….oh…how the mighty have fallen. The bottom 5 you ask? 5th …Charlie Sheen 4th ….Kevin Hart (and he might move up…as I am 4 movies behind on his page), 3rd…Burt Reynolds….2nd Steven Seagal and 1st….drumroll……Adam Sandler.

    2. Hey Bob….Yul’s 1956 was incredible….which of course gets me to thinking….who had the best year ever….possible candidates rattling around my head….Yul in 1956, Sidney Poitier in 1967, Sly Stallone in 1985 and Chris Pratt in 2014. Another idea for another page?

      As for Steve and mine rankings matching….it had to happen eventually…lol.

      Interesting about (1) naming his son Rock…and (2) Selling his billing.

      Good stuff as always.

    1. Hey Chilcutt….glad a Brynner fan found this page. Thanks for the kind words. I have not seen The Journey….but I will try and find it and watch it. Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. Hi

    I wouldn’t say I would be his biggest fan, but I’ve always enjoyed his 3 top films. Pub quizzes are a big thing in Ireland, one of the regular questions is Name the Magnificent Seven. Brynner is always top of the list. I would have thought his box office would have been higher, I know it was a massive hit in Europe. I’ve always enjoyed The King and I. He made that role his own and yet this day and age I couldn’t imagine a bald Russian being acceptable to play the King of Siam. , his Pharaoh in The Ten Commandments.It always amused me when Moses (Charlton Heston) had aged considerably after 40 years out in the wilderness but Brynner had hardly changed at all.

    1. Hey Chris. Everytime I come across a member of the Magnificent 7 I always double check because the box office number seems too low….but after doing a Western Page, a Bronson Page, a McQueen Page, a Coburn Page and now a Yul Page….I feel pretty good about the number. I guess I need to do a page on the last 3 members…lol.

      Being bald does wonders for aging….it is helping out Bruce Willis these days….though as Bruce approaches the mid 60s he is showing a little wear and tear. I read that Brynner always misled his true origins….that probably helped him get The King And I role. Thanks for the visit and the comment.

  4. Yul Brynner, the first bald movie star! Bruce, from what I’ve read he shaved his head for The King and I and decided to keep it that way? What I mean is he wasn’t losing his hair at an early age and decided to shave it all off. There are a couple of films where you see him with hair, Solomon and Sheba is one that comes to mind.

    I’ve seen 18 of the 37 films you’ve listed, nearly half. Favorites include The King and I, The Ten Commandments, The Magnificent Seven, Taras Bulba and Westworld.

    As a western fan his role as Chris in The Magnificent Seven was iconic and it was unusual at that time to see a bald western hero, he made baldness look cool. Denzel Washington takes over the role in the upcoming remake.

    Good to see that film top the critics chart and of course The King and I is numero uno on the UMR chart.

    Surprised to see Anastasia doing so well on the charts, an interesting film but complete fantasy, the film hints that she was the real deal but there was no happy ending for the real Anastasia.

    Looking at the trivia – I didn’t know Brynner was the inspiration for the comic book characters Charles Xavier and Abin Sur, interesting.

    Good work as always Bruce. Voted Up!

    1. Hey Steve.
      1. Yep he had curly hair and was against shaving it off…..I think he made the right decision in finally shaving it off.
      2. Tally count you 18….Flora 13….Lyle at least 10…and me 7. Last place again.
      3. Solomon and Sheba is supposed to be a disaster….but it was very successful at the box office….and has slightly better than average reviews….I recently watched …as I was trying to find Tyrone Power in the long shots….never found him….Power as you know died while filming that movie and was replaced by Yul.
      4. His 1956 was amazing….he got the Best Actor Oscar for The King And I….he helped Bergman get her Best Actress Oscar …..and still managed to be in one of the biggest hits of all-time – The Ten Commandments.
      5. I think the Denzel remake could be interesting……plus you get Chris Pratt in the McQueen role.
      6. I agree things did not work out to well for the real Anastasia.
      As always thanks for your input.

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