The 8 Greatest Films and TV Shows Starring Maggie Smith

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Maggie Smith has been a theatrical and cinematic delight for over 60 years. Over the course of her 40 year career, she has appeared in a wide variety of genre films, from period pieces to fantasy blockbusters, earning her five nominations for the Academy Award. Her forthright and genuine nature gives her universal appeal.

Smith frequently uses symbols to represent larger ideas through his fictional characters, who can be both humorous and profound. She is one of the few female actors to have won all three major acting honors (Oscar, Emmy, and Tony). In spite of her advanced age, Dame Maggie Smith shows that women can compete on equal footing with men. The 87-year-old actress has not slowed down one bit, with two new films coming out in the next 12 months. In the meantime, here are the best films and TV shows to watch during your Maggie Smith marathon.


Hook (Second Place)

Maggie Smith plays Granny Wendy in Hook Production Company, TriStar

There is only a brief cameo appearance by Maggie Smith as an older Wendy in the Steven Spielberg blockbuster Hook, but her presence is enough to add to the film's enchanted atmosphere. Her sincerity sparks emotion in the other actors, proving that even a fleeting appearance can improve a movie. She sets the stage for Peter's development as a character, which is crucial to his ultimate decision to mature.

Mrs. Medlock attempts to keep order in The Secret Garden Media conglomerate Warner Bros.

Maggie Smith portrays Mrs. Hortense, the head housekeeper, in this film version of the classic novel The Secret Garden. Medlock Mary Lennox, a young orphan, lives with her uncle in this tale. Mary and her cousin are both spoiled, entitled, and stubborn. Smith's performance as the housekeeper who tries to maintain order in the home is a perfect contrast to the children's unruly stubbornness, matching them at every turn. That's why Smith has Mrs. It's easy to believe Medlock's strict but controlled persona, and she motivates the younger actors to give their all in the film.

A group of friends attends a celebration in India Fox, 20th Century

Rather than the more commonplace choice of retiring to a state like Florida or Arizona, this group has chosen to spend their golden years in a far-flung and exciting locale. This group of retirees embarks on an unexpected journey after their luxurious hotel in India plays tricks on them. In The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Smith displays her signature wit and charm. She is a shining example of how to humanize even the most irritating character with understated kindness, and she does so again.

Desdemona and Othello mid conversation Warner Brothers

In this 1965 version of Othello, Maggie Smith, who had already proven her mettle on stage, plays Desdemona, one of the most famous female roles in literature and film. Smith seems to have little trouble with the role, despite the difficulty of delivering Shakespearean language with emotion and smooth pacing. Smith plays a softer, gentler role than she typically does in this Shakespearean tragedy. Despite being overshadowed by Laurence Oliver's problematic (but interestingly defended) blackface performance as Othello, she makes a significant contribution to the film. Her subtlety and strength make a striking contrast to Olivier's flamboyance. This film earned her first Academy Award nomination.

Maggie Smith and Tom Courtney stop during their walk through the gardens in Quartet Inspiring Photographic Momentum

Quartet, starring Maggie Smith as a former singer and directed by Dustin Hoffman, is a touching film. After moving into a retirement home, musician Jean Horton feels alienated and judgmental of her new neighbors. A final performance by Jean and the other retiree musicians at the retirement center is what saves the facility from closing when it faces imminent danger. While this theme of learning to let oneself be vulnerable and open to love appears in many romance novels, Smith elevates it to a new level. She is just as convincing as the finale's bright and generous performer, but her performance shows off the inner resentment and understandable defensiveness of an older woman (who has her life taken away and transplanted to a retirement home).

Maggie Smith argues with her co-worker in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie Production Company, 20th Century Fox

Maggie Smith's performance in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress. The movie follows Jean Brodie, a teacher, and some of her most successful students, who are loosely based on the real-life Christina Kay. Smith has always played strong, independent women, even in her earlier roles. In this role, she demonstrates the maturity of a teacher and the warmth of a mother.

Harry Potter Maggie Smith Warner Bros. Pictures

Maggie Smith's role in the Harry Potter movies may be different from anything else she's done, but she brings the same steely determination to the role as she does in all of her other films. The plot of Harry Potter, as everyone knows, centers on the education and development of the titular young wizard. Professor McGonagall, the headmaster of Gryffindor, is portrayed by Smith. She is both one of Harry's most challenging and supportive educators. She is very rule-oriented, but she will occasionally break them if it will help the bigger picture. Smith, along with Richard Harris's Dumbledore, is one of the series' most endearing and well-liked adult characters.

Lady in the Van Released by Sony Pictures

Maggie Smith plays Miss Shepherd, an elderly vagrant with a justified grudge, in the film Lady in the Van. The neighborhood gets involved in trying to help Shepherd and get rid of her when she parks (and lives in) her van in Alan Bennett's driveway. Shepherd's arrogance and demands annoy nearly everyone, but Smith's portrayal manages to make him likeable and charming. Smith gives the character surprising depth and likeability, inspiring audience members to think more deeply about social and political issues. Here, she shines like a star.

Maggie Smith sits at a house party in Downton Abbey Main Attributes

In Downton Abbey, Maggie Smith portrays the shrewd matriarch of the Crawley family at the turn of the 20th century in England. Violet (or Granny) may be getting on in years, but her life lessons and drive have allowed her to keep her place at the family table. In addition, the insight she offers helps readers and viewers feel immersed in the era. Smith is arguably the most beloved character on Downton Abbey because of her witty one-liners and displays of intellectual strength. Therefore, it is not surprising that Downton Abbey: A New Era will feature a more prominent role for her character.

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