1. Empire of the Sun(1987) – Based on the novel by JG Ballard, Empire of the Sun tells the story of young Jim, a British boy living in a wealthy family in Shanghai who ends up a prisoner of war during World War II. Steven Spielberg chose Christian Bale, 12, to play Jim over 4000 other young actors. His haunting performance earned him critical praise and the first ever “Best Performance by a Juvenile Actor” award from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures.
2. Newsies (1992) – A musical loosely based on the true story of the Newsboys Strike in 1899 in New York City. Though the movie was not considered a success at the box office, it developed a huge cult following after it was released on video. Directed by choreographer Kenny Ortega (Dirty Dancing, High School Musical), the film stars Christian as Jack “Cowboy” Kelly, singing, dancing, and dreaming of one day escaping New York for a better life in ‘Santa Fe’.
3. Swing Kids (1993) – When Nazi Germany declares war on freedom and demands conformity of its youth, a group calling themselves ‘Swing Kids’ rebel by listening to and styling themselves after their favorite Jazz musicians from America. Christian delivers a gripping performance as Thomas, a young man who turns against his friends when shown acceptance and encouragement by the Hitler Youth.
4. Little Women (1994) – Here Christian plays Laurie, the handsome neighbor to the March family, who first proposes to Jo then ends up marrying her sister Amy. Though his part is small, Christian delivers an unforgettable performance.
5. Velvet Goldmine(1998) – Journalist Arthur Stuart (Bale) is given the challenging task of locating one of glam rock’s most outrageous superstars. Using Arthur’s flashbacks to showcase one of music’s most memorable eras, Velvet Goldmine is a glittery spectacle filled with amazing performances by Bale, Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Toni Collette, and Eddie Izzard.
Which is your favorite Christian Bale film? — Wendy
Wendy is Store Manager at the Half Price Books in Avon, Indiana.