How does Kendra like ’em? Tall, dark, and handsome. So it’s saying something that I make an exception to my thing for dark-haired men and include Christian Bale among the list of men-I-stare-lustfully-at. It helps that he was SO DAMN CUTE in one of my favorite historical movies, Little Women (1994), and that I still keel over when I watch him dance in Swing Kids (1993). He’s also got that slightly gawky thing that makes me want to comb his hair and check that his socks match. And, honestly, he’s so damned talented that it makes up for his blond/dirty blond hair color (yes, I have very specific tastes!).
Let’s take a wander through Mr. Bale’s quite extensive oeuvre of period films and fan ourselves a bit, shall we?
This shmaltzy biopic of Anna Anderson, the woman who claimed to be Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia in the 1920s-30s, was PIVOTAL in my young life, and I WILL be doing a detailed review on it soon. In the meantime, please to enjoy a very young Bale as Grand Duke Alexei, heir to the throne of Russia just before/during the Russian Revolution:
Empire of the Sun (1987)
Bale’s first real chance to show his acting chops, and man did he have them, even when he was this young, as an English boy in World War II Japan.
Henry V (1989)
Yes, apparently Bale has a bit part in Branagh‘s film as “Robin the Luggage-Boy”:
Treasure Island (1990)
A TV movie version of the famous Robert Louis Stevenson novel:
The film that launched many a crush, or so I’m told — I still haven’t seen it! It’s a musical based on the New York City newsboy strike of 1899.
Swing Kids (1993)
Where I fell in love with Mr. Bale — he’s a German teenager during the Nazi years who rebels through swing dance, and he’s ALL SWAGGER.
If you haven’t seen the film, or just haven’t seen it in a while, please to enjoy Bale and Robert Sean Leonard dancing their ASSES off:
Royal Deceit (1994)
A Viking-y version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Little Women (1994)
1000% confirming my crush as Laurie, THE BEST (faux) BROTHER AND BOYFRIEND EVER in this classic adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott novel.
The Portrait of a Lady (1996)
Another chance for Bale to yearn and glower, as the English suitor of Nicole Kidman’s repressed step-daughter in this Henry James adaptation.
The Secret Agent (1996)
Apparently this film exists? Spying in late 19th-century London. I have no idea.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1999)
Bale plays Demetrius in this Shakespeare adaptation. I admit to not having seen it!
Mary, Mother of Jesus (1999)
Bale plays Jesus in a TV movie, which gives me the heebie jeebies, but at least he looks good!
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001)
I REFUSE to see this shmaltzy take on a love story set in WWII Greece because the idea of Nicolas Cage and shmaltz makes me throw up in my mouth. But I will appreciate a shirtless Bale:
The New World (2005)
A stunningly great movie about the first colony at Jamestown. Bale plays John Rolfe, husband of Pocahontas.
The Prestige (2006)
Dueling magicians in the late 19th century.
3:10 to Yuma (2007)
Remake of a classic Western. Pass!
Public Enemies (2009)
Gangsters in 1930s Chicago, I think Bale plays a federal agent?
The Flowers of War (2011)
Getting beardy in this story set during the 1937 Japanese invasion of Nanking, China.
Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)
Questionable casting, ethnicity-wise, with Bale playing Moses in the biblical story.
The Promise (2016)
According to IMDB: “Set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, The Promise follows a love triangle between Michael, a brilliant medical student; the beautiful and sophisticated Ana; and Chris, a renowned American journalist based in Paris.” Bale plays the journalist, Chris.
IMDB says, “In 1892, a legendary Army captain reluctantly agrees to escort a Cheyenne chief and his family through dangerous territory.”
What’s your favorite historical costume film featuring Christan Bale?