Films: 1980s


During another decade of demanding theatre work, I managed to make five films, all shot in United Kingdom. The parts were varied. Working with John Hurt, Michael Mann, Fred Schepisi and Meryl Streep was enlightening and encouraged the hope that I might spend more time discovering more about acting for the screen. — Ian McKellen, August 2000

SCANDAL (1988)

Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Writer: Michael Thomas
Role: John Profumo, M.P.
Co-starring: Bridget Fonda, John Hurt, Leslie Phillips, Joanne Whalley-Kilmer

Ian McKellen Video Online

PLENTY (1985)

Director: Fred Schepisi
Writer: David Hare
Role: Sir Andrew Charleson
Co-starring: Charles Dance, John Gielgud, Sam Neill, Meryl Streep, Tracey Ullman

ZINA (1985)

Director: Kenneth McMullen
Writer: Kenneth McMullen
Role: Professor Kronfell
Co-starring: Domiziana Giordano
Shot on location in London

THE KEEP (1983)

Director: Michael Mann
Writer: Michael Mann
Role: Dr. Theodore Cuza
Co-starring: Gabriel Byrne, Scott Glenn, and Alberta Watson
Shot on location in North Wales

Ian McKellen Video Online


DIRECTOR: Stephen Frears
Screenplay from his novel by David Cook
Produced by Central Productions Ltd for Channel Four UK
ROLE: Walter
Royal Television Society Performer of the Year
Co-starring: Sarah Miles

Originally produced for television, Walter also screened as two separate films: Walter and June and Loving Walter.


Dates above are shooting dates.