1970 Fox played Chas in Nicholas Roeg's harrowing film ‘Performance’.
This film presented Fox with a role that was a radical departure from
his usual leading man and, light comedy mainstay. The story starts
as a fast paced and violent London crime drama then switches gears
less than half way through. Chas, (Fox) a brutal cockney thug, must
go into hiding after killing two members of a rival gang. He ends
up lodging in a strange house occupied by former Rock Star Turner(Mick
Jagger) and his strange household of bohemian women. During this time,
Chas comes to question his own perceptions and, definitions of gender
roles and violence. Opinions on this film have been widely divided
with some hailing it as a ground breaking masterpiece, others considering
really dreadful. This particular reviewer considers it a cult movie
and worthwhile a watch if you can get a copy of it.
the release of Performance, James began to search for answers to many
spiritual issues and, opted to abandon film making all together. He
became a Christian and would now concentrate on the development of Christian
ministries. He joined an evangelical group called ‘The Navigators’
and became content with his life and himself. With the notable exception
of a Christian film ‘No Longer Alone’ (1978) James Fox would
not be seen in a film again until the 1980s.
1983 James Fox returned to film acting with Runners and has rarely been
off the screen since. He appeared in two of 1984's biggest hits, ‘A
Passage to India’ and ‘Greystoke: Legend of Tarzan’.
He also appeared in the late 1950s themed film musical Absolute Beginners
the 1990s arrived, he was as busy as ever. He played the Lord Holmes
who is saved from assassination by Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) in Patriot
Games (1992) and also gave a superb performance in Remains of the Day
(1993). This film provided Fox with a character that was a semi-reprise
of his role in the earlier film ‘Servant’. Here he played
the well meaning British aristocrat duped by the Nazis in 1930s Britain;
he delivers a standout portrayal. Most recently, he has starred in ‘The
Mystic Masseur’, ‘The Golden Bowl’ and as the corrupt
aristocrat in Jonathan Glazer's ‘Sexy Beast’.
stranger to the small screen, Fox has also appeared in more than two
dozen series and movies, including John Schlesinger's BAFTA Award-winning
drama A Question of Attribution, for the BBC.
mention should be made of his comic performance in the much under-rated
film ‘Mickey Blue Eyes’. He plays Philip Cromwell a bumbling
auction house owner who acts as the foil for much of Hugh Grants humour.
The classic scene is his interaction with the mafia boss towards the
end of the movie.
films to see:
A Passage to India (1984)