Top 5 Ham Performances

This week, film critics Colin & Mitch look at some of the most overblown performance in cinema because sometimes, GMs need to just ham it up.

Jeremy Irons – Dungeons and Dragons

With Tom Baker as a geriatric elf, Richard O’Brien as an effete thief lord, Marlon Wayans as Marlon Wayans and a blue lipped weirdo with tentacles coming out of his ears – there’s a lot of competition in one film but Oscar winner Irons proves his mettle in what could be the hammiest role of all time. No fist is more tightly shaken, no eye rolled more evilly, no pontificating delivered more extremely. A truly astounding tour de force of acting.

Jeremy Irons – The Time Machine

Prime pork of the finest quality as Über-Morlock Irons jumps around like an extra from Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes and contorts his face at a bemused Guy Pearce. Even heavy make-up cannot detract from the performance.

Jeremy Irons – Eragon

Out acted by a dragon and given some truly portentous drivel to utter this is ham in coasting mode as Irons pontificates nonsense to pay the household bills.

Jeremy Irons – The Lion King

Irons is Claudius to Matthew Broderick’s Hamlet in Disney’s modern classic. The delivery is pure theatrics, you can almost see the one raised hand with one clasped to the chest as he delivers Disney dialogue in the style of the Bard. Strangely, though, it works…

Jeremy Irons – Die Hard: With a Vengeance

Playing the brother of terrorist Hans Gruber (a memorable Alan Rickman in the first Die Hard) Iron’s pushes in all the stops to realise a role that’s pitched perfectly between international terrorism and ‘Allo ‘Allo.

Top Five Ham Performances Not Featuring Jeremy Irons

Vincent Price – Theater of Blood

Kevin Kline – A Fish Called Wanda

Ralph Bates – Lust for a Vampire

Brian Blessed – Flash Gordon

Meryl Streep – Mamma Mia!

Film critics Colin and Mitch (aka Colin Odell and Michelle Le Blanc) are authors and broadcasters who have been writing together for over 12 years. They have written more than 10 books about film directors and genres, the latest is about the marvellous films of Japanese animators Studio Ghibli. Their website is at where you can also check out their capsule tanka film reviews.


  1. This is great. More advice like this… youtube links as well.

    afaic gms need as many examples as possible.

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