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Feature: There's Nothing Like A Dame


Whilst watching Tea With Mussolini last night, I could not help but be blown away by the rather Dame-heavy cast (of course including the unofficial Dame Cher). Here at Screen Slags there is nothing we love more than a Dame - these women encapsulate the diligent British acting spirit and fill us Brits with a sense of national pride. We've judged each of these lovely ladies on four categories - 'There's Nothing Like A Dame' (their moment of utmost dameliness), 'Dame it, girl!' (their guilty pleasure moment), 'if they were in a girl band-Dame' and their overall 'Dame Fame'. Here are some of our favourite of members of this distinct, lavender smelling, club - now God Dame it, let's get on with this show.

JUDI DENCH
"Dame it! She likes her shots"

Notable Appearances: Mrs. Brown, Nine, Notes on Scandal, Iris & The Bond Series

There's Nothing Like a Dame: It's hard to choose an exact moment from Dame Judi's iconic career but her most heartfelt turn comes from 2001's Iris, a truly affecting performance.

Dame it, girl!: Slapping Sophie Marceau in The World's Not Enough, no one messes with Dame Judi, bitch.

If They Were in a Girl Band-Dame: The feisty one.

Dame-Fame: Dame Judi is now one of the most well respected and loved faces of the British acting scene. Given that she didn't get much attention until the mid-80s, I'd say she's done pretty well.




JOAN PLOWRIGHT
"God Dame she's sweet"


Notable Appearances: Enchanted April, Dennis, Tea With Mussolini, 101 Dalmatians & Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont.
There's Nothing Like a Dame: Despite the ensemble cast, Dame Joan manages to shine above the rest in Tea With Mussolini, as the Nanny who is separated from the child she raises. Plowright also charms in the sensitive escapist drama, Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont.

Dame it, girl!: Being kick-ass as Mrs. Wilson, Dennis' sweet neighbour or out-acting Queen Latifah with her little finger in Bringing Down The House.

If They Were in a Girl Band-Dame: The cute/sensitive one

Dame-Fame: Well respected in the acting world but never achieved widespread fame with the general public, largely choosing the stage over the screen.



MAGGIE SMITH
"Down town Dame"


Notable Appearances: The Prime of Miss Jean Broadie, Sister Act, California Suite, Evil Under The Sun, Ladies In Lavender, Harry Potter Series & Downton Abbey.
There's Nothing Like a Dame: Dominating the screen as emotionally distant Edinburgh school-teacher, Jean Broadie.

Dame it, girl!: Her sassy, sarcastic wordplay with Michael Caine in California Suite is simply a joy to watch.

If They Were in a Girl Band-Dame: Most likely to go solo.

Dame-Fame: Worked consistently throughout her career, however, has gained a new following in recent years with her scene stealing role of Countess Crawley in period drama smash, Downton Abbey.



JULIE ANDREWS
"Not afraid to get her Dames out"


Notable Appearances: The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Victor Victoria, S.O.B, Thoroughly Modern Millie & The Princess Diaries.
There's Nothing Like a Dame: Although, all the above films are worth a watch - it has to be be Mary Poppins. One cannot help but be filled with childish glee as she belts out Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Dame it, girl!: Surely her starring turn in raunchy, Hollywood satire S.O.B. which is her most shocking. Who knew Mary Poppins was so willing to whap her baps out. Who else could utter the line "Oh hi Polly, come to see my boobies? Okay you dirty rat, roll 'em"
If They Were in a Girl Band-Dame: The angelic looking one, that's actually a wild child.

Dame-Fame: Dame Julie is the Disney Dame, she'll always be remembered for her iconic family friendly roles of Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music's Maria, but there are lots of interesting gems lurking in her CV.




ELIZABETH TAYLOR
"Dame it! Did she just snatch my wig?"


Notable Appearances: Giant, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Cleopatra, Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf, Night Watch, Identikit & Ash Wednesday
There's Nothing Like a Dame: Whilst arguably not her finest performance (although certainly not bad), Cleopatra showcases Taylor as the star - she looks extravagant throughout and this is of course where she began her fiery relationship with Richard Burton. Cleopatra showcases Elizabeth Taylor, the beauty, the icon, the talent.

Dame it, girl!: Going completely mental in experimental Italian thriller 1974 thriller, Identikit about a woman hunting for the right man... to murder her. It's one of her most unknown performances but my God, she's unbelievable.

If They Were in a Girl Band-Dame: The drop-dead gorgeous one (who may like to beat up toilet attendants).

Dame-Fame: Despite a declining quality in her later career choices (Oh God, The Flintstones - why?), her prior work was enough to seal her status as an acting legend.



HELEN MIRREN 
"God Dame, she's fierce!"

Notable Appearances2010, Exacalibur, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, Shadowboxer, The Queen, Arthur, Red & The Tempest
There's Nothing Like a Dame: Although The Queen is often regarded as her finest moment, it's Julie Taymor's The Tempest for me Mirren captivates the screen in this Shakespearean gender mash-up - there's nothing like a Dame belting out classic Shakespearean lines.

Dame it, girl!: Her resurgence as an action star in the likes of Shadowboxer, The Debt & Red has been an interesting watch - but her sheer comic talent in Funny Or Die short - When Harry Met Sally 2, alongside Billy Crystal, is pure gold.

If They Were in a Girl Band-Dame: The unexpectedly sexy one, that's also down with the kids.

Dame-Fame: Moderately successful in the UK, mainly through TV crime drama, Prime Suspect but achieved new heights of Dame-dom through her starring role in The Queen. She has been an unlikely sex symbol and comic star in the US.



DIANA RIGG

"Dame of Acclaim"

Notable Appearances: Theatre of Blood, The Avengers, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, The Assassination Bureau & Mrs. Bradley Mysteries


There's Nothing Like a Dame: Rigg brought class and talent to the role as James Bond's only wife in OHMSS - she transformed the role of the Bond Girl into a fast-thinking, quick witted star, that was not simply just easy on the eyes.

Dame it, girl!: Starring alongside Vincent Price in campy horror, Theatre of Blood as the daughter of a disgraced Shakespearean star, who seeks revenge on her father's critics. Her appearance in Ricky Gervais' comedy Extras was also unforgettable (see below).

If They Were in a Girl Band-Dame: The one that simply loves the craft,

Dame-Fame: Possibly the lowest key Dame of all those mentioned, the screen work has quietened down over the years but Rigg continues to shine on stage.



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