Based on author Philip Pullman's bestselling and award-winning novel, The Golden Compass tells the first story in Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. The Golden Compass is an exciting fantasy adventure, set in an alternative world where people's souls manifest themselves as animals, talking bears fight wars, and Gyptians and witches co-exist. At the center of the story is Lyra (played by newcomer Dakota Blue Richards), a 12-year-old girl who starts out trying to rescue a friend who's been kidnapped by a mysterious organization known as the Gobblers - and winds up on an epic quest to save not only her world, but ours as well.

  • 1 hr 53 minPG13HDSD
  • Apr 18, 2008
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Cast & Crew

  • Daniel CraigActor

    One of the British theatre's most famous faces, Daniel Craig, who waited tables as a struggling teenage actor with the National Youth Theatre, has gone on to star as James Bond in Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), Spectre (2015), and No Time to Die (2020). He was born Daniel Wroughton Craig on March 2, 1968, at 41 Liverpool Road, Chester, Cheshire, England. His father, Timothy John Wroughton Craig, was a merchant seaman turned steel erector, and then became landlord of the "Ring O'Bells" pub in Frodsham, Cheshire. His mother, Carol Olivia (Williams), was an art teacher. Craig is of English, as well as Welsh, Scottish, and Irish, ancestry. His parents split up in 1972, and young Daniel was raised with his older sister, Lea, in Liverpool, then in Hoylake, Wirral, in the home of his mother. His interest in acting was encouraged by visits to the Liverpool Everyman Theatre arranged by his mother. From the age of 6, Craig started acting in school plays, making his debut in the Frodsham Primary School production of "Oliver!", and his mother was the driving force behind his artistic aspirations. The first Bond movie he ever saw at the cinema was Roger Moore's Live and Let Die (1973); young Daniel Craig saw it with his father, so it took a special place in his heart. He was also a good athlete and was a rugby player at Hoylake Rugby Club. At age 14, Craig played roles in "Oliver", "Romeo and Juliet" and "Cinderella" at Hilbre High School in West Kirby, Wirral. He left Hilbre High School at age 16 to audition at the National Youth Theatre's (NYT) troupe on their tour in Manchester in 1984. He was accepted and moved down to London. There, his mother and father watched his stage debut as Agamemnon in Shakespeare's "Troilus and Cressida". As a struggling actor with the NYT, he was toiling in restaurant kitchens and as a waiter. Craig performed with NYT on tours to Valencia, Spain, and to Moscow, Russia, under the leadership of director Edward Wilson. He failed at repeated auditions at the Guildhall, but eventually his persistence paid off, and in 1988, he entered the Guildhall School of Music and Drama at the Barbican. There, he studied alongside Ewan McGregor and Alistair McGowan, then later Damian Lewis and Joseph Fiennes, among others. He graduated in 1991, after a three-year course under the tutelage of Colin McCormack, the actor from the Royal Shakespeare Company. From 1992-1994, he was married to Scottish actress Fiona Loudon, their daughter, named Ella Craig (born 1992). Craig made his film debut in The Power of One (1992). His film career continued on television, notably the BBC2 serial Our Friends in the North (1996). He shot to international fame after playing supporting roles in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) and Road to Perdition (2002). He was nominated for his performances in the leading role in Layer Cake (2004), and received other awards and nominations. Craig was named as the sixth actor to portray James Bond, in October 2005, weeks after he finished his work in Munich (2005), where he co-starred with Eric Bana under the directorship of Steven Spielberg. Craig's reserved demeanor and his avoidance of the showbiz-party-red-carpet milieu makes him a cool 007. He is the first blond actor to play Bond, and also the first to be born after the start of the film series, and also the first to be born after the death of author Ian Fleming in 1964. Four of the past Bond actors: Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan have indicated that Craig is a good choice as Bond.
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  • DAKOTA BLUE RICHARDSActor

  • Eva GreenActor

    French actress and model Eva Gaëlle Green was born on July 6, 1980, in Paris, France. Her father, Walter Green, is a dentist who appeared in the 1966 film Au Hasard Balthazar (1966). Her mother, Marlène Jobert, is an actress turned children's book writer. Eva's mother was born in Algeria, of French, Spanish, and Sephardi Jewish heritage (during that time, Algeria was part of France), and Eva's father is of Swedish, French, and Breton descent. She has a fraternal twin sister, Joy. Eva left French school at 17. She switched to the American School in France for one year. She left the American School and studied acting at Saint Paul Drama School in Paris for three years, then had a 10-week polishing course at the Weber Douglas Academy of dramatic Art in London. She returned to Paris as an accomplished young actress, and played on stage in several theater productions: "La Jalousie en Trois Fax" and "Turcaret". There, she caught the eye of director Bernardo Bertolucci. Green followed a recommendation to work on her English. She studied for two months with an English coach before doing The Dreamers (2003) with Bernardo Bertolucci. During their work, Bertolucci described Green as being "so beautiful it's indecent". Green won critical acclaim for her role in The Dreamers (2003). She also attracted a great deal of attention from male audiences for her full frontal nudity in several scenes of the film. After "The Dreamers", Green's career ascended to the level where she revealed more of her multifaceted acting talent. She played the love interest of cult French gentleman stealer, Arsène Lupin (2004), opposite Romain Duris. In 2005, she co-starred, opposite Orlando Bloom and Liam Neeson, in Kingdom of Heaven (2005), produced and directed by Ridley Scott. The film brought her a wider international exposure. She turned down the femme fatale role in The Black Dahlia (2006), that went to Hilary Swank, because she didn't want to end up typecast as a femme fatale after her role in "The Dreamers". Instead, Eva accepted the prestigious role of "Vesper Lynd", one of three Bond girls, opposite Daniel Craig, in Casino Royale (2006) and became the 5th French actress to play a James Bond girl, after Claudine Auger in Thunderball (1965), Corinne Cléry in Moonraker (1979), Carole Bouquet in For Your Eyes Only (1981) and Sophie Marceau in The World Is Not Enough (1999). She achieved international recognition for the film, one of the highest-grossing Bond movies ever. Since then, Green has starred in the films Dark Shadows (2012), 300: Rise of an Empire (2014), Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014), and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016). She also starred as Vanessa Ives in Showtime's horror drama "Penny Dreadful" (2014)_. Her performance in the series earned her a nomination for Best Actress in a Television Series - Drama at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards. Since her school years, Green has been a cosmopolitan multilingual and multicultural person. Yet, since her father always lived in France with them and her mother, she and her twin sister can't speak Swedish. She developed a wide scope of interests beyond her acting profession and became an aspiring art connoisseur and an avid museum visitor. Her other activities, outside of acting, include playing and composing music, cooking at home, walking her terrier, and collecting art. She shares time between her two residencies, one is in Paris, France, and one in London, England.
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  • Ian McShaneActor

    A natural at portraying complex anti-heroes and charming heavies, IAN McSHANE is the classically trained, award-winning actor who has grabbed attention and acclaim from audiences and critics around the world with his unforgettable gallery of scoundrels, kings, mobsters and thugs. And, now, a god as well! McShane just completed his second season (as star and executive producer) on the hit Starz series, "American Gods," the TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman's 2001 novel. As Mr. Wednesday, a shifty, silver-tongued conman, he masks his true identity - that of the Norse god of war, Odin, who's assembling a team of elders to bring down the new false idols. A series McShane calls "like nothing else I've seen on television." It's a comment that also befits McShane's critically-acclaimed role of the charismatic, menacing and lawless 19th century brothel-and-bar keep, Al Swearengen, in the profound and profane HBO western series "Deadwood," which ran for just 36 episodes over three seasons from 2004-06. For his work on the series' second season, McShane won the 2005 Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Drama (in addition to Emmy and Screen Actors Guild nominations as Outstanding Lead Dramatic Actor). He also received the Television Critics Association Award for Individual Achievement in Drama for his work in the show's debut season (with a second nomination in 2005). It is a role and performance the New York Times dubbed "one of the most interesting villains on television." And, a recent online poll called Swearengen a more compelling onscreen gangster over the likes of Tony Soprano and Michael Corleone. After a twelve-year hiatus from portraying maybe his most iconic character ("it was the most satisfyingly creative three years of my professional career" he says), McShane recently reprised the unforgettable rogue when HBO resurrected the 1870s western in a two-hour telefilm, "Deadwood: The Movie," nominated for the Outstanding Television Movie Emmy. At an age when many successful thespians turn to cameo appearances and character parts, McShane's busy career (which dates back to 1962) also includes three very different starring roles on the big screen in the coming months. He was seen alongside David Harbour in Neil Marshall's reimagined comic book epic, "Hellboy." McShane also co-starred with Gary Carr in the Dan Pritzker drama, "Bolden," the biopic of musician Buddy Bolden, the father of jazz and a key figure in the development of ragtime music (McShane portrays Bolden's nemesis, Judge Perry). And, he reprised his role (reuniting with Keanu Reeves) as Winston, the suave and charming owner of the assassins-only Tribeca hotel in the latest installment of director Chad Stahelski's action trilogy, "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum," which opened to enormous box office success. Years before his triumphant role in "Deadwood," McShane had compiled a long and diverse career on both British and American television. He produced and starred in the acclaimed series "Lovejoy" for the BBC (and A&E in the U.S.), directing several episodes during the show's lengthy run. The popular Sunday night drama (which attracted 18 million viewers weekly during its run from 1990-94) saw McShane in the title role of an irresistible, roguish Suffolk antiques dealer. He would reunite with the BBC by producing and starring in the darker and more serious drama, Madson. He collected a second Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Miniseries for his portrayal of the scheming Waleran Bigod in Starz's Emmy-nominated "Pillars of the Earth." The production, which originated on the U.K.'s Channel 4, was based on Ken Follett's bestselling historic novel about the building of a 12th-century cathedral during the time known as "the Anarchy" after King Henry I had lost his only son in the White Ship disaster of 1120. It's a character McShane says "would fit into the Vatican." He is also well-known to TV audiences for his roles in FX's "American Horror Story," Showtime's "Ray Donovan" and, more recently, Amazon's "Dr. Thorne" and HBO's juggernaut, "Game of Thrones" ("I loved the character and did it because my three grandkids, big fans of the show, wouldn't have forgiven me if I hadn't"). And, he first worked with "American Gods" producer Michael Green on the short-lived NBC drama, "Kings," a show (inspired by The Book Of Samuel) he calls "far too revolutionary for network television." Other notable small screen roles include his appearance in David Wolper's landmark miniseries "Roots" (as the British cockfighting aficionado), "Whose Life Is it Anyway?," Heathcliff in the 1967 miniseries "Wuthering Heights" and Harold Pinter's Emmy-winning "The Caretaker." McShane has also played a variety of real-life subjects like Sejanus in the miniseries "A.D.," the title role of Masterpiece Theater's "Disraeli: Portrait of A Romantic" and Judas in NBC's "Jesus of Nazareth" (directed by Franco Zeffirelli). McShane, who shows no signs of slowing down in a career now entrenched in its sixth decade ("acting is the only business where the older you get, the parts and the pay get better"), began his career during Britain's New Wave Cinema of the early 1960s. He landed his first lead role in the 1962 English feature "The Wild and the Willing," which also starred another acting upstart and fellow Brit - McShane's lifelong friend, the late John Hurt. McShane later revealed that he had ditched class at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art to audition for the role. Since that 1962 motion picture debut, McShane has enjoyed a fabulous run of character roles such as the sinister Cockney mobster, Teddy Bass, opposite Ray Winstone and Ben Kingsley in "Sexy Beast"; the infamous pirate, Blackbeard, alongside Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"; and Richard Burton's bi-sexual partner, Wolfie, in the 1971 heist film, "Villain." He gave Hayley Mills her first onscreen kiss as a smoldering gypsy in 1965's "Sky West and Crooked," was part of the stellar ensemble cast (James Mason, James Coburn, Dyan Cannon) in the Stephen Sondheim-Anthony Perkins scripted big screen mystery, "The Last of Sheila," and played a retired sheriff with a violent past opposite Patrick Wilson in the gritty drama, "The Hollow Point." Other film credits include Guy Hamilton's all-star WWII epic, "The Battle of Britain," the romantic comedy "If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium," "Pottersville," "Hercules," "Snow White and the Huntsman" and "Jawbone" (reuniting with fellow Brit Ray Winstone in both), "Jack the Giant Slayer," Woody Allen's "Scoop," Rodrigo Garcia's indie drama "Nine Lives" (Gotham Award nominee for Best Ensemble Performance) and the darkly perverse crime drama, "44 Inch Chest," a film in which McShane not only starred, but also produced. While also making his professional theatre debut in 1962 ("Infanticide in the House of Fred August," Arts Theatre, London), McShane appeared onstage in the original 1965 production of Joe Orton's "Loot." Two years later, he starred alongside Ian McKellen and Judi Dench in the hit stage play, "The Promise," a production which transferred to Broadway in 1967 (with Eileen Atkins replacing Dench). He would return to Broadway one more time forty years later (2008), starring in the 40th anniversary staging of Harold Pinter's "The Homecoming," for which he shared a Drama Desk Award as Best Cast Ensemble. McShane also returned to the West End boards in 2000, charming audiences as the seductive, sex-obsessed Darryl Van Horne while making his musical stage debut in Cameron Mackintosh's "The Witches of Eastwick," an adaptation of the 1987 film. At the esteemed Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles, he appeared in Harold Pinter's "Betrayal," and John Osborne's "Inadmissible Evidence," earning a pair of Los Angeles Drama Critics' Awards for Lead Performance in the process. He also starred in the world premiere of Larry Atlas' "Yield of the Long Bond." In addition to his work in front of the camera, McShane is also well-known for his voiceover work, with his low, distinctive baritone on display in a variety of projects. He voiced the eccentric magician, Mr. Bobinsky, in Henry Selick's award nominated "Coraline" (scripted by "American Gods" author Neil Gaiman), lent a sinister air to Tai Lung, the snow leopard adept at martial arts, in "Kung Fu Panda" (Annie Award nominee), and created the notorious Captain Hook in "Shrek the Third." He also narrated Grace Jones' 1985 album, Slave to the Rhythm, succumbing to producer Trevor Horn's request to take the job because, per Horn," Orson Welles was dead, and I needed a voice." The album sold over a million copies worldwide. In the virtual reality domain, he recently lent his voice to the award- winning VR animated short "Age of Sail" in the role of the elderly sailor, William Avery, adrift alone in the North Atlantic. After almost sixty years entertaining audiences across the performance spectrum, McShane admits he did not set out for a career in the footlights while growing up in Manchester, England (he was actually born in Blackburn). It was by unexpected circumstances after McShane broke his leg playing soccer that he ended up performing in the school play production of Cyrano De Bergerac where he met his life-long friend and teacher, Leslie Ryder. Before he knew it, he auditioned for the Royal Academy of Arts where he was accepted and then left a term early to appear in the film, "The Wild and The Willing". McShane never looked back.
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  • Nicole KidmanActor

    Elegant Nicole Kidman, known as one of Hollywood's top Australian imports, was actually born in Honolulu, Hawaii, while her Australian parents were there on educational visas. Kidman is the daughter of Janelle Ann (Glenny), a nursing instructor, and Antony David Kidman, a biochemist and clinical psychologist. She is of English, Irish, and Scottish descent. Shortly after her birth, the family moved to Washington, D.C., where Nicole's father pursued his research on breast cancer, and then, three years later, made the pilgrimage back to her parents' native Sydney in Australia, where Nicole was raised. Young Nicole's first love was ballet, but she eventually took up mime and drama as well (her first stage role was a bleating sheep in an elementary school Christmas pageant). In her adolescent years, acting edged out the other arts and became a kind of refuge -- as her classmates sought out fun in the sun, the fair-skinned Kidman retreated to dark rehearsal halls to practice her craft. She worked regularly at the Philip Street Theater, where she once received a personal letter of praise and encouragement from audience member Jane Campion (then a film student). Kidman eventually dropped out of high school to pursue acting full-time. She broke into movies at age 16, landing a role in the Australian holiday favorite Bush Christmas (1983). That appearance touched off a flurry of film and television offers, including a lead in BMX Bandits (1983) and a turn as a schoolgirl-turned-protester in the miniseries Vietnam (1987) (for which she won her first Australian Film Institute Award). With the help of an American agent, she eventually made her US debut opposite Sam Neill in the at-sea thriller Dead Calm (1989). Kidman's next casting coup scored her more than exposure. While starring as Tom Cruise's doctor/love interest in the racetrack romance Days of Thunder (1990), she won over the Hollywood hunk hook, line and sinker. After a whirlwind courtship (and decent box office returns), the couple wed on December 24, 1990. Determined not to let her new marital status overshadow her fledgling career, the actress pressed on. She appeared as a catty high school senior in the Australian film Flirting (1991), then as Dustin Hoffman's moll in the gangster flick Billy Bathgate (1991). She reunited with Cruise for Far and Away (1992), the story of young Irish lovers who flee to America in the late 1800s, and starred opposite Michael Keaton in the tear-tugger My Life (1993). Despite her steady employment, critics and moviegoers still had not quite warmed to Kidman as a leading lady. She tried to spice up her image by seducing Val Kilmer in Batman Forever (1995), but achieved her real breakthrough with Gus Van Sant's To Die For (1995). As a fame-crazed housewife determined to eliminate any obstacle in her path, Kidman proved that she had an impressive range and deadly comic timing. She took home a Golden Globe and several critics' awards for the performance. In 1996, Kidman stepped into a corset to work with her countrywoman and onetime admirer, Jane Campion, on the adaptation of Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady (1996). A few months later, she tore across the screen as a nuclear weapons expert in The Peacemaker (1997), adding "action star" to her professional repertoire. She and Cruise then disappeared into a notoriously long, secretive shoot for Stanley Kubrick's sexual thriller Eyes Wide Shut (1999). The couple's on-screen shenanigans prompted an increase in public speculation about their sex life (rumors had long been circulating that their marriage was a cover-up for Cruise's homosexuality); tired of denying tabloid attacks, they successfully sued The Star for a story alleging that they needed a sex therapist to coach them through love scenes. Family life has always been a priority for Kidman. Born to social activists (mother was a feminist; father, a labor advocate), Nicole and her little sister, Antonia Kidman, discussed current events around the dinner table and participated in their parents' campaigns by passing out pamphlets on street corners. When her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, 17-year-old Nicole stopped working and took a massage course so that she could provide physical therapy (her mother eventually beat the cancer). She and Cruise adopted two children: Isabella Jane (born 1993) and Connor Antony (born 1995). Despite their rock-solid image, the couple announced in early 2001 that they were separating due to career conflicts. Her marriage to Cruise ended mid-summer of 2001.
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  • Christopher LeeActor

    Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee was perhaps the only actor of his generation to have starred in so many films and cult saga. Although most notable for personifying bloodsucking vampire, Dracula, on screen, he portrayed other varied characters on screen, most of which were villains, whether it be Francisco Scaramanga in the James Bond film, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), or Count Dooku in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002), or as the title monster in the Hammer Horror film, The Mummy (1959). Lee was born in 1922 in London, England, where he and his older sister Xandra were raised by their parents, Contessa Estelle Marie (Carandini di Sarzano) and Geoffrey Trollope Lee, a professional soldier, until their divorce in 1926. Later, while Lee was still a child, his mother married (and later divorced) Harcourt George St.-Croix (nicknamed Ingle), who was a banker. Lee's maternal great-grandfather was an Italian political refugee, while Lee's great-grandmother was English opera singer Marie (Burgess) Carandini. After attending Wellington College from age 14 to 17, Lee worked as an office clerk in a couple of London shipping companies until 1941 when he enlisted in the Royal Air Force during World War II. Following his release from military service, Lee joined the Rank Organisation in 1947, training as an actor in their "Charm School" and playing a number of bit parts in such films as Corridor of Mirrors (1948). He made a brief appearance in Laurence Olivier's Hamlet (1948), in which his future partner-in-horror Peter Cushing also appeared. Both actors also appeared later in Moulin Rouge (1952) but did not meet until their horror films together. Lee had numerous parts in film and television throughout the 1950s. He struggled initially in his new career because he was discriminated as being taller than the leading male actors of his time and being too foreign-looking. However, playing the monster in the Hammer film The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) proved to be a blessing in disguise, since the was successful, leading to him being signed on for future roles in Hammer Film Productions. Lee's association with Hammer Film Productions brought him into contact with Peter Cushing, and they became good friends. Lee and Cushing often than not played contrasting roles in Hammer films, where Cushing was the protagonist and Lee the villain, whether it be Van Helsing and Dracula respectively in Horror of Dracula (1958), or John Banning and Kharis the Mummy respectively in The Mummy (1959). Lee continued his role as "Dracula" in a number of Hammer sequels throughout the 1960s and into the early 1970s. During this time, he co-starred in The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959), and made numerous appearances as Fu Manchu, most notably in the first of the series The Face of Fu Manchu (1965), and also appeared in a number of films in Europe. With his own production company, Charlemagne Productions, Ltd., Lee made Nothing But the Night (1973) and To the Devil a Daughter (1976). By the mid-1970s, Lee was tiring of his horror image and tried to widen his appeal by participating in several mainstream films, such as The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), The Three Musketeers (1973), The Four Musketeers: Milady's Revenge (1974), and the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). The success of these films prompted him in the late 1970s to move to Hollywood, where he remained a busy actor but made mostly unremarkable film and television appearances, and eventually moved back to England. The beginning of the new millennium relaunched his career to some degree, during which he has played Count Dooku in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) and as Saruman the White in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Lee played Count Dooku again in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) and as Johnny Depp's character's father in the Tim Burton film, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005). On 16 June 2001, he was created a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his services to drama. He was created a Knight Bachelor on 13 June 2009 in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to drama and charity. In addition he was made a Commander of the Order of St John on 16 January 1997. Lee died at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital on 7 June 2015 at 8:30 am after being admitted for respiratory problems and heart failure, shortly after celebrating his 93rd birthday there. His wife delayed the public announcement until 11 June, in order to break the news to their family
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