Actor John Hurt died yesterday, at age 77. In addition to his roles in films such as Elephant Man and Harry Potter, for which he is probably best known, he is also notable for having starred not just in two libertarian films, but in two of the 25 best libertarian films ever made.
He made the powerful film 1984 in that very year. Based on the Orwell novel, it depicts a future totalitarian society—bleak in every aspect, thoroughly controlled, and impossible to escape. The novel was intended as a warning on the dangers of concentrated power. John Hurt helped spread that message to a new generation.
Two years earlier, he made Night Crossing, the true story of an heroic and ingenious father who organized an escape for his family from East Germany to the West via a homemade hot air balloon. This suspenseful Disney movie is a terrific family film and a good reminder of what life was like for ordinary Germans under socialism.