18 Heroic Movie Princes

The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003)

The Prince: Legolas (Orlando Bloom), whose Elven modesty makes it easy to forget that he's actually royalty (he's the son of Thranduil, King of the Woodland Realm of Northern Mirkwood).

Most Heroic Moment: The green-clad, platinum blond archer was gifted several cheerworthy moments throughout Peter Jackson's epic fantasy trilogy (flawless bow skills, shield-boarding) but his real show-stopper came in Part III , when he despatched an oliphaunt and all of its Easterling passengers in one impressive sequence.

If He Was A Villain: He's got the genes to make a fine Aryan overlord...

Sleeping Beauty (1959)

The Prince: Prince Phillip (Bill Shirley). Notable for looking about 21, but having the singing voice of an 80-year-old.

Most Heroic Moment: When he's done breaking into song in the forest and seducing barely-legal princesses, he gets to prove his action chops by battling the evil witch Maleficent, which involves struggling through a forest of thorns and slaying the witch's dragon form.

If He Was A Villain:
He'd need to trade in his snazzy red cloak for something with a little more diabolical style.

Prince Valiant (1997)

The Prince: That would be Prince Valiant ( True Blood star Stephen Moyer), though at the beginning of the movie he's a lowly squire who doesn't realise he has blue blood, something he discovers while escorting Princess Ilene (Katherine Heigl) back to Wales.

Most Heroic Moment: The modest budget doesn't really stretch to much epic gallantry, but he deserves his dues for fighting Thomas Kretschmann's bald-headed villain Thagnar, and keeping a straight face while doing so.

If He Was A Villain: That name would have to go, but Prince Vicious just doesn't have the same ring to it…

Ever After (1998)

The Prince: Prince Henry (Dougray Scott), who appears in this realistic take on Cinderella , which arrived many years before fairytales became the 'in' thing…

Most Heroic Moment: This being something of a revisionist-feminist version of the classic tale, Henry doesn't have to do much swashbuckling to appease Drew Barrymore's Cinders stand-in Danielle, as she's pretty capable of taking care of herself. He only really springs into action to save Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa from a band of thieves…

If He Was A Villain: He'd have Danielle scrubbing the palace floors in no time.

Masters of the Universe (1987)

The Prince: He-Man (Dolph Lundgren), whose royal identity as Prince Adam of Eternia is sadly neglected throughout the movie.

Most Heroic Moment: There's plenty to choose from as he battles Skeletor's minions across Eternia and California, occasionally on a hoverboard, always with his granite pecs out. His final duel with Skeletor probably clinches it for pomp, though.

If He Was A Villain:
Dolph's bronzed, Swedish features and lavish blond mullet would be hidden beneath unconvincing, immobile prosthetics.

Bambi (1942)

The Prince: Bambi, the effeminate animated deer. His harsh upbringing includes being left under the watch of his disciplinarian father after his mother is gunned down by pesky humans in one of cinema's most famous, and effective, tear-jerking scenes.

Most Heroic Moment: When the pesky humans come back to burn down the forest, grown-up Bambi does his bit for his mate by fending off some hunting dogs, before evading the spreading fire and claiming his princely title.

If He Was A Villain: He'd exact his revenge on the world's pesky humans by launching an all out genocide on mothers everywhere.

The Young Victoria (2009)

The Prince: Prince Albert (Rupert Friend), the German royal who married the young Queen Victoria to become Prince Consort. The dashing, moustachioed prince has his work cut out pursuing the queen via romantic correspondence and frequent trips to Blighty.

Most Heroic Moment: He gets to show that he could have cut it as an action man by taking a bullet to protect his wife from assassination. Perhaps Seth Grahame-Smith should take Albert as the subject of his next historical fantasy?

If He Was A Villain? That moustache would be getting a damn good twiddling, no doubt about it.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)

The Prince: Captain Nemo (Naseeruddin Shah) is actually Prince Dakker of Bundelkund, despite turning his back on land folk. He's also one of the few character's in LXG to retain any dignity in the jump from graphic novel to screen.

Most Heroic Moment: Sadly the film doesn't give him much chance to demonstrate his potential for cool, but the nearest he gets to putting the Nautilus through its paces is the exploding-Venice set-piece.

If He Was A Villain: His slick gadgets and underwater lifestyle would have the most extravagant of Bond villains retiring in shame.

Any heroic princes you'd care to add to the list? Let's have your recommendations below...

Matt Maytum
Editor, Total Film

I'm the Editor at Total Film magazine, overseeing the running of the mag, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.