My top 10 movies

Richard Branson on his iPad on a Virgin Trains journey
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Virgin Galactic
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 14 November 2016

I was recently asked to list my favourite movies. It was by no means an easy task. Film is a marvellous means of storytelling, and I love to spend my down time watching movies to learn about the challenges that we are facing or to escape into a world of adventure and excitement. I’m a big documentary fan, but I also love watching comedies and dramas with Joan and the family. Here are some of the films that I love the most (in no particular order) and the reasons why I choose them.

1. 1984 – the last movie Virgin Films made and the final performance of the great Richard Burton – all soundtracked by The Eurythmics!

1984 film poster
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2.  Around the World in 80 Days – reminiscent of my ballooning adventures, and I was fortunate to make a cameo as a hot-air balloon operator.

​3. Breaking the Taboo – a great documentary, made by my son Sam’s production company, Sundog Pictures, which serves as a fascinating wake-up call about the failed war on drugs. 

4. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy – I’ve always been fascinated by space, and love the humour and adventure of this film.

5. Borsalino – A superb gangster film that I watched multiple times in my youth.

6. Peter Pan – I’ve always wanted to be Peter Pan, and I have loved the Disney film adaptation of J. M. Barrie’s book since I was a boy.

a young Richard Branson dressed as Peter Pan carries a toddler Holly Branson dressed as Tinkerbell
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7.  James Bond: Casino Royale – as a proud Brit, Bond had to make the cut, plus if you watch closely you’ll see yours truly make an appearance.

8.  Departure Date – the first ever film shot and edited at 35,000 feet in the air, and from aboard our Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia and Virgin America planes! 

9.  Sharkwater – an eye-opening documentary that explores the misunderstood world of sharks, and exposes corruption and exploitation surrounding the world’s shark populations. We are trying to stop shark finning around the globe.

10. Austin Powers – as a proud Brit who loves to adventure in the States, started out in the Swinging Sixties and is known to have a catchphrase or two, I can identify with Mike Myers’ comic creation.

Richard Branson dressed as the comic spy Austin Powers
Image from

As you can see, I have made a fair few movie cameos over the years; however the film that best tells my story is the new documentary, Don’t Look Down. Released, it chronicles my ballooning adventures and some of the most scariest moments of life. Check it out here.

Do you have a favourite film? I’d like to hear about it, and why you love it, in the comments below.