January 03, 2014

The 100 Greatest Movie Characters


This site, Empire Online, has gone to a lot of trouble in listing their version of the 100 greatest movie characters, as well as the reasons for the choices.

I think this is an impressive effort!

Here are just a few. There are lots of other interesting choices. 
Thanks to the site for most of the comments and pictures.I have seen many of these films and enjoyed them,especially "It's A Wonderful Life", and another James Stewart classic - "Mr Smith Goes To Washington". Both are very powerful films and they don't make too many like these any more. I really  enjoyed the  most recent "Pirates of The Caribbean", and all the "Dirty Harry" movies as I think Clint Eastwood is amazing!

I have forgotten how many times I have watched "Ferris Bueller's Day Off'!

Enjoy finding your own favourites!

"What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down." George Bailey
Played By: James Stewart Film: It's A Wonderful Life
Why He's On The List: What would Christmas be like without this movie and Jimmy Stewart's finest role? As George Bailey, the small-town family man with a heart of gold but a head full of doubt, Stewart delivers an astonishingly nuanced turn as a suicidal case slowly getting to grips with the idea that life is worth living after all.
Finest Hour: That ending, when George realises that - hey! - it is a wonderful life after all.
Played By: Marlon Brando
Film: The Godfather

Why He's On The List: Although he's the title character (and Brando is top billed, naturally), it's often a surprise for newcomers to The Godfather to find that Don Vito isn't the primary focus of the film. It's an epic ensemble piece, but it's his youngest son Michael who's the spine of the story. Still, Vito is the one who everybody loves most, as the family man so honourable and dedicated that somehow nobody cares that he's the head of a massive criminal empire. Maybe it's something to do with feeling safe. Brando gives one of his trademark 'performances of a lifetime' (he gave about a half dozen of those, by our count), and there's a nice parallel in the role with the 'old man' providing love and guidance to this collection of next generation stars (Pacino, Caan, Cazale, Shire and Duvall), but it's always, always his show. Don by name, Don by nature.
Finest Hour: After his retirement, advising Michael of how his enemies will move around him.

"When I see a grown man chasing a woman down an alleyway with a butcher knife and a hard-on, I figure he's not out collecting for the Red Cross." Harry Callahan
Played By: Clint Eastwood Film: Dirty Harry
Why He's On The List: Only Clint could make a guy like Harry Callahan cool. A borderline fascist, with supply teacher chic and hair so big it shows up on Google Earth, Callahan is a shoot first, ask questions never kinda guy, a bit of a pervert and a massive racist, to boot. But as Eastwood deploys his laser-beam squint, massive gun and whispers his tough-guy dialogue, Harry becomes more than Dirty. He becomes an icon.
Finest Hour: Harry's grim, bitter delivery of the 'do you feel lucky?' speech at the end of the film, a world away from the glibness of the opening bank robbery sequence.                          
"In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and - SNAP - the job's a game!" Mary Poppins
Played By: Julie Andrews Film: Mary Poppins
Why She's On The List: Practically perfect in every way is one hell of a boast to make on your CV (Empire tried it once; didn't work), but Julie Andrews' Mary Poppins pulls it off (stop sniggering). Sorry, Jo Frost, but Mary is the original and best supernanny. She can fly, for one. She's got a bottomless bag of tricks, for another, and an endless array of cracking tunes to keep any child in line. And, though Andrews is the very epitome of wholesomeness, there's always the nagging suspicion that, at some point, Dick Van Dyke's Bert swept her chimney. So, she's great with kids and a little naughty? Now that is practically perfect.
Finest Hour: The technicolour overload of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, with its cartoon penguins and mad Cockneys.

"I think we've all arrived at a very special place. Spiritually, ecumenically, grammatically." Captain Jack Sparrow
Played By: Johnny Depp Film: Pirates Of The Caribbean 1-3
Why He's On The List: If you had told Johnny Depp, just before he opened the script of Pirates Of The Caribbean, that a movie based on a Disney theme park ride would provide him with his most unforgettable character, he'd probably have told you to eff off. But there you go: the dandyish, dishevelled, permanently addled Sparrow was already there on the page, but it was Depp's genius in basically nicking the personality, voice and appearance of his mate, Keith Richards, that brought Cap'n Jack to life and fuelled Pirates' extraordinary success. The rum do on the part of the sequels was sidelining and failing to develop Sparrow in favour of the bland Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, a mistake that Disney and Bruckheimer are keen to rectify for the forthcoming Pirates 4.
Finest Hour: His drunken, bewildered outrage at discovering that Keira Knightley's Elizabeth Swann has burned all the rum. 

"Expecto patronum!" Harry Potter
Played By: Daniel Radcliffe Film: Harry Potter 1-6
Why He's On The List: Five films down, two (well, three) to go, but clearly Harry Potter has already made an impression with you lot. It's not hard to see why: as played by an increasingly convincing Daniel Radcliffe, Harry has morphed before our very eyes from wide-eyed child to embattled, moody teenager and yet managed to remain likeable and sympathetic.
Finest Hour: The last, freezeframed shot of Prisoner Of Azkaban, as Harry flies, carefree and smiling, on his Firebolt.
"It's not the years, honey - it's the mileage." Indiana Jones
Played By: Harrison Ford Film: Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Why He's On The List: Hands up any who was ten or under when they first saw Raiders, and didn't want to be an archaeologist afterwards? Liars. The poster promised the return of great adventure, and they delivered. Of course it would have all been worthless without a great character holding it all together, but boy did they nail that one. You all know the Tom Selleck story by now, but that doesn't make trying to picture anyone but Ford in the role today any easier. So why does Indy work? Well there's no secret to the formula: charming everyman on the side of the angels (quite literally, in this case), involved in high adventure, always triumphing over the odds - not without significant obstacles to overcome - and easy to hate bad guys. Add a laconic sense of humour and a lack of appreciation from those he works for, and you've got the ideal hero. All you need after that is a brilliant script and a production team to match...
Finest Hour: After being thrown through the windshield of a truck and dragged under it, fighting his way back into the cabin, Jones finally gives the Nazi driver a taste of his own medicine.                                                                        
"A) You can never go too far. B) If I get caught, it is not going to be by a guy like that." Ferris Bueller
Played By: Matthew Broderick Film: Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Why He's On The List: Perhaps the least angry voice of teen rebellion you'll ever come across, Ferris has no great obstacles in life (he's from a wealthy family, and his biggest gripe is that he was given a birthday computer instead of a car), but his quest is universal - to have a good time, and to do it now while he's young. Broderick's challenge is to keep what could be a malcontent brat likeable, and he achieves this in spades. It's a role he's never managed to top, but if you're going to be remembered, why not for something as awesome as this?
Finest Hour: Performing Twist & Shout on a Chicago parade float in front of thousands of people.

And here's "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"

Trailers from Hell take on "It's A Wonderful Life".

Julie Andrews To Direct My Fair Lady production At Sydney Opera House