Lists, Rankings, Top 15 Characters — August 14, 2013 at 12:53 pm

MY TOP 100 FAVORITE CHARACTERS IN FILM #’s 80-61

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80. Ray “Bones” Barboni played by Dennis Farina in “Get Shorty”

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“Chili Palmer. It’s chilly outside and it’s Chili inside. It’s a regular f**kin’ chili-fest!”

Ray Bones temper is almost as bad as his mouth is foul.  Four letter words are his favorite way to depict any situation, whether they be used as adjectives, verbs, or both. His quick temper, foul language, and natural inclination towards violence makes him sound like a really bad guy, and he is, but at the same time, Ray Bones extremist behavior is hilarious in it’s proper context; the depiction of Elmore Leonard’s novel.  He’s a bad guy, but he’s a bad guy that on some levels I can’t help rooting for.

79. The Genie voiced over by Robin Williams in “Aladdin”

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“Oh, Al. I’m gettin’ kinda fond of you, kid. Not that I wanna pick out curtains or anything.”

The Genie is one of the most memorable of Disney characters.  Robin Williams life force somehow came through in the Genie, making him a scene stealing entity, that’s quick wit, tender heart, and hilarious sense of humor made the film Aladdin grow layers of entertainment in all of Disney’s films.  Even the songs were just as enjoyable.  The colorful animation mixed with Williams exuberant delivery made the Genie one of animations most wondrous gifts.

78. R2D2 in “Star Wars”

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“Beep Beep”

Artoo is a remarkable character to me, because unlike Wall-E, he doesn’t speak at all, yet his beeps and personality are ever present.  Of all the character’s in Star Wars he is truly one of my favorites.  It would be easy to analyze Obi-Wan or The Emperor in depth, but Artoo’s simplicity makes him that much more compelling to me.  He can make you laugh more than any character in the both trilogies, and his presence is always hugely impacted in all six of the films.  Maybe if Jar Jar hadn’t spoken I’d be talking about him, but the silent droid named R2D2 is one of the greatest character’s from Star Wars and of all time.

77. Turkish played by Jason Statham in “Snatch”

turk “It turns out that the sweet-talking, tattoo-sporting Pikey was a Gypsy bare-knuckle boxing champion, which makes him harder than a coffin nail. Right now, that’s the last thing on Tommy’s mind. If Gorgeous doesn’t wake up in the next few minutes, Tommy knows he’ll be buried with him. Why would the Gypsies want to go with the trouble explaining why a man died in their campsite? Not when they could just bury the pair of them and just move camp. It’s not like they got social security numbers, is it? Tommy the Tit is praying. And, if he isn’t, he fu**ing should be.”

Turkish is a small time fight promoter who somehow finds himself in the mix of a diamond missing from a diamond heist and is now under the thumb of the psychotic gangster Brick Top who enjoys feeding his victims to his pigs.  Turkish, though a victim of circumstance, always has his wits about himself.  He seems like the kind of guy who could talk his way out of anything.  Always with something clever to say, and a glint of something darker lingering behind his eyes, you can see there’s more to Turkish than meets the eye.  I love the mystery of this character, and the fact that even though he’s always reacting to what’s happening around him, he’s always in charge of himself.

76. Leonidas played by Gerard Butler in “300”

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“The world will know that free men stood against a tyrant, that few stood against many, and before this battle was over, even a god-king can bleed.”

King Leonidas is a character based upon the real-life king of Sparta (circa 520-480BC) who led a small army, commonly known as the 300 Spartans, against the overwhelming numbers of the Persian Empire, and their leader Xerxes, at the Battle of Thermopylae.  Everything in 300 was structured around a certain style and the lead of Leonidas and his bravado.  Gerard Butler made this seemingly impenetrable King someone more than just a stubborn and brutal warrior, though he certainly implemented his warrior persona to the tenth power.  Leonidas fought for the most important thing worth fighting for, and that was his freedom.  He pledged his battle at all costs, and though wagered much glory, lost much in the process.  This character is one greatly adored by me.

75. Garth Algar played by Dana Carvey in “Waynes World 1 & 2”

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“That is a babe. She makes me feel kinda funny, like when we used to climb the rope in gym class.”

Though Garth is remarkably more quiet than his more outspoken counterpart Wayne Campbell, Garth has a clear presence that comes across as peculiar, but is really very intriguing.  As shy and quiet as he appears to be, Garth clearly has a deviant side.  When he asks Wayne if he ever thought bugs bunny dressed up as a girl bunny was attractive you know there is more going on than the surface shows.  Garth makes it easy to relate to him, being socially awkward and uncomfortable with the spotlight focusing on him was something flannel wearing teenagers of the 90’s clearly understood, but what makes Garth great is he’s still funny when he’s doing nothing at all.

74. Freddy Krueger played by Robert Englund in “Nightmare On Elm Street Series”

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“When I was alive, I might have been a little naughty… but after they killed me, I became something much, much worse… the stuff nightmares are made of.”

Freddy Krueger is the ultimate horror classic villain.  Frederick Charles Krueger was the product of the violent rape of the nun Amanda Krueger by one hundred maniacs.  A tormented child, he may be biggest bad of the big bad horror villains, but his back story and motivations and reasons for going all maniacal are actually empathetic.  The deep and twisted history and who he was and what he became makes him all the more fearsome, but also tangible.  His twisted and masochistic back round coupled with his choice of victims and the way he haunts them, makes him top of the list of scary for me.

73. The Bride played by Uma Thurman in “Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2”

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“Those of you lucky enough to have your lives, take them with you. However, leave the limbs you’ve lost. They belong to me now. “

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.  Kill Bill and the bride take that saying to a new level of complexity.  The Bride played by Uma Thurman is shot in the head and beat to death while pregnant and preparing to marry by The DVAS.  Being a former elite member of the assassin group that left without warning, they made her pay.  She didn’t die, but woke from a coma year later with a vicious life force that no one could stop.  In two different films the Bride destroys all that threatened to destroy her.  Her character required no depth, but the mystery of who she was and how she came to be the ruthless killer she was, is an enigma I rather enjoy.  She fully embodies the ultimate butt kicking kind of girl power.

72. Al Czervik played by Rodney Dangerfield in “Caddyshack”

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“He called me a baboon, he thinks I’m his wife.”

Al Czervik is Rodney Dangerfield at his best.  It was as though he was told he could go nuts and simply did.  The eccentric, rich, condo builder loved to play golf and party while doing it.  The uptight patrons of the course hated him, and I loved to watch his smart ass retorts as he continued on his merry way embracing life.  The joie de vivre of Dangerfield’s character is palpable to anyone watching, and it was no surprise that the entire golf club loved him, short of the Judge.  This is a classic comedic role, and my favorite of the ever talented Rodney Dangerfield.

71. Dorothy Gale played by Judy Garland in “The Wizard Of Oz”

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“Well, I – I think that it – it wasn’t enough to just want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em – and it’s that – if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with! Is that right?”

The story of The Wizard Of Oz is timeless, but the reason this version is so memorable and tangible even in today’s special effects world is due to the two women who represented good and evil in this film, Dorothy and The Wicked Witch of the West played by Margaret Hamilton.  Judy Garland could have been any normal girl that had magically fallen into Oz……she even says so….”Dorothy, the small and meek.”  There is incredible heart and dedication to her performance and it never loses it’s magic even watching it over one hundred times, which I easily have.  Without Judy Garland and Dorothy, Oz would be unremarkable.

70. Vicomte Sébastien de Valmont played by John Malkovich in “Dangerous Liasons”

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“You see, I have no intention of breaking down her prejudices. I want her to believe in God and virtue and the sanctity of marriage, and still not be able to stop herself. I want the excitement of watching her betray everything that’s is most important to her. Surely you understand that. I thought betrayal was your favorite word.”

The devious mastermind of seduction, Vicomte de Valmont played by John Malkovich is one of the most sensuous, and intense performances I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching.  Though his character is morally flawed we can all relate to falling in love with either someone that wasn’t right for us or the timing being completely inopportune.  Love is always complicated and Dangerous Liasons plays on the ideal that one can’t choose who they fall in love with, even one as conniving and dark spirited as Sebastian.  I delight in the confusion and chaos of how the forbidden makes this film and John Malkovich’s performance so sexually charged.  This is my favorite John Malkovich performance ever.

69. Buzz Lightyear played by Tim Allen in “The Toy Story Trilogy”

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“You are a sad, strange little man, and you have my pity. Farewell.”

Buzz Lightyear is the superhero toy that has no clue he is actually a toy.  In his mind he is truly a space marine.  When confronted with reality, the delusions of Buzz being shattering travels from hysterical comedy to a terrible sadness.  When his optimistic attitude gets the better of him he focuses on being the best toy for Andy he can be.  His sense of comedy returns and his overzealous attitude back in tact.  When Toy Story 2 is released he runs into another Buzz at a Toy Store, who is also deluded that he is actually a space marine.  It’s the same joke done two different totally brilliant ways.  Tim Allen makes Buzz is one of the best character’s animation has to offer.

68. The Velociraptors and T-Rex in “Jurassic Park”

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“Rooooooooooooar” “Rooooooooooooar”

The Velociraptors and Tyrannosaurus Rex from Jurassic Park were just as vivid and charismatic as the live action people running around in fear of these massive villains.  The intellect in the Raptors eyes, and the way they physically responded to what happened around them completely captured the deep frightening intelligence of their beings.  The T-Rex was more than a roaring giant mindless monster.  He was Michael Crichton’s thinking creation, an essential victim of circumstance, instinctively behaving as he would in the wild.  That complex behavior made these dinosaurs so much more than mindless creatures made to frighten audiences.  The intellect and personality of each dinosaur was what made them so blatantly terrifying, not to mention the insane special effects put together to make them so realistic in appearance.  They are some of my favorite villains to ever grace the screen.

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67. Veruca Salt played by Julie Dawn Cole the “Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory-1971”

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“I want the world. I want the whole world. I want to lock it all up in my pocket. It’s my bar of chocolate. Give it to me now.”

Willy Wonka manages to teach many lessons on parenting and being better kids, and Veruca Salt makes it painfully obvious just what terrible repercussions for spoiling or overindulging your child can be.  Her character is as wicked as they come.  Her nasty demeanor and obvious expectation of entitlement makes Veruca is a viciously demented villain that I add to my list.

66. Rocky played by Sylvestor Stallone in “The Rocky Films”

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“Well, ya see, sir I understand you’re lookin’ for sparrin’ partners for Apollo, and I jus’ want ta let ya know that I am very available.”

Rocky is the classic underdog.  The story of the guy who couldn’t but did.  His heart and dedication was inspiring and touching.  If you want a movie to motivate you, just put on Rocky.  His character is so down to earth, and easy to empathize with.  This is a classic role with one of the best performances in cinema history by Sylvestor Stallone.  Rocky is without question one of the greatest character’s of all time.

65. Vida Boheme played by Patrick Swayze in “Thanks For Everything Julie Newmar”

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“Yes you will start off a mere boy in a dress, but by the time we are done with this crusade your Auntie Vida and your Auntie Noxee will give you the outrageous outlook and indomidable spirit that it will take to make you a full-fledge Drag Queen.  So now, I want you to turn your swayback self around on those Robert Clergerie Knockoffs and get back in this car.”

Vida Boheme ties a contest that will send her to the drag queen of America contest, hosted by none other than her heroine Julie Newmar.  She and the other drag queen she tied with, Noxee (Wesley Snipes), turn in their train tickets to rent a car so they can take an unassuming “drag princess” with them on their journey. They get stuck in a small town for a few days and hysterical comedy ensues.  I adore Vida because she truly embraces who she is even though the world may not necessarily accept her, including her own parents.  Her desire to help others find their path, and her hope and goodness make her a character that not only makes me laugh, but also one that inspires me.

64. Voldemort played by Ralph Fiennes in “Harry Potter Series”

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“Don’t you turn your back on me, Harry Potter! I want you to look at me when I kill you! I want to see the light leave your eyes!”

Lord Voldemort, also known as Tom Marvolo Riddle, ‘You-Know-Who’, or ‘He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’, is the incarnate of evil and sworn enemy of Harry Potter.  Even with his presence only occasionally visible, Voldemort is terrifying even in his absence.  The history of who he was and the crimes he committed is enough to frighten anyone, but Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort is proof that the rumors in fact understated his wicked evil.  His character is so dark and so thick with malice that he cannot even fathom the idea of love, let alone understand it.  His nonchalant demeanor sprinkled with a cold brutality, intolerance for good, and his obsession with Harry is enough to frighten anyone, making the melodramatic Voldemort number sixty-four on my list.

63. T-1000 played by Robert Patrick “Terminator 2: Judgement Day”

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“Have you seen this boy?”

The T-1000 was the scariest thing to happen to robot/cyborgs since Arnold in the original Terminator.  If something makes Arnold run, you should probably take a hike.  Though Robert Patrick said very little in this role, his deadly stares and strange indifference to his surroundings made him a most sinister foe.  The shoot off in the mall when each Terminator finds John Connor is classic in Science Fiction and action films, and the moment his liquid metal persona walks out from the flames of the exploding truck is some of the most amazing special effects even in today’s standards.  The T-1000 is a killer.

62.Denton Van Zan played by Matthew McConaughey “Reign Of Fire”

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“Envy the country that has heroes, huh? I say pity the country that needs them.”

Denton Van Zan is as tough as they come.  In a post Apocalyptic world after the demise of humans from the terror of dragons, Van Zan fears no dragon.  A warrior to the very core, he fought without fear and without hesitation to save what was left of the human race.  When he finally reached England, to find the source of the dragon frenzy, he jumped at the chance to destroy those that would destroy him.  He has no sympathy for those that won’t fight to live, and shunned those that hid from their enemy instead of facing it.  Against all odds and showing no mercy for his enemy and no concern for himself, Van Zan is the kind of crazy hero only fiction can make.

61. Gandalf played by Ian McKellan “The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy”

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“Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo’s hand. Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill before this is over. The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.”

Gandalf was one of the Order Of Wizards sent to Middle-earth to oppose Sauron.  Also known as the Grey Pilgrim or Mithrandir, Gandalf was a curious character among the Hobbits of Middle Earth.  Frodo Baggins and himself began a journey to defeat Sauron and destroy the One Ring.  As kind and gentle as Gandalf could be, it was matched with an equally brutal and harsh side.  He often joked about a Wizards short temper, but simmering below was a boiling cauldron that shouldn’t have been disturbed.  Complex and curious, Gandalf is a formidable foe, and loyal friend.  The depth of who and what he was, an instrument of good or mostly a man matters not, only that he is one of my most adored fictional characters realized.  Ian McKellan was the perfect Gandalf.

 

2 Comments

  • Precisely how much time did it acquire u to post “Man, I Love Films
    – My Top 100 Favorite Characters In Film #

  • Well, I hated everything about Reign of Fire, although I do love your choice of Malkovich in Dangerous Liaisons.

    However, you really should’ve gone with Nancy over Freddy Kreuger. Freddy is best in the first film, and in A New Nightmare, the rest of the time he’s a gruesome quipster, which is no pun – uh, I mean, no fun. Nancy, meanwhile, is smart, motivated, and willing to be as badass as she needs to be in order to stay alive.

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