Tossin’ It Out There: Who’s YOUR Favorite Movie Character?

On last week’s (title pending), Tank brought up the idea of favorite movie characters, and I was caught unprepared. There are SO many! Every movie brings another five to ten into play, but even if there’s just one decent one each movie, that’s still an enormous field of potential candidates. Granted, there’s only a handful of memorable characters a year, but as the decades roll by, they pile up!

Indy, Hannibal Lecter, Maximus, Ripley, Peter Venkman, I could rattle off dozens, without even thinking. Ferris Bueller, John McClane, Harry Potter… seriously, there are millions.

Who’s YOUR favorite? What character is most memorable for you? Why? What makes you prefer them to others? It’s a great discussion topic because there have been so many great ones over the years, populating so many great movies.

Let’s hear what your choices are! Who’s YOUR favorite movie character?

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141 thoughts on “Tossin’ It Out There: Who’s YOUR Favorite Movie Character?

  1. Man, that’s a tough question. Before I think too much about it and change my mind, I’ll say the first thing that comes to mind- I’ll go with Derby Dancer #8 in Swingers. That guy had MAD derby dancing skills.

    Failing that, I’ll take R. P. McMurphy.

  2. Man, tough decisions. Even tougher since a lot of my favorite movie characters might actually be my favorites due to the source material and not really the movies (Humphrey Bogart’s Philip Marlowe, for example, or Martita Hunt’s Miss Havisham, or even Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man). Am I a fan of the movie character, or is it because they hewed so closely to what I imagined them to be, or is it because I’m really a fan of the character from other material?

    Since it’s turning out to be so hard, I’m going to go with two classic choices and one from a current movie:
    1.) Michael Corleone — one of the best developed characters in movies, where, in the first two movies anyway, you can trace his descent from a man who could have walked a good and noble path to one of evil, despite the best of intentions (trying to protect his family). As cheesy as the last one got, at least it pointed out that no matter how hard he tried for redemption, he still had to pay the price.

    2.) Hans Solo — if you look at the faults of the prequels, the number one has to be that there was no Hans Solo character. You know, the regular, run of the mill guy who had questionable loyalties but deep down has the heart of gold. And Hans Solo pretty much set the standard. Whether it’s Sawyer from Lost or Gambit from the X-Men, the modern rogue always gets compared to the most famous one from Star Wars.

    3.) Iron Man — Robert Downey Jr. really is the standout superhero in a crowded genre. Christian Bale, Chris Evans, Christopher Reeves, Toby McGuire, and pretty much all of them try to portray their character as fundamentally decent and moral men. Downey does not. Tony Stark is not a clean-cut guy and he knows it. He revels in it. Be we love him because he tries to do the right thing, and you can tell it hurts him. And Downey gives Stark a bitterly sarcastic edge and makes it look easy. If you think that making the good guy also sort of a jerk is an easy thing, look how hard Ryan Reynolds was trying to pull off a very similar character in Green Lantern. It’s like he was drowning.

    • Michael Corleone doesn’t sweat any of these other characters. LOL :D

      Solo is great too, one of these days I’m going to square him off against Indy to try to make people’s head explode :D

      Downey was the PERFECT casting for Iron Man. It was just… inspired. There’s really no doubt. and yeah, he definitely IS a unique superhero alter ego, isnt he? It’s great

  3. Frank Drebin (LNielsen), The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)

    Frank: Wilma, I promise you; whatever scum did this, not one man on this force will rest one minute until he’s behind bars. Now, let’s grab a bite to eat. ;-)

  4. You’re right. There are a lot of potential options. Right now, off the top of my head, I’d say: Beatrix Kiddo, Sonny Corleone, Norman Bates, Elwood P. Dowd, Remy (from Ratatouille), Hermione Granger, Miranda Priestly… but the list, of course, goes on.

  5. For the guys its a toss up between Beetlejuice and Forest Gump. For the ladies a toss up between Black Mambo in Kill Bill and Giselle in Enchanted.

    If you give me top 5 the extra would be Ripley

    • Been giving everyone all the picks they want to make. LOL. So if you want Ripley, she’s on the record.

      I often share the dumb thoughts that cross my mind when people make their responses, and in this particular one, I saw Beetlejuice and Forest Gump having a conversation. LOL. Maybe Bettlejuice pulling that “Oh hey look, there’s Elvis” trick on Forest and stealing his chocolates. LOL That’d be one weird movie scene man. :D

  6. There’s so many great choices out there. Besides all the great main characters there’s so many fun side characters. As far as sci-fi/fantasy goes I enjoy the comic relief side characters. Like hit girl, boltie, Luna lovegood… i’m sensing another unintentional pattern here.

    I think. I’ll just go with batman. He’s such a versatile character with so many options.

    • Hit Girl gets her first shout out. LOL. I dont know who those other two are though, so I missed out on that pattern. Maybe thats a good thing. LOL.

      Batman works. Many iterations. A rich onscreen legacy. Nice choice. Cant believe he didnt get mentioned earlier! :D

  7. Travis Bickle, Jake La Motta, William Munny, James Bond, Indiana Jones, Ellen Ripley, Jay and Silent Bob, Joel Barish, Batman, The Joker, Red Grant, Raymond Shaw, Dr. Strangelove, Alex DeLarge, Sergeant Hartman, the HAL 9000, Jack Torrance, Michael Corleone, Vito Corleone, Frank T.J. Mackey, Daniel Plainview, Darth Vader, Roy Batty, Sarah Connor, Malcolm Tucker, Jules Winfield, Dirk Diggler, The Bride, Hans Landa, Anton Chigur, the Dude, Walter and Donny, Woody, Norman Bates, Hannibal Lecter, Clarice Starling, Henry Hill, Tyler Durden…..

    GHSFAJGH

    I don’t think I can do this man. It’s just too hard. Like you said, the amount of choices is just immense.

  8. Jack Sparrow, Catwoman, batman, Joker, Spiderman, Ellen Ripley, Indiana Jones, Beetlejuice, Hannibal lecter, Clarice Starling, and most recently Hugo and Papa George. There’s also Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Professor Snape, Ben Gates, etc.

    So many more. I really can’t choose a favorite character. I know I’m missing a lot.

  9. IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER (and the best preferred film):

    Hannibal Lecter (Manhunter or The Silence of the Lambs)
    James Bond (mostly the last three and the first nine or ten)
    Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark)
    John McClane (Die Hard)
    Regan (The Exorcist)
    Jack Torrance (The Shining)
    Alice (Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore)
    Sam Loomis (Halloween)
    Batman (both the Burton and Nolan films)
    The Joker (The Dark Knight)
    Scott Pilgrim (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World)
    Scarlett O’Hara (Gone with the Wind)
    Howard Beale (Network)
    Inigo Montoya (The Princess Bride)
    Rhett Butler (Gone with the Wind)
    Maria (The Sound of Music)
    Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)
    unnamed character/his psychological counterpart (Fight Club)
    Sally Albright (When Harry Met Sally…)
    “President Ford” (Air Force One)
    President Skroob (Spaceballs)
    Dark Helmet (Spaceballs)
    Sheriff Bart (Blazing Saddles)

    • Oh wow. This topic IS bringing out people’s inner IMDbs. LOL

      That’s like a menu of awesome movie characters. Let me have a James Bond, with a side of Jack Torrance… ooh! And some Howard Beale, please! :D

      Pretty solid list. Hard for me to pick one to say “That doesn’t belong”

  10. this is a really hard question…but for right now im gonna have to say billy flynn from chicago. he may be a money monger who plays dirty, but he does it really well and he knows better than to get involved with his female clients. and hes completely unapologetic about how he does business. awesome in my opinion.

    • Gere’s character? Alright… I like that movie a lot, but its been too long since I’ve seen it. I should revisit.

      My recollection though was that its really good, and worthy of its Oscar. :D

      Thanks for chiming in Sharon! :D

  11. Okay, I’ve had to take some time today to think about this, because this is a fantastic question, and ultimately quite difficult to answer. But, I’ve got a few random choices as I tried to avoid some of the more popular answers such as Yoda, Indiana Jones, James Bond and Buzz Lightyear.

    1. Captain Hook in “Hook” (Hoffman was excellent and evil)
    2, Detective Carter in “Rush Hour” (always makes me laugh)
    3. Coach Norman Dale in “Hoosiers” (Hackman was perfect)
    4. Michaleen Oge Flynn in “The Quiet Man” (Perfect town drunk played by Barry Fitzgerald)
    5. Patrick and Sam in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (great and necessary for the dramedy film)
    6. Korben Dallas in “The Fifth Element” (“She knows it’s a multi-pass!”)
    7. Jason Bourne in “The Bourne Identity (one BAAADDD dude!)
    8. Captain Picard in “Star Trek First Contact”
    9. Boo in “Monsters Inc” (reminds me of one of my younger sisters as a toddler)
    10. Arthur in “Arthur” (yes, the Russell Brand one. It’s on my list because I cannot stand Brand and his movies, BUT I liked this one so much that I bought it and actually enjoy it. That’s saying something.)

    Okay, I think that’s good enough! :D
    Great question Fogs’!

    • Yeah, man. God really spoke to me on this one. :D

      LOL.

      I actually dont think Buzz has been mentioned, has he? Thats a good choice!

      Meanwhile, you called some people off the bench on this list, huh? I havent seen “Perks” yet, but everyone I’ve seen that HAS seen it is raving, so I definitely have to check it out.

      There’s a couple there I would poke at, a couple others are really good (Hooray for Norman Dale getting a shout out)… but I gotta draw the line on Russell Brand’s Arthur. T. Cmon man. I think what that’s “Saying” is that you were drunk when you saw it, yourself! :o

      • I KNEW you’d take a stab at Arthur. I know you hate it. although I’m not all too clear as to why aside from “Russell,” but he did the part in such a way that I actually found myself enjoying it and probably wouldn’t’ve enjoyed the remake had it been someone else, because I can see Arthur acting exactly like what I’d expect Brand to be like. It worked.

        hahaha. I had a good laugh reading your reply. oh, and see Perks soon man. Do it.

    • Crash Davis. Nice! Love his coaching of Nuke! LOL. Guy gets a free steak! LOL Thats a fun movie, no doubt. :D

      I’d love to see Lecter and Mrs Robinson have dinner together, that’d be quite a scene :D

  12. Too many, man. Too many to choose. But good idea picking Indy as the poster image. Him and Han Solo would both be up there. Gotta love the Ghostbusters as well — all of them. Doc Brown. The Dread Pirate Roberts (Westley).

  13. Hi, Fogs and company:

    I’m going to go old school and choose a character who caught my attention early on. As a rugged individualist with slightly psychotic tendencies. Who lives by his own rules. Keeps a cache of weapons buried in a foot locker outside his trailer home. And exemplifies how far one friend would go to help and save another. In a near verbatim adaptation of Robert Stone’s best selling novel, ‘Dog Soldier’.

    That title didn’t pan well with test audiences. So Hollywood re-titled the film.

    ‘Who’ll Stop The Rain’ in 1978.

    And its anti hero, Ray Hicks. Marine Vietnam veteran and Merchant seaman.
    Grittily brought to life by a very young Nick Nolte. Who agrees to help his photographer buddy (Michael Moriarty) move a few kilos of uncut Laotian heroin from San Diego to San Francisco to L.A. and a particularly slimy Beverly Hills connection (Charles Haid). Then down to Mexico with a crooked D.A.(Anthony Zerbe) and his team of paroled junkie mercenaries (Ray Sharkey, Richard Masur) very close behind.

    Nolte’s Ray Hicks is an intriguing blend of raw, lean muscle, attitude, Nietsche and Zen. As he and a refreshingly adult Tuesday Weld travel through the seamy underbelly of the hippie, counter culture, post Vietnam Left Coast. In what could easily be the flip side of ‘Forrest Gump’.

    A film well worth the effort of seeking out. For Nolte, its story, great cast of character actors, locations and terrific dialogue!

    • Sad to say I havent seen it Jack. But I think you might have anticipated that, seeing as you mentioned its “A film well worth the effort of seeking out.” :(

      I shall have to do that one of these days!

  14. LiLu Multipass, Mickey & Mallory Knox, Daniel LaRusso, Rudy, Ariel, Merida, and all of the “obvious” answers. Oh, and the lady in the water…..(hehehe).

    • Ohhhh now you’re just goading me.

      You get no Mickey/Mallory happy Killers quote from me!

      Instead, have some snarfs… LOL actually quote from IMDb Quotes!

      *Cleveland Heep* : [*When confronting scrunt*] Nef ra moran
      :D

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