When you talk about memorable characters your average Joe is always going to go for the safe answers. Characters like Willy Wonka, Scarface, Dorothy Gale, The Terminator, Darth Vader and Rocky are always your common movie patrons answers. However if you are into film like me then you probably consider yourself a Fanboy (or Girl) and of course you like to come up with original answers for your favorites so that people understand your level of commitment to film. Last column I looked at my top 10 toughest females characters of all time and this week I will take a look at my top 10 favorite movie characters of all time.
10. Actor : George Clooney
Character: Seth Gecko
The character of Seth Gecko from the film From Dusk Till Dawn is probably my favorite tough guy character of all time. Everything is in place from the cool tribal tattoo that stretches across his neck to the just overall "bad-ass" attitude that he portrays the entire film. Gecko although a ruthless criminal has a great perception of reality and along with intelligence he also shows that he has more common sense then the average thief. I think he says it best when he says "I may be a bastard, but I'm not a fuckin' bastard."
He also just shows time and time again in the film that he fears absolutely nothing in the world, wether it be a man twice his size or even blood thirsty vampires he deals with it like he is immortal.
9. Actor : Val Kilmer
Character: Doc Holliday
Tombstone is probably the greatest film ever made which the plot revolves around the infamous shootout at the O.K. Corral. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed Wyatt Earp about as much but I think the characters in Tombstone are just written and carried out better. Val Kilmer without a doubt plays the most memorable character in the film but I'm going to go a step further and say that his Doc Holliday is probably the most memorable character in a western ever, well its a tie between him and Emilio Estevez's Billy the Kid. From the dialogue to just the character's overall swagger Kilmer nailed the part and almost put a retro vibe to a famous western character. His lines are almost all great one liners but my favorites are "You're a daisy if you do!" and of course "I'm your Huckleberry."
8. Actor :W. Earl Brown
Character : Warren Jensen
W. Earl Brown gave an unforgettable performance in There's Something About Mary as Mary's mentally challenged brother Warren. Again Warren makes this movie as memorable as it is and with that note I wanted to give him the respect that he deserved. Brown's most famous work was on the hit HBO series Deadwood as Dan Dority, which I STILL have a hard time believing is the same actor. Although the character of Warren is not in the majority of the film he delivers the greatest lines such as "Franks and Beans! Franks and Beans!," "Have you seen my baseball?" and of course my favorite [as Ted is being taken on a stretcher to the ambulance] "He was masturbating! He was masturbating!"
7. Actor : Jim Carrey
Character : Lloyd Christmas
For fanboys Dumb and Dumber is considered one of the greatest comedies of all time. For me its not only a great comedy but the character of Lloyd Christmas is my favorite character that Jim Carrey has ever played. Dumb and Dumber is a basic script with just amazing, hilarious actors that bring it to a new level. Don't get me wrong I think that Jeff Daniels as Harry Dunne was a remarkable performance for an actor that does not come from comedic roots but Carrey is a comedic actor, that's how he started and to me I will always remember him from this film. This whole script is one BIG memorable line but I really like "We got no food, no jobs... our PET'S HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!"
6. Actor : Rick Moranis
Character : Dark Helmet
Darth Vader is probably the most iconic film character of the 1980's. I can admit that because hell I am just as big a Star Wars fan as the guy that has the toys stapled to his walls, well maybe not that big. My point is for as memorable as Vader is, Rick Moranis just blows me away with his comedic version of Vader, Dark Helmet. Spaceballs is a timeless Star Wars parody that NEVER gets old. There are some great actors and great characters in the film but Dark Helmet makes the film what it is. From the ridiculously oversized face mask and helmet to the nerdy personality Dark Helmet is what parodies are all about. My favorite part of the film is when Helmet orders the ship to go into Ludicrous speed and then later watches the replay of him flying like Superman into the control panel. Also another great line in the film (not delivered by Helmet but directed towards him) is "No sir! I didn't see you playing with your dolls again, sir!"
5. Actor : Bruce Campbell
Character : Ash
Where to begin with Ash. Ash in Evil Dead parts one and two is your typical campy horror star. However in Army of Darkness Ash becomes one of the funniest horror icons to ever be in a film. What's so great about his character is that he is funny, yet he still kicks enough ass for you to respect him. His sarcastic attitude further adds to why I love him because most of the things he says is true, just very blunt. My favorite part in Army of Darkness with Ash is when he has been told some sacred words he must say when retrieving the book of the dead known as the Necronomicon. As Ash says the words which are suppose to be "Clatto Verata Nicto" he can't remember them so when he goes to say them he coughs during the last word thinking that it will save him. For those of you that have seen the film then you know that it didn't!
4. Actor : Emilio Estevez
Character: Billy the Kid
As a child most kids know who Billy the Kid is and at one point in time or another pretend to either be him or be capturing him. I have always been fascinated with the wild west and Billy the Kid always was my favorite gunslinger. Although little is known about the kid himself and only one photograph of him is known to be in existence a fan of the kid imagines him exactly as Emilio Estevez plays him in Young Guns. From his violent antics to his constant Nonsensism humor, he is just an all around perfect character. This was without a doubt Estevez's defining role as he has never had anything else that is really as memorable as this. Actually how many other Estevez roles can you name besides this and The Breakfast Club? He will always be remembered as one William H. Bonney aka Billy the Kid!
3. Actor : Kurt Russell
Character : Jack Burton
Probably one of the most underrated movies of all time is Big trouble in little China. Kurt Russell was great in the 80's (still great but so many memorable characters then) from Escape from New York to this he was on a role. Jack Burton is the image that pops in my mind if I hear Russell's name. It takes a special actor to be able to make certain characters work. Burton is a likeable guy that tries to make believe that he is an experienced bad ass and can handle anything when in reality he is learning every step of the way. His humor couldn't be on point anymore then it is and he really brings some depth to an action film. I still long to see the old Pork Chop Express on the road again, even though its not happening.
2. Actor : Jack Nicholson
Character : The Joker / Jack Napier
With the latest Batman film titled The Dark Knight, set to be released on July 18th, 2008 all I can think about is the shoes that Heath Ledger has to fill. Imagine Warwick Davis trying to put on Shaq's shoes and that's about an equal comparison. I mean honestly can you say Heath Ledger without thinking of him in the tent with Jake Gyllenhaal? I know I cant! (I wrote this the night before Ledger died, I thought about changing it but I decided to leave it in) Jack Nicholson gives 110% in any film that he is in but my favorite performance that he ever gave was in Batman. The Joker is a villain that is as old as my grandparents but Nicholson took an old character and brought a whole new personification to the classic henchman. Like the Joker says "never rub another mans rhubarb" but when you are Nicholson you can do whatever you want and it becomes an instant masterpiece. "I'm givin' away free money, and where is the Batman? He's at home washing his tights!"
1. Actor : Gary Oldman
Character: Drexl Spivey
My favorite film character ever, and a character that everyone would like to see more of is Gary Oldman's Drexl Spivey from True Romance. Although only in two scenes (about 5 minutes) of the film he without a doubt steals the show. Oldman has said in interviews that he based his character on an actor named Willi One Blood, whom he later starred with in The Professional / Leon. Gary Oldman is so talented, its almost hard to believe that Oldman can pull off the role of a whigger drug dealer with dreads. I use his lines almost everyday, wether is be someone trying to get over on me that I catch "He must have thought it was white boy day" or if someone keeps starring at me "I know I'm pretty but I'm not as pretty as a couple of titties." Every time I watch True Romance which is very often I think how much better an already perfect movie could have been if Drexl had a bigger part.
Once again this is a VERY opinionated list and even I second guessed myself on a few because there is so many characters that I adore. When your as big of a movie fan as I am making any kind of list is difficult. Wether its your most beloved or hated, so many films or actors pop into your mind its very hard to convince yourself what the correct answers are. Then to make it worse the list you choose on that day is almost always different the next because most of your answers depend on your mood and memory for that current day.
Here are a few more of honorable mention:
Owen Wilson(click) as Roy O'Bannon from Shanghai Noon
Gene Hackman (click) as Capt. Frank Ramsey from Crimson Tide
Morgan Freeman (click) as Sgt. Maj. John Rawlins from Glory
Kevin Costner(click) as Mr. Earl Brooks from Mr. Brooks
Seann William Scott(click) as Steve Stifler from American Pie
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Tim Malcolm got his first job at a movie theater in 1996 working as a projectionist. He quickly learned that there was no better job then getting paid to watch movies. Since then he has been an advid film watcher, collector, critic and writer.|
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