6 greatest movie characters ever!!

Now we realise everyone has their likes and personal preferences, and that this list is going to be subjective and different for everyone. So in order to counteract that, we’ve spent long hours deducing an empirical formula for deciding upon a movie character’s greatness. (Editor’s note: Who’s we? I don’t remember seeing anything on this). This is not about the actors, but the characters they’ve portrayed.

Our formula includes a) acting prowess, b) influence on pop culture, and c) recognisability. Therefore we may conclude that this list shall be completely unbiased and shall meet our scientific criterion (Ed: I don’t remember okaying this formula – we need to discuss this further).


# 6 – Ellen Ripley

Acting Prowess: 3/5
Influence: 3/5
Recognisable: 2/5

Every tough as nails, ‘I’ll kick your ass if you so much as look at me cross-eyed’ type of female character owes its roots to Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley. The Aliens franchise is one of the most popular horror / sci-fi franchises of all time.

You’ve seen her beaten and broken but never out. No matter what the odds she bounces back to put that darn alien in its place. If there was ever a female action star, it’s this one.

In fact, in a recent Gallup survey conducted across a candidate pool of over one million that covered every imaginable racial and ethnic background it was found that Ellen Ripley was the most common female name in the world. (Ed: where’s the survey? It sounds a bit implausible).


# 5 – Don Corleone

Acting Prowess: 5/5
Influence: 4/5
Recognisable: 3/5

mumble, mumble, mumble, respect, something, mumble

You might not have understood everything he said, but you damn well listened. Marlon Brando’s portrayal of Vito Corleone has been so hugely influential that real life gangsters actually started to imitate the way he dressed and started to act all ‘honourable’ and such. (Ed: Ali, provide links.)

The Godfather movie might have been all about Michael taking over the family business and sending severed horse heads as adorable keepsakes, but let’s be real, Marlon Brando stole the show. A lot of you will be shaking your collective heads thinking ‘this dumb schmoe… how dare he place Don Corleone anywhere but at the top of this list?’ But unfortunately, place a picture of Don Corleone before most people and they wouldn’t recognise him. Such is the fate of the modern Twilight addled generation.

But so great has his influence been that Bill Clinton has once gone on record to say that he modelled his famous double handed hand shake on the good Italian Mafioso (Ed: Are you sure? Don’t think I’ve heard that before).


# 3 – Rocky Balboa

Acting Prowess: 3/5
Influence: 5/5
Recognisable: 4/5

And so ended all of Dolph Lundgren’s hopes for an A list career.

“You did not just place Rocky Balboa above Vito Corleone girlfriend!” snap snap.

Alas and alack… yes I did. Ol’ Sly was nominated for Best Actor and the movie actually walked off with Best Picture, the first part anyway. (Ed: LINKS ALI!! No one is willing to do your fact checking for you anymore! Get on it.) So it’s fair to say that the Rocky movies aren’t just about hulking men pounding each other senseless in exaggerated boxing matches. They single handedly defined the underdog who must overcome mountainous obstacles to win, sports genre. Rocky 4, the one with the massive Dolph Lundgren as Ivan Drago was the highest grossing sports film of all time until 2009. (Ed: I give up, you’re just pulling this out of your ass now aren’t you?)

Every single gym in the world puts on ‘Eye of the tiger’ once every hour, it’s practically divine decree. (Ed: when have you ever even seen the inside of a gym?) Even people who haven’t seen the movie can recognise Sylvester Stallone’s dyslexic boxing champion.

Why, those training montages themselves have caused innumerable dumb asses to think they can overcome all odds if they just have enough heart! How many college bullies have preyed off those delusions?

Come on!?! How many more reasons do you need? It’s Rocky for God’s sake!! Go Rocko!!


# 3 – Jack Sparrow

AP: 5/5
Influence: 3/5
Recognisable: 5/5

Back then piracy was on the high seas… now it’s just on the internet.

Let me put it this way, before Pirates of the Caribbean, Hollywood had made a plethora of pirate films, and not a single one of them made a dent in the box office, much less become one of the top grossing movie franchises of all time. And though the POTC movies have a fun, albeit convoluted, plot and Kiera Knightly pouts so prettily… we all saw the sequels because of Jack Sparrow.

This morally questionable, lovable rogue is not only one of the finest pieces of acting you’ll see in such a commercial movie but is easily one of the most recognisable movie characters in the world. It’s between him and Jesus, and last I heard he was closing the gap fast. (Ed: Ali… we need to talk about responsible fact checking.)

There was an interview on BBC a few weeks ago where a kid from that tribe in Brazil, or maybe Peru, that lives in some forest and are cut off from everything, said that when he grew up he wanted to be Jack Sparrow. So there.


# 2 – Darth Vader

AP: 2/5
Influence: 5/5
Recognisable: 5/5

20 years from now I’ll be portrayed by a whining emo.

And here we’re talking about Lord Vader from the original trilogy. Generally when kids go watch a movie they come back pretending to be the hero, but everyone who saw Star Wars wanted to be Darth Vader. In fact, most must have been rooting for him in that epic lightsabre duel with Luke at the end of the third part. I know I was. The Dark Side was cooler, and Darth Vader is what made it cool. Period.

He rates low on acting because, c’mon he’s wearing a mask the whole time. All he has to do is stand around and look menacing. Though James Earl Jones’ unmistakable baritone is enough to make us scamper for safety as it is. But between Force Chokes and that distinctive breathing, Darth Vader stands in a league of his own.

Not only is he insanely recognisable but he also set the tone for the dark, misunderstood anti-hero that would gain notorious levels of popularity later on.


# 1 – Yojimbo

AP: 5/5
Influence: 5/5
Recognisable: 1/5

Pictured: the original bad ass.

Alright so I lied when I said this would be scientific and not biased. The single, greatest movie character EVER is …. *drum roll*… oh wait it says so right there in the title so… that was anti climactic.

Most of you will remember Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name character from the Dollars trilogy, i.e. Fist Full of Dollars, A Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Or if you born after the great era of Spaghetti Westerns perhaps you’d recall Last Man Standing starring Bruce Willis. What you don’t know is that the character and the entire plot of Fist Full of Dollars and Last Man Standing were all but shot by shot remakes of a much older Japanese moving starring Toshiro Mifune. (Ed: Okay, NO ONE knows who this guy is, we have to change the list around). He epitomised the wandering, nameless rouge with no loyalties but an unmistakable sense of honour, though a tad warped, and the ability to kick massive amounts of ass.

You might not have heard of Kurusawa or Mifune. But I assure you you’ve seen some movie or anime, that you loved, which is either a direct remake or inspired by Yojimbo. Even the screen slide technique George Lucas used in the Star Wars movies were a homage to the technique Akira Kurusawa used in his epic Samurai flicks. (Ed: we need to redo this whole piece, you just made it up as you went along).

Honourable mentions:

Though there are a number of other characters that should have made it to this list we had to pick the six greatest. Here are some who almost made it, but didn’t grease my palm enough to warrant a place up top:

Travis Bickle (Taxi Driver);
Hannibal Lector (Silence of the Lambs);
Tony Montana (Scarface);
Marty McFly (Back to the Future);
Keyser Soze (Usual Suspects);
Freddy Kreuger (A Nightmare on Elm Street).


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Categories: Celebrities, Movies & TV

Author:Ali Raza

"Is this the kind of person you want protecting the galaxy?"


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