100 Greatest Movie Characters
of All Time
Premiere Magazine
by Premiere Magazine
(reverse ranking)

Part 1

Introduction | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

100 Greatest Movie Characters of All-Time
Character Name Played By Film Title Defining Moment
Roger "Verbal" Kint Kevin Spacey The Usual Suspects (1995) Verbal's informed scanning of a bulletin board while awaiting interrogation.
Kevin McCallister Macauley Culkin Home Alone (1990) and one later film Kevin's slapping of aftershave on his cheeks, and his "Aaaahhh!" reaction.
Antoine Doinel Jean Pierre Leaud The 400 Blows (1959) and four later films Antoine's reaction when asked by a reform school psychiatrist if he's ever slept with a girl.
Ace Ventura Jim Carrey Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) and later films Ace's calling of his pets in his apartment after lying to his landlord about not having animals in his place.
Tommy DeVito Joe Pesci GoodFellas (1990) Tommy's 'How Am I Funny' routine, and his deadly showdown with Spider (Michael Imperioli) during a card game.
Oda Mae Brown Whoopi Goldberg Ghost (1990) Oda's reluctant donation of a $4 million check to charity, after being prompted by Sam.
Rose Sayer Katharine Hepburn The African Queen (1951) Heroine Rose's moment of emotional liberation after 'going over the falls'.
Harry Lime Orson Welles The Third Man (1949) Harry's "cuckoo clock" speech.
Dil Jaye Davidson The Crying Game (1992) Dil's startling revelation of his gender.
Mrs. Iselin Angela Lansbury The Manchurian Candidate (1962) Mrs. Iselin's incestuous kiss on the lips of her robotic, programmed, killing-machine son Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey).
John Malkovich John Malkovich Being John Malkovich (1999) John's yelling of "It's my heeeead!" while on the shoulder of the NJ Turnpike, after which a taunting trucker hurls a can at him.
Sandy Olsson Olivia Newton-John Grease (1978) Wearing black pants, red heels, and a leather jacket, Bad Sandy's bringing of Danny Zuko (John Travolta) to his knees.
Raymond Babbitt Dustin Hoffman Rain Man (1988) Raymond's panic-fit when brother Charlie (Tom Cruise) runs a hot bath for him.
Captain Jack Sparrow Johnny Depp Pirates of the Caribbean films Capt. Jack's triumphant arrival at Port Royal in a decrepit vessel.
Melanie Daniels Tippi Hedren The Birds (1963) Melanie's venture into an upstairs bedroom, where she is viciously attacked by birds.
Stanley Kowalski Marlon Brando A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) Stanley's anguished, animalistic cry-yell at the bottom of the stairs for his wife Stella (Kim Hunter).
Darth Vader David Prowse/James Earl Jones (voice) Star Wars (1977) and two later films In The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Vader's revelation that he is Luke's (Mark Hamill) father.
William 'Bill the Butcher' Cutting Daniel Day-Lewis Gangs of New York (2002) Bill's flag-draped soliloquy, and his stabbing of the hand of fellow card player.
Jack Torrance Jack Nicholson The Shining (1980) Jack's hallucinatory drink order to a non-existent bartender in the Gold Room of the Overlook Hotel.
Aurora Greenway Shirley MacLaine Terms of Endearment (1983) and one later film Aurora's prophetic warning to her daughter Emma (Debra Winger) on the eve of her wedding.
Sam Spade Humphrey Bogart The Maltese Falcon (1941) Sam's act of turning over femme fatale love Brigid O'Shaughnessy (Mary Astor) to the cops.
Hans Beckert Peter Lorre M (1931) Hans' shriek to his tormentors that they don't know what it's like to be him.
"Mad" Max Rockatansky Mel Gibson Mad Max (1979) and two later films Max's witnessing of the slaughter of his family by hoodlums.
Annie Wilkes Kathy Bates Misery (1990) Annie's smashing the legs of her favorite writer Paul Sheldon (James Caan) so he won't leave her.
Tony Manero John Travolta Saturday Night Fever (1977) and one later film Tony's reveling in his power alone on the dance floor.

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