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

Part 4

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

100 Greatest Movie Characters of All-Time
Character Name Played By Film Title Defining Moment
Gordon Gekko Michael Douglas Wall Street (1987) Gekko's "Greed is Good" speech before an audience of corporate stockholders.
The Little Tramp Charlie Chaplin Scores of films, beginning with Mabel's Strange Predicament (1914) - actually first seen in Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914) The Little Tramp's beatific smile at the end of City Lights (1931).
Ethan Edwards John Wayne The Searchers (1956) Ethan's chase after his terrified niece Debbie (Natalie Wood), threatening to kill her - but then lifting her into the air and telling her: "Let's go home, Debbie."
Travis Bickle Robert De Niro Taxi Driver (1976) Travis' massacre rehearsal, "You talkin' to me?" and the scene in which he slowly rocks his TV set and eventually crashes it to the floor.
Susan Vance Katharine Hepburn Bringing Up Baby (1938) Susan's gleeful exclamation after chasing after her terrier who has buried David's (Cary Grant) prized dinosaur bone: "Isn't this fun, David? Just like a game."
Detective Virgil Tibbs Sidney Poitier In the Heat of the Night (1967) and one later film Virgil's unblinking response through clenched teeth: "They call me Mister Tibbs," after being insulted by chief of police Bill Gillepsie (Rod Steiger): "Virgil - that's a funny name for a nigger boy from Philadelphia. What do they call you up there?"
Rick Blaine Humphrey Bogart Casablanca (1942) Rick's decision to help a young couple win at the roulette wheel, in order to spare the wife from having to sleep with the shady Captain Renault (Claude Rains) to acquire exit papers.
Carl Spackler Bill Murray Caddyshack (1980) Spackler's explanation of the golfing turf he invented: "The amazing stuff about this is that you can play 36 holes on it in the afternoon, take it home, and just get stoned to the bejesus belt that night."
Dorothy Gale Judy Garland The Wizard of Oz (1939) Dorothy's singing of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
Robin Hood Errol Flynn The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) Robin's crashing of a dinner event being held by Prince John (Claude Rains), with a dead deer draped on his back, and being called a "saucy fellow."
Hannibal Lecter Anthony Hopkins The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and later films Hannibal's death rattle after pronouncing: "Chianti."
Randle Patrick McMurphy Jack Nicholson One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) Randle's bravura boat-trip scene and exhortation: "You're not a goddamn loony now, boy, you're a fisherman!"
Atticus Finch Gregory Peck To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) Atticus' lesson to daughter Jean Louise ('Scout') (Mary Badham) who got into a fight at school: "Do you know what a compromise is? It's an agreement reached by mutual consent."
Charles Foster Kane Orson Welles Citizen Kane (1941) Kane's plea to his second wife Susan (Dorothy Comingore) as she leaves him: "You can't do this to me."
Margo Channing Bette Davis All About Eve (1950) Margo's menacing, self-mocking, legendary quip at a party as guests arrive, as she jealously suspects young acolyte Eve (Anne Baxter): "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night."
Gollum Andy Serkis The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) trilogy Gollum's twisted, tortured wrestle with himself.
Jeff Spicoli Sean Penn Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) Spicoli's order of a pizza that is delivered in Mr. Hand's (Ray Walston) history class, and his reply to an incredulous question about what he's doing: "Learning about Cuba and having some food."
Ellen Ripley Sigourney Weaver Alien (1979) and three later films Ripley's nervy refusal to open the ship's hatch so that Kane (John Hurt) can be admitted - with a thing attached to his face.
Indiana Jones Harrison Ford Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and three later films Indy's overcoming of several treacherous challenges in the film's opening sequence, only to lose the priceless artifact to French nemesis Rene Belloq (Paul Freeman).
Annie Hall Diane Keaton Annie Hall (1977) Annie's decision to remain in LA with a music producer (Paul Simon), with newly-discovered self-recognition, rather than return to New York to marry Alvy (Woody Allen).
James Bond Sean Connery Dr. No (1962) and six later films Bond's suave remark to doomed Professor Dent (Anthony Dawson): "You've had your six [shots]".
Norman Bates Anthony Perkins Psycho (1960) and sequels Norman's stunning, sudden, rage-filled reaction when future victim Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) suggests that his mother be put "somewhere."
Scarlett O'Hara Vivien Leigh Gone with the Wind (1939) After the death of Scarlett's second husband, Rhett Butler's (Clark Gable) grand proposal and her scornful rejection, followed by his passionate kiss to erase all thought of Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard).
Fred C. Dobbs Humphrey Bogart The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) Dobbs' reaction to Curtin's (Tim Holt) challenge about putting his hand under a rock, where he doesn't believe that a Gila monster is hiding.
Vito Corleone Marlon Brando The Godfather (1972) Vito's promise to cream puff crooner Johnny Fontane (Al Martino) who doesn't believe that he'll get an acting role from a Hollywood big shot director: "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse."

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