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Premiere Magazine’s 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time

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Premiere Magazine has released a list of what its editors think are the hundred greatest movie characters of all time. I hope this will stimulate conversation akin to that generated by Rolling Stone’s top 100 guitarist list. I may chime in with comments later, but for now, here’s the list:

The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time

The Complete List

1. Vito Corleone of The Godfather
2. Fred C. Dobbs of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
3. Scarlett O’Hara of Gone With the Wind
4. Norman Bates of Psycho
5. James Bond of Dr. No
6. Annie Hall of Annie Hall
7. Indiana Jones of Raiders of the Lost Ark
8. Ellen Ripley of Alien
9. Jeff Spicoli of Fast Times at Ridgemont High
10. Gollum of Lord of the Rings
11. Margo Channing of All About Eve
12. Charles Foster Kane of Citizen Kane
13. Atticus Finch of To Kill a Mockingbird
14. Randle McMurphy of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
15. Hannibal Lecter of The Silence of the Lambs
16. Robin Hood of The Adventures of Robin Hood
17. Dorothy Gale of The Wizard of Oz
18. Carl Spackler of Caddyshack
19. Rick Blaine of Casablanca
20. Virgil Tibbs of In the Heat of the Night
21. Susan Vance of Bringing up Baby
22. Travis Bickle of Taxi Driver
23. Eathan Edwards of The Searchers
24. The Little Tramp of Mabel’s Strange Predicament
25. Gordon Gekko of Wall Street
26. E.T. of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
27. Marge Gunderson of Fargo
28. Captain Quint of Jaws
29. Daphne/Jerry of Some Like it Hot
30. King Kong of King Kong
31. Norma Desmond of Sunset Boulevard
32. Holly Golightly of Breakfast at Tiffany’s
33. Ratso Rizzo of Midnight Cowboy
34. Bonnie Parker of Bonnie and Clyde
35. Dr. Evil of Austin Powers
36. Alex Forrest of Fatal Attraction
37. Jake Gittes of Chinatown
38. Willy Wonka of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
39. Michael Dorsey/Dorthy Michaels of Tootsie
40. The Terminator of The Terminator
41. Jane Craig of Broadcast News
42. “Dirty” Harry Callahan of Dirty Harry
43. Forrest Gump of Forrest Gump
44. Jules Winnfield of Pulp Fiction
45. Mary Poppins of Mary Poppins
46. John McClane of Die Hard
47. Mrs. Robinson of The Graduate
48. John “Bluto” Blutarsky of Animal House
49. Chance the Gardener of Being There
50. Blondie of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
51. Freddy Krueger of A Nightmare on Elm Street
52. Howard Beale of Network
53. Ninotchka of Ninotchka
54. Frank Booth of Blue Velvet
55. The Dude of The Big Lebowski
56. Alan Swann of My Favorite Year
57. Tom Powers of The Public Enemy
58. Phyliss Dietrichson of Double Indemnity
59. Lt. Kilgore of Apocalypse Now
60. George Bailey of It’s a Wonderful Life
61. J.J. Hunsecker of Sweet Smell of Success
62. John Shaft of Shaft
63. Carrie White of Carrie
64. Rocky Balboa of Rocky
65. Edward Scissorhands of Edward Scissorhands
66. Navin Johnson of The Jerk
67. Inspector Clouseau of The Pink Panther
68. Alex DeLarge of A Clockwork Orange
69. Terry Malloy of On the Waterfront
70. Judy Benjamin of Private Benjamin
71. Rev. Harry Powell of The Night of the Hunter
72. Lloyd Dobler of Say Anything
73. Norma Rae of Norma Rae
74. Tony Montana of Scarface
75. Dr. Strangelove of Dr. Strangelove
76. Tony Manero of Saturday Night Fever
77. Annie Wilkes of Misery
78. “Mad” Max Rockatansky of Mad Max
79. Hans Beckert of M
80. Sam Spade of The Maltese Falcon
81. Aurora Greenway of Terms of Endearment
82. Jack Torrance of The Shining
83. William Cutting of Gangs of New York
84. Darth Vader of Star Wars
85. Stanley Kowalski of A Streetcar Named Desire
86. Melanie Daniels of The Birds
87. Captain Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
88. Raymond Babbitt of Rain Man
89. Sandy Olsson of Grease
90. John Malkovich of Being John Malkovich
91. Mrs. Iselin of The Manchurian Candidate
92. Dil of The Crying Game
93. Harry Lime of The Third Man
94. Rose Sayer of The African Queen
95. Oda Mae Brown of Ghost
96. Tommy DeVito of GoodFellas
97. Ace Ventura of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
98. Antoine Doinel of The 400 Blows
99. Kevin McCallister of Home Alone
100. Roger “Verbal” Kint of The Usual Suspects

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About Taloran

  • http://iamrighturpie.blogspot.com/ jadester

    “This is my BOOMSTICK” Ash of Evil Dead 3: Army Of Darkness should really be in there somewhere…

  • http://manofleisure.us Ken

    What a great list. I can see that I’ll have some viewing to do over the summer to evaluate the top 25 or so.

    But why did Yoda not make it?

  • duane

    Faye Dunaway playing Joan Crawford in “Mommie Dearest.”

    Billy Bob Thornton as the “Sling Blade” guy. Mmm hmmm.

    Marty Feldman as Eyegore in “Young Frankenstein.” What hump?

    Where’s Sla…I mean, where’s W.C. Fields? Harold Bissonette in “It’s a Gift.” I’ll be sober tomorrow, but you’ll be stupid for the rest of your life.

  • Eric Olsen

    Hey Tal, great to see you back, what have you been up to?

    Great list, hard to argue with most of them and not too “critic-y” either: Ace Ventura!

    I would include Andy Griffith’s astounding character Lonesome Rhodes in A Face In the Crowd.

    Wolfman Jack’s radio DJ character in American Graffiti.

    Tom Hanks’ Woody and Tim Allen’s Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Stories

    And Good God! how could they leave off Ferris Bueller??

  • Nick Jones

    Throwing a cat in among the pigeons here (as is my life’s destiny), shouldn’t characters created in other media have been excluded (Corleone, Lecter) unless substantially changed from their original conception (Dorothy Gale, Gump)?

  • Derek

    Where’s Ferris Bueller?!

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Holly Golightly never struck me as any kind of interesting character really at all. Audrey Hepburn is cute and all, but a big nothing really.

    If I were picking an interesting character from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, it would definitely be Buddy Ebsen as Doc, the ex-husband. His speech in the park to Hannibal recounting his child bride was way the best scene in the film.

  • Shark

    SOME REALLY OBVIOUS ONES THEY MISSED…

    (how could they leave these off!?)

    Luke – Cool Hand Luke

    Pollyanna – Pollyanna

    Shelley Levene (Jack Lemmon) – Glengarry Glen Ross

    Godzilla – Godzilla, et al

    Mike Campbell (Errol Flynn) – The Sun Also Rises

    Harry Stoner (J. Lemmon) – Save the Tiger

    Charlie Meadows (John Goodman) – Barton Fink

    Edwina ‘Ed’ McDonnough (Holly Hunter) – Raising Arizona

    Death – The Seventh Seal

    Zampano (A. Quinn) – La Strada

    T. E. Lawrence – Lawrence of Arabia !!!!!!!

    Little Tramp – Gold Rush/City Lights !!!!!!!

    the feather – Forrest Gump (also the most interesting character in that film)

  • Taloran

    Hhhhello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

  • Taloran

    And how ’bout Joe Morgan’s The Brother in Brother from Another Planet? Probably the greatest silent character from the history of film with sound.

  • JDM

    Charles bronsons as Harmonica in one upon a time in the west should have been on the list!!

  • Nancy

    How can it be limited to 100!? This is another exercise in making us all crazy! And yeah – Inigo Montoya was a great character, I agree!

  • Donald

    Where are Salieri, Rhett Butler, Scarlett O’Hara, Professor Henry Higgins, Eliza Doolittle, Lt. Cmdr. Francis Queeg, Lt. Col. Frank Slade, Susie Wong?

  • Taloran

    Scarlett O’Hara is listed as #3

  • john

    otis redding, tyler durden, jason voorhees and andy dufresne… just a few of the obvious ones that were missed. and if anyone from the godfather it should be michael.

  • Oceras

    How “My Cousin Vinny’s” Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei) did not make the list is beyond me. Ditto for Moonstruck’s Loretta Castorini (Cher) AND Ronny Cammareri (Nicolas Cage). The same goes for Charlie Allnut (Humphrey Bogart “The African Queen”) and Richard “Rick” Blaine (also Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca”), Szell (Lawrence Olivier in “Marathon Man”), and Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton in “Beatlejuice”)

  • oTny

    Heath Ledger as the joker.

  • .l.

    HEATH LEDGER FROM DARK KNIGHT JOKER
    CASANOVA HEATH LEDGER AGAIN

  • Suraj majhi

    Wat j joke.no heath ledger as joker…no donnie brasco.no carter slade.

  • evilthesaurus

    scout from to kill a mockingbird. atticus is up there, but the world’s greatest childhood hero needs to be there as well, along with the world’s greatest father.

  • Taloran

    Comments 17, 18, and 19 – Heath Ledger had not yet played the Joker when Premiere Magazine published this list in 2004. Kind of hard for them to predict a future great performance.

  • Filmovi

    Scarlett O’Hara of Gone With the Wind, on the third position?

  • n8

    Andy Dufresne

  • Jason

    Darth Vader perhaps??!!!!!

  • Igor

    It’s easy to add characters, so I’ll offer some that IMO should be REMOVED from the list:

    3. Scarlett O’Hara of Gone With the Wind
    Too thin a character in the movie

    11. Margo Channing of All About Eve
    I’m not impressed by the movie and barely remember the character.

    20. Virgil Tibbs of In the Heat of the Night
    Too mild an impression.

    21. Susan Vance of Bringing up Baby
    Not memorable.

    22. Travis Bickle of Taxi Driver
    Overdrawn.

    24. The Little Tramp of Mabel’s Strange Predicament
    Personally, I don’t like Chaplin.

    25. Gordon Gekko of Wall Street
    I worked for guys who were more brutal.

    26. E.T. of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
    Too cute for my taste

    29. Daphne/Jerry of Some Like it Hot
    The joke was overdone

    32. Holly Golightly of Breakfast at Tiffany’s
    Not very involving.

    33. Ratso Rizzo of Midnight Cowboy
    Routine supporting role

    39. Michael Dorsey/Dorthy Michaels of Tootsie
    I’ve never understood the humor of cross-dressing

    43. Forrest Gump of Forrest Gump
    The naif in the city is overdone.

    44. Jules Winnfield of Pulp Fiction
    Don’t even remember it.

    49. Chance the Gardener of Being There
    I totally missed the charm of this one.

    56. Alan Swann of My Favorite Year
    A failed parody of Flynn, who was much more interesting.

    61. J.J. Hunsecker of Sweet Smell of Success
    Brute Lackluster is trying too hard.

    64. Rocky Balboa of Rocky
    Remake of “City For Conquest”?

    75. Dr. Strangelove of Dr. Strangelove
    Recent reprise says this isn’t as good as remembered.

    85. Stanley Kowalski of A Streetcar Named Desire
    Reprise says this is not as good as remembered.

    89. Sandy Olsson of Grease
    Why?

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Who would you replace them with, Igor?

  • http://blogcritics.org/video/article/premiere-magazines-100-greatest-movie-characters/ Team Samwise!

    I want to know why I don’t find Samwise Gamgee on this list???!!!! He is the most faithful, loyal, kind character, not only in movies, but I would venture to say all of fiction! How could King Kong and Ace Ventura make this list and not Sam?

  • bfizzle

    joker for sure heath

  • jack

    no dirk diggler?

  • billybobg by kc

    How can anybody miss the joker?!?!?!

  • Carolyn Relling-Surrisi

    You’re kidding, right?
    1. Meryl Streep as Sophie Zawistowski (Sophie’s Choice)
    2. F. Murray Abraham as Antonio Salieri (Amadeus)
    3. Vivian Leigh as Blanch DuBois (A Streetcar Named Desire)
    4. Daniel Day Lewis as Daniel Plainfield (There Will Be Blood”
    5. Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lector (Silence of the Lambs”
    6. Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance (The Shining)
    7. Kevin Spacey as Verbal Kint / Kaiser Soze (The Usual Suspects)
    8. Ben Kingsley as Mahatma Ghandi (Ghandi)
    9. Robert Shaw as Sam Quint (Jaws)
    10. Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler/Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    According to recent research, almost all Caucasians are congenitally incapable of spelling the name Gandhi correctly. I happily have a rare genetic mutation which relieves me of this impediment.