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AFI Names Top Movie Heroes, Villains of All Time

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Tyler, Jun 4, 2003.

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  1. Tyler

    Tyler Forum Resident Thread Starter

    From Reuters:

    By Bob Tourtellotte

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - There is good and evil, and then there is Atticus Finch and Hannibal Lecter.

    The American Film Institute (news - web sites) late Tuesday unveiled its top 50 movie heroes and villains of all time with Finch, the idealistic attorney of "To Kill a Mockingbird" played by Gregory Peck (news) and serial killer Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter from "The Silence of The Lambs" (Anthony Hopkins (news)) leading their respective groupings.

    "I think its wonderful that there is an individual (Finch) from classic filmmaking that touched everyone so much," said AFI chief Jean Picker Firstenberg. "That emotional connection is still there."

    In fact, both lists have a fair number of classic movies and characters among the picks, such as right-minded night club owner Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart (news)) in "Casablanca" and courageous Marshal Will Kane (Gary Cooper (news)) in "High Noon" at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, on the hero list.

    Rounding out the top five heroes were Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford (news)) for "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in the No. 2 spot and James Bond 007 (Sean Connery (news)) in the No. 3 spot for original Bond movie, "Dr. No."

    The top five villains had killer Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins (news)) of Alfred Hitchcock (news) thriller "Psycho" in the No. 2 spot and The Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) from 1939 classic "The Wizard of Oz" as No. 4.

    Also on the villain side, masked menace Darth Vader (David Prowse) from "The Empire Strikes Back" landed in the No. 3 spot, and mean Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher (news)) in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Next" in the No. 5 position.

    The heroes and villains list is the sixth in a series of all-time movie favorites that jurors selected by AFI have picked in recent years. AFI has compiled lists of top overall movies, best comedies, thrillers, romances and stars.

    Los Angeles-based AFI is considered one of the top U.S. educational institutions dedicated to film and television.

    AFI's jurors were told to use several criteria in making their decision, such as cultural impact of the character and their legacy in film.

    Among other notable roles on the hero list was Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone (news)) from "Rocky" in the No. 7 slot and T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole (news)) of "Lawrence of Arabia," No. 10.

    Leading villains included computer HAL 9000 in "2001: A Space Odyssey," No. 13, and the shark in "Jaws," No. 18.
  2. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden MichiGort Staff

    Livonia, MI
    I can't believe Tommy Udo (Richard Widmark's character from "Kiss of Death") didn't make the list. It's getting so you can't just push a frail lady in a wheelchair down a flight of stairs anymore and be considered a great villain. These days you have to eat her liver with fava beans and a nice chianti. Alas for the good old days! ;)

  3. guy incognito

    guy incognito Senior Member

    Also in the villain category, I'm surprised that the monstrous rednecks in Deliverance (played by Bill McKinney and Herbert "Cowboy" Coward) weren't included. Apparently it's getting so you can't just force Ned Beatty to strip down and imitate a pig before anally violating him and be considered a great villain, either.

    And Angela Lansbury's ice-blooded Mrs. Iselin in The Manchurian Candidate only made #21? I would've put her in the top five, easy.
  4. fishinfool

    fishinfool New Member

    Like all "greatest" list, they are (from your perspective) about 70-80% accurate. And like them all, they leave you wondering how in the world some of the choices listed were made and how (even more incredibly) others were left off! All in all, a decent effort!
  5. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden MichiGort Staff

    Livonia, MI
  6. OcdMan

    OcdMan Forum Resident

    Any villain list without Emperor Palpatine on it is thoroughly incomplete. I love that guy! :D
  7. Roland Stone

    Roland Stone Offending Member

    For me, the greatest movie villains are ROB ROY's Archibald Cunningham, played by Tim Roth (#75 on the AFI list), and The Marquis of Montrose, played by John Hurt. Roth was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, an unusual honor for a thoroughly despicable character. Hurt, whose evil is subtler but more pervasive, should have been nominated as well.

    These career roles are also testament to the great script, which allowed these great actors to wrap their accents around lines like: [concerning the heir-less Queen] "One might have hoped a field so regularly plowed might have yielded one good crop; in truth, I have seen healthier graveyards than that woman's womb."

    You'll never hear Ah-nold say something like that.
  8. John Moschella

    John Moschella Senior Member

    Christiansburg, VA
    Where did the Robert Mitchum character in Night of the Hunter place?
  9. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden MichiGort Staff

    Livonia, MI
    29th. Right behind Mitchum's "Max Cady" from Cape Fear at 28.

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