Wednesday, April 15, 2009

10 Favorite Film Characters

The Task: Make a list of 10 of your favorite film characters.

Sure - as Rodney Dangerfield says in "Back to School" - "piece of cake!" Thank God this doesn't say ALL-TIME favorite film characters - as that would be very difficult if not impossible. When you've seen thousands and thousands of films it's hard enough to pick 10 random favorites, let alone all-time favorites...

Actually, I decided to play it pretty basic and simple here. I just...well, I just thought of 10 random and immediate characters that I loved for some particular reason or another and started to look for pictures of them. I won't go into great detail after each selection - some may require no explanation at all. This was very fun and actually not as complicated as I thought it would be. The trick was to just go with first thoughts, if I started to refine and cultivate a list, oh boy, that would be another story altogether!

Ard as portrayed by actor Martin Lavut
Heavy Metal (1981)

The single most bitchy, sarcastic animated character ever. That sly, effeminate, brilliant Ard. "Guards, castrate him..." "If you refuse, you die; she dies; everybody dies." "Norl" The Loc-Nar is mine! - Stupid bitch! Get away from me! - Give it to me! - The Loc-Nar is mine! It's my Loc-Nar."

Ramona as portrayed by Cathy Moriarty
Neighbors (1981)

If you have seen this film then I don't think I need to go into any explanation with Ramona. If you haven't, tsk tsk. GET ON THAT.

Chick Young and Wilbur Gray as portrayed by Bud Abbott and Lou Costello
- Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

I can't say that I'd want to pal around with Chick and Wilbur all the time, but every now and then would be a hoot! Especially at Masquerade Balls!

Lawrence Woolsey as portrayed by John Goodman
Matinee (1993)

Clearly based off of legendary producer, director William Castle, Matinee's Lawrence Woolsey (beautifully realized by Goodman) is a real sentimental favorite of mine. He tells it like it is and with a great deal of insight and fatherly wisdom. What a mentor he is in this film! Keep your eyes open he advises us - don't cover them up during the scary parts. His parable of the first horror film (much like Plato's Cave) is a bit of movie magic genius.

Maximus Decimus Meridius as portrayed by Russell Crowe
Gladiator (2000)

"Strength and Honor." That's Goddamn right.

Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo "Tracy" as portrayed by Diana Rigg
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

I'll never ever forget the first time I saw this film. I was about 9 or 10 years old and had already seen EVERY bond film save this one. I was watching it by myself over Christmas break. I was wrapped up good and tight on that cold December night, drinking hot chocolate, loving this film. And, when James Bond proposed marriage - in that little shack - with those beautiful lines of dialogue - man, I was having one of my major cinema moments, seriously. A very special, one on one moment with this film. As you might guess then, I cried when the film ended and was depressed for a few days after... "We have all the time in the world."

Rev. Frank Scott as portrayed by Gene Hackman
The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

A Fightin' Priest! God save Gene Hackman, in my opinion - America's greatest living actor. "Get on your knees and pray for forgiveness?" "I said I was gonna get everybody out of here and Goddamit I'm gonna do it!" "We have to go UP!" Hackman can do more with a potential throwaway line than anybody. Period.

Salvatore Di Vita as portrayed by Jacques Perrin
Cinema Paradiso (1988)

Quiet, still, understated. Perrin's facial expressions blow you away. He's amazing. The most sentimental, nostalgic film about films of all-time. If someone doesn't get weepy at the end of this film, don't trust them! They're inhuman.

Professor Fate as portrayed by Jack Lemmon
The Great Race (1965)

Those who know me well, and I mean WELL, know that this was my favorite film of all-time for decades. Professor Fate is, quite simply, my favorite Jack Lemmon character. "Push the button Max!"

Frank Galvin as portrayed by Paul Newman
The Verdict (1981)

"So much of the time we're just lost. We say please God, tell us, what is right, what is true. And there is no justice. The rich win, the poor are powerless. We become tired of hearing people lie, and after a time we become dead. ... We think of ourselves as victims, we become victims. We become, we become weak. ... "In my religion, we say act as if you had faith. ... If we are to have faith in justice, we need only to believe in ourselves. ... I believe there is justice in our hearts."

Never do you root for a Paul Newman character MORE than in the very brilliant (and my favorite) Paul Newman performance and film - Sydney Lumet's masterstroke, The Verdict.

Well, there ya have it. Ten quick gut reactions. I'm actually quite proud of this post. It took almost no time to put together (except for the Cathy Moriarty and Ard stills which I had to grab from their respective DVDs). It was put together quickly and I like my choices. If this HAD BEEN 10 ALL TIME favorites, I would've been screwed (I did have number 10 ready to go though - Robert Shaw's "Quint" from Jaws). And lastly, if my friend Taliesin should be reading - our review of I, Desire is coming up very soon!

I wasn't tagged in this meme - rather I saw it on some blogs and, on the spur of the moment, decided to join in. So, I can't in good conscience tag anyone else. However, should you want to participate - let me know you did with a tag back or comment. Cheers!


Uranium Willy said...

I saw this on Kimberly's Cinebeats and I was impressed with her choices and now yours as well, since I have seen most of this films. In particular the Jack Lemmon selection. I saw that film at the Valley Hi Drive In in San Antonio when it 1st came out. I remember thinking how much cooler he was than the Tony Curtis character.


Chick Young said...

Damn Bill, you're killing me with these theater experiences! The first drive-in I ever went to was "The Apple Dumpling Gang" (1974). Sadly, not The Great Race or for that matter, Behind The Green Door in Portland. Of course, you've got ten years on me! Well, how about you do a list of ten then? Consider yourself "tagged" - although I wasn't actually tagged! But, I'd like to see that list from you anyways big brother!

Bill said...

I actually do not like to be tagged :( Not that I am above it, but sometimes the memes suck or I have other plans then feel pressured. But this one sounds cool.

I see you you have found the world of wowzio widgets. Have you seen the slideshow thing it can do? Like in my sidebar on Necrotic Cinema? It looks awesome. And you can create a tag cloud as well, check that out in NC if you wish. Blogger cannot do tag clouds, just that long ass lists of labels I never use.

I love wowzio.

Bill said...

P.S. just to show you how cool being an old geezer is: I saw Planet of the Apes and The Good The Bad and The Uglay at the same drive in. I also saw Led Zeppelin live, Black Babbath with Ozzy and Fleetwood Mac (Rumors lineup).

Seems soooooooooo long ago now.............

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Chick said "if my friend Taliesin should be reading - our review of I, Desire is coming up very soon!"Of course I'm reading, sir ;) looking forward to it... incidentally it was mention in passing on my blog, just yesterday, in the article I did on Horror Hotel.

Sindri Gabriel said...

Great Post Chick! and I love the new Banner Font!! I think I shall take up the torch and do my favorite 10. NOLA Part II is alive and well at Bombproof Cinema.

Carlos Aguilar said...

Hi, amigo!!! Anita and I visit your blog regularly, it is as personal as it is fun!!! The posts about your trip to Madrid are really cute!!! Not to mention your posts on girls... Long live Chelo Alonso

Anton Lachey said...

Great list, I'm going to steal this for my next post after the Semester From Hell is over. Neighbors is a criminally under-appreciated Belushi / Aykroyd vehicle, good job on shining some light on it.

ewaffle said...


Not only is "Neighbors" a terrific movie and not only does it have a mesmerizing performance by the monstrously beautiful Cathy Moriarty. but it is one of the few movies I can recall that illustrates the Aristotelian unities of time, place and character so perfectly.

Keith said...

These are all great choices. I agree with you on all of them. I recently rewatched OHMSS. I love that Bond film. It's one of my favorites. Diana Rigg is so amazing in it.

Gilligan said...

1) Bill makes me sick with envy.
2) Your list of 10 was a treat.
3) I went and made my own list at retrospace if you care to have a look.

Uranium Willy said...

I see you are using the live feed thingy from wowzio. I use it too on my Blogger site. will not work on my Cafe site. I get regular traffic from france, Poland and East Europe, like Ukraine area. So cool.

The banner looks great actually. Adds some contrast to the mostly blue theme.

I redid my Cafe banner if you wanna have a look. I have no clue what some of the films are now... I edited some posters I have in collections. Giallo stuff.

I think I am going to give this top ten characters a shot this weekend...


Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.