Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Favorite Movie Characters

Yesterday, while catching up on some of the sites I don't visit every day, I dropped by Jay's Cynical Bastard site ("Appealing to the Lowest Common Denominator Since 2006"). In his post of last Thursday, he picked up on a theme from another site, and discussed his favorite movie characters. I thought that might be an interesting diversion from bitching and complaining about health care, civility, illegal immigration, and general buffoonery, and so (drum roll, please), here is Bilbo's List of Favorite Movie Characters...

King Theoden, played by Bernard Hill in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Return of the King. Rescued from the domination of the evil wizard Saruman and transformed from weak tool to heroic leader, he leads his people into a war he sees no hope of surviving. One of my favorite scenes of all time shows him arriving with his army at the scene of the siege of Gondor to find the city on fire and his army vastly outnumbered. His face has a look of complete horror and desperation that slowly hardens into stern resolve as he rallies his troops and leads them in a mighty charge to save the city. If you aren't on your feet cheering after he leads his troops in three cheers of "DEATH!", call the coroner to come and pick you up...

Captain John Miller, played by Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan. Sad, weary, and quietly heroic as he leads his men on a mission they think is stupid. When first seen, he's on the landing craft headed for Omaha Beach at Normandy, and the camera zooms in as he tries to pour himself a drink from his canteen...and the canteen rattles against the cup in his nervous hands. That one small scene captured for me the terror so many men must have felt as they neared the hostile beaches.

Nick Rivers, played by Val Kilmer in Top Secret. One of the funniest movies you'll ever see, at least if you like broad parodies of World War II/Elvis Presley/Secret Agent films. He hits his mark when he explains his name to Hillary ("She whose bosoms defy gravity"): "My father thought of it while he was shaving."

Ellen Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver in Alien and Aliens. Who says a sexy lady can't be a hero? Who can't love the scene in Aliens when she fights the terrifying alien queen to protect little Newt, shouting, "Get away from her, you bitch!"?

Detective William Somerset, played by Morgan Freeman in Seven. Imagine Captain John Miller as a world-weary detective taking on a terrible serial killer just days from his retirement. Freeman's thoughtful, dogged detective is the perfect foil for hot-headed young buck Brad Pitt as they search for John Doe, the mysterious killer who is murdering his way through the seven deadly sins. If I ever get murdered, I want this man on the case...

Cosmo Brown, played by Donald O'Connor in Singin' in the Rain. The ultimate song-and-dance man, and a perfect straight man for Gene Kelly. "Cosmo, call me a cab!" "Okay, you're a cab!" And the man can dance!

There are many other characters who could be on this list, but this will have to do for now. It's going to be a busy day, and someone's got to generate those heaps of PowerPoint slides and position papers on issues that will mean nothing in six months.

It's a job.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



Bandit said...

Donald O'Connor's dance scene in Singing in the Rain has been called the best in any musical ever.

In your quest for civility I pose a question for you. How can you have a civil war?

Anonymous said...


A tip of the hat to you sir!

Okay, Bilbo, it's your turn to top that one!

Eminence Grise

Anonymous said...

Shane, played by Alan Ladd in "Shane." The classic American hero.

JB Books, played by John Wayne, in
"The Shootist." Wayne, who was dying of cancer, plays an aging gunfighter dying of cancer. Another aspect of the classic American hero.

Audrey Hepburn in any movie.

Claire Bloom in "The Man Between," with James Mason. Also, Claire Bloom in "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold." She actually plays the same role in both movies. She's the McGuffin (see A. Hitchcock) in both movies--the beautiful girl the hero dies to rescue from captivity behind the Iron Curtain. The second movie/book is a direct ripoff of the first.

Gary Grimes as Hermie in "Summer of '42." Every adolescent boy's dream.

Humphrey Bogart as Rick in "Casablanca." Another aspect of the classic American hero. And that line, when Peter Lorre asks if Rick hates him, and Bogart answers, "I suppose I would, if I ever thought about you." Greatest put down since God told Satan, "Go to hell."

And finally, George Burns and Morgan Freeman, as God. Who else could play God credibly but these two icons!

Eminence Grise

Jay said...

Excellent list! My list could have gone on and on. After I posted it, I thought of a few others that I wished I had used.

Also, I'm proud to be on your "don't read everyday" list. LOL ;-)

Mike said...

Saving Private Ryan and Seven, two really good movies. On my 'can watch anytime' list.

Wv: materfie - When I don't care about some things but should, I have to materfie them.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I see we watch very different movies :)