Favorite Film Characters Meme

 So many to chose from!

Having recently watched Brazil, and as one is wont to do with an interesting film, I actually discussed it with friends, one of which went on to tell me that Michael Pallin's character was one of his favorite characters in film history.

This of course got me thinking about my own personal most influential and/or favorite characters and so here we are. But rather than declaring, I felt more like learning, so I thought I'd spread a little meme around.

Following the standard meme structure I'm tagging five film bloggers and asking them 'What are your favorite 10 characters in film?'

The rules:

1.) Name 10 film characters that are your favorite and explain why. We aren't talking about the actor who played them. Hamlet, Sherlock Holmes or Bond may be your favorite filmic sights on screen but you may hate the Mel GibsonsBasil Rathbones or George Lazenbys who've played them. Of course no one's stopping you from mentioning your favorite players if you like.

1a.) I capped myself at ten, but don't let that number stop you.
 
2.) Tag 5 more film bloggers when you're done, email them, let 'em in on it, link back.
 
3.) Read their posts and enjoy!



Well Kiddies, here are my meme-ger beginnings!
Squish's favorite 10 characters in film

10.) Karl Childers of Slingblade (1996). The main character in Slingblade is a simpleton. Because of this, Karl's is a mind stunted and without proper moral filter.  The film begins with Karl getting ready to leave the institution he was committed to for a double homicide. We follow him as he attempts to get back on his feet, outside in society.  Karl's story is touching without being saccharine, poignant and with an outlook that is often very black and white while still being full of quirky moments, like walking into his adopted family's bedroom in the middle of the night  holding a hammer and asking to be baptized, matter-of-factly.
Also, ah likes da way he tawks and when he eats fries, he likes the mustards on em.. Ummm-hmmm.

 Nosfers Two

9.) Nosferatu. Very few film fans need an introduction to Dracula's freakier, rattier / battier alter ego. Nosferatu was a great way to make Dracula more terrifying, less human and further from lawsuits of the Bram Stoker Estate, who sued F.W. Murnau for making the original film without permission. Nosferatu is definitely a freakishly frightening dude, and a completely original slant on the machismo-exuding Count Tepes, whether the original Max Shrek in the 1922 Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror, or Klaus Kinski in Herzog's 1979 Nosferatu the Vampyre. Besides, he's one of the iconic silhouettes on my title bar, I need to given him his proppers. 

WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT... THING!?

 

8.) The Thing - The Thing (1982). So you're in the Antarctic and it's freezing cold and nothing save a penguin can exist in this environment. Surprise kiddies! The Thing is nameless because it can be ANYTHING! It's crazy, it's aggressive and may very well be one of the most original monsters ever created, because it mutates you from the inside into a twisted, freakish and terrifying… Thing. Also, few horror films have been made into "X-Files" episodes. Without a doubt The Thing was clearly the inspiration for "Ice".
Frank The Pure

7.) Frank Serpico - Serpico (1973). Does it count if the character is an actual person? This is one of my highest rated films for the simple fact that his character is so real. NYC Police Office Frank Serpico was a man who didn't take bribe money, and for it he got shot in the face (not a spoiler, the movie starts out that way). Based on the true story of a man who went against the system to uncover corruption in the police force, Frank Serpico is a great character because he's a loose cannon, his relationships fail, he hates his career, he's even a bit of a bum, he's an honest man in a dishonest union and most of all, he has genuine human fear, and that terror expresses itself constantly. By the way, the real Serpico's still out there, he's even got his own blog. Neat eh? 

Grrr Woof CHOMP CHOMP

6.) Charles 'Chuck' Tatum - Ace in the Hole a.k.a. The Big Carnival (1951). Larger than life itself, Tatum is the glibbest type of reporter. He's as charismatic as a politician but there's this streak of the creepy Carney to him. "I can handle big news and little news. And if there's no news, I'll go out and bite a dog." He's manipulative and driven to make a story out of a molehill. And when the dame says "I've seen some hard-boiled eggs before, but you - you're 20 minutes", you'll understand what she means.

"I want my cup filled 6 times"

5.) Mista Pink - Above all the other Reservoir Dogs (1992) trying to escape a diamond heist gone wrong, he's the standard, the center of the bell curve by which we may judge the others. He doesn't have a bunch of huge secrets like Mister Orange, he's no good-guy soft-heart like Mister White or a super-villain like Mister Blonde - he's your average diamond thief and a gitchy dude at that, who, as you all know is just trying "to keep it professional!". Yeah and as one of the iconic silhouettes on my title bar, what did you expect?

Got Korova?

4.) 'Lih-tole' Alex DeLarge of A Clockwork Orange (1971). Well you probably know him, if only by the poster of him all tied up, strapped to a chair with his eyes machine-forced open. Our ultra-violence loving, gulliver-tolchoking droog gets his fill of the old in-out when sent to prison for reprogramming. That programming has some unforeseen side effects which pose the question: should justice really come by any means? His story may burrow fundamental roots into your sense of punishment, which makes Anthony Burgess' character ever-important. And while we're at it, anyone who can pull off cane, derby, false eyelash and jock on the outside of his pants and look super-cool, well, that's something worthy of a videy.

Yo! Jimbo!

3.) Toshiro Mifune's played countless roles (actually only around 177) but the suave justice-loving malignance-ending bodyguard Man-With-No-Name Sanjuro Kuwabatake / Sanjûrô Tsubaki / The Samurai  from Yojimbo (1961) and its sequel Sanjuro (1962) is just the type of guy we can look up to. He's wise beyond his years, witty with Warrior Code wisdom and about a million times better than his western nameless shootist counterpart in the inferior unauthorized rip-off A Fistful of Dollars. Sorry Clint. Don't feel bad, you get yours later.

Holy Shit that's a cold soul

2.) HAL 9000 - of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), though he's also in 2010: The Year We Made Contact (1984). Evil computer runs amok a million miles away from Earth while astronauts lie powerless in his wake. His creepily smooth voice sends shudders up our spines when he closes airlocks with matter-of-fact apologies, and is more than enough to make HAL 9000 one of cinema's best villains. He's definitely one of mine. Even Wall-E tributed him recently. Good for you Disney. 

Drift Buddy, Drift Like The Wind!

1.) The Stranger - High Plains Drifter (1973). Frankly, I thought it would be harder to pick my favorite character of all time. From obvious choices like Darth Vader to film history constants like Bond, I was pleasantly surprised that it took less than two minutes for me to say "Definitely The Drifter". The character studied in this film begins as one of the most malicious, evil men that ever splashed celluloid, what with rape and murder as his first acts. But as the story unfolds we learn that there is  somehow a poetic method to his madness on several different levels, not to mention having a conclusion that is one of the best in movie history.


 
Trent, you tortured bastard.

11.) Since writing this post, I have discovered an 11th favourite character that has left an indelible impression on me and he definitely needs mention. It is Trent, the insane White Supremacist from Shock Corridor. Seldom have I felt such a genuinely profound message as I did from the speeches of Trent. The man's mind is clearly broken from the weight of American racism and he acts out in such a venomous hate that it becomes the highlight of the film. His story is then given such a great contextual weight by his lucid monologue, telling us how his brain was broken under the crushing weight of being a vanguard of civic responsibility and freedom. Amazingly emotionally uplifting social commentary.
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Count me in too.


You Sir, are awesome


This meme just reached my neck of the woods and I tackled it here (couldn't stop at 10 though, so I did 40...)

http://thedancingimage.blogspot.com/2009/04/just-because-you-are-character-doesnt.html

 

Great list - we have a few overlaps; and I liked your write-ups which I attempted before giving up. Have you changed the banner since writing this? I did not see Nosferatu or Mister Pink up there, though perhaps it's just because the computer I'm on at the moment is too crappy to get the whole thing (I have the same problem with sidebar photos on mine).


It's a rotating banner, there's 3 different ones up top. If you hit refresh enough times you'll see them all.

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