Earlier this year Empire Magazine asked the age old question: “Who is the greatest movie character of all time?” Thousands submitted their votes and the top 10 list has finally been revealed. Let’s set the record straight. It’s a scientific impossibility to create the perfect list. I bet there’s only a few people out there where this exact top 10 list corresponds perfectly with their opinion, but you can’t deny the results. This wasn’t some run of the mill survey. This thing took months and thousands of people’s opinions into consideration. So, before I dive into my personal top 10 list, here is the top 10 movie characters voted on by the readers of Empire Magazine. (Ok, it’s a little bullshit only the readers of this magazine voted. I would of liked to see the whole nation’s list, but I’ll let it slide.)
– I’d like a little more specificity with some of the characters on this list. For example, which James Bond? Which Batman? Which Joker? Not all portrayals of these iconic characters have been great. Take batman for example. If we’re basing Batman off Christian Bale’s Batman then yes, he’s right up there with the best of em, but if we’re factoring in George Clooney’s Batman then he doesn’t even crack the top 1000 of all time. Just look at this shit:
“You break it, you buy it.” Hey Batman, shut the fuck up. And hmmmm that dino tail slide looks awfully familiar…
– Not a lot of diversity on the list. Ellen Ripley’s the only one without a dick and the rest? White dudes ages 20 to 60. That’s it…yikes.
– Biggest surprise on the list has to be The Dude. Don’t get me wrong, he’s close to my top 10 list, but I wasn’t expecting these results here. The Big Lebowski is a cult classic, but I didn’t know the exact magnitude of the film. I was shocked to see him sneak his way into the ten spot.
– Quick warning, obviously I haven’t seen every movie that’s ever been made. I will say I’ve seen a great amount, but there is a chance I’ve skipped a few with pretty iconic characters in them. Yet, this is my list and I’ll do as I please.
10. Maximus Decimus Meridius
Maximus just squeezes into the top 10 purely off of sheer determination. The deadliest character on my list, Maximus is a powerhouse with a sword or any weapon for that matter. He’s the definition of a comeback story. Famed commander that’s falsely accused, has his family murdered, and then is turned into a gladiator. His resiliency is unmatched and all the while he stays humble and morally justified. Also, he has one of the deadliest mic drops in all of cinema right after a quick run through of his enemies:
Spaniard! Spaniard! Spaniard!
9. Walter Sobchak
“This is what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass!”
“You know, Dude, I myself dabbled in pacifism once. Not in ‘Nam of course.”
“When he moved to Hollywood he had to go door to door to tell everyone he was a pederast.”
“Smokey, this is not ‘Nam. This is bowling. There are rules.”
“Shut the fuck up, Donny.”
Always takes control of the situation and establishes himself as Alpha. Have to respect the authority and the conviction in his voice. The Dude is a fan favorite, but I’m taking the road less traveled and am going with Walter as one of my favorites.
8. Vito Corleone
You can’t get any more O.G than the Don. He basically was the Italian mafia pioneer. He set every Italian mob movie into motion. Cold blooded and loyal to a fault. Vito invented the saying: “Family over everything.” You’re a true great when you can’t inflict physical pain by yourself and you’re still feared by all. Plus, the dude got gun downed in the middle of a street and survived. True warrior.
7. Ron Burgundy
It a only makes sense that the main character in the greatest comedy of all time makes my top 10 list. Will Ferrell’s crowning achievement and that saying something. Same goes for Ron as it did for Walter, so many quotes. What Ron lacks in intelligence he makes up with charisma and a “can do” attitude. Truly the funniest character on this list and of all time.
He’s a lover…
He’s a fighter…
He’s Ron Burgundy…
6. Forrest Gump
He maybe slow, but he lives life in the fast lane. Anything you can think of Gump has done – he gave Elvis dancing tips, was an All-American kick returner, met JFK, fought in Nam, played ping pong for the Americans in the Olympics, was awarded the Medal of Honor, met Lyndon B. Johnson, met John Lennon, iniated investigations that led to the discovery of the Watergate scandal, started Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., invested in Apple, ran across the country for two years, and had a kid. He lived life to the fullest and hurdled every obstacle thrown his way. It’s almost depressing comparing yourself to him knowing you’ll never be able to match the life he’s had, but all we can do is tip our caps to Gump and admire his accomplishments.
5. Ferris Bueller
All time line for an all time character. One of my favorite lines ever. Is it a “go to” and overused? Yes, but it’s also a bitch slap of truth. Nowadays we get lost in the hustle and bustle of society we forget to slow it down every once in a while and enjoy the little things in life. Bueller was every kids’ idol growing up. Who didn’t think of playing hooky and having the time of their lives when we were in high school? It was a dream and Ferris lived it. So suave and if you’re porking Sloane Peterson (my first crush) then you’ve got all of my respect.
The Italian Stallion baby! It’s my list so of course the pride of Philadelphia is coming in hot at number 4. Rocky is cinema’s quintessential underdog. From punching meat in the back of freezers to being on top of the world. Rocky’s “can’t stop, won’t stop” attitude is why he’s so popular. He knows how to roll with the punches and win a crowd over. The guy’s got a fuckin statute in Philly for crying out loud. Yea, a fuckin movie character has a God damn 8’6 bronze statute in the heart of the city. That’s how much of a cultural impact Rocky has had. Finally, his theme song is by far one of the catchiest tunes of all time no doubt.
Now run Rocky…run for you’re life:
3. Jules Winnfield
Baddest motherfucker on this list by a landslide. So bad he’s got a wallet that has “Bad Mother Fucker” stitched into it. Jules has the rare ability to turn things on when needed and play it cool when it’s down time. In the car with his partner, Vincent Vega, he’s a cool cat that has good stories and wise advice, but when he’s on the job he’s the scariest guy alive. Jules yelling is an art. It’s so convincing and powerful that it completely overwhelms anyone who listens. Like I said, he’s not just an assassin for hire, but an emotional and religious man that contemplates the big picture. Nothing will ever top him getting back Marcellus Wallace’s briefcase. Nothing. All time scene for an all time character:
Immediate presence. All business.
2. The Joker (Heath Ledger’s portrayal)
All character ranking aside this is the best acting on the list. Heath’s portrayal will go down in history as one of the finest performances in the history of film. The Joker is deranged, sadistic, unpredictable, and yet we love him. The perfect opposite to Batman. He represents everything the Dark Knight tries to stop. He is the chaos to order. “Some men just want to watch the world burn.” The opening scene, when were introduced to The Joker, right away tells us of how awesome of a character he is. Everyone murmuring about who he is and how crazy he is and *Boom* there’s the bad man himself:
That smile still gives me nightmares.
And without further delay I present to you my number one movie character of all time (This blog has been a fuckin journey)
1. Tyler Durden
Part of it’s because the character is the best, part of it’s because I quite frankly just want to be Brad Pitt. Tyler Durden is everything we want to be in life – calm, cool, in control, and care free. He does what he wants and sticks to his guns. He has a purpose in life and does everything in his power to achieve that goal. He’s the best movie twist in history. The guy’s the best character of all time and he’s a figment of someone’s imagination. Unreal. He’s a natural born leader and trend-setter. Also, he could go toe to toe with the best of em and probably beat the fuck out of em…orrrrrrrr he simply could just take it like a maniac and laugh right in your face:
P.S – I’ve just realized that I also only have one character that isn’t a white dude, but hey what can you say?