T Nation

Greatest Movie Characters of All Time


British movie magazine Empire has released its list of the 100 greatest movie characters of all time. Here are their choices for the top 25:

  1. Yoda (Empire Strikes Back)
  2. Ash (Evil Dead)
  3. Harry Callahan (Dirty Harry)
  4. Red (The Shawshank Redemption)
  5. Michael Corleone (The Godfather series)
  6. Forrest Gump (Forrest Gump)
  7. Jules Winnfield (Pulp Fiction)
  8. Travis Bickle (Taxi Driver)
  9. Hans Gruber (Die Hard)
  10. Neo (The Matrix trilogy)
  11. Ferris Bueller (Ferris Bueller's Day Off)
  12. The Terminator (The Terminator series)
  13. Gollum (The Lord of the Rings trilogy)
  14. John McClane (Die Hard series)
  15. James Bond (007 series)
  16. Vito Corleone (The Godfather I & II)
  17. Ellen Ripley (Alien quadrology)
  18. Captain Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy)
  19. The Dude (The Big Lebowski)
  20. Indiana Jones (Indiana Jones series)
  21. Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs)
  22. Han Solo (Star Wars trilogy)
  23. The Joker (The Dark Knight)
  24. Darth Vader (Star Wars series)
  25. Tyler Durden (Fight Club)

Who is missing? Who does not belong? Curious what everyone thinks.


Doc Holliday from Tombstone has always been one of my favorites.


Mickey Rourke's character in "The Pope of Greenwich Village".

Joe Pesci's character in "Goodfellas".




My initial reaction was that Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka and DeNiro's Jake LaMotta should be on there.

I also wonder about Hans Gruber. Die hard was a decent flick, but what was so great about Gruber?


He was played by Alan Rickman...a great brit actor.

How about Clint Eastwood as Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Highway in "Heartbreak Ridge"


Tyler Durden should NOT be anwhere near the top ten, no less than #1.

Good movie, but not THAT great of a character. Especially compared to the others.


I think this list sealed it fate of eternal BS when jack sparrow was placed 3 slots ahead of james Bond.


I think we are missing someone. Conan the Destoryer/Barbarian.


John "Yippee-kay-ei Motherfucker" McClane ... I mean come on he pushed Hans "I'm not a terrorist I'm a thief" Gruber out of a window. Get your priorities straight.


Glad to see Harry Callahan was on the list. They could've added another Eastwood Classic, The Man With No Name, from the spaghetti western greats.



I love Alan Rickman's work. However, when you think "villain" Hans Gruber is not my first thought.


Gene Wilder was a genius.

I can't believe you didn't list the warden from Shawshank. That guy was the greatest asshole in the history of cinema.


Jack Burton


List needs moar William Wallace, and Maximus from Gladiator.


Warden Samuel Norton. Played by Bob Gunton.

Warden Samuel Norton: I have to say that's the most amazing story I've ever heard. What amazes me most is that you were taken in by it.

Andy Dufresne: Sir?

Warden Samuel Norton: It's obvious this fellow Williams is impressed with you, he hears your tale of woe and naturally wants to cheer you up. He's young, not terribly bright, it's not surprising he wouldn't know what a state he put you in.

Andy Dufresne: Sir, he's telling the truth.

Warden Samuel Norton: Let's say for the moment this Blatch does exist. You think he'd just fall to his knees and cry: "Yes, I did it, I confess! Oh, and by the way, add a life term to my sentence."

Andy Dufresne: You know that wouldn't matter. With Tommy's testimony I can get a new trial.

Warden Samuel Norton: That's assuming Blatch is still there. Chances are excellent he'd be released by now.

Andy Dufresne: Well they'd have his last known address, names of relatives. It's a chance, isn't it.

[Norton shakes his head]

Andy Dufresne: How can you be so obtuse?

Warden Samuel Norton: What? What did you call me?

Andy Dufresne: Obtuse. Is it deliberate?

Warden Samuel Norton: Son, you're forgetting yourself.

Andy Dufresne: The country club will have his old time cards. Records, W-2s with his name on them. Sir, if I ever get out, I'd never mention what happens here. I'd be just as indictable as you for laundering that money.

[Norton slaps the table]

Warden Samuel Norton: Don't you ever mention money to me again, you sorry SON OF A BITCH! NOT IN THIS ROOM, NOT ANYWHERE.


Winston "The Wolf" Wolfe


DeNiero as Neil McCauley in 'Heat'


Yeah, I have to agree about Hans Gruber. As much as I like Rickman and Die Hard, he doesn't belong on that list.

Tyler Durden is a joke at #1

Forrest Gump shouldn't be on the list either.

I'd have to agree with Doc Holliday from Tombstone needing to be on the list. Same with William Wallace and Maximus.

Not sure I agree with Neo either. I only thought the first Matrix was good and it wasn't good because Neo was such a great character, unless you like wooden.

Not sure I agree with Ferris Bueller either. At least not in the top 25. I'd say Chet from Weird Science was more memorable.


how in the hell is Tyler Durden ranked higher than Darth Vader and James Bond?


Morpheus was the standout character in the Matrix movies.

Ferris Bueller is a classic movie. Considering I wanted to be just like that when I was a kid, I think he deserves the spot.