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Old 04-28-2019, 07:13 PM
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That Movie Character has no name! Name them!


A companion to the thread about changing character's nanes for the movies. ( https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=874643 ) Sometimes there IS no name, and the movie has to supply one.

H.G. Wells did this a couple of times. His protagonist for War of the Worlds wasn't named. When people dramatized it, then needed a handle.

For the 1938 Mercury Theater on the Air broadcast by Orson Welles, Howard Koch came up with Professor Richard Pierson, voiced by Orson Welles.

For the 1953 George Pal film, Gene Barry plated Dr. Clayton Forrester. Joel Hodgson took note for his series Mystery Science Theater 3000.

For Steven Spielberg's 2005 bfilm, Tom Cruise played Ray Ferrier.The direct-to-video adaptation from The Asylum the same year gave us Dr. George Herbert, which they got by reversing the order of H.G. Wells' two given names.




Wells similarly didn't name his protagonist in The Time Machine, and adapters have struggled to name him.

For CBS radio dramas in 1948 and 1950 they named him Dudley.

For Alien Voices in 1994 they gave only his first name, John

For the George Pal 1960 film, Rod Taylor played him, named H. George Wells, which seems like they weren't even trying.

A 1978 Sunn Classic TV film named him Dr. Neil Perry[/B], played by John Beck.

The 2002 film scripted by Simon Wells (H.G.'s grandson) had Guy Pearce playing Professor Alexander Hartdegen, which sounds as if they're trying to make up for the 1960 film's poor effort.




Any others?
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Old 04-28-2019, 07:24 PM
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Jay McInerney's Bright Lights, Big City is narrated in the second person by someone who never names himself. For the 1988 film, Michael J. Fox played Jamie Conway, which is obviously inspired by the author's name

Fight Club is an interesting case. The narrator isn't named in Chuck Pahlaniuk's book, and he isn't really named in the movie, either.

The same is true, I'm told, of Daphne duMaurier's Rebecca and the Alfred Hitchcock film made of it, though I've never read or seen either.
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Old 04-29-2019, 07:41 AM
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In the musical version of War of the Worlds by Jeff Wayne, the artilleryman was never named; so I suggest Art Illeryman.
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Old 04-29-2019, 09:16 AM
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Fight Club is an interesting case. The narrator isn't named in Chuck Pahlaniuk's book, and he isn't really named in the movie, either.
I think the character's name is actually Tyler Durden, but to say that would, as Number 2 in the Prisoner says, "be telling".

The Man With No Name is named Sue. That would explain a lot.
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Old 04-29-2019, 09:56 AM
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That distinguished German tycoon and his mistress in the Stuttgart art-museum scene in The Avengers were Horst Leventhal and Sigrid Bermann.

Because I said so, dammit.

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=650920
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Old 04-29-2019, 10:01 AM
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Old 04-29-2019, 11:18 AM
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TV Time: The Addams Family cartoons debuted in The New Yorker magazine in 1938, but the characters were not given first names until the TV series in 1964.
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Old 04-29-2019, 11:32 AM
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And then there's the Star Wars phenomenon where every walk-on character who has a line is given a name, even if there's no way for the audience to ever learn it other than reading the credits. Like, Matt Doran didn't play "death stick dealer" in Episode II; he played Elan Sel'sabagno.
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Old 04-29-2019, 12:03 PM
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The Husband of the Bride of Frankenstein.
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Old 04-29-2019, 12:07 PM
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And then there's the Star Wars phenomenon where every walk-on character who has a line is given a name, even if there's no way for the audience to ever learn it other than reading the credits. Like, Matt Doran didn't play "death stick dealer" in Episode II; he played Elan Sel'sabagno.
On the flip side of that, I love what Zucker, Zucker, and Abrams did with their movies -- identify the actors in the closing credits by the line they said, rather than calling them "Policeman #2" or giving some name that's never used in the film.
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Old 04-29-2019, 12:11 PM
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On the flip side of that, I love what Zucker, Zucker, and Abrams did with their movies -- identify the actors in the closing credits by the line they said, rather than calling them "Policeman #2" or giving some name that's never used in the film.
That's not what they did for Airplane!: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080339...=tt_cl_sm#cast
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Old 04-29-2019, 12:19 PM
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That's not what they did for Airplane!: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080339...=tt_cl_sm#cast
I didn't say they did it in all their movies.
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Old 04-29-2019, 12:25 PM
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https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095705/crazycredits

Quote:
Many of the bit players are credited next to the one line of dialogue they had in the film. For example: "It's Enrico Pallazzo!" ... Mark Holton

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102510/crazycredits
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Old 04-29-2019, 12:30 PM
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And then there's the Star Wars phenomenon where every walk-on character who has a line is given a name, even if there's no way for the audience to ever learn it other than reading the credits. Like, Matt Doran didn't play "death stick dealer" in Episode II; he played Elan Sel'sabagno.
They don’t need a line to get a name. They need an action figure.
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Old 04-29-2019, 01:06 PM
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I think the character's name is actually Tyler Durden, but to say that would, as Number 2 in the Prisoner says, "be telling".
"Tyler Durden" is the name of the Narrator's alternate persona. The Narrator is never named in the movie or the novel. In the book's graphic novel sequel the Narrator's real name is given as "Sebastian."
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Old 04-29-2019, 01:24 PM
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Blondie, aka the Man with No Name.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_with_No_Name

Several Disney Princes had no name in their initial film, but in later sequels or comics they came up with one. Once in awhile there were contradictions.
https://disney.fandom.com/wiki/The_Prince
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Old 04-29-2019, 01:35 PM
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And then there's the Star Wars phenomenon where every walk-on character who has a line is given a name, even if there's no way for the audience to ever learn it other than reading the credits. Like, Matt Doran didn't play "death stick dealer" in Episode II; he played Elan Sel'sabagno.
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They don’t need a line to get a name. They need an action figure.
Willrow_Hood, aka "Ice Cream Guy", didn't have either.
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Old 04-29-2019, 02:03 PM
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Willrow_Hood, aka "Ice Cream Guy", didn't have either.

He has one now.
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:50 PM
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Blondie, aka the Man with No Name.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_with_No_Name
Some have speculated that Charles Bronson's unnamed character in Once Upon a Time in the West is an older version of tMwNN.
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:57 PM
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Fight Club is an interesting case. The narrator isn't named in Chuck Pahlaniuk's book, and he isn't really named in the movie, either.
Also interesting in terms of this thread, since he's often referred to as Joe in discussions of the film, thanks to the recurring, "I am Joe's __________" line from the film.
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:20 PM
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Clint Eastwood's 'Man with No Name' seems like the obvious one, as DrDeth pointed out. But he needs a name, so I choose to call him... Tim.

Last edited by Sam Stone; 05-02-2019 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:55 PM
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Clint Eastwood's 'Man with No Name' seems like the obvious one, as DrDeth pointed out. But he needs a name, so I choose to call him... Tim.
Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen: What kinda stupid name is that?!
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:09 PM
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The Dain Curse, a novel by Dashiell Hammett featuring the unnamed Continental Op. When turned into a TV miniseries in 1978, the Op was given the name "Hamilton Nash."
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:55 AM
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The Dain Curse, a novel by Dashiell Hammett featuring the unnamed Continental Op. When turned into a TV miniseries in 1978, the Op was given the name "Hamilton Nash."
Interesting. I didn't know about that one.

It always bothered me that Hammett never named The Continental Op. You could argue that the whole point was that he was anonymous, but in my case, the title "Continental Op" gave me a completely erroneous image of what the character was supposed to be, before I got hold of and read the stories.
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:20 AM
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I just thought of a non-literary one:

The video game Doom (id Software, 1993) has an unnamed protagonist (known as "Doom Guy").

For the film adaptation in 2005, they named the main character, played by Karl Urban, John "The Reaper" Grimm.
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:29 PM
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Clint Eastwood's 'Man with No Name' seems like the obvious one, as DrDeth pointed out. But he needs a name, so I choose to call him... Tim.
Clint Eastwood's character in High Plains Drifter does not have name either. He's credited as" The Stranger".

EDIT: I just remembered Eastwood"s character in Pale Rider is credited as "The Preacher".

Last edited by dorvann; 05-03-2019 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:56 PM
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Clint Eastwood's character in High Plains Drifter does not have name either. He's credited as" The Stranger"
Warning: Lame Game of Thrones Joke ahead:

Wasn't "The Stranger" part of the Magnificent Seven?
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Old 05-04-2019, 10:11 AM
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And then there's the Star Wars phenomenon where every walk-on character who has a line is given a name, even if there's no way for the audience to ever learn it other than reading the credits. Like, Matt Doran didn't play "death stick dealer" in Episode II; he played Elan Sel'sabagno.
Well yeah, every character is going to be an action figure and you can’t trademark ‘walk on #3’.
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Old 05-08-2019, 01:28 AM
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Let's not forget the bass player from That Thing You Do!, who goes unnamed during the movie and is impishly identified in the credits only as … T.B. Player.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:46 AM
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Clint Eastwood's character in High Plains Drifter does not have name either. He's credited as" The Stranger".

EDIT: I just remembered Eastwood"s character in Pale Rider is credited as "The Preacher".
They're both the same character.

The character he plays in HPD is Jim Duncan, (deceased).
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:09 AM
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H.G. Wells did this a couple of times. His protagonist for War of the Worlds wasn't named. When people dramatized it, then needed a handle.
Wells did give The Invisible Man a last name, Griffin. But no first name, which had to be invented for subsequent adaptations.

In the 1933 movie (with Claude Rains) the character was Jack Griffin.

In The Invisible Man Returns (1940) the original invisible man was named John Griffin.

In The Invisible Man's Revenge (1944) the character's name is Robert Griffin.

A Russian 1984 adaptation used the name Jonathan Griffin.

In the original Hollow Man the protagonist was named Sebastian Caine. But in the sequel, Hollow Man 2, the protagonist was a new character named Michael Griffin.

In Alan Moore's comic book series, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the character is named Hawley Griffin.

In Jeff Lemire's comic book, The Nobody, the character is named John Griffen.

And some adaptations changed the character's last name. The 1958 British TV series, The Invisible Man, named the character Peter Brady, the 1975 American series used Daniel Westin, and the 2000 series used Darien Fawkes. The 2005 cartoon series named the character Alan Crystal. The 1992 movie, Memoirs of an Invisible Man with Chevy Chase, used the name Nick Halloway.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 05-08-2019 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 05-08-2019, 01:00 PM
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Wells did give The Invisible Man a last name, Griffin. But no first name, which had to be invented for subsequent adaptations.

In the 1933 movie (with Claude Rains) the character was Jack Griffin.

In The Invisible Man Returns (1940) the original invisible man was named John Griffin.

In The Invisible Man's Revenge (1944) the character's name is Robert Griffin.

A Russian 1984 adaptation used the name Jonathan Griffin.

In the original Hollow Man the protagonist was named Sebastian Caine. But in the sequel, Hollow Man 2, the protagonist was a new character named Michael Griffin.

In Alan Moore's comic book series, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the character is named Hawley Griffin.

In Jeff Lemire's comic book, The Nobody, the character is named John Griffen.

And some adaptations changed the character's last name. The 1958 British TV series, The Invisible Man, named the character Peter Brady, the 1975 American series used Daniel Westin, and the 2000 series used Darien Fawkes. The 2005 cartoon series named the character Alan Crystal. The 1992 movie, Memoirs of an Invisible Man with Chevy Chase, used the name Nick Halloway.

He similarly didn't give Dr. Moreau a first name.

In the second volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, Alan Moore named him Alphonse Moreau

The 1932 movie Island of Lost Souls doesn't give him a first name. Nor does the 1996 movie with Marlon Brando.

In the 1977 movie Burt Lancaster was Paul Moreau

He's shown up in a number of sequels and pastiches, but I don't know of any other that name him.

When I was at the University of Rochester, future Nobel Laureate Gerard Mourou had an office down the hall. Every time I'd pass it, I involuntarily though "The Office of Dr. Mourou". So I sorta think his first name should be Gerard.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:28 PM
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Well yeah, every character is going to be an action figure and you can’t trademark ‘walk on #3’.
Also, Kenner tended to give many of the figures generic names like "Hammerhead" and "Walrusman" when the characters were later used in the extended universe era of Star Wars licenced material, they were usually given different, more "Star Warsish" names like Momaw Nadon and Ponda Baba.
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:30 PM
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Conan Doyle never gave a first name to Insp. Lestrade, Sherlock Holmes's frenemy at Scotland Yard, just a first initial, G., mentioned in a single story. I always thought his first name was probably that quintessential 19th C. British name, George.
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:39 PM
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Conan Doyle never gave a first name to Insp. Lestrade, Sherlock Holmes's frenemy at Scotland Yard, just a first initial, G., mentioned in a single story. I always thought his first name was probably that quintessential 19th C. British name, George.
We're not even sure what Watson's middle name is. The initial is H.
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Old 05-17-2019, 01:26 AM
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In "Burnt Offerings", I'd like to name the smiley hearse driver Wink Martindale.
Or Sunshine.

In "Animal Hose", Belushi smashes a guitar played by a proto-hippy who probably should have been named Chad.

Last edited by Guest-starring: Id!; 05-17-2019 at 01:27 AM.
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Old 05-17-2019, 01:38 AM
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We're not even sure what Watson's middle name is. The initial is H.
It's been fanwanked that his middle name must be Hamish. Because while Conan Doyle rarely mentioned his first name, he had said it was John. But then in one of his later books, he had Watson's wife call him James. To explain this within the story, some people have said that Mary Watson must call her husband by his middle name, which must therefore be Hamish, the Scottish version of James.

This is nonsense. Everyone knows that Watson's middle name is Hiberius.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 05-17-2019 at 01:40 AM.
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Old 05-17-2019, 02:22 AM
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Conan Doyle never gave a first name to Insp. Lestrade, Sherlock Holmes's frenemy at Scotland Yard, just a first initial, G., mentioned in a single story. I always thought his first name was probably that quintessential 19th C. British name, George.
In the recent 'Sherlock' series, his name is Greg.
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:08 AM
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Conan Doyle never gave a first name to Insp. Lestrade, Sherlock Holmes's frenemy at Scotland Yard, just a first initial, G., mentioned in a single story. I always thought his first name was probably that quintessential 19th C. British name, George.
In a satirical play I wrote, I combined the two Scotland Yard detectives from the Holmes stories, Gregson and G. Lestrade, into "Gregson Lestrade".
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:57 AM
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There was a series of novels focusing on Lestrade that came out in the early Eighties IIRC, in which his first name was given as Sholto (the last name of the brothers in The Sign of Four). Don't know why the author would've ignored the data point Conan Doyle supplied.

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...In "Animal Hose", Belushi smashes a guitar played by a proto-hippy who probably should have been named Chad.
Animal Hose was a bestiality porn movie that came out a few years later, wasn't it?
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:04 PM
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You might be thinking of the zoo hospitality show Animal Host.
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:36 PM
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Let's not forget the bass player from That Thing You Do!, who goes unnamed during the movie and is impishly identified in the credits only as … T.B. Player.
Hehe, reminds me of the Dragon age Computer games. They are set in Thedas, which they eventually admitted was a placeholder, THE Dragon Age Setting that they never found anything better to put in it's place
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